costa rica

Top 5 Mother-Daughter Yoga Vacations

Spending quality time with family can be a challenge these days, especially when there’s distance between you and communications take place mostly on-line. There’s no better way to get some mother-daughter bonding time than by accompanying one another on vacation. We all know where the popular yoga destinations are, but did you know that these places are unique for mother-daughter getaways too?  

Below are the top 5 places for mom and daughter to travel to enjoy culture, delectable food and wine, amazing yoga, luxurious spa services, and spectacular views and nature.

 

1. Ojai, California

Credit: Julie U

Ojai is located near Santa Barbara in gorgeous green Southern California. Many upscale resorts and spa centers provide an array of choices for treatments, yoga classes, and retreats. One spa has a package specifically for mothers and daughters wanting to get pampered. Another resort offers yoga classes under the moon, an assortment of spa services, different art classes, and more in a cozy cottage setting. The area has a lot to for moms and daughters to enjoy including nature walks and hikes, guided food tours, and many different wineries for the wine-loving duo! Be sure to check the town’s calendar for different events and festivals that happen year-round, like the famous Ojai Music Festival that happens each June. You can find some of the world’s most celebrated classical musicians performing here.

 

Yoga PLUS: Upscale spa services, good food, nature, music.

 

2. Santorini, Greece

Credit: Maggie Meng

Quickly becoming a top hotspot for yoga retreats, Santorini is known for stunning ocean views and sunsets visible from almost anywhere on the island. Offering an eclectic mix of both beach life and nightlife, there’s plenty for mom and daughter to enjoy. There are many wineries to tour and enjoy, and the area is known for strong reds especially. Get excited for your trip by watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” as you plan out things you want to do!

 

Yoga PLUS: Volcanic-based activities like swimming and sunbathing in the molten-dyed beaches, sailing around the Islands, bathing in the hot springs surrounding the Volcano (Kameni), wine, food, views, and sunsets!

 

3. Bangkok, Thailand

Credit: Eustaquio Santimano

Safe for mothers and daughters of all ages, Thailand is not only a hot yoga spot, but a place with endless possibilities for both mom and daughter to enjoy. You can explore Bangkok by bicycle, shop at the many night markets, or take the sky train over to one of the shopping malls. Get outside and take a boat tour along the river. The nightlife offers plenty to suit anyone’s style, including fine dining, yummy cocktails, breathtaking views of the city, and more. There are many different resorts for all price ranges and desires. From spa services to nature excursions, Thailand offers it all.

Join Yoga Travel Tree in Thailand in January! 

Yoga PLUS: Lots of shopping at great prices, architecture, history, culture, local cuisine, gorgeous beaches, national parks, animal safaris, and spa services.

 

4. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Credit: Gumecindo Escalante

A quaint surf town on the southern tip of the Nicoyan Peninsula, Santa Teresa is bustling with amazing yoga and SUP from top-notch instructors, world-class surfing, some of the best food around (because there are so many ex-pats from all over the world, you can try a different cuisine every night!), luxurious spa services, nature activities, tours, and more! You can spend one whole day lounging on the beach, taking yoga classes, enjoying spa services, and eating good food, and the next you can hop on an ATV and tour to the waterfalls of Montezuma, stopping to zip line along the way. Monkeys will wake you up in the mornings from their howling in the trees and you can see them along your hikes through Cabo Blano National Park. Yoga Travel Tree is headed there in September 2015!

 

Yoga PLUS: Pristine beaches, good waves, SUP, hiking, waterfalls, amazing food, spa services, and nature.

 

5. Bali, Indonesia

Credit: Jorge Dalmau

A trip to Bali is a nice way to unwind peacefully together and enjoy exquisite sunset views each night. Known for fabulous strips of white sand beaches, the best shopping around, and terrific day spas, there is plenty to do in and around Bali. Fine dining (try Ku De Ta and La Lucciola), art and cultural centres, as well as impressive views of the countryside are some of the options to choose from. The best part? Cheap and gorgeous accommodations! Try the Sari Beach Inn , right on the beach and an authentic, Balinese-style boutique hotel, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, comfy rooms, delicious breakfasts and welcoming staff. Insiders tip – Research Casa Luna Cooking School for a fun and unforgettable mother daughter experience.

Join Yoga Travel Tree in Bali - in March and December!  

Yoga PLUS: Beaches and sunsets, of course! Spa services, art and culture, amazing food, cheap hotels, and tons of nature activities.

