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8 Days Dakini Mandala Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

  • Luna Lodge, Playa Carate, Carate, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

8 Days Dakini Mandala Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

  • Luna Lodge, Playa Carate, Carate, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Internal Alchemy Yoga Retreat Costa Rica

Join Rachel May in the "Dakini mandala" retreat at the heart of the Costa Rican rainforest. The Dakini mandala of emotions is a versatile and dynamic elemental alchemy practice of Buddhist and Tantra origin. Experience a life changing, ancient practice at the exceptional Luna Lodge as you feel how your days become pristine and have a beautiful journey in nature!


  • Daily yoga and meditation classes
  • 30 hours of continuing education units
  • Training on emotions and the subtle body
  • Introduction to the Dakini mandala of emotions
  • Learn about mantra and visualization
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily delicious meals
  • Airport transfers
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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Amid the tropical rainforest sits eight comfortable, cool, spacious, and thatched roof bungalows. Each bungalow provides two double beds, a private deck, and a private bathroom with shower, and bathtub. The bungalows overlook vast tropical rainforest and a honeymoon suite is also available with a king size bed.

The large windows and high-thatched palm roof provides ample air circulation while the walls made of white cane add a decorative rustic touch. Each bungalow also has its own private deck out front, covered by the same palm roof for enjoyment in any weather.


Each bungalow has its own private deck where guests can enjoy relaxing and admiring the beauty surrounding the lodge. One of the really attractive and unique part of the design is the lush private garden just off the shower, smoothing the transition to the wilderness outside, yet keeping it all protected with a handcrafted stone wall.

Hacienda rooms

The hacienda-styled rooms are a new addition to the lodge with three additional private rooms available, closer to the main lodge. The view is spectacular and the toucans love to visit the neighboring trees in the afternoon. The spacious colonial style hacienda rooms have private baths and are designed to comfortably accommodate three people with one double bed and one single bed.

Nature lover tents

The completely enclosed nature lover tents have either two single beds or one double bed, a private bathroom with hot water, electricity, and a balcony overlooking the canopy of the rain forest. Surrounded by tropical gardens, the tents are perfect for those looking to experience the rainforest at its most intimate.

During this retreat, you will enjoy an introduction to each Dakini, work with a basic level of the practices, including inner alchemy, to merge the duality, heal the relative organ systems tied to the elements, and recover the energies lost when you were with obstructed emotions.

You will also learn the vow and mantra of each Dakini and the asana practice for each element based on the Kaula lineage’s elemental asana sequencing and healing the relative organ systems.

Each day, you will have morning and evening asana and meditation, plus afternoon sessions expanding on the Dakini mandala, that will be mandatory for those looking to receive the 30-hour certification. You will also have plenty of free time to relax and explore the surroundings.

The Dakini mandala

The Dakini mandala of emotions works with your subtle body’s capacity to liberate obstructed emotions and cleanse the karmic matrix while giving tools for supporting consistent consciousness work and all around daily living.

The Dakinis are the sky-dancers and their dance is the mandala of emotions. When the emotions are in their obstructed display, you move continuously on the wheel of samsara. When the emotions are liberated, the dance is one of freedom and space. The Dakinis are also the priestesses of Kali and they allow you to experience the duality of your experience.

The practices will give you the chance to merge duality and return to a unified state of awareness and being. Each Dakini is tied to an element, which are each tied to different emotions like earth with abundance and groundedness, water with clarity and receptivity, fire with compassion and courage, air with trust and self-worth, and space with totality and freedom. They are also tied to the organ systems.

  • Rachel May Welch

    Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)

    Rachel began teaching in November 2000 and completed her first teacher training through Saraswati River Yoga, under the guidance of Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati and David Pittenger. She is a certified E-RYT 500 and a certified Ayurvedic life consultant. She is working toward her master’s in Ayurveda, ultimately leading to her doctorate degree in order to perform research in the effects of meditation on mental illness and addiction.

This retreat will be held at Luna Lodge in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Luna Lodge was constructed by Costa Rican people with the issues of conservation and preservation of the rainforest a priority. The lodge has been developed with creative initiative and commitment to the ideals of educating visitors to be environmentally and culturally sensitive.

