One of the adventures on my growing bucket list is to go on a yoga retreat. For the past two years I have been watching some of my favorite yogis and studios host retreats around the world. I haven’t been able to make it to any, mostly due to the timing of the retreats, the amount of time I get off from work (two weeks off a year is typical in the US), and the cost. An opportunity came up in June for me to make my own retreat, in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has been high on my list of places to see and I hadn’t visited Central America yet. After intensive searching I found Pranamar Resort Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat on the Pacific coast. I wanted to make sure the place I was staying would feel safe for a solo traveler, offered yoga classes and was close to the ocean. Pranamar checked off all of these points. From the reviews I read, the resort caters well to solo travelers, a yoga class is included with each night stay and it was 20% off each night because it was Green Season in Costa Rica (read more about traveling to Costa Rica during “Green Season”). I booked it immediately.
The sun was just beginning to set as I arrived at the resort. I was welcomed with a tour of the resort grounds and a delicious drink: Shiva’s nectar. A mix of ginger, lime and a third ingredient I can’t remember now. I stopped at the restaurant on the resort grounds, Luc’s Seafood Grill & Chapa for a small dinner before falling asleep in the huge King size bed in my bungalow.
Here is a schedule of what I did while on my very own yoga retreat:
I woke up to the sounds of the crashing waves and jungle noises. Opening the curtains around my bungalow I welcomed the light in and took a moment to take in the beautiful scenery around my bungalow. I was staying in one of three bungalows on the resort grounds. There are also villas you can stay in that are two stories and great for those with larger groups. Each villa and bungalow has an outdoor shower, a feature that I love! There is something different about showering outside and looking up to see the sky and trees above you.
Breakfast: Chia Seed Oatmeal with granola and honey.
10am Yoga class in the Yoga Shala located on the resort grounds. Taught by Nancy, the class helped me stretch out all of the kinks from travelling the day before.
I headed to the beach for a walk and found a hammock to relax in while I read my book and took in the beautiful ocean view.
Lunch: Lentil Burger and Passion Fruit Lemonade.
After my late lunch I hung around my bungalow and took pictures practicing yoga. The porch was the perfect back drop.
Catching the sunset, I took a walk along the beach before dinner.
Dinner: Grilled prawns wrapped in bacon with plantains and fruit.
Breakfast: Fruit bowl with yogurt and granola.
We got back to the hotel around two in the afternoon and I took it easy, enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch and my chocolate baked good we got on the way back from the waterfall tour
Another walk along the beach watching the sunset. I could have spent every evening for the rest of the year walking along that beach =o)
Dinner: Sushiman – seared tuna with rice, avocado and a salad with a glass of red wine.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, beans, rice, fried cheese and plantains.
It was another sunny day so I took the opportunity to take photos along the beach while the tide was still low.
10am yoga class taught by Amy. The space in the yoga studio is absolutely stunning. It’s a large open floorplan with high ceilings and you can hear the crashing of the waves on the beach. Amy taught a wonderful class and included some reflexology into the practice which was fun to learn!
After class I made my way back to the hammock on the beach to continue reading my book.
The breakfast had filled me up so for lunch I decided to stay on my porch and try the different fruits I bought the day before. I started with two Rambutan fruits. It’s very similar to lychee but looks like it has spiky hair. I bought one Maracuya which was absolutely delicious! The jelly and seeds inside were juicy. To end my fruit meal I ate an entire papaya! Papaya is my favorite fruit and I could eat one every day. It’s also very good for your digestion and should usually be eaten first thing in the morning.
After my light lunch I was back at the beach getting some tanning in. What can I say, I was keeping a very busy schedule.
Before dinner I took my camera with me to take some photos of the resort and beach. I recently bought the claw, a flexible tripod, to take with me on my travels. It has been great to use because it’s much smaller than carrying around a big tripod and I can attach it to just about anything.
Dinner: Guacamole and plantain chips with a cold bottle of Imperial beer, the local beer. I have to say hands down this may have been the best guacamole I have ever had! I left my phone and camera in my bungalow that evening so I didn’t get to take a photo of the guacamole, but trust me it’s delicious!
My last full day at the resort.
Breakfast: Pancakes with strawberries, fruit and chocolate chips. My favorite breakfast during my entire stay.
One last morning walk along the beach, taking a few more photos. The tide is low in the mornings and there are tide pools just left of the resort. They were fun to walk around and see the little crabs and fish in each tide pool.
10am yoga class with Amy. Another great class and Amy taught us how to practice getting into the grasshopper pose. Only one person could get into it but I was excited to learn a new pose!
Taking a dip in the pool while the sun was out. I had incredible weather the entire time and it only rained the previous night and some small rain clouds continued through the day. I have to say I was very lucky on the weather, it had been raining for three weeks before I came, it cleared up the day I arrived and lasted throughout my entire time there.
Lunch: Salad with fresh fruits, vegetables and a mango sauce.
I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on my porch, reading blog posts and working on my Prague café post. After being indoors for most of the beginning of the year (I live in Chicago) it was just what I needed, to be sitting outside and breathing fresh air.
I caught the last sunset of my stay and walked to Luc’s Seafood Grille for dinner.
Dinner: Guacamole with plantain chips (I had to have it one more time) and a slice of banana bread for dessert. I sat at the bar my last evening and enjoyed two absolutely delicious sangrias.
It was hard to leave the next morning because I had started to feel at home in my bungalow and the resort. The staff went above and beyond to make my stay comfortable and were always so friendly. I recommend staying at the Pranamar Resort Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat and making your own little yoga retreat out of your time there. You can also enjoy relaxing massages at their wellness center, I know it’s shocking I hadn’t booked any sort of massage during my stay but that only gives me another reason to go back.
This was my first yoga retreat and most definitely will not be my last. Of course I plan on joining a group for a retreat somewhere in the world one day, but for now I can say I made my own retreat and loved it.
Thank you to the wonderful staff at Pranamar Resort Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat.
x the Adventurer
Disclaimer: I paid for my stay at Pranamar Resort Oceanfront Villas and Yoga Retreat, all opinions are my own.