“Roses of Abundance” Yoga Retreat Begins!

“Roses of Abundance” Yoga Retreat
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica


United Airlines Flight # 1082 from Newark NJ brings me to Costa Rica for a much needed spiritual yogic journey. My beautiful, angelic yoga teachers Krystle and Claire will be leading the way for our healing, blissful practice- Roses of Abundance- not to mention, insane fun!

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After a 6 hour flight with my friend Zophia and a cab ride close to midnight, we settle in at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge in Alajuela, CR in Cabin #7 with comfortable beds and dreams of abundance!

(* sidenote- I fainted on the plane in the aisle on route to the ladies room for no apparent reason. I was fine- seems like the altitude got the best of me! Apparently, **** happens even on spiritual journeys!!)

You can reach these beautiful women at the sites below for an unforgettable yoga retreat!

http://crystalclarity.wixsite.com/krystleclear

http://www.theblissvibe.com

Day 1 – Organic Breakfast, Farm Tour, Yoga

Day One- Organic Breakfast, Farm Tour, Yoga
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica

What’s not to like about awakening at 6:30 AM from a comfy bed and walking down a path of magnificent, colorful tropical flowers to the smell of fresh baked bread? Well, I guess that would be a heavenly organic breakfast of papaya, eggs, fig jam, pineapple, passion fruit, watermelon and a steaming hot cup of herbal tea! This is what awaits you at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge on a daily basis! Not to mention, beautiful smiling faces! Our group of connected yoga souls consist of seven. Me, (Deb) , Zophia, Ed and Lisa, Alexa, and our incredible, OMazing teachers, Claire and Krystle. Our Welcoming Yoga & Life Intention Meditation before breakfast was a perfect way to start this spiritual journey!

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After a relaxing break in our room, we look forward to a tour of this sustainable farm by Isahmel, our sweet handsome, informative tour guide. For 2 1/2 hours he fills our brains with the history of the farm and of Costa Rica.

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Finca Luna Lodge is dedicated to producing the healthiest food for their guests. They practice “regenerative” agriculture unusual to most farms.

We pass through luscious vegetation of in this amazing lush tropical rain forest. We can’t get enough of the scent of hibicus and lemon trees.
We taste the fresh herbs of holy basil, peppermint, oregano. Spices of cardamon, black pepper, turmeric are tasty too. There are 90 species of tropical fruit tress. We eat Raw Cacao directly from the tress! Its magical in the rainforest jungle.

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We savor the moments. We treasure the time together listening to birds, monkeys and frogs!

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Attention: back at the lodge its time for our daily 2pm afternoon luscious fresh fruit Smoothie! Today is Pineapple and Papaya!

As the sun sets in late afternoon, we all walk the path to the yoga pavilion for an AbunDance Vinyassa Flow and experience heaven on earth with Krystle and Claire as they guide us to another level of consciousness. We work our bodies through gentle movement and stretch our arms and legs to the heavens. Insence and sage flood the air. We breathe and we move with each other in harmony with the earth, the forest, the flowers and the nectar of the fruits beside us.

And if that is not enough for Day One, we feat on a heavenly organic dinner with veggies and fruit
harvested right from the farm! They do not serve wine or beer but you are welcome to bring your own- which, of course, we do! Our group of beautiful souls share good food, stories and laughter. Its been more than a good day..

8PM – We practice New Moon Meditation under purple star filled skies.
I decide to set an intention/insight for each day here.
Today my insight is JOY.

But it just would not be right if we didn’t jump into the hot tub after that, would it? So, of course we do! (no brainer)

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Sweet Dreams!

Here is some history of this most amazing eco-farm: MUST READ!!
http://fincalunanuevalodge.com/discover /who-we-are/

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Day 2- OMG…It’s Zip Line Day!

Day 2- OMG…It’s Zip Line Day!
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica


The morning sun breaks through the clouds and its time for yoga at 8AM..
Today we practice lengthening, stretching and breathing with the monkeys singing in the distance.

