September 11, 2007

Back and better than ever!

Buenos dias, mi bonitas!

I'm back from my amazing yoga retreat at the fabulous Pura Vida Wellness Resort and Spa in Costa Rica, and words can barely express how wonderful it was. I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know 12 extraordinary women—including excruciatingly fabulous retreat leader Kimberly Wilson—with whom I shared six glorious days of vinyasa yoga, meditation, creativity work, hysterical laughter, storytelling, rain-watching, journaling, and spectacular rainforest adventures.

All my photos are now up on Flickr; if for some reason you didn't get my e-mail with the link, just leave me a comment and I'll zap it over to you.

Click below for a complete (sorta) recap of my sojourn:

One thing I definitely did not do on my journey was sleep in: the sun begins rising at 5 am, and by 5:30 the place is awash in sunlight. Possible to sleep through if one must, but not an easy task. Plus, the mornings were our only hours of sunshine, as the seasonal rains rolled in each afternoon, so one had to enjoy it while it lasted. Consequently, I was typically in bed by 10 every night to recharge for the next day.

On non-excursion days (Sun-Tue-Thurs), we had a discussion/yoga/meditation session from 10 am to 1 pm, followed by lunch and free time, then another session from 4:30 to 6:30. On group excursion days (Mon & Fri), we met for yin yoga from 7 to 8 am, then it was off to play tourist at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens (Mon) and the Poas Volcano (Fri), followed by our regular 4:30 session. Wednesday was a free day for optional excursions or just hanging out; about eight of us opted for a half-day canopy tour and had a fantastic time zipping through the trees, followed by a relaxing (and rainy!) afternoon at the resort.

I also had the pleasure of indulging in not one but two sensational spa treatments. The first was a "myfascial release" massage—not for the faint of heart, as it involved no oil or lotion whatsoever, just Rodrigo and his Hands of Death, er, I mean, Healing (felt really good ... the next day). The second was a full-body coffee scrub; it started with an allover body massage, then the lovely Alex covered me with a ground-coffee/coconut oil scrub (divine!), followed by 15 minutes under a steam tent and a mini-facial. Left me feeling like a happy little espresso-flavored bonbon!

During some private time with Kimberly I had a chance to ask her about her own blog and discuss some of my ideas for the future of the Hellooooo Gorgeous community. (What's that? Well, yes, I know we just reinvented ourselves, but we've gotta keep looking forward, y'know?) Anyway, she had some terrific advice and together we came up with some amazing ideas, which I'll be putting into place over the next couple of months. My goal is to have the whole project up and running by my birthday (Nov. 17—just in time for the holiday shopping season), and if all goes as planned, 'twilll be a happy birthday indeed.

My #1 objective of the week (you know me—all about the goals, baby!) was to kick-start a daily yoga practice that I can stay committed to and keep up with. I have to say, so far, so good: I've actually been getting up at 5 am to get in a 30-minute yoga/meditation practice before heading off to work, and it's something I can definitely see myself doing over the long term. (Another goal was to wean myself away from caffeine ... which I'll be working on as soon as I settle in to the new sch-ed-u—zzzzzzzz. OH, sorry, dozed off there for a sec. Yeah, one goal at a time.)

All in all, it was a truly magical week, one I'll not soon forget. And yes, of course I missed Hubby and Beagle terribly, but they fared just fine and we all enjoyed a happy reunion upon my return.

Ladies, if you ever get the chance to spend time at this wonderful location, don't even think—just say !

I promise to get the blog back on schedule next week, once I'm fully reacclimated at home and work. Hope you all are well and had a great week. Til later, namaste.

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