With the new year right around the corner, retreat season is officially upon us, and our team at Selva Armonia is so excited for a year full of growth, fun, and fulfillment! We love sharing our space with people from all around the world, giving them a chance to reconnect back to nature and their inner selves. Every retreat offers something special and unique to its attendees, and we're so grateful to be able to facilitate those once-in-a-lifetime experiences in our jungle home. Keep reading to preview some of the amazing Costa Rica retreats we have in store for January 2020!
Wide Open Writing
January 19-25, 2020 Hosted by: Dulcie Whitman & Nancy Coleman
"Writing is a path to the creative genius in all of us. Whether you call yourself a writer or not, we know the transformational power of putting yourself in a nurturing environment with permission to notice what you notice and then write about it.
Come be part of a writing community that is devoted to co-creating magic in a place well-known for its magnificent scenery, gourmet vegetarian food, and deep connection to the natural world. Join us for 7 days/6 nights as we settle our body mind and spirit into the magical bounty of the Costa Rican Rainforest."
January 29- February 4, 2020 Hosted by: Erin Ward-Williams & Victoria Hegedus
"Join yoga and movement educators, Erin Ward-Williams and Victoria Hegedus, on a one-week feel-your-best retreat in beautiful Uvita, Costa Rica. Think yoga, mindful movement, and fueling your body with nature's most nutritious foods.
Enjoy morning vinyasa yoga practices as well as offerings of functional movement that get you feeling your muscles and building true body awareness. This is your chance to experience yoga and Costa Rica's natural beauty all in one laid-back and inclusive setting... explore waterfalls, lounge by the pool, or head down to the beach for a peaceful retreat. Join us for a tropical adventure as we zip-line through the treetops and dance with the waves of the Pacific!"
Coming Soon: The Selva Armonia Plant and Recipe Book!
December 7, 2019
If you’ve ever paid us a visit in the jungle, you probably already know how much love goes into the preparation and presentation of our food. We draw inspiration for our recipes from Mother Nature herself, harvesting ingredients from our garden and infusing the Selva Armonia spirit into each nourishing, vegan meal.
Today, we’re proud to announce that you can soon take your favorite recipes from the rainforest home with you!
Inspired by our incredible edible garden, two of our former volunteers, Néstor Feijoo Melián (@rayon.es) and Eva Díaz Bethencourt (@evadiazbeth), returned to Selva Armonia earlier this year to collaborate on this special project with our head chef, Yery Picado (@chefyery).
Thanks to the hard work and devotion of these three wonderful humans, the Selva Armonia Plant & Recipe Book will be available for purchase online in early 2020! A direct reflection of the love that surrounds our kitchen and gardens, the Selva Armonia Plant & Recipe Book is full of your favorite vegan recipes made on-site and fun descriptions of the ingredients that flourish in our Costa Rica gardens. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you're the first to find out how you can get a copy and put some Pura Vida in your kitchen!
See what guests are saying about our food:
“Selva was gorgeous at every turn, and the staff was the most warm, friendly, and full of high energy. We had the most relaxing stay and amazing meals on site. You won't want to leave to head down to the beach, but the beaches are also uncrowded and gorgeous. Can't recommend enough.”
Lance P., 2019
“Wonderful yoga retreat with a view of the ocean! The staff were the best and friendliest. Meals were fresh off the farm!”
Francis S., 2017
“Absolutely stunning location with fantastic views. The staff are all friendly and very helpful. I can’t begin to explain how wonderful all the meals were. I definitely would love to go back some day. Pura Vida at its best!”
Individuals in increasing numbers are seeking out sweat lodge experiences for various reasons. This comes as no surprise due to the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits that a sweat lodge can offer! Sweat lodges are an ancient tradition that is found in many cultures all around the world. These traditions certainly vary from each geographical location, but there are common benefits and purposes shared by those who participate. Sweat lodge ceremonies in North America are typically associated with Native American cultures, but other cultural influences can be found as well.
If you’re thinking of attending a sweat lodge, it’s important to do your research! Find out how they work, contemplate what you're hoping to accomplish through your experience, and learn about how you can benefit and stay safe!
How does it work?
Sweat lodges are typically made from materials such as clay, stone, tree branches, or other natural materials. In some lodges, inorganic materials are incorporated in the structure. Stones are placed in the center of the lodge, water is poured over the stones, and a heavy steam is created which fills the air. Complete silence during ceremonies may be a part of the process, as to allow for participants to conduct work inwards. It is not uncommon for ceremonies to include chanting, drumming, or periods of meditation. Checking ahead of time to understand the atmosphere of a ceremony that you plan to attend will help you select the experience that you most desire.
Sweat lodges typically last between 2-3 hours. Much longer than the mere 20-30 minute limit recommended for a sauna! The spiritual aspect of a sweat lodge is what sets it apart from the experience of a sauna. During the 2-3 sweat, there are typically breaks between rounds and water is provided. It is a good idea to completely familiarize yourself with the procedure of a sweat lodge that you plan to attend as they may vary depending on venue.
Why are people seeking this experience?The reasons for attending a sweat lodge ceremony vary greatly for each individual. Traditionally, Native American cultures engaged in ceremonies to show gratitude, facilitate healing, seek wisdom, and welcome visions. Participants enter into these experiences today for many of the same reasons and leave feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. Sweat lodges are said to bring spiritual purification, mental clarity, and a renewal of inner strength. Many may be seeking to experience an emotional release or have come to heal ailments of the body or of one’s soul. The atmosphere of a lodge allows one to learn about themselves and revive their inner strength. We highly recommend evaluating your purpose for attending a ceremony and select one that can best help you achieve this purpose! What are some Health Benefits?Imagine you are a sponge filled with water. When squeezed, water, dirt, and other toxic materials are expelled and flushed out of the system! There are proven health benefits to sweating and the release of these toxins. Sweat is not the only thing being released from the body! Endorphins, that are typically present during heavy physical activity, are also released during a sweat lodge. The increased temperature in the body during the ceremony is said to help fight infections, ease muscle pain, and benefit the body in other ways. Are Sweat Lodges Safe?Sweat lodges are safe. As long as the leader puts the safety of participants first at all times and ensures that the conditions are completely safe within the lodge as well. It is important to research a ceremony you wish to attend and their leader before attending. It is also crucial to check with your doctor to evaluate any pre-existing conditions that you may have before entering into this experience. ALWAYS ask for help if you’re in need! Due to exposure to the heat, it’s vital to reach out if you are feeling dizzy or dehydrated. Don’t feel the need to push yourself. Listen to your body, take breaks, and consult with your leader for any needs you may have.More on the Sweat Lodge Experience!
By Sarah Blanks
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 MildThe 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 TravelerThis 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 YourselfIf 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
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!
By Sarah Blanks