My First Yoga Retreat
In November I attended my first ever yoga retreat-Nourish Your Soul Nosara hosted by Go Yoga in Orangeville, Ontario which is owned by the most amazing woman: Shelley whom I befriended in Yoga Teacher Training.
I bought into the retreat and bought my ticket to Costa Rica…knowing that I wasn’t going to know anyone but Shelley!!! This was huge for me. I used to have to medicate myself to keep from jumping off the plane, and now here I was flying solo….and on my late father’s birthday none the less. EEK!! I upgraded my seats to have a little pampering knowing A) I’m usually a hot mess on this day & B) I’m usually always a hot mess when I’m flying….lucky West Jet!!
The flight was lovely. I infact was sitting beside my roommate at the retreat! So we chatted a little while we drank ceasars (well, in all honesty I drank the ceasars, she was planning a”dry” week…insert nervous giggle).
Upon our arrival in Liberia, we all met outside the airport and loaded into 2 vans to begin our 2.5 hour drive to Nosara. Yep, 2.5 hours. With a promise of a bathroom break, snack break and a wooden bowl shopping break. And none of those promises were broken.
Our first stop was a combination of bathroom/snack break….Costa Rican Costco. There was everything from frozen food to Christmas decorations to housewares. I grabbed some coffee for next to nothing and some chips, and reboarded the van.
Next was wooden bowl shopping. So, picture this…a sweet lady sitting under a tarp on the corner of 2 streets selling hand carved/shaped bowls. I loved it!!! The bowls ranged from $30-150 and I believe they were made by her husband. I didn’t grab one, but many of the other retreat participants did!
And then we finally arrive at the Costa Rica Yoga Spa! But, of course its not without event!! The driveway up to the spa (which is on the side of a mountain) is pretty much straight up, and its now dark….and did I mention its STRAIGHT UP?!?! The bus ahead of us, for some reason, turned left when he should have kept on going straight and almost ended up down the side of the mountain. After a “bit” of a panic and stress, he got straightened out and up up up we went.
It was worth it! What a beautiful, magical spot the Yoga Spa is. Built on the side of a mountain with views all the way to the ocean. We were surrounded by jungle. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
My room had no air conditioning, however had 2 large fans that kept me cool enough! Our days consisted of yoga in the morning and the afternoon with free time in the middle to do anything from lounging by the pool, taking surf lessons or taking part in any of the excursions/spa treatments offered by the Spa.
I did take a lot of down time, stay back at the resort as my fellow retreat goers went into town. I was alone for a few hours almost everyday, just me the jungle, the pool and my malas. It was heaven!
One of the highlights of my retreat experience was the 4:30 am track to see sea turtles being hatched and make their way to the ocean. OMG. Have you ever experienced this? It was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and honestly more touching than I ever could have imagined!! I watch a sweet little turtle push his way out of the sand and take the Journey to the ocean. There were Ferrell dogs and vultures lurking everywhere, the black sand was littered with dried out smashed egg shells from the unlucky ones.
I had so many emotions that morning, standing with my retreat family, practicing “Ahimsa” (do no harm) so feverishly. It took everything within me not to pick up the turtle and depost it him into the ocean. The gentleman who was “standing guard” over this public beach informed us all that it is important for the turtle to do this trek alone, as this is how they will know where they should return to lay their own eggs!!! OMG!!!
Another top moment…….I TAUGHT A CLASS! Yep, I lead an afternoon class during a Costa Rican Yoga Retreat! Jesus, what a dream. It felt so amazing to be in such a sacred space, perched on the side of a mountain, gazing over the jungle and the ocean. Moving together while the sunset……It is truly not a moment I will soon forget. It gave me confidence and strength.
Oh Nosara! How I loved my time in the jungle, sweating and making friends that I can’t wait to keep in touch with!
I’m sure there’s going to be another on next November……hum…..care to join me in the jungle????