This article is shared by Yoga Trade community member, Jenna Devi about her Costa Rica yoga trade experience. Connect with Jenna here: http://www.jennasadventures.com/
Enchanted Yoga Trade Experience in Paradise. Surfing it too.
I wanted to spend some time surfing and teaching yoga in the tropics but had no idea how to make it happen. It seemed like an impossible dream until I found Yoga Trade. On their website I found Encanta la Vida, an eco lodge in Costa Rica. In exchange for teaching yoga and working the front desk a few hours a week I would get a room, food and 50% earnings of the classes I taught.
I remember I had a five minute Skype interview with the Lodge’s Manager, Kate. She asked “Can you get here in two months?” and I said “Yes” before I could get in my head and make up reasons why I couldn’t. It happened so fast, I couldn’t believe it!
Two months later I boarded a plane and headed down to Costa Rica for my Yoga residency. I did as much research as I could but because it was so off the beaten path, there was not much of an internet presence so I really had no idea what I was getting into. And I truly could not have been more lucky. I literally walked into paradise.
I taught yoga on the second story of an enormous open air deck canopied by jungle and a view of Pan Dulce surf break. It wasn’t uncommon to see monkeys swing by as I walked down a gorgeous jungle path to get to the yoga deck, scarlet macaws were always hanging out during class, every so often I would hear a happy holler from a surfer who had just dropped in on a wave… speaking of surfing – WOW. I almost don’t want to write about it to give it away! Pan Dulce gets huge and has the slowest and most forgiving waves in the area allowing you a ton of trial and error practice without getting pounded. Be prepared to lose count on how many turns you do on a single ride and stretch out your calf muscles to prevent them from fatiguing – seriously! Backwash, another break in this area is one of my favorite right point breaks I have ever surfed. It’s faster and steeper than Pan Dulce making it more of an intermediate wave. It’s the most beautiful beach, the surf gets big and in my opinion the crowds that surfed there had the best vibe. Matapalo, the break the sits at the very end of the road, is gorgeous but challenging. Beware of the rocks during low tide. If hit you could easily say goodbye to your board – or your face. This break is dominated by locals but if you know how to play your etiquette cards right and you want to see some groms rip it better than the best surfer you know – go there.
The Encanta la Vida Lodge was such a magical place. Even though I was ‘working’ for them, I felt like a guest. Brian, the owner, is hilarious and tells some of the best stories during dinner, you meet people from all over the world and you are living on eye candy property in the middle of the jungle. And the food! I really didn’t know what to expect but I went there thinking I was going to lose a ton of weight because of all the surfing and yoga I’d be doing. Wrong! The food was so delicious and plentiful I actually gained weight and a ton of muscle. I felt so lucky to be drinking water out of wine glasses and feasting on 3 course dinners. Chef Fabian is amazing. Every night was different and everything made from scratching, including desert.
Living in another country is the best way to experience personal growth and life learning, especially when traveling alone. Your life is put into perspective and you discover what’s really important to you. You’ll have the best and worst days and you’ll learn why which helps you get a better understand of who you are underneath it all. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to do a Yoga Trade to take it. I learned another language, found my yoga practice and teaching, met amazing people from all over the world, met one of my now best friends, some of my questions about life were answered replaced by more intriguing ones… I can go on and on.
It really was because of Yoga Trade that allowed me this life changing experience. My life has been forever changed!