Dave Larot Yoga YogaWorks Interview
Blog, The Interview Series

Interview With Dave Larot

You know all those things you want to know about your yoga instructor but don’t dare to ask? I had the privilege to ask those questions to Dave Larot, one of my favorite instructors at YogaWorks.

Dave’s teaching style could be described as smooth, calm, profound and very meditative.

His presence sets the tone for the practice – he’s, grounded, positive, and creates a safe place for the practice to evolve.

I usually have a hard time relating to male yoga instructors- their ego can become so inflated. I never once felt that with Dave.

Overall a super cool dude,  and a skater boy at heart, Dave is also a very hard worker. A former ATT employee, Dave pulled a 180 and changed his life around to being a successful yoga instructor who commutes all over the Bay Area.

Check out his schedule here

Also don’t miss Dave’s yoga retreat in Yemaya, a dreamy resort in Little Corn Island in the Nicaraguan Caribbean. More  here.


Dave Larot Yoga YogaWorks Interview



Dave Larot


San Francisco


Yoga Teacher

Favorite Book:

“Oneness” by Rasha

Favorite Movie:

 “Good Will Hunting”


Dave Larot Yoga YogaWorks Interview

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

An Orca, I love the ocean. Talk about exploring a whole other world, the ocean is so massive it would be awesome to be in. Or a Dolphin, any reason to surf all day.

​What’s your favorite yoga pose​ and why​?​​

Trikonasana, because you’re opening in all directions.


If your house were on fire and you could only take one thing, what would it be?

    My ipod, gotta have my music!


Dave Larot Yoga YogaWorks Interview


Along with yoga, what would you say are your two other passions in life?

     Art and shredding( skateboarding, surfing & snowboarding)


What is your biggest relationship regret?

     Being selfish with my time.


What in life has given you the most strength to get through difficult times?

I used to write a lot in my journal, it gave me a sense of freedom and release. All you really need is a pen and paper and you can say anything you want, vent out any frustrations that you may have been feeling or experiencing.

Sometimes I would write just to write, nothing in particular but just jotting down my thoughts. I would go back and read all of this and just trip out, it was also a way to look at myself in a deeper sense.

This was all way before I started practicing yoga. One night while high on cocaine, I stayed up all night just writing, a few days later I went back and read it and was blown away from all the crazy shit I wrote, couldn’t tell you what it was, mostly intense gibberish.  

Dave Larot Yoga YogaWorks Interview

What has yoga taught you about life?

   Aww man where do I start? My practice has taught me so much, how to be in my body, take the backseat during those intense moments and just observe, being kinder to to myself not just in a physical sense but also spiritually.

It taught me how to be my own best friend, where as before I could be so hard on myself physically and mentally. Sometimes I think I’ve chilled out way too much though.


What is the most challenging experience you’ve had in your yoga journey?

    In the fall of 2009 I enrolled in the 300hr Teacher Training with Yogaworks, at the time I was working for AT&T as a field technician. It was a very physically demanding job, especially during the winter where we were forced to work 12hr shifts throughout the week. Doing the training and working a full time job was probably the most challenging and intense times in my life.


Tell me about your personal practice. How often do you practice, for how long, where?​

 I have a morning and evening meditation practice where I’ll sit quietly anywhere from 10-30min, and sometimes during the day between classes. My physical practice I love taking my time and moving slow, holding shapes to go deeper.

Lately my schedule has been scattered throughout the week, so my asana practice will run anywhere from 15min to an hour at home in the living room. I wish I had hardwood floors, the carpet sucks.

Dave Larot Yoga YogaWorks Interview

Thanks Dave for sharing! See you around!



Valentin Rose Blog Nutriton Tips Yoga Costa Rica

Nutrition Confessions From a Glutton

I never thought this would happen, but here I am writing a blog post on nutrition as per request by my Instafriend Black Bird Chronicles. I am a huge fan of hers.

To start, I am not gluten-free, I am not dairy free, I am not vegetarian, nor vegan.


Valentin Rose Blog Nutriton Tips Yoga Costa Rica
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hokklo


My Nutrition Stance:

  • I believe in a healthy, wholesome diet that doesn’t try to re-invent the wheel.
  • Many times when we go out of our way to find alternatives we end up ingesting too much of another food category.
  • Everything in moderation is the key to a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
  • Strict regimens often hinder sustainable eating habits and frequently don’t allow us to choose appropriately on a daily basis.
  • Being in touch with our own bodies and thinking smartly and informatively about nutrition will always ring truer than following a fad.
  • It’s still important to respect other people’s way of eating, whatever that might encompass.

