Yoga Teacher, Chef, Entrepreneur, Nosara, Costa Rica

It was wonderful to pause with Ms. Ana while in Costa Rica. Meeting her was one of those deep in/exhales that relaxed the mind and uplifted the spirit. She has the most calm aura about her, together with her sense of self and focus on the present moment. It was truly fascinating to be around. How many of us are able to really admit that we are seeking something more in life, have experienced a dead end situation and actually did something about it? I admire Ana’s ability to do those things and actually pursue a possible solution, thereby altering the trajectory of her life in a way many of us find unfathomable. Quite an experience to meet someone like that. Please enjoy the Q/A with our latest WOW Woman from Nosara, Costa Rica.

1. Name.

Ana Cristina Alvarenga Ruiz.

2. Where is your hometown?

Nosara, Costa Rica.

3. What is your profession/career/title/self-label/designation?

Yoga teacher, Vegan Chef, Entrepreneur, Holistic Therapist, Light Worker.

4. What was the journey like to get where you are (in life and career-wise)? What are some accomplishments you’re most proud of, and what was the turning point to set you on a current path in life?

Everyone's journey is a roller coaster...

When I started my life with my partner (Jaime) at 20 years old, a lot changed in me since then. I was very broken emotionally at that point and we both consciously tried to fix everything possible in me. I learned to love myself and not feel guilty about wanting to feel beautiful (however, I keep on fighting). My greatest accomplishment has been getting where I am today. Most of what I have wanted I have done at some point and I hope to complete the never ending list sometime. Having an amazing Soul by my side has been another great accomplishment in my life. I mean, knowledge can be reachable but love is a rare thing to find.

When Jaime's mom passed away, life changed again. We went to India to try to find ourselves but ended up having a completely different trip. I learned never to expect since the result is always infinite. In 2017, I left my office job and started teaching yoga classes. I needed a change in my life again. I asked the Universe and received an amazing opportunity to spend some time in Southern Oregon with the most loving people. So we sold everything and started the journey.

Now I am trying to make a new life in Nosara, Costa Rica. New beginnings, new blessings. Every experience has left me a gift. Good or bad, always for the better me. 

5. What did you study in school?

I was always confused about what to study. I started with Graphic Design, dropped it during my last year because I was just not learning as expected. Paying a lot of money for not learning seemed like a waste. I changed my major to Photography, dropped it on my first year because I was going through a rough separation on that moment and I needed a change in life. Then I went to study Culinary Arts, which I actually enjoyed but never graduated because of lack of income. I started my spiritual path with Reiki and acupressure and then I was blessed with some money to go to India to make my first Yoga Teacher Training and two years after that did my second training.

6. How is your life different from what you pictured at 20?

Well, I picture reaching 30, having a house and a good income. Hahahahaha that's why again, I try not to expect.

7. Was there a time when life knocked you down or out and how did you get back up on your feet?

Life is constantly knocking me down. I try to see beyond and keep on trying to be a better a person. Be more grateful, more peaceful. Having faith in a Higher Vibration is also a key. I constantly ask for patience and strength to keep on shinning. And I also try to remember that I AM! I am Light within the darkness and I am darkness within the light. Nothing is separated, I am whole!

8. Advice for other women?

Trust your inner Goddess! We are all connected to The Higher Vibration, we can bring life and move as the moon moves on her phases. As such, we are more connected than we really think we are. Stop judging yourself and/or others. Learn to ask to the Universe and be ready to receive.

9. Knowing what we know now in current political climate, can women be "all that we can be" in today's world? What is the way forward, as you see it, for "feminist values"?

I think women are getting more empowered with each day that passes by. I can feel the energy changing, rapidly. Women will indeed rise in different parts of the world. And eventually be equal and even needed, as in old times women were always the wisest.

10. Where in the world do you feel “tallest” (i.e. where is your happy place)?

I am happy as long as I am in nature. I observe, feel, hear and analyze it in every possible way. I am currently very happy living near the ocean, water, salt, nature... it just cleanses me every day. I also loved my staying in Dharamshala in India. It was a magical month doing my first yoga teacher training, walking around the Himalayans, drinking chai.

However, Southern Oregon holds a special place in my heart. Living surrounded by the forest learning how to grow organically with the most loving beings (Benjah, Tree and Hope) and connecting with animals. I fell in love with local deer there. They are a very mystical animals. I found myself relating to them more than I thought, fed them twice a day and observed the babies grow., watched the relationship between mothers and babies and between babies and the males. The deer are considered spiritual animals, full of grace and gentleness.

11. What extra-curricular activities/hobbies are you most proud of? Why?

I play ukulele and sing. I always wanted to have grace in doing what I love to do, but I have a hard time being watched and expressing myself. I was blessed by being invited to sing at kirtans with Marianela Ortiz (amazing teacher), but just by myself is a whole different story (hahahaha). So yes, currently working on shouting my voice to the world and share all my blessings! 

12. What do you want to be when you grow up? Future goals/challenges?

My main goal is to balance myself, body, mind and Soul. 

I want to be successful at my brand Anahata Food & Health.  And I want to be a good yoga teacher and help people in any way possible.

13. What fears are you still hoping to overcome?

Fear of failing. Of not being good enough, of not being able to transform all my negativity into positivity. Finally the fear of never letting myself BE. 

14. Anything you'd do differently, if you had another go at life?

Tough one, no idea what would have happened if I had a different go at life. But I would have traveled more, and earlier.

15. What inspires you?

Nature in all ways. Music. Yoga. Love.

16. What are you hopeful about?

I hope everyone becomes less judgmental. I hope Love will rule the world. I hope I can make myself and others happy.

17. What are some ingredients to a good life?

Be grateful. Be present. Be honest and righteous. Live the day. Love yourself. Love.

18. What advice would you give your 14-year-old self?

Stop worrying about what hasn't come yet. Be grateful and love yourself, the best is to come.

19. What are you reading now? (what books do you gift most and what are your favourite reads?)

I am actually stuck in several books: ‘Shakti Rising’ by Chinnaiyan, ‘The Green Witch’ by Murphy-Hiscock, ‘Anna, Grandmother of Jesus’ by Claire Heartsong.

I also like books about meditation, yoga, healthy eating and traditional Chinese medicine.

20. Who is a WOW Woman in your world who inspires you and why? Can you nominate three (or more) women you know who perfectly fit WOW WOMAN description? What would you tell them if you had an opportunity, of why you admire them?

I admire most of the women that surround me. My mother in law was a huge inspiration, she lost her lover too soon and fought four cancers, and she was still able to laugh and have a good time. My friends with kids. That managed to keep on going without a clue or help. And my friends that are just doing what they love to do without hesitation. 

21. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc.)?    

Instagram: @honeybirdflow

Facebook: Ana Hatha