Radical Restoration Retreat in Costa Rica

I am beyond delighted to announce that I will be one of the three facilitators at a restorative retreat in Costa Rica from February 15 to 22nd, 2011.
How would you like to spend a week in the jungle and on the beach, in deep communication with yourself, body and soul, through yoga, movement and writing?

I have been working with Deepam as a writing colleague for the last year and I have taken a yoga class with Esana (the most amazing yoga class of my life).


– a week to remember: to write your heart, open your body, dance your soul, or do nothing at all… Whatever you need to restore you to yourself.

With Evelyn Lofty, Deepam Wadds, Susan Lynn Reynolds

  • Journalling as a Contemplative Practice
  • Restorative Kripalu Yoga
  • Guided Dance Meditation
  • Fabulous, delicious meals prepared from local ingredients (dietary needs are honoured).
  • Expansive, non-commercial Pacific Ocean beach
  • Salt Water Pool
  • Open sided yoga/movement cabana
  • Private, gated estate, exclusively for our retreat (maximum 16 participants) – personal, attentive, delightful service

The estate is located just north of Dominical on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

  • All inclusive price (Flight, program, accomodation, meals, transfers and taxes)
  • Deepam organized and facilitated the retreat last year and will be doing so again this year. Since she’s been there before, and since she’s a beautiful writer, I thought I’d let her words speak for themselves. This is what she has written about this year’s event (the pictures are from last year):

    February. The winter has gone on too long. Summer seems a thousand days away. The body is heavy with winter’s weight, and it longs to stretch and move in a warm and friendly place. To let fall the coat and kick off the boots, and run through the surf on an endless beach.


    Yoga in the jungle. Freefall writing to tap into the magic of words. Endless days on the beach. Dance meditation before dinner. New and old friends to chat and laugh with. Delicious meals made from local produce. The music of cicadas. Salt-water pool. Costa Rica. The Rich Coast.

    A dear friend has been urging me for a few years to take a group on retreat to Cabinas Alma, near Dominical, in Costa Rica. When she went there on a yoga retreat, it was a “the rest is history” sort of story. She fell in love with the land and the sea there, made fast friends with Sabina, the owner of the estate, and bought herself a piece of paradise close by.

    Esana and DeepamSince 1998, Esana and I have hosted retreats that feature Kripalu Yoga, moving meditations, and awareness exercises. In the past few years, we have offered them twice a year, usually for a weekend. The idea of taking a group far from home at first was daunting, but when I offered the suggestion to Esana, her instant, yes! made the possibility a reality.

    We took our first group of seventeen to this oasis on the Pacific coast last February(2010). To say that it was a wonderful experience would be an understatement. We had a perfect mix of couples, singles and even a mother and son. The grounds are lush, filled with nourishing and healing plants and trees – from cashew and starfruit, to pineapples, guanabana, avocado, mango, banana, papaya, a full herb garden, flowering trees and flowering bushes, toucans in the trees, cicadas layering the air with their hypnotic sound. The warmth of the place wraps you in its arms and inspires your muscles to let go into deep relaxation. The yoga palapa sits across a small arched bridge from the dining room. It’s an open-air space tucked into the jungle. Here, we also danced, overhead fans blazing away the heat from our bodies.


    And then there is the beach. What was so stunning about this beach is the space – it stretches wide and magnificent as far as the eye can see, in both directions. Bordered by palm and shrubbery for picnics and refuge from the sun, it is a vast playground of unblemished sand and sea. Some participants spent hours combing the beach for sand dollars, shells, and bits of treasure. Others, like me, jumped and played in the waves, until the sun set.

    And then there is the food. Almost exclusively organic, the food was simply prepared, local, delicious and satisfying. Fresh fish and a wonderful array of vegetables and grains. Every meal a delight as well as an opportunity to meet and chat with participants in a gorgeous setting.


    And then there is the pool. Just up a stone step path and through an archway waits a perfect blue salt-water pool, surrounded by a wooden and tile deck. There we lounge or swim or hang out, arms slung over the edge as our legs slowly slide back and forth through the silky water, chatting and laughing , or with our heads back, drinking in the fragrance of the flowering trees.

