Letters in Yoga

letters in yoga

Vanessa Webb's Letters In Yoga is a colourful and thoughtful website dedicated to the remembrance of the kindness of teachers who continue the authentic yogic path around the world.

Vanessa is seen here teaching at our retreat centre in Casperia.

Vanessa Webb teaching yoga at our retreat in Italy

“In 1998 Sunflower Retreats welcomed its first guests in the Italian countryside; it was the first yoga retreat of its kind at that time. Having now expanded to include Costa Rica, the most wonderfully nourishing experience can be found, as Sunflower Retreats continues its unique fusion of healing treatments and yoga, set in the natural outdoors.  Deliberately chosen for its connection to nature, the retreat is located within a private reserve next to Cabo Blanco National Park on the oxygen rich Nicoya peninsula, along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. 

I spoke with Lucy, co-founder of Sunflower Retreats, whose welcome comes with a smile as warm as her heart.  A Sunflower Retreats Yoga holiday is one where you can expect a relaxing week with your girlfriends, or a few adventures in town or to the beach; but fundamentally, this is a retreat of replenishment. A major aspect of Sunflower Retreats are the holistic treatments which are a seamless addition to the daily morning Yoga classes, if you choose. Lucy is passionate about the importance of holistic body treatment in balancing the whole body, so has developed a team who follow suit; all harmonizing beautifully with the yoga practice. An experience at Sunflower is a nourishing fusion of body rejuvenation, nourishment of the soul, and the adventure of a new culture…it brings the whole system alive. 

Local teachers lead the daily morning Yoga, with some afternoon classes on offer. Each teacher provides a class which is focused on grounding and connecting to nature while there.  Set on the teak platform of the outdoor pavilion, the morning Yoga session is the only scheduled commitment of your stay (other than the breakfast which follows, of course).  Meditating in the surrounds and sounds of the jungle is phenomenal. Lucy says their retreats seem to have a particular appeal to women travelers…the younger surfers who have an appreciation for the ecology; but they also draw women who are 40+, who are seemingly in that stage of life where they’re looking at new things to pursue.

The holiday is of your own design, taking part in as much or as little activity as is called for, for your deepest sense of relaxation. So, if you’re one with an interest in excursions, there is much on offer right at your fingertips. The team at Sunflower, are happy and available to help arrange outings, from horseback riding to boat trips for fishing…the nearby beach villages of Mal Pais or San Teresa, have swimming and snorkeling, to surfing the best waves in Costa Rica.  When you’ve had your fill of the sun, the villages offer local culture, with many boutiques and restaurants.

But just to check back in with those treatments once more, if you’re looking for a holiday just to flop with your feet up, rejuvenate and retreat?  Using only organic products, Sunflower has created a menu of such a beautiful array of Holistic treatments in their spa. I personally had a Reiki treatment which was magical, but there is a full range of Holistic and Ayurvedic Massage.  Just a smattering of their treatments listed here:

§ Sunflower Retreats' Ultimate Healing Treatment (to die for)

§ Bamboo massage

§ Reflexology and aromatherapy

§ Chakra balancing

§ And more…

Whether coming for a retreat or hosting your own, Lucy has a huge amount of love and respect for the ecology, sustaining local businesses, and for the rejuvenating experience of each Guest, so has designed the Sunflower experience around that philosophy.  Easily facilitating group bookings, the Sunflower team ensures everything is catered for, so teachers can focus on teaching. Keeping the ecological “light footprint” in mind, intimate groups of ten to twelve people are preferred.  For individual Guests and groups alike, 14 retreat weeks are available from November through June. Though Monsoon bookings are open by special request for individuals who would like sessions with Lucy.  This is such a safe and beautiful environment for women, offering four, six and twelve night stays in one of their five hillside bungalows (each with a private ‘loo and shower).  Visit the website for all detailed amenities (such as the swimming pool and waterfall jacuzzi!).  

Every holiday needs the logistics:   

First and foremost—hammocks are there for your relaxation

Free wi-fi all around the property. 

In room mini-fridge, room safes and ceiling fans.

A delicious breakfast and healthy dinners are included in the price five times within a six night stay and two times within a four night stay. The food is mainly vegetarian but includes some local fresh fish dishes. The food is locally-sourced. 

Maid service by request for when you want a snack or drink during the day, or if you decide not to join the visit to a local restaurant. “