Yoga Retreats With Lindsay Dann

Anamaya is no ordinary retreat center…we provide an experience that transforms people at a cellular level. Our guests connect to nature, they connect to others from around the world, and most importantly they connect to themselves.

DATES: Sept 29 – Oct 5, 2019

PRICES:  After you get to know our special yoga teacher for these weeks, please have a look at our Rates & Reservations page to see our BASE RATES (which cover accommodations and meals).

PACKAGES:  We have a yoga retreat package for everyone in order to customize your experience, and the cost of the package you choose is added to your BASE RATE. Our packages include Yoga & Adventure, Yoga & Rejuvenation, Yoga & Surfing, or Pure Yoga. For more information about these packages please visit Anamaya Retreat Packages (ARP’s). Or for those who are not totally into yoga, there’s no need to choose a yoga package at all – you can book all your activities and excursions A La Carte. We call it the Relaxation Retreat.

We are also now offering a Scuba Certification and Yoga package to our guests who are interested in learning how to scuba dive… And a very special Couples Retreat package if you are traveling with that special someone.

OPTIONAL WORKSHOPS: We are super excited to offer our guests 3 very special workshops this week. The first is Chakra Discovery, the second is Raise Your Vibration, and the third is Introduction to Kundalini. For more info please see below.

Guest Teacher Lindsay Dann

Lindsay Dann’s yogic path led her to Anamaya for a yoga retreat in 2014 when she fell deeply in love with the retreat center, yoga, beauty and nature of Montezuma. After returning home from a magical week at Anamaya, she decided to pursue yoga and meditation in Costa Rica. Her time here influenced her teaching style in a slow down and feel it all kind of way. Central America boasted many adventures like traveling by bus from Panama to Belize, indulging in the Central American culture and finding herself through a new lens of freedom and understanding. She wants to share her experience and love for this magical place with you all, 5 years later!

Lindsay received her first 200 hour teaching certificate downtown Montezuma, at Deveya Yoga Studio and since lives in Jackson Hole, WY. Counting her blessings, Lindsay, found a strong, healthy, mindful yoga community amongst the Teton mountain range (Jackson Hole, WY) where she now teaches yoga and enjoys the outdoors. She has completed many hours of training in Yoga therapy, Kundalini yoga, Shiva Rae’s Lunar Arts yoga, Chakra Restorative and most recently Sculpt Yoga.

Philosophy

Lindsay’s classes focus on a body-mind connection within deep yet simple meditations, pranayama and movement. Breath is the number one source to the asana in all of her sequences and in turn she urges students to slow down and sink into the pose. Her style is accessible and practical for all ranges of students as she cues from a Hatha structural alignment perspective while still allowing each student to be organic. Guiding each pose from the ground up she loves to provide hands on assists and verbal tips that are specific to the students needs.

Cleansing and detoxing the body’s organs and aiding in improved heart function, cardiovascular health, less stress and more relaxation guides all Lindsay’s classes. She gets excited about teaching students the benefits that are happening on the inside of the body and the importance of moving away from the exterior idea of yoga. Lindsay hopes all students come to the mat with an open mind but more importantly open heart. She fosters close relationships with students and believes people need acceptance, awareness and a way to let go of what is no longer serving them physically, emotionally and mentally.

What to Expect

The morning classes for this retreat will follow the heat of the sun with a solar vinyassa flow, infused with soothing movement to build heat yet more importantly nurture the muscles, joints and connective tissue. She will guide the alignment of your body as you practice linking and integrating breath with each posture in longer holds to build strength, endurance and flexibility. The evening will be mellow and restorative with a lunar practice to foster ease in the mind and body. Using props and supports this will be a tonic for the nervous system and a healing space to soften from the day before sleep.

Live Music with Isaac Dann

Professional musician, Isaac Dann who is Lindsay’s talented husband will be joining in on the retreat. He is honored to add live acoustic guitar and vocals to add another element to the retreat. Isaac creates improvisational music that provides space for the environment to create the music and the music to create the environment.  Lindsay and Isaac have taught live music retreats locally and internationally and are excited to collaborate in the heart of the jungle.

Special Guest Sound Healer Daniela Botur

Lindsay is honored to have special guest Daniela Botur a dear friend and guru play the tones and vibrations of Crystal and Gemstone Singing bowls as a symphony during the retreat. Daniela is known for serenading the meditative mind in spirit and vibration. Check out her work HERE.

Lindsay, Isaac and Daniela invite all levels, whether seasoned or new to delve into this experience as a transformational journey to relax, revive and restore your true essence with yoga and sound.

Workshops

Chakra Discovery Workshop with Lindsay & Daniela

Do you understand your energetic body? Through a multi-dimensional lens we will assess each chakra from several angles to understand its impact weather physically, energetically, emotionally, physiologically or spiritually.  Learn how to balance and awaken your energy with sound, yoga, mantra and essential oils. This session will begin in discussion and conclude with a chakra yoga class and chakra sound meditation. 90 minutes for $35.

Raise Your Vibration with Daniela Botur

Focused on raising your energy using easy techniques that cultivate wellbeing this one hour workshop focuses on providing simple tools to bring your life into an upward spiral. Become empowered to shift patterns of stagnation with positive intention setting, clearing your own energy and sound. This workshop is 60 minutes, and includes a relaxing crystal bowl meditation to close.  The price is $25.

Introduction to Kundalini Yoga

Yogi Bhajan said “Kundalini Yoga is uncoiling yourself to find your potential and your vitality and to reach for your virtues. There is nothing from outside, All is in you. You are the storehouse of your totality.

