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“Review of Yoga Teacher Training”

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The Sanctuary at Two Rivers
Reviewed 12 February 2016

Review for Yoga Teacher Training with Liz Lindh /Sanctuary at Two River

Completing a YTT at the Sanctuary at Two Rivers with Liz Lindh has no doubt has changed my life for the better. In addition to Liz’s phenomenal depth of experience and equally kind demeanor, the Sanctuary's immersion in wild nature combines with the dedicated yogic lifestyle practiced by the staff and the artfully delicious menu to create an authentically transformative experience.

I came to the training with 20 years of background in yoga and a recent breast cancer diagnosis. I was looking to compliment my holistic healing plan by setting myself up for a healthier lifestyle as a yoga leader, re-committing to my own personal practice, and releasing negative life patterns that I had accumulated working a very stressful job. The Sanctuary was fertile ground to find all that I was looking for and much that I didn’t realize was missing. I reclaimed my dormant meditation practice, found a lot of space for spiritual reflection, and was soothed by a menu that met all the nutritional needs for holistic cancer recovery. It is testament to the training that back home in Alaska I have been able to maintain my personal yoga and meditation practice, will start teaching in my community, and am trying new nutrient-dense vegetarian recipes inspired by Chef Naga. (When we say the food is good at the Sanctuary, we’re not joking - we could not get through a meal without pressuring staff to hurry up and publish their cookbook so we could buy it and give it to everyone we love!)

The Sanctuary’s accommodations are simple, comfortable, and allow for a full nature immersion experience. We could lay in bed and watch monkeys swing through the tropical forest out the screens that composed the walls of our house! Many students enjoyed the pool area for relaxing between classes, but I found myself heading to the onsite waterfall, which was almost always fluttering with butterflies and tropical birds and provided a sweet place to find solitude and cool waters amid the heat and activity of the yoga training.

I would imagine the Sanctuary staff’s commitment to exemplifying and fully living the yogic lifestyle taught in their courses sets it apart from many YTTs. I also liked that Liz and Naga’s curriculum gently highlights the aspects of yogic philosophy that support living an environmentally and politically conscious life. I would highly recommend the Sanctuary’s YTT for people like me who are looking not just for a certification, but also for spiritual growth, transformation, space for reflection, and a holistic yoga practice that strengthens and illuminates personal values and ethics. 

A few caveats:

I would recommend that people with quick metabolisms like me bring good personal snacks, as the Sanctuary does not provide substantive snacks between their excellent meals. For those with regular/slower metabolisms or for folks looking to push themselves physically, bringing snacks is unnecessary and would conflict with the Sanctuary’s Ayurvedic goal of enhancing digestion by fasting between meals.

Liz’s yoga style is super fast-paced and energy intensive, which ended up being a little tiring for me because I was already depleted from dealing with cancer. At the end of the day I’m grateful for the immersive experience and how much stronger I am coming out of the training that when I went in, and I think it’s always good to practice and be exposed to different styles of yoga, just be warned that Liz’s classes require a lot of energy!

Overall, I feel lucky and blessed to have had this experience - I see it as an integral step along my healing path, and would especially encourage everyone to seek out the healing patterns that a course like this one helps you to create.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled solo
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2  Thank malena m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 - 22 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 27 January 2016

The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is amazing on all accounts deserves the highest recommendation possible! The yoga retreats and retreat setting offered serve to be life changing and transformative. You are essentially walking into paradise!!

I am someone with an affinity for this beautiful space...but also an objective reporter. The negative (although tiny specks in the sea of positivity) reviews are quite disappointing to me and truly hold no merit. The word irresponsible comes to mind. I feel compelled to respond as someone who is extremely familiar with both the Sanctuary and the surrounding area.

1. The food is one of our favorite aspects of our stay....healing and beautiful. If you are seeking "pop- vegetarian" food such as soy bacon and french fries, gourmet lattes on rotation from an espresso bar, then you will be disappointed my friends. What you will receive is plentiful organic Costa Rican coffee in the morning that will fuel your soul and three meals a day that are made with love and creativity. The Culinary team is inspired by an Ayurvedically- oriented cooking philosophy that will support and nurture you from a nutritional standpoint. Delicious is an understatement--and the lunchtime desserts are not to be missed!

2. Relaxation and exploration of the breathtaking jungle compound is a retreat highlight. The yoga pagoda is truly magical as well as the property's waterfalls, rivers, flora, and fauna. The Sanctuary is exactly that which the name proclaims.... a sanctuary from the mainstream. If you are seeking a resort type experience with Mai Tais and dance parties by the pool, then again you will be disappointed. If you are seeking a meditative, yogic, restorative experience highlighted by wellness workshops and fun beach and adventure-based excursions then you will be elated!

3. It is ultimately the responsibility of the retreat leader to hold space for the students in their care and function on an independent level. The Sanctuary directors and support staff are available for support and guidance on the periphery and have always been extraordinarily helpful when needed. It is also the responsibility of the retreat leader to research the climate and seasons on the Peninsula before planning your stay - to self-inform and subsequently relay to students. The dry and rainy seasons both have their pros and cons depending on your preference! While we prefer the drier weather, the rainy season is also equally amazing and a must see.


4. The complaints of not being allowed towels, an extra glass of juice, and equating the Sanctuary to a commune is quite comical. It saddens me to think that these perspectives are so skewed and misunderstandings are evident. The Sanctuary owners are lovely, down to earth, and strive to ensure that all attendees have a peak experience! Perhaps their adorable daughter Gia and their resident dog family have an alternative agenda.... : )

5. On our honeymoon, my husband and I stayed in a square foot estate in the neighboring town next to Cabuya and insects and lizards still made a cameo appearance from time to time. We are circa the jungle and this is to be expected! To be honest I have had less encounters with bugs in our Sanctuary lodging than elsewhere because all of the living spaces are tightly screened in! Being in the midst of the eco scene and experiencing "off the grid" biodiversity is the best part of this experience!

