Living Pura Vida at Blue Osa Yoga Resort

Living Pura Vida at Blue Osa Yoga Resort

I didn’t know a whole lot about Central America or Costa Rica before visiting, but if there’s one thing I knew, it was pura vida.

Literally meaning “pure life”, this little phrase commonly used as a greeting packs a big punch. Pura vida is Costa Rica’s namaste; acknowledging gratitude and living life to the fullest.

With awareness of this phrase quickly spreading, people have been flocking to Costa Rica like crazy to do some soul searching in hopes of finding their own pura vida. 

As many of you may know, back in August I turned 25. Queue quarter life crisis I joked, but really, there was some truth behind it. I had just quit my job in Hong Kong and had moved back to the US with no plan. What was I doing with my life?

Then, I was invited on a week-long yoga retreat at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa, deep in the jungle of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014  Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

The Osa Peninsula is known for its pristine rainforest hardly touched by tourism. Despite knowing this, it still shocked me when the little plane landed and there was not a hotel in sight.

A trip to the Osa promises leaving behind sterile chain hotels and restaurants, and instead trading them for tiny eco-resorts, mile upon mile of black sand beaches, and the chance to get in reconnect with nature.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Blue Osa is known for its sustainable tourism, healthy farm-to-table meals, and beautiful beachfront views. It’s the perfect location to nourish your body, mind and spirit through their morning meditations, daily yoga sessions and clean eating.

It’s the perfect place to go when you need to clear your head and find some answers, your pura vida— even if you don’t think you have any questions.

My Week at Blue Osa

After landing in Puetro Jimenez in a tiny airplane of death, we then continued to drive 10MPH for eight miles down a winding (and insanely bumpy) dirt road. Finally, we reached the entry of Blue Osa. See? I told you it was secluded.

Immediately I was whisked off to a soothing massage. Not a bad way to kick off a week of relaxation if I do say so myself.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the property, lounging by the pool, and playing with resident pups Rama, Pete and Steve on the beach. Once all the guests arrived, we were each shown to our rooms for the week.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Modestly furnished, each room was bright and cozy, while keeping green design in mind.

As there is no air-conditioning, we often kept our window open. The sounds of waves crashing in the distance, only added to the relaxing atmosphere. And when the wind picked up, melodic chimes could be heard from down below.

Wandering around the premises, there were many Buddhist and Zen touches, which reminded me of the many temples I visited in Asia.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014  Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Each morning, we would begin our day observing silence, but that didn’t mean that nature would always follow suit. More often than not, I was awoken to the sweet sounds of scarlet macaws chattering in the trees and the more horrible sounds of howler monkeys, which sounded like a baby seal getting clubbed.

That’s one of the fun parts about being in the Osa, you truly are in the jungle, so you never know what wildlife you’ll encounter lurking about ready to kill you.

And each evening, we would return to our room wondering what critter had also found its way in. When we were lucky it was simply Pete or Rama or cute little geckos, but on other occasions it was a giant black centipede, or worse, scorpions.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

As the bell rang signaling breakfast, most people were already downstairs with their laptops.

The Wifi overall was spotty, encouraging everyone to semi-disconnect for the week. Most people complained that the internet didn’t even reach their rooms, so everyone just hung around the common areas when they needed their internet fix. I, however, appreciated the state of the internet and took it as a welcomed opportunity to feel relieved of work for once in my life.

Breakfast, like all meals at Blue Osa, was beyond incredible. Almost all meals were either dairy-free or gluten-free, and all organic and vegan.

They actually have their own garden where they grow a lot of their own food. Perfect for those who want to practice self-sustenance and clean eating.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014  Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

The farm-to-table meals were all prepared daily by French chef Marie and her amazing team. Before we actually dug into each meal, they would lay everything out and talk about what they each prepared as we gave thanks and reflected on our day.

Marie is currently working on a cookbook called Voila, and I can’t wait to buy it. All of her dishes were healthy, and surprisingly delicious. And that’s coming from a meat eater.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014  Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

While I’ll admit that by the end of the week there was nothing I was craving more than a burger, eating vegan for that week did have me feeling better than ever with lots of new-found energy.

Energy that was the spent engaging in adventurous activities and daily yoga. 

From kayaking through mangroves and whale watching, to trekking through the rainforest and releasing baby sea turtles, we spent each day pushing our bodies and minds only to ground ourselves later on at yoga.

The bell rang. It was time for our first yoga session.

