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5 Things Your Body will Love this Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2018
Valentine’s Day isn’t only for showing loved ones some extra love, it’s for you, too! Embrace this Valentine’s Day as a happy reminder to give your body a little extra boost and a “Thank You” for everything it does for you each and every day. Here’s a few easy things you can do on Vday to give your body some extra love...   Take a deep breath Did you know that most humans are not using the maximum capacity of their lungs and breathing correctly? Taking the time to breath deeply is a quick, simple way to relieve stress, muscles, aches, and pains. Effortlessly detox and sleep easy with some deep breathing!   Have a good stretch Often we forget to give our body a good stretch. Just a few minutes of stretching per day can increase our flexibility, prevent injuries, and heal some areas that are feeling a bit tight. Lower back issues or a stiff neck from the day-to-day routine? It’s incredible what a little stretching can do to change the overall physical state of our body. So take a few minutes this Valentine’s Day and show your body some love!   Drink a big glass of water Did you know most Americans are dehydrated? It’s easy to forget to hydrate our bodies between our busy schedules and cooler weather. The trick is to be drinking water before you’re feeling thirsty. Proper hydration helps your body run smoothly and keeps your skin looking and feeling fresh. Give your body a good cleanse with lots of water all day long!   Get some sunshine Cold sunshine, warm sunshine, whatever kind of sunshine. These seemingly never-ending, long winter months that you may be enduring are tough. If you can, get some sunshine on those cheekbones. If you can’t, perhaps plan yourself a vacation to the tropics for a recharge! Costa Rica, maybe?   Fill up on fresh, organic goodness Perhaps it’s not in everyone’s budget to be eating strictly organic all the time. But hey, it's Valentine’s Day! Treat your body to some yummy organic goodness and along with your breathing, stretching, water, and sunshine, a healthy meal will perfectly compliment your Valentine’s Day.   Don’t worry, we get it, we can all be guilty of forgetting to tend to our body’s most important needs. If you’re looking for more than just a day to immerse yourself in breathing, stretching, and focusing on your health while being surrounded by sunshine, consider booking a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica at Selva Armonia Retreat Center! Check out our lineup for this year and get your body, mind, and spirit on the right track! Happy Valentine’s Day! <3   By Sarah Blanks
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4 Benefits of Switching to a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet

January 25, 2018
Diets are everywhere and just about on the face of every magazine these days, especially with the holiday season coming to an end. Here, we'll focus on 4 things that happen when you switch to a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet. But we want to get one thing straight: This is not the type of ‘diet’ you may be thinking of. The Whole Food Plant-Based Diet is a style of eating where animal-based products and processed foods are not consumed. This means meat, eggs, oil, refined sugar, or anything processed is avoided! It’s not about cutting calories, measuring protein, or using some confusing point system. The Whole Food Plant-Based diet is all about fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, whole grains, and other foods straight from the source. Why would someone choose this style of eating as a way of life? Although the transition period may be challenging, the benefits of switching to a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet are impressive. Here are 4 things that may happen after making the switch: 1. Healthy weight loss Once your system has some time away from all of those processed foods and options that simply are not serving the body, weight loss can steadily happen as a result from this style of eating. Thanks to the internet, it’s pretty easy to get a hold of some expert advice on how to initiate a diet in which all of your nutritional needs are satisfied. A well-rounded Whole Food Plant-Based Diet paired with regular exercise can be a great option for someone who is would like to lose weight in a healthy way. 2. Reverse/prevention of chronic illness and disease It’s no surprise that eating directly from the source is able to prevent chronic illness and disease. But did you know it can even reverse them as well? There’s been a lot of talk about how the diet is a powerful tool in healing our bodies and keeping them healthy for a lifetime. In many cases, food is the best medicine. 3. Improved immune system Are you sick multiple times a year? If the body is stuffed with processed foods, refined sugars, and other gook, it’s no wonder you may be getting sick. A Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet is a great way to get your immune system back on track and give it a boost. Try it out and you may see that you’re sick less often and you recover faster from an illness as well. 4. Overall better health A Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet is linked to assisting the body in maintaining overall better health. When you’re eating directly from the source, you’re getting the nutrients that nature intended and your body knows how to use. That seems like more than enough of a reason to at least give it a try, right? Other styles of eating can also provide a fully nutritious way of living and we encourage you to do your research and tune in to what really feels right for your body. Here’s to health and happiness for the New Year!   By Sarah Blanks
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5 Tips for the Beginner Yogi

January 5, 2018
Yes, yoga has incredible health benefits for mind, body, and spirit. We know that. Maybe your social media feed has been screaming at you to get on a mat and overloading you with yoga poses, yoga pants, yoga towels, yoga, yoga, yoga! Perhaps your friends are all into it, your mom is into it, and even your grandma is stuck in child’s pose. But what if you’re just not that into it? You’re not alone! If yoga is something you truly feel can benefit you physically, emotionally, and spiritually, don’t let a little internal resistance hinder what could be an epic journey on the pursuit of your yoga practice. Here are a few tips to finally “get into yoga.”  
  1. Have an accountability buddy!
This is a must and number one on my list. Having that friend or family member yoga buddy who calls you in the morning to ensure you get to class can make a world of a difference. I know… it’s cold, you didn’t sleep well last night, you have more work to do. You’re accountability buddy is there to see you through those excuses and get you onto that mat!
  1. Consistency is key
There’s no need to go buy an unlimited package and make a goal to practice five days a week and then dub yourself a failure when you only make it to two. Does anyone remember SMART goals? Start out with what you CAN do, and be consistent. If you can't hit a class as many times a week as you'd like, at least get some stretching in each day for a few minutes to turn sporadic practice into a solid habit.
  1. Go at a time that fits your energy levels
If you’re not a morning person, for peet’s sake, don’t go in the mornings. You don’t need to torture yourself to begin practicing yoga. However, if you think a morning practice, against your usual norm may benefit you, then go for it. Do yourself a favor and pick a time that fits your energy levels. Most studios offer classes at various times of the day.
  1. Find a class or style that fits you
I initially abandoned yoga, shortly after trying, because I wasn't in the right class for me. Try a few different classes and see what you like. If you’d like to linger in some poses and stretch out some muscles you haven’t used in a long time, don’t opt for the class where the instructor is almost flying through the sequences. Yoga classes are not a one-size-fits-all matter. Realizing there are different types and paces of yoga that fit individual needs can reduce some frustrations you may have surrounding it.
  1. Evaluate why it's a challenge to "get into yoga"
If you aren't interested in it, then that's OK! But if you genuinely think yoga can positively impact your life but have a hard time consistently practicing, take the time to figure out what part you're struggling with. If it feels too hard, try a beginner level class. If it hurts, research poses that can help certain parts of your body. Reduce whatever obstacles you're facing so you can make a smoother transition while practicing yoga. Now grab your accountability buddy and get on that mat! Oh! And if the cold is the main cause of your lack of motivation… why not book yourself a yoga retreat in Costa Rica? What better way to kick start your practice than in the sunshine above the salty sea?

See our Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica!

  By Sarah Blanks
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