5 Ways to Practice Yoga in Costa Rica
Unroll your mat, breathe in the fresh jungle air, and let the Pura Vida spirit guide your practice! Costa Rica's stunning natural beauty and serene surroundings make it the ideal destination to explore the benefits of yoga.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced yogi, we will guide you through the incredible opportunities to practice yoga in this tropical paradise. From breathtaking beachfront sessions to lush jungle retreats, Costa Rica offers a variety of options to nurture your mind, body, and soul. Join us as we explore the yoga experiences awaiting you in this picturesque destination!
Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica
No matter your accommodation preferences or yoga level, there’s a yoga retreat for everyone in Costa Rica! Here are two of my personal favorites:
Nestled along the Osa Peninsula's lush rainforests, Playa Cativo Lodge offers a one-of-a-kind fusion of jungle and coastal beauty. This eco-luxe boutique resort is perched on the shores of Golfo Dulce (accessible only by boat), creating an idyllic backdrop for immersive nature experiences and adventure. Among its enticing offerings is the Wellness Signature package, a four-night retreat designed to nurture your body and spirit. This package boasts a variety of activities, from guided river walks to enthralling rainforest expeditions.
Every day, you're treated to an hour of meditation and yoga, helping you connect with your inner self amidst the Osa Peninsula's natural wonders. A highlight? The resort's commitment to serving organic cuisine, sourced directly from its own farm, ensuring a culinary journey in tune with your wellness aspirations.
Located in the heart of the Blue Zone, near the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, lies Pranamar Villas. The intimate bungalows and villas, constructed from locally-sourced bamboo and complemented with imported Indonesian furniture, blend seamlessly with the surrounding lush gardens and tranquil pools. It's the perfect backdrop for a yoga retreat. Pranamar boasts an expansive yoga shala, offering classes and retreats year-round for yogis of all levels.
And for those seeking a full wellness experience? The on-site spa provides a range of treatments, from detoxification and reflexology to soft tissue bodywork and beachside massages, ensuring a holistic rejuvenation. And let's not forget: with the famous waves of Santa Teresa just a stone's throw away, many guests combine their yoga sessions with exhilarating surf adventures, striking the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure.
Teacher Trainings in Costa Rica
Yoga teacher training courses are an excellent way to deepen your practice or begin sharing your passion with others. After completing my own training, I've felt more aligned, both on and off the mat!
Costa Rica is home to several renowned teacher training programs. One that truly shines is offered by the Nexus Institute in Nosara. They offer immersive three-week teacher training sessions throughout the year, with options for both 200 and 300-hour Yoga Alliance certifications. These cater to both seasoned instructors and newcomers to teaching. Remember, the type of accommodation you choose—be it shared rooms, private ones, or off-site—can influence the overall cost. But trust me, it's a transformative journey that's worth every penny.
East + West
East+West stands as one of the world's largest international yoga teacher training institutes, making waves in the global yoga community. Here in Costa Rica, their 200-hour programs are set against some truly inspiring backdrops. But what really sets this program apart is their unique blend of influences. They bring together esteemed teachers from India, including former Buddhist Monks, to co-lead the training with top-notch Western professionals. This distinctive approach offers a training experience that's both modern and deeply rooted in the rich spiritual traditions of Indian yoga. You'll not only gain the practical skills to teach in bustling urban studios but also immerse yourself in age-old spiritual traditions.
Yoga-Friendly Hotels in Costa Rica
Across Costa Rica, an increasing number of hotels are incorporating yoga classes into their guest experience, making it a breeze to keep up with your practice while traveling. While some hotels provide complimentary yoga sessions, others might have a fee due at check-out. Regardless, they all promise a rejuvenating experience that'll leave you feeling even more refreshed post-vacation. And let me tell you, one of the highlights of these yoga-friendly hotels? Their stunning shalas.
At Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio, you can practice Ashtanga Yoga on a scenic second-floor platform, where the ocean views and the gentle serenades of nearby monkeys create an utterly enchanting setting. Tabacon invites you to its open-air studio, where you can truly connect with nature as you flow through your Asanas. Over at the romantic boutique hotel, Amor Arenal, there's a yoga deck perfect for group sessions or some solo zen time. If you're in the mood, they also have a library of on-demand lessons showcased on a large screen.
Cala Luna, in Tamarindo, with its professionally trained yoga instructors, offers invigorating open-air classes thrice a week, setting the stage for empowering and refreshing vacation days. And then there's Belmar, in Monteverde, where you can choose between a studio session or a tranquil platform session overlooking a serene lagoon. Either way, they've got the ideal ambiance for their regular yoga classes.
Going Solo with Your Yoga Practice in Costa Rica
Heading off on your own? If you're dedicated to maintaining your yoga practice during the holidays, consider packing a travel mat to stay consistent. If your hotel doesn't have yoga classes on offer, no worries! Local studios are often just around the corner, welcoming drop-ins for a session or two. Or, if you're feeling the call of the wild, why not roll out your mat in a scenic outdoor spot?
Most hotels with a yoga shala have mats ready for guests. So, if you prefer to follow your own flow, you're all set! Whether it's in the comfort of your hotel room, at a local studio, or amidst the great outdoors, your yoga journey can continue seamlessly.
Local Yoga Studios around Costa Rica
Yoga isn't just for international visitors in Costa Rica. It's become a staple in the daily lives of many locals. In the Central Valley, close to my own home, there are two places that have truly won me over: Krama Yoga and Ananda Samsaraa.
Krama Yoga, where I completed my teacher training, is under the skillful guidance of Esteban Salazar. He’s not only a beacon in the local community but also shares his expertise and wisdom through international teacher training programs both in Costa Rica and abroad. On the other hand, Ananda Samsaraa, led by the passionate Juliana Artiñano, boasts a range of classes, with her Vinyasa Flow being a standout.
On my local escapades, I've explored gems in different corners of the country, such as Ser Om Shanti in Tamarindo and Ama Ser in Puerto Viejo. Ser Om Shanti offers a diverse range of yoga experiences, both indoors and outdoors. Their outdoor classes, available during the dry season, are pure magic. Picture this: practicing against a beach backdrop with wooden planks under your mat, creating a peaceful and authentic space. And the best part? Ser Om Shanti welcomes yogis of all levels, with a multitude of classes throughout the day, ensuring there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Over on the Caribbean side, Ama Ser Studio stands out as one of the few places in the area where you can simply drop in for public yoga classes. But what makes this studio truly unique is their dedication not only to yoga enthusiasts but also to holistic wellness. Apart from yoga, Ama Ser frequently hosts workshops on Ayurveda, breathwork, and energy work, providing a well-rounded and transformative experience for those who walk through their doors.
About the Author
Travel Consultant at Costa Rican Vacations
Maite, a certified yoga instructor, hails from Costa Rica, where her love for nature and hospitality blossomed. After studying Hotel Management in the Netherlands, she passionately showcases her country's beauty to travelers.