 


Feature image credit: Andres Rodriguez

 

5 Unique Things to Include on Your Costa Rica Trip

A Yoga Travel Tree yoga retreat is different. We call them yoga ‘adventures’ for good reasons. Rather than being stationed at a retreat center for days, we’ll take you out into the world, to see the sights and experience the culture of the place you chose to visit. More often than not, our adventures will travel from place to place and city to city, so you can see as much as possible during your trip. During all of our travels we offer daily yoga classes taught by wonderful, well-educated instructors so you can still find your balance, no matter where you are in the world. Think a Costa Rica yoga retreat sounds boring? Stereotypical? Cliche? Think again! This area of the world is one of the most culturally rich, and beautiful places you can visit. With that said, there are 5 things you should make sure your Costa Rica yoga retreat includes...

1. Help Out the Community

Image: Clark Weber

While in Costa Rica, we’ll help to maintain one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Frequently, due to high levels of ocean pollution in the region, the coast of Santa Teresa becomes littered with garbage. On every Yoga Travel Tree Adventure we plan a Seva or “selfless service” project to give back to our host communities. While in Costa Rica, we’ll spend a day returning the beaches of Santa Teresa to their natural beauty, and weather permitting, do some yoga in the newly pristine sand.

2. City and the Sea

Image: David Ingram

We value the cultural experience of a destination way too much to set up camp at some remote and isolated yoga retreat center. In Costa Rica, we’ll begin our journey around the country in San Jose, the nation's capital. You’ll have a day to explore the city, see the sights, and meet some locals before we head to our first costal town, Jaco, where you’ll soak up the sun and enjoy the fresh sea air.

3. Hiking, Surfing and SUP

Image: Strike a Pose Photography

While in Jaco, you’ll get to learn how to surf or stand up paddleboard (SUP) with a trained instructor. We’ll maybe do some SUP yoga, play in the waves and catch some rays! The following day we’ll make the trip to Montezuma, and the physical highlight of the trip: a jungle hike to a swimming hole, complete with crystal clear water, waterfalls, and cliff jumping!

4. Yoga!

Image: @Rima_Danielle

Of course, this is still a YOGA retreat! While you will do at least one yoga class each day, we don’t want to overload your bodies! We do a lot of exciting and sometimes rigorous activities, so our yoga schedule may be a little different than what you’ve seen on other retreats. When you’ve exerted yourself, we might end the day with a restorative class to calm your nerves and help you get a good rest. Our aim is to supplement the daily experiences with complimentary yoga classes, not wear you out!

5. Make Lifelong Friends

Image: Strike a Pose Photography

We keep our Yoga Retreats small. With a maximum of 15 yogis, you’re sure to get all of the instruction you need during yoga classes, and all of the attention you should get during the rest of the trip. This small group size allows you to form strong, lasting bonds with your fellow travelers so you depart for home with lifelong friends.

 

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Cover image credit: Strike a Pose Photography

 

How To Transform From Skeptical Athlete To Yoga Travel Aficionado

We've all be there (or know someone who has). We've sat in a yoga class of some kind - perhaps uber physical or uber bhakti - and we've thought, "Whoa, this is ridiculous!" We were way out of our comfort zones and what felt right and natural to us. But over time and with an open mind, we came to understand the benefits of that once strange and foreign style and approach to yoga.

That's exactly how Rima Jomaa transformed from an athlete skeptical about the value of yoga into a yoga travel aficionado and teacher.

I sat down with her recently to talk about how yoga entered her life, why she fell in love with it, and her passion for yoga and travel experiences. Hint: She's also our yoga teacher for our upcoming Costa Rica Yoga Adventure in April 2015!

*Brooke

P.S. The Soulful Business Bootcamp is coming. Are you ready?

 

Yoga Travel Tree - Costa Rica Yoga Adventure 2015

How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica

[wp_ad_camp_1]Every choice you make in life is a creative decision; from deciding what yoga pants you put on in the morning, to choosing paint colors for your kitchen remodel. Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training in a fabulously exotic place like Costa Rica is right up there with one of the most creative decisions you’ll ever make, so set your imagination free. Here are some things to consider and questions to ask while choosing the perfect program for your adventurous soul:

 

Cast a Wide Net

When starting your list of potential teacher trainings in Costa Rica, give your creative muscle full reign by laying out every Costa Rican training program you can find. Once you begin to define your search, certain programs will eliminate themselves naturally. Don’t rule out anything too soon; casting a wide net allows your creativity to run wild and keeps options on the table once you start to narrow down fields like time, budget and accreditation.

