12 THINGS I LEARNED ON MY VEGAN YOGA RETREAT IN COSTA RICA
1. YOU WON'T REGRET TAKING A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY
One of the BEST things about being out of the country is you never know when you will have working WIFI! I really wanted to use this trip to SHUT DOWN and take a small break from constant scrolling and snapping. I will admit I spent some time on social media, talking with friends, and posting some beautiful pics but I was completely off email and couldn't receive phone calls and it felt like a TRUE VACAY!
2. THERE IS MORE TO A YOGA RETREAT THAN YOGA...THERE IS ADVENTURE TOO!
My particular retreat offered yoga once in the morning and once in the evening. You were not obligated to go or participate but it was there if you wanted it! So that left a lot of free time for so many other activities like zip lining, hikes through the rain forest, tubing through rivers, horseback riding, and fun beach days! It is all about BALANCE baby!
3. EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL
Going into this retreat I did not know who else was going to be participating other than my friend Allison who was rooming with me. I learned fast that everyone there had a story to tell. It was nice to just listen and exchange advice with each other. We were all going through different milestones in our lives and sharing allowed us to learn a lot about each other and ourselves.
4. MEDITATION IS POWERFUL AND I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE IT DAILY
Every self-help book I have gotten my hands on has swore by it but I guess it took me 50 minutes under a clear sky, sparkling stars and lightning for me to feel the full effect. I spent 50 minutes meditating and it was incredible, the images and thoughts that came into my mind. I wrote everything down in my journal afterwards and plan to continue this practice. It felt extremely liberating and really helped me fall asleep!
5. LANGUAGE IS UNIVERSAL AND BEAUTIFUL
I encourage you to take the time at some point in your life to learn another language...especially if you plan to travel around the world! I spent part of my trip horseback riding with a guide my age... just 26 years old. He knew no English so I had to use all the Spanish I used when I lived in Spain to communicate with him. It was truly amazing to speak to each other in Spanish. I learned that he does not have the time to learn English because he is always working so much and studying to train horses. He has never been to the US but really wants to in the future if he can afford to one day. He is single but has a 4 year old daughter and they both live with his mother. This experience was beyond eye-opening to me. It made me feel extremely blessed and thankful... feelings I may not have gotten out of a booze cruise.
6. VEGAN FOOD IS AMAZEBALLS
No meat. No cheese. No PROBLEM. The biggest surprise about the entire retreat was how incredible all the meals were. Every meal I went up for seconds without feeling too full or guilty in any way shape or form! I had 0 complaints about my plant-based whole foods diet for the week. I would do it again in a heart beat.
7. BE OPEN-MINDED & WILLING TO TRY NEW THINGS
How often do you get to travel to another country? How often do you visit the same country twice? You only live once so live life to the fullest! Tubing? I'm in! Zip lining? Hell yeah! Meditation? Why not? Vegan Food? Keep it coming! An insane yoga pose that looks impossible? You got it! There are people in the world that would do anything to have these experiences. If you are lucky and fortunate enough to travel embrace it to the fullest! You won't have any regrets I promise!
8. NOTHING IS MORE VALUABLE THAN FINISHING A GOOD BOOK
I will say I had the intention to read 3 books but only got through one and a half. But that is totally okay! I took my time with the book "The Universe Has Your Back" by Gabrielle Bernstein and spent a lot of time writing in my journal while reading it. It felt very valuable and rewarding to know I read a book instead of spending my nights on Netflix. This book helped me clear my head and gain focus on my life and taught me to set everyday intentions...something I wouldn't have taken away from binge watching a show.
9. IT IS POSSIBLE TO DETOX YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SOUL ALL AT ONCE
My intentions for this trip were to get a lot of my past out of my head, delete all my dating apps and bullshit from my phone because who needs it right? And give my body a full break from all the high intensity workouts, junk food, and alcohol. And that is exactly what I did. I detoxed my mind with books and conversation with new friends, my body with healthy plant-based foods and daily juices, (I will admit I had a few glasses of sangria to celebrate a birthday but wasn't getting wasted or anything like that!) and I detoxed my soul with nightly meditations and meditations throughout portions of my book. It is all possible if you set your intention and stick to it!
10. TRAVELING TO OTHER COUNTRIES CHANGES YOUR PERSPECTIVE
This was something my yoga retreat leader Shannon said over and over. It really resonated as I met all the different people in Costa Rica. It was so interesting to see how differently people outside of the states live. It made me feel so spoiled but it also made me so much more appreciative of what I do have in life. There are so many people less fortunate in the world and it will make you think twice about complaining or bitching about things in your life if you see with your own eyes how people in other countries live and how much more difficult they may have it.
11. COSTA RICA IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S FEW "BLUE ZONES"
"PURA VIDA" The phrase of Costa Rica. "Pure Life" No matter what your situation is in life someone out there has it less fortunate than you. Costa Ricans are very appreciative of the things they have even if it is very little and choose to live stress free. Because of this Costa Rica is considered one of the Blue Zones throughout the world.. These zones are known to have higher than normal longevity due to their life practices. I wish we could all live this way.
12. NOTHING COMPARES TO SUNSET YOGA
Do it at least once in your life. It is beautiful. It is unforgettable.
For more information on the yoga retreat company I chose Click Here: http://www.bodyworksyogacompany.com/
PURA VIDA FIT FRIENDS!