A Gift to Myself - A Yoga Retreat in Paradise

Give yourself permission to relax, without feeling selfish. A chance to reflect on your dreams and listen to your heart. Life can be stressful and if you don't find time to take a break and breathe, it can affect your health and well being. Slow down, so you can go faster. I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle, go somewhere to reconnect with nature and focus on my own energy. A place that would recharge my soul and nourish my body. A gift to myself was an inspirational yoga retreat in Montezuma, Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

The most commonly used phrase in Costa Rica, is "Pura Vida", which literally means “Pure life”. The saying goes beyond the simple translation, it's a way of life. An attitude that believes life is wonderful, so enjoy it.

Montezuma is a small bohemian beach town located on the southern tip of the the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. There is a bounty of unspoiled wildlife, jungles, rivers, beaches and within reach is the ever present Pacific Ocean. From Los Angeles, it was a 5 hour flight to the San Jose Airport, then two shuttle rides and a ferry to get to the secluded little town of Montezuma.

I booked my yoga package through Montezuma Yoga. 
The accommodations were simple, rustic, and directly across the street from the ocean. The sound of waves and tropical birds were my constant background music...paradise!

Yoga classes were held every morning in the outdoor pavilion, just steps from my room. It was a spectacular way to start each day. Doing yoga amidst the sweet smelling ylang ylang flowers, with the jungle and the ocean as my backdrop, was a transcendent experience. My classes were lead by the founder of Montezuma Yoga, Dagmar Spremberg. I believe I'm forever spoiled by having Dagmar as my yoga teacher in paradise. Her grace, spirit, love and knowledge are captivating and contagious. She is my yogi role model.

Along with yoga, my package included an outdoor massage, canopy zip line tour and a daily brunch that was filled with fresh juices, a variety of tropical fruits, and my new favorite huevos con gallo pinto. Brunch was also served with an epic view.

The rest of my time was spent relaxing and exploring the many beaches, rivers and waterfalls with a girlfriend, who was my travel companion. The charming small town of Montezuma was a short walk from our hotel and had many restaurants with vegan and vegetarian options. The locals are friendly, colorful and all share the Costa Rican "Pura Vida" outlook. Every day is better than the last! We should all embrace this motto.

Upon reflection, I'm not sure if I found Montezuma or Montezuma found me. Either way, I have been changed by this experience.

Now back home in Los Angeles, I have continued practicing yoga with Dagmar's Yoga DVDs and I try to embrace the Costa Rican attitude of living in the moment. If a trip to Montezuma is out of the question, you can still enjoy the "Pura Vida" philosophy in your daily life. Paradise is a place I've been, but I've also discovered it's a state of mind.

Pura Vida!

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