Now, I had never done yoga before. Neither had Johnny.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

Grabbing our mats, we chose a spot at the back of the room to roll them out. After all, knowing that everyone else had prior yoga experience, I did not want them to see me spending most of the class in child’s pose– not that I even knew what that was yet.

Aaron, the owner of Blue Osa, met us upstairs where he switched roles becoming Yogi Aaron. Having taught yoga since the early 1990s, it was Aaron’s dream to create an environment where people could come to nourish the mind and body.

As I laid on the floor in shavasana– calm, listening to the nearby ocean, I’d say he was pretty successful.

He began each session with a talk about life, why Asana and finding stillness.

As we began to move through the different poses and through Sun Salutations, I began to notice my mind becoming still. Even in only a week, I felt my posture changing and felt renewed. Despite hating any sort of workout (especially in groups), I actually really, really enjoyed it.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014  Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

I’m not going to say yoga is easy– because it’s not. It’s challenging, but in a good way. A way that invigorates you and rewards you.

I left Blue Osa Yoga Resort & Spa feeling rejuvenated and inspired for change.

And guess what? I’m still practicing yoga six months later.

Osa Peninsula - Aug 2014

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Have you practiced yoga before? How do you find pura vida?

We were guests for the week of Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa. As always, all opinions are my own regardless of who’s footing the bill.
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79 Comments

  1. March 1, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    My husband has always been in love with the central american cultures, we’d love to go to a place like this. A yoga resort to relax you after crawling in the jungles all day sound like heaven to us.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      It was!! We loved getting to be adventurous during the day and then going back to relax and unwind in the evening.

  2. February 28, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    Oh my gosh this place looks fantastic! I wnt to pack and immediately go there for a much needed R & R!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      Do ittttt. ;)

  3. February 26, 2015 / 8:05 pm

    A yoga resort! This makes me want to try yoga again!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:24 pm

      You should!! It was a lot of fun.

  4. February 25, 2015 / 8:57 pm

    This looks so spectacular. Relaxing, yoga, Costa Rica…where to I sign up?! I’d love to go here. Definitely going on my list!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      I know, right? It was pretty much everything I needed for the week.

  5. February 25, 2015 / 4:59 pm

    This looks like such a relaxing resort. I would love to go to some place like this on our next vacation.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:22 pm

      You should! It’s perfect for a little r&r.

  6. February 25, 2015 / 8:12 am

    I’m currently reading Eat, Pray, Love and even though I am not a person who is spiritual in any kind of way, maybe it would be good for me to focus on something else someday and take a relaxing getaway … thanks for the inspiration!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:22 pm

      I’m not spiritual either, but yoga is just a great workout!

  7. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    February 25, 2015 / 5:54 am

    What a beautiful looking place, it seems so peaceful there. I love the pool area, so relaxing.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:21 pm

      Lounging by the pool was always the perfect way to spend the afternoon!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:21 pm

      It was!!

  8. Stephanie C.
    February 24, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    This loos amazing, stunning and relaxing – and that food…how wonderful!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      It was!!

  9. February 24, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    All of this sounds wonderful… except the yoga! I’m a yoga class drop. I just couldn’t get into it. I know millions of people love it, but it just wasn’t for me. Again, everything else sounds absolutely wonderful, though! So relaxing!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:19 pm

      It’s fine if you don’t like yoga! There’s plenty of other great stuff going on at Blue Osa to keep you busy :)

  10. February 24, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    That spa is stunning. I really hope that I can make it out there to witness all of the peace and beauty for my self.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:17 pm

      I hope you do also!

  11. February 24, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    I could find my pura vida on that trip. It looks so peaceful and relaxing. The food looks great too.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:16 pm

      I think a lot of people could find their pura vida at Blue Osa :)

  12. February 24, 2015 / 6:34 pm

    A retreat located there looks like heaven…I would just be happy being surrounded by all of the lush greenery. Being close to the water and having access to a pool is also my kind of getaway. The food looks amazing too.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      Everything about it… it was just perfect!

  13. February 24, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Looks like such an amazing space. It’s beautiful and the food looks super tasty and healthy. So peaceful. I get upset that I can’t run anymore. Then I do yoga and wonder why I don’t try to do it more often.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      I know! I was amazed at yoga and didn’t know why I hadn’t tried it before.

  14. February 24, 2015 / 2:06 pm

    This looks like an amazing place to go for a retreat. I have been wanting to try yoga. It seems like a great way to get in better shape.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      This was my first time and now I’m hooked! Love it.