Over 75 acres of the lodge's property is primary virgin rainforest. You can spot literally hundreds of rare and beautiful bird species such as the scarlet macaw, red-legged honeycreeper, and slaty-tailed trogon. You will also likely encounter exotic creatures such as coatis, tayras, and the four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica.

  • Hiking nearby
  • Massage
  • Reiki
  • Shopping nearby
  • Spa
  • Swimming
  • Swimming nearby
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Balcony
  • Beach nearby
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Restaurant
  • River nearby
  • Yoga deck
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Tour assistance

During this retreat, you will be served three daily delicious and locally sourced meals per day. You may also enjoy other meal services at El Eclipse Total restaurant for an additional costs.

The restaurant is open all day and features international cuisine. You will dine on inventive cuisine and exotic native dishes, homemade breads, organic fruits and veggies, and scrumptious salads accompanied by natural juices, sodas, or your favorite tropical libations. Everything at the lodge is prepared fresh and naturally each day.

Corcovado National Park tour

During this tour, you will leave the lodge by car to Carate and walk on the beach for half an hour to the park entrance. You will hike with your guide through the tropical lowland rainforest and arrive at the beautiful Madrigal River to take a dip and meander down the river to arrive at the beach.

Leisurely walk back along the beach or duck back onto the trail along the coast to get away from the sun and arrive back to Carate, where someone from Luna Lodge will be waiting to take you back to the lodge.

Early bird watching tour

Rise and shine to the fresh early morning air to find hundreds of birds already awake. There are two different loop trails that are available. This tour is perfect to for keen birders and animal lovers.

Secondary rainforest wildlife tour

This tour is guided along an excellent trail where you will have the opportunity to observe a variety of mammals like the squirrel monkey, howler monkey, white face monkey, coati mundi, and several bird species such as the scarlet macaw, toucan, and spectacled owl. On this trail, almost the entire walk will be in the fresh shade, below the marvelous trees which are also the principal element of the food source for the animals and birds.

Sunset bird watching tour

Around 3:30 p.m. you will start walking around the grounds of Luna Lodge looking for birds with impressive colors and marvelous melodies and songs. Within moments, you will encounter different habitats and also a grand diversity of birds, like the short-billed pigeon, scarlet macaw, red-crowned woodpecker, bright-rumped attila, fiery-billed aracari, and many more species.

Waterfall tour

There are three amazing waterfalls at the grounds of Luna Lodge. This guided tour is an introduction to the rainforest. During this one-hour hike, you will encounter a great variety of plants, trees, birds, insects, mammals, and of course, pure fresh water. Luna Lodge recommends going with a guide for an interpretation of the rainforest. However, if you prefer to go alone, the clearly marked waterfall trail will keep you on track.

Chocolate therapy

This therapy consists of three stages, exfoliation, body wrap, and an oil massage. First, a soft exfoliation hydrates and cleanses the skin. A delicious chocolate wrap is then applied to the entire body and covered in a plastic wrap for a warming effect.

After a hot shower, to complete the therapy, the body is treated to a relaxing massage with chocolate scented oil. The aroma of chocolate induces the production of beta endorphins which relax and rejuvenate the skin, giving the sensation of extreme pleasure.

Coconut body scrub

This therapy consists of three stages, exfoliation, body wrap, and an oil massage. A coconut wrap is applied to the entire body and after a hot shower, to complete the therapy, the body is treated to a relaxing deep tissue oil massage.

Deep tissue oil and cream massage

This massage is a blend of Chinese reflexology, Tibetan massage, and deep muscle stimulation all over your body, plus a relaxing lymphatic face massage. This is followed by Reiki, pressure points, acupressure, assisted stretch, and aromatherapy with natural oil and organic flower essences for your complete relaxation and enjoyment.

Gem therapy

Harmonize your body and mind with a gem therapy session. The use of therapeutic gemstones has its roots in such diverse cultures and systems as Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and Native American shamanism. It is reflected in the more recent practices of crystal healing.

