Why choose Costa Rica as a destination for your yoga teacher training

The start of 2020 saw us trying to understand about the Coronavirus and its effects, little did we know at the time how much our lives would be changed over the course of the year.  For those who practiced Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga Vinyasa, or any other style in their local studios, was no more.  A change came and we adapted.  The practice became one at home and students embarking on their 200-hour YTT were suddenly having to do so online.

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A global pandemic has issued us an enormous wake-up call. And nobody at all is excluded from that wake-up call. Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate when it comes to who will be affected (though it certainly affects disproportionately). Along with this wake-up call has come fear, panic, anxiety, and stress—all commonly touted reasons to practice yoga.  With some respite being seen this year and hope that travel will begin once it is safe to do so and vaccination programs being rolled out in all countries, people are now able to make long-awaited travel plans.

There has never been a better time to become a yoga teacher and connect with students all over the world.  SampoornaYoga School has a world-renowned reputation with some of the best teachers around the world -and of course in India- and is bringing this knowledge and experience to Costa Rica for the first time.

Costa Rica has the most amazing beaches in the world, sunshine, and a stunning biodiverse environment where you would be able to practice with Sampoorna Yoga School.  A most deserved change than practicing yoga in your living room through a Zoom class maybe. It is a great time to consider deepening your practice and experience time away in a relaxing shala, feel the sun, sand and sea.

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5 reasons why Costa Rica is a great destination

1 – The Biodiversity

A long time ago, the Spanish explorers arrived in a land full of wildlife and treasures. Amazed by the gold ornaments worn by the natives, they named it Costa Rica, which literally translates to ‘rich coast’.

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Nowadays, this beautiful country has gained popularity around the world thanks to its breath-taking natural scenery, its stunning beaches and the national slogan of Pura Vida – a mindful way of living that’s perfectly aligned with the philosophy of yoga being practiced almost everywhere in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a truly natural paradise. The country shelters about 5% of the world’s biodiversity and lie majestically between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea – a unique place where varied ecosystems live together to create impressive landscapes.  It is no coincidence therefore that it became the birthplace of ecotourism and a leader in sustainability.

There is a consolidated National System of Protected Areas that represents 25% of the national territory including biological reserves, national parks, forest reserves, and wildlife refuges, which it’s the best example of environmental awareness and compromise.

Sustainable practices can be observed in every region of the country, applied,and practiced by all citizens. From the production of almost 95% of its electricity from renewable resources to the enrichment of the Costa Rican cuisine with farm-to-table practices and supporting the local production, sustainability is embedded deeply in the growth, culture, and traditions of Costa Rica.

Want to really clean your lungs through Pranayama? The air in Costa Rica is among the cleanest on the planet. Today, 98.53 percent of the energy used in the country comes from renewable sources and they plan to get to 100 percent by 2021.

2 –Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world

Costa Ricans are a mix between indigenous people and Spaniards, plus a dash of Chinese and Jamaican influence, which results in one of the most vibrant cultures in the world.

They truly live by their Pura Vida philosophy, enjoying life, appreciating the little details and celebrating the good fortune of being alive. And if you need more proof of their good vibes, Happy Planet Index Making has ranked Costa Rica as the happiest country in the world in three different years (2009, 2012 and 2016). Sounds like the perfect place to embrace the yoga philosophy.

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This happy feeling makes it easier for yogis to put Santosha into practice. For those who are not familiar with this term, Santosha is an ethical concept in Indian philosophy, particularly yoga, that seeks contentment and satisfaction. Moreover, Costa Ricans totally embody the non-violence key virtue of Ahimsa, as they banned recreational hunting in 2012 and do not have an active army since 1948.

3 – Its Activities

Costa Rica has been on your must-visit travel list for ages and you are finally ready to explore. From the bustling capital of San Jose to the steamy volcanoes up North, down to the stunning beaches along the coast. Costa Rica is a land with a vast array of landscapes, with something to please all. But where do you start?

Dominical Beach is in one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica and offers everything you would want and more.  With its stunning sunsets, it is a perfect balance between wild nature and modern comfort.  It has a sleepy beach town vibe where the rainforest meets the sea.  In these perfect surroundings, you will be able to experience the wildlife and accomplish your 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course.

You will be able to experience the teachings from international teachers as well as Indian teachers.  The shala is a 2-minute walk from the beach and after a morning of yoga and learning, relaxing on the beach and taking a dip will be heaven.

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4 – Having SampoornaYoga School in Costa Rica

Sampoorna Yoga School brings you a range of core yoga teacher training courses in Costa Rica such as 200-hour Ashtanga Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training, 300-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training, and 60-hour Yin YogaTeacher Training.  And along with these training courses, Sampoorna Yoga Costa Rica will also offer yoga retreats. All in a serene, beautiful place just a few minutes away from the beach.  You will be able to combine yoga with surfing, adventure, learning and experiencing the local culture, exploration of its biodiversity, and pure relaxation.  Imagine yourself sitting beneath a majestic waterfall, exploring the rainforest, diving under the warm waves, practicing yoga, pranayama, and meditation in these beautiful surroundings.  All of this with the world-renowned SampoornaYoga School and its senior teachers.

The pandemic has raised awareness on mental health and wellbeing and students are realizing that their yoga practice has been a huge help in ensuring this.  Being able to deepen this practice, go away with a valuable learning tool, teach others is something so special and once in a lifetime experience.  Even more incredible to do so within the world’s most stunning and enriching country.

5 – Spirituality of the Land

There is no better feeling than to feel one with one’s inner self. For centuries Yoga is known to awaken in one, the inner peace and tranquillity we often go looking for in material things.

Little surprise Latin Americans are clued into this brilliant science. Infact, they rightly consider India a land of yoga, meditation, philosophy, wisdom, culture, and spiritualism.  With miles of untouched natural habitat and the deeply held spiritual traditions of the Maya and Incan civilizations, Central and SouthAmerica is the perfect place to embark on a spiritual journey.

Being in such a spiritual land and having the benefit of studying with SampoornaYoga will have the most unique experience in this country.  Practicing Vinyasa Flow or Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga early in the morning, or Yin yoga as the sun is setting amongst Costa Rica’s rich biodiverse surroundings is an experience that will never be forgotten. On your days off, you will be able to explore the nearby towns if you choose to and experience the local traditions, cuisine and culture.

I know that I will always treasure my special memories of my own YTTC and know that those experiences enabled me to become the teacher and student that I am today, I feel privileged and so fortunate to have been able to experience Sampoorna Yoga’s traditions and its teachings.