Join Lindsay as she guides you to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system and purify the blood to bring balance to the body, mind, and soul. This workshop combines meditation, mantra, kria and breathing techniques that guide the energies of the body and the mind into a specific result or change of consciousness to awaken your highest self. 75 minutes for $15.

A Message From Lindsay

Pura Vida no matter where you are

If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica then you’ve definitely heard the phrase “Pura Vida.” Translating to “Pure Life,” it’s considered the country’s motto and can be used many different ways but is mainly a desire to express good vibes. It’s the way a Costa Rican may greet you, thank you or even wish you luck.

But more than just a motto, it’s a lifestyle. To be in Costa Rica is to live the Pura Vida lifestyle; that happy, no worries, go-with-the-flow way of living. It’s waking up to enjoy the sunrise, taking the afternoon off to go surfing, or even as simple as taking the time to brighten someone’s day. And it’s not specially contained to Costa Rica; the Pura Vida lifestyle can be lived anywhere. It’s all about the attitude.

So if you’ve been to Costa Rica and miss it, are planning a trip to Costa Rica or are simply curious about it, here are our tips on how to live the Pura Vida lifestyle no matter where you are:

  1. Consider the big picture
    So often we get caught in the hustle, bustle and stress of our daily lives that we allow ourselves to get lost in the details. Small things will set us off and we always feel like we’re in a rush to get from one task to the next. To tap into that “Pura Vida” remind yourself to step back and look at the big picture. What is it that you’re working towards? What’s the purpose behind your tasks? Putting things in perspective will remove the pressure from your day-to-day tasks and allow you to slow down and prioritize what really matters.

  2. Spend time doing things that you love and be fully present in each moment
    This may be the most important tip for living Pura Vida; do what you love and enjoy every second of it. There is nothing purer in life than that! Costa Rica consistently ranks as one of the happiest places in the world because people there actively work towards enjoying themselves. Maybe their job isn’t the dream job but they make up for it in other ways, like time spent with family, friends and doing activities they genuinely love to do. Consistently make time in your day to do what you love and then allow yourself to enjoy it fully – that means no running through your To Do list in your head, scrolling through Twitter or thinking about your next task while you’re in the middle of this one. Just be there. Live each moment of it and love it every second of it.

  3. Lots of fruit and healthy snacks!
    Health is a direct link to overall happiness and wellbeing. Maybe that’s why Costa Ricans are so happy – they’re constantly snacking on the fruit and healthy snacks that are abundant throughout the country! Nothing tastes more like the tropics than fresh fruit or yummy vegetable plates. Check out our blog post on healthy snacks that will have you feeling like you’re on the beach in Costa Rica no matter where in the world you are.

  4. Spend as much time as you can outdoors
    Finally, get outside. Soak up the sunshine. The heat is awesome but you don’t need warm weather to get your daily dose of Vitamin D or to spend time in nature. Experience life in its purest form; through the beauty of nature. Find activities you love to do that you can do outside. Truly explore ways to appreciate the land you live on, no matter where you are. Costa Ricans love their land and it shows – the country boasts some of the most beautiful beaches, jungles and forests. Any time spent in nature is time well spent.

If you’re looking to experience the Pura Vida life for yourself, check out our retreat packages. Costa Rica has proudly been our home for the past decade so of course we honor its national way of living. From relaxation to adventure to yoga we have a retreat package for every kind of traveller. Send us an email at [email protected] or contact us here to learn more. Pura Vida!

We are so thankful for you

When we first opened our doors to the public in 2009, co-owners Geoff McCabe, Kelsey Matheson and Joseph Mikrut had a vision of a magical and sacred space that would bring healing and transformation to all who visited. That vision still holds strong today but none of them could have ever imagined the amount of magic that grew and infused itself into the resort. Surrounded by lush rainforest, stunning ocean views, thoughtfully and sustainably-designed cabinas and a team of people with the biggest hearts, Anamaya has blossomed into a refreshing getaway for anyone looking to recharge, transform their lives or find inspiration.

We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of our guests. From the continuous love and support we’ve received as we’ve grown, changed and transformed over the years, to the beautiful energy each guest brings with them when they visit. From the laughter that fills the main house at dinner, the deep breaths taken together on the yoga deck, the wonder-filled hikes to our backyard waterfall, to the love notes written to our Anamaya family, donations made to the Montezuma community, and the little touches of love left behind for the next retreat group; thank you. We are so grateful for YOU.

Gratitude has always been a tool we’ve used to remain open, humble and loving. It feels SO good to say thank you! If you are new to a gratitude practice or are looking for ways to feel more grateful in your life, here are some of our top tips to building your own gratitude practice…

  1. Start each day listing at least 3 things you’re grateful for. Big or small, they’re equally important. Starting your morning with gratitude is the best way to set the tone for your day and invite more good things to flow.
  2. When presented with a challenge think of one way you can feel grateful for it. Suffering from a bad cold? Think of it as your body encouraging you to slow down and practice some self-care. Be grateful for a reason to go to bed early, binge watch your favorite shows and enjoy comforting meals. Stuck in bad traffic? Think of it as a way to practice patience -with other drivers and yourself. Be grateful for the opportunity to have a moment to yourself to take deep breaths, jam out to your favorite tunes on the radio and realize life doesn’t have to be a rush to get everywhere.
  3. Say thank you every chance you get. Even the smallest actions are worthy of a quick “thank you.” The more you spread the powerful vibes of gratitude, the more you’ll feel the good vibes of gratitude. Say thank you easily and often and you’ll be amazed by how incredible you’ll feel.
  4. Challenge yourself to find something new to be grateful for each day. Maybe that means stopping to observe the flowers you’ve never noticed on your walk to work, or the warmth and comfort of your first sip of coffee. The world is a beautiful place with amazing things to be grateful for – all we need to do is be open to recognizing them.