Align and balance the body's seven chakras as gemstones and concentrate light-filled powers and color vibrations into the body's chakras. Gemstone vibrations affect your aura, helping your body to achieve not only balance and awareness but also improve your emotional, spiritual, and physical levels.

Hot stone massage

Hot stone massage therapy dates back thousands of years to the Egyptians, Chinese, and Native Americans. It is used to balance the energy of the body by using warm, round stones placed along specific energy centers to relax inflamed, sore muscles, and allow the massage therapist to work deeper into the muscles providing a soothing, nurturing massage.

Lana's special massage

This massage is a combination of a deep tissue oil and cream massage with a Thai massage and ultimately concluding with a Luna facial and hair massage.

Luna facial and hair massage

This massage concentrates on the head and includes a delicate natural shampoo of three stages, exfoliation, organic coffee or coconut, clay and mud mask, then a relaxing shiatsu facial massage followed by aromatherapy.


Enjoy an antic foot and hand massage session with emphasis on the energy (chi) meridians that end on your toes and fingers.


An ancient hands-on technique derived from the Essenes that involves powerful energy channeling to activate and accelerate your natural healing process and uses healing sound vibrations.

Shiatsu and acupressure

This treatment is a rhythmical pressure release on the acupressure meridians stimulating and strengthening the immune system, as well as detoxifying and relaxing your body as a whole. This treatment offers oil free sessions with organic flower essence aromatherapy.

Tantra massage

This form of massage is designed to restore the power and balance to align the chakras and to heal the emotional facility. This allows the body, heart, psyche, and spirit to move towards alignment and induce deep relaxation of the body.

Thai massage

Thai massage is based on Indian physical therapy practices. Pressure and stroking motions move the blood, aiding normal circulation and re-aligns knotted muscles for improved movement. Thai massage focuses on pressure and only requires the patient to wear loose-fitting clothes for proper treatment.

  • 2 daily yoga and meditation practices
  • 3 daily delicious meals per day
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 30-hour CEU for those with a 200 or 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification
  • Training in working with mantra visualization
  • Training in working with the emotions
  • Training in working with the organs
  • Training in working with the subtle body
  • Transfer from the airport to Luna Lodge
  • Additional activities
  • Additional transportation
  • Airfare
  • Spa treatments

Driving directions from San Jose

  • From San Jose, follow the west coast highway south, past a town called Palmar Norte.
  • Upon arrival at a gas station that says “Corcovado”, turn right.
  • Follow this road until you arrive at Puerto Jimenez.
  • From Puerto Jimenez there is only one road to Carate and then follow the river up to Luna Lodge.

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra will pick you up from the airport.

Arrival by bus

Direct buses to Puerto Jimenez leave San Jose at 12:00 p.m. every day and the journey takes about eight hours.

Arrival by taxi

A private taxi from Puerto Jimenez can be arranged at almost any time and are normally air-conditioned. The price is approximately 110 USD per trip for up to four passengers and the journey will be around two hours.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.


  • Review by Wendy S.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel has a peace, kindness and honesty about her that quietly oozes from her spirit. That genuine compassion she has (for all of us) is sensed in that first Yoga class. Somehow she knows just when and how to be at your side, assisting, guiding in the subtle, sweet way that is part of her true essence."

    "She is cheering you on, you can feel it! She is rooting for you rooting for you to become your best self. You get the feeling she will do whatever she can for you to move you to that better spot that better self. I have no doubt she would do whatever it takes to help you. Her nature is such that helping you is part of who she is. They call Rachel the story teller in part due to her magical voice. That voice can soothe you, transport you into a much better place, a better mind, a better spirit. Her melodious tones inspire you to want to transform, transform into that better self. That soothing conjures up the way you know you want your mind and body to be. Rachel does that. All of her. Her mind, body and spirit move in ways to move you to better ways. Thank you Rachel."

    Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra, edited

  • Review by Beth P.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel's Relaxing Flow class was only my second yoga class that I had attended since college in the late 70's! I was instantly addicted. Her manner, voice, flow, humor (yes humor) are everything. She is the complete package, the real deal, a true educator of the science. Somehow she knows exactly which body parts are needing the work, her attention to detail, her students form and her calm soothing demeanor serve so well. I will miss her physical presence while she is on retreat, but I look forward to attending her classes remotely! Wish I could go along and can't wait until she returns."

    Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra, edited

  • Review by Ellen D.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel offers an instant connection to a beautiful thousands years old yogic tradition. She has studied intensively with a teacher who comes from this lineage. Her teaching style reflects this. She is gentle, strong, supportive, and encouraging. She has deep and broad information about anatomy, philosophy, mantra, and Ayurvedic science. She lives her philosophy and has a strong sense of integrity.Rachel's classes and teachings offer great comfort to me. She creates an environment of relaxed curiosity. Her assists feel like a magnetic connection! I'll be following her travels.workshops/retreats this coming year online. I'm really looking forward to it because I will miss her terribly when she's away."

    Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra, edited

  • Review by Deb R.
    10 out of 10

    "I met my teacher, Rachel, well over a decade ago. I knew then that she offered in her teachings and practice of yoga much wisdom, compassion, and an extraordinary gift. Her gentle presence and soft voice was a holding environment which created safety and love. Our paths took different turns for a while. Fortunately for me I discovered by no accident (because there are none) that Rachel's path led her to a studio very close to my home. When I sat in her class many years after my initial experience with Rachel, it was obvious that she had grown in ways that seemed unimaginable. Rachel is a light shining in the midst of darkness. Such a soul comes to earth only rarely and I felt inclined to follow the light she was shining. Her teaching is authentic and at times it seems to me that she is channeling an ancient voice. At the same time, there is a playfulness and lightness of being that Rachel carries with her. I decided to immerse myself in a teacher training to learn from her. How could a person have such authenticity, self-mastery, wit, and character at such a young age, I asked myself. "

    "I do not have the answer to that question. What I do know is that Rachel showed up in my life to introduce a higher level of spiritual understanding and greater truth. She has helped me move from one phase of my life to another. She has helped me to see and feel the freedom that comes with accepting the imperfect and finite human condition."

    Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra, edited

  • Review by Robert R.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel's teaching connects the moves of yoga with your essential being of yoga; she brings a skillful weave of joy and subtle energy for extending your bliss of being which is the liberating truth of yoga."

    Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra, edited

  • Review by Robert E.
    10 out of 10

    "From my first class with Rachel, I knew I had found the right person to guide me along the yogic path. Her insights and instruction are a result of her own discoveries from a life of study and practice. She has the unique ability to discover what each student needs to progress along their own path. Rachel’s straightforward approach is refreshing and she is able to explain yoga practices and yoga concepts in a very clear, uncomplicated manner. As she begins her traveling and teaching schedule around the world, I know there will be many new students that will benefit from studying with her in a retreat setting."

    Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra, edited

  • Review by Gail M.
    10 out of 10

    "I love the flow of Rachel’s yoga classes. Combined with her mesmerizing voice, which is so harmonious and soothing. You leave the studio feeling amazing!"

    Rachel May Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Diane F.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel opened the door to the amazing world of yoga for me. She somehow knows exactly where to assist, what body part is hurting, mere words are insufficient to express her class. You must experience it!"

    Rachel May Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Amy S.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel is the real deal. She is not just a yoga teacher, but she’s also an authentic educator of a sacred science."

    Rachel May Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Angela Q.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel’s teachings are thoughtful, unique, and straight from the heart. Her relaxing flow is the perfect way to incorporate release and surrender into any yoga practice. Her intuitive approach to teaching allows her to meet the needs of any and all practitioners of yoga."

    Rachel May Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Sarah B.
    10 out of 10

    "Rachel is so genuine in her teaching. She always seems to know the right thing to say or do to help her students move deeper into practice. No matter where you are or what level of experience you have, Rachel creates a space that is welcoming, safe, and real."

    Rachel May Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Patti R.
    10 out of 10

    "My love of yoga began with Rachel as one of my first teachers. The combination of ease and effort provides her students with the true experience of yoga. Her knowledge is endless and her heart is giant."

    Rachel May Yoga website, edited