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"I arrived with a break in mind, a chance to cut loose and ponder some of life's challenges. I returned recharged and clearer after being carried by the warmth of the AYR team. The immersion into yoga and meditation provided a one stop shop for healing. All of this while being rocked in the song of the ocean nearby. A breath-taking location bathed in friendship that also puts nourishing, healthy food on the table - what more does your soul need?"
~ G. Tourelle
Niagra Falls, Canada
"A retreat that is as flexible as the staff - awesome! I really feel like it will have a big impact on me when I return home."
~ J. Beck
New York, NY
"As soon as you arrive at the retreat you can feel the energy and calmness enter your body. The retreat experience is an elixir not only for your body through the daily yoga sessions and nourishing food, but also for your mind, as the learning experiences can be applied to everyday life."
~ C. Morris
San Francisco, CA
"On the first day of my retreat I was apprehensive as to who I would meet, what I would eat, where I would sleep and how many yoga sessions I would participate in. It did not take long before my anxiety turned to a peaceful calm and to be honest, a feeling as if I had found home. I can honestly say that I met the most amazing, inspiring and genuine mix of ecectic people, ate like an organic vegetarian queen, slept the most restful nights sleep and took great joy in participating in each and every one of the 3 yoga practices per day, for the week of my retreat. You have blessed me with an experience that I will sincerely cherish forever and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there at a time when I needed you the most. See you again soon!"
~ K. Lucas
"This was the retreat I'd been waiting for...and now must do again. Me before my AYR Costa Rica retreat: a stressed, multi-tasking, out of shape, distracted working mom. Me during my retreat: well-exercised, surfing, meditative, suntanned...and so happy to be in the company of other cool adults. Me after my retreat: physically and emotionally renewed, with a new focus on self-care, fitness, and finding a new balance. Can't wait to get back!"
~ J. Romney
San Francisco, CA
"I needed a vacation desperately, but wanted something for myself. This was my first vacation on my own and it exceeded all my expectations. It was a wonderful escape in every way. Thank You!"
~ J. Pigot
"The whole trip was incredible and inspiring. Before the retreat life was just too much. Now I feel like I'm strong and can handle anything life throws my way. I tell people who ask about American Yoga Retreats, GO IMMEDIATELY!"
~ J. Gearhard
"One of my best vacations ever. Met great people, challenged myself every day and was pleased at what I accomplished. The yoga instructors were outstanding. I can't wait to apply the things I learned from them into my practice at home. I feel rested, recharged and inspired!"
~ P. Chin
"A great week! The perfect blending of delicious, fresh food, interesting people, the Zen of yoga and surfing in the perfect tropical setting!"
~ P. Chin
"The trip of a lifetime! Exceptional yoga, beautiful tropical beaches and I even learned to surf. I had always wanted to travel to Costa Rica and with American Yoga Retreats' reputation I knew that I'd be in good hands. It was more than I could have imagined. Thank You!"
~ A. McGarr
"Doing this AYR retreat was the perfect way to celebrate turning 40. The gentle ocean rhythm was just what I needed! It was an incredible gift to be able to leave the stresses of everyday life behind and just focus on *me* for a change. I haven't had a chance to unwind and unplug like that in many, many years. I don't know if it was the relaxing pace, the yoga, the sunshine, the amazing food, or the inspiring company, but I returned home feeling renewed and ready to embrace whatever the next year may hold. If only I could celebrate every birthday with AYR. Thank you!"
~ J. Donahue
"Our experience in Costa Rica was extraordinary and far beyond our expectations. From the warmth of the sun and caring people our days were filled with natural beauty and yoga which is incomparable to any other experience we've had. My mom, sister and I were made to feel so welcome and relaxed it was so hard to leave such a beutiful place. We can't wait to go back! Thank you for making our experience so memorable."
