The Goddess Garden
The search for a perfect location for our first Yoga retreat carries on. This Tuesday I took off in the SUC (Sport Utility Civic) for a quick jaunt down to Cahuita on the Caribbean coast. I love Cahuita. In the last week, 2 people I know have mentioned a Yoga lodge there, a few minutes from the beach, called The Goddess Garden. Both of them said some amazing things about the location, the lodge and the owners, so naturally, I dropped everything and went down for a one night stay.
What an incredible place! After a rather long but familiar drive and performing a skillful 15 point turn to get the SUC (Sport Utility Civic) dislodged from a pile of dirt in the jungle, I made it to the La Diosa Bed & Breakfast. La Diosa is the sister lodge to the Goddess Garden and where I met Marcelo and Jacqueline, who showed me to my room. An hour after my arrival dinner was being served so I headed down to the surf for a swim, did a Tai Chi short form in the sand, and a few laps in the pool. Then I met Jacqueline to head over to the dining hall at the Goddess Garden.
We had nice, bumpy drive then arrived at the dining hall for an absolutely amazing dinner prepared by the house chef. What a great night to be a vegetarian! The meal had been prepared for a group of 27 Yoga teachers in training and consisted of salads and several dishes prepared with organic vegetables and locally fresh ingredients. It was amazing and I ate as much as I could. Jacqueline really cares about quality food and it shows, what a treat!
After dinner she escorted me to their huge Yoga hall and conference center in the middle of a dense thick of jungle with insects frogs and howler monkeys all singing to us. The meditation hall is enormous and with an incredible soft lighting scheme that makes it feel more like a dance floor than a Yoga studio at night. The conference center downstairs has a beautiful wall length fountain. All of the lodge buildings and grounds are very artistically designed and feature enormous wood carved sculptures by a local artist.
After the walk we went to the beach in front of the Goddess Garden, which is about a 5 minute walk from the lodge. The area opens up to a 10 km or so stretch of secluded Caribbean beach, wow! The Yoga group that was at the lodge this week was having an enormous bonfire in the sand, hosted by Marcelo who told parables and laughed with everyone. The yoga students shared offerings and I couldn’t help but join in and tell the story of parable of the Stonecutter and the Mountain. It became clear that Marcelo and Jacqueline are very special people who have a created a magical place to bring conscious people together for the practice Yoga.
In the morning I got a daylight tour of the grounds and the rooms after having breakfast and lots of delicious Costa Rican café con leche. At the garden there is a tree that is guessed to be 340 years old, a medicinal plant garden, a frog pond, and a fantastic huge swimming pool. All nestled in thick jungle greenery. The rooms are stylishly configured with safes, comfy new beds, Goddess wood carvings and artwork. The rooms also have wireless internet and hot water in all the showers, which is a definite bonus.
I got plenty of information and had a wonderful time meeting Marcel, Jacqueline and the Yoga students. Around 11 I hopped back in the SUC for the long drive home. I cannot wait to have a Yoga retreat here, and I love Costa Rica!