How do you incorporate being grateful into your life? Do you have a gratitude journal? Please join us in the Yoga Lovers Facebook group and share with us what you’re most grateful for.

3 ways yoga can better your business

Yoga and… business?! Not quite the combination most people would put together but it’s a pairing that goes together just as well as wine and cheese. In fact, yoga goes well with just about anything. That’s because it’s a practice that trains both the body and mind for improved clarity, loving-kindness and strength. So adding a regular yoga practice to your life can absolutely better your business when think about all the benefits it can bring to your life. Here are our top 3 ways yoga can improve your business…

1) Increased focus and discipline

Yoga is fantastic for improving mental focus and discipline, especially if you do it daily. This ancient practice is all about learning to control the mind and body to enhance meditation. But it’s also great for applying to other areas of your life, such as business. A focused and disciplined mind is essential in growing your business, achieving goals and committing to business plans or strategies. Distraction can be fatal for business owners, especially if your business is focused on a niche area. If you’re looking to improve your business, a regular yoga and meditation practice will help you develop the focus and discipline you need to take your business to new heights.

2) Flexibility

Flexibility isn’t just a physical benefit of yoga; it can also benefit your mind. Business often imitates life, especially when it comes to the ups and downs, twists and turns that get thrown at us. A flexible approach is crucial to deal with these events. Yoga teachers often remind students to modify the pose or drop it altogether if it isn’t working for their body – the same can be said for business ventures or plans that just aren’t working out. Be flexible enough to move away from a plan that is negatively impacting your business or to adapt to sudden changes and obstacles that appear on your path to success. Yoga teaches us to honor our bodies and to listen to intuition. Once you master this Yogic principle in your practice, it will be so much easier to apply it to your business.

3) You’ll be less reactive

Your practice teaches you to step away from the chattering monkey mind and into the silent all-knowing space of your Self. This distances you from those quick, reactive emotions that arise when you can’t nail that handstand or your forward-fold just isn’t as folded as you’d like. The more you practice, the less importance you place on your reactions, which ultimately takes you further because without judgement you’re willing to take more risks. This quality has an immediate payoff when it comes to business; you’re less likely to fret when an obstacle appears and you’ll have a stronger ability to remain level-headed when faced with challenges. Learning to step away from your ego will do wonders for your business because you won’t be taking everything so personally and it will give you the clear sight you need to successfully execute your plans.

A yoga retreat is a great way to refresh your practice and build the momentum you need for a daily practice… and better business! Make 2019 your best year yet for business and for yourself. We’ve got an incredible retreat calendar this year and tons of retreat options to suit your needs. Contact us today.

Yoga Retreats with Zarelly Canales Luna

Anamaya is no ordinary retreat center…we provide an experience that transforms people at a cellular level. Our guests connect to nature, they connect to others from around the world, and most importantly they connect to themselves.

DATES:

  • June 8 – 15, 2019
  • June 15 – 22, 2019
  • Aug 3 – 10, 2019
  • Sep 14 – 21, 2019
  • Nov 9 – 16, 2019

PRICES:  After you get to know our special yoga teacher for these weeks, please have a look at our Rates & Reservations page to see our BASE RATES (which cover accommodations and meals).

PACKAGES:  We have a yoga retreat package for everyone in order to customize your experience, and the cost of the package you choose is added to your BASE RATE. Our packages include Yoga & Adventure, Yoga & Rejuvenation, Yoga & Surfing, or Pure Yoga. For more information about these packages please visit Anamaya Retreat Packages (ARP’s). Or for those who are not totally into yoga, there’s no need to choose a yoga package at all – you can book all your activities and excursions A La Carte. We call it the Relaxation Retreat.

We are also now offering a Scuba Certification and Yoga package to our guests who are interested in learning how to scuba dive… And a very special Couples Retreat package if you are traveling with that special someone.

OPTIONAL WORKSHOPS: We are super excited to offer our guests 2 very special workshops this week. Cacao Ceremony and Divine Breath Dance Meditation. For more information, please see below.

Guest Teacher Zarelly Canales Luna

Costa Rican soulwork teacher Zarelly Canales Luna, has explored ancient medicine for 13 years has been dedicated to navigating the nature of women around Womb Healing, Woman Circles, Cacao Ceremonies and Yoga.

Her experience in Holistic Bodywork includes different massage techniques such as Bamboo Cane Massage, Hot Stone, Myofascia Release, Deep Tissue; among other types of body arts.

Zarelly has a degree in Physical Therapy that focuses on exploring aquatic bodywork practices. She is devoted to learning different techniques around water healing arts such as: Watsu, Aquadynamic, Halliwick, Bad Ragaz, Aquatic Craneo Sacral, Aquatic Manual Therapy, Water Pilates, AiChi.

Zarelly earned her 500hr yoga certification through the Passion Yoga School, and has been part of the Faculty for their 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. She assists and holds ceremonial space for SoulWork Facilitator Training, Pre-Natal 85hrs Yoga Teacher Training Faculty, Faculty and others at Undomesticated with Women Wellness, among others collaborations.

As a traveler and entrepreneur, Zarelly is the owner and creative director at Nimbu Vital, where she is able to blend all of her passions including natural skin care products.

Constantly sharing and holding space, Zarelly invites transformational experiences that allow loving self discovering, empowering people to hear the voice of their wisdom and just be.

Zarelly’s Yoga Practice

Akhanda Shakti is an integrative fusion rooted in tradition. It is the blend of two approaches (Hatha & Vinyasa). Dedicated to the traditional ancient teachings of the Hatha Yoga lineage. Zarelly is also committed to a re-wilding for the liberation of the divine feminine.