That being said, upbringing also has a lot do with diet.

Comfort foods, (mine is Parmigiano Reggiano), style of cooking (Mediterranean), culture, (Italian) and familiar spices (oregano!) all play a huge role.


All photos taken by me and can be found in my Instagram feed. Click here for more.

 Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog



I am usually pretty careful with that I eat first thing in the morning because If I start my day with something heavy I am much more likely to continue on eating in that fashion.

So I’ll have a light breakfast, then plan all my workouts back to back in the middle of the day and then eat a giant meal while watching Family Guy (which is my favorite meal routine EVER).

Choices are:

Just fruit- pear,  peach, or some strawberries, papaya, cantaloupe.

A green smoothie- One type of fruit, spinach or kale, coconut water, and some cashew/almond milk.

Oatmeal- I love oatmeal! My parents think it’s food for pigs.

Plain yogurt with banana, honey and almond butter.

Piece of bread with almond butter and strawberry jam

Scone, croissant, pizza, cake, Nutella with bread, chocolate.


Breakfast Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


Yogurt and Fruit Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


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I’ve started making these big plates that combine a bunch of veggies, lettuce, cheese and an egg or prosciutto.

Ingredients can range from steamed broccoli, sauteed string beans, baked eggplant, baked Brussels sprouts, sautéed zucchini, shredded carrots, apples, olives, avocado, lentils, quinoa, tomatoes, anything that looks good, and then I’ll fry an egg, slap it on top, or prosciutto on the side, and add a ton of goat cheese or feta cheese.

If I need more substance I’ll make Pasta alla Norma, which is pasta with eggplant and tomato, or pasta with shrimp and zucchini.

Sometimes i’ll have a tamale with beans in it, or I’ll make polenta and bake it until it’s crunchy and golden.

I’ll also sprinkle spoonfuls of hummus or roast potatoes, crackers, bread or tortillas in my lunch platters.



Lunch Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


Pasta Gamberi Zucchine Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


Watermelon Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog



I don’t believe in snacking constantly- I prefer bigger and more substantial meals,  but after lunch I often need a sweet pick-me-up.

Strictly – milk – chocolate

Frozen cappuccino.

“Healthy” dessert”- I blend a few pieces of frozen banana, some bittersweet cocoa powder, cashew cream, a splash of cinnamon, a handful of almonds.

If not, I opt for a chocolate milk shake ( can be very addicting).

Crepes with Nutella, gelato, brownies, cake, cookies are all fair game.


Crepe with Nutella Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


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I usually keep dinner simple because by nighttime I’m too lazy to cook.

I’ll have some soup.

If I’m hungry I’ll usually have meat or fish. I only read meat, pork and fish.

My favorite meats are pork chop, pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, ground beef in any form. For fish I get something that is easy to make, like Tilapia. I always buy wild fish and grass fed meat.

For vegetables I love leafy greens because they take no time to cook.

When I’m feeling more productive I’ll make pizza from scratch, and put goat cheese on top, mushrooms, olives and arugula or gorgonzola, pears and walnuts.

On a special occasion I’ll  treat myself to home made butter nut squash gnocchi with sage, quiche, or a BaconLettuceTomato sandwich.


Pizza Gorgonzola e Noci Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


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Burger Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog




I drink water like a camel. Literally, I cannot go anywhere without my water bottle otherwise I freak out.

I used to drink a lot of orange juice, but I stopped because  it was making me eat less fruit. So now I keep it as a special treat.

I like to drink fizzy water, especially Perrier. Sorry Stefano. My cousin is indignant that I prefer the french fizzy water brand over the italian San Pellegrino.

Home-made ice tea. (and I love this!) I make my own Mango or Roobois ice tea in glass jars that I slowly brew in the sun and then refrigerate.

I barely drink alcohol. Sometimes I go weeks without drinking and other times I drink when I go out. My favorite drinks are rose’ wine, Prosecco and Champagne. I won’t turn down a light beer (Blue Moon is my favorite) and I also enjoy cocktails from time to time.


Cocktail Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


The Takeaway

I believe your body instinctually knows what is good for you to eat.

We all have dietary weirdnesses and those need to be respected within reason.

For example, I can’t eat garlic, onion and peppers. Even though all those things are widely known as health foods, my stomach cannot take them.

Some days I know I can get away with eating french fries, some days I can tell my stomach is too delicate for them. Same with sweets. Some days I really need them, some days I know I need to cut it out.

It’s best not to restrict from an eating experience just because we’ve labelled ourselves a certain way.

And treat food as a delicious experience that can enhance our daily lives and nurture and support us.


