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BYR Interview with Peace Retreat Costa Rica

by Kevin McQuillan

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Growing up in Canada, Kevin McQuillan took his yoga practice all the way to Costa Rica, where he set up Peace Retreat Costa Rica, an inspiring space of peace and community. The BookYogaRetreats team had the opportunity to interview Kevin, and learned of his vision, inspiration and journey with yoga. Read on and be inspired!

Tell us how Peace Retreat Costa Rica came about. What inspired and motivated you?

Our mission was to create a space to present peace, enhance well-being and inspire new possibilities for self-expression and vitality. Peace Retreat is designed as a learning and wellness center grounded in sound practices and personal values. We are committed to creating an environment that supports healing through connection with self, others and nature. It was my own personal experience living a life surrounded by excess that inspired me to seek something different, something simpler. By moving from excess to simplicity, I was able to experience how having less gave me a feeling of more, greater access to feeling complete - I aspire to share that value with others. 

How important has your own life journey been in the creation of Peace Retreat Costa Rica? 

I grew up in Canada and was actively engaged in a career in civil law enforcement. As my connection with yoga expanded, I dedicated myself to the art of learning and teaching, and eventually co-opened several studios in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The idea of opening up a retreat in Costa Rica was a great way to escape Canadian winters and branch out into the global yoga community. 


How has yoga changed your life?

Yoga has given me access to sound practices that have promoted alignment in all areas of my life, including the physical, cognitive and emotional realms. From my first practice, I witnessed a strong sense of openness from those in the community - I was astonished at how generous, relatable and inclusive they were which instigated an undeniable curiosity within me. 


What is your vision for Peace Retreat Costa Rica?

Our vision for Peace Retreat is to create a community that cares, that is deeply committed to continually evolving, expanding and creating new possibilities for everyone. A committed group of people passionate about the practice of yoga and wellness. We are about consciously evolving our community.


What can visitors expect when they come to Peace Retreat?

When coming to Peace Retreat, people can expect to feel welcomed and accepted. They can expect to be part of a truly inclusive and supportive community, leaving them with a sense of belonging. 

Peace Retreat also offers a bounty of activities and services. Before even stepping foot off Peace Retreat’s grounds, guests can receive massages, private yoga and meditation classes, and a variety of spa treatments. All services offered are designed to enhance the experience of those seeking health, peace and wellness.

A short walk leads guests to beautiful beaches, where they can swim, sunbathe, surf, SUP board (stand up paddle), kayak and snorkel. They can also schedule tours for golf, mountain biking, ATV riding, hiking, waterfall exploration, zip-lining, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba diving and sailing.  

Also, a variety of unique restaurants are located within walking distance from Peace Retreat where guests can experience a wide variety of ambiance and cuisine, from authentic Costa Rican to fine French dining.


What has been your greatest challenge and sweetest experience throughout your journey with Peace Retreat?

The greatest challenge that I have experienced in this journey has ultimately been creating a start-up business in a foreign country. Aside from the unknown logistics, it requires a sense of creativity to generate awareness around the globe about what we are doing here. The challenge is creating an experience of trust where people feel willing and confident in what they see and read about us to make the choice, plans and journey from home to here. 

The sweetest part of the experience has been acknowledging and celebrating the amazing connections we have made, the laughs, the tears, the relationships we have formed, and the community we have created. We are deeply grateful for the support we have received, how we’ve been embraced, and the results a collective effort can create. We honor where we have come from, where we are, and where we are going! 


What do you hope visitors will be able to take away from a retreat with you?

My hope is visitors rejuvenate, heal, learn new practices to support their bodies and minds going into the future.  Our goal is for our guests to feel more alive, more aligned, more expressed, more connected.


Where do you see yourself and Peace Retreat 5 years down the road? 

My vision for myself and Peace Retreat down the road is to continue expanding the strength of our community and the impact that we are having. My intention is to continue supporting people in growing themselves into their next and best self on all levels, generating vitality and self expression. I aim to continue sharing and collaborating with others, and furthering my own development and my teachings of leadership.

Have you ever been on a surf & yoga retreat? Then it’s time to enjoy an amazing experience!

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