FAQ

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Welcome to our frequently asked questions page. If you have any questions after visiting this page, please contact us at retreats@satyogainstitute.org

Gold Divider Line

Arrival & Transportation 

Where is your ashram located?

Our Ashram is located in the southern part of Costa Rica, in the Pérez Zeledón region, a 4 hour drive from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital.  Once you have arrived into San Isidro de General, the largest town in the area, you continue into the surrounding mountains for a 40 minute drive on rural roads until you arrive at Sat Yoga Ashram.

Once you have booked your program you will receive a detailed map and other travel information. 

When should I arrive into Costa Rica?

We recommend you arrive at least one full day before the program start date. The average time to travel from San Jose to our ashram is 4 to 5 hours (in a bus or car).

Which airport should I fly into?

We recommend you fly into the San Jose Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).

Do I need a visa to visit Costa Rica? How long is the visa valid for?

Please inquire with your local embassy before traveling to Costa Rica for specific guidelines. 

Do I need a passport when traveling from other countries?

Yes. We recommend that your passport is current and valid at least for 6 months following your arrival into Costa Rica. Please also inquire with your local embassy before traveling to Costa Rica for specific guidelines. 

Are there banks and ATMs in Costa Rica?

Yes. You will easily find plenty of banks and ATMs that use dollars and colones (the local currency). There may be a surcharge for each transaction to international banks. It is recommended that you obtain cash in the San Jose area before departing for the ashram. 

Where should I stay when I arrive in San Jose?

Here are a few guesthouses in Escazú, a suburb of San Jose that is close to the airport:

How should I get to my guesthouse from the airport?

We suggest using the airport taxis. They have set prices and are reliable. You can purchase your taxi ride after you have received your bags as you are leaving the airport.

How do I get to the ashram on the first day?

Once you have booked your program, detailed information regarding transportation will be provided closer to the start date. We do our best to pre-arrange carpools from teh San Jose area. Transportation fees are not included in the program price. If you would like to take your own transportation please let the registration coordinator know.

 

How do I get to the ashram independent of arranged transportation?

You may arrive to the ashram independent of pre-arranged travel transportation, but please aim to arrive at the set registration time and not before unless you have requested to do so in advance. This information will be provided for you once you have booked your program. 

Transportation Options:

Rental Car 
You will need to rent a 4X4 car to arrive at the ashram. You may ask your registration coordinator to send you a detailed map. We recommend that you leave the San Jose area between 4-5 hours before scheduled arrival time.

Public Bus
The MUSOC bus from San Jose to San Isidro de General runs every hour on the half hour from 5:30am to 5:30pm. The bus fare one-way is around $6 – $7 for an efficient, clean, and reliable journey.

From San Isidro de General, we recommend that you get a 4×4 taxi for the 40 minute mountainous ride to the ashram (average cost is $40 for 4-5 people.) To arrive on time, we recommend departing from San Jose on a 7:30 or 8:30am bus. This is a great option for budget travelers.

Program/Retreat Information

What time does the retreat start on the first day, what time does it finish on the last day?

The arrival time is from 2:30 – 4:00pm on the first day.

Departure time is usually between 11am – 2pm on the last day depending on the program/retreat.

What meals are included in the retreat on the first and last day?

We will be serving dinner as the first meal at the ashram the day you arrive. We will be serving a brunch on the last day before you depart.   All of the organized transportation will provide a rest stop break at the halfway point.

What languages are spoken at Sat Yoga Ashram?

All our classes are offered in English though some classes and retreats will be offered with simultaneous Spanish translation.

What is Karma Yoga?

Karma yoga (or seva) is selfless service done for the benefit of the community. It is an integral part of daily life and provides a chance to participate in the community. Karma yoga performed in meditative silence, free from concern for outcome or affirmation, is a wondrous medicine for the soul. Your ashram experience will be enriched by participating in such communal chores as preparing meals, harvesting fruits and vegetables, sweeping, cleaning and setting tables, washing dishes, and other such purifying acts performed with others in harmony and love.

