5 Things about Happy New You! Yoga Retreat that you Won’t Get on Other Yoga Retreats

5 Things about Happy New You! Yoga Retreat that you Won’t Get on Other Yoga Retreats

We’ve all seen it, there are so many yoga retreats out there. Which to pick? Where to go? It’s tough to choose!

But what’s different about ours?

Here are five things you won’t be doing on other retreats that will make your experience with us completely unique!

1. New Year’s Eve Temple Ritual and Paper Lantern Ceremony

Ewa+Valentina after teaching yoga in Costa Rica Paper Lantern Ceremony

For New Year’s Eve we are arranging a paper lantern and fire ceremony on the beach. We will focus on letting go of beliefs that no longer serve us, so that we can set a new intention for how we want 2016 to be and send it out with our lantern into the night.

There will also be a dance party afterwards!

2. Two Different Styles of  Yoga

Ewa+Valentina after teaching yoga in Costa Rica

You get to pick and choose, or try both! Valentina’s classes focus primarily on alignment and precision, through simple postures to understand them at their core, for a more sustainable and focused practice.

Ewa’s signature Skanda style is characterized by strong sequences focusing on movement as a tool for transformation, including lots of inversions and arm balances, plus pranayama, stories about mythology, dream yoga and more!

3. Organic Garden

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Garden Tour Vegetables

Blue Osa, as a proud eco-resort, provides a lush and bountiful organic garden of their own that you can visit or even help out in. See for yourself spinach, basil, tomatoes, papaya, cilantro, peppers, cucumbers that all transition literally…from farm to table.

Check out this great article about 5 things growing a garden will teach you about life from the Blue Osa Blog.

4. Pet Cuddles for Days

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Yoga studio Rama Dog Pet Cuddles

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Yoga studio Rama Dog Pet Cuddles

You know that pet you’ve always wanted but never got because you want to have a life? At Blue Osa you get to enjoy all the benefits of pets without any of the responsibilities!

Join Pete, Rama the doggies and the four kitties for endless cuddles and walks on the beach.

5. Martina’s Jungle Bar

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Yoga Martina's Jungle bar Osa Peninsula Costa Rica

Who doesn’t love the random experience of getting in a 4×4, driving on a dirt road through cows and horses and arriving at a colorfully entertaining, cheetah cushioned, jungle bar?

There you can dance the night away, hula hoop, browse the open air market, purchase Allison’s organic handmade soaps and oils,  people watch while sipping a cerveza or enjoy Barbara’s  homemade ice cream (not to be missed!)

That’s what we call jungle fun!

Happy New You is all about being comfortable with yourself, as you already are, by letting go of the ideas that are holding you back. Besides, we will have so much fun!

For Foodies Only: Blue Osa’s Seven Best

For Foodies Only: Blue Osa’s Seven Best

One of the aspects that makes your Blue Osa experience divine is the gourmet food made with love.


Blue Osa 6 foods that will have you rave Costa Rica Yoga


Here are the six best Blue Osa foods that will have you rave for days.  Ranging from savory to tangy, exotic and subtly sweet, these flavors are bound to blow your mind.


1. Zucchini Flan


Zucchini Flan Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


This is one of my personal favorites. Often served for lunch alongside a refreshing salad and some other veggie dishes, this fluffy flan is always perfectly executed and emanates pure summertime sweetness.


2+3. Coconut-Encrusted Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa


Mahi Mahi Coconut Encrusted With Mango Salsa Blue Osa Yoga Costa Rica


Mango Salsa Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


If you are a lover of coconut and a lover of fish you will adore this entree. The finely chopped mango salsa freshens the crisp Mahi Mahi texture for a combo made in heaven.


4. Fresh Guacamole With Patacones


Guacamole with Patacones Blue Osa Yoga Costa Rica


Guacamole Extra Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


This is a Costa Rican classic. Smooth and velvety avocado served with the crunchy, salty plantains and a dash of lime. It’s a party in your mouth!


5. Blue Osa’s Star Fruit Crumble with Fresh Vanilla Whip Cream

Star-Fruit-Crisp-Costa-Rica-Blue-Osa-Dinner-Valentina Rose Blog


Healthy and decadent, this dessert is a Blue Osa original. The warm, slow cooked star fruit is topped by a sweet crumble with a dash of soft whip cream on top to finish it off.