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Breakfast soon afterwards- Perfect nourishment for what awaits ahead.
Some journal writing back at the cabin and then its time to get crazy!

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http://arenalecoglide.com/en/

We leave on a small van for an adventure that I was not sure I was ready for, but apparently the stars have aligned for me to get geared up and ZIP thru the trees! Many trees actually. This is not a zip line adventure for wimps!

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The canopy Ecoglide Arenal Park is located 3.5km west of the Catholic church in La Fortuna de San Carlos, it was built according to the standards required by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute and the National Insurance Institute.It consists of two wires traveling in parallel, one slip and complementing the other two pulleys separate cable for the safety of our visitors.It consists of 13 cables and 15 platforms, most of which are located in the trees so that visitors can have more contact and closeness with nature, flora and fauna of the rainforest.Within the tour managed to find the Tarzan Swing to enjoy full insurance, this involves swinging from a platform into the forest, where reached to 38mts high ropes tied to security.

The course is divided into 3 sections, the first consisting of 8 wires and 9 platforms with length of 210mts long and an average height of 25mts, which are being fully immersed in the rainforest.In the second stage you’ll place the Tarzan Swing. And the third has 5 cables and 6 platforms with lengths ranging from 100m up to 430mts, the largest burst of adrenaline and fun that continues to jump back to Tarzan.

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But we are are nearly pro’s by the days end. ( I skipped the Tarzan swing but everyone gave it a shot- it was fun to watch thou!)
I am having some light bulbs moments, realizing I am afraid of pain and not wanting to let go of this fear. I have a pinched nerve in my neck and although its not debilitating, its always there. I am not trusting my body enough to just let go. So, I was a bit tense zip lining but once I “let go” and looked at the treetops, I relaxed and enjoyed.
I am glad I went, I didn’t fall off or screw up and now I can brag to my grandkids that I Ziplined through the rainforests of Costa RIca!

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After all that exercise, we definitely needed a recharge- Our meal at Finca Luna was spectacular!

We end the night with Gentle Rose Yoga, a dip in the spring water pool, and then hit the sack in our cozy beds.

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Today’s intention is RELEASE FEAR.

 

 

 

Day 3 – An Incredible Mother’s Day

Day 3 – An Incredible Mother’s Day
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica


Its Mothers Day-

I am a mother of two sons and 5 amazing grandkids. This is a special day. I am not with them today but, I must admit, I had an incredible Mothers Day! Krystal and Claire made it so special for all of us! They organized a beautiful yoga practice in honor of Mothers Day. The theme was “Inspired Circles” for the circle of life. We spoke of our mothers, their names, their history, and the impact they had on our lives. We celebrated their laugher and their tears. We cried, we grieved, we hugged. We shared love. Our souls connected.

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It is incredibly powerful to share space with people who accept and love you for who you are. No judgements or worries. Only love and gratitude. No complaining!
This becomes our motto for the week!- if we do complain, we notice it and replace it with gratitude. (thank you universe!)

Today a gentle breeze touched us as we enjoyed a beautiful breakfast of yucca patties, luscious fresh fruit, eggs , coffee or tea.

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It was also a silent breakfast. I loved it. Sometimes we talk too much so it  is actually a welcome treat. Bird sings daily day and night in their special language. I love the ones with the brilliant cadmium red and yellow bellies, but they are only visible when they take flight. The air is light and heavy at the same time. Every so often it reminds me to breathe in and breathe out.

It’s mother nature speaking with gratitude and the presence of the mind. The leaves and the trees are talking to each other. I am reading a biography about Georgia O’Keefe. I breathe it in. This is what Costa Rica does to you.

Today we also go on the Sacred Seed Tour and a Medicinal Herb Walk:

SACRED SEEDS TOUR

The Sacred Seeds Sanctuary at Luna Nueva is a dynamic collection of medicinal plants that protects and celebrates not only biological diversity in Costa Rica and the tropics, but also the diversity of cultural knowledge related to these plants worldwide. Our Sacred Seeds garden currently houses over 300 tropical medicinal plants. In a world where 50 to 200 species become extinct every day due to deforestation, over harvesting, or other human activity, the sanctuary aims to preserve the genetic material and cultural use of these plants.The winding path of the sanctuary brings the visitor through three different sections of environmental diversity representing the various cultural groups of Costa Rica; indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, and European descended Ticos.We offer a guided tour of the Sacred Seeds Sanctuary.