 

Consider Your Time Frame and Budget

As you likely have a busy life and schedule, the first things to consider are the dates and number of weeks you have available to travel and immerse yourself in the program. If your dates are specific, you will dance a delicate dance as you rule out programs based on the dates they are offered or the number of weeks the training takes. They are all different. This will be the first and best way to start really narrowing down your options. Make sure to include in your itinerary and budget the number of days or weeks you plan to travel and explore the rest of the country after your training. Other things to include in your budget are meals and accommodations. Are they included with the training program? Many do include these things and many do not. Make that research part of the initial investigation. If food is not included in the price of the program, look at the cost of food nearby. If it’s a high tourist destination, the prices will be higher than in other parts of the country. There will be options for every budget, but it’s best to look at these things in the beginning stages of your decision-making process.

 

Set Intention

How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica - www.YogaTravelTree.com

The next most important thing to do, is get clear about your intentions. Do you plan to open a studio one day? Do you intend to teach yoga or is your intention solely to deepen your practice? If you do plan to teach, where will you teach and to who? All of these questions are ones to keep in the forefront of your mind as you look at each program and its syllabus to decide if it is a good fit for your yoga future. Rule out any programs that seem to go against or do not resonate with your main objectives and intentions.

 

Should Your School be Registered with the Yoga Alliance?

Based on where and to whom you want to teach, it will matter whether or not your training program is accredited with the Yoga Alliance. If you are doing your training solely to deepen your practice, you will not need to be a registered yoga teacher. In a lot of countries you might teach, accreditation will not be a consideration. In the United States and most Western cultures, however, students and studios want proof that their teachers have been trained to international certification standards, and that’s where the Alliance comes in. The Yoga Alliance has a database of over 3,000 registered yoga training schools. Their aim as an organization is to provide teachers and students with credible information, support and high standards for our ever expanding and popular industry. Decide if being registered with the Alliance is important to you at this juncture and if so, rule out any programs that are not.

 

What’s Your Style?

How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Start by identifying the style of yoga you have been learning; the one that inspired you to become a teacher. Talk with your teachers about their training. Did your favorite teachers train in classical styles like Iyengar, Sivananda or Ashtanga? Did they begin with one of these styles and branch out into more modern approaches like Power Yoga or Jivamukti? How did they evolve their style of teaching and do you enjoy their classes? It doesn't hurt at this stage of the game, while deciding which style to train in, to take some different kinds of classes from different teachers and rule out anything that doesn't fit your yoga style. As you observe and experience these different techniques, do some online research about the subtle or not so subtle differences and begin to decide what your teaching style will be and what designation best suits your personality and strengths.

 

What Kind of Environment Best Suits your Approach to Learning?

Once you've narrowed down your program options with logistical broad strokes, you can start to consider the environment of the programs you are considering. How many students would be in your training group? Do you prefer to learn as part of an intimate group of students or as part of a larger group? How old are the students that frequent this particular school? Will you feel a connection with them? Make sure the program you are looking at trains in your language or a language very familiar to you so you will be able to communicate with the teachers and other students. Teacher trainings are amazing opportunities to bond with your yoga peers. You will be opened up to a whole new view of the world and you will share this connection and special time with your fellow students for years to come. Make sure you have a feel for the type of people you’ll be surrounded by. Reach out to people who have taken the course and ask them about their experience.

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Be Aware of Any Dietary Restrictions

Many yoga teacher training programs adhere to a strict vegan or vegetarian diet. Just as many do not. Decide if this is a factor for you and find out the school's guidelines before settling on a program. If animal protein is a staple in your diet for health (or any other) reasons, a program offering only vegan meals will not be the best choice. By the same token, a program with a vegetarian or vegan regime might call to you and be a welcome experiment you’d like to try during the weeks of your training and significantly add to your experience.

 

What Kinds of Activities are nearby?

How to Choose the Perfect Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica - www.YogaTravelTree.com

Retreat destinations tend to offer ample free time to students for hiking, biking, surfing and exploring. Between studies, you’ll need time to clear your mind and you should consider what types of activities you are naturally drawn to and make sure they are close by. Chances are, you’ll have the opportunity for a few day trips, but your studies and asana practice will keep you busy. You’ll want some form of enjoyable release nearby.

 

Be Inspired by Nature

Costa Rica offers teacher trainings all over their green, serene and exotic country. From ocean to river views and jungle to mountain accommodations, there is something beautiful for everyone. Decide what element of nature truly inspires you. Do you enjoy the wild waves symbolizing renewal, the flowing river symbolizing flow and movement, the grounding force of the mountains representing balance and stability, or the lush, nutrient rich jungle full of life? Look at the options left on your list, even meditate with each one and see if your creative decision-maker has any surprises for you.

