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27 Days 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica

  • Pavones Yoga Center, Rio Claro de Pavones, Golfito, Costa Rica


Multidimensional Costa Rica Yoga Teacher Training

The 200-hour yoga teacher training is a multidimensional study of yoga for those interested in teaching yoga or simply furthering their personal practice. Use the retreat as a gateway to develop your awareness of the connection it instills, discover keys within yourselves that naturally begin to heal and transform your hearts, minds, bodies, and the world around you. Merge the physical and contemplative practice of yoga with crucial principles of conscious living.


  • 2 daily yoga classes
  • Daily physical asana practices
  • Daily pranayama and meditation sessions
  • Daily technique breakdown sessions, philosophy, and experiential workshops
  • Study of earth-oriented yoga and yoga philosophy
  • Training manual and experiential activities
  • 3 daily meals on weekdays
  • 26 nights accommodation

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 21.

Good to know

  • Anyone over the age of 18 years are welcome as participants.

  • 23 days with instruction
  • English
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Accommodation is arranged at The Yoga house or Villa Pacifica. Each room is equipped with its own bathroom with hot water. There are two large rooms upstairs with expansive ocean views where you can actually watch people surf from your bed. These rooms sleep up to four people. Downstairs, there is one large room nestled into the jungle with a wrap-around porch and hand-placed circular stone shower.

There are two smaller rooms for two people. These rooms each have private entrances and allow for a bit of seclusion amidst the shared group energy of Villa Pacifica. All rooms have either a king-sized bed with orthopedic mattress for couples or twin beds. All rooms have ceiling fans. Air conditioning is optional although most people find the ceiling fans and large wrap-around windows provide the perfect climate.

Air conditioning is not provided during yoga teacher training programs except by prior arrangement upon registration, when you register for a private room). It is included during any of your yoga and surf retreats.

The Yoga House

Whether you are visiting Pavones Yoga Center as a student at one of the yoga teacher training programs, or as visitor for one of the yoga retreats, The Yoga House is likely to be your yoga home during your stay. It is a five-bedroom, five-bath home located on the Pavones Yoga Center property. The open kitchen, living. or dining area downstairs is where students and guests often congregate to share and exchange life stories, myth, wisdom, and laughter.

The chefs prepare meals onsite in the Villa Pacifica kitchen. Many students take home dozens of recipes because of this. The rooms are not equipped with televisions, Wi-Fi, or telephones. It serves as a chance to unplug and to enter a period of digital-detox. Most people find that, while the simplicity of life without modern technology may be challenging at first, there is a subtle and delicate quality of inner contentment and peace that permeates your time.

The Garden Villas

The Garden Villas are equipped with full sized kitchens, open-air living or reading rooms, and extensive balconies with unsurpassed ocean views overlooking the village of Pavones and the famed wave. These rooms are located beneath the Yoga Pavilion and thus provide almost instant access to any event at Pavones Yoga Center yoga. The two-bedroom, two-bath Garden Villa is commonly reserved for the facilitators and teachers during yoga programs and retreats.

The intensive 200-hour yoga teacher training is a fluid exploration of self through movement, meditation, and attention to breath that deepens your relationship with yourselves and with the earth. As human consciousness evolves, the understanding of your deep connection with the natural world also grows. The study of yoga serves as a gateway to develop your awareness of this connection.

You discover keys within yourselves that naturally begin to heal and transform your hearts, minds, bodies, and by effortless extension, the world around you. In this month-long intensive yoga teacher training, you will merge the physical and contemplative practice of yoga with principles of conscious living that are crucial to long-term survival of life on the planet.

The yoga certification from Yoga Alliance offers a complete study of the traditional eight limbs of yoga based upon The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It also draws from recent scientific studies in mind-body connection to support ancient sacred texts from the yoga tradition. The asana technique explores contemporary principles of alignment and safety, while honoring the students' need for creativity, freedom, and self-expression in their practice.

You will cover over fifty traditional asanas along with dozens of conditioning, Restorative, Yin, and therapeutic movements using hands-on assists, anatomically optimal alignment principles, proper sequencing, and functional imagery. This yoga teacher training will provide you with a solid understanding of how to sequence postures for teaching Vinyasa yoga while also providing the basic energetic and physical alignment principles and effects of the postures in an ideal way.

