Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Vinyasa Yoga)
Banyan is clearly an old soul, sent to earth to teach and bring joy to all who know him. Since a very young age he has traveled East and West, studied, and taught. Banyan was at one time a semi-professional athlete, a circus clown, a fire dancer, and a motorcycle racer. He now excels at instructing others in the art of teaching yoga skillfully. His classes have a deep presence and a playful touch, with lots of smiles and laughter, and his forte as a yoga teacher is instructing others how to step into their roles as entertainers in their own classes.
Jackie Vannuyen Ohio, USA
We chose Anamaya for the Yoga and Surf package and based on the great reviews. The resort was cozy but had lots of nice amenities. It was truly welcoming and like a home away from home. Because there weren’t a lot of rooms, it had a very intimate, community feel. We met new people, got to know their stories and shared memories and adventures. The small staff knew everyone by the first few days and made us all feel like family.
The yoga equipment was top notch (nice,new Manuka mats, blocks, towels, straps), the yoga decks were beautiful hardwoods and had spectacular views. The environment was absolutely conducive to a truly meditative and focused practice. The yoga instructor and her assistant, Elena and Guina, were excellent and were open to the groups desires and abilities in terms of deepening and challenging our practices.
The food was amazing. It wasn’t really mentioned much in the Trip Advisor reviews, so I didn’t know what to expect. We are animal protein lovers, but didn’t miss it much (there still was chicken and fish on occasion). The clean, healthy and mostly vegetarian/vegan cuisine was so delicious and filling. The smoothies/snacks were also refreshing. I felt like the food definitely contributed to our overall wellness! (We didn’t worry about gaining weight from overeating indulgent/heavy food and stayed active w/ the yoga/surf and other activities)
The other activities were fun but it was just as easy to relax by the pool, take a siesta or enjoy quiet time in a private hammock on your room’s roof deck. The surf instruction was amazing: Young Vision Surf School. Manuel and Alvaro, the owners and all the other instructors were so great at breaking it down so that everyone could “pop up” and successfully surf the foamies! It was so much fun and easier than we thought, but I think it was due to the superior instruction and not just our yoga/core abilities!
Overall I would highly recommend this retreat to anyone and any yogi of all levels. It was so magical and now I'm yearning for more experiences like this one!
Joy Taylor North Carolina, USA
Anamaya Resort website
After this training with Banyan I feel the desire to project not only my voice but also my character.
Andrea Costa Rica
Anamaya Resort website
Banyan has wonderful and precious knowledge to share; he swings seamlessly from the detailed, anatomic, and structural asana breakdown to a full submersion in yoga’s spiritual roots. From years of yoga practice and deep studies, and a humble, eloquent, and playful personality, he can distill workshops full of ease, thought provoking debates, and lots of smiles.
Anamaya Resort website
I learned to respect my body for what it is and where it’s at, and learned to believe in myself enough to show others the way.
Cassi Heale California, USA
Anamaya Resort website
Banyan sees the beauty in your tight hips and shoulders, and he will not allow you to be inhibited by these special features of yours. My poses look quite different from the magazines and now I feel lovely in them. Banyan taught us so much about yoga, but most importantly, he taught us how to play.
Carly Jack South Africa
Anamaya Resort website
Wow, where to start? J Banyan is an old soul that resides in the fountain of youth. His class is a perfect balance of playfulness and tradition, innovative modern practice and ancient knowledge. Somehow he manages to balance on a revolving atlas, whilst juggling fire sticks and reciting potent mantras. His energy and enthusiasm constantly brings you higher, and makes you realize everything is possible with consistency, dedication and focus, and everything is worthwhile when it is punctuated with laughter, humility, kindness, and an open heart. Banyan is a wonderful teacher - a deep source of knowledge, life experience and a truly open loving spirit. Thank you for this gift!
