There is a side of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica many tourists never see.
Most people fall under the spell of white sand, coconut palms, cobalt blue sea and stellar waves, never leaving the beaches. And I must admit, if you’re staying at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat, right on the sand by the beautiful surfing beach of Playa Hermosa, it’s easy to want to stay there forever.
You’ve seen the photos, yogis with their arms firmly planted on the floor, legs in the air, and a peaceful smile on their face. They make it look so easy. It’s certainly not impossible, and as with anything worth doing it requires patience, practice and concentration. You certainly won’t achieve an arm balance pose while wondering if you left your oven on, or about a deadline at work.
So, why even attempt arm balances? These poses demand both strength and flexibility, and the challenge is worth it, to make your upper body and core stronger. They also work your mind, the concentration they require is a way to keep your brain healthy. Ready to get started?
“Most people think yoga is that you go to a class and do some stretching and breathing and then you go home,” says Nancy. “I see yoga as a whole lifestyle. You envision your life and yoga gives you a life of intention, setting yourself up for success. What is it that you desire? Where do you not feel content? Where do you feel tired? Where do you feel negative energy? Yoga is about making connections with all of the different aspects of ourselves as whole beings – always linking body, mind and heart.”
Costa Rica’s array of tropical fruit is enticing. Whether you have them on their own, or blended up into a smoothie by your hosts at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat, be on the lookout for these colorful and healthy varieties.
Soursop or Guanábana
Part of the Annona family, this very large fruit with green skin needs to be harvested carefully due to its large size and soft flesh. Tastes like a combination of pineapple, banana and strawberry and is delicious on its own or blended into juice. Freeze a piece of it and eat it as ice cream for a healthy treat.
Caimito or Star Apple
The caimito has purplish skin, and when cut shows its white flesh surrounding shiny dark seeds. Nice sweet flavor, just be careful with juice and flesh, they can stain your clothes. Similar to the Asian mangosteen, caimitos are high in fiber and calcium.
Carambola or Star Fruit
When cut resembles a star, a slice is often used as garnish for fruit drinks or cocktails. Its flavor combines sweetness and acidity, and is very often used blended into smoothies, on its own or mixed with other fruit. It is also used in salads and dressings.
Maracuya or Passion Fruit
Egg shaped fruit that reveals seeds covered in a tasty jelly that can be scooped out and eaten all together. Yes, crunch up the seeds as well for some texture and fiber. Blend it up in juice, combine it in a cocktail, its sweet/acid combination make them perfect for Margaritas.
This small green, round fruit looks like a small Guava (Guayaba). This fruit is best blended into juices and cocktails, it has a very acid flavor. Costa Rican home cooks will make a delicious ice cream with its pulp, blended with copious amounts of sweet condensed milk.
This is just a small sampling of tropical fruit you may encounter during your stay in Costa Rica. Whether you are buying from a vendor on the street, picking them directly from a tree, or experiencing them as ingredients during your fine dining adventures in Santa Teresa, these new flavors will enhance your travel experience.
Pranamar Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat is hosting an all-women’s yoga retreat in February 2018. The setting is the lovely Santa Teresa beach on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, a town known for its golden sunsets, surfing, some of the best dining options in the country, and of course, yoga. Read on and find out why you need to be a part of it.
Why should you take the opportunity to get away from it all and be a part of a retreat? Everyone has their very own personal reasons, and these may be just a few more benefits that you haven’t thought about.
Disconnecting from technology
When you digitally cut yourself off from your phone and computer, free yourself from constantly checking your emails, messages, Facebook and Twitter feeds, then you give yourself a better chance for success. Success at what, you ask? At meditating, taking time for yourself, grounding yourself, and making sure you’re focusing on what is important to you. Of course, the technology is available, you can connect and check in with loved ones as regularly as you like, but try it a few hours a day and see how it frees you up to so much more.
Realign yourself with healthy habits
Exercising and nourishing your body to be healthy. We all know what we should do, don’t we? The stress and routine of work, home and family sometimes find us straying away from ideal behaviors. A retreat will provide healthful food you already prepared, no guesswork. Daily yoga classes take care of body and soul. You’ll meet others on the same path, and the buddy system is a powerful tool to help us reach our goals.
Take your yoga practice to another level
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced yogini, you may feel in a comfort zone about your knowledge for the practice. When you are part of a group you can learn from each other, share experiences, and support and aid each other with achieving improvement during each class. An all-women’s retreat also allows for open communication, empowerment and sisterhood.
Join instructors Nancy Goodfellow and Chantal Russell for this empowering retreat. Take the leap to a better you and sign up for the Shakti Rising Yoga Retreat, February 17-24th at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Make lifelong friends in a beautiful exotic location while you focus on self-care, empowerment and mindfulness.
While traveling with family, friends or your significant other can be fun and exciting, solo travel has its own appeal. Instead of focusing on your travel companion, you are more open and aware of your surroundings in your new environment. This can lead to situations and conversations you never thought you’d find yourself in.
The town of Santa Teresa on the Peninsula of Nicoya in Costa Rica has developed from a sleepy fishing town into an eclectic mix of surfers and yogis, locals and expats from all around the world. The varied and delicious dining options using organic local ingredients have made it one of the most interesting gastronomic destinations in the country. This, along with pristine beaches, amazing sunsets and surrounding areas to explore, make it a perfect destination for a solo traveler.
Pranamar offers daily yoga classes, as well as retreats. You can combine several yoga lessons a day with meditation, healthful meals and antioxidant rich smoothies. A combination of surf and yoga is also a popular option. You can be relaxed on a hammock by the ocean, or at the spa having a massage.
If you are a thrill junkie, take an ATV through mountains, streams and beaches. Zip line through the tropical forest with views of the lush vegetation below. Explore the nearby Cabo Blanco National Park, hike through its trails observing exotic birds, monkeys, coatis, deer and other species until you reach the secluded pristine beach.
Consider Pranamar Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat in Santa Teresa for a holiday where you can be introspective and focus on your health and wellness, or mingle and meet new friends while sipping a cocktail at Luc’s Seafood Grill. Explore waterfalls and beaches on horseback or ATVs, or imagine yourself a restaurant critic and treat yourself to new dining options every day. Any way you do it, it’ll be the most amazing solo travel experience you’ve had.