Costa Rica RetreatStanding in front of the colorful paintings, I could imagine reaching out to touch the feathers of a huge Toucan perched in the jungle green. It was Cory’s talent that first stirred my desire to visit Costa Rica. She went often with a group of birders, to take pictures and inspiration while exploring beneath the jungle canopy. The pictures were the result of her most recent trip. It was a magical idea to my college bound mind, weighted with a bookish workload, but that first flash of desire was kindling to my growing wanderlust.

Now a new opportunity to visit Costa Rica, experience a yoga retreat and see the wildlife has unfolded.

Two dear friends and founders of Raise Your State, Doug and Victoria Allan are taking a group to the region for a spiritual journey of gentle yoga and tropical vistas. They’re offering two yoga classes daily, evening meditation and chanting, with time to hike, swim, explore, massage and play. If this all sounds like tDoug and Victoria Allenhe rejuvenating retreat that you’ve been waiting for the trip is happening in April, 2012 from the 13th to the 20th.

Since that first encounter with Cory’s Costa Rican paintings, I’ve met owners of a sanctuary full of tree top zip-lines and high catwalks built to better preserve the virgin growth below. Volunteerism opportunities, conservation programs and yes, birding groups still quietly stalk a glimpse of bright foliage and follow rare calls echoing through the dense green.

Please note: If you go, let Victoria and Doug know I sent you, and perhaps I’ll see you in Costa Rica, as I’m an affiliate for their tour.

Elaine J. Masters, travel writer, and the award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and Flytime Yoga.