Sunflower Retreats' Yoga Holidays in Costa Rica
Our next yoga retreats in the fabulous mountain lodge in Costa Rica will be from 6th - 13th and 13th - 20th November 2014.
We've been offering highly-praised yoga holidays at our base in the picturesque village of Casperia, Italy for over fifteen years. Now we're organising retreats in a new but equally enchanting destination - the natural paradise of Costa Rica in Central America.
Your yoga holiday will be the trip of a lifetime and an unforgettable and joyful experience. As well as the opportunity to practise yoga with an experienced teacher and enjoy holistic therapies, there'll be fantastic activities to help you experience the best of Costa Rica and build great bonds with other yogini. Stay one week or stay two and get a bonus free massage.
Our base is in an intimate, peaceful, jungle lodge set in flowering gardens within a 90-hectare private reserve next to Costa Rica's oldest nature reserve; Cabo Blanco National Park.
With its wide diversity of plants, trees and wildlife, the extensive property forms a continuous stretch of forest connecting to Cabo Blanco nature reserve.
Discover the fascinating jungle wildlife and nature within the resort's private mile-and-a-half long jungle trail on foot or on horseback. Here you will find a mosaic of jungle, rolling hills, mountains and creeks, with some lookout points from where you can enjoy panoramic views to the Pacific ocean and beaches of Mal Pais. The location is so very convenient - the village and scenic beaches of Mal Pais are just a mile away downhill, while buzzing Santa Teresa, with some of Costa Rica's most coveted surf points, restaurants and shops is a fifteen minute drive from the lodge.
The eco-friendly lodge, used exclusively by Sunflower Retreats guests, will consist of five guest rooms with private bathrooms, keeping it intimate, quiet and low-impact. It has a wonderful swimming pool, waterfall jacuzzi, yoga shala and and lounge-dining area and terraces are ideal for relaxing and practicing yoga and meditation. There are hammocks to relax in and free wi-fi all around the property.
Guest rooms are arrayed on a hillside and are fronted by a sitting porch which looks out into the beautiful flower garden where butterflies and hummingbirds fly endlessly. There are four twin rooms which are spacious simple and warmly decorated, featuring private bathrooms with a hot showers, mini-fridge, room safes and ceiling fans.
The lodge is a truly spiritual haven and the location is a serene and secluded environment in which to relax and renew, in an extraordinary slice of the lush Costa Rican dry tropical rain forest. Your time here will rejuvenate you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Each morning before breakfast (except on arrival and departure days) we will practice yoga and meditation from 8.00 to 9.30 on a 64 square metre teak platform with the sounds of birds and monkeys as a symphonic backdrop. Here you can experience a healthy and fulfilling connection with nature. The jungle has a healing and centering energy force which affords practitioners alike a unforgettable deeper level of communion with mother nature while they practice yoga each day.
Alana’s love for yoga came from first-hand experience with just how powerful the practice is. She says “In 2009, Yoga found me.”
Inside the studio, she experienced a deep sense of belonging, but the most profound part was what happened after; “I felt as though I was at true peace. I finally knew what the word meant. Until that moment, I had just understood it cerebrally. There is something profound to be said about Peace dropping into the heart.”
With a background in ballet starting at the age of two that continued through age fifteen, Alana realised that she had been doing yoga even then. “The girls in the dance studio and I used to see who could hold full lotus the longest when I was just four. I realise now that I have been training to practice and teach yoga my whole life”
In 2012, her journey took her to India for three months where she trained with incredible locals near the Himalayas and fell into a rhythm of practice that felt sustaining. She knew that when she returned from the East, she would begin in creating a life as a teacher of yoga to help others journey to find whole health and well-being in the mind, body, and soul. She has been teaching ever since all over the world and just recently moved to Costa Rica to spread the light of yoga there locally.
CYT and E-RYT certified in Vinyasa with a focus in Ashtanga Yoga and her personal studies of energy work, yoga theory, and style ranging from restorative to power and everything in between.
With over 1,000 hours of teaching experience, Alana teaches all levels and all ages. “I want to reach you at the level of your needs, and I try to communicate with you on a mind, body, soul level to find out what that is. We co-create a beautiful practice together. My students are my best teachers. In that light, we are co-teaching each other in every moment. It is really a beautiful experience.”
Holistic treatments are a major feature of Sunflower Retreats' path to wellness and complement the yoga we practice. We have a wide range of treatments, as in a spa, but we differ in that we use only natural, organic products and take a holistic approach in our sessions.
A brochure describing these relaxing, healing and rejuvenating therapies will be given to you when you arrive and you can book them with our own qualified practitioner each day at breakfast-time, when they are available to discuss each treatment and help you to choose the perfect one for your own requirements.
Treatments are conducted in a warm, safe, healing environment in a purpose built treatment shala on the resort surrounded by the sounds and beauty of nature.
Our range of holistic therapies includes:
- Therapeutic Massage
- Aromatherapy using pure essential oils
- Sunflower's original freshly picked organic Aloe Vera skin treatments
- Hopi Ear Candles
- Transformational Healing Sessions: this includes, health, healing and nutritional advise for optimising physical mental and emotional health and more
Treatment prices range from $30 to $100 per session, depending on your choice of treatment and duration.
Walks and treks
Included in your yoga holiday is a free guided walk on Sunday, after morning yoga and breakfast. The walk is led by a native local guide with a vast knowledge of the area and is led through the private 225-acre reserve which has abundant water sources and medicinal plants. The evergreen trees attract many animals.
Beaches, Surfing & Diving
Nearby San Teresa is a popular beach location and the area has some of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica and the lodge is just four miles from the famous Playa Carmen surfing beaches. Surf information, lessons suitable for beginners and board rentals can be arranged at breakfast each morning and cost from $50 for a 2-hour lesson. Scuba diving is also possible.
The Jungle Lodge has its own stables so horse riding can be booked at anytime. Let the horses to be your gentle guides through mountains, jungle and beaches for a sunset ride. Depending on the rider's level, various tours are offered. Riding can be booked at daily at breakfast-time and costs from $35 for a 2-hour ride.
Nature Tours and Bird Watching
Our property is adjacent to Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, but has significantly less foot traffic. The jungle lodge's 225-acre private reserve affords an opportunity to learn about the jungle's medicinal plants and exotic animals and is a wonderful launching point for bird tours. Local nature guides can be booked on an hourly basis each day at breakfast-time.
Enjoy a wonderful boat tour on the Pacific coast where you can snorkel and scout for turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales, and a variety seabirds.
Fish for tuna, snapper, mahi-mahi and many other species, near Cabo Blanco island, with one of the local fishermen.
Shopping & Dining
Nearby San Teresa is a great place to shop with a range of boutiques and restaurants serving a range of Costa-Rican and international cuisine from local dishes to sushi.
A delicious breakfast is served after morning yoga each day. Also included in the price is a delicious healthy buffet lunch and dinner, three times within the week. The food is mainly vegetarian but includes some local fresh fish dishes. The food is locally sourced, as much as possible.
We'll also organise trips to experience delicious cuisine in authentic local restaurants in the seaside towns of Mal Pais or Santa Teresa on evenings where there is no buffet dinner. A small fee, per person, is charged for transport to-and-from the town.
The lodge also has a maid service for when you want a snack or drink, or if you decide not to join the visits to local restaurants.
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