Archives

Living the Envision Way at Selva Armonia

March 22, 2017
A group of envisioners this year had the opportunity to experience community living the Envision way. Embrace: An Envision Community Retreat was run this year for the first time at Selva Armonia Retreat Center by the founders of Envision Festival February 17th through the 22nd. Locals and travelers who came to Selva Armonia were able to fully immerse themselves into an Envision sustainable community through organic eating, yoga classes, holistic workshops and plant tours, waterfall excursions, an ecstatic dance pool party, a cacao ceremony and various jungle activities. Selva Armonia is a sustainable retreat center owned by one of the founders of Envision Festival, Josh Wendel. Attendees were able to attend all 4 days or purchase day passes to gain access to the exclusive workshops and events being held during the retreat. The leaders were able to provide an intimate setting for guests as they were able to interact with the incredible speakers and leaders of Envision who came to lead workshops at Selva. Learning, relaxation, healthy living, music, and play were all a part of the magical four days leading up to the legendary Envision Festival 2017. Visitor’s taste buds buzzed over farm to table meals served fresh each day with ingredients grown organically on the retreat property.  Guests also had the chance to embark on a farm tour and learn during a medicinal plant workshop facilitated by Josh Wendel. Founder and primary Director of Punta Mona Center and co-founder of Envision Festival, Stephen Brooks, enthusiastically showered guests with knowledge and his expertise on permaculture during his workshop. Permaculturist Brooks was also one of the highlighted keynote speakers after the retreat at the festival this year. Herbalist of 15 years and Envision team member, Sarah Wu, graced the retreat with her knowledge and presence on herbal medicine, healing, and herbal first aid. Sound healing, sweat lodge, jungle spa, cacao ceremonies, and ecstatic dance activities lined the evenings as guests prepared for the grand activities of the festival. Healing sounds of the jungle paired with daily yoga classes laid the ground for ultimate relaxation and dynamic interactions. Benita Wolfe (BJ) Galvan, master yoga teacher, founder of Handstands Anonymous and co-founder of the Anusara School of Hatha Yoga shared her contagious passion for yoga during each day of the retreat and at the festival. This world traveler offered Rhythm of the Spiral Dance class at Envision, but only members at Selva Armonia received exclusive sessions with this brilliant teacher of teachers. Practice yoga at a Costa Rica Yoga Retreat at Selva Armonia The retreat ended with an epic pool party with live exotic bass vibrations by producer/composer Govinda. Govinda laid the path for the mesmerizing music that was to come during the festival. Leaders of Envision created a spectacular atmosphere at Selva Armonia for newcomers and seasoned Envision Festival veterans to share unforgettable moments and create connections that will last a lifetime. Envisioners embraced and were able to fully live the vision of Envision Festival and Selva Armonia’s message on how to live sustainably and contribute to a thriving environment. Selva Armonia truly embodies the core value of building a fruitful environment through sustainable living and is able to spread this incredibly valuable knowledge through the Embrace retreat experience. Can’t wait for next year to experience community living the Envision way? Selva Armonia Retreat Center hosts retreats all-year-round! Did you have an unforgettable Envision experience? Are you planning to come to Envision 2018 and want to fully embrace the Envision way of life? Stay tuned for next years retreat and extend your experience and make it unforgettable!   By Sarah Blanks
READ MORE

Should I be concerned about Zika in Costa Rica?

