Local yogi and business owner travels to Costa Rica

By Holly Twining

There I was leaping over fear, traveling to Nosara, Costa Rica to scout out accommodations, quirky destinations and helpful locals for an upcoming adventure in February 2017.

While not a fan of hot weather, surfing or spiders, there were times I wondered if this were the right decision, but really, those are the best decisions – out of your comfort zone and flying freely into the present moment.

Goodbye comfort zone!

Goodbye comfort zone!

Actually, it was in the spirit of pushing comfort zones that my company, Maine Yoga Adventures, was born. I wanted to find things I’d never done before and toss in adventures like rock climbing, back country cross country skiing, yoga on horseback, surfing, etc.

After all, when you add a little fear into your fun … you’ll be surprised by what happens!

Upon arrival in Nosara, friends Kelly & Scott (who had been visiting this destination for 4 years) left a note with two key points: beer in the fridge and don’t miss sunset at 5:30 p.m.

With travel companion and foodie extraordinaire, Sophia, the adventure began.

We busted out of our room at KayaSol Surf Hotel (complete with foliage views from all sides) and immediately had wildlife encounters. We saw geckos, a family of howler monkeys swinging on branches and chomping leaves, and a giant iguana. I was in heaven- or whatever that place is when you feel immense elation.

One of the locals

One of the locals

On the beach it got better. Ok, maybe not better than monkeys, but better than Maine at 10 below. The sunsets were extraordinary, mind blowing and prance-around-delirious good.

We admired shorebirds, crabs moving sideways and in-and-out of their shells, snails spiraling patterns into the sand, horses trotting by and the incredible-changing-ever-so-slightly-from-moment-to-moment sunset. The natural beauty of this country already had me excited about the 2017 return with Maine Yoga Adventures.

Sophia and I launched into our first day with the best of intentions – coffee and yoga on the beach. Then it began: the lefts when we “should’ve” gone right.

Coffee in paradise

Coffee in paradise

Scott had given us directions to the beach and I nodded and smiled and took pictures, while doing my best to listen.

The beach stretched out with uncommon beauty … free of development; low on humans. In a shady spot enhanced by lush greenery and bright red flowers, we freed our minds and muscles of yesterday’s long journey from Maine. On a beach-yoga high, we followed many paths. There was scuffling from crabs in the scrub followed by scuffling up above … was it a lemur? A flying fox? Nope. It was a funky, tawny brown Costa Rican squirrel – common to some, a novelty to us. Then the birds came. As we were still … in came the colors. Thank you “wrong” turn. We eased our way off the trail to the sound of howler monkey growls.

It was hot – melting at 9 a.m. We were on a mission to rent the bikes Scott put on hold for us. But there were so many options … two sites in front of our hotel and two behind. Our confusion turned to juice, GoJuice specifically. Yes, a truck full of juice. Sure we couldn’t find our bikes but this cool treat seemed even better (at least for the moment).

Eventually, we found our bikes.

Eventually, we found our bikes.

We sat outdoors (always outdoors here), with no recognizable stores or restaurants anywhere … Hallelujah! Along with our fresh green juice, we enjoyed acai coconut bowls with granola. Nick, the truck owner, gave us the lowdown of the area. We may not have had bikes, but we now had possibilities.

Off we went walking again in the hot sun (getting lost in the hot sun) and finding a path, unexpected and beautiful, that led us to a market- our new destination.

Bogged down with yummies, we passed the same area a couple times with the same people selling their wares along the dirt road. Hola!

Still going in the “wrong” direction, we met Carlos, a bartender from the Reef Hotel. He sent us in the “right” direction, to our pool, one of the best places to be, cold and shaded.  We realized the value in the fortuitous meeting of Carlos when we returned to his hotel and found gardens, rooftop yoga, two pools (one you can sit in while having drinks/food). The accommodations themselves were circular in shape with wrap around balconies. “Mistakenly” we just might have stumbled upon THE site of our Costa Rican adventure in 2017.

Up until our last day in Nosara, we kept taking the “wrong” path and kept finding fabulousness.

As we journey home today, I will leave you with this thought – don’t let fear put a hold on your experiences … let yourself make mistakes and get lost; pour yourself into life, into life’s mysteries where surprises lie. Yes, you’ll screw up but be brave and know that something better could be mere moments away…

Nosara, Costa Rica.

Nosara, Costa Rica.

To learn more about Holly and the upcoming local adventures she has planned (like a snowshoeing excursion this Saturday, January 16th) visit Maine Yoga Adventures on Facebook.

Holly began her own exciting creation Maine Yoga Adventures after ten years with Maine Audubon as a naturalist and communications coordinator. Started in July of 2015, Maine Yoga Adventures brings community together thru adventures that include yoga practices, outdoor explorations in every season, healthy vegetarian food, and more. Diverse activities are tossed into the mix such as wine/beer tastings, climbing, skating, paddling etc. The adventures are statewide and are beginning to expand outside Maine’s borders.

Prior to Maine, Holly lived in New York City as a performer. She was the artistic director of delicious biscuit and performer for experimental theatre pioneer Richard Foreman and performance artist Penny Arcade. After obtaining an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree focusing on environmental ethics and literature at New York University, she moved to Orono, Maine. Holly started working at Fields Pond Audubon Center and in 2011 became a Certified Yoga Teacher through the Namaste Institute training program.

Holly teaches a wide variety of yoga classes at Om Land Yoga studios from aerial and chair yoga to vinyasa flow and intermediate. She teaches the younger set in Mantis Yoga for Kids classes and is a certified foundations instructor thru Color Me Yoga. Holly trained in Unnata Aerial Yoga with Michelle Dortignac and will shortly begin training in Thai Yoga Massage. Her experience also includes paddleboard yoga & acro yoga. Holly has a biweekly yoga tv spot with ABC 7/Fox Bangor to highlight upcoming adventures and introduce viewers to different aspects of yoga. 




Each week I will be inviting a guest blogger to join me in sharing their story of living “unplugged.” Interested in being my +1? Submit a request with your idea! You don’t have to be a “writer” just passionate about your topic!

Erinne Magee

About Erinne Magee

Erinne is a Maine-based writer and freelance editor specializing in first person essays, poetry and picture books. Her work has appeared in publications like: The Washington Post, Redbook, Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping and The Toronto Sun. For more, visit: www.erinnemagee.com