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Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in Costa Rica.
Join this Yoga Alliance registered program which includes Vinyasa flow, therapeutic alignment principles, and the path of yoga as a framework for holistic health. This program offers students in-depth skills to explore yoga as a vehicle for vibrant health, self-transformation, and personal empowerment. Graduates of this program are prepared to teach a variety of yoga class types, including all levels of Vinyasa yoga, alignment-based classes, yoga foundations, senior, gentle, and Restorative yoga.
Zen Spirit is a magical place that blends the rustic charm of nature with newly constructed modern amenities. The resort is just remote enough to transport you to a place where you can truly disconnect and immerse yourself in an environment of tranquil serenity for full relaxation and to reconnect with your inner spirit. Your only distractions become the cacophony of birds, frogs and crickets and the sounds of the crashing pulsing surf that both hypnotizes you to sleep and wakes you in synchronicity with the sunrise. Zen Spirit’s mission is to provide guests with a comfortable, peaceful environment, to experience healthy, sustainable living.
This program offers students in-depth skills to explore yoga as a vehicle for vibrant health, self-transformation, and personal empowerment. The curriculum includes a unique blend of alignment based Vinyasa flow, a solid foundation in Hatha yoga, and 200 hours of instruction offered within a therapeutic framework.
The instruction will cover a wide range of yoga techniques including yoga postures, anatomy, relaxation, breath awareness, pranayama, meditations to calm the mind, contemplations to transform limiting tendencies into life-affirming thought patterns, and the application of clear principles of alignment to create safety, balance, and freedom in yoga poses.
Students explore concepts from Ayurveda, the Upanishads, Patanjali, and the chakra system as frameworks for the application of yoga as a journey towards radiant health and wellbeing. The asana emphasis includes both level one and two alignments based Vinyasa flow sequencing as well as gentler and restorative variations.
Rather than offer standard sequencing or rigid methodologies, students are exposed to frameworks that inspire each trainee to adopt the practices, awaken their creativity, and find their own authentic voice as a teacher. Graduates of this program feel empowered to teach a variety of yoga class types, including all levels Vinyasa yoga, alignment-based classes, yoga foundations, senior, gentle, and Restorative.
The Costa Rica program is scheduled as an intensive program. While the program days are full, the activities of the day are kept diverse and active. The days really are a wonderful mix of digesting concepts intellectually, applying the concepts experientially, and diving into the practices of yoga.
Care is taken within the program schedule to ensure that students have a healthy experience both physically and mentally. They promise not to keep you sedentary for too long. There are physical activity and deep relaxation built into the program every day.
Please note that there will be one full day off mid-way through the program to explore, rest, or catch up on your studies.
There will be one full day off mid-way through the program to explore the local area.
Liz Heffernan, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT is an international yoga teacher and Integrative Yoga Therapist. She draws from over two decades of personal yoga practice, 22 years of teaching and extensive training in the Hatha yoga systems of Kripalu, Ashtanga, and Anusara. She currently directs and leads Yoga teacher trainings and workshops worldwide, provides unique one-to-one mentoring for yoga teachers, instructs daily yoga classes and offers private therapeutic sessions. Additionally, Liz serves as a mentor/faculty for the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy Professional Yoga Therapy program.
Peggy Profant, E-RYT 500, and certified Anusara yoga teacher is on a lifelong path of yoga and taking its insightful teachings into all areas of her life. She first discovered the practice in 1980 and began teaching it to others in 1997. Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Anusara are the schools in which have influenced her practice. As one who lives courageously from her heart, she passionately teaches her classes with meaningful yogic themes while keeping a keen attention to alignment. In addition to yoga, being in nature and with her family is where she finds her deepest joy and peace.
Samantha (Sam) Akers, E-RYT-500, C-IAYT, CMT, found yoga and massage when she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia in 1998. Her practice began with Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra and brought her such incredible healing, she knew this had to be shared with others. She studied the Therapeutic Style of Iyengar Yoga with Judith Lasater, Leeann Carey and Russ Pfeiffer. Sam's love of therapeutic yoga, inspired her to open TheraYoga Studio and develop the TheraYoga Method. She is also a massage therapist, specializing in combining mindfulness with bodywork.
It was the gift of chronic pain that brought Alison to her yoga practice in 1993. Through study & practice of all the limbs of Yoga, she found powerful tools to heal her body & mind. Her perspective on yoga as a holistic healing science inspires her to teach awareness of the physical, energetic, emotional, and spiritual elements in her classes & private sessions. Alison has been leading group classes in dance and yoga since 2002. She has ten years of experience as full time yoga therapist & has been leading 200 & 300 hour yoga teacher trainings since 2010.
Zen Spirit is located about 14 km south of Punta Islita airport in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. It has been identified has one of the five blue zones on the planet. They are near Cabo Blanco National Park, Karen Mogensen Nature Reserve, Caletas Ario wildlife refuge. Therefore, while visiting the tropical eco-resort you are likely to spot some of Costa Rica’s shyest and most endangered tropical dry forest inhabitants, for example the black howler monkey, the white headed capuchin, tropical deer, macaws, eagles as well as sea turtles.