Anamaya Resort website
I had some of the deepest experiences in classes taught by Banyan. He has such a clear and deep understanding of tantric philosophy and presents it in very inspiring and authentic ways, so everybody gets it. I left the retreat feeling inspired as a yoga teacher, and I can’t wait to study with him again. He is a person with integrity and honesty who manages to keep lecture and class light and full of joy.
Nick Woolsey Canada
Anamaya Resort website
Banyan is not just another yoga teacher. He is the yoga teacher of the performance art community and a world class performer, and he understands how to teach and inspire artists.
Leslie B. California, USA
I attended a one-week yoga retreat at Anamaya. The location (especially the stellar view from the yoga deck) cannot be beaten. The infinity pool was awesome. The staff was so wonderful and helpful with anything I needed. You don't have to plan anything in advance. Just show up and they will help you book surfing, excursions, etc if you want to do that in addition to yoga. We had awesome people on our retreat from all over the world and all walks of life. It was like summer camp for grown-ups in the best possible way. The food was delicious and healthy. My cousin is a vegan and I eat everything and we both were satisfied (they go out of their way to accommodate different diets and allergies). I honestly don't have a single bad thing to say and I hope to go back one day. It was so much more than a vacation.
Ashley Brooke New York, USA
This was my first time traveling alone outside the country, as a birthday present to myself. I loved Anamaya and will definitely be back. I was looking for a place to escape the world for a week, and unwind with yoga, massages, and surfing. I stayed in the Prana Cabina, which was perfect for a solo traveler looking for alone time. Throughout the week, I got to know the other retreaters and create new friendships. I loved that you could do as little or as much as you want, be as social or "alone time" as you needed, and customize your week to be what you'd like it to be. I did meditation most mornings, yoga every morning, and surfing 2x during the week, then plenty of pool and hammock time for reading and relaxing. Definitely do the Watsu water massage, especially if you're there in need of healing. Loved touring the organic farm. The food was INCREDIBLE. I cannot wait until the cookbook comes up. The staff was so welcoming and attentive. It was a big decision for me to take a week for myself, but so worth it. It was the time and healing I needed. Thank you, Anamaya!!
Suzy California, USA
I spent months deciding if I was brave enough to do my first solo female trip somewhere. The moment I found Anamaya in all the online reviews, I knew that if I was ever to travel alone anywhere for my first time, it would be to Anamaya. From the moment I contacted Anamaya, they were quick to respond to all of my questions and reassured me about all my nervousness and concerns. From the moment I landed at San Jose airport and met some of the friendly women who would be joining me in Anamaya, I knew finally that I would not be alone! One crazy propeller plane ride, and many dirt roads later... we arrived in Montezuma. From the moment I stepped foot onto Anamaya's property, I felt the magic in and around my soul. I felt like home immediately. Every there with you is a like-minded individual, most likely looking for the same things in their life at that moment. A life changing mind-body-soul experience. The property is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is like one big home, with many small guest houses littered around the jungle property. From almost anywhere you have a sweeping ocean view. Everything is beautiful, and the decor is very Moroccan and comforting. The staff is immediately like family to you, and they take care of you like family. The food is out of this world. Everything is so healthy and delicious. My stomach had never been happier than it was that one week. The yoga is by far the best yoga I have ever done. I know this is all dependent on the instructors, but I have a feeling anyone Anamaya would pick will be amazing. Their yoga decks are out of this world beautiful. You feel like you are in a dream, practicing yoga, with the sounds of the jungle, thunder, rain, butterflies flying around you. So tantric and mystifying. The activities are ALL so fun. Do as many as you can, but make sure to leave enough time to relax and be alone. Coming alone on this trip, I am surprised how little I spent by myself. I literally had to carve out time in my days to sit and meditate myself, otherwise you are with friends, having a blast! I could honestly go on, and on, and on about this place. But all you need to know is that you need to go here, SOON. You WON'T regret it, and it WILL change your life.