~ E. Lanie
Costa Rica Retreat: Guanacaste Surf Coast
Pura Vida Yoga Retreat
"Pura vida" is a characteristic Costa Rican phrase. It literally means pure life, however, the actual meaning is closer to "this is living!", "going great", or "real living." And there couldn't be a better name for our Costa Rica yoga retreat! Our PURA VIDA Yoga & Surf Retreat is for the young-at-heart (no age limit) over 18! Our Central America home is a beautiful, remote, airy, sustainably-minded wellness haven located in San Juanillo, Costa Rica, minutes from the country's best surfing beaches (Playa Guiones, Playa Pelada & Playa Negra), and a world away from the stress of everyday life. Our eco-friendly bungalows are within easy walking distance of the chemical-free saltwater pool, open-air movement studio, thatched roof dining area, and two of our very own secluded beaches: a world class black sand surfing beach, and a pristine, un-touristy white sand swimming & snorkeling beach.
Costa Rica is called the Switzerland of Central America because of its comfortable lifestyle, peaceful democracy and staggering natural beauty. The Disney-esque cast of creatures - from howler monkeys to toucans - are populous, waves are prime and the sluggish pace seductive. Its territory is just 0.03% of the Earth's surface, yet it touches both the Caribbean & Pacific Oceans and is one of the top 20 most species-diverse countries. One can travel from coast to coast in just 3 hours - amazing!
Yoga & Surf
At AYR's Costa Rica Yoga Retreat you will make new friends and have tons of fun deepening your yoga practice & inner tranquility with "power" and "peace" vinyasa flows + classes in hatha, restorative, yin, acro, yoga nidra & more! Yogis and Yoginis of all levels - beginners through professional teachers - are welcome! Participants take 2 to 3 yoga classes per-day. Absolutely no prior yoga or surf experience is necessary to attend our Pura Vida Costa Rica Retreat, just a desire to detox your body & mind, make new friends, learn cool moves, eat delicious meals, try new things and have a BLAST in one of the most amazing countries on the planet. Be prepared for a full schedule with lots of opportunities for playful adventure and connection with other attendees! Most importantly, be prepared to reconnect with the INSPIRATION in your heart.
Yoga is an amazing tool to promote self-awareness, self-esteem, body awareness and ultimately Self-Love! Many people gravitate to yoga because physical/mental results are quick - plus it's FUN! Whether you're an absolute beginner or experienced yogi/yogini, we have some of the best yoga teachers on the planet. In addition to daily power and restorative yoga classes, styles may include vinyasa, hatha, yin, yoga nidra or "peace out" for total relaxation. Participants take 3 - 4 yoga classes per day (classes can be 60, 75 or 90 min each), and at week's end they get to show off new moves in a Sunset Performance & Closing Ceremony (recorded for family/friends to watch on YouTube) followed by an all-retreat Farewell Dinner.
Our home break is Playa Guiones, 14 km away. Guiones beach is famous for its safe and exceptional surfing conditions. Two group surf lessons are included in the price of this retreat. Your level of skill isn't nearly as important as your level of passion (especially if this is your first surf experience!). The super friendly native instructors (nick-named "Ticos") will help beginners and advanced surfers alike padde out, charge hard, smile & experience the utmost joy of riding warm waves. Want more? For a small fee you can either rent your own board (at your own risk) or schedule additional group/private lessons.
In Costa Rica, participants stay in double-occupancy or dorm-style (6/room) eco bungalows. Single occupancy bungalows are available for an additional fee, but we reccommend sharing rooms for the full community experience. All bungalows come with ceiling fans (AC is not needed), private decks and hammocks looking out into the stunning natural beauty of a jungle teeming with wildlife (howler monkeys, iguanas, birds of paradise, etc.). In addition to the chemical-free saltwater pool and open-air yoga studio, amenities include bio-degradable in-room beauty supplies, a community "Zen Den" (for relaxing, reading and hanging out), wellness spa with three treatment rooms (additional cost), laundry facilities (additional cost), complimentary wi-fi access in common areas, and a Happy Heart Canteen for basic supplies, snacks, apparel & souvenirs.