What is the ashram food like?

Our vegetarian meals are prepared daily by the mindful and loving hands of our ashram yogis. Tender, radiant greens are picked every morning to preserve freshness and the nourishment from the sun and earth. Weekly visits to the food forest provide us with staples such as malanga (taro root) and banana bunches. As much as possible, we try to acquire fresh food items that we don’t yet cultivate from neighboring farmers and on our Thursday trips to the local feria (farmer’s market).

  • The food served in the ashram is strictly vegetarian. Please do not bring any non-vegetarian foods into the ashram or keep food in your cabins.
  • If you plan on fasting or abstaining regularly from meals, please let us know before the retreat for planning purposes. Note that we generally do not make special accommodations or offer the use of the kitchen for personal dietary choices.
  • Sample meal:
    • Breakfast: Fresh fruit, granola, gallo pinto (traditional Costa Rican Breakfast of rice and beans), toast, jam, butter, tea, coffee, milk, soy milk, fresh fruit juice. Please note that on some retreats, we offer fruit and smoothie breakfast only to support the early morning and midmorning meditation practice.
    • Lunch: Indian curry, basmati rice, local yucca dish, green salad, beet salad
    • Dinner: Tomato soup, homemade flax crackers, cabbage and vegetable salad

Can I bring extra/special food on a retreat?

Food is not currently permitted inside the cabins. We do not offer personal space for storing food in the kitchen nor do we have the capacity for communal use of the kitchen. Please plan accordingly. If you do have a unique dietary requirement, email Amrita at retreats@satyogainsitute.org to discuss special arrangements.

Is the water safe to drink at the ashram?

Potable water is available from a water station in the lodge. It is useful to have a personal reusable water bottle to refill. Please avoid drinking from taps.

Vitamins and Medications

Each participant is responsible for his/her own medications and any vitamins you might need to reinforce the immune system as you adjust to an often chilly climate and high altitude. If you are prone to sickness, please come prepared.

What should I wear at the ashram?

Attire should be comfortable and appropriate for meditation as well as daily ashram activities. We recommend that you bring outdoor clothes for permaculture activities and river walk (as well as a bathing suit if you would like to swim), and clothing appropriate for meditation, class and indoor karma yoga.

It is not appropriate to wear clothes that are too revealing or immodest. In general in the meditation hall and classes, sloppy attire, thin-strapped tank tops, and above the knee skirts or shorts are discouraged. We remove outdoor shoes while entering the lodge or cabins so please bring a pair (or two!) of clean indoor shoes or slippers to use for this purpose.

Should I bring white clothes?

Yes. We recommend that you bring at least one nice white outfit for special classes, events or ceremonies that happen at some of our programs/retreats.

Is there laundry service?

We offer laundry service at the ashram for programs that are 10 days or longer. If you have any questions about this, please email Amrita at retreats@satyogainsitute.org to discuss special arrangements.

 

Can I use perfume or scents on my body at the ashram?

When packing toiletries, we ask for your mindfulness of others who might be sensitive or allergic and choose products that have a mild or no scent. Please refrain from using perfumes, creams, aftershaves, etc. during the retreat.

 

Do I need to bring a meditation cushion?

We provide meditation cushions and blankets (as well as chairs) as we have several opportunities to meditate every day. Participants may also wish to come prepared with meditation items such as: personal meditation pillow, cushion, bench, or other preferred accessories.

What are the ashram accommodations like?

Nestled among flourishing gardens and panoramic mountain views, our six comfortable bhavans (spiritual abodes) offer an ideal environment to embark on your profound inner journey. Each simple yet tastefully designed room provides comfortable sleeping space for one to three, with private single rooms often available upon request for a supplemental fee. Our accommodations offer pleasant and spacious shared bathrooms as well as private balconies and large windows that overlook the natural beauty of the surrounding forests and gardens. The soothing sounds of flowing water and sweet songs of native birds (and sometimes the awesome howls of monkeys!) provide the perfect conditions for meditation and relaxation.

Will there be access to electricity and what kind of current is used at the ashram?

