Nature, Connection, Inspiration
Last week, Melissa Eisler and I embarked on our 4th Annual Two Rivers Retreat: Eco-Yoga and Mindfulness at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica. This was my 6th visit to this country and every time it feels more and more magical. Each trip there I fall deeper in love and return to the States feeling inspired and rejuvenated (sure, it's work, but I definitely soak up the hammock time and nature immersion, too!) I particularly enjoy the national saying there: "pura vida" which translates to "pure life." It guides my days there: enjoy the moment, seek inspiration & pleasure, and life is good. As I settle back into city life in San Diego, I'm considering practical ways to incorporate this "pura vida" lifestyle into my daily thoughts and actions. Any tips?
Do you know the way to San Jose?
I enjoy flying in airplanes (because I LOVE time to journal, read, listen to podcasts, and write letters without the distraction of the internet! and also because they take me cool places!). To get to the remote, off-the-grid location where we host the retreat, we flew from San Diego to LAX and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica. Then we hopped into a teeny tiny plane (even after many trips, the jitters are super present and I don't remember WHYYYYY I would get into this thing until we're high above the sea looking down at the gorgeous islands that dot the Nicoya Peninsula) and landed in Tambor. The Nicoya Peninsula is a Blue Zone, one of only five in the world, where more people live long, happy lives than anywhere else. As soon as I land in the jungly-beachy-steamy-green Nicoya Peninsula, I immediately know why. From Tambor we took a taxi to the little hippie beach town of Montezuma where we stayed for a night. Here are some other tips for getting there.
I could probably live happily in Montezuma for six months to a year. Hey! Maybe I will! A good day for me here starts with a beach walk and beach yoga and a dip in the sea. Then a hearty breakfast of a Coco Chocolate Bliss Smoothie and Plato Tipico from El Sano Banano. Then a slippery walk up to the Montezuma waterfall and a fresh coconut from the guy who sells them right out of his truck. A happy afternoon consists of reading on the beach, jumping in the ocean a few more times, a delicious massage from Lucy at Hotel Lucy, perusing the local crafts and jewelry and chatting with locals in Spanish, lounging at the pool at Ylang Ylang, eating lunch at Soda Tipica Las Palmeras, and rinsing off for sunset dinner at Cocolores. Repeat every day until "pura vida" rolls off your lips freely or you find the most beautiful beach meditation spot and can't possibly top it. If you ever can't find me, this is where you should probably look.
The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is a fairy dreamland of green jungle, crystal waterfalls and rivers, sturdy hammocks for lounging, a pagoda for yoga, meditation, and transformation, a swimming pool, a tower trail for ocean views, and nourishing food to drool over. It's a place for healing and listening and wondering and imagining and challenging yourself in every way possible. I am so honored to return there again and again to learn and teach and be.
Our days in the jungle include morning guided meditation, morning yoga practice, delicious shared meals, waterfall hikes, river walks to the ocean, excursions to Santa Teresa, group gatherings, evening rituals, and solo time for journaling, reflection, or photography. I love teaching in the outdoor yoga pagoda here and getting to know my students off the mat. I also cherish my alone time in the jungle and always find I'm extremely inspired and full of brilliant ideas, especially very early in the morning when the howlers are howling and the sun and flowers are just waking up. Our "jungle tribe" of yogi adventurers is different each year and every student brings a vibrant energy to the trip. This year was particularly special because my dear friends Claire, Vicki, and Sam attended!! Maybe you'd like to join me next year? :)
Until next time, I dream of beaches and motorbike rides and hammocks and monkeys and plantains and coconuts at sunset and warm sunshine and soothing rain.