I just returned from a month at the Anamaya resort. The staff there is truly incredible. Hugs to Laura, Grettel, Papin and all the cleaning ladies who were so sweet and ready with a hug (or chocolate) if we needed it. The staff keeps everything immaculate and the grounds are well maintained. So many varieties of birds and plants and incredible views of the ocean. I have issues eating a lot of different foods and Jeff worked with me to ensure I had foods that I could tolerate. Everything is fresh and tasty, I miss the granola and snacks already. Thank you to everyone for their care and kindness.
I can also recommend Banyan to anyone considering yoga training. He is very focused and meticulous from word choices to explanations to ensuring everyone is safe when trying difficult poses. He has a deep knowledge yet still made learning fun. I was completely captivated during the evening of graduation from the ceremony to the entertainment.
Anamaya is truly a magical place. I'm a seasoned traveler, and it's rare that I come back from a vacation feeling 10 years younger!
Antoine and Pamela were amazing teachers who guided us through our twice daily yoga practices with joy and laughter. I returned to "life" refreshed and committed to a daily yoga practice. While at Anamaya for only a week, some better lifestyle choices became ingrained!
The Anamaya staff was fabulous! Kudos to everyone, from food preparation, spa staff, to the folks I met daily who graciously nodded to me when I attempted to greet them in my atrocious Spanish. "Lo siento, mi español es muy mal :( "
I can't say enough fabulous things about my visit. I travelled solo and would do it again in a heartbeat. I enjoyed meeting and getting to know the eclectic group of roommates I had in Gaia, as well as the small group we had on site during my stay. I surfed, zip-lined, visited the local brewery, and enjoyed every moment of my time in Costa Rica.
My advice to anyone considering a visit... GO!!!!! You won't regret it!
I can't wait to go back.
a traveler United States
First Yoga Retreat - can't imagine a better experience anywhere else. Most important - the staff at Anamaya are outstanding! - anything you want, anything you need (including a customized gift certificate for my wife!), they will make sure they do everything possible to help! The food is awesome - leaning vegetarian but plenty of chicken and fish (I did have a big burger when I git back to Baltimore at Bobby Flays!). It is so much more than yoga - relaxing by the pool. hiking trips to the falls, sunset on the "pacific" beach with live music, zip lining, and much more. We stayed in Bali - beautiful. We will definitely go back. In addition to all of this, we made livelong friends from 20-70 years young!
a traveler Canada
I have been to Costa Rica several times, and I have visited nearly the entire country. This trip to Anamaya was by far the best. The hotel is absolutely stunning yet has a nice welcoming homey feel to it. I went to Anamaya on my own on a week long retreat and by the end of it, I felt like I was part of a giant family. This place exceeded my expectations beyond belief. The food was fantastic. Never have I had such delicious food traveling, especially being vegan and gluten-free. There was so much selection and everything I tried I loved! The yoga teacher that we had, Adam Bolton was an incredibly talented teacher and taught a nice vigorous "hot" yoga in the mornings and a blissful restorative in the evenings. There were animals everywhere from monkeys to coatis to giant lizards to tropical birds. I stayed in the casita with 4 other women and thought it was going to be cramped but it was spacious and wonderful to share the space with like-minded people. The surf school they hooked us up with (South Nicoya Surf School) was incredible beyond anything I experienced before. The bonfire on the beach surf party, which I think was partially arranged through the surf school and Anamaya, was such a good time. I went in with high expectations and my expectations were exceeded. Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible!
This was my first time going to a yoga retreat. This was my first time traveling to Latin america. This was my first time going on vacation solo. I really didnt know what to expect. At the end of the trip, I could not have asked for a more perfect vacation. There were many other solo travelers in the same situation I was in: stressed at work, need to get away, and wanting to try something new. I ended up leaving Costa Rica with a new group of friends from all over the US, Canada, and even Costa Rica.The property was absolutely breath taking. Doing yoga in the two outdoor "studios" was breath taking. Yoga will never be the same. The image of the jungle and Pacific Ocean while doing an inversion will forever be engrained in my mind. The staff was more than accommodating, they were like family. Everyone knew you by name which made you feel special. They were always there to help with no hesitation. They always had a warm smile on their face when they greeted you.The food was to die for! Each meal was a wonderful surprise. Most of the meals were vegetarian, with a few dishes containing fish and chicken. All of which were tasty and creative. I wish they had sold a cookbook with their recipes so I can take a piece of that magic back home. This place is highly recommended. It made my first trip to Costa Rica that much more magical.
