What is the Happiest Country in the World?

Yes the happiest country in the world is Costa Rica!

Here is a great article with the complete list from CNN. We hope you will join us on retreat there January 5-11, 2013. And don’t forget the Dynamic Duo Deal to save $300. Not only is our retreat at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers the most incredible, it is also the most affordable.

So let’s get happy!

http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/life/denmark-ousted-100-latest-worlds-happiest-country-561826

What do you buy the fitness obsessed for holiday's 2012?

Well great news, the Lifestyle Mirror did the work for you!

Here below is a link to their full article. And WOW number 10 is The Sanctuary at Two Rivers, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica where we have our January 5-11, 2013 Yoga & Surfing retreat. So if you are looking to buy a yoga retreat for your loved one buy it from us and we’ll give you $150 OFF.

READ MORE HERE:
http://www.lifestylemirror.com/living/culture/holiday-gift-guide-2012-fitness-obsessed-0/?igslide=10

4 Things You Didn't Know About Sunflowers

One of our favorite things is seeing people’s reactions when we first come upon a Sun Flower filed driving through Tuscany in June. Everyone becomes a kid again!

The immediate joy, curiosity and light heartedness brings our car to a stop so we can all run around the sun flower field. It is marvelous and inspires happiness in all.

Here are 4 Things You Didn’t Know About Sunflowers.

1. How much does 1 cup of shelled sunflower kernels weigh?

1 cup = 8 oz (volume) = 4.2 oz (kernel by weight)

2. What is the height of the tallest sunflower?

A sunflower grown in the Netherlands holds the record for being the tallest sunflower in the world. It measured 25 feet, 5.4 inches. (Source: 2004 Guinness World Records)

3. What is the record for the most sunflower heads on one sunflower plant?

According to the 2004 Guinness World Records, a sunflower grown in Michigan had 837 heads on one plant.

4. What size is the largest sunflower head on record?

That honor belongs to a 32 inch (82 cm) sunflower head that grew in British Columbia. (Source: 2004 Guinness World Records)

Why a December Yoga Retreat?

December can be a time of heavy expectations and overload. This is by far the best month to enjoy a yoga retreat. Consider it the ultimate gift for YOU!

Our special discount to make it easier is: $150 OFF if you register by November 23, 2012!

Please join us for a wonderful week of yoga & meditation, relaxation, outstanding organic food, sipping the best margaritas of your life, laughing with friends, watching the star-filled sky and falling asleep to the sound of the waves breaking on the beach. You will be staying at the eco-luxury Prana Del Mar Retreat Center in Baja, Mexico less than a half hour from Cabo San Lucas, near the Southern end of the Baja peninsula nestled between the Pacific ocean and the Sierra del Laguna mountains.

This desert oasis offers 15 luxurious guest suites with swimming pool, spa and a beautiful yoga studio. All rooms and suites have polished travertine floors and worktops, custom teak furniture, pillow-top beds, luxury organic linens, daily maid service and organic bathroom products. They also feature large terraces and balconies with ocean views. The two-room suites even feature complete stainless steel/granite kitchens and spacious living room areas.

Combine all of this with delicious cuisine featuring an international menu that incorporates contemporary and traditional Mexican influences and a loving staff, and you have an inviting place to deepen your yoga practice where you can relax, refresh, and rejuvenate.

Join us on this retreat to unlearn and unblock the habits that are holding you back from your best life. Come be part of a place and experience that opens you up!

INVESTMENT
Double Occupancy: $1,700 pp
Single Occupancy: $2,300

SAVE MONEY: REFER A FRIEND AND YOU EACH GET $50 OFF!

FOR RESERVATIONS
Sign up directly online at http://www.alchemytours.com, or email us hello@alchemytours.com.

WHAT’S INCLUDED?
*6 nights of accommodations in Deluxe Rooms at Prana del Mar
*Three Organic Feasts/day + snacks
*Two yoga classes a day with Silvia Mordini: 1 solar and 1 lunar
*Partner Yoga with Jacob Young and Silvia Mordini
*Restorative Yoga
*Meditation and pranayama
*Fire Practice (ritual to remove blockages)
*Interactive Cooking Class
*Spanish language class
*Eco-Friendly Goodie Bags
*Ground transportation on December 8 and 15th

NOT INCLUDED?
Airfare to and from the trip, extra spa treatments, extra activities, gratuities for your guides.

