playa guiones

Why everyone should go on a yoga retreat.


After spending the last 15 days in Costa Rica leading 2 yoga retreats, I am now back in the great white north.  Thinking about these past two weeks has made me uncharacteristically emotional.  I feel as though a transformation has truly occurred and I attribute this transformation to what the Tico people call "Pura Vida".  Pura Vida roughly translates to "pure life" and it is a common answer to the question "How are you?" in Costa Rica.

The 15 of us who had the opportunity to practice in the eco paradise that is Nosara, Costa Rica, experienced a glimpse of our true selves; what life would be like if we disconnected from our technology, cities, and judgements, and instead connected with our bodies, the natural wonders around us, and our hearts.  

What is "pure life" anyways?  It is the privilege of allowing ourselves the time to leave our chores and routines behind so we can gain fresh perspective.  It is the recognition that we are all indeed connected on a spiritual level that is inherent in our humanity, no matter what language we speak.  It is the awe of a spectacular sunset that can draw an entire town away from what they are doing to focus on the beauty of nature at exactly 5:30pm every day.  Can you imagine a life where we put down our duties/phones/computers and watched the amber sun fall below the shimmering sea EVERY DAY?   This is Pura Vida. 

Sunset at Playa Guiones.

Sunset at Playa Guiones.

So with the memories of the Martini Yoga Costa Rica Yoga Retreat fresh in my mind, here are the reasons why everyone, at some point in their life, should go on a yoga retreat.

  • To really ensure you are practicing yoga safely and effectively.  A yoga retreat allows you the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with your instructor; this gives he or she the ability to get to know your body better and ensure that you are doing the postures safely and accurately.  This is much more difficult in a yoga class setting as there are likely more people in class and an instructor can only convey so much information in an hour.  Yoga retreats are great for experienced yogis looking to deepen their practice as well as beginners looking to ensure they are getting the basics accurately.
  • To gain fresh perspective on what is important to you.  When you take a public yoga class, chances are it is difficult to find stillness of mind when you have to remember what groceries to get after class, when to pick up the kids, what to make for dinner, and how to close today's business deal.  When you are on a retreat; you can really focus on your practice because someone is cleaning your sheets for you, someone is lovingly making your meals, and your job is on hold hundreds of miles away.  All you need to do is relax because there really is nothing more important than the present moment when you are on a yoga retreat.
  • To create life-long relationships with like-minded people.  When you go on a yoga retreat, it is guaranteed that you will meet other people who are interested in health and wellness.  By befriending fellow retreaters you have the opportunity to create a network of support and love, as well as memories that will keep you connected forever.
  • To allow your mind and body a break from stress.  The Western lifestyle is not exactly the healthiest way to live.  The busy-ness of our lives can be taxing on both body and mind.  It is important to our health that we take consistent breaks from the daily grind to ensure our physical health allows us to grow old with grace.

Here are some other blogs I found on the same topic:

Elephant Journal

MInd Body Green

And in case you're curious, here are some pics from our recent Costa Rica Yoga Retreat:

Pura Vida and Rock On,

l.e. martini