Alongside yoga retreats here at Blue Osa, we encourage everyone to enjoy what nature offers. The eco-resort backs directly onto the Gulfo Dulce that is a gulf between the Osa Peninsula and Golfito. Gulfo Dulce is one of the deepest gulfs in the world, so many whales and dolphins come here to nurse their young that you might see when on or in the water here.
More than beautiful animals and scenery, there is the benefit of being in seawater itself. Called thalassotherapy it was historically used as a medical treatment for many conditions.
Costa Rican Ocean Water: The Science
Seawater contains high levels of minerals good for the human body. It is the quantity of these minerals found in seawater that is key to its healing properties. Namely, the key healing minerals are Magnesium, Iodine and Sodium. There are also some pure bacteria in the sea that is unadulterated by human processes. Further, the sunshine so close to the equator in Costa Rica means a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Cleans your Skin
The combination of these mineral salts with the sun regenerate the skin. Increased new skin cells means skin diseases, like psoriasis and eczema, are more easily cured. How? The sodium exfoliates the skin and opens the pores. Iodine cleans the pores or injured area of skin like an antiseptic. Then magnesium is absorbed into the body aiding coagulation (clotting) of the skin and moisturizing dry skin. Even ulcers, lupus and acne can improve from this combination of minerals on your skin.
Cleans the Gut & Energises
Regardless of how hard you try, you swallow some amounts of ocean water when swimming in the ocean. The unadulterated bacteria and iodine in the ocean eases constipation, cleanses the gut which make you feel more energised. The bacteria help improve your immune function and magnesium improves nutrient absorption in the body that results in better metabolic activity. This means we absorb nutrients more efficiently into our body resulting in more energy!
Improves Circulation & Brain Power
If you are exercising in the ocean water, then there is proven science of lowering heart rate and improving circulation (blood pressure) from physical activity. In 2014, a study* showed that to be in water up to the level of the heart boosts blood flow to the brain by 14% that improved memory, mood, clarity and focus.
Muscle Soreness & Function
Magnesium efficiently absorbed through the skin in the ocean water reduces muscle soreness and improves neuro-muscular function. This means faster recovery from delayed onset muscle soreness (workout soreness) and delays development of rheumatism. The nerve and muscle function are improved so you get faster reflexes in your movement.
Sinus issues can be cleared due to the nasal irrigation of sodium into the nasal lining. It reduces inflammation in the nasal passages clearing hay fever and sinus related problems. The rhythm of breath when in the water can also help breathing disorders become more regulated. This can improve upper respiratory tract problems.
Breathing exercises required to swim are calming in nature, which leads us to….
Calms Mind & Body
Hydrotherapy (water therapy) is proven to relax, destress and reduce depression.
The Ocean water’s iodine combats frustration and depression. Magnesium reduces anxiety. These physical changes benefit the body and mind. But there is more to it than the minerals when swimming in the sea.
The ocean is free from the overstimulation of the digital (and city) world. You tune into the rhythm of the waves and currents: natural rhythms are soothing to the body and mind so calm your body and mind.
Weightlessness of body in the water is calming. The popularity of floatation tanks in cities demonstrates the need for less sensory stimulation in modern life. In the sea: lie on your back, let your ears be covered by the water & stare at the sky above you – it is sensory deprivation, you can quieten and relax.
Deepens Your Connection to All
With less stimulation and a calmer mind, you can focus on what really matters: the ‘awe’ of the vastness of the ocean that happens when you face an ocean. This makes you feel connected to the universe and deepens your connection to your Self.
Blue Osa resort is directly on the ocean. High tide is perfect to jump straight into the seawater and feel it’s healing benefits. The balance of yoga and sea swimming makes it the perfect yoga retreat to heal at all aspects of your being.
About the Author
Nid loves all her incarnations as an energy healer and coach, massage therapist, teacher of mind-body movement through yoga and Pilates, and blog writer. She is a passionate messenger on how to find your truth and live in alignment with your soul. Her work attracts people going through major life changes, long-term pain or health issues to discover how to live life with joy through mind, body, and spirit. She can be found working on retreats and online worldwide.