6. The Sanctuary is not advertised as a beach experience and explicitly states on all websites and social media it's distance from the nearest beach in Cabuya. The goal of retreats is to experience the jungle, rivers, waterfalls, and tranquility of this protected oasis. Retreat leaders typically plan and include excursions to the beautiful neighboring beaches in Santa Teresa and Tortuga Island to provide a diversified experience. I would highly recommend visiting both- not to be missed!!

As a seasoned yoga practitioner and teacher from Connecticut, I am available to speak with anyone from my local area or beyond personally! There are vast groups of yogis from my state who will echo my sentiments.... in addition to my husband who I met on a Sanctuary retreat a few years ago! : )

Namaste & Best wishes---

Jessica Serra
Jessica@primawellness.com
(860)681.4684

Room Tip: All of the rooms and views are panoramic---so a win- win situation!
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  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2016

The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is the best place for rejuvenating ones entire being. Open up, let go & leave worries behind. If life is a constant demand of being "On" or "Plugged-in" than this is the much-needed healthy escape. Go OTG! (off the grid) Invigorating & restorative yoga strip the mind & body of aches, frustrations & calories. Enjoy three, thoughtfully-planned, Ayurvedic-inspired meals that taste amazing and are uber healthy. The jungle vibe helps one to slow down and reconnect with themselves. It's peaceful, beautiful and nature abound. The rooms are brilliantly designed like giant tree houses - perfect for experiencing nature first hand - but with all the necessary amenities. Experience the freedom of a private outdoor shower. Very sexy! Listen for the monkeys & maybe follow them from tree to tree to see where they go. Sign up for a massage. Meditate. Relax by the pool. Swim in two refreshing rivers. Take a hike. Leap off of a waterfall. Take a wellness class. Do acupuncture. Learn more about individual doshas. Nourish the soul. Feel replenished, alive & invigorated. Vacationing here is a transformative experience. Expect to go home forever-changed and bringing your best self back.

PS: This is not the vacation destination for constant social-media posting, numbing out or foggy spring-break-like memories.

Room Tip: WiFi is in a common area - not in individual rooms
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  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jacnova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2016

An extraordinary way to experience Costa Rica. If you are into healthy living, amazing food, the wild jungles of Costa Rica, friendly and accepting people, yoga, the need to relax, this is your place. Welcoming and a place to get away from it all. This is the place where good energy thrives.

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank whataboutthecustomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2016

What a fabulous retreat!! Jeff and Liz - and their fabulous staff - are warm and friendly and hospitable and truly pay attention to every detail. The retreat was inspiring and fun and just the right balance of rest and activity. The jungle setting couldn't have been more magical, the yoga was fantastic, accommodations were perfect, and the food was delicious and healthy and made you want to take pictures and lick your plate. All around a perfect retreat getaway and an amazing way to recharge. I'm dreaming of lying in a hammock and listening to the monkeys - can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lorik1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2016

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when i first signed up for this Retreat. Part of me thought, it will be very commercialized or just another hotel/resort. However, I was pleasantly surprised. From the moment we got the property, I could sense care and personalized attention. Jeff and Liz are amazing hosts, they made us feel home. Everyone including Jeff, Liz, staff are very friendly and helpful. Liz is an excellent yoga teacher. I'd say, the food was the main highlight at the retreat, very well prepared and the food presentation is nothing less than a fine dining organic restaurant. I really hope, someday, i will get to relive this experience again at this Retreat.
Parmi

Room Tip: Most of the lofts/casitas have similar views.
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  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled solo
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1  Thank Parmi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2016

Have no concerns about lodging or amenities, all are top notch and have been carefully created by a former restaurateur who has made this Sanctuary his life's work. Each lodge is complete with intricately private outdoor showers (only the birds and native monkeys can see you), amazing views and and a general oneness with the nature which surrounds you.

You'll be treated with 3 gourmet vegetarian meals each day, the vast majority are vegan as well. Most interestingly is that none of the meals repeat, so each culinary experience is new. The only way to get a repeat meal is to stay for more than three weeks which once there, you will likely want to do.

The important thing to understand is that while you are well taken care of here, the purpose of that care is to remove your concerns about it so that you can take the time to "experience the experience" here, and genuinely learn more about yourself through both challenging and restorative yoga, and having an opportunity to reflect on who you are as a person today and who you want to be in the future.

The last thing I can say is that if you are on the fence about spending time here, get off the fence and just go. Show up, and be open.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
1  Thank odin631
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary at Two Rivers

Address: Beach Road, Cabuya, Montezuma 5361, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma > Cabuya
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Cabuya
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Unique Boutique Private Yoga Retreat & Yoga Teacher Training Wellness Center in Costa Rica. Our 40 acres are located directly across from the beach yet hidden 1000 yards in the jungle. Designed with the intention to commune with nature, practice yoga, contemplate, meditate, and become balanced through a Health and Wellness Yoga Retreat Vacation. Our 100% off-the-grid solar powered facility with luxury-deluxe-modern accommodations, Extensive Spa menu, and Tropical Fusion Gourmet Organic Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Cuisine is exclusively for Yoga Retreats, Yoga Teacher Trainings, Wellness Retreats, and Nature Wildlife Adventure Retreat Vacations. Become a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor in Paradise. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Sanctuary At Two Rivers Costa Rica/Cabuya

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