  15. February 24, 2015 / 1:55 pm

    Everything sounds wondeful (except the kill-you critters ;) ). And the food looks amazing. I’d love to try eating farm to table!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:12 pm

      Haha, so long as you know what to look out for ;)

  16. February 24, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    This place looks amazing and so relaxing! What a fabulous trip!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:12 pm

      It really was!

  17. CourtneyLynne
    February 24, 2015 / 11:58 am

    Omg a yoga resort?!? How totally awesome is this?!? I wanna go ;-)

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      You should!! It was great!

  18. February 24, 2015 / 9:46 am

    What a soothing looking resort. I would love to visit there for the scenery alone.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      Costa Rica has amazing nature and scenery for sure!

  19. Lauren
    February 24, 2015 / 4:48 am

    I could really use a retreat to a spa right now haha! This spa seems so beautiful! Thanks for the review!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      Me too!! This was 6 months ago now :\

  20. February 24, 2015 / 12:25 am

    It looks so beautiful and the resort has some great decor and the surrounding is breathtaking, the food looks awesome too. Would mind being there for a bit i am in need of a holiday

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      If you need a holiday, go go go! It’s wonderful.

  21. February 23, 2015 / 10:57 pm

    That looks so beautiful. I would love to travel here and relax. Love those bright blue walls too!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:08 pm

      The blue was so pretty– and also relaxing!

  22. February 23, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    A yoga resort sounds so beautiful and relaxing; surely something I’d love to go to!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      It was a lot of fun! Plus, yoga!

  23. February 23, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. It makes me want to go on vacation just to take photos.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      Aw, thank you!! That’s basically what got me started! I just wanted to travel so I could photograph things ;)

  24. February 23, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    What gorgeous photos! :) I would love to travel to Costa Rica someday :)

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:06 pm

      I hope you get the chance to visit!

  25. Elizabeth O.
    February 23, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    Is it Bali-inspired? That looks like a kind of resort that really rest my mind…

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:05 pm

      Wasn’t exactly Bali-inspired, just very Zen. :)

  26. February 23, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Such beautiful photos. This is one place I would love to visit when we get a chance to take more vacations. Thank you for sharing.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      I hope you get a chance to visit!

  27. February 23, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    I love the Osa Peninsula – spent 2 weeks in cabins volunteering here a few years back, and you don’t lie – you really are in the middle of the jungle! It was fantastic fun! I would love to head back and spend time in the area while not working ona project – Blue Osa looks like just the place to relax!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      That’s awesome that you got to volunteer there! I’d love to go back and volunteer more.

  28. Jess Scull
    February 23, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    This place looks like a dream come true! Maybe if I click my heels a few times, I will transport there!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:03 pm

      I keep clicking but no good :(
      Hoping it worked for you though ;)

  29. February 23, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    Wow what a beautiful place! And all that food… Looks absolutely incredible! Would love to visit there!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      It was!! I couldn’t believe healthy eating could taste that good.

  30. February 23, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    This place would definitely get rid of a lot of stress. It sounds like it really took you away from the worries of everyday life.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:01 pm

      It really did! I need to go back!

  31. Andrea
    February 23, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    I would love to stay in this place! It looks so spiritually enriching and relaxing. A now bookmarked resort for future reference!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:01 pm

      I hope you get the chance to stay there! Aaron and his lovely staff will pamper you for sure :)

  32. February 23, 2015 / 3:19 pm

    Wow what a lovely place to visit.. i could use a vacation like that!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      I could use another one myself… ;)

  33. February 23, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    What a crazy beautiful area. I can only imagine how much relaxation was done here. Hoo wee.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      Lots of relaxation indeed!

  34. February 23, 2015 / 1:24 pm

    What a gorgeous resort, I’d love to go and relax. And eat, that food looks so tasty and delicious.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      The food was honestly one of the best parts.

  35. February 23, 2015 / 12:12 pm

    Oh my goodness – I am so jealous – It does look wonderful – and like love community rooms – no Internet would be ok for the visit!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      I think I really needed no internet. It’s my goal to disconnect once per year ;)

  36. February 23, 2015 / 9:38 am

    I have not had the pleasure of visitng Costa Rica yet, but have heard wonderful things about it. My sister has visited many times and she loves it. The food looks amazing too!

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 4:58 pm

      It’s a really fun country, and luckily pretty cheap to visit from the US!

  37. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    February 23, 2015 / 9:35 am

    That sounds so relaxing. I would love to do a getaway like this someday. It sounds amazing and all that food looks amazing.

    • Beth Williams
      March 3, 2015 / 4:57 pm

      Oh man, it was such good food!