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This yoga holiday with Sunflower Retreats will be the trip of a lifetime and an unforgettable and joyful experience as well as the opportunity to practice yoga with an experienced teacher and enjoy holistic therapies. There will be some fantastic activities to help you experience the best of Costa Rica and build great bonds with like-minded people. Your time in this retreat will rejuvenate you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
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, lounge, dining area, and terraces 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 yoga style practiced in the retreat is non-competitive with a down-to-earth approach, created by Sunflower Retreats founders, and followed by all the yoga instructors. The instructors chosen by Sunflower Retreats are humble, genuine, non-judgmental, and spiritual in their approach to their teaching, as all true yogis should be.
The classes taught cover the physical teachings of Hatha yoga with emphasis on the spiritual aspects of the yoga tradition. Sunflower Retreats emphasize that yoga is not a sport and that it's important to not be competitive with yourself or others. Each yoga class is a holistic practice - a time to connect to your body, mind, and inner self.
The practice of Hatha yoga brings with it suppleness of the spine, bones, and muscles through a series of physical movements known as asana, which affect the whole body such as the endocrine system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic systems, and all the internal organs. And therefore, strength and balance are achieved with the practice of asana.
Combining the awareness of breathing with the asana brings a deeper connection to your inner world. The breath being the link with the inner world and the external world. Many of the asana (yoga positions) are named after and reflect animals and aspects of nature.
With practicing Hatha yoga, you are introduced to pranayama (breathing exercises). The definition of pranayama in English means vital energy control. Through pranayama breathing practices, you will learn to control the life force or vital energy of your body, also drawing on the prana (vital energy) in the atmosphere and bringing it into your body via the breath.
The breathing practices of Hatha yoga begin to draw your mind's awareness to the breath; this being the first stages of meditation (Raja yoga), which is a major aspect of the yoga tradition, for the mind can be difficult to tame, like a wild horse running here there and everywhere.
With the practice of Hatha yoga and including Raja yoga (meditation), you will learn to concentrate the mind's awareness to the breath, which allows the mind to slowly become detached from thoughts and external influences. As the mind becomes stiller, you begin to connect more fully to your inner selves; free from the distractions of the mind, body, emotions, and external influences.
Each morning before breakfast, at 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., you will practice yoga and meditation on a converted 64 square meter teak platform with the sounds of birds and monkeys as a symphonic backdrop. You will experience a healthy and fulfilling connection with nature. The jungle has a healing and centering energy force which affords practitioners alike an unforgettable deeper level of communion with mother nature while they practice daily yoga.
Please note that there will be no class on arrival and departure days.
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.
The retreat will be held in Star Mountain, an intimate and 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. 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.
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A delicious breakfast of local fruit (papaya, mangos, and pineapples), fresh yogurt, cereal, coffee or tea, and toast with jam and honey is served after yoga practice each day and on the morning of departure day.
Delicious and healthy buffet lunch and dinner are included in the price 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.
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.
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 USD for a two-hour lesson. Scuba diving is also possible.
Enjoy a wonderful boat tour on the Pacific Coast where you can snorkel and scout for turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales, and a variety of seabirds.
Fish for tuna, snapper, mahi-mahi, and many other species near Cabo Blanco Island with one of the local fishermen.
The lodge has its own stables, so horse riding can be booked at any time. Let the horses 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 USD for a two-hour ride.
The lodge is adjacent to Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve but has significantly less foot traffic. The 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.
Sunflower Retreats offer a two-hour workshop in yoga, meditation, and other related subjects costing 20 EUR per person. The subjects will be on yoga Nidra, Yin yoga, chakra meditation, and balancing.
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. Sunflower Retreats will organize 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.
Holistic treatments are a major feature of Sunflower Retreats' path to wellness and complement the yoga you practice. There is a wide range of treatments, as in a spa, but the difference is that Sunflower Retreats use only natural, organic products and take a holistic approach in every session.
A brochure describing these relaxing, healing, and rejuvenating therapies will be given to you when you arrive and you can book them each day at breakfast time. You can discuss each treatment with Sunflower Retreats’ practitioners and they will help you choose the perfect one for your own requirements.
The 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. The range of holistic therapies includes:
The prices range from 30 USD to 100 USD per session, depending on your choice of treatment and duration. They are available every day except the arrival and departure day.
Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). Take a domestic flight and fly to Tambor Airport (TMU). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
It's also possible to travel from San Jose to the Nicoya Peninsula by bus and ferry or to hire your own car. You can hire a car and drive, or catch a taxi, from San Jose to Puntarenas Port, where you take the ferry to Paquera, across the Gulf of Nicoya. The ferry costs around 2 USD each way with Naviera Tambor.