Is There a Gym in Mahahual?

That is  question I get all of the time as the resident health nut of our dear Costa Maya. “I heard there was a gym. Do you know where it is?”. Mahahual has had several incarnations of gyms of sorts. All taking on different forms and experiencing varying lifespans. One giving birth to another. The cycle of life and death.

The answer to the question is the only gym in Mahahual at the current moment, a reincarnation of our old fairly stable gym, rests in the beachfront hotel Blue Kay. When the old gym closed down over contract issues between the owner of the gym and the owner of the building it was in, Blue Kay swept in and bought most of the old equipment and put it in an airy, wooden space above the front desk at the hotel.

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The conspicuous building stands alone at the entrance so you can’t miss it. There is a roof, a floor, the equipment, and not much else. The equipment is composed of dated machines, reminiscent of 80’s spandex and headband workouts, and some free weights. There is no cardio equipment or stretching/warm up space, mostly due to the constraints of the overload of machines compared to available floor space, so you’ll have to do your cardio at the beach. It isn’t glamorous but it does have what you need to get in a basic workout, especially considering that there is no alternative at the moment.

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I am being somewhat hard on it, as a lifelong fitness rat accustomed to the latest and greatest, but the gym at Blue Kay can really be a cool experience, especially from a traveler’s viewpoint. Working out basically outdoors with a nice sea breeze and mangrove view can be a welcome novelty to people living the city life abroad, especially if that city happens to be sitting at sub-zero temperatures at the time. At at only $35 pesos (about $1.75 USD) for the day, it is worth it.

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The gym could use the touch of an experienced gym goer to clear out some of the redundant machines and really utilize the space properly. Modernizing the available equipment would really turn it into a gym that is optimized and make the novelty of the beach-front work out a highlight of your trip. But it is what we have for now and it works well enough.

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If you are in town and looking for a pump then head over to Blue Kay and see what you’ve got. You can get in a nice sweat. I’ll be the tall guy looking for enough space to stretch…

A Great Yoga Class in Mahahual

One of the most popular activities for health-minded travelers these days seems to be yoga. Whether you are a life-long yoga enthusiast or trying it for the first time on vacation it can be great way to unwind, get some light exercise, and replenish your anxiety-ridden spirit.

If you are looking, there are a few places to get your yoga fix here in Costa Maya. There are offerings from formal private classes from established inhabitants, beach front informal classes from wandering travelers, community, expensive, cheap, hatha, kundalini and everything in-between. But in this article I wanted to shine a spotlight on what I see as the best all-around yoga class in town for those who are doing their homework.

My wife has been a yoga lover for years and years and she has dragged me to classes all over the world. I am a bit of an all-around fitness fanatic and I love to mix it up and to me there is nothing worse than a yoga class that consists the same basic moves every class. It doesn’t challenge me or hold my attention and nothing puts me to sleep faster than moving through the same old sequence time and time again . My wife feels the same way, and we have had a number of disappointing experiences.

That is why when we heard tale of a great yoga class taking place every Tuesday and Thursday morning for a reasonable price that our friends were really enjoying we had to go check it out. I walked into the class for the first time skeptical due to my history with boring classes but I was soon moving through some poses I had never done, mixed with the more familiar sun salutations, warrior this and that and others. I thought to myself “what’s this?? Have I discovered the yoga needle in a hay stack?”. I left the class thoroughly pleased with my experience and Carolina, the instructor.

The next class was again a pleasant surprise as we moved through yet more poses and positions that I had never done and it was not just a carbon copy of the previous class. We were both super satisfied. From that class on we have both been totally hooked, barely missing a class, and are brought to life every Tuesday and Thursday morning by the big bright smile of Carolina as and she greets us at the door and gets our bodies moving.

The class is held at the Wayak Community Center in the neighborhood “Casitas” in a room that is built in the traditional Maya thatched-roof style. The morning air feels cool as the breeze blows through and the sweet smell of Nag Champa incense fills the room. Carolina’s soft and knowledgeable voice leads you through an hour of challenging yet relaxing poses and sets you up to have the perfect day afterward.

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If you are one of those yoga travelers or are just in town and looking for a new active experience at a reasonable price, I highly recommend you join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8am for your wake up yoga. You will leave will a big flexible smile on your face!