After seeing all the varieties of plants and herbs, it is not hard to realize that God gave us all we really need to be healthy. Period. Another light bulb moment not to be ignored.

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So, here’s to Mothers on Day 3! – We practice Roses and Thorns Yoga in late afternoon in the heavenly yoga pavilion and then enjoy another fab organic dinner of pasta, veggies of every color, cauliflower soup, salad and a homemade brownie for dessert!

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Later on in the evening a few of us took the Rainforest Mysteries Trail Hike:

A mile long trail laid out in the secondary rainforest near the main lodge. We enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest at night. You may see kinkajous, sleeping birds, translucent glass frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, or perhaps lizards or snakes. You never know – the creatures come out on their schedule, guided perhaps by the phases of the moon and whether it has just rained. We feel the rainforest at night -a great mystery on this planet Earth.

Today’s Insight is LOVE.

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 4- La Fortuna Falls & Baldi Hot Springs

Day 4- La Fortuna Falls & Baldi Hot Springs
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica


A brilliant orange ball rose between the mountains and the trees at sunrise this morning. This is what you witness when your body arises at 5:30 AM from your comfy bed. Every morning in Costa Rica shares this wonder.
Our peaceful, yet rejuvenating, yoga class with Claire and Krystle begins at 8AM. This too takes place between the mountains and the trees and the valleys. We hear birds sing and look for monkeys in between OM’s and breath. This just doesn’t happen mornings in New Jersey, no matter how hard you try to visualize!

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Our breakfast is amazing always. Can hardly get enough fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh baked bread!

But the best is yet to come as we are off to La Fortuna Falls for an afternoon of diving into waterfalls!

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Arguably the most visited waterfall in the whole country, La Fortuna waterfall has attracted travelers from all over the world for years.Dropping 75 meters into a bright blue pool, La Fortuna waterfall in Arenal paints a perfect postcard of the Costa Rican jungle and is usually one of the highlights of an Arenal trip for its beautiful views and scenery.Sitting just 6 km outside of the town of La Fortuna and at the base of the Cerro Chato volcano, the waterfall makes for a great day trip for travelers of all ages.The water is fed by the Tenorio River that goes through the rainforest in the Arenal area until it reaches a cliff to create this waterfall. Visitors can get several different views as they make the somewhat arduous hike from the visitor’s station to the base of the fall.

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Getting there was a feat in itself. We climbed 500 steps up (and yes, 500 steps down later in the day) but the view was incredible and the Falls spectacular. We swam in warm waters, climbed on rocks and took silly pictures of each other. There was nothing to do but BE. Time to reflect and time to meditate.

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But all that swimming does bring on an appetite so its off to lunch in the town of La Fortuna. Our tribe of eight shares chips and guac, veggies quesadillas, yucca and beers. Yes, we have entered the eternal gates!

A little shopping afterwards doesn’t hurt either. Colorful bags and scarves nearly float thru town.
Shopkeepers with big smiles are friendly and helpful.

 

At this point we can’t imagine our day could be more perfect than it already is- but we are wrong. We head to one of the most amazing, unique places I have ever seen! The Baldi Hot Springs Spa and Hotel.

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Baldi is located in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica on a privileged site at the base of the imposing Arenal Volcano and sorrounded by exuberant nature, is the largest resort of the world with its 25 pools of thermal water, rich in minerals and healing properties. Grab your bathing suit, swim up to a pool- take your pick, they are all different surrounded by lush trees, singing birds and waterfalls. Added plus- swim up to a bar stool inside the pool..Perch there for a while and enjoy a refreshing margarita!

