Yoga, Surf & Sea Turtles... Oh My!


Created by
Anita Hamalainen

Travel well, have fun, do good work.

Local yogi, Kim Wenger Hall, is planning a service-based yoga trip to Panama in July and would like some like-minded yogis to join her. This retreat is even more special because there's a once-in-a-lifetime component to it: shepherding newly-hatched baby sea turtles from their nests on the beach safely into to the sea. (You can read a little about it here.) 

The view over the saltwater pool to the Pacific.

For those interested in joining Kim's retreat, you might have questions about the retreat location and what your days in paradise will look like. The home for this adventure is Sansara Resort, in the small surfing village of Cambutal, Panama. Sansara is located at the southernmost point of Panama where remote mountainous jungles meet the sea, providing a lush backdrop for this eco-friendly resort. In fact, the open-air thatched roof yoga studio, or "Yoga Shala", sits almost on the beach. Hopefully, the sound of crashing waves doesn't distract you from your yoga practice. Om!

The Yoga Shala is open to the beach beyond.

The resort has 11 private cabanas, built with local materials by local craftsmen. Each cabana accommodates one to four people, so you can plan this trip with friends, or rough it alone. Did I mention the organic bath toiletries and fine linens? Or the oceany jungle views from each cabana? You'd have to pry me outta there with a crowbar. 

Cabanas are air-conditioned!

You'll begin your day with a nutritious, locally sourced breakfast. One of their mottos is organic is good, local is better. The onsite Buddha Bar serves each meal featuring local fish, farm-raised poultry, and always some yummy vegan and vegetarian options. Smoothies? Snacks? Adult beverages? Yes, please. Just check this out: https://www.sansararesort.com/restaurant/ Worth going to Panama for.

Yogurt will make your Yogo.

A group morning yoga class at the Shala will get your energy flowing and will loosen your body for yogi's choice down-time activities on the beach, including an opportunity to try surfing lessons, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling off the beach and general lounging. Sansara prides itself on being the best surfing school in all of Panama and welcomes beginner to advanced surfers. They provide all the equipment, which makes packing for your retreat a whole lot easier. 

Surfy, Salty, Utterly Sumptuous Sansara Days.

Afternoons at Sansara can include plenty more Do What You Feel time. Enjoy a dip in their saltwater swimming pool, hike a jungle trail, or drool on the face cradle during a spa treatment. When you think you can't take anymore, there's dinner, maybe a beachside bonfire and, then a restorative yoga practice or Yoga Nidra.

For those 14 and older:) Oh shucks.

You'll start some of your days with early morning yogi Turtle Patrol: protecting the baby turtles as they hatch, patrolling the other turtle nests, and ensuring the hatchery-raised babies from the turtle santuary are ready to be released.  As one of the retreat coordinators explained, "it is a truly beautiful experience-- you get to rise with the sun and see the hatching of the turtles for the first time." Guiding newborn turtles to take the first swim of their lifecycle sounds pretty magical.

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And Day #2 in Paradise? See Day #1 and repeat.

If your interest is piqued but have questions, the resort website has an exhaustive FAQ section. Please remember, beginner yogis are welcome! Since we all have to start somewhere on our yoga journey, why not start in Panama? Kim@travelasana.net is happy to answer any other questions you might have. Namaste:)

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