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Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, the first yoga studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged, Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

Images via: @lauraquirosortiz,

The Yogi and the Lover: Top Romantic Vacation Spots

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There are places in the world renowned for their yoga culture and there are places in the world known for romance. But where is a yogini to go when she wants the best of both? Whether you’re traveling solo or with your sweetie, here are some places you can find peace, love and yoga.

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica for Couples

Romance is synonymous with adventure and Costa Rica draws thrill seekers from all over the world. Meet and connect people who share your interest in zip lining, climbing, wind surfing, ecotourism and of course, yoga. Costa Rica is a top ten yoga retreat destination for good reason. Situated between the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans, there are a wide variety of beach-front retreat locations along the coasts. After your yoga retreat, head out for out for a horseback ride through the mountains and rain forests or along the beach and don’t miss an opportunity to stop for waterfalls along the way. Explore the forest canopy habitat by tram looking down or by strapping in and pulling yourself along suspended cables to a series of small wooden platforms built in the tops of trees. Create your own romantic travel story from among the many opportunities for adventure in this exotic locale.

 

Bali

Bali for Couples

Arguably one of the best known yoga retreat destinations, Bali is also a well known honeymoon paradise. Couples travel to Bali from all over to treat themselves to a little post-ceremonial bliss in this tropical island getaway. Couples who travel to Bali, whether they choose the cultural capital of Ubud, the sandy beach town of Sanur, party town Kuta or special little islands like Nusa Lembongan, will find ample opportunities for yoga and romance. The island’s natural and pristine beauty can be seen from hikes through the serene rice paddies or to the top of the Mt. Agung volcano, leisurely strolls through town or botanical gardens or from the crystal waters, surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving.

Bali Yoga Adventure - www.YogaTravelTree.com

 

Mexico

Mexico for Couples

Not much complements yoga like love, sand, surf and sunshine. Spice up your romance with a spontaneous trip to Mexico for yoga, surfing, pool-side margaritas and spectacular sunsets. Go all out and stay at one of many all-inclusive resorts or get cozy in a private casita and roll out your mat right onto the beach. During or after your retreat, spend some time exploring the country’s rich history of Mayan and Aztec culture.

 

Thailand

Thailand for Couples

It’s been said that you can never feel alone in Thailand. As a popular tourist destination worldwide, there is much potential for new friendships and travel companionship. Island hop with that handsome surfer you met at the dance club or rent a motorbike to cruise around Bangkok with your significant other. When you’re ready to relax, make your way to Phuket to lounge at the beach clubs, watch the sunset or have a romantic dinner after a long day in the sand. At the close of a special evening, send your wishes for love and luck into the stars during floating sky lantern ceremonies. Because Thailand is steeped in a rich spiritual history, you will feel connected to your yoga throughout your stay. Magnificent temples and statues of Buddha along with a wide selection of yoga classes and retreats for travelers will make it easy to maintain and enjoy your practice while spending time on warm beaches with your latest love interest or longtime lover.

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 Kristin Daemon is a yoga teacher, freelance writer and owner of Seaside Yoga, a new studio in the small town of Seaside, Oregon on the rugged Pacific Northwest coast.  You can find and friend her on Facebook or check out and follow her blog, kristindaemon.com.

Images via: @sugarplum941,

6 Reasons to Attend a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

Imagine waking to the crisp air of the lively jungle, vibrant with the hollering of monkeys and exotic twerps of fluttering birds. The trickling water lightly passing over smoothed rocks, green with a mossy cover, permeates into your being and relaxes your soul. You are at peace, fully present, and in the womb of Costa Rica.

Many people imagine the luscious beaches of Latin America as a true destination for relaxation, and the perception is not unwarranted. Cultivating brilliant fruits, sharing warmth and welcome from the locals, and offering a wide-range of adventures and opportunities for solace in its layered depths, Costa Rica is the ultimate destination for one seeking refreshment and a yoga adventure.

At the many health retreats offering yoga and more, you'll find that your thirst for an inner-self, eye-opening escape will be quenched in the damp air and variety of yoga postures.

1. Perfect Environment

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Nothing does a body more good than perfecting its environment. In Costa Rica, the perfect setting to create healing is provided by the highly negative-ion and oxygenated mountain air, abundant sleeping time and zero-stress atmosphere. You're there to heal, nourish your body, and Costa Rica is the ultimate destination to ensure that happens.

With improved sleep, one may experience a decreased weight, better tolerance at handling stress, and a healthier system overall since it is not depleting its mineral stores to keep up with the demands of daily life. Purified air is essential for a healing escape; not only does pollution contribute to toxicity and illnesses like asthma, but it can hinder one's healing journey. The reduction of stress will immediately lift one's mood and rekindle the flame to pursue inner passions.

