Montezuma Yoga

By Angela Boltz

Aside from the decision to actually leave Montezuma at the close of the yoga retreat, the most difficult part of my week there was making it through an entire Savasana without drifting off into daydreams about the organic breakfast buffet served directly after our morning yoga session. Not bad living, one might say. I’d say…. not bad at all.

Montezuma, Costa Rica, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, is just one of those places. One of those MAGICAL finds that feels more like a sacred moment in space and time than an actual destination. Here, it seems, life supports you in kicking off the flip-flops, feeling the bare earth beneath your feet, and connecting with whatever natural rhythms move you.

In my humble opinion, this place was made for a yoga retreat.

If you’re looking for a resort, you’ve gotten off the bus at the wrong stop. Keep on going north and you’ll find one of those up in Tamarindo. Montezuma is a simple town, full of simple pleasures, just perfect for the modern or not-so-modern Bohemian. It’s not that Montezuma lacks style. The local culture exudes refined taste in just about everything…. from food, art, clothing, philosophy, and music. However, if you are expecting a steamy 20-minute shower before dinner or a good night sleep on a Sealy Posturpedic, you are sure to bedisappointed.

Montezuma Yoga, run by Dagmar Spremberg, is a true celebration of all that is natural. One morning of asana in the yoga pavilion is enough to shed the burdens of a lifetime. With a breath-taking view of the Pacific coast, the smell of Ylang-Ylang wafting past your nose, and the dueling sounds of waves and howler monkeys, the senses are encouraged to new heights while the mind discovers a brand new level of quietude.

Should you choose to spend your day at the retreat center, you’ll likely discover many flavors of relaxation. Private eco-friendly accommodations, including several rustic bungalows nestled inside a lush Mango Grove, are the perfect place to lie in hammock and do, well… whatever you wish. In my case, many intentions for private reflection turned, rather, into peaceful afternoon napping. In it’s true holistic spirit, Montezuma is Chock-Full O’ Bodyworkers whom you can often find spreading their energy around the retreat center. If your first daily yoga practice has left you craving healing hearts and hands, I recommend scheduling a massage session with Cordula, she is a truly gifted, local therapist whose presence I am grateful for having shared, and whose vibration is still coursing through my body.

In Montezuma, you can actually feel the thickness of prana in the air. In a gentle effort to soak it all in, you may find yourself wandering away from the comfort of the retreat center during afternoon downtime. If independent adventure isn’t your style, there are plenty of options for planned excursions, such as surfing, hiking, and horseback riding. For a uniquely special, soul-satisfying experience, try boating to Tortuga Island for a day of snorkeling. If you are not much of a joiner (or your budget is tight), private exploration of this coastal rainforest can occupy hours of the day. Montezuma boasts endless miles of pristine coastline and over twelve waterfalls alone. We’ve lost more than one yogi this way whom, after missing the evening yoga class, has coming running down the footpath to dinner with bright eyes and stories they can’t wait to tell. Trust me. It happens to even the most dedicated of students‚Ķ.and teachers

And speaking of dinner… if ever a meal has been a spiritual experience, this has been both the place and the time. Our pre-arranged dinners at Playa Los Artistas, a traditional Italian restaurant, were a blissful experience. Well-prepared, family-style portions of fresh fish and organic seasonal greens (coupled with a Caipirinha or two) were the perfect way to satisfy the belly and the soul before of a slumber indicative of a day well spent.

If you are like most of us traveling yogis and yoginis, you don’t need the glitz and glam of a high end yoga vacation. Many of these retreats, despite the hefty pricetag, offer little in the way of intimacy with attendees, at times, reaching into the hundreds. What we are seeking is true, honest-to-goodness, organic connection. And Montezuma Yoga is just the place. Ongoing retreats, with skilled yoga teachers from around the globe, vary in cost. However, Dagmar offers “yoga only” prices for those who’d like to find accommodations and meals elsewhere, ensuring that her retreats are affordable and that yoga remain the priority of her business. She also hosts private retreats, which can be arranged in accordance to the needs of each individual group.

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