    In the morning, before breakfast, we practice a gentle, flowing yoga, our senses ignited amidst the sounds of roosters and cicadas, huge brilliant blue butterflies drifting by. We learned this trip, about when to dance and when to sit, so that for our next trip, we have put each meditation in a place that suits the pace of the place. After breakfast, we have the honour of having my own writing teacher, Susan Lynn Reynolds, facilitating an hour or so of “freefall” writing practice. This is an opportunity to let your pens do the writing, to get out of the critic’s way, and let the magic happen.


    During the day, we can go to the beach, take a trip to Dominical, hire a horse, go to the nearby eco-reserve and take a zipline excursion through the jungle. You can even spend the day on horseback, taking a trip to a magnificent waterfall.

    Before dinner, I offer a moving meditation, an exploration of rhythm as we tap into the wellspring of the body’s expression. After dinner, a quiet meditation and optional reading from the day’s writing. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

    Participants are free to pick and choose which activities they wish to join. No pressure. No hurry. No worries.

    This year, we are offering the retreat for the week of February 15 to 22, 2011. In our costs, we have included flight, accommodation, meals, facilitation and taxes. You just have to show up!

    Testimonials from last year’s participants:

    “Wow – Yes. A perfect combination of luxury and simplicity, rest and activity, hospitality and respite, people and place. Count me in!” E.L.

    “Personally, I liked everything… I enjoyed: the food, the atmosphere, the yoga and dance, the special activities: zipline, kayaking the mangrove, walking the beach, riding the surf, browsing and shopping, horsebacking to the waterfalls, splashing in the pool… Oh – the facilitation was great! Returning… someday. Finally, experiencing the here and now!” S.S.

    “I would do it again next year and I would not change anything. Yoga, movement, activities, food, location all superb! You did a magnificent job!” T.R.
    “Fabulous food every meal, lovely garden, wonderful accommodating hostess (Sabina is the best), great rooms, great pool, wonderful flower arrangements in the dining room, program both dance and yoga excellent, wonderful staff…” C.Y.

    “What I liked: fresh fruit YUM!!!, tour of grounds, eating healthy, using the pool anytime, yoga and dancing, the camaraderie of everyone, the slower pace of just being able to read and relax…” D.B.

    “The accommodations were wonderful. I very much appreciated the ease of saying, yes – and the retreat was booked. I liked that I didn’t have to think about the travel, accommodations or meals (less stress and can focus on relaxation). The food was spectacular! Very wholesome and delicious. A1!! The exercises were great…” “It is hard to say exactly what experience each individual had in Costa Rica, I can say it was magical and restorative. (and I knew when I walked into work on Monday morning…I wasn’t there anymore.”J.B.

    Thanks so much for arranging this trip. What a great experience! I actually enjoyed the lack of scheduling and the spontaneity of unplanned trips and other adventures. My life can be much too structured. My only suggestion is that perhaps we could incorporate more meditation into the evenings. The one Esana facilitated was an eye-opening experience (no pun intended). M.G.

    “…Would definitely repeat… I really liked starting the day with yoga and doing so early. One and a half hours was perfect. Esana was great as ever (expect no less). I also enjoyed the meditative dance in the evenings. I liked the amount of free time. This gave me what I valued most – the chance to slow right down and live from moment to moment without worrying about time and racing. The setting was perfect. The food and Sabina’s presence added immensely. Felt well held by Deepam – like you were looking out for everyone’s welfare and managing the zillion details with great care and patience. Thank you all so much.” J.O.

    “We did so much in eight days it will take me as much time to review and settle the memories in place. The waterfall trip does stand out. The jungle, the meals, the monkeys, the pride of the family owners and the climb to dive. I think about once every 55 years is about right for that experience of diving free…I’m mindfully washing the sand and salt from my possessions but not my spirit. I had plenty of personal private time by the pool at sunrise and at 10:00pm, solo trips to town and simple prayer before each meal… as I prepare tonight’s meal I reflect that everything served to me was fresh and freshly prepared. Many thanks for your hard work preparing and dealing with unforeseen events. As an adherent of chaos and order I too went with the flow. G.T.

    The Details:


    Registration is done on the Balanced Body Studio website:


    A $500.00 deposit is required to hold your spot for this. (Limited to 16 participants).

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    In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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