 

2. Quiet and Solitude

It was Martin Buber who said, “Solitude is the place of purification.” Individuals who practice yoga know the mind is a wandering gypsy with random thoughts always arising, which are sometimes drafit away. However, change that hour class into a week-long retreat with the best companion of all...solitude and you'll learn more about yourself than you had conceived possible before. To move and grow as an individual, one must experience all contrasts and in the jungle of Costa Rica. You will likely gain new self-respect as you push your way through asanas that make your arms shake and let loose emotions that need to flow. Arise stronger, purified, a warrior.

 

3. Inspiration abounds

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While cuddled in a sweater on your porch, swaying in a hammock to the drizzling of rain and toucans clapping in the jungle, it's difficult not to feel immersed in beauty. The wonder of experiencing a trip such as yours and being so perfectly satiated with the calm of nature can move one to take the inspirational energy abounding and implement it into an individual creative outlet. From the salty beach in the baking sun or in the depths of a raging waterfall, nature is majestic and you won't soon forget the experiences.

 

4. Safe and Secure

Because Costa Rica's number one business is in tourism, it is caters to the first time flier or well-traveled yogi. Stepping out of the airport, a bundle of taxi cabs wait patiently to be the first to carry you to your destination. The resorts are well-managed and thrive by making guests happy, and the country itself, even in larger cities like San Jose or Perez Feledon, is manicured in a developing country fashion to ensure your stay is exquisite.

In certain destinations, such as Manuel Antonio, you'll experience a piece of bliss with the shiny hotels, luxurious pools, and magazine-worthy views of the ocean; however, even in the friendly and culturally pleasing depths of the city, you'll never have unnecessarily worry about your safety. They are that dedicated to your experience.

 

5. Push Past Limitations

Who could have imagined you'd have the self-determination to book a flight and pour your heart into yoga for a week or two in Costa Rica? Certainly not you, so what's holding you back from anything else? There are no limits in life, only personal constraints we hold onto for fear of safety, but the truth is if you can muster the courage to do something for you, something that inspires and motivates you, you can channel that creative force into your practice and discover what more you'd like to attain while maintaining your postures. A retreat in the vibrant escape may be that opportunity to push past the mental blocks you've easily dismissed in the past but now can ditch.

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6. Surrounded by Healthy Food Choices

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Vegetarian? Plant-based? Happy Carnivore? The cuisine in Costa Rica caters to the sensory delights of all people - from junk-food surfers to sophisticated diners – and one aspect you'll never have to worry about if seeking a healthier lifestyle is the food available. Luscious and ripe, freshly available fruits – like mangosteen, mangoes, papaya, rambutans, sapote, and jackfruit – and vegetables from Heart of Palm to pejibaye are abundant and economically available. Along with the country's staples of rice and beans, it's easy to find freshly made, filling, and delicious fare that will keep you fueled during your adventures.

Rivaling the taste of fruits and vegetables elsewhere in the world, the food itself is a treat for individuals looking for a jump start into a healthy diet with their trip. More abundant in vitamins and minerals because of sustainable farming methods and bursting with more flavor, fresh from the farmer's market hours – not weeks – before it's on your plate, introducing a new dining experience with the ranging colors and flavors of healing food available while there is an essential part of your stay experience.

 

Everyone dreams of a vacation that replenishes spent energy in body, mind, and soul; in Costa Rica, you're guaranteed to revitalize all aspects and adopt new skills from your chill practice in the jungle. In downward dog with the chorus of toucans echoing in the bliss of your peace, you'll understand the meaning of Pura Vida and embrace your every right to a healthy and happy you.

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Have you been on a retreat in Costa Rica? Do you have any advice for first-time retreaters? Let us know in the comments below! If you think you want to be a contributing writer to YogaTravelTree.com, visit our Write for Us page and submit your article.

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Amanda Froelich is a raw and vegan chef located in Costa Rica. A Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), Detoxification Specialist (ISD), ACE certified Personal Trainer, Alternative Health and Travel writer, and spiritual student of life, she shares her passion in a variety of activities, such as surfing, running, painting, speaking, and of course, traveling. She can be found blogging FREE raw and vegan recipes at MandyBloomsRaw.com, health and spirituality at AmandaFroelich.com, and healthy travels around the world at TravelFruitLove.com

Images via: Adventure Yoga Retreats, AmericaPictures.net, Semperviva, MamaMermaid, TravelFruitLove.com, @zionshanti

 

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