“All our movements are born from the breath, it is very important for me to transmit this in each practice so that the people who attend can find a harmony in the flow of asanas and the alchemy of their body, bringing each inhalation and each exhalation to the process of meditation that is enjoyed in the practice of yoga. Creating a dance with the breath we find a space of stillness that allows us to witness the beautiful body soul union in each of the asanas.”

A Message From Zarelly

The theme during the week will be Embrace WHO you are.

Invite, Kindness.

A retreat is a great way to give back to your body; you can focus more energy towards cleansing, repairing, rejuvenating, and healing.

Our body naturally detoxifies itself everyday, with additional support we can free up energy, heal more effectively, and feel confident and at ease – body, mind and soul.

Through a series of sacred morning practices and holistic healing methods, you will experience lasting detoxification, inner appreciation and deep nourishment from the inside out.

Costa Rica is a spiritual heaven and a complete sanctuary for inner awakening and personal growth. Join me daily for guided meditations, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Cleansing breathing sessions and essential oil blending among a medicinal grade Cacao Ceremony.

I want to offer a space for seekers.

Workshops

Cacao Ceremony

The context of the ceremony is a safe and beautiful space that supports meditation (reflection and connection to the “larger aspects of yourself”), chanting and ancestral healing practices will be present along the ceremony. This creates a rare opportunity to explore and sit with the stories of the heart and to identify areas that are causing you restriction, limitation and pain. You have the chance to relax deeply and receive insights, inspiration and creative ideas that can give you a clarity on the “next steps” of your life and where you can support your overall health. Cacao, sacred plant medicine of Costa Rica; beautiful and extremely gentle cacao spirit will carry your soul to the vibrant frequency of the guardians of the land.

-RECOMMENDATIONS: Avoid caffeine on the day and alcohol, also light meals-

90 min long- Price $45 or $75 both workshops

Divine Breath Dance Meditation

Have you stopped lately to just breath?

We will tap into our inner rhythm. The waves of our breath, that natural and amazing harmonious dance between the breath and our heart. Where can it take me? If I just allow the breathe to happen?

I will guide you through these senses of awakening and exploration. Breathing techniques, aromatherapy, free exploration movements, music, chanting, and pranayama will be our tools into this celebration. Stop doing, its time to just be!

Unleash your inner divine breath.

90 min long- Price $45 or $75 both workshops

Please Contact Us with any questions and we’ll be happy to assist. To fill out an availability and reservation request form click here.

Yoga Retreats With Selena Lael Magram

Our weekly retreats start and end every Saturday, and we have guest yoga teachers from all around the world who come to teach at Anamaya. What makes our yoga retreats unique? You get to customize your retreat experience by choosing the perfect yoga package to suit your needs.

DATES: April 20 – 27, 2019

PRICES:  After you get to know our special yoga teacher for this week, please have a look at our Rates & Reservations page to see our BASE RATES (which cover accommodations and meals).

PACKAGES:  We have a yoga retreat package for everyone, and the cost of the package you choose is added to your BASE RATE. Our packages include Yoga & Adventure, Yoga & Rejuvenation, Yoga & Surfing, or Pure Yoga. For more information about these packages please visit Anamaya Retreat Packages (ARP). Or for those who are not totally into yoga, there’s no need to choose a yoga package at all – you can book all your activities and excursions A La Carte. We call it the Relaxation Retreat.

We are also now offering a Scuba Certification and Yoga package to our guests and a very special Couples Retreat package if you are traveling with that special someone.

OPTIONAL WORKSHOPS: We are super excited to offer our guests 3 very powerful workshops this week. Awaken The Power Within, African Inspired Dance, and Introduction to the Chakras & Subtle Bodies. For more information, please see below.

Guest Yoga Teacher Selena Lael Magram

Selena is ever grateful to her teachers. Her personal journey of yoga and mindfulness began as a child. She was introduced to Transcendental Meditation at the age of 5, and was raised with many yogic practices. For over 20 years she has been committed to her own spiritual practice, and is grateful to be fulfilling her heart’s vision of serving others in their own personal growth and transformation.

Selena has spent many years studying different forms of yoga asanas, and chose to become certified as a Vinyasa Yoga Instructor in 2014. She is also a certified Yoga Nidra instructor. In 2004 she graduated from the National Holistic Institute, where she studied massage therapy, energy sessions, anatomy and health education. She is a certified Massage Therapist and Health Educator, Spiritual Life Coach, Awakened Life teacher, and Dance Instructor.

Selena has been a devoted student of Her Holiness Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi since 2001, where her studies continue to deepen her experience of authenticity, love, empowerment, and a commitment to being in service to others.

Selena has been offering yoga and Mindfulness classes for corporate companies since 2015, and has experience leading workshops, as well as an international women’s yoga and dance retreat. She is a contributing teacher on the Insight Timer app with several meditation offerings and online course,“Yogic Practices for a Peaceful Life.” Selena also has years of experience assisting with healing retreats for men and women. She currently leads weekly yoga, yoga nidra, meditation, and dance classes.

With her rich background, Selena incorporates meditation, breathwork, power of thought, mindfulness, emotional freedom, and other practices for peace of mind, body, emotions and spirit into her offerings. Overflowing with love and devotion, she is grateful to serve, and be a support for each soul on their path of awakening.

