Awoken by howler monkeys, intimidated by fellow yogi’s. And then amazing everyone (including toucans) with a perfect Sideway Crane (Bakasana).

The jungle reaches over the hills to the deep blue sea. High in the sky above the valley vultures are soaring. From left to right a toucan flies through the panorama. A hummingbird halts in front of some beautiful flowers. I understand these 270 hectares of rainforest made the  decision to buy easy.

Four friends, 3 Italians and 1 Argentine, wanted to create a secluded place where people could retreat to and become centred. A peaceful, beautiful place where personal growth would come naturally.

From nothing they build Samasati Nature Retreat: approximately 10 beautiful wooden cottages, a lodge, two yoga studios/conference rooms, a vegetarian restaurant, a massage house and a large jacuzzi. I take a deep breath while I try to take in the full beauty of this place and am curious what my stay will bring.

There are 2 yoga classes per day. One at 6:30 am, before breakfast, and one at 5.30 pm. It’s not hard to get up for the morning practise because when the sun rises at 5 am the howler monkeys function as my alarm clock. The sound these monkeys make is best described as deep quaking of a gigantic toad, the barking of a group of wild Shepard dogs and the roaring of a lion. All at once!

I am fully awake by the time I walk down the hill to the yoga studio at 6:15. The temperature is really pleasant at this altitude (200 m up the hill). Not too hot, not too cold, not too humid. This alone is a treat to my muscles. The yoga studio has been build on poles and is surrounded by wonderful flowers. We are with 8 this morning. Yoga teacher Max Monti is teaching yoga at Samasati . He guides us during an Ashtanga practise. This means the postures rapidly follow each other and my body begins to heat up. I think it’s pretty though and catch myself to be slightly intimidated by the level of my fellow classmates. Doing the Sun Salutations I barely manage to place my one leg in front, between my to hands, after a downward dog.

When the rest of the group gets going with a posture I can’t even exactly tell you about (at least one of Max’s legs ends up behind his head and only one hand touches the floor…), only an older lady and I stop to watch the rest. I look at the group with amazement. The older lady decides to prematurely end the class and lies down in Corpse Pose (Savasana).

After class there is fresh pineapple, papaya, melon, granola and scrambled eggs. Today I decide to take it easy and after breakfast I take a small path to the hot tub and end up on a sun bed. The jungle in front of me is so full of life that I can almost feel it buzzing with energy. You don’t have to go look for things here. Just sit still and all sorts things will appear.

Rare and beautifully exotic looking butterflies fly by, red dragonflies are soaring above the Jacuzzi, bright orange frogs are skipping over the terrace. A squirrel manages to free a bean from a pod high up in a tree. Wow! For a animal lover like me, this is absolute heaven.

The evening class is a quieter practise then the one we had this morning.  NO many bugs in the jungle…mMassage therapist Liliana talks about the bugs in a very practical and easy going way as well. ”I am a guest in their house” she says. “I think it’s a great way of looking at it and I find it important to have a respectful approach towards nature”. It’s also very zen.

Next day is a perfect one. We mention that the monkey is far smaller in size than his howling made us believe. “Maybe they think they are big and therefore act big” I wonder out load. “Yes, just like the American men” says Amy with a sigh. She’s here on holiday with her mother. Cheerful and happy I continue with my yoga practise. During a relaxation pose I open my eyes. Through one of the windows I can see a toucan family sitting on a branch. I feel a wave of euphoria: I’m surrounded by nature, I’m in the here and now!

The atmosphere at Samasati is great. Because it’s not build on a large scale you get to know all the guests individually, as well as the staff. And the guests that come here are friendly and open-minded. I am more than welcome to eat my dinner at the table with other guests or the staff. Most of the people stay for a week and after that go to another location in Costa Rica to see some of the country. There are also guests that don’t practise yoga. For them there’s also enough to experience! The Caribbean coast is only half an hours drive away and there are many tours offered.

On the top of the hill, back at Samasati, I see the most wonderful butterfly I’ve ever seen. It’s the enormous bright blue Morpho butterfly. I suddenly remember the words of yoga teacher Max: “You don’t have to go and look for it, sit still and everything will show itself”.


Call us at 2224 1870 in Costa Rica or at 800-563 9643 in the States and ask for the especial summer rates…

You will receive up to 50% disocunt on our normal rates …



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Source / Fuente:

Author / Autor: Silvia Zani

Date / Fecha: 04/07/11

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