Just back from Costa Rica! It was an amazing adventure in the tropical rain forest jungle! Blue Osa, on the Osa Peninsula, is a yoga retreat center that is exquisitely beautiful and well-maintained with altars and shrines to many Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The center is meticulously cared for and artistically and architecturally designed to provide the ultimate spiritual experience in communion with nature. The ocean is steps away and you hear the continuous sound of the surf, a great reminder of the ever-flowing presence of grace.

We focused our practices on the Pancha Maha Bhutas, the Five Great Elements, earth, water, fire, air, and sky, which, being immersed in the lush tropical jungle, was the perfect topic of study. So much magic, wild life, including howler, spider, and white-faced monkeys, iguanas, parrots of all sorts, fluorescent blue butterflies, vulture hawks, and a boa constrictor snake! The jungle sounds were so diverse and interesting. Really quite beautiful but I found them humorous at times, especially the howler monkey cries. I kept thinking we were in a real life “Jurassic Park” movie waiting for a Tyrannosaurus Rex to emerge out of the jungle any moment.

The food was very nourishing, tasty, and artistically prepared, and all of the Blue Osa staff were amazingly tuned into our every need – both physically and spiritually. At dinner time each day, the students, managers, and cooks gathered around the dining table and, holding hands, the manager would lead us in a group sharing experience drawing us out to share the highlights from our day. He then read a beautiful prayer relevant to the moment and allowed me to add a few words and chant Om to bless the food. The sharing of the heart, mind, and spirit, was so “simpatico” between Blue Osa and Ashaya, that we were aligned in the essence of the heart. One heart. One yoga.

The students on retreat were incredible. The harmony among all of us, along with our diversity in age, background, and life experience, added to the fullness of the experience. For me, to see their glowing faces every day was very special. I could see that they imbibed the lush environment of the jungle, the nourishing therapeutic massage treatments, the good food, the kindness of the staff, the ocean, and the teachings I offered. The synchronicity and interconnectedness of everything created an upsurge in the hearts of all. By the end of the retreat, I felt as though we all got rejuvenated beyond our wildest dreams. We were refreshed, inspired, pure, and ready to face our lives again with even more love, compassion, and insight.

I’m so grateful to have had this experience. It never would have happened without the beautiful hearts of the students and their longing to be whole. In addition, I want to thank my assistants, Stephanie and Marianna, for their love and support throughout the retreat. My office manager, Stephanie, had all of the logistics so well organized and planned out that it created a smooth and effortless flow for everyone. She freed me up to be able to focus entirely on the students, the immense beauty of the environment, and the inspirational teachings from the Tantra and the Five Elements, while also experiencing the retreat herself.

Thanks to everyone. I hope we are able to do another adventure like this again soon. It would be an honor to have you all there again. I’ll keep you posted!

For further study of Ashaya, Tantra, or the Five Elements, please register for the Tantra Immersion at Kripalu April 25-28, Ashaya In-Depth Study/200 Hour Teacher Training, in Lenox, Massachusetts, September 24-29, Therapeutics at Kripalu, August 23-25, and many more workshops across the US and Canada.