Take your yoga off the mat and into your life for more balance and clarity in everything you do with a yoga lifestyle. Find out how on a yoga retreat at Pranamar Villas in Costa Rica.

Yoga lifestyle at Pranamar Villas
Learn how to adopt a yoga lifestyle at Pranamar Villas in Costa Rica.

Article by Shannon Farley

What is a yoga lifestyle?

For Nancy Goodfellow, Yoga Director at Pranamar Villas in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, yoga is a complete way of life.

“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.”

Yoga lifestyle
Yoga is a whole lifestyle linking body, mind and heart.

Yoga is estimated to be at least 5,000 years old, originating in the Indus Valley Civilization in India. It is an ancient Indian philosophy espousing an eight-limbed approach to conscious living.

According to an article on yoga lifestyle: “Yoga as a lifestyle means far more than performing difficult poses or practicing breathing techniques. Rather, yoga is a rich, encompassing philosophy about all aspects of how we live life … in essence a guide on how to achieve balance and harmony between the mind, body, and spirit, both individually and in relationship with the world around us. Applying yoga principles to daily life means adopting healthy practices and attitudes, ultimately leading to enlightenment.”

Nancy says she practices yoga in her everyday activities.

“I can practice yoga when I’m washing dishes and my kids are running around. I’m being present in the moment, able to listen, be calm and joyful,” she says. “You can do yoga at work – every moment is an opportunity to increase self-knowledge and self-awareness. If you’re having an argument with your boss, yoga teaches you to take three breaths and center yourself and not react. Then, see how you can respond skillfully and intelligently to solve a situation. You can do yoga when you’re out in the waves surfing – you’re focused and in the moment and connected to nature.”

Yoga lifestyle in costa rica
Yoga instructor Nancy Goodfellow at Pranamar Villas in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Jump start a yoga lifestyle at a yoga retreat

One way to easily begin adopting a yoga lifestyle is to attend a yoga retreat. Pranamar Villas offers yoga retreats in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica all year long.

“One of the biggest benefits of coming on a yoga retreat to a place like Pranamar Villas – since we often get stuck in our perspective, stuck in routines, and hung up in our daily life – is to take a week out of normal life and take a break from our ordinary routine, slow down, listen and get reconnected with ourselves without all of the usual distractions,” says Nancy.

“Pranamar has a slower pace of life and is in synchronicity with nature, with jungle and beach all around. We really get in tune with the natural rhythms of life here,” she explains. “Pranamar was designed and built to have all of the comforts you need and be well taken care of while being close with nature. You can hear the waves, the monkeys in the afternoon, and the birds in the morning. All of the food that we offer is delicious, natural, locally sourced, fresh and nourishing to our bodies. There is time to do yoga every day, go surfing, take long walks on the beach, or enjoy a nap in a hammock.”

With many different retreats offered, persons can pick a retreat during the year that caters to what they are looking for.

Or you can totally embrace a yoga lifestyle at the Yoga Teacher Training 2018 from Sept. 8 to 29 at Pranamar Villas in Santa Teresa. Led by Pranamar Yoga Director Nancy Goodfellow, the 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training Course is described as a “life-changing immersion” into yoga.

Pranamar Villas Santa Teresa Costa Rica
Pranamar Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

7 Benefits to Living a Yoga Lifestyle

Have more energy and feel more vital: The work of yoga is about energy – how to attain more energy, how to cultivate more energy, how to calm nervous and anxious energy.

Living healthy: Our body is what we put into it. Yoga promotes healthy eating and living by eating more natural and less processed foods. When we pay attention to what we’re eating, we see what makes us feel good and gives us energy.

Be more rested: Practicing yoga helps you develop better sleeping habits and patterns, which means being more rested.

Improves your mental state: Yoga enhances our sense of intention, focus and concentration. It lets you be more present throughout your whole day, have more concentration and attention to get more done in less time, and have better relationships and harmony with others.

Yoga at Pranamar Villas
Pranamar Villas Yoga Director, Nancy Goodfellow, is leading a Yoga Teacher Training at Pranamar in September 2018.

Yoga enhances your emotional state: You have a greater sense of contentment. You find you don’t really need that much to be happy. With a yoga lifestyle, we start to slow down and find our happiness and joy within, instead of needing many things.

Build deeper connections with people and nature: Yoga helps us live present in the moment and discover how we contribute to the world around us and can be of service.

A sense of discipline and sense of freedom: Yoga enhances our self-discipline, which helps us find our authentic path in life and experience freedom.