Vinyasa Flow at Kupuri Yoga in Old Town Puerto Vallarta

Yoga has really helped alleviate my back pain which, before yoga, had me laying on the floor after a work day in pain. As a teenager, I remember sitting on the bus with stabbing pain in my mid back along the left side of my spine. All my life this pain has come and gone but as I grew older, the pain became worse. Being an active person, it usually worsened after tennis, a workout at the gym or even walking home from work. Then one day I saw an advertisement for Yoga for Summer Sports, so I signed up hoping it would be good for my back and game of tennis. This class changed my life. I was 30 yrs old and for the first time in my life, I had no back pain and was sitting perfectly straight at my desk without the use of the back of the chair.

First, I started with Iyengar style yoga which was great for proper alignment of my spine,  learning the various postures and most importantly, using your breath to deepen into the poses. Now I practice Ashtanga yoga twice a week, which is a set of postures performed consecutively along with the in and out breath. I find Ashtanga improves flexibility while stretching my spine, allows me to meditate as I flow in and out of the poses, and is a great full body workout too. Ashtanga is sometimes called Power Yoga.

I captured this side street on my walk to 9am yoga class.

I captured this side street on my walk to 9am yoga class.

I felt I was ready to take some yoga classes in Vallarta rather than just working out at the gym so google searched what was out there. I found Kupuri Yoga, which was close to our condo and offered Vinyasa flow, which is a flow of poses combined with the in and out breath and a great middle ground between Iyengar and Ashtanga.

Sign for Kupuri Yoga.

Street sign for Kupuri Yoga.

Street view of Kupuri Yoga

Street view of Kupuri Yoga

Kupuri Yoga is a simple yet zen like studio located on Francisco L. Madero #239, in Emiliano Zapata (Zona Romantica) area.  They have yoga mats and props that are free to use and also offer 90 minute classes for a great price. Compared to other yoga studios in the area, I felt this was the best offer.

I have been going to the morning Vinyasa Flow yoga and thoroughly enjoyed every class. Paul, the instructor, is gentle yet encourages students to challenge themselves. Yesterday we did inversions and I was ready to stop after two, but Paul encouraged me to try more hand stands and head stands than I would have on my own.

The studio is large and zen like, with ceiling fans to cool the room and mirrors along the wall to check your alignment.

The studio is large and zen like, with ceiling fans to cool the room and mirrors along the wall to check your alignment.

Kupuri Yoga has mats and blocks for students to use for free.

Kupuri Yoga has mats and blocks for students to use for free.

Yoga is very therapeutic so drop in to Kupuri Yoga for a class to decrease stress, improve your flexibility and posture while also getting a non impact workout. Your body will love you for it.

Barcelona Tapas – Restaurant Week Puerto Vallarta

Another favourite restaurant of ours participating in the Restaurant Week 2015 is Barcelona Tapas. Perched high on the top floor of a hilltop building, Barcelona Tapas features an extensive menu of hot and cold tapas as well as their famous red or white sangria.

Since it was Wednesday night, Artwalk also was going on so we checked out some galleries before making our way to the restaurant. Vallarta has some great art right now and you can see them at one of the many galleries located in El Centro. This was the second last Artwalk evening of the season.

We reached Barcelona Tapas around 8:30pm, just in time to watch the sunset. We ordered a pitcher of red sangria, chowed down on some fresh-baked bread with olive oil and some complimentary potato salad.

Gorgeous view of the sunset and El Centro.

Gorgeous view of the sunset and El Centro.

Overlooking El Centro with a perfect view of the sunset.

Overlooking El Centro with a perfect view of the sunset.

A view of the inside of Barcelona Tapa.

A view of the inside of Barcelona Tapa.

After looking over the menu, we decided not to order the preset menu but instead order a la carte from the menu. The preset menu, 299 pesos, was good but there were too many other items on the full menu that we wanted to try or were our favourites.

Complimentary bread and olive oil along with some delicious potato salad.

Complimentary bread and olive oil along with some delicious potato salad.

We started with the spicy shrimp. The shrimp is sautéed in garlic butter with chilis, great for dipping your bread in afterwards. Next up was the grilled octopus, cooked to perfection. Our other choices were asparagus in a cream sauce, then pork tenderloin with white beans. We had to place a second order of the pork and beans it was just that good!

Grilled asparagus with a cream sauce.

Grilled asparagus with a cream sauce.

Grilled octopus. Mom, this was for you! Ha ha.

Grilled octopus. Mom, this was for you! Ha ha.

Last but not least, we had a molten chocolate cake for dessert. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the last two dishes, oops. Before you leave, a complimentary drink is served of tequila and baileys over ice. Quite delicious if you like sweet drinks.

All that food pushed us over the edge so we decided to walk home along the malecon. Victor, an avid heart collector, found an artist that made little heart boxes. I bought him one of his choice, one for my sweetheart, and we continued home.

Hearts on the melacon. Victor picked out a little hand made box with hearts.

Hearts on the melacon. Victor picked out a little hand made box with hearts.

Barcelona Tapas, it’s always good. Perhaps we will go back to try the preset menu. So many restaurants, so little time.

Restaurant Week 2015 in Puerto Vallarta, La Cigale

It’s Restaurant Week 2015 in Puerto Vallarta where participating restaurants have 3 course menus for either 199 or 299 pesos. It’s an excellent time to visit not only for the amazing food but also because the weather is great. And since it’s now coming out of high season, it’s a lot quieter than usual. For me, this is a great time to see Vallarta without fighting crowds or being bombarded with honking horns or loud music. Mind you, that can be fun as well.

Our first restaurant to try during Restaurant Week 2015 was La Cigale. My partner, our friend and myself all love this little french bistro located by the Lady of Guadalupe Church. The food is always delicious and the ambiance is very Parisian.

Entrance and La Cigale sign

Entrance and La Cigale sign

The interior is cozy and pays tribute to its french theme.

The interior is cozy and pays tribute to its french theme.

We have never been to Vallarta in May. The days are long and the sun sets late. I took this picture at 8:30pm as we were walking towards the bistro. The sun was setting and cast a lovely glow against the church and adjacent building.

Evening sun casts light on the Lady of Guadalupe Church.

Evening sun casts light on the Lady of Guadalupe Church.

The special menu, for $299 pesos, had all the classics such as escargo, beef bourguignon and crepes. All the menus for this event includes your choice of one of three appetizers, entrees and desserts. I choose to have the french onion soup to start, the beef bourguignon as my entree and the crepe suzette for dessert. The soup was so good I dived in and forgot to take a picture!

Beef bourguignon over pasta.

Beef bourguignon over pasta.

The crepe suzette with flaming grand marnier over and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

The crepe suzette with flaming grand marnier over and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I was NOT disappointed! Wow, the food was amazing as always. We also ordered some frites to start, just to get us going. The frites probably are the best in Puerto Vallarta, in my opinion.  The wine list at La Cigale is quite extensive too, we settled on a rose from Chile which was nice and light.

What a great meal to kick off Restaurant Week 2015! I’m looking forward to our next culinary adventure at one of the many participating venues.