Why I Do Retreats in the Jungles of Costa Rica

Just got home last night from an incredible week of Yogi adventuring in the jungle town of Cahuita, Costa Rica. Some of the yogis who came along were new to yoga and most were new to the experiences that the jungle has to offer. Being in a place like Cahuita is like arriving at the pulse of Mother Earth: every animal and plant contributing their sound, their rhythm to a place that couldn't feel more alive. The experience of being awoken by the call of birds, previously considered to be exotic or the deep reverberations of howler monkeys, that sound like they are coming from a 500lb gorilla but thankfully are matched to a cute fruitatarian much smaller than their call would lead any jungle dweller to believe, is so foreign that at first we feel the separateness of our existence as a species on this planet. We fear the sounds, recoil from the sudden thud of a fruit being discarded and hurled down from the animals in the trees above, awakened in our beds by the distance calls of animal tribes. But we humans are remarkably adaptable when given the chance and when living life from the heart. Within days of arrival, I delighted in the fact that no one flinched in their deck chair when there was a crash in the jungley border of the pool, or when someone noticed the bugs the size of birds and birds the size of bugs with equal fascination. In Costa Rica its easy to submerge yourself in a natural, healthy lifestyle and the staff at the Eco Resort at the Goddess Garden encouraged that transition. With a focus on keeping water and electricity usage to only what we needed, and the kitchen's creative recipes that employed local produce to make organic, healthy vegetarian meals, our bodies and our souls were nourished. Adding in a twice daily yoga practice that aligned our breath, our pulsation with that of what we found in nature around us, there truly there was a melding of ourselves and the natural world around us. No longer were we wading into a place that felt foreign, instead we came home to a wild space within us that we had been longing to connect to.

Francesca Ter Poorten