photos & words by FC photographer, Heno Head
Costa Rica is a dreamy place. However it was hard for me to differentiate between a dream and reality upon arrival, because the 72 hours prior to were filled with a flight back from Eastern Europe, a drive home from Chicago, a total of 4.5 hours of sleep, unpacking/repacking a backpack, and then re-boarding a series of 2 flights + 1 puddle jumper. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to shed off the ensuing jet-lag with. When the groovy cats at Fayettechill asked if I'd like to come spend a week documenting a yoga retreat I didn't know what all that would entail, so I hopped onto the opportunity to find out. While I have never practiced yoga, I have always been interested and have a lot of respect for those who have devoted time to it.
Fayettechill is into celebrating the Ozarks, preserving our planet, getting people to disconnect from their busy every day lives & to be still in nature. Though Costa Rica is a hop, skip & jump away from the Ozarks, their goal to suspend oneself in nature was met on every level. Prior to the adventure, Fayettechill hosted a giveaway for one person in their audience to come along. That lucky winner was Audrey Barba, an amazing mom & hard working nurse from Witchita, Kansas. My favorite part of working for Fayettechill is the common occurrence of plucking random people out of their day-to-day life and inviting them on an adventure.
Our time in Costa Rica was grounded with Blissed Yoga Retreat. They offer the opportunity to escape the monotony and stress of the modern day hustle & bustle. The Fayettechill team & our new friend Audrey got to join in on 5 days of mindfulness, decompression, evaluation of intention & ceremonial practices that build community and a connectedness to the natural world that we so often become numb to or "too busy" to notice. My personal "intention" was simply to be teachable; to set aside what I think I know & open to receive both new understandings of truth and an awareness of what is seen, but not yet understood. I can say with certainty that my perception of reality has been expanded, softened & re-centered by just sitting in the presence of a group of people that all left the "grind" of life to sit and be fully present with one another.