The open-air, thatched roof dining room at our retreat center is the buzzing heart of American Yoga Retreats Costa Rica. And we take food very seriously. You'll be consuming the most nutritious, delicious and rejuvenating foods, and will leave Costa Rica with tools to continue rebuilding and nourishing your system from the inside out. Since 90% of our cuisine is raw, vegetarian, organic, gluten and dairy free, accommodating food allergies &/or dietary restrictions is no problem. Meal service begins after check-in with Sunday night dinner, and ends before check-out with Saturday morning breakfast. All meals and freshly pressed juices are included in the weekly fee along with two (2) Raw Food Cooking &/or Nutritional classes in our "Loving Food Lab."
Life @ AYR Costa Rica
Activities & Extras
There's a lot more than yoga & surfing happening at AYR Costa Rica! We also offer complimentary activities ranging from relaxing movie nights, adventurous beach and jungle treks, creative arts & crafts challenges, inspiring discussions about everything LOVE, and classes in meditation, nutrition and raw food cooking. As if all of that isn't enough...free time choices include taking an elective dance/yoga/surf class, swimming in the chemical-free saltwater pool, arts & crafts, socializing in the Zen Den, shopping in the Canteen (apparel, accessories, sourvenirs, health food, books, etc)...or just relaxing in your room. All of our complimentary daily activities are included in the tuition cost, giving you plenty of ways to connect, unwind and express yourself during retreat.
And at American Yoga Retreats' Pura Vida Costa Rica, you can enjoy awesome activities & offsite adventures like horseback riding, stand-up paddle boarding, waterfall hikes, beach treks, dolphin tours, snorkeling, canopy tours, birdwatching, river kayaking, sea turtle viewing...and relaxing spa treatments. Additional fees & waivers will be detailed in the Retreat Handbook sent to confirmed participants. Fees will include any necessary transportation and professional guides (where applicable). Optional activities & excursions generally take place during afternoon free time with the exception of a few evening offerings.
Community & Love
Ready to revitalise your spirit? We're bringing happy back with our life-changing retreats! Each American Yoga retreat has a unique theme (detailed in the Retreat Handbook sent to confirmed campers) and is designed to kick the crap out of your negative thought patterns (aka "fear"). Our retreats truly show you how to make love a way of life through daily yoga, meditation, affirmations, connection & creative "right brain" activities. By accessing this state of "flow," you'll reconnect with your intuition and activate untapped inspiration...within the sacred space of a community of like-minded people. More than anything, friendships are what make our retreats so unforgettable. It takes courage to go on a retreat by yourself, but any feeling of alone-ness ends the moment you
arrive and begin forming relationships that transcend stereotpes and last a lifetime. At the start of the week, AYR staff helps retreat participants get to know each other and to build camraderie by organizing participants into teams. The teams earn points by competing in friendly events and working together to complete various tasks throughout the week (photo safaris, scavenger hunts, art projects, etc.).
Just Some of Our Amazing Staff
It takes a lot of enthusiastic, dedicated people to create American Yoga Retreats around the USA and world. Each year AYU staff (new and returning) undergo a rigorous hiring process - and it works! You couldn't ask for more interesting, sensitive and enjoyable teachers. Our top-notch yoga instructors bring to American Yoga Retreats the coolest combinations from some of the best national and international yoga studios and yoga schools. Don't miss out - join AYR for a chance to take classes with the best yoga instructors in the world!
Come join us May 25 - 31, 2014 in Costa Rica!!
P.S. for Partners &/or families: Looking for a vacation for the whole family (or romantic getaway for two!) during or after your loved one attends our retreat? Great - you deserve it and we're here to help! We partner with our Costa Rica Retreat Center - and other area hotels - to offer partner & family vacation packages if you wish to make this a fun vacation for everyone!