The group sizes are limited to twenty-one people in order to ensure that the graduates fully understand the yoga pavilion facilities best. The center offers training in a true residential retreat style. Accommodations, meals, yoga classes, and training sessions all take place onsite. On weekends and in the afternoons, you will have ample time for exploring the tropical beach-jungle in which the course unfolds.

The training combines various experiences in nature as a way to deepen your connection to the earth and inspire the sense of awe and natural curiosity that foster healthy learning. Whenever possible, the training experience follows the rhythms and cycles of nature. You will immerse yourselves in daily physical asana practices, daily technique breakdown sessions, philosophy, pranayama, meditation, and experiential workshops. The Vinyasa or active classes in the morning will awaken and inspire.

They will also draw from the posture sets that you will learn throughout the course. Evening asana practices are restorative and therapeutic. The blend of Yin and Yang styles will give you a range of options for designing your own classes. When you graduate, you will have all the tools you need to begin teaching yoga with confidence and inspiring others to embark upon their own yoga journey.

Course syllabus

The mission in the training is to help people become inspired yoga teachers and practitioners who draw upon their own life experiences to share yoga with the world. Gifted yoga teachers with decades of teaching experience guide the 200-hour program. All the faculty teachers are real, authentic, unfiltered, and passionate, and give themselves totally to their teaching. At Pavones Yoga Center, the commitment to your growth and education as a yoga teacher is unparalleled.

Typical weekday schedule

  • 06:00 - 08:00 Morning sadhana (Vinyasa)
  • 08:00 - 08:30 Pranayama, meditation, nature
  • 11:00 - 13:00 Midday session (philosophy, anatomy, method)
  • 14:00 - 16:00 Technique session
  • 19:00 - 21:00 Evening sadhana or theory, and philosophy

The weekend schedule varies in order to give students extra time to explore the beautiful surroundings. Please keep in mind, the schedule is written in sand, not stone. While the contents of the training remain consistent, slight variations to the program schedule may occur to flow with the particular energy of each program.

Pavones Yoga Center is a registered school at both the 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour levels.

The hours of the program can be divided into the following categories with mandatory hours as listed, in compliance with standards set by Yoga Alliance.

Technique training and practice (100 hours)

  • Asana alignment principles in Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, and alignment based systems of yoga
  • Balancing the use of verbal cues with demonstration of postures in teaching
  • Daily morning sadhana
  • Pranayama and meditation technique and practice
  • Asana safety across populations
  • Modifications and use of props
  • Hands-on assists

Teaching methodology (25 hours)

  • Creating safety in a classroom across different populations
  • Yin or Yang - modifying a posture to be active or passive
  • Vinyasa yoga - theory and methodology (how to teach Vinyasa yoga)
  • Yin yoga - theory and methodology (how to teach Yin yoga)
  • Restorative yoga - theory and methodology (how to teach Restorative yoga)
  • How to teach a private yoga class
  • Finding your voice, drawing inspiration from nature for your own language cues (use of metaphor and imagery)
  • Designing unique and inspirational sequences
  • How to teach from direct personal experience and why this works
  • The use of music - pros and cons
  • Weaving yoga philosophy into an asana practice

Anatomy and physiology (20 hours)

  • Joint health and mobility, healthy range of motion, tension versus compression
  • Bandhas and chakras - the influence of proper energetic alignment
  • Heart-centered yoga - the science of the heart
  • How yoga affects mood, feelings, and your way of responding to the world
  • Energetic and physical alignment in a posture
  • The mood of specific muscles as they relate to yoga
  • Parasympathetic and sympathetic systems - fight, fight versus rest, digest as related to yoga asana, pranayama, restorative, and other styles of yoga
  • Benefits and contraindications for common modern lifestyle-related diseases (stress, PTSD, heart disease, anxiety, obesity, etc.)