Selena’s Teaching Philosophy

We are so much more than the physical body, emotions, and thoughts that come and go like clouds in the sky. One translation of the word yoga is, “union.” Union of the human consciousness/body consciousness with Divine consciousness. This is the foundation of Selena’s offerings. To experience the fullness of who we are, beyond our limited perception. To use the practice of yoga to become aware of the places inside of us needing care and nourishment. To deepen our relationship with our Self, and express the joy, passion, peace, love and so on that resides in each of us. To strengthen and nourish the physical body, and subtle/energetic bodies.

Selena’s Alignment Based Vinyasa Flow teachings are a supportive balance of body alignment, breath awareness, play, and continually coming back to the present moment. She has experience leading yoga for beginners and experienced yogis alike, making her classes available to all. As a dancer and massage therapist, she understands that the body is always changing, and encourages yogis to listen to what their body is needing in the moment. She also has a deep appreciation for the dynamic play between flow and stillness, and brings both to her yoga offerings. Her more gentle yoga practices often end with the deeply healing and rejuvenating practice of yoga nidra. A lying down practice that guides the practitioner through the layers of being, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which naturally knows how to heal and restore.

Selena has had the great fortune of studying with phenomenal teachers, including her spiritual teacher, H.H. Sai Maa, for over 17 years. Her studies have brought a deeper understanding of the chakra system and subtle bodies, mindfulness practices such as being with what is, and learning to allow rather than being in a state of continual reaction, yogic practices such as mantra meditations and different breathing/pranayama techniques, and so much more, which she often incorporates into her classes and workshops.

Selena is passionate about creating a healing, all inclusive, good feeling environment. She is deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve, to share the wisdom of her teachers, and remind us to be kind with ourselves and to play!

Workshops

Awaken The Power Within

In this rich 2 hour workshop you will learn and experience the powerful Pillar of Light Meditation to charge and enliven your current or beginning meditation practice. Activate feelings of expansion, ease and deep peace, and learn traditional meditation techniques. This workshop is great for all experience levels. 2 hours $40 or all 3 for $108

African Inspired Dance

Selena has had the great fortune of studying with incredible Master Teachers, including Master dancer and choreographer Youssouf Koumbassa for over 7 years, which includes 4 one month intensives in Guinea, West Africa. Experience the joy and vibrancy of West African inspired dance in this awesome 2 hour workshop! Learn traditional Guinean dances and a brief history of where they come from, get a great workout, train in stamina, strength and flexibility, leave feeling joyful, vital and inspired! 2 hours
$40 or all 3 for $108

Introduction To The Chakras and Subtle Bodies

We are so much more than the physical body, changing emotions, and endless thoughts. The human physiology has many subtle energy systems that are just as important as the physical body, though usually unseen by the naked eye. In this introductory workshop students will learn about the chakras and subtle bodies, what each one represents, and powerful techniques to activate, enliven, and bring them into alignment. 1.5 hours $35or all 3 for $108

Please Contact Us with any questions and we’ll be happy to assist. To fill out an availability and reservation request form click here.

How to build a meditation practice

Have you ever tried to meditate but ended up going over your to-do list or fantasizing about what to eat for lunch? Or sat there feeling every little itch or ache in your body, not really understanding why everyone thinks this is so great? Meditation can be intimidating. We get it. Sometimes it can even be frustrating.

That’s ok. Meditation never promised to be easy. In fact, that’s why it’s called a “practice” – because even the experts need to work at it. But it’s also something that pays off enormously if you make time for it consistently. If you’ve never meditated before and are looking to build your own meditation practice or need some help with your current meditation practice, we’ve put together four steps to help you get started…

Begin with guided meditations

Guided meditations are the easiest to break into meditating with because they give your mind something to follow. You can do this through a meditation class at a local studio or with a recording (Anamaya co-owner Kelsey Matheson has a great meditation series available online). Try different styles to help yourself get comfortable with it. There are all kinds of guided meditations; some incorporate the breath, some use mala beads, some use chanting. Once you find the style of meditation that works for you, it’ll be much easier to do it on a regular basis because you’ll actually enjoy doing it.

Schedule meditation into your day

Part of building a successful meditation practice is consistency; meditation is best done regularly. The easiest way to achieve that is to schedule it into your day like you would for any other activity, appointment or meeting. Block off as much time as you want to meditate and put it in your daily schedule. Regard it like it’s any other appointment so that you don’t feel compelled to postpone or cancel it. The more you treat it like something worth your time, the more it value it will hold for you. Eventually it will become so integral to your day-to-day that you won’t need to formally schedule it because it’ll be something you prioritize doing (like brushing your teeth or taking a shower).

Create a meditation space

Find a calm, quiet space and make it your meditation spot. While you can’t control outside distractions or noise, it really helps to put yourself in a quiet place to focus on your meditation. It doesn’t have to be an entire room or a fancy studio – it can be as simple as a corner in your bedroom. Decorate that spot any way that makes you feel tranquil. Maybe that’s fresh flowers, incense, crystals or a picture of a calming landscape. Add a meditation pillow (you can buy one or use any pillow – it doesn’t need to be complicated) and you’re set. You now have your very own meditation space.

Enjoy it

Most importantly, make meditation something you enjoy. It’s not punishment or something you “should” be doing. Set a meditation intention before you begin, such as: I want to feel less stressed, I want to have 10 minutes of peace each day, I want to be connected with my Inner Self. This is something you can come back to when you struggle with your practice, so you can remember why you do it. It’s not always easy to meditate and there’s no “perfect” way to do it. So don’t get lost in being a “perfect meditator” and just enjoy it. Consider it a gift of self-love that doesn’t stop giving. You deserve it.

New Year, New You

A new year is a fresh start.

It’s a chance to re-evaluate. To decide what did and didn’t work last year and find new ways to be your best self.

You know, the version of yourself that you love the most. The version of yourself that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world, that allows everything to align in your favor and makes spreading love so easy.

