Twisting yourself into a pretzel is what many people think of when they hear the word “yoga.”
Yoga is the “in” thing in the western world over recent years as people look to ease stress, find ways to relax and live healthier lifestyles.
Yoga, though, is actually more than just the physical; it is a mental and spiritual discipline as well, stretching back 6,000 years ago to ancient India, and associated with meditative practices in Hinduism and Buddhism.
Yoga, in Sanskrit, can be loosely translated as “union;” the original root word yuj means “to yoke” or “attach” yourself to a task. In yoga, the purpose is to find union between mind and body. The ancient “yogis” developed physical stretches and breathing exercises to loosen their muscles and minds in preparation for hours of meditation and spiritual contemplation. The practice overall is the effort to experience divinity personally; to stop suffering over the past or worrying about the future, to instead be eternally present to regard yourself, others and your surroundings with balance.
There are more than 24 different kinds of physical yoga practices. The Yoga Journal lists the main health benefits of yoga as:
- Reducing stress by teaching you how to bring peace to your mind
- Increasing your strength, flexibility and energy flow
- Provide relief from back and neck pain
- Assist with weight loss
- Enhance your muscle tone
- Improve your posture, balance and concentration
- Strengthen your cardiovascular system
- Enhance your digestion and overall health
Costa Rica is a tourism destination that has embraced yoga wholeheartedly. From hotels offering yoga classes to full yoga studios, yoga retreat centers and yoga instructor training schools, you can find some form of yoga practice in nearly every part of the country.
At beautiful Santa Teresa Beach on the Pacific’s Nicoya Peninsula, Hotel Tropico Latino is one of several yoga vacation destinations. You can choose from simply attending a daily yoga class to reserving an entire yoga holiday package or joining a frequently offered week-long yoga retreat. The hotel offers two Vinyasa Flow, an active and fluid form of yoga, classes daily on their shaded wooden yoga deck right on the beach. Ease into perfect relaxation moving and breathing to the rhythmic sound of ocean waves, and gazing upon lush tropical gardens.
- Santa Teresa Beach Yoga Retreats (enchanting-costarica.com)