March 10, 2017
Costa Rica is well known for its magnificent nature, epic waterfalls, exotic animals, paradise beaches, and much more! However, the word “Zika” buzzed all over various media outlets and the internet for months creating worry for travelers who wished to head to this remarkable country for a much needed vacation or extended stay. Coverage and panic over the virus seemed to spread like wildfire throughout the United States but all seemed pretty quiet and calm down here in Costa Rica! As a currently 8 month pregnant expat, who has lived here for over a year and half now, I was getting many questions from friends and potential visitors about the prevalence of the virus down here. Educating yourself on the facts of the virus along with ways that you can protect yourself often can help provide the answer if you are wondering if you should stay clear of Costa Rica because of the Zika virus. Before deciding to postpone your trip, it may help to look at the facts of the Zika virus.   1. This is Not a New Virus! Zika has been around for at least 70 years that we know of! This particular virus is a mosquito born virus that can be found in the Americas along with dengue, chikungunya, malaria, and yellow fever. It is uniquely different from other mosquito born viruses in that it can be transmitted sexually. If using the correct precautions to protect yourself from the virus as you would with other diseases that can also be transmitted this way, you can significantly reduce your risk and worry.   2. The Symptoms are Extremely Mild The symptoms of Zika can hardly compare to what goes around doing flu season in the North Americas! Most who contract this virus are not aware of it and do not fall ill. The most common symptom of this virus is, none! If any symptoms are displayed, they include a headache, slight fever, possible rash, and joint pain. These may only last for the duration of a few days to a week.   3. There is No Real Danger to the Average Traveler This virus poses no real threat or danger to a typical healthy traveler. Due to its zero to extremely mild side effects, travelers do not need to feel urged to change their plans. Individuals have traveled throughout the Americas for countless years while taking precautions to malaria, dengue, and chikungunya, which have also existed in these areas. The biggest danger that Zika poses is to pregnant women or those who wish to become pregnant. In this case, it is always urged to speak with a doctor, view CDC recommendations, and make your own decision on what you feel is best. (As a side note! I have been living in Costa Rica throughout the entire duration of my pregnancy since August  2016 and I am expecting a healthy baby in May!)   *How to Proactively Protect Yourself If you’re still nervous about traveling to Costa Rica or another area that has reported cases of Zika, (which is almost all of the Americas now) there are tons of ways that you can be proactive and drastically reduce your risk of getting the virus!
  • Bring EPA registered insect repellent
  • Cover exposed skin
  • Sleep in rooms with screens or windows
  • Use condoms as contraceptive protection
  • Hang a mosquito net over sleeping area if no screens available or if sleeping outside
  • Visit Costa Rica during dry seasons
    • Pacific: Early January - late April
    • Caribbean: Late September - early November
  Talk of the virus has seemed to have left the media in the more recent months and more travelers are taking the time to look at the facts and still enjoy short or lengthy vacations to these areas. Don’t allow media hype to cause you to miss out on a vacation, yoga retreat, or grand adventure to Costa Rica!  A part of being a smart traveler is doing your own research and taking all necessary precautions you see fit. Look at the facts and bring your repellent! Costa Rica is NOT a country you want to miss out on visiting! Pura Vida! By Sarah Blanks
READ MORE

4 Things You’ll Experience at a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

February 16, 2017
It’s no surprise that Costa Rica is a top destination for those looking to fully immerse themselves into a yoga retreat. The jungle is green, lush, and buzzing with unfamiliar sounds day and night! The climate is incredibly diverse. By day, you may be sweating out built up toxins on the beach, but nighttime may have you bundled up and feeling cozy along a mountain ridge. The culture is vivacious, happy, and incredibly warm. It’s hard not to get sucked into the “pura vida” lifestyle here where people are kind to others and live in a more laid back manner. The health food nut will certainly lose themselves in the wide abundance of fruits and foods that are available to devour! Costa Rica is certainly ranked high up on the list of must-see destinations due to the tranquil, yet explorative environment it provides to those who chose to retreat here. What can one expect to do besides yoga when attending a retreat here? Here are 4 things you'll experience at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica: 1. Learn Yogis who step into a retreat setting in Costa Rica are in for a real treat and can expect to learn much more than solely yoga related information. Retreats are an immersive experience which can include a variety of different workshops in culinary arts, permaculture, herbal medicine, sound healing, holistic nutrition, and much more! Costa Rica’s uniqueness attracts master yoga teachers from all over the world and provides a truly exquisite experience for those who open themselves to it. Many retreat centers here have their own gardens or small farms where the food is brought fresh directly from the earth to the table. Costa Rica is filled with many opportunities to try different foods and learn how they can be used to nourish and heal your body. 2. Play Playing isn’t only for kids! Costa Rica has a way of unleashing one’s inner child to explore all the new sights, smells, and textures that cover the diverse country. Those who choose a yoga retreat in Costa Rica get to enjoy mother nature’s jungle playground. There’s no better way to wake up than taking a splash into crystal clear water at the peak of morning or sliding down a waterfall after an intense yoga practice. Dancing under the stars, playing with new poses, and rising with a newly awakened energy each morning brings out the natural playfulness that has been itching to be released! Two coastlines of beaches mean there are many private spots to explore here. Costa Rica offers an abundance of vibrant seashells, picture perfect sunsets, warm ocean waves, diverse wildlife, and much more for those ready to come and explore! 3. Unwind Costa Rica is the ultimate place to unwind! This top vacation spot harbors some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is a great location for those looking to go off the grid. No wonder so many come here to simply unwind. Attending a yoga retreat in this magnificent country provides the perfect environment for one to detach, relax, and recalibrate. No alarm clock needed here! Wake up with the birds and the rest of the sleepy jungle with the first rays of sunlight fluttering through the trees. In downtime between yoga sessions, meals, and excursions, simply enjoy lazy moments in a hammock with a book or snag a nap surrounded by a refreshing, salted breeze. Stand speechless as the sun dips just below the horizon of the ocean and the vibrantly colored sky. Then, polish off the evening with the peaceful hum and chirps of the curious creatures of the night. Leave all responsibilities and worries at the airport gate, as there is no room for them here! 4.  Yoga Of course there will be yoga! You can count on this tropical setting to add dimension and excitement into your yoga practice. Retreats are a special space where individuals can connect, collaborate, try new techniques, and bring renewed focus and presence into their practice. Through a retreat, one is able to extend their practice beyond the mat by living fully immersed and absorbing every ounce that the retreat has to offer. As each day passes, Costa Rica’s incredible beauty draws each participant more into harmony with the nature that surrounds them. The only way to truly feel and know why so many are attracted here to practice is to come experience the magic for yourself! Does this type of retreat call to the core of your being? Join us for a retreat! Come live in a unique, immersive experience of yoga, workshops, healthy eating, learning, playing, and more.

