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My husband and I were nervous about booking a yoga retreat vacation at Anamaya Resort and Retreat Center, but we were nervous for different reasons. A relative newbie to yoga, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to keep up with more advanced guests. My husband’s biggest worry was that he was going to be the only man in the class.
Despite our initial concerns, we wanted to kick-start some positive lifestyle changes and ultimately booked a week at Anamaya, which is located on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. On our first morning, we realized that neither of us needed to be concerned. There was a mix of men and women of all skill levels, and our certified yoga instructor, Kim Goyette, had designed an effective program that incorporated three styles of yoga (Hatha, Hatha flow and Yin Yoga) for our diverse group.
The word “Anamaya” is Sanskrit for “good health,” and the small boutique resort offers yoga, spa treatments, surfing clinics, hiking and other excursions along with healthy and delicious included meals. The meals are made mostly from organic produce grown on the property’s own farm served alongside locally-sourced fish and meat.
Anamaya is a great fit for the growing wellness tourism niche, which serves travelers who are looking for retreat-style getaways to detox; start up or maintain healthy eating and exercise habits; and refresh both their bodies and their minds.
“Nicoya Peninsula was identified as one of the world’s blue zones, or areas in the world where people statistically live longer lives,” says Geoff McCabe, CEO and co-owner of the resort. “It just makes sense to have a health and wellness retreat in a place where the environment is pure and where people live long, heathy lives. When you spend time here, your stress levels go way down.”
The resort is built on the edge of a cliff, and though it is surrounded by rainforest, there are beautiful ocean views from the infinity pool and many of the rooms. Three sets of waterfalls are within walking distance, and the town of Montezuma, Costa Rica, is a short drive or walk down the steep hill.
During our retreat, we arose each morning at 7 a.m. to enjoy a pre-breakfast snack before heading to the morning yoga class, which is held in one of the world’s most scenic yoga studios. The rainforest and ocean views that stretched out before us from the outdoor yoga deck were breathtaking.
After morning yoga, we could take our pick of relaxing at the resort with its beautiful infinity pool, enjoying a spa treatment or embarking on an excursion. There were also daily surfing clinics, a guided hiking trip, a ziplining excursion, a butterfly farm and waterfalls to explore nearby. We enjoyed a sunset yoga class each evening before dinner and afterward, spent time relaxing or reading.
Following seven days of healthy eating, surfing, hiking, spa treatments and twice-daily yoga, we could already feel the difference. It was the push we needed to make lifestyle changes that we have continued since returning home. For us, making positive lifestyle changes was as simple as taking the first step — in Costa Rica.