Yoga Teachers: Have you planned your next yoga retreat?
The travel industry is currently worth more than 1.9 trillion dollars.*
Yes, that was TRILLION!
The travel industry has no sign of weakening as wanderlust gains popularity. Instagram is full of hashtags such as, #travel, #bucketlist and #wanderlust, and a growing community of people who aspire to comprehend the world we live in through direct experience.
Today’s traveler seeks something more than the average vacation. The days of people looking for a beach drinking destination are over.
More and more people are now turning to adventure type vacations. From skiing in the Swiss Alps to climbing Mount Everest, scuba diving for underwater treasures in the Galapagos to a search for ship treks in Micronesia’s Truk Islands.
More and more of these adventurers spend their vacation dollars in yoga travel. Only back in 2008, Yoga Journal’s article, “Yoga in America Market Study” showed that practitioners spend $630 million per year — 11.25% of total yoga-related spending — on yoga-based retreats and vacations.
Now in 2015, while new data collected is yet to be collected, we can only guess what this industry is worth based on the number of yoga travel related websites and industries that have cropped up.
It would be too simple to just say that yogis only want adventure. They are looking for much more.
A New Kind of Yoga Retreat.
The simple model no longer works. Yogis want to do something more with their vacation instead of standing on their heads all day long; and you as the yoga teacher need to offer it to them.
Service to the community, or Seva, infused retreats are becoming increasingly popular. Practice yoga in the mornings, and build a home or school in the afternoon.
Yogis leave for home not only empowered from a daily yoga practice, but their lives become more enriched from the experience of giving selflessly.
There is an ancient teaching called the Six Components of Freedom. The six practices suggest that when you feel lacking in your life, or you feel unhappy, that one of the six practices is missing.
Service is one of these six principles.
“Yoga has shown to become a community. And a very powerful one at that. So when I take a powerful community of yogis on a retreat, I believe its important to share that strong sense of community to the places we visit.
Its about karma. Its about giving back. This practice of yoga has given each and every one of us something—a better life, a better perspective. To further that karmic affect, we, as yogis, should give back that better life or perspective to the environment or people who are giving us space to further transform ourselves. When you transform the Self, you want to transform the community around you.”
“It adds contribution/ purpose for the participants, which increases their self confidence and inspiration to make a difference”
– Melissa D’Antoni
“Seva, a service of giving without thinking of result, is a very simple thing. It makes you a leader whether you are or not—whether you deserve to be or not. And it brings you opportunities, prosperities, and all the goods, and God, and goodies of the Universe… You are here to serve, here to lift, here to grace, here to give hope and action, to give the very deep love of your soul to all those who are in need.”
– Yogi Bhajan
Why Does Blue Osa Offer Yoga Service Projects with The Osa Conservation?
As the yoga director and group coordinator for Blue Osa Yoga Retreat, yoga group leaders are asking me, “What can we do to make a difference?”
As more yogis come to Blue Osa, they want to contribute, they want to make a difference, and they want to do more.
Making events or service a part of your retreat is a win/win for everyone:
- Your students have a better experience with an expansive world view.
- You are able to incentivize your yoga retreat value.
- You are given a lot more marketing opportunities.
- Everyone involves feels like they have truly made a difference.
- The people on the receiving end are deeply grateful.
Osa Conservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the globally significant biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.
What makes the Osa Peninsula so special for Yoga Retreats?
This remote corner of Costa Rica harbors 2.5% of the biodiversity of the entire planet in less than a thousandth of a percent of its total surface area. And Blue Osa is so blessed to be able to host yogis from around the world who want to join our efforts in support the Osa Conservation in saving the rainforest.
After 130 million years of existence, the future of these magnificent creatures depends on us.
Monkeys are everywhere on the Osa Peninsula. Many times, we have up to four species at once surrounding Blue Osa.
Every night the sound of frogs is heard throughout the Osa.
You will often find these little guys in our Tamales River, or other rivers on the Osa.
Hummingbirds fill the gardens. The more flowers, the more likely you will see these magical creatures.
The Osa is home to over 319 species of birds.
Many species of turtles live in the rivers and creek beds.
There are seven species of sea turtles in the world and all of them are considered threatened or endangered due to poaching, predation, habitat disturbance and degradation and in-water threats.
The southern beaches of the Osa Peninsula are visited primarily by two species of nesting turtles: Olive Ridley and Black or Pacific Green turtles.
Blue Osa has joined forces with the Osa Conservation who works to protect these magnificent creatures on two critical nesting sites in the peninsula – the Piro and Pejeperro beaches. Learn more about how Blue Osa is helping to save the sea turtles.
The Osa Conservation Sea Turtle Conservation program monitors the nesting activity, predation rates and hatchling success of these incredible species.
The most popular program is the turtle release.
A Look at Saving the Sea Turtle Packages:
Morning Patrol and Sea Turtle Egg Recovery
Time of year: April to November (for other times of the year, please inquire for turtle activity)
Price: $40 per person (Does not include transportation)
Location: Piro and Pejeperro beaches
Departure: 5:00 am
Duration: 2.5 – 3.5 hours
Depart at 5:00 am to their beach. Upon arrival, you will record the tracks that were not recorded the night before. After you will relocate nests that are in the danger zones which are too close to rivers or high tides and bring the eggs to the hatchery. Finally, you mark the nests by means of the method of triangulation to allow for the release of hatchlings from our hatchery nests.
Depart at 7:30 p.m. out of the Biological Station Piro.
Leaving from Blue Osa at 7:30 p.m. all patrols will be given an orientation of the activity before departure. Monitoring patrols will be carried out on the Piro beach. As the turtles come out of the ocean to lay their eggs, we will be marking them, taking measurements of the carapace length, species identification by counting scales and scute. We will also perform a health assessment.
You will be awestruck as you watch nature in action while these majestic and gentle creatures perpetuate their existence in this egg laying process.
And our FAVORITE!
Performed in the early hours of the morning, from 5:30 to 7:00 am in order to avoid high temperatures and activity of predators. We will pass through the station on a path that will take us between 10 to 15 minutes to the nursery. We encourage all participants to have boots for the condition of the trail and crossing the Rio Piro.
Once we’re in the nursery receive introducing our project and goals of our nursery, dynamic activity and proceed to the release of turtles along the beach, all the babies we’ll be releasing in the areas where they were collected and spawned by the mother.
Babies will be releasing in the upper part of the beach, which help them perform imprinting – a process of recognition of the beach which will help them to return when they are adults.
If you or your yoga students would like to find out more information on how to volunteer at the Osa Conservation, you can click here.
So, what type of yoga retreat will you offer or be a part of next?
About Yogi Aaron
Yogi Aaron brings passion and a spirit of adventure to his teaching. Thus inspired, he guides students to secret, far-flung locales, which not only empowers them to realize their own limitless potential but also makes yoga relevant and accessible for the modern world. Since 2002 he has been traveling and leading retreats worldwide. He currently serves as the Yoga Director at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa in Costa Rica
About the Photographer
Manuel Sanchez works for the Osa Conservation. He is an activist and advocate for the Sea Turtles of the Osa Peninsula.
He is our resident expert on the sea turtles and fiercely protects them. He is also world class photographer and you can follow him and his photos on his Facebook page. Click here to follow Manuel now!