Philosophy, lifestyle, ethics (30 hours)

  • Patanjali’s yoga sutras
  • What is multidimensional yoga - a study of self
  • The eight limbs of yoga
  • The role of ritual and ceremony
  • Spiritual ecology and eco-psychology
  • The business of yoga - how to market your skills, where to teach
  • The ethics of yoga - the Pavones Yoga Center code for teachers
  • Yoga Alliance - how it works
  • Building community - ongoing training, staying inspired, keeping in touch

Practicum (15 hours)

  • Practice teaching in pairs and small groups daily
  • Design and teach your own 75 minute class
  • Practice hands-on assists in pairs and during morning sadhana

Unique to Pavones Yoga Center: Earth-based teachings eco-oriented yoga (15 hours)

  • Various experiences and activities in nature and contact with the natural world
  • The connection to nature as a source of healing
  • The impact of the environment on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being
  • Using earth-based imagery and metaphor in a yoga class
  • Eco-oriented yoga - the philosophy and practice of eco-oriented yoga is unique to Pavones Yoga Center

In the training, you will learn how to teach Hatha yoga with a further specialization in the Vinyasa style of practice. Hatha yoga is the umbrella term that covers most forms of yoga that are recognized in the world today. Vinyasa refers to the physical asana or posture practice. Vinyasa classes are taught in a flowing style synchronizing breath with movement.

Vinyasa literally means to place in a sacred way. At Pavones Yoga Center, you study yoga as a conscious attunement to physical alignment while tracking breath and sensation as a path toward concentration, focus, and deep integration. The training covers the eight limbs of yoga, yoga philosophy, anatomy, educational methodology (examining the learning process), and inquires into your relationship with the earth as a path toward greater wholeness

Morning practices are delivered in the Vinyasa style. During technique breakdown sessions, you work with alignment principles derived from the Iyengar tradition while also incorporating cues from the Anusara, Yin, and Asthanga lineages, giving students a strong foundation for teaching the style of yoga that best suits their personality. Students are required to have a minimum of one year of yoga practice before applying.

The training is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in yoga inquiry. The Pavones Yoga Center training is unique in that the group size is limited to a maximum of 21 students, so that each student is able to fulfill her or his own personal goals for a yoga teacher training. This provides a deeply individualized learning experience.

The Pavones Yoga Center 200-hour yoga teacher training is at its core a multidimensional course. Importance is given to recognize and welcome all dimensions (the yoga concept of koshas or layers) of yourselves in order to heal and grow. The traditional yogic concept of koshas (layers of the self) is adopted, a step further by including the earth as an inseparable extension of yourselves.

The health and well-being of earth and humans are inextricably linked; environmental issues are a sign of faltering human psychology and spiritual maturity, and human psycho-emotional illness is in direct proportion to the sickness of the natural world. The exploration into the field of eco-psychology will directly address how a contemplative practice of yoga can shape and support an emerging sense of wholeness and deep personal well-being.

Most fun of all, a portion of the training is dedicated to direct experiences with nature as a way to foster the natural being in the present moment awareness that is the aim of yoga. The course is carried out in the breath-taking open air yoga pavilion, perched above the town of Pavones with an expansive ocean view from three sides and a lush jungle to your backs. Overlooking the Pacific, your accommodations and retreat settings cannot be topped.

You will wake each morning with macaws soaring overhead, toucans singing in the nearby trees, or howler monkeys making their way through the jungle nearby. The package has been designed to include all expenses including vegetarian meals prepared by chefs who have worked around the world for celebrity clientele.

  • Indira Kate Kalmbach

    Indira is the founder and director of yoga teacher trainings. She is E-RYT 500 certified. She understands yoga as a physical, mental, and emotional discipline with the potential to transform human being-ness. Her yoga teaching embodies an ecological sense of the world-community which includes all of nature, exiling nothing. Through a seamless weaving of physical alignment, emotional attuning, and a deep understanding of the human psyche, Indira creates inspiring yoga classes that invite students to practice radical self-acceptance and to leave class feeling fully present, grounded, and awake.

The retreat takes place in Golfito, Costa Rica, Central America. Located at the southern entrance to the Golfo Dulce or Sweet Gulf, Pavones is a quaint, charming, and traditional Costa Rican town complete with centrally located soccer field across from the local canteen. The proximity to the Osa Peninsula means it has the same abundant wildlife and lush, empty beaches ripe for exploring.

Whale watching is a favorite pastime after a morning of surfing, hiking, or beach-combing as the waters here are along whale migratory routes. Humpback and blue whales use the safe waters of the Golfo Dulce to give birth and raise their young and can thus be spotted playing off-shore from August through March. The oldest inhabitants of the area are the Guaymi Indiginous people. They are often in town selling their traditional hand-made wares in their brilliantly colored dresses.

The lives led in this village are simple, and mostly stress-free, except for when the occasional horse escapes the farm to run and play along the beach with friends. Founded by farmers, the majority of people in Pavones still farm or fish for their livelihood, and surf in their spare time. With the improvement of roads, the influx of surfers in search of the perfect wave, and, more recently, electricity and phone lines, many out-of-towners are moving to live amidst nature.