6. Piña Colada


Pina Colada Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


When in the tropics, a Piña Colada is a must! You just can’t go wrong with this tropical and luxurious cocktail involving fresh pineapple and coconut milk. Sweet and inviting from start to finish, with a tad of rum that will pleasantly relax your night away.


7. Passion Fruit Cocktail


Passion Fruit Cocktail Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


With tangy notes and a kick this elegant passion fruit cocktail will surprise your taste buds. Enjoy the passion fruit’s crunchy bits a the bottom!


Needing Less, Wanting More.

Needing Less, Wanting More.

Overbooking my schedule since returning to California has left me tired and overwhelmed.  I can never turn down an opportunity, so now I never stop –I leave the house at 8am and come back at 10pm. What have I done to myself?!

It’s in these moments that I appeal to my yoga values. Yoga, in its non dogmatic form is the only philosophy whose moral codes I was able to identify with and slowly make my own.


Costa Rica aparigraha Blue OSa Beach Jess
Back on the beaches of Blue Osa where my life was much more relaxed. Photo credit: Jess Brown at http://www.jessicalucille.com



Aparigraha=Non grasping. Not wanting more. It is the fifth Yama (code of self-restraint) of the Yoga Sūtras, which shapes the Raja Yoga tradition. Aparigraha is my biggest challenge and at the same time my pillar of streght. It gives me mental sanity to know that there is something out there acknowledging  my attachments and giving me some sort of guidance. Aparigraha is a call against greediness, against selfish material attachment.

I always wish for more work, more fun, more sun, more yoga, more running, more free time, more food, more travel, more clothes. It’s hugely important to know that we have enough. There is no universal gauge of “enough” though; we have to create it ourselves by setting boundaries and accepting what we already have.

Especially for those of us who are obsessive in their personality, overachievers or workaholics, non-grasping is a challenging daily practice. Because we always want more, for better of or worse. And we can’t let go of the thought that if did have more, if we did teach that extra class, if we had gone to that extra dinner, or we had worked that extra shift we would be better off. And then we start to reminisce bitterly on how we totally missed out. We get FOMO=Fear of Missing Out. The truth is, we did just the right amount. There’s an unshakable sense of peace that comes from no longer directing your energy into wanting more.

 It’s Hard to Say No

Scaling down actually takes just as much effort if not more. It’s a commitment in and of itself. I often find myself thinking “I can’t afford not to make that extra cash”. Well now I know that the extra sleep, a log run and a smile on my face are worth the extra $50 I lost by not working those extra hours.

As my friend Alison once said, “Do push yourself, but don’t push yourself over the edge of a cliff”

Sometimes I feel like we are  expected to be busy and stressed, because it means we are being productive and successful. I hear this conversation all the time at yoga studios: “How have you been?” “Busy. Stressed. I’ve got a lot going on. I can’t sleep. It’s crazy. My fill-in-the-blank are so tight (sigh)”. Hardly do you ever hear: “Good, I’m working,I am well rested, relaxed, and enjoying myself between engagement and having fun”. I want to be the person that gives that answer.

Less is More

I want to back away from this madness. I’d rather have less money, less stress and more time. It sounds lazy doesn’t it? It goes against all values of a consumer driven society. And the Catholic guilt ridden tradition that I’m all too familiar with. You want to work less? Sacrilege! Deadly sin! Shame on you for your slothy behavior.

But I don’t want to be so busy that I forget to answer friend’s emails. I don’t want to be overworked to the point where I see double on the computer screen.  There is value to slowing down, to not produce all the time. So much is happening internally into our bodies at rest. While the benefits aren’t visible to the eye and don’t bank cash, calm moments allow us to recharge energetically, absorb information and regenerate muscle tissue.

After trying both the “less” and the “more” lifestyles, I have absolutely no doubt that I will pursue less rather than more.


