With some luck and a little fate, I found myself on a 7-day yoga retreat at the Goddess Garden in Costa Rica. One word describes my experience: transformation. This retreat was truly a transformation of mind, body and soul.
Everything you would expect of a yoga retreat happened. Classes, meditation, healthy food, great conversations. But there was so much more.
Every yoga practice was a detox, our bodies glistening with what I call “sexy jungle sweat.” Yet we could always replenish with endless agua de pipa – fresh coconut water right out of the coconut. Unprocessed, unfiltered, full of nutrients and phytochemicals.
At lunchtime, monkeys would visit us by the pool. They became spectators during our aqua-yoga practice, as though they also felt the calming effects of our practice. In the evenings, we closed the day with meditation to the cacophony of tree frogs and cicadas. I call this music for the soul.
Most guests spent their days riding horses on the beach, zip-lining through jungle canopies, kayaking rivers, and shopping in the local village. To me, the forest around the Goddess Garden resort and the nearby Caribbean beach were more than enough.
The thick, humid air hydrated my parched city skin. Ocean sands exfoliated the soles of my feet. And I definitely did not pass up the opportunity for a hot-oil Ayurvedic massage. I looked and felt 10 years younger upon my return home. This trip was an experience of true healing, from the inside out.
Anna Hunt is a writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She founded Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent six years in Costa Rica as a teacher of hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
Photos: Anna Hunt (x2), The Goddess Garden Eco Resort