The room we stayed in was so wonderful, with a stunning view of the ocean. The entire resort is like something out of a dream, the infity pool is breathtaking and the main casa so welcoming and gorgeous. Most of all, the staff here are incredible. If you have the opportunity to book a retreat or yoga teacher training absolutly do. It truly is a magical place.
a traveller United States
Best time of my life! Jackie Chiodo is a goddess of yoga and life, best decision I ever made. Her classes will take you to places you've never imagined. The food is delicious and all organic, also mostly vegetarian. Staff are absolutely wonderful and will help with any questions at all. Pure Vida! Do it!
A place to relax and enjoy the view. Excellent meals prepared with fresh ingredients. The infinity pool is fantastic. It is within walking distance of Montezuma. Yoga is first and formost at this retreat.
Mari United States
This place is magical. I booked it last minute by myself with the intention of learning to surf, doing some yoga, and exploring Costa Rica. I was blown away. Anamaya itself is remarkably beautiful, it's impossible not to feel grateful for every day you are able to enjoy there. The staff is absolutely amazing, you will feel more like you're visiting friends or family as opposed to the sterile feel of a hotel. It's so warm.The people who attend the weeklong retreat come from different places but you can feel the common thread. It's the perfect place to go alone - you will never be lonely. I met some of the most amazing people, had the coolest experiences and learned so many valuable things. When I left, I was stronger, happier, healthier, more balanced, mindful and awake. If you are even slightly thinking about it, go for it. You'll be so happy you did.
Anamaya has the formula for complete wellness of your mind, body and spirit totally figured out! The resort and the accommodations are absolutely stunning - think an ocean view, monkeys howling in the not so far distance, open and airy houses and two yoga decks that will get you to the Zen zone fast.The best part of this resort is the staff. Chef Jeff prepared flawless meals every day and I did not even notice that all his delicious meals were gluten free. Who knew that gluten free food could be so good?!! The administration and maintenance staff went above and beyond to make us all feel welcomed. I don't want to away too much, but they are musically and artistically talented as well. I want to mention Grettle (aka Trouble) and Laura for laughing with us and always smiling.The yoga and surfing were magnificent as well. I realized that these two activities added so much to my relaxation and it feels great to go back home having learned how to surf! I recommend that if you do visit, do as many of the activities as you can. You will be surprised by how much energy you actually have. All in all, I cannot recommend this place enough. I hope to go back as soon as I can and do the YTT while I am there. Pura Vida!!
Luba United States
I can't say enough about what a wonderful a stay I had at Anamaya. It's not your typical resort, it's about sharing and living in this extraordinary space while nurturing body and soul. You feel like you are being welcomed home. The staff is wonderful, friendly and very accommodating. They truly take care of you as if you were family.The organic food is spectacular, vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available, with a lean toward free-range chicken and local fish. Vegan and gluten-free options also available as well as beer and wine. Everything was perfect. The accommodations are lovely, each house unique. The common areas are spacious and comfortable and the view from the infinity salt water pool will leave you lingering as long as possible. All in all, if you want to re-connect with nature, nurture your soul, deepen your yoga practice, this is the place to be.
Chris F. Canada
From the moment I was welcomed at the resort to my departure the whole trip was exceptional. As a guy who hasn't done a lot of yoga and who is not in great shape I was worried that this would be a little to serious about the yoga, and the small size might be too intimate with the other guests. Turns out I was wrong. Not only is the location quite extraordinary, but the yoga with Dagmar was wonderful and accommodating of a crowbar like me. The other guests were lovely and it was as interactive as I wanted to be. The food was some of the best that I have had anywhere at any restaurant, the surf training, beach trip, and jungle hike were lovely punctuations of my trip. One of the most relaxing vacations I have ever been on even with 3 hours of yoga a day. Extraordinary.
