Judith Roth

Judith Roth

My fascination with mind, body, spirit integration began back in 1974. Since that time, my studies and teaching have led me on a journey through work with martial arts, self-defense, the peace movement and women’s visioning circles. In 1994, after many years of doing my own yoga practice, I decided to make studying and teaching yoga my complete focus.

Inspired by Theresa Elliot and her brilliant focus on sequencing, I built my home studio in Seattle Washington and began offering classes. John Friend and his holistic Anusara yoga expanded my understanding of heart connection and alignment principles. I am blessed with the opportunity to study with many inspired teachers who add so much foundation to my understanding of Yoga.

Friends introduced me to Yelapa in 2003. A heart calling and a willingness to step into the unknown brought me to Yelapa to live. My first years were spent living right in the center of the village learning Spanish and working on community projects.

In time, I began teaching yoga to local visitors and also bringing groups to Yelapa for a vision I had of creating Yoga Vacations encompassing a connection to the local village and rich bio-diverse natural setting filled with tropical birds, plants and sea life. Participants in the Yoga Vacations I offered appreciated the closer connection they felt with the people, the culture and the environment while they practiced yoga.

As I began sharing yoga with more people here, I longed to create a space to hold the yoga classes. Although I enjoyed living and teaching in the center of the village, I wanted to create a sacred space for yoga honoring the vibrant natural beauty that makes Yelapa so special.

I was shown a piece of property overlooking the sea, beach and jungle. A group of my most beloved friends were also interested in joining in the construction of this project and in 2008 we broke ground to begin building this temple like structure on the mountain side.

I could never have imagined what it would actually take to build on a mountain without easy access in a place without cars, trucks, dump trucks etc. After watching hundreds of trains of donkeys carrying thousands of bags of sand that were brought from up river to mix with hundreds of bags of cement carried up the mountain side, I wondered if this project was realistic.

With the work of dedicated building crews facing challenging weather conditions and working tirelessly and consistently, each part of this project led us towards the final moment when this construction project turned into a sacred temple for practice. Miracle of all miracles, the studio opened for the first full season in November of 2009.

Since that day, we began practicing yoga and filling the tiled floors and cement walls with the spirit of practice. This studio has welcomed teachers throughout the season teaching yoga, meditation, pranayama, chanting, qigong and birding. We moved our bodies and breath in asana, sang from our hearts and transformed our spirits in this nature filled space.

Yoga In Yelapa offers a unique yoga experience combined with my connections in the village and my knowledge of the area. It is especially exciting for me to share this studio and Yelapa with other people interested in mind, body, spirit integration and teachers who bring their students, friends and families.

A Special Appreciation to my very beloved friend Naná Simone who believed in this project and contributed her love and support. I shared the depth of my heart with Naná. We climbed mountains, scaled glaciers, worked together in her vegetable garden, cooked and dried fruits together. We shared our joys, the challenges of life and our sorrows. We laughed so hard until we cried. Six months into this project, we suddenly lost Naná in a fatal accident. She never saw this project completed but her spirit and heart watch over this blessed place. There is no doubt the miracle of this creation comes from her spirit guidance ever present here with us forever.

nana simone