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We spend 2 hours here in paradise and then have dinner inside the hotel. Good food, wine, friends. Yup, God must be here. I’m sure she is.

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Back at the ranch—-

Relaxing yoga nidra – internal blosseming.
sweet dreams.

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Todays insight for me today is Gratitude.

 

 

 

Day 5 – Making Cacao and Closing Ceremony

Day 5 – Making Cacao and Closing Ceremony
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Alajuela, Costa Rica


8 AM–Morning Yoga -Sunshine bliss vibe asana!

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9 AM—Our usual amazing breakfast!

But the real treat today was making Cacao!….Oh YUM!

After seeing the CacaoTrees on the Farm- (There are more than 300 and most are over 30 years old!), we learn how to make chocolate the way ancient civilizations did and also the modern way. We will partake in the ” Drink of the Gods”!

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First we roast and then grind fermented cacao beans. For the grinding we an use an ancient “metate” or grinding stone, thought to be almost a thousand years old and carved by indigenous people from volcanic rock. Once the task of grinding is completed, we add the desired spices and flavors to our drink, selecting from New World ingredients such as Vanilla, Jamaica or Allspice, Spicy Chile, and Achiote or Annatto.

Drinking the chocolate with different flavors is a unique experience. It’s spiritual and mystical to enjoy the healing powers of chocolate. And then to top it all off, we make chocolate with spices and ingredients from the farm and eat the organic chocolate!

As the sun dips below the treetops, I relax in this lush green forest, overlooking large green, red and yellow leafed plants with pink flowers. I sit and sip tea and realize how much my mind craves silence.

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At 4pm we gather together for our Cacao closing ceremony in the yoga pavilion. “External Blossoming”. A special scared afternoon.

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But, of course, after all the chocolate, we still want PIZZA!

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Yup- at 7PM , our last night in the rain forest, we have a special wood oven pizza celebration with salad , green soup and a glass of wine at the pool as the sun sets.

The stars own the sky tonight, so we all climb up the tower on the property and get a closer look. I’m not sure how many stairs we take to get to the top. The stars are a brilliant white against the pitch black sky. It feels as if we are on the top of the world and in a sense we are. Thank you God.

When I land back home in New Jersey I wonder if I will be able to re-create this magical, spiritual land in my minds eye? At home there is noise from TV’s, cell phones, air conditioners and lawn mowers. I need Enya, Solitude and Tree Pose! I breathe in the gentle breeze and look towards Father Sky for answers. Then I sit and listen.

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This week of healing at Finca Luna Lodge has brought me peace of mind, gratitude, wisdom, and a stronger body. I shared food from the earth, stories and laughter with amazing beautiful soulful friends. Friends who will be part of my life from now on, I am sure.

Todays Insight is Abundance.

 

 

 

Day 7- Jaco Beach Here We Come!

 

Jaco Beach Costa Rica

Here We Come!

Jaco Beach, Costa Rica


Sadly, our last day at Finca Luna, however, more adventure awaits!

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After our morning yoga- Yoga AbunDance Celebration- at 8:00 AM and our always incredible breakfast, we stroll the grounds for one last look until we can plan a return visit. The sun is shining, our bodies are tanned, our minds are at peace, our HeARTS are full.

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11:00 AM –TAXI!! – It’s time to head out to the coast to Jaco Beach for a few more days of Costa Rica!
( Giant hugs to Lisa and Ed as they head back to NJ- They will be so missed)

It’s a fun ride- we stop along the way and pick up coconuts, mango’s, papaya, pineapples, and avacados for our next home away from home.

We arrive about 6:30 PM to our Beach Hostel Casajungala and settle in.

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Everything is nearby walking distance. The beach is 5 minutes. We walk to a nearby restaurant and enjoy a great meal of fish, mashed potatoes and fresh veggies. A walk under the stars on the beach and a meditation follow. Nighty- Nite!

Todays Intention- Trust that the universe will provide for you.

 

 

Day 8 -Mangos, Mangos and More Mangos!

