Transformation, Creativity, Life! - Costa Rica Retreat

Event Highlights

  • Relax and get rejuvenated in magical nature
  • Immerse in a program of yoga, dance, healing and creativity
  • Make some new friends
  • Have a fun adventures
  • Get nourished and inspired


Example Day:

Good morning; you are in Costa Rica at Living Forest waking up to the sound of the jungle river, birds singing and perhaps hearing the howler monkeys in the distance! You might be surprised you wake up earlier than usual and go to bed earlier too - in the jungle style!
Head to our beautiful yoga deck with open walls to the nature in front of you. Grab a cup of coffee or tea. The early mornings are reserved for SILENCE. This is YOU time.

Here is an example of how our days will go:
7.00 Meditation/Journaling
7.30-8.30 Yoga or movement class
8.30 Yummy Breakfast and lots of time to chat with your fellow retreat participants
10.00-12.00 Group Session with movement/healing/creative practices 
12.00 Lunch
Free time
3.30-5.30pm Group session with movement/healing/creative practices 
6pm Dinner
Free time or relaxed group activity
& Good night!

About This Event

Coming to Costa Rica and joining in the Transformation, Creativity, Life! -retreat is about YOU time. We get back to simplicity and to this moment. We dive deeper into our authentic self. 

Through MOVEMENT, MEDITATION and HEALING PRACTICES we get present with ourselves and others. We listen, feel, reawaken and share. We tap into our creativity and connect with the life force energy in and around us. 

Maybe you have lots of experience in yoga and dance and have taken part in many spiritual retreats and events, or none, you are equally welcome. 

Sometimes people think that in retreats you have to have it all together, look cool and have a bendy body. Well, no! We love the raw, vulnerable, crying, laughing, powerful, sensitive and wild YOU. We love the work in progress; there is so much to learn about YOU. We also love the connected, centered, clear and grounded YOU. We love the visionary, the artistic and the dreamer YOU. We love the simple, being and breathing in silence YOU. You get the picture – be yourself and come just as you are!

You can find a schedule of a sample day in the Itinerary section. We start each morning with meditation/journaling, followed by a yoga or movement class.

Johanna’s teaching style in yoga is breath orientated cultivating a greater connection and love to one self and others. She invites her students to dive into the flow of breath and movement, balancing with effort and ease and being present in the now. There is often a sense of lightness, acceptance and laughter in her classes. With a holistic approach she blends pranayama, meditation and energy releasing techniques to bring greater wellbeing, balance and rejuvenation on all levels.

After breakfast and later in the afternoon we gather together for a daily group session. Through movement, meditation and artwork you are invited to connect deeper with yourself.

In a free-form dance session some guided warm ups and cooling down techniques will be provided but the rest of the time you get to follow your own energy with a great music playlist. There is no right or wrong way. We will also use other creative methods, such as writing, sound making and art.

It might come as a surprise but the creative work we will be doing does not require you to be a talented artist. Seriously, we can be very critical and self -conscious when it comes to our own unique creative expression. Our united intention for the retreat is to get out of our own way, lose the inner critic and find expression for what is present.

Healing and transformation is a powerful part of the program. During a retreat you are in an energy field where you are supported and this loving energy can bring forth profound healing, insights and new shifts. Johanna’s spiritual approach and over twenty years of experience in transformational work will provide a safe space for these shifts to happen. 

We also have a fun excursion day prepared for you. Visit a 500-year-old Ceiba tree, which was the inspiration for the Tree of life in the movie Avatar. Bliss out at the hot springs by the volcano. Enjoy a sunset dinner with gorgeous lake views. Meet some friendly locals and learn about the Pura Vida life style of the ticos, as the locals are called here.

During our days, in between our group meetings, we allow lots of space for you to relax and rest or to take a dip in the jungle river, read your book in the hammock, commune with the nature, have nurturing conversations with others. There is also a wealth of extra activity possibilities (at an additional cost) you might like to consider, such as a coffee tour, horseback riding, waterfall hike, hanging bridges or stand up paddle boarding. We invite you to follow your own energy on how much activity you like.

Three delicious meals with locally sourced fresh ingredients are prepared for you daily. If you have any food intolerances or allergies, just let us know. Your rooms are at Living Forest lodge and separate River View Casita, all with hot water and comfort surrounded by pristine nature. 

In a supportive and nurturing environment magic happens. We come together and we are not the same when we leave.

We would be honored to have you in the tribe!

TESTIMONIALS: “Nestled by a river and jungle, Living Forest is one of the most grounding and rejuvenating places-mother nature abounds...i love the yoga classes taught by Johanna and the other myriad of workshops that she continues to offer. Truly a wonderful experience!” - Ginny Lamont - “I have attended Living Forest's yoga class for over a year and it has been a complete pleasure. The setting is quite spectacular nestled in the mountains next to a rushing creek and surrounded by local wildlife. From toucans to howler monkeys they remind you that this is a very special place indeed.  Johanna is such a great teacher. As I was a complete novice she took extra time with me and encouraged me along the way. Her routines are always different and challenging with a healthy dose of laughter . What is most memorable is the sense of peace and calm after a session. If you only go once you will never forget this experience.” - Ron Veltman - “Johanna Harmala is a very wise soul. I have observed her Sadhana (spiritual commitment & practice) for decades now & been lucky enough to be a recipient of her healing many times. She has spent her life exploring movement & the body & teaches what it really means to feel & attune to the intelligence of the body. There are not many teachers with the depths that she has explored. She can help you change your life. “ - Cathy Pearson Yoga Teacher Trainer-Ireland & Bali - "I was fortunate to participate in an incredibly powerful full moon ceremony led by Johanna during a women's writing retreat at Living Forest. Johanna successfully guided me through the process of releasing a 9 year relationship to the universe to prepare myself for the next chapter of my life. I could literally feel everything that wasn't serving me dissipate during the ceremony. Her yoga classes are also wonderfully grounding!" - Maria Joyner -


Living Forest Lodge has 3 rooms, each sleeping max 4 people. We have two large bathrooms with hot water. One wall is open to the nature.

The River View Casita has 2 double rooms each with a king bed for couples or two separate individual beds, a private bathroom with an own little garden. The river side of the casita has a veranda where you can enjoy the jungle and wildlife just in front of you.

All rooms have fans and screens on the windows.

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


During our retreats three delicious meals are provided for you daily. Most of the the ingredients are organic and sourced locally.
Some retreats prefer vegetarian meals and some like to include fish/meat. We accommodate people with food allergies and intolerances, just let us know.

creativity dance healing movement nature spirituality transformation yoga

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We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

My inspiration is a desire to gain a deeper connection to and understanding of myself, something that I've been working hard on for so long and will continue to do in the future. I view a retreat as a wonderful way to focus entirely on this without the distractions of every day life! Nicola

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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