Photo courtesy of Jé Alemán.
Best place to decompress in the island: My class of YOGA @ THE BEACH in Parque del Indio, Condado. I think is the oldest outdoor and ongoing (10 years) class in the island taught by the same teacher, at the same time, same days, same place. It is a donation based community class, open for all levels of practitioners, regardless of age, background or social status. Nothing better than to meditate and practice in front of the ocean with the most beautiful sunsets and the most amazing moons.
Beach or Countryside? Why?: Depends on my mood... It's hard to choose!
Where you can have a really nice veggie meal in the island?: Berlingery, Cocobana, El Departamento de la Comida and La Buena Mesa de Oscar, all in San Juan.
We know your boyfriend is a surfer, so tell us the truth, for waves, is it Rincón, Loíza or Quebradillas?: Usually Aguadilla. He's one of the best (if not the best) longboarders in the island so wherever there are good waves we go. With him I got involved with Surf4DEM, a non-profit organization that offers surfing as therapy for kids with autism and their families.
Source of inspiration for your tea business?: I've always been a tea lover and the more I studied about herbs the more I fell in love. Herbs have their own language and the cure for EVERYTHING is there. My blends are 100% organic made with consciousness, using Ayurvedic principles and good vibes. I've had great feedback from clients suffering from depression, lack of sleep, ADD, Cancer/ HIV, issues with their weight, bladder infections, immunity disorders, problems with their kidneys or liver, problems with their skin etc. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that they were able to heal and feel better with the medicine I made for them. It is important to start raising a culture capable to tab into the power of self-healing, that respects and honors Mother Nature, so they can stop falling into the trap of big pharmaceutical companies.
Puerto Rican musicians/ singers we can find on your ipod?: There's a lot of variety in my music taste. From punk rock to reggae, heavy metal, salsa and some romantic -cut your veins- kind of stuff. Among some there's Mimi Maura, La Experiencia de Toñito Cabanillas, Los Negros Vivos, Siete Nueve, Mima, Macha Colón y los Okapi, Cultura Profética, Gomba Jahbari, Calle 13, Fofé y los Fetiches, Diente de Perro, Juventud Crasa, Vico C, Haciendo Punto en Otro Son, Roy Brown, Los Bronson, Puya, Golpe Justo, Tego Calderón, Los Petardos, La Santa Ska, Los Watusimen, Katira María, Los Anti-Héroes, Orquesta El Macabeo, and all kinds of good old school salsa like Héctor Lavoe, El Gran Combo, Ismael Rivera and La Fania. When I want to listen to some good local radio I listen to Radio Joe (106.1 FM) but my favorite band in the world is (of course), my son's punk rock band: The Reckless Idols.
What's the thing you wish you can bring from Puerto Rico but you can't?: Nothing really... Puerto Rico is in my heart everywhere I go.
What would you like for tourists to say about Puerto Rico?: Right now, Puerto Rico is going thru a crisis. A crisis created by the ones that are preying on us now because of our colony situation. I would like tourists to enjoy the blessings of our island and to say that even though the Puerto Rican people are suffering an unjust political and economic situation, our culture and sense of community still flourishes with good vibes and a beautiful, magical peaceful environment.
by Jeniffer Rosa López
Melba Soto is a certified Yoga Teacher, Masseuse, Modern Witch and Tea Bonafide.
Yoga sessions in Puerto Rico
Photo courtesy of José "Pepe" Carreras.
Hatillo, Puerto Rico
Photo courtesy of Waldemar Alcobas.
Wild Lotus, Melba's love potions
Photo courtesy of Melba Soto.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Photo courtesy of Melba Soto.