Also See: Is a Yoga Teacher Training For You? and 3 Ways to Transform Your Yoga Practice

READ MORE

3 Tips for Teaching Yoga Alongside your Day Job

February 1, 2017
Here are 3 Tips for Teaching Yoga Alongside Your Day Job! If you’ve completed a yoga teacher training, it’s safe to assume that you love yoga so much, you want to teach and inspire others with this karmic gift! Whether your goal is to quit your day job and become a full-time yoga instructor or start out part-time, teaching yoga alongside your current employment has benefits and is a great way to get into the grove of teaching. Yoga instructors are taking on a big role! Teaching yoga while maintaining your regular employment gives you the unique opportunity to further connect with your students, keep balance in your own life, and explore teaching without expectations. Here are three tips to consider while embarking on your teaching journey. 1 ~ Purely Enjoy what you Teach Not relying on teaching yoga for income can enhance the teaching experience for starting out teachers or even seasoned instructors. If teaching yoga is not your main source of income, the stress is relieved over whether you are landing unpaid vs. paid gigs starting out. The trials and tribulations of “making it work” can take the passion out of teaching for you and negatively affect the space held for your students. Being open to unpaid teaching positions can allow you to positively impact the community around you, increase your network, and lead to future paid teaching positions that are a right fit for you. Busy time of the year and no one showed up for your class? That’s OK! Teach anyways! Because you are in it to teach regardless of who is attending. When you are not reliant on the income made through teaching yoga and you can take it completely out of equation, your exciting yoga teaching journey is allowed to unfold on its own. You can eliminate any anxiety over how many students may show up to your class and simply enjoy what you are teaching with no financial strings attached. Don’t underestimate the impact of teaching for individuals and more intimate groups! 2 ~ Practice what you Preach Incorporating yoga teaching into your life serves as a constant reminder to practice what you preach. As a yoga instructor, you have the unique opportunity to inspire, enhance, and be a positive example in your students lives. Why not use this to further motivate you to keep up with your own disciplined lifestyle that you have committed to through your practice? The impacts that you have personally drawn out of yoga will continually flood your everyday life and could impact others as you teach. Practice makes perfect! Practice keeping your mind, body, and soul balanced and healthy. Apply what you teach in your own life through your own personal and professional obstacles. Practicing principles used in yoga to help balance your own life will further allow you to assist students as they are on their continual journey to balance their inner selves and outer circumstances. Yoga instructors assist in beautiful transformations of self and others by being energetically present and mindful on a daily basis. Nurture your body, mind, and soul with balance, honor, and presence. Honor your students by showing up physically and energetically during your sessions! 3 ~ Give Space When instructing yoga on top of your professional, personal, and other life commitments, you may be in touch with an idea of the stress and other challenges that your fellow students are bringing to the mat. This allows you to give that space for students to work through what they are shedding. Create the space for them to be, to come into alignment and allow their bodies intelligence to come to life. Through this process, people change their entire lives. By continually working on your own challenges and restoring your balance, you can uniquely understand your students needs. The space you create for your students to simply “be” can positively impact decisions, healing,  and their own process. Give space for students so that they can use this sacred practice to peel away the day’s worries or shed deeper issues that they have been struggling with. By Sarah Blanks   Apr. 16th 2017  - Apr. 22nd 2017

Yoga Caravan Retreat in Costa Rica

Apr. 30th 2017 - May 7th 2017

Healing Trauma Retreat in Costa Rica

Also See: Is a Yoga Teacher Training For You? and 3 Ways to Transform Your Yoga Practice

READ MORE

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe for news updates and more

FOLLOW US ON