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8 Days Dakini Mandala Yoga Retreat in 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!

Retreat highlights

  • 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

Yoga styles

8 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 20
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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.

Rachel May Yoga Ayurveda Tantra Yoga Holiday Costa Rica Program

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.

Retreat location

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.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

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.

Spa treatments

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.

What's included

  • 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

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional transportation
  • Airfare
  • Spa treatments

How to get there

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.

Cancellation Policy

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