A fresh year is the perfect time to reevaluate and determine how you can get to being that person.

And while you don’t have to wait until the new year to decide to be your best self, or your happiest… it is a great time to reflect.

Will losing weight make you feel fabulous? Is it committing to living more creatively that will have you smiling more? Is it the simple promise to love yourself that will make you shine?

Think about what will make you feel amazing and then take the time to write it all down. That’s the first step.

Then start planning. How can you get there? What were you doing the year before that just wasn’t working for you? How can you modify (or even get rid of) those habits so that they can serve you?

Making a plan for success is so instrumental in achieving this. It doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking; start small so it feels attainable. Find something you can do every day that makes you feel better and commit to doing it. Then, once you have that under your belt, add in the next phase of your plan. Keep going until you hit your goal.

Remember: this doesn’t have to be your standard New Year’s resolution. It’s a chance for a fresh start. Embrace it and leave your mistakes, your self-doubt, your distractions in the past. It’s amazing the amount of change a year can bring. Believe in yourself. This year is going to be YOUR year.

BEST New Year Must-Haves:

* A journal to plan your successes, document your journey and realize your dreams

*A daily meditation practice (because sitting in silence is everything)

*An open mind and heart. These may be your most valuable resources as you navigate the new year

Need a nudge to get started? Our yoga retreats are designed to give you that extra boost to revitalize your life. Take a week to get in touch with nature, eat healthy, exercise daily and connect to a community of like-minded supporters. It’s the perfect way to figure out what makes you shine, and it gives you the tools you need to keep it up back home.

If travel isn’t in your plans, Anamaya co-founder Kelsey Matheson has an awesome online 30-day meditation series you can do from the comfort of your home. This series is designed to focus your mind and clear toxicity that is holding you back, as well as increase your energy (and your mood!) so you can start each day ready for success. Don’t forget to use the coupon code SUCCESS to receive this series at a special holiday price.

Here is a testimonial from someone who LOVED meditating their way to success:

“My heart awakened, my mind opened up with clarity, and my talents spilled out! Talents that were there inside, just waiting to be remembered…the light came on again…I’m alive again! Daily meditation is a part of my daily rituals….I will never live without it! Thank you Kelsey for your guidance!” 

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook for daily inspiration.

10 Reasons to attend a yoga retreat

It’s not easy to carve out time for yourself. Between work commitments, family responsibilities and social obligations there isn’t any room for “me time”… And taking a vacation just for yourself can seem, well, a little selfish.

But it’s not!

In fact, giving yourself time to take care of YOU pays off tenfold when it comes to taking care of others. If your cup isn’t full, how are you supposed to continue to give? A yoga retreat is great way to relax, gain some perspective and revitalize so you can get back to your day-to-day stronger than ever.

Still not convinced? Here are 10 reasons to attend a yoga retreat…

1. You’ll leave feeling like a new person

After a week of healthy meals, daily yoga, meditation, sunshine, lush landscapes, laughter and lots and lots of love we guarantee you’ll become a brand-new person. Or at least feel like one. Your body will be stronger, your minder clearer and your heart bigger. You’ll realize how capable and strong you really are. You will have grown in ways you never thought imaginable and you’ll have new tools in your toolbox to continue that growth. You’ll also have a new team of people supporting you and the knowledge that you can always go back for a refresh. Retreats don’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, you know.

2. Inner peace.

Need we say more? If you don’t already have a meditation practice, a yoga retreat is the perfect place to develop one. You’ll be away from daily distractions and commitments. You’ll have time to just to be still. In fact, it’ll be encouraged! Sitting in silence for a few moments each day is instrumental in creating inner peace. It’s amazing how being still can change everything. Tapping into that peaceful place within yourself will not only get you through life’s stressful moments but through every moment. Seven days of yoga and meditation will take you closer to inner peace than ever before.

3. It’s a great workout

A yoga retreat is exactly what it sounds like: a vacation all about doing yoga. What better way to dedicate time to your practice and to your body than with a yoga retreat? It’s the perfect opportunity to let every other stress in your life melt away as you focus on toning, shaping and stretching your body for a whole week. Is there a pose you haven’t been able to master? A yoga retreat is the perfect place to focus on getting it right. You’ll be surrounded by yogis, a trained yoga teacher and all the props you’ll need. It’s a transformational opportunity for you and your yoga practice.

4. Healthy eating has never been so easy

We’ve talked about how good our food is. Now imagine getting that every day, three times a day without having to lift a finger. Pretty awesome, right? Our yoga retreats not only cater to feeding your soul, they feed your body in just the right way. All our meals are made with your optimal health and wellbeing in mind, without cutting corners on taste. You’ll be amazed how simple it is to eat well and we guarantee you’ll be inspired to go home and try it out for yourself. We even offer a cooking class to help you master the recipes.

5. You’re surrounded by likeminded people

Yoga retreats attract a diverse array of people but they all have one thing in common: they all want to be there. Retreats create a family environment within the group. Not only are you doing yoga everyday together, you’re opening your hearts and sharing yourselves. You’ll meet people from all walks of life who are as committed to bettering themselves and their lives as you are. Together you’ll laugh, cry, encourage and grow. This is a family that will always have your back (physically and emotionally!). Don’t be surprised if you leave the retreat with lifelong friends. It happens all the time.

6. It’s a digital detox

You’ll be living that Instagram dream life without having to scroll through it. In fact, you can leave your phone at home for this week – you won’t need it. A yoga retreat is the perfect time to take a digital detox. We spend waaaaay too much time on social media and on our phones in general. This is your opportunity to turn off the phone, step outside and truly live your life. There is nothing more important than being fully present for yourself and it’s impossible to do that when you’re staring at a screen.

