Return to Paradise – Costa Rica

We asked Jamie Kalynuik; Drishti Yoga Alumni, Guest Teacher (Costa Rica 2014) and Founder of Toronto Yoga Mamas and Shopbeautifully, what keeps her coming back to Costa Rica year after year.

100hr Yoga Teacher Training in Portugal- Advanced Module

1. You love Costa Rica and have been there many times. When did you first start going there?

I LOVE Costa Rica and have been there 6 times! Five years ago I was in a corporate marketing role that allowed me the flexibility to work from home, well it actually allowed me to work anywhere that had a good WIFI connection so I decided to travel to Costa Rica for a month and work remotely from there {how lucky was I??!}. I spent a month in Tamarindo and immediately fell in love with the laid-back life style, friendly people, beautiful beaches and amazing weather.

2. What keeps you coming back?

So many things! Logistically it’s easy – the direct flights from Toronto are at great times, are reasonably priced and Tamarindo is also relatively close to the airport in Costa Rica. It’s so exhausting to land in a beautiful destination and then be faced another long leg of travel just to get to the hotel! In addition to being easy to get to, the weather is incredibly reliable. I know when I travel during the dry season, it is going to be hot and dry, which is what I want. In addition to the ease of travel, the perfect weather, laid back lifestyle, amazing food, and genuinely friendly culture draw me back. The town of Tamarindo and El Sabanero Eco-Lodge has all of that and makes Costa Rica an incredibly relaxing and peaceful place for me.

3. You did your 200 hr. yoga teacher training there, tell us about that.

One of the best experiences of my life! I am so happy that I chose to do my training the condensed route as opposed to spanning it out over several months. Doing my 200 hr. YTT in Costa Rica over three weeks really allowed me to immerse myself in everything yoga and let go of everything else. I didn’t have to cook, clean, worry about social obligations or a full work load. I was able to dedicate my heart, body and mind to the training completely. Combine that with the beautiful Costa Rican sunshine and it was pure heaven! It also meant a lot to me on a personal level as the training was held at El Sabanero Eco Lodge, a place I am personally attached to.

4. How has El Sabanero changed?

I met Kurt the owner of El Sabanero five years ago during my first trip to Costa Rica. Back then it was a pure tourist-only hotel with no connection to yoga. When Carri, co-owner of Drishti and good friend of mine, mentioned she was searching for place in the world to host her training, I knew El Sabanero was the perfect spot. It came together beautifully and now yoga is an integral part of the lodge. It now has two yoga shalas on site and has shifted it’s focus supporting the international yoga community by now being a hub for Drishti’s Costa Rican training and many other international yoga and meditation retreats. It has been amazing to witness the spiritual growth of the lodge.

5. Do you work while you’re there on vacation?

Haha, indeed I do! Owning your own business means that at some level, you are always working. I am lucky enough to have an amazing management team that takes physical care of the businesses while I am traveling, but I am always working behind the scenes. Marketing, business development and the financial needs of business never stop and should never be neglected. When I am in Costa Rica I start my days with a morning hike, short meditation and personal practice, and some delicious Costa Rican coffee. I then spend the morning working on my laptop and by the afternoon I am ready to take in the sunshine and beautiful beaches. Even though I am still working, I am able to reset and rejuvenate both my body and mind.

6. What’s your favorite beach around the area & why?

Playa Tamarindo – even though it’s one of the busiest beaches, I have spent SO much time there and have so many fond memories. I have gone for 6am runs on that beach, helped clean that beach with Drishti during our Seva time, attempted surfing for the first time, suntanned many hours, enjoyed happy hour drinks and also witnessed my niece’s first experience with the ocean on that beach. Tamarindo beach, and Costa Rica overall, has a very special place in my heart!

Visit Jamie at her studio in Toronto http://www.torontoyogamamas.com

and http://www.shopbeautifully.com

to shop online for beautiful objects for baby, self and home!

Ever been to Costa Rica? Tell us what you love about it?

Never been? Join us in April and find out why we return year after year!

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