ABOUT OUR THEME FOR THIS RETREAT
Anais Nin writes, “and then one day the risk it took to remain tightly in a bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.” Yoga teaches that we are always evolving in the direction of happiness – all we need to do is get out of our own way. We must stop blocking the Spanda which is always blossoming. Spanda is a Sanskrit term for the subtle creative pulse of the universe as it manifests into the dynamism of living form. Another way to think of this is from the beautifully written book Yoga Spandakarika (Song of the Sacred Tremor) by Daniel Odier in which he writes: This is the most difficult thing to attain: accepting the freedom of movement, the creativity of life, understanding that a fixed state, as marvelous as it might be, is not compatible with life.

Join us on this retreat to unlearn and unblock the habits that are holding you back from your best life. Come be part of a place and experience that opens you up like what Krishna Das describes, “Grace wakes us up when we are asleep, brings light to where there is darkness and removes obstacles from our path”.

Practice living your Spanda in a way that keeps you connected to your core beliefs and desires. And come away from this week feeling radiant!

TYPICAL DAILY AGENDA (detailed agenda provided upon request)
8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast
9:30am – 11am Vinyasa flow yoga – Solar Yang
11am – 12pm Yoga clinics, mini workshops
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch
1:30pm – 5:30pm Daytime Fun (Beach, Spa, Hiking, & More)
6:00pm – 7:00pm Vinyasa slow flow yoga, restorative yoga and meditation – Lunar Yin
8:00pm Dinner
9:00pm Dharma talks

Talking like a local in Costa Rica

The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish. So here are some helpful Spanish phrases for you!

Basics
Yes: Si
No: No
Please: Por favor
Thank you: Gracias
You’re welcome: De Nada
Excuse me: Disculpe (to apologize or before asking directions)

Hi! ¡Hola!
Good Morning! ¡Buenos días!
Good Afternoon! ¡Buenas tardes!
Good night! ¡Buenas noches!
Goodbye! ¡Adiós!

What’s your name? ¿Cómo se llama usted?
My name is … Me llamo …

This is… Le presento a …
my wife. mi esposa.
my husband. mi marido.
my partner. mi pareja.

Where are you from? ¿De dónde es usted?
I come from … Soy de …
How are you? ¿Cómo está usted?
Fine, thanks. Bien, gracias.
And you? ¿Y usted?
Do you speak English? ¿Habla usted ingles?
I don’t understand Spanish. No entiendo el español
Thanks very much! ¡Muchas gracias!

Where is the restroom? ¿Dónde están los baños?
Drugstore Farmacia
Liquor Store Licorera
Hospital Hospital
Supermarket Super mercado
Restaurant Restaurante

Shopping
I’d like to buy… Quiero comprar …
I’m just looking! Solo estoy viendo!
May I look at it? ¿Puedo verlo?
How much is it? ¿Cuánto cuesta?
I don’t like it No me gusta
I’ll take it Me lo llevo

Do you accept…? ¿Aceptan…?
Dollars Dólares
Credit cards Tarjetas de crédito
Traveler checks Cheques de viajero

Less Menos
More Más
Large Grande
Small Pequeño
Larger Más grade
Smaller Más pequeño

Getting Around
Where is the nearest? ¿Dónde está el/la…más próximo (-a)?
How do I get there? ¿Cómo voy hasta ahí?
How do I get to…? ¿Cómo voy hasta el/la . . . ?
Is it far? ¿Está muy lejos?
How far is it to there? ¿Qué distancia hay hasta ahí?
Is this the right way to …? ¿Es este el camino correcto para ir al/a
la/a …?
I’m lost. Me he perdido.
Can you show me on the map ¿Me lo puede señalar en el mapa?
You have to turn round. Tiene que dar la vuelta.
Go straight on. Siga directo.
Turn left/right. Doble a la izquierda/a la derecha.
Take the second street on Tome la segunda calle a
Left Izquierda
Right Derecha.