For more info on Jess Brown’s work and expeditions check her out at:

Jessica L. Brown

Wilderwomen Expeditions and Coaching

Adventure Coach | Photographer | Videographer


p: (206) 769-9657

e: jess@jessbrownmedia.com



The C Transition- From Costa Rica To California

The C Transition- From Costa Rica To California

They both start with C, but couldn’t be more different. After spending some time in the Southern Part on Costa Rica in the remote jungle and deserted beaches of Blue Osa I am now back in my home, Marin County, CA. Here are my current reflections on the transition.


costa rica to cali transition- Pete
At Blue Osa with Pete the chocolate Lab. Photocred: JONATHAN HöKKLO http://www.hokklo.com


I was not prepared for the cold:  I should have known to expect it, but nevertheless it has been brutal! I have a relly hard time with cold weather. To be clear, cold in my book is under 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Some people love Bay Area weather because it’s never too hot. For me, it throws me off. The Bay Area welcomes you almost daily with cloudy, overcast, foggy and cold weather. So naturally you set up on the couch, on your computer, in cozy mode, with your robe on, sipping tea and gorging muffins in total lazy winter mode. Then all of sudden, around 12pm, the sun appears, it becomes hot and shiny, you feel the urge to get in your bathing suit, go outside, run through the sprinklers, climb a mountain or even get crazy and go to the beach and brave the cold Pacific ocean waters. But don’t be fooled, come 5pm you will need that sweater, and then real quick resort to your Uggs, a hoodie, a scarf and leggings for sure. So whether you are on the Golden Gate bridge on a tourists dodging game or hiking in the redwood trees you will be carrying a total head to toe winter outfit at all times.

Me, on the other hand, I love the tropics, I love himidity, that curly morning hair, the sleeping close to naked. I just love it. love it, love it. I love waking up to heat, having it last through the day, and going to sleep still feeling hot. Like I-can’t-breathe-kind-of-hot. Yes, that sounds amazing to me. Warm water in the ocean, warm water in the pool. Warm summer nights all year round alternated with some refreshing rain storm during which I wore my usual flannel just for the sake of being cozy. That’s Costa Rica. So although I enjoy my occasional cozy mode, I am very much a like a solar powered lizard when it comes to temperature.


Even though Northern California is still one of the chillest places I’ve experienced, it can still be a platform for a stressful lifestyle. Unless you are someone who knows how to carve out time from your day to just be, read a book, relax or meditate, It can still be stressful. I will find myself driving around all day back and forth between places, sitting in traffic, stressing about being late, finding the occasional driver who pisses me off, multi-tasking to the limit, and dealing with modern day problems like neededing to reacharge my phone constantly during the day to withstand the constant use and losing my BKR waterbottle every place I go to do errands and then having to call every place, wait on hold and talk to 5 people before I can trace it back.

Life at Blue Osa was so simple. We woke up, had a set eating routine, and we all knew our day was going to include beach, work, yoga in no particular order. When you find yourself living that lifestyle  and you are stripped of all these “modern day problems” you really get a chance to be much more present and intimate with your own thoughts. Being the good Libra I am, I have it in my goal list to find balance between those two lifestyle modes. 


Possibilities  in the Bay Area seem endless: jobs, housesitting, yoga teaching connections, events, cute cafes, more job connections, museums, music festivals, Burning Man. Food here is amazing and so varied: Ethipian? Indian? Japanese? German? Be my guest! The abundance and selection of farmer’s markets and health food stores is refreshing and exciting. Life here is obviously different than what I was living at Blue Osa: here I am the maker of my own destiny, I choose where to live, which car to buy, where to work, what to eat and when, who I hang out with.

At Blue Osa many more things were already pre-set for me. I had food prepared for me, I had a room, there was no real choice of who to hang out with since I was staying at the resort, no transportation, and my life just took place between the beach, the office, the pool, and Matapalo, the local surf spot. Friday night was the big night at the local jungle bar, Martina’s, where everyone from the small community gathered, and that was about it. Life was simple and oh so beautiful. Let go. Enjoy the small things. I didn’t have to worry about making so many choices because I could just be.Of course there are benefits to both lifestyles, the freedom of choices of the first, and the more surrendered one of Blue Osa.

The thing I learned over the years is that every single place you’ll go has its good sides and the bad sides. Theres’ always another side of the coin and you just can’t have it all. You could be on the most picture perfect tropical island that makes your Instagram feed totally stand out, and yet getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. You could live in the most incredibly modern and stylish apartment in Miami, yet feel completely lonely and alienated from the rest of the people living in your building. Or you could be on the most scenic Santa Cruz beach, but be freezing to death and trying to smile in between goosebump constractions.

Here’s to finding that silver lining in every place we go!