Honey and Bees Valentina Rose Costa Rica Nutrition Blog


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Ewa and Valentina Yoga Instructors
Life, Yoga Retreats

5 Ways to Go Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

Going on the Happy New You! Yoga Retreat was exhilarating, eventful, fun-filled, exciting, relaxing, insightful  and overall a splendid way to change our routines, step away from patterns and enter a new way of life.


But how do we go back to our normal lives after experiencing such bliss, you ask?


All photos by Jonathan Hokklo


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Ewa and Valentina Yoga Instructors


Some of us are returning to cold weather climates, most of us are returning to work, to duties, to things to do, problem solving, and sleeping less.


Here are five ways to maintain healthy habits even after you return from your yoga retreat.


1.Create Structure and Consistency In Your Life


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Studio Temple


During the yoga retreat we went by a pretty structured schedule, with our 7am yoga class, followed by breakfast, the 10am yoga class, followed by lunch and then some rest before the last yoga class of the day.


While your real life schedule is almost guaranteed to not look like that, you can still ensure to have routines.


Give yourself plenty of time to wake up and ease into your day before heading out the door. 


Make  tea/coffee, and take the first 10/20 minutes of your day for something that serves YOU. You may journal, read the news, check your personal emails, read your book, eat cookies, or even do social media. (yes, you are allowed). The point isn’t so much WHAT you do, but the fact that you are taking time for yourself as a small gift of self- indulgence before the daily grind begins. Do all these things preferably in silence.


Honor the new day with a good start, so that the rest of the day is already more likely to continue on that note.


Try not to rush but prepare for the tasks ahead so that you feel confident and ready to focus.


When you can be still and grounded from the inside, you will be able to carry that feeing with you no matter where you are or how much you travel.


2. Enforce Enough Sleep


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Pete the Chocolate Labrador


During the yoga retreat we all got lots of rest. Most of us went to bed early, and then got plenty of naps. No matter what your sleeping preferences are, you want to ensure and commit to getting enough sleep every night.


8 hours is good, 9 hours is ideal, 7 hours ok okay. Any less than that, especially when occurring several days in a row should be a warning that you need to slow down.


Sleep is incredibly important for a healthy functioning of our minds and body. When rested, we are able to function better, think more clearly and be more productive.


Most of the time late at night, we are procrastinating and not being productive. Decide on a bed time for each day and stick to it. 


3. Channel Your Healthy Chef


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga At the Dinner Table Healthy Farm to Table Eating


While we all indulged with the Blue Osa desserts and the second trips to the buffet, most of us felt lucky to be served fresh vegetables and fruit daily. Said ingredients were being incorporated in creative salads, soups, smoothies and other meals. While it takes time to prepare vegetables and cut up fruit, remember it doesn’t have to be intricate.


For breakfast, you can cut up a cantaloupe and eat the whole thing.


For lunch, you can slice a few tomatoes, add some olives, lettuce, feta cheese -optional 😉 good olive oil,  and you got yourself a delicious salad that takes less than 5 minutes to make.


For dinner you can cook a piece of fish in the pan and sauté some spinach.

Remember: less is more, and quality is usually preferable over quantity.


4. Establish Your Yoga practice, On And Off Your Mat


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Class with Ewa giving Adjustment


Whether you were already an avid practitioner or a minty beginner, take this opportunity of being back from your retreat to revise your yoga practice, how often you practice, where, with who and what types of yoga.


If you’re new to yoga, try out a few different studios before committing to one. If you already have a yoga studio membership you might feel inspired to try out different styles of classes.


Also don’t forget that “doing yoga” doesn’t limit itself to walking into a class and doing the postures.


Yoga, in an energetic and spiritual sense, is practiced daily in lots of other forms. A walk in nature for example is a great way to reconnect to your “prana”, your energy force, and rekindling with the elements, the sounds, spending alone time or just practicing sitting are forms of meditation as well.


Being mindful and self-reflective, becoming aware of your thought patterns, the way you speak and enacting kindness, IS a form of yoga.


5. Reflect On Your Social Behavior

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Cute Monkey on a Branch


When we travel we tend to become a lot more outgoing and open to socializing. That’s because we feel a bit more vulnerable, a bit more humble, and a bit more willing to talk to strangers.


In our daily lives however, we tend to go by the I-already-have-my life-I-already-have-my-friends-so-why-should-I-talk-to-you-when-I am-busy mode.


Truth is, there are never enough great people that can enrich our lives. And when you start to smile to people, greet them enthusiastically and strike conversations, door will open in ways that might surprise you 🙂