Street Calle
Avenue Avenida
Block Cuadra

North Norte
South Sur
East Este
West Oeste

Yoga Playlist: Chakra Vinyasa Flow

Chakra Vinyasa Workshop – 2 Hour Flow

Name Time Album Artist

Kinder 2:24 The Right To Be Here Copper Wimmin

Earth 10:44 Jala: Compiled by Shiva Rea Uwe Neumann

Track 10 Ambient Unknown 7:47

Tantra Drums 7:48 Tantra Drums Al Gromer Khan

Bolo Hari | Dharma Dogz Remix 6:20 Buddha Cafe Prem Joshua

Ananda 5:29 Namaste Experience Ibiza Solar Quest

Vinyasa 5:41 Yoga Groove Various Artists

Purple Haze 7:34 Moya Brennan

Baddest Ruffest 3:46 Rocking Reggae Backyard Dog

Aruandê 5:04 The Big Bang – In the Beginning Was… Dudu Tucci

Heart Sutra 7:32 Sounds of Tadasana Wah!

Transform 6:02 Yoga Rhythms compiled by Shiva Rea TJ Rehmi

Revelation Dub 3:35 Kabanjak

Infusion (Bombay Mix) 9:03 Jala: Compiled by Shiva Rea Adham Shaikh

Madrugada 8 3:39 Jala: Compiled by Shiva Rea Twinkle Engine

Ganashyama 6:54 Planet Yoga: Music for Yoga, Meditat… Dave Stringer

A Prayer for the Soul of Layla 3:20 Jamshied Sharifi & Hassan Hakmoun

Secret Insights 1:19 Daniel Otsuka

A Breath of Stillness 9:04 Wayne Jones

Wandering 6:56 Yoga Rhythms compiled by Shiva Rea Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai

Green Your Vacation: Featuring Prana del Mar

In our on-going effort to help provide resources for how to Green Your Vacation today we are featuring Prana del Mar, located at the Southern most tip of the Baja peninsula. Here is a youtube clip of this incredible place.

You should know at Prana del Mar stewardship for the environment is a primary concern, and this is not just lip service, they really do tread as lightly as possible. Here are some of the ways that they are reducing the impact on the local environment and the planet:

-All of their electricity comes from solar panels installed throughout the property.

-The pool is solar heated.

-All waste water is treated on-site and reused to irrigate the gardens. They also have their own well.

-Skylights were incorporated in the design to increase natural lighting and so they can almost eliminate the need to use lights during the day.

-All appliance and light fixtures were selected with energy efficiency as a criteria.

-Organic sheets, bath towels and bath mats are used in all of the rooms.

-In order to reduce water use guests have the option to reuse linens and towels.

-Cloth hand towels are used rather than papers towels.

-The garden is completely organic. No pesticides or herbicides are used and compost is made on-site from food waste and organic materials and then used as fertilizer.

-Only green cleaning products are used….and I saw them so this is really the case.

-Organic personal care products -shampoo, conditioner, soaps and lotions -are available for guests, and they are supplied in dispensers to reduce single use plastic containers.

-Aerated shower heads are in all of the bathrooms, which create great water pressure but at low flow rates, and toilets are low-flow.

-Wherever possible they recycle and they use only rechargeable batteries.

-Purified drinking water is available for guests, and every guest receives a refillable bottle to eliminate single use plastic bottles.

-The floor of the yoga studio is strand bamboo.

-Even the servers that host their website are 100% powered by wind energy.

-If guests purchase carbon offsets for their plane flights Prana del Mar will credit you that amount toward any massage, spa service, surf lesson or any other excursion that you organize through the hotel….Now that is really encouraging everyone who visits to take responsibility in every way that they can, and they will pick up the tab.

7 Quick Reasons Why To Go On A Yoga Vacation

o You’ll get a lot of sleep, the sleep you really need

o You’ll eat live, organic, healthy food 3 times per day

o You’ll exercise through yoga and other activities depending on which retreat you choose

o You’ll laugh a lot

o You’ll make new friends

o You’ll greatly reduce the amount of time you’re plugged into technology

o You’ll remember what’s important in your life