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In the past year, Rise Up has expanded beyond our home base in Nicaragua to some of the most remote and best surf destinations in Central America including Barbados, Guatemala and Costa Rica. It’s not a secret that one of the best things about a Rise Up surf retreat is the staff—so, we asked one of our favorite yoga teachers to share more about Rise Up’s surf retreat in Barbados.

“Escaping home to join the Rise up familia has been quite the treat this year, meeting the crew in new places and experiencing new cultures has been something special.” – Blair Bigham

Blair began her teachings with the rise up crew last summer of 2018 and came back to join the Rise Up on the road adventures this year. Her love for the community and family that Rise up provides continues to inspire her, as well as her love for the ocean which creates the perfect combination for any visitor coming to join us. From starting in Nicaragua in January, to traveling to Guatemala in February, to then meeting the crew in Barbados in April, and for the rest of the crew heading to Costa Rica to kick off the end of the season in May… what a time its been for the Rise Up crew!

Here are some questions we asked to share the details of what makes Rise Up surf retreats such a special experience… 


If you had to pick your favorite memory during the Rise Up on the road adventures, what would it be?

If I had to pick one adventure… I’d have to say it’d be  the road trip adventure that I took with the surf instructors traveling from Nicaragua to Guatemala. The crew and myself traveled in a van through 4 countries all together before arriving in our final stop of Guatemala to meet our guests. It was a road trip filled with many laughs and memories that I will never forget.  

What is your favorite part about being apart of the Rise Up crew?

This is a hard one… so many things. I love the community that comes along with being apart of this family. I always feel supported and feel like I’m constantly learning. From surfing with the instructors, to learning new things in the kitchen, and from the support I get with teaching here. It’s a feeling that the guests for sure feel as well when they visit any of the Rise Up surf destinations. I feel like with every new group of guests the family here just continues to grow. 

What makes teaching yoga here at Rise Up different to other places you’ve taught at?

After teaching at a few different places throughout Central America, working with Rise Up has by far been my favorite teaching experience. The spaces that we get to practice yoga in are amazing. From being surrounded by the sea in the yoga shala in Nicaragua, to teaching sunset yoga in Guatemala, to practicing yoga in the space of our beautiful Barbados home. Every place has created its own experience with yoga. I feel like I’ve been able to create so many special bonds with the guests that attend classes as well—friendships that I know will last forever. I also had the opportunity to offer reiki healing to the guests, a form of energy healing which was also such a special experience for me and the guests. 


What are some of your favorite moments from each of the Rise Up on the road destinations?

In Nicaragua I’d have the say the family dinners with everyone, our road trips to the different beaches, being able to get coconuts from our trees in the yard, sunsets at the point, boat trips, and all the classes I taught in the shala.

For Guatemala, it would be the endless laughs that I shared with the crew, the sunsets every night on the beach, boating and surfing adventures, surfing the river mouth, making empanadas with the locals, pool parties, and sunset yoga sessions on the beach.

And lastly for Barbados – so many good memories… adventuring around the island finding surfing different spots, meeting and connecting with the local people, snorkelling adventures in the crystal blue Caribbean seas, the sail boat cruises with the crew, the delicious local meals we had everyday, and hiking adventures that we took to see the beauty of Barbados.

Our time on the road has been nothing but great memories with our staff and guests. We can’t wait to see what the next season will bring in all of our amazing surf destinations…

Check out our upcoming surf and yoga retreats!

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