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Where Will Your Yoga Take You?

WOW. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE MY LAST BLOG POST! I guess time flies by when you're having fun! :)

We just returned from our week in Costa Rica for the yoga retreat, A Unique Journey to Liberation of the Highest Self. Gratitude just exudes from my soul when thinking on how lucky I was to attend and lead this experience.

I wanted to re-cap our retreat so those of you who wondered what a retreat is about or those of you who just wanted to share in our journey and attend in spirit are able to spend some time in this incredible "space". I think how cool it is on trips like this that are centered around yogic energy at how many people feel the peace and love that we were connecting with. It truly was a spiritual opening for us all!

From the moment we arrived in San Jose, there was a buzzing, a pulsation coming from Costa Rica for our presence there. Apparently when we arrived, so did some big celebrity! Although we couldn't figure out who the heck it was, it was fun having a TON of young girls holding admiration signs and cheering! It took us a second to realize they were not cheering for us! LOL :)

Once we found our transportation, we loaded up and headed towards La Fortuna. We traveled through the mountains and the most beautiful country we have ever seen - everything was so GREEN!

Gorgeous countryside in Costa Rica

We also traveled through the Cloud Forest which was surreal! Once we got higher in the mountains, we couldn't take any pictures because we couldn't see from being surrounded by clouds!

Starting our journey through the Cloud Forest

After arriving at our oasis in the rainforest at Finca Lunca Nueva, we settled into our home for the next week. We were so lucky to stay at an eco-lodge, which also operates as a bio-dynamic, organic farm. Their mission is to co-exist with all life and use our time here on Earth to help improve life's conditions for future generations. I was moved by their commitment to clean living and agriculture! All of our meals were prepared from the farm on site and we didn't have one meal that wasn't absolutely delicious!!

view from our room/porch during thunderstorm

The weather was awesome! Well, I loved it! It was warm, humid and sweaty!!! We received rain each day except for one day. Thunderstorms were incredible at night and lulled us to sleep. It was perfect!

Inspiration for life

Our yoga practices were in the mornings and evenings of each day. Our journey started with opening our Root Chakras and physical bodies which continued to a deeper exploration of getting to know our inner guide, our highest Self. It is almost hard to put into words this experience afterwards because it was so raw and genuine. I think meditation time in the evenings were the most moving. Perhaps it was the tail end of our magical days that everyone was extremely present, open to inspiration, yet inspiring each other.

On our first full day (Sunday), we did an intense 2 hour hike through the thick rainforest, a farm tour and a New Moon Ritual at night.

escuela that we discovered on our hike through the rainforest

The farm tour guided by the Incredible Ismeal was so cool - we got to see their compost areas, all of the crops, animals and cacao trees. Really, there was so much on this huge farm that I can't even remember!!!! Baby girl loved this part of the trip - seeing all of the flowers, plants, leaves - all of the things we try to teach her about and how precious they are to us. Her being there with us reminded us of how our carbon footprint will affect her life and her children, her grandchildren. What can we do today to help sustain our Earth for many generations to come? Can you make one change daily?

For the New Moon Ritual, we wrote down all that we want to release: negative self talk about ourselves/others, toxic relationships, worries, anger, etc. and then we put them into a small fire and burned them! Then we blessed our mala beads and planted new intentions/goals in this sacred "space" that we had created. I think this was a wonderful way to kick off our week long journey.

Ismael showing us fresh ginger

Eventually, we explored all other chakras, koshas and spaces within. We kept our yoga practice to what felt right at the time. We didn't push or challenge anything and just let the vibe of the day guide us. No one was really required to do anything unless they felt it served their higher purpose. I gave everyone journal to have a creative outlet if needed and journal topics as food for thought. During free time, we swam, napped, hiked, went to the observation deck that overlooked the Arenal Volcano.

morning yoga practice in the pavillion

On Monday, the group decided to forego our evening practice to go on a night hike through the rainforest. Ismael (who was so cool!) said that going on an evening while it was raining is the best to see animals. The group saw huge bugs and slimey things but no snakes (which is what they were hoping to see LOL). I stayed with Baby Girl in our room and then after she went to bed, I relaxed in the hammock and listened to the thunderstorm. Life was so perfect at that moment!!

rainforest night hike

On Tuesday, we did some Karma yoga by helping a local carpenter haul wood. He makes furniture and desks for the school near by and this was how we could help. We carried wood and help cut the correct size pieces. Afterwards, we were replenished by fresh coconuts and lunch prepared by a wonderful woman and her family. It was really nice to be at someone's home and have a discussion about how the couple of hours we worked can have such a positive impact in a young person's life. The coolest part about her home was the huge sugarcane press she had in her back yard and we made fresh sugar cane juice shooters! :)

On Wednesday, we went to the luxurious Tabacon Hot Springs and Zip Lining! If you ever have the opportunity to go to Tabacon, GO! It is worth the $80 per person fee. Plus the food is delicious and fabulous!!!

Birthday Girl Shann and her daughter, Leyna

Another interesting part of our journey was meeting Kinga, the spa visionary of acupuncture, reiki, massage, cupping and energy work. Yes, we experienced all of these services! I felt like we were meant to meet Kinga. She gave each of us a wake up call on a deeper level and opened our minds/psyches to the bigger unknown - spiritual enlightenment. Namaste, Kinga for your presence in our journey! Until we meet again...

On Thursday, we took a chocolate class with guess who...Ismael! :) He showed us on our farm tour where the cacao trees were and the process of fermenting the cacao pods. During this class he showed us how to make the "golden drink of the gods" and chocolates for us to take home. FYI, dark chocolate is very healthy and he recommends eating 7 grams of dark chocolate per day for a healthy cardiovascular system!!!

raw chocolate

Friday, we sadly had to pack up and start our journey back to San Jose to catch a very early flight Saturday morning. We spent the morning doing last minute hikes, swimming, smoothie drinking and yoga. Our transition back to "the real world" was a smooth and rejuvenating process. Sometimes after an epic trip, there is a bittersweet-ness when returning home and I didn't feel too much of the bitter part. I felt like my cup had been filled up and I was excited to bring the energy back! The True Nature Education team made sure that every detail and request was taken care of to perfection. We didn't ever have to wonder if we would get picked up or what was happening. I am so grateful for them taking excellent care of us.

I know there are so many details that are not documented on this blog, but they are forever stamped into our hearts. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with extremely friendly people who live a life of peace and happiness. My wish is that we were able to embody this eminence and return it to all we meet.

Now, we plan our next retreat!!! Where will YOUR yoga take you?

Namaste, Kim

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