Yes. All cabins are supported with electricity plugs. Outlets are 110V.

Are electronic devices allowed at the Ashram?

We encourage you to leave your electronic devices (hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, etc.) at home out of respect for fellow visitors (noise) and to help us with sustainability.

Is there Internet access and can I use my cell phone?

Yes. There is Internet access and cell phones are permitted at our ashram. Though, it is discouraged to use cell phones during a retreat unless there is an emergency. Internet use is primarily for emails. Please avoid downloading music and movies at any time. There is an ashram phone available to make emergency calls if needed.

What is the weather like? What is the elevation?

Our weather can be quite variable (cool and rainy to hot and humid). Also, we will spend many blissful hours meditating, walking, and doing karma yoga, so your attire should be comfortable and appropriate.

Mid-mornings are generally sunny and warm, with fog or rain clouds coming in around noon to mid-afternoon that can produce chilly nights and early mornings.

All year long (rainy and dry season):  low temp: 16 C°, 61 F°

All year long (rainy and dry season): high temp: 29 C°, 85 F°

We are located at an elevation is on average 1100 meters.

Is smoking, drug use or drinking alcohol prohibited?

Yes, smoking (or other use of tobacco products), drug use (without medical need and prescription), or the consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in all areas of our property. Violators of this policy will be asked to leave the ashram and quit the retreat immediately without refund.

What if I get sick on a retreat?

If you become sick during a retreat, contact the ashram staff immediately.  We will help you in any way possible. Please avoid spreading germs, especially on shared cushions, pillows, and blankets. If you are coughing, sneezing or sniffling in excess, please rest in your room until you are feeling better, to avoid disturbing the meditations or spreading germs, and wash your hands frequently.

 

What about transportation after the the retreat?

We recommend that you follow the same transportation option that you used to arrive.

After the Program/Retreat

Can I extend my stay with Sat Yoga?

Sat Yoga Ashram offers Immersion Programs and extended stays. If you are interested in coming before or stay after the retreat, please contact your retreat coordinator for details.

Liabilities and Insurance

Does Sat Yoga require health insurance?

Sat Yoga requires that all participants be covered by life, accident, and medical insurance and that they be financially responsible and prepared for such expenses.

What is Sat Yoga’s responsibility?

Sat Yoga will accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air schedules, theft, loss of (or damage to) baggage or any article belonging to the retreatant, or in the case of sickness, personal health conditions, injuries, or death; or in the case of bad weather conditions, strikes, fires, explosions, earthquakes, floods, epidemics, conditions of hiking trails, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, wars, accidents, chance, acts of God, force majeure or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the retreatant.

Payments & Cancellation

Will I require any additional money at the retreat?

The programs/retreats are all inclusive once you arrive. We do have a small shop which includes books, handmade clothing, specialty food items, meditation blankets, and other decorative items that are sold at attractive rates. The store helps produce income for some of our community members. Please bring sufficient money for your hotel stays, food, and transportation for before and after your retreat.

What is your cancellation policy?

45 or more days notice: A full refund will be issued, minus the $50 initial non-refundable deposit.

  • 44 – 30 days notice: A 50% refund will be issued from your total payment.
  • 29 -15 days notice: A 25% refund will be issued from your total payment.
  • Less than 14 days notice: No refunds will be issued. This also applies for those who leave early from a retreat for any reason.

The Sat Yoga Ashram reserves the right to cancel any program at any time. In the event of such cancellation, you will be given a complete refund. In the event of our needing to end a retreat prematurely, due to incremental weather or other acts of God that make it impossible for us to operate safely, no refund will be issued. But discounts will be offered on future events. Visitors will be expected to follow the Sat Yoga Ashram & Retreat Center behavioral guidelines during their retreat. The Sat Yoga Ashram management reserves the right to refuse admission, upon arrival, to any participant who manifests inappropriate behavior. If a participant engages in prohibited activities or disruptive behavior during the retreat, we reserve the right to ask that person to leave immediately. No refund will be issued in such cases.