 

 

Mangos, Mangos and more Mangos!
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

Jaco Beach, Costa Rica


The Breakfast of Champions in Jaco are mangos that fall from the Trees! Literally! Our host of Casajungle informs us that breakfast is ours for the picking! Yup, it’s true. And we know because we heard them falling on out tin roof during the night! Zophia was not to happy about this- it kept us awake and we had no idea what it was! Sounded like jackhammers but were workers really out there in the middle of the night?

But, I digress. Our Hostel is sweet and cozy and our breakfast of mangos and avocados is divine. A hot cup of tea and we are ready to pull some angel and tarot cards. I pul the Exemplar card. Claire and I spend a couple hours chilling, reading and writing in our journals. Great way to start our day. Afterwards we take the free bikes they provide and ride to the local store for milk, tortillas, guacamole and beer for our lunch. The best part is we don’t need a clock, a cell phone or a TV..Who cares?

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Later on, we all walk to the beach to mediate under the crescent moon. The sand is dark, unlike New Jersey. The beach is long and wide and beautiful. I am feeling free here- free of worry and full of spirit with my incredible loving friends. We walk for hours guided by mother nature, the stars and the moon.

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As luck would have it, we stumble upon a Tiki Bar on the beach! A couple of ice cold beers and veggie quesadillas hit the spot!

But to really be free- you gotta ditch the clothes and ride the waves in the spectacular black ocean. So we do! Hey when in Costa Rica baby!

The night is still young though so a stop at the coolest place ever “Bar Nirvana” (very fitting, I must say) is on our way back our rooms. Its almost hidden except for the sign, so of course, very intriguing. We peak behind the gate and there you have it. An Oasis in the middle of nowhere!

Bradley, the owner, is an eccentric dude to say the least. Once a hot shot photographer for ‘W” and Vogue magazine in NYC, he chucked it all for the simple beach bum life. He shows us all his photographic work form back in the day. Impressive and Very cool ****. He buys us a Belgian Beer and we proceed to dance the night away.

Not bad for Day One at the Beach!
ps..Todays Insight – Speak less, Listen more.

 

 

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Day 9 -Beach, Chill, Tarot…

Beach, Chill, Tarot…
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

Jaco Beach, Costa Rica


At the Beach, there is no schedule. We do whatever we feel like doing, whenever we feel like doing it. I think that’s why beaches are here. Mother Earth’s gift to us. To come back. To connect. To draw inward.

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We pull out oracle  cards. Mine is Dancer and Coyote. I am new at cards and sorta clueless but I get the vibe. I understand energy.
So, Question today– ” Am I in harmony with the good in all portions of myself?” Claire and Krystal know this stuff better than me. They guide us. They love us. They make us smile. And yes, we have been smiling a lot!
Today we beach it, and swing on hammocks.

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I learn how to peel and cut a mango the correct way today- thanks Claire!
We have a great dinner across the street- Ceasar Salad with bacon, and mussels in garlic sauce.
And , of course, our spirits are drawn to “Nirvana” for a cool brew.

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Sweet Dreams!

Todays Insight – Live in the present moment, for it may be gone in the next.

 

 

 

 

Day 10- Time to dance in the Green Room!

Time to dance in the Green Room!
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

 


Last Day in Paradise.

Rules for the Day:
Eat papaya, mangos, watermelon,and avocado’s, chips, beer.

Repeat.
Swim in the cool blue ocean anytime the spirit moves you.

Repeat.
Meditate. Do yoga on the beach.

Repeat.

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Rules for the night:

Send our special found piece of driftwood out into the calm ocean-

Mother Nature this is for you!
Eat an all organic OMazing dinner at the Green Room in Jaco.

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Enjoy amazing art!

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Go shopping in town and buy colorful. gorgeous sarongs.
Dance to Reggae Music until your legs can no longer support your body.
Love your friends.
Make new ones.
Smile till it hurts.
Laugh hard.
Sing.
Do Yoga on the beach.
Look at the Moon.
Wish on a Star.
Repeat.

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Insight for today: Understand that the clock ticks.

Make your moments matter.

 

 

 

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