It is situated in the middle of the jungle and also near to the water. It is quiet and it is peaceful.
There is space. Space to be, to breathe, to think, to be creative. There is space for you to be you.
The staff know you by name instantly and the animals will love on you upon arrival. The roadside and beachside are both endless for walking and running, either towards Puerto Jimmenez or Matapalo. The road is lonely in the best way – monkeys are seen more often than not.
The pool is the clearest and cleanest, perfect for laps or relaxing. The yoga studio is immaculate; wooden floor boards, and open windows with ocean views. Massages, facials, personal fitness classes, and surfing can be arranged. Fresh coffee, tea, fruit and water is available to you all day long.
The meals are a dream. Breakfast involves mountains of pineapple, papaya, and melon. Homemade granola fresh out of the oven. Lunch time is bound to be a display of exactly the food you are craving. Steamy flavorful soup of the day, fresh tortillas, veggie burgers, and the fanciest deviled eggs ever. At dinner time it is very difficult not to over indulge. Homemade all natural dressings are placed immaculately in front of the biggest bowl of fresh salad. Hibiscus leaves and spinach leaves are hand-picked from the garden and then topped with loads of more leafy dark nutritious dense greens. Coconut crusted snapper, alongside endless sides including mashed cauliflower, fresh green beans, and spiced garbanzo beans. Dinner always ends with an elegantly sized serving of dessert.
Attending a yoga teacher training at Blue Osa is inclusive of all of the above but also involves so much more. I am not referring to the obvious 3 hour yoga classes, the early morning wake-up calls, or the nerves before teaching for the first time. These are all situations to be expected to arise at any teacher training. (Any teacher training at Blue Osa that is.)
The “so much more” I am referring to is the awe-inspiring transformational journey each student will make under the attentive care of Yogi Aaron.
The unrealized is that students are walking into a difficult, frustrating but transformational journey.
This Is Not A Vacation
A yoga immersion is not meant to be a month-long vacation or retreat. A yoga immersion is not meant to be an easy process. You are not going to be able to put your feet up, relax and be catered too. Every day is not supposed to be good and every single yogi is not going to be your best friend. More than likely your teacher is not going to be what you had expected. Your teacher will be a human being who makes mistakes too. They should not be held to any sort of expectation and you are not in a place to critique the teachings. You cannot pick and choose what is taught to you at your immersion. It is impossible for a teacher to deliver the perfect ratio of asana, prana and theory to each individual in a group of 20 plus yogis. I can promise that most of you will not get what you think you want.
But if you can let go, in return you will get exactly what you need.
I have been fortunate enough to be a part of three One-Month Immersion yoga teacher trainings at Blue Osa. I can never seem to get enough. I have myself been a vulnerable and emotional student and over the past two years I have seen more students of the same. It is easy for me to sit on the side lines and say it will be okay, because I have already completed it. But what I want students to know is that it will be hard. Your environment will not be ideal. You will get some bug bites. You will get smelly, sticky, itchy, dirty, cold and hot. Why am I paying to feel uncomfortable? The internet might go out. There will not be enough food. I’m hungry. There will be too much food. But I’m not even hungry? You will be confused. Why are the other yogis drinking wine? Aren’t we supposed to be cleansing? Some of you might get
frustrated. Shouldn’t there be more asana? Why are we doing so much asana? You will need a break. You will definitely be sore. There will be tears. There will be heart ache. Why did I do this? Stuff will come up that you did not expect. You will not have enough time to process it. You will feel totally out of your comfort zone. You will feel insecure. You will be in social situations which you would prefer to avoid. Why am I being forced to talk to these people? You will have to look into each others eyes. You will have to hold hands. You will have to be still. You will have to sit for sometimes over an hour. Your back will hurt. Your back will stop hurting. Your definition of yoga will change when you leave this place. Handstands won’t be important anymore.
Grace only [descends] when effort is given.
We live in this western culture where we want what we want, we want it now and we don’t want to work for it. Some westerners travel to India and expect the people there to be lining up to meet them – but it is the opposite. We travel across the earth to become enlightened by individuals who live with the bare minimum. When we go and see these spiritual teachers their resplendence is so bright, that shines through the whole mountain top. They are kind and they are humble. They are able to sit still. They meditate for hours, days, weeks, years.
But on the other side of the world, we are surrounding ourselves with a palace and friends and food and family and money and shoes and clothes and diamonds and we truly believe that this is what we need to be happy and live a full life.
We like to spend our lives trying to hide from anything negative or bad happening. When something bad happens, we break down. This is because we have spent our entire life trying to run away from it. You are in more discomfort running away from fear. Yes, you may feel comfortable, but what will get us through those moments when life doesn’t show up the way we want it to show up? There are some times in our life where we need to face things head on, and what is it that we are going to hold onto to get through this? The answer is practicing yoga and cultivating faith. Yoga teaches us to stop spending all our time running and hiding.
Yoga teacher training encourages us to learn, understand and practice this way of being. It is extremely difficult, but we need to let go and let it happen.
The yoga practice engenders an environment that helps our best self to be revealed.
Students need to be ripened. Students need to do the work. How can we expect deep and affective transformation if we do not go through the really bad shit?! Students show up for this amazing journey but on day 10 are breaking down looking at plane tickets home. This is normal. This is expected. This is why change will occur because we are having these raw and intense feelings. But we need to face them in order for the change to happen. We need to keep going. This transformation that we are so desperately longing for is happening! Stop running. Stay focused on the practice. Practice concentrating and focusing your mind. Trust the process. Look at the stuff that is coming up for you and look at your reactions to the situations you are being put in. Why is your mind reacting this way? Why are you being affected by this in this way? Ask yourself if you are okay with these reactions and ask yourself what really needs work. This practice is not supposed to be easy. But this practice is going to change your life.
I was speaking with a student on day 5 who re-assured me that she has a steady business at home and her practice is so full and stable. I didn’t know her. She continued to tell me that she is here at the immersion for “rest and relaxation”. And I smiled while silently taking a sip of my tea thinking “oh honey, you have no idea what is about to happen”.
About The Author
Brooke first discovered her love for yoga 4 years ago while going to University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She had practiced different styles from ashtanga, bikram and vinyasa flow before deciding to take her YTT at Blue Osa in 2014. The 30-day hatha-based yoga immersion completely transformed her life and yoga practice, in a way she never imagined. A dream came true, and she went back to Blue Osa in 2015 and 2016 to assist with the YTT and left there again with a brand new, fresh, completely inspired outlook on the world. Now living and working a day job in the Cayman Islands, Brooke hopes to one day pursue a career in yoga, but for now, is enjoying life with her sister and dog on the beautiful beaches in the Caribbean! Follow her Instagram @barefootbrookeyoga
“Yoga completely saved me. It was the only thing that made me happy and gave me confidence at a time in my life when I had neither. It helped me get my breath back. It helped me get my life back. I am forever grateful for yoga.