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When Katherine and Sofi moved to Panama around six years ago, they completely fell in love with Venao. There was something about this simplicity they really wanted to learn that the city never gave them. Not much time has passed when they learned about the love of home cooking, home reading, long walks on the beach, and splurging some days on few beers out in the local bar. They engaged in new activities, one of them is learning to surf. The fun part of all is that they still dont know how to surf, and maybe they never will, but also to accept that is part of a big lesson surfing has on them. There is a lot of surrendering to do with nature and the waves of the ocean, and that is mirror to their own life.
Pema Chodron once told Katherine that Life always come and hit us like a big wave, but the magic started right there when you can watch the sky from above, all full of sand up to your ears and eyes, and still be able to come back up. Surely, with a great laugh. There is so much relation between surfing and yoga, and they both complement each other. Surfing gives you back that playfulness that you sometime as yogis lose in the way to perfect your asanas. Yoga gives the flowy surf some balance and together they make a great lover.
This retreat is not about becoming a professional surfer or yogi. It is not about riding the biggest wave or achieving a strenuous head stand, but it is about your flow through life and also about how much fun you are having in the process. Come and join Katherine to remind yourself to have some time and space dedicated only to yourself and to your inner child, wild and playful side of you. Come to play, get nurtured, and smile!
The Eco Lodge is the focal point of the Eco Venao project. It encompasses the surfers hostel, the beautiful cabanas, and their very own campsite. Both exquisite and rustic, they maintain the Eco Lodge with great love and care - as do their fantastic guests!
The Eco Lodge is only a few minutes walk from the Playa Venao, but far enough to get the sand off your feet. Before you know it, you are likely to find yourself eating with perfect strangers in the Lodges spacious communal kitchen - this is exactly the sense of community that continues to inspire people at Eco Venao. Keep it up! You can opt to stay at dormitory and shared room, couple up at double room, or if you the type who enjoys some silence, you can stay at one of the private rooms. Its completely up to you!
This is a leisure trip, which means you will enjoy the grandeur of your lifes flow mixing nature with yoga and delicious Californian inspired vegan food mixed with the local Panamanian ingredients and elements. Chef Erins Moens will be preparing nourishing meals every day and take you to unimaginable places, while Katherine will awaken your inner self with 2 yoga classes a day. Guest teacher Brian Matzke all the way from New Mexico will be assisting your yoga classes, bringing all his knowledge from trainings in California with Bhakti immersions and Vinyasa flowiness. You will be using different techniques of yoga and meditations, and the cherry on top is you will be surfing with a professional team of Billabong in the area!
The great thing about Panama is that its so small and safe that you can lose yourself around it and always be okay. Panama has one of the most amazing bio-diversities and ecosystems in the world. And for being so small and narrow, Panamanian has had privilege to be the umbilical cord of the Americas with the Panama canal for many years causing the population to be very internationally known and the economy to be one of the most steady economies in the Americas.
Venao, besides being one of the best spots to learn how to surf is also one of the most beautiful places on earth. The beach counts with 3 kilometers in distance but it also has a lot of bio diversity around its beaches. You can find the most amazing jungles, monkeys and wild animals around it. Many foreigners decided to move to Playa Venao some years ago, so you might find that the locals are a mix varieties of Panamanian, European, and the new Americans that started to move slowly into the area.
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You are promised a very nourishing, vegetarian, and delicious menu. Only local and natural resources will be used to provide a whole variety of recipes that you will sure to enjoy. It is fine to add some animal protein to the menu, but please do it with consciousness of some people around who might care about this.
The whole idea is to become whole. Nature creates the source, and Chef Erins will accommodate the meals for you with lots of love and consciousness to promote your entire weeks progress or maybe even your whole life. There has been many stories from people who have eaten the mindful food and making strong decisions to change some old patterns and habits that dont make sense anymore, but all is left to say is do it with love because all you need is love, eat, pray, and eat with love!
People make rituals around food, so youd most probably find everyone sharing a common table with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Feel free to bring along wine, beers, or anything that you would like to share with your other mates.
Venao and the area have a lot to offer besides yoga and surfing. August and November are very green months in which you can take off to do trails or waterfalls, visit the nearby island of iguana that seems like a little piece of the Caribbean inside the Pacific coast line, or go visit the new zip line and take in some more adventure! It is highly recommended to take some time to visit the country and the favorite spots around it, like The San Blas islands, Bocas del Toro, Boquette, and The Chiriqui region, Panama city, and Santa Catalina for even more surfing!
Arrive at Tocumen Airport. There is shuttle service available from Tocumen Airport to Eco Venao for small additional fee.
For one way service: 100 USD (2 persons), 120 USD (3 persons) 140 USD (4 persons).