5 Amazing Things You Can Experience in Montezuma, Costa Rica on my Yoga Retreat

When on vacation, the memories that stay with you are not written about in guide books. Those special experiences tend to be discovered by word-of-mouth, insider information, or just plain luck. I've been to Montezuma, Costa Rica (and to Anamaya Resort, where my "Strength & Surrender" retreat will take place Dec. 10-17, 2016) four times and here are the experiences that I treasure most, and go right back to each time I return.

1. Waterfall Lagunas

A "laguna" is a pool. A waterfall laguna is formed when high tide comes in and sea water meets fresh water coming down from the mountain. There are several waterfalls in Montezuma where you can lounge in your own natural pool. The temperature of these pools is at least 10 degrees cooler than the ocean. Refreshing when the ocean temps are 80 degrees or above! Fresh cool water, a soft sand bottom and rock formations around the border of these pools make them sunbather's delight. If you've been out hiking the hills of Montezuma and need to cool off, just take off your shoes and jump in!

Go at high tide for the deepest, most beautiful lagunas.

2. Infrared Sauna

I have a ritualistic relationship with the infrared sauna at Anamaya Resort. I go in there daily, often 2-3 times a day.

Benefits of infrared sauna therapy include:

  • Detoxification: By heating the objects in the sauna rather than the air, infrared sauna therapy elevates core body temperature, resulting in a 7x greater detox level than traditional saunas that heat the air, causing the body to sweat. This is why infrared saunas are so effective for heavy metal detoxification, dissolving fat-soluble chemicals from cigarettes, drugs or alcohol, and environmental toxins such as personal care products, air and water contaminants, plastic contaminants, etc.
  • Anti-aging and skin purification: Near infrared stimulates the production of collagen and heals both the dermis and epidermis.
  • Wound healing: Near infrared therapy helps prevent infection and by stimulating circulation and micro-circulation, speeds healing of both superficial wounds and deeper soft tissue injuries. Last time I went to Anamaya, I felt as if I had torn some tissue in my hamstrings and tweaked some sacral ligaments. After a week of daily infrared therapy, my pains were gone. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises I get from hiking the waterfall trails heal much faster too.
  • Pain relief: Near infrared waves penetrate muscles and joints and reduce inflammation. Pain management professionals use infrared sauna therapy to reduce pain, reduce muscle spasms, and speed recovery.
  • Weight loss: An hour sitting in a near infrared sauna burns approximately 600 calories. Heart rate increases while relaxing! I can attest to this benefit as I always come back from Anamaya a little slimmer.

3. True Farm to Table Eating

Anamaya Resort has its own farm: Rancho Delicioso. The farm provides fresh, organic food to Anamaya's kitchen, and is also a retreat location of its own where you can go learn perma-culture, which they call "yoga for the Earth." I love this idea of "yoga for the Earth" and hope to one day learn perma-culture at Rancho Delicioso.

This is true farm to table eating, where you will meet the people who grew and harvested your food, and learn all about the production and resources that go into the food you eat while on retreat at Anamaya.

During each retreat, there is a short trip to Rancho Delicioso where you can see the farm, the farm's tilapia pools, which are used to create an organic fertilizer source, and Joseph's magical treehouse, which was recently featured in a Victoria's Secret catalog photo shoot. You can also rent the tree house on Airbnb.

4. Fire Dancers, Aerial Silks, and Hoopers

During each retreat there is an "Anamaya Circus" where the staff shows off their talents. One of the best parts of this performance is the fire dance and aerial silks demonstrations. The performance is beautiful, sensual and exciting! Montezuma and the entire Nicoya Peninsula has a reputation for these types of performance and movement arts. There are so many talented fire dancers in the area and if you go hang out downtown during the day, you will see them practicing at the end of the main street in Montezuma. You can even study fire, or poi, at various locations around Montezuma. My friend Caroline Palmer is a great fire hoop performer in Santa Theresa. If you're in town, look her up. Or find out more about the hooping scene in Santa Theresa here.

5. Anamaya Resort

The infinity pool at Anamaya Resort

The infinity pool at Anamaya Resort

The fifth most amazing thing you can experience at my retreat is the retreat center itself, Anamaya Resort. Situated on the cliff side, just above the canopy line, you can look across the Pacific Ocean with unimpeded views from the infinity pool. The setting, the accommodations, the staff, the amazingly clean healthy food, twice-daily yoga classes, flora and fauna and expansive views are unforgettable. A ley line, what are sometimes called the acupuncture meridians of planet Earth, runs through Costa Rica. There's also a 7 chakras overlay to the area, starting with the 1st chakra at the base of the cliff, 2nd with the beautiful ocean down below, the 4th chakra must be the incredible green rainforest that you are basically living above during the time you're at Anamaya, and the open sky above suggests the 7th and even 8th trans-personal chakra. One thing I know for sure is that Anamaya is very healing energetically. This is an experience you will never forget and will want to repeat.

Discover these five amazing experiences for yourself on my retreat "Strength & Surrender" Dec. 10-17, 2016. If you'd like more information about my retreat, feel free to contact me directly.