Located at the margin of the more popular hustle and bustle tourist beaches, Zen Spirit guarantees their guests a true retreat experience and the possibility to reconnect with their inner self. For instance, there are no hotels or facilities other than private residences on Costa de Oro beach. Because the premise is set on a wonderful long flat gold sandy beach interrupted by river estuaries, you can enjoy world class surfing as well as kayaking and bird watching in the mangrove, horseback riding and hiking to waterfalls, star gazing into the dark sky and much more. In short, it is a nature lovers paradise.
At Zen Spirit - Costa Rica the cuisine is delicious, healthy, locally sourced and organic when possible. Most of the fruits and vegetables are organically produced on the Zen Spirit’s farm. When purchasing outside of the estate, the chefs always privilege local organic products. Therefore, by buying locally Zen Spirit is helping the local Costa Rica community. In brief, it is a truly farm to table experience. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free alternatives are provided to all students and included in the price of tuition. For those who prefer to add additional protein sources, there is the opportunity to purchase fish three times a week for a small fee (market prices apply please inquire). Students who have special dietary requirements are encouraged to let us know in advance as we will do our best to accommodate them. The water at Zen Spirit is fresh and healthy filtered spring water, very refreshing. Fresh juice is served at lunch and dinner.
The beach at Playa Coyote offers swimming, surfing, and other water sport activities. Alternatively, there are horseback rides on the beach, mountain bike rentals, forest hikes, and wildlife watching. Walking along the beach or in the forest, you are likely to see howler and white-faced monkeys, iguanas, snakes, vultures, pelicans, and maybe even anteaters or a wild boar. Flamingos and frigate are often seen around the estuary, and at the rocky Punta Coyote there are several bat colony caves to explore.
On the southern side of Punta Coyote lies Playa Caletas, where you can see as many as 50 species of bird in a single day. Playa Caletas is also home to an important marine turtle rehabilitation area. Since 2002, the Costa Rican conservation organization, PRETOMA, has monitored and protected the Olive Ridley, Leatherback, and Pacific Green turtles. Its project is run in collaboration with the local community and international volunteers, who monitor nesting activities, operate 'hatcheries' to safeguard the eggs, and help ensure the turtle babies make it safely to sea.
Relatively close by, just beyond the pretty beach resorts of Santa Teresa and Malpais, there are other important conservation projects. The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve was Costa Rica's first National Park and reserve encompasses 1,272 hectares of primary and secondary moist tropical forest and 1700 hectares of surrounding ocean. It is home to hundreds of plant, animal, and bird species.
Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary and Refuge is a new reserve, created around the limits of Cabo Blanco Park. It stretches to the southeast, towards the town of Paquera. On-going projects at the refuge include: the creation of a community Wildlife Refuge, extensive reforestation projects, a wildlife hospital, and an endangered species re-introduction program, for species such as the Scarlet Macaw, Great Green Macaw, Three-Toed Sloth, Spider Monkey, and Baird's Tapir. It is possible to visit the project from the small town of Cabuya, a gateway to both Reserves.
Possibilities for your day off include a range of hands on eco adventures including: zip lining adventures, one to one surf lessons, kayak adventures in the mangrove, turtle nesting tours, a hike to the waterfalls, butterfly farm tour, visit to the tourist towns of Santa Teresa and Malpais, visit to the nature reserves, and many other wonderful opportunities.
Spa services are available on site for an additional fee.
Wonderful healing massages are available at an additional cost
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$65 per person
Juan Santamaría International Airport
Transfer available for additional US$65 per person
Please book your flight to arrive at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) or Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). Transfer from and to the airport on the group shuttle is provided for a reduced fee (specified times only).
Arrange to fly into the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Costa Rica. The group shuttle departs from the airport at 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on arrival day (depending on your program dates arrival day will be 12/1/19, 1/5/20, 2/12/20, or 8/5/20) and returns to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) for flights departing after 12:30 p.m. on departure day (depending on your program dates departure day is 12/18/19, 1/22/20, 2/29/20 or 8/22/20). Shuttle from Liberia to Zen Spirit takes approximately 3 hours. The group shuttle charge is 65 USD per person each way. Some students choose to fly in one day early and stay near the airport in Liberia.
Arrange to fly into the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Costa Rica. The group shuttle departs from the Adventure Inn (near the airport) in San Jose at 8:30 a.m. on arrival day (depending on your program dates arrival day will be 12/1/19, 1/5/20, 2/12/20, or 8/5/20) and and returns departing Zen Spirit at 7:00 a.m. on departure day (depending on your program dates departure day is 12/18/19, 1/22/20, 2/29/20 or 8/22/20).
Students are encouraged to arrive at least one day prior and may book flights departing Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) after 3:30 p.m. on departure day.
The group shuttle to Zen Spirit takes a minimum of 5 hours each way. The group shuttle charge is 65 USD per person each way. Optional Housing in San Jose. For your convenience, we have arranged single and shared room options at the Adventure Inn on the night prior to the group shuttle departure (depending on your program dates reservations at the Adventure Inn can be made 11/30/19, 1/4/20, 2/11/20, or 8/4/20).
The Adventure Inn is a great place for the first night with free airport shuttles and a large breakfast included in the price, a pool and clean rooms. In each room, you will have your own bed and be paired with roommates who are part of our yoga teacher training. The shuttle will depart directly from this hotel. Single room is 99 USD, double room 61 USD, triple room 48 USD, and a quad room at 41 USD.
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