On March 9, I purchased a $214.98 round trip ticket to Liberia, Costa Rica, for May 11-18. On April 10, I begrudgingly canceled the flight after it became apparent the friend I was planning to travel with was no longer interested and I set my sights on a wellness experience in the states sometime down the line instead of a “turn-up” trip abroad that would leave me feeling exhausted rather than replenished upon my return. On April 11, I received an invitation to accompany HolistiCitiLyfe (HCL) Founder and CEO Leslie Carrington on a voyage to Playa Chiquita May 11-19 as she canvased locations for her next wellness retreat later this year. I accepted the offer; the universe had provided and I was ready to receive.
Carrington, a licensed social worker and holistic life coach, hosts retreats for the “wellness curious,” as she calls them, or women who are interested in incorporating more health and spirituality into their lifestyle but don’t quite know where or how to begin. During these retreats, women are given a soft introduction to the holistic lifestyle with a week of daily yoga, various health workshops, an intro to meditation in which attendees can set their intention for the trip, a day of service, a city tour, and a little pampering by way of an inclusive massage. Carrington, who is of Guyanese descent, is particularly interested in introducing Black women to holistic city living and changing the current monolithic face of wellness, and as someone who falls into the category of “wellness curious,” I perfectly fit the bill to be somewhat of a guinea pig on this canvasing voyage in Costa Rica. Check out the highlights of my jungle wellness adventure below and stay tuned for a Q&A with Carrington on Friday as she discusses her goals for HolistiCityLyfe and the tragedy that led her to the wellness community and a means to deepen her spiritual connection with God.
Day 1 at ecotourist lodge Tierra de Sueños began with the Five Tibetan Rites with French practitioner and healing facilitator Fabrice Renaudin. The Tibetan Rites are a system of exercises that “spins your chakras at a high frequency which in turn will feed the endocrine system,” Renaudin said. “When the endocrine system is doing well, your chemical messaging will be good which means weight control and many other things if, of course, you get a healthy diet. And it strengthens you at the core.”
Taking no more than five minutes to complete, Renaudin considers the practice “an act of self-love,” saying he’d question anyone who says she doesn’t have five minutes to set aside in her day to care for her spirit and her body.
The first of six days of yoga immediately followed with pre-natal and integral yoga instructor Mariska before we made our way to Playa Chiquita (little beach) for much-needed rest and relaxation on one of the cleanest beaches we’ve ever taken a dip in. Even better, we were the only people on the entire beach, a scenario that’s virtually unheard of on any beach in the states.