Nearby places

  • San Jose, 200 miles

Three meals on weekdays, breakfast on Saturday, and dinner on Sunday is provided. The local grocery stores carry basic food items and, in recent years, some surprising imports such as wasabi, soy sauce, tahini, and kalamata olives. The quaint town still receives vegetables and fruit via a fruit truck that arrives twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays.

Shopping out of the colorful fruit truck is an event in itself. The Pavones Yoga Center housing includes a large kitchen that you can either choose to stock yourself, or which can be stocked prior to your arrival. If you are eating out, there is an excellent vegetarian cafe, two restaurants serving authentic Italian cuisine, several cevicherias (serving the local specialty of marinated fish with chopped veggies), and numerous Tico sodas.

Rice and beans are traditional side dishes that come with just about everything. If you have specific dietary restrictions, you can get in touch with the organizer to accommodate them.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

In your free time, spend time reading a book or exploring the tropical beach.

  • 26 nights accommodation
  • 200-hour multidimensional yoga teacher training classes by Indira Kate Kalmbach
  • All local and international taxes
  • Organic vegetarian meals
  • Study of earth-oriented yoga and yoga philosophy
  • Training manual and experiential activities
  • Upgrades to private rooms
  • Airfare
  • Dining out

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flights to arrive at Golfito Airport (GLF). Pavones Yoga Center is happy to help you to arrange all of your travel needs to and from San Jose. It works with Nature Air, an excellent, local carbon-neutral airline that flies into Golfito. From there, the taxi or shuttle service will bring you directly to Pavones Yoga Center or if you are staying off-site, to your hotel.

Arrival by bus

If you are making your own travel arrangements, there are twice daily buses from Golfito and Paso Canoas into Pavones. Sansa and Nature Air both fly into Golfito and there are daily buses from San Jose to both Golfito and Paso Canoas with Tracopa Bus Service.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Pavones Yoga Center an inquiry.
  • Review by a traveler from Santa Cruz, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I spent a month living at Pavones Yoga Center for my 200 hr yoga teacher training and feel blessed to have experienced such an incredible place. The hike up the hill became dear to my heart as every time it was a completely new and powerful experience. Once you set one foot onto the pavement into PYC you are immediately enveloped into a warm, safe, loving, harmonious energy that permeates your entire being. The staff couldn't be friendlier and they have an immense knowledge of yoga, nature, spirituality, art, things to do in Pavones, healthful eating, and much more. The studio itself, high on the hilltop, looks out over the ocean and the jungle, it often took my breath away. So its a good thing we focused on pranayama and yoga practice!! I give PYC my highest recommendation and send daily prayers to the universe that someday soon I will return. No words can really describe how magical it is and mine sure don't do it justice. Go see for yourself!At Villa Pacifica each room is equipped with its own bathroom (and yes, we have hot water). There are two large upstairs rooms with expansive ocean views where you can actually watch people surf from your bed. These rooms sleep up to four people. Downstairs there is one large room nestled into the jungle with a wrap-aroundporch and hand-placed circular stone shower. There are two smaller rooms for two people. These rooms each have private entrances and allow for a bit of seclusion amidst the shared group energy of Villa Pacifica."


    "All rooms have either a king-sized bed with orthopedic mattress (for couples), or twin beds. All rooms have ceiling fans.Air conditioning is optional although most people find the ceiling fans and large wrap-around windows provide the perfect climate. Air conditioning is not provided during yoga teacher training programs. It is included during any of our yoga and yoga-surf retreats. "


    "The rooms at Pavones Yoga Center are not equipped with televisions, Wi-Fi, or telephones. We like to think of your time with us as a chance to unplug. To enter a period of "digital-detox." Most people find that, while the simplicity of life without modern technology may be challenging at first, there is a subtle and delicate quality of inner contentment and peace that permeates your time at Pavones Yoga Center. This is ultimately aided by slowing down to nature's schedule and would be difficult to achieve amidst the faster pace of twenty-first-century plug-in amenities."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Heredia, Costa Rica

Pavones Yoga Center is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teaching school on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica that offers retreats and teacher trainings.

from CHF 3,865

27 days / 26 nights


Arrival: Sunday January 15, 2017
Departure: Friday February 10, 2017

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