Kari United States
I just returned from a one-week yoga retreat at Anamaya and I feel like my body and soul have been found again! Our yoga instructor was a local woman named Silvia Ericksson who teaches yoga at the local Motezuma Yoga studio. If you are not lucky enough to have Silvia make sure you make it to town for a class with her. She is one of the best yoga instructors I've ver had. I am returning to New York with a new sense of balance and calm in my life that was directly because of her yoga practice this week.Anamaya is a truly special place and if you are lucky enough to get there I promise you won't regret it. The staff is incredible. Gretel and Sol made our days and nights easy and seamless, the food was so healthy and wonderful, and the spa staff worked on my muscles after yoga and surfing. I had also never tried surfing before and it was amazing! I wish I had tried it earlier in the week but now it just means that I will have to return to the Nicoya peninsula. Maybe even do the Anamaya yoga teacher training! Our group was also very special and from all over the world with stories and varying reasons for being there. Not only did I leave Anamaya with my body and mind at peace but also with new friends. Book your trip here now. You will not regret it!
a traveler United States
Anamaya Resort webite
My mom and I booked this trip for my college graduation gift and it was more than I ever expected. I have nothing but amazing things to say about Anamaya, the staff, and the experience. Everyone makes you feel right at home. The food and views are unreal! I already want to go back and I’ve been home for a week. I highly suggest coming here. Pura Vida!
Anamaya Resort webite
I cannot say enough about this wonderful place. I was traveling by myself and picked this resort based on other trip advisor reviews, and I was not disappointed. All the rooms are unique and the staff becomes like family. The food is amazing and the yoga decks have the most perfect views. The property is even more beautiful in person than the photos can show. The staff was also great about quickly returning my emails before my trip and answering all my questions, which made me feel better about heading there alone. I can’t wait to go back.
If yoga, surfing, eating healthy, and being eco consciousness is your thing; then this is a have to destination for your next adventure vacation. Two years ago I attended a yoga teacher training here for a month, and did not want to leave this slice of heaven. Now just two years later, I am back, and after just one week, I'm experiencing the exact same feelings about this magical place. The staff make you feel part of their home, the accomodations are relaxing, and the choices are many from yoga to surfing to hiking the waterfalls, salsa lessons. And to top it all off, the chefs create all healthy meals from their local garden. Absolutely an amazing adventure!
I was impressed by the photos on the website and the reviews, they made this place seem to good to be true. And yet my expectations were exceeded in every way! I actually went in April 2013, and still keep in touch with all of the people who were there that week. We have a Facebook group, and multiple people have already been back already and met up when back home. I encouraged a friend to go this summer and she absolutely loved it as well. I went as part of a solo trip with the intention of doing a lot of soul searching and relaxing, but ended up making such great friends that I spent most of the week hanging out with them.I have never felt so good about myself or lived a healthier lifestyle, my roommate and I started a habit of running down to the beach at 5 a.m., running back up, grabbing a quick bite to eat and some of that delicious coffee with stevia, heading to a 1.5-hour yoga class, and then spending the rest of the day eating delicious food, surfing, heading to the beach, lounging by the pool, hiking, doing more yoga, etc. The food is unbelievable, and so healthy. I overate at almost every meal because I couldn't get enough! I regret not having signed up for the surf package or trying it until Wednesday; the instructors are incredible, and make it so easy for you.We all stood up on our first attempt! We did a tour of the cabins, and they were all really nice. You feel as though you're staying at a very friendly, very welcoming friend's house. They take care of you, and it feels like a family, rather than an employee-guest relationship. I absolutely loved being so immersed in nature, I've never felt so connected to myself, the earth, and new people. Going to Anamaya is an incredible experience, I would highly recommend it for those looking for an authentic and rejuvenating experience.
