“Keep close to Nature’s heart … and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~ John Muir
Leaving everything you are familiar with and going to a new destination could be the recipe for any manner of trip. Add in a program of relaxation designed to clear the mind and ease tension, healthy vegetarian cuisine, time in nature and exercise that restores you, and you have the makings of a Yoga Holiday.
Yoga retreats, or “holidays” as they can be called, are incredibly popular nowadays as a way to have a healthy vacation. While traditional vacations often leave you feeling exhausted, yoga retreats actually energize and rejuvenate, the way a vacation is supposed to do. A yoga retreat is perfect if you are looking to deepen your practice, or try yoga for the first time.
As a mental and spiritual discipline, the practice of yoga stretches back 6,000 years to ancient India. 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 focuses on the union and balance of mind, body and spirit.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress contributes to 70% of the world’s diseases. Many doctors now recognize the benefits of yoga, and that by attending a yoga retreat (or many different retreats whenever possible) you can learn techniques that will lessen the likelihood of developing a stress-related illness. Short-term and long-term benefits of yoga include flexibility, physical strength and coordination, improved cardiovascular and neurological health through better breathing, and “staying younger longer” by maintaining a flexible and strong spine.
“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~ Bob Harper
“Yoga brings me more awareness to everyday living, and more balance in myself. I have more energy, am more spiritually in tune, and live a better, healthy life. Yoga makes me feel whole,” says Costa Rica yoga instructor Leah MacLauchlan. “I wish the whole world was doing yoga; I think the world would be a happier place if everyone was practicing yoga.”
MacLauchlan began dedicating herself to her passion of yoga 10 years ago. She says one of the greatest aspects of a yoga retreat is that during it, you are “eating, living and breathing” yoga and can really relax and recharge. You have the chance to re-examine your motivations, goals and beliefs in life and get re-acquainted with yourself. Another benefit is to meet like-minded people and develop even lifelong friendships. “When you do yoga as a group, you build off each others’ good energy and can learn from one another,” explains MacLauchlan.
Better still, you can discover new places as yoga retreats are usually held in beautiful settings around the world. Spectacular Santa Teresa Beach on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is a perfect yoga retreat destination. Its white sand beaches, lush tropical rainforest vegetation and superb sunsets make a marvelous backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Pranamar Oceanfront Villas & Yoga Retreat, winner of the 2012 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award, hosts yoga retreats and workshops with international teachers and their resident yoga instructor throughout the year. Set right on the water at Santa Teresa Beach, Pranamar Villas is a gorgeous, intimate boutique hotel with luxury two-story villas, elaborate beachfront bungalows, abundant tropical gardens, an organic healthy-cuisine restaurant and a free-form saltwater pool. They as well offer all-inclusive yoga vacations, surfing and yoga holidays, or simply drop-in during your stay for daily yoga classes taught by certified, professional instructors.
Rediscover your inherent connection with yourself and nature in the astounding beauty of Costa Rica at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas & Yoga Retreat.
“Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without.” ~ Ymber Delecto