7. You’ll connect with nature

Routine is great, but it can also be a huge distraction from paying attention to what’s going on around us. Not only is a retreat a break from routine but it allows you to fully live in the moment. There’s a reason yoga retreats are often based in stunning locations; because you’re in the best frame of mind to enjoy it. Go on that hike. Sit outside with your coffee. Watch the sunset. You’ll never feel so connected and so powerful as when you’re enjoying nature and a yoga retreat gives you ample time and opportunity to do just that.

8. Sunshine and fresh air do the body good

And on that note, may we remind you how awesome being outside is for you?! The modern lifestyle doesn’t promote going outside as much as it should. Instead we’re usually indoors and looking at a screen. So it’s no surprise we’re more deficient in vitamin D, higher in stress and anxiety and generally more unhappy than ever. It’s time to get outside. Soaking up the sun, walking among the trees, even laying on the beach are all proven to improve personal health and wellbeing. A yoga retreat gives you the chance to get outside and refresh your system.

9. You’ll fall in love with yourself

You did it. You showed up, you exercised daily, meditated, ate healthy and really put yourself out there. You said YES to taking care of yourself. By the end of the week, you’ll realize how amazing you truly are. Because you ARE amazing. But sometimes we forget that when we’re busy rushing from one appointment to the next or scrolling through Instagram and envying our friends. A yoga retreat is just another reminder to stop and look at how awesome YOU are. Showing up for yourself is one of the most courageous acts you can do, and we know you have it in you.

10. It’s the best gift to give yourself

At the end of it all, it all comes back to YOU. A yoga retreat is the best gift to give yourself because it’s one that promises to keep on giving. You’ll leave the retreat with a stronger body, a daily meditation practice, tips on how to prepare healthy and delicious meals, new friends to provide you with tons of support and a taste of how invigorating life NOT spent in front of a screen is. It truly is a wonderful way to change your life for the better. Don’t deny yourself the amazing life you deserve.

Yoga for weight loss

Yoga is beautiful practice with many benefits. Especially if you practice regularly. More than just stretching and relaxation, it can also be a great way to manage your weight. Not only does yoga build muscle (which is important in speeding up your metabolism), it can raise your heart rate and decrease stress.

If you’re looking to add “weight loss” to your personal list of yoga benefits, try Vinyasa Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Hatha Yoga or Forrest Yoga. These styles go above and beyond simple stretching and meditation, incorporating strength-boosting poses, faster transitions between poses (hello higher heart rate!) and a ton of core work.

Of course, it’s important to find the style that feels right for you. Weight loss is different for every body and the most important part of achieving your weight goal is to make sure it’s done in a way that supports your body and is something you can commit to doing regularly. If Vinyasa Yoga totally exhausts and depletes you, it won’t be beneficial for weight loss over the long term as you will likely rest more between classes and maybe turn to comforting snacks more often. Find what makes you feel powerful, beautiful and strong and your body will quickly follow suit. Check out local studios, online videos or even our Facebook group for different styles of yoga until you find the one that works for you.

And keep it consistent! A daily yoga practice is SO beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health. Even if it’s a quick 10 minutes between appointments or a handful of invigorating poses before your morning coffee, your body will thank you. Once you have the asana practice, you will also begin craving healthier foods to nourish your body. Check out our post on healthy snacks for inspiration.

Remember: getting started is the hardest part. It takes time to build a habit and change your life. Our yoga retreats are a fantastic way to kickstart your personal yoga revolution. Not only will you be practicing yoga daily but you’ll be served 3 healthy and delicious meals, tons of sunshine and fresh air, surf lessons and freedom from the distractions of your daily life to commit to this goal. These retreats give you all the tools you need to go home and maintain your practice, your health and your overall wellbeing.

Check out what past guests have said:

“From the moment I stepped foot onto Anamaya’s property, I felt the magic in and around my soul. I felt like home immediately. Every there with you is a like-minded individual, most likely looking for the same things in their life at that moment. A life changing mind-body-soul experience. The property is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is like one big home, with many small guest houses littered around the jungle property. From almost anywhere you have a sweeping ocean view. Everything is beautiful, and the decor is very Moroccan and comforting. The staff is immediately like family to you, and they take care of you like family. The food is out of this world. Everything is so healthy and delicious. My stomach had never been happier than it was that one week. The yoga is by far the best yoga I have ever done. I know this is all dependent on the instructors, but I have a feeling anyone Anamaya would pick will be amazing. Their yoga decks are out of this world beautiful. You feel like you are in a dream, practicing yoga, with the sounds of the jungle, thunder, rain, butterflies flying around you. So tantric and mystifying. The activities are ALL so fun. Do as many as you can, but make sure to leave enough time to relax and be alone. Coming alone on this trip, I am surprised how little I spent by myself. I literally had to carve out time in my days to sit and meditate myself, otherwise you are with friends, having a blast! I could honestly go on, and on, and on about this place. But all you need to know, is that you need to go here, SOON. You WON’T regret it, and it WILL change your life.”

“The food was amazing. It was filling, healthy and delicious. Even with all the delicious food, I was able to lose a lot of weight because I was not eating any junk. Anamaya has thought of everything and the attention to detail is superb. Everything is planned out perfectly. You can either have a very busy week filled with activities or you can have a totally blissful week. The service is far superior to any 5 star hotels in the entire world because they treat you like family instead of guests.”