When my shuttle turned into Anamaya resort, and I first saw the view of this place, I was in awe. I couldn't believe I would be staying at such a beautiful place for the next seven days of my yoga retreat. Every corner of this resort is well thought-out and beautifully designed. As soon as I entered this resort, I didn't have to try too hard to be in the moment. I was so grateful and happy to be there and enjoyed every little moment. I can still close my eyes and remember the sound of geckos in the ceilings, the howling monkeys in the distance, and the sound of waves crashing below, feeling the gentle ocean breeze while reading a book in the hammock.I also really appreciated the organic, healthy meals and snacks. (5 p.m. smoothies are the best!) they produce at their own farms. And if you're worried this is too healthy, we were allowed to bring in our own alcoholic drinks as well, so you're free to have fun! I also met many awesome people who were in the same retreat as me. The cabinas are beautiful and very clean. I can just go on and on about this place but I think it's best for you to go check it out for yourself.
Keith H. Virginia, USA
I went to an Anamaya yoga retreat in November of 2013, by myself. It's not so easy to describe how wonderful and transformative this place is. There were 30 of us from all across the world. Not many places you can stay and enter as 30 strangers and leave a week later as family. The property, location, staff, food, yoga experience, accommodations, programs, and options, are all one can ever ask for. Anamaya was obviously created for the soul, spirit, and real connections seekers looking for a deep, meaningful, and truly transformative experience.
Denise Z. New York, USA
Anamaya is one of those places which would bless you with memories you will carry with you throughout your life. You'll meet great people, make friends for life, and have adventures. It's up to you what you do. Anamaya is just there to help you help yourself. It is a kind of place that can help you find what you are looking for, if you let it. So, choose your destination and go, if you accept everyone you meet as a teacher then the truth will not be withheld from you..
April T. California, USA
I had the pleasure of being a guest teacher at the exotic Anamaya and I have to tell you that I am already planning to go back! From the moment you walk through the doors until the time you leave you are treated like family.The staff and the resident kitty, Onyx, really care about your well being and your experience at Anamaya and go out of their way to make sure your stay there is superb. The food is delicious and fresh with nice plated presentations. The views are breathtaking, you must get up early at least one time while you're there to meditate as the sun rises, with a very curious iguana that likes to also watch the sun come up.I can write a book about the unforgettable experience I had, but you'll have to go for yourself and experience how taken you become with Costa Rica, Anamaya, the beaches, and the beautiful people.
This review comes somewhat delayed. I went to Anamaya back in March of this year and I had such a great time. You need to read a few reviews so you can truly appreciate it and get a sense of the place. It feels like a home away from home but when you need privacy you can retreat to your room or villa and just take in the beautiful environs or take a nap in your air conditioned room. this is not like staying at a large resort, they only have capacity for around 30 people, and everyone is there Saturday to Saturday so you get to know everyone and spend a lot of time together at Yoga, morning coffee and fruit while watching the sunrise or monkeys play in the trees, or at the pool, the sauna, meals or excursions.The staff was fantastic - the chef was previously from the Four Seasons (and I believe now opening his own restaurant nearby), the office staff responsive and accommodating; finding the right times for massage appointments, or custom-designing an excursion for the smaller in-house group that was there that week, or moving our yoga class earlier or later to make it work for our schedule - they really know how to run a resort. There's so much to say - the nearby town is wonderful and has an organic market on Saturdays, several organic/healthy restaurants, a real gelato place, open mike on Mondays (where one of the staff sings - she's amazing!), and more.Just go! For the price you can't beat it. Just make sure to take Nature Air or Sansa (the two domestic carriers) if you're connecting from San Jose or Liberia - especially LIberia since the roads are very bumpy and you go slowly. From San Jose I hear there's a highway most of the way, but still a bit of a ride. Anyway, enjoy! And thanks so much Anamaya - I had a lovely time and made friends for life!
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