“Anamaya and the staff are amazing! My friends and I went for a yoga and surf retreat and came back with way more than we expected. The staff are so kind and fabulous that I left feeling like I have extended family. The other guests who were there when we were there were wonderful so we made lots of new friends. The food was A-mazing, healthy and all dietary needs met. The yoga classes were a great workout in the mornings and rejuvenation in the evenings. Look no further, you will get more than your money’s worth at Anamaya!!!”

5 Healthy, tropical snack ideas

You’re home from vacation and already missing the beach, the palm trees and all those yummy tropical eats. Don’t worry – we’re here to help you bring a little bit of that sunshine back onto your plate. Here are 5 healthy, tropical snack ideas to keep the vacation vibes going…

1. Guacamole

What is more delicious than guacamole?! Seriously. It’s creamy, savory, smooth and so, so yummy. Plus it’s packed full of healthy fats and nutrients. To keep your guacamole natural and tropical, try to use whole ingredients (no pre-mixes, please!) such as avocados, lemons, onion, fresh cilantro, chilis (if you like to keep things spicy) and sea salt. This delicious dip can be paired with tortilla chips, fresh cut veggies or even as a topper for tacos. Yum!

2. Fruit smoothie

The best way to get a taste the beach, the palm trees, and that warm breeze is in a tropical smoothie. Nothing is more tropical than a fruity mix of the best Mother Nature has to offer. Blend pineapple, mango, starfruit, banana, papaya, passion fruit, orange or any of your other favorite tropical fruits with coconut water and a little bit of ice and you’ll be instantly transported back into your favorite lounge chair at the beach.

3. Energy bites

A quick and easy pick-me-up for those long afternoons that will fill you with energy and make your taste buds swoon. All you need to do is mix together your favorite nuts, dried fruit and spices in a food processor, pack them into little balls and snack away! These are a guest favorite here at Anamaya and we even have a recipe on our Instagram.

4. Summer rolls

So fresh and so good. Summer rolls are crisp, crunchy, and packed full of nutritious fruit and vegetables. They are the perfect light and healthy snack for any time of day. Plus, they are super easy to make and are incredibly versatile. You can make these with any of your favorite produce – raw or cooked. To keep with our tropical vibe, we recommend adding fresh mango, avocado, cilantro, and a little lime juice. Your taste buds will thank you!

5. Fruit and cheese plate

We love a good fruit and cheese plate because it’s filling and fun. Tap into your creative side as you play with the combinations on your plate to hit the spot. Whether that be fresh baked bread, a tropical fruit mix, vegan or creamy cheese or whole grain crackers, the beauty is that it’s all up to you. This easy snack is great for sharing and especially enjoying poolside.

Why should you go to a YTT?

Ok, you’ve got the regular yoga practice, the daily meditation and you’ve been doing yoga for the past 5 years… it’s time to take it to the next level and start teaching yoga, right?

Or, you’ve always loved yoga and helping others so doing a yoga teacher training seems like the rational next step, isn’t it?

Deciding when the “right time” to do your YTT isn’t easy, especially if you have no idea when the “right time” is! So here’s the secret: there is no “right time.”

If you practice yoga then you already know everything flows to the next step/asana/project/etc. when it’s ready. NOT when it’s “right.” If you are ready to take your yoga practice to the next level then you’re ready for a YTT. It’s as simple as that.

A YTT is for anyone who is ready to immerse themselves more deeply into the study and practice of yoga. That’s it. If that sounds like you then congratulations, you’re ready for a YTT!

Our YTTs provide 200 hours of hands-on yoga training in topics such as: anatomy, philosophy, yoga sequencing, and meditation. Students receive 3 organic, gourmet, super healthy and delicious meals each day, lodging in luxurious cabinas boasting unforgettable ocean and jungle views, and a new yoga family that will love and support you along the way.

Not only will you finish your YTT fully certified to go out and teach yoga but you will be in the best shape of your life physically, mentally and emotionally.

And if you don’t want to teach yoga but you still want all that good stuff? A YTT is for you, too. Seriously. Remember: a YTT is just another step on your yoga journey. There is no “right” way to go on this journey. There is only your way because this is your journey.

At Anamaya we’ve had students who’ve graduated from the YTT program to go out into the world and… not teach. And that’s awesome because it shows us how powerful and personal a YTT can be; it’s a tool to allow you to teach yoga or the vehicle to change your life (or both!). But how you use it is up to you. There’s no right or wrong way.

So if you’re looking for a sign to do your YTT, this is it. Go out there and DO it. The world is yours for the taking, your life is yours for the changing.  If you’re ready, we’re here to help you move forward. Learn more about how you can join us for our next YTT by emailing us at [email protected]m or reaching out to us here. We can’t wait to see you shine.

Still not convinced? Check out these experiences from past guests:

“I also attended the September YTT. It was a phenomenal program, unlike anything I can describe here. I highly recommend Anamaya, the staff are amazing, Jackie Chiodo is an incredible Yoga teacher. The physical place is even more beautiful then the pictures allow and the food is to die for! Well worth it!”

“I spent three weeks at Anamaya in January for a yoga teacher training, which was beyond excellent. The resort itself is utterly beautiful, set amongst nature but with a high level of luxury. The yoga decks and provisions were perfect, as were the staff who were all so friendly and professional. I was lucky enough to have a room with a semi outdoor bathroom and a private terrace with a hammock. I would definitely recommend Anamaya.”

“This the most amazing resort I have visited. The energy and beauty of this place goes far beyond anything you can imagine from looking at their pictures. The staff make you a part of their family and you could not ask for anything more from them. As for the yoga teacher training, I never imagined I would go through such a positive transnational program and feel such a great change in myself. Thank you for the amazing program….. and thank you for having everything organized so perfectly so I could just focus on my own journey and enjoy every minute of it!!”