SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 22, March 2017 - Page 34

f I could describe my perfect day, it would probably begin with waking up refreshed

after a great night’s sleep and starting my morning with a yoga practice, followed by a delicious meal and then an afternoon spent soaking up the sun, splashing in the waves and digging my toes in the sand. Just imagine practicing yoga in a beautiful outdoor space to the sounds of the tropical birds and breeze, sipping on fresh local fruit juices, and learning how to surf the waves all in one day. Doesn’t that sound like paradise? Well, at Bodhi Surf School in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica, this is no imaginary daydream, but in fact a daily routine, and for the lucky travelers who make Bodhi their vacation destination, this dream can become a reality.

Bodhi got its start around seven years ago, when four friends came together and combined their passions to found a specialized surf and yoga camp on the beautiful Ballena Coast of southern Costa Rica. Founder Travis Bays spent his two years in the Peace Corps in Bahia Ballena, the sleepy surf town that would later become the home to Bodhi Surf School. After marrying yoga expert and Costa Rican native Pilar Salazar, the two returned to Bahia with their close friends and surf enthusiasts Gibran Garcia and his wife Adrianne Chandra-Huff to start Bodhi Surf School.

Bodhi was founded on the mission to not only provide a fun and special travel experience, but to also bring awareness to the natural beauty of their vacation destination. Bodhi aims to connect through body, mind and soul every person back to nature, and wants their clients to leave with greater knowledge and appreciation for the natural world. Those who visit Bodhi not only learn how to surf and practice yoga from experienced instructors, but also have the special opportunity to reconnect with mother nature and learn how they can help protect our earth and our oceans through every day acts.

An average week at Bodhi for any traveler will consist of five sessions each of professional surfing instruction at the local Marino Ballena National Park and yoga practice at the Bodhi Shambala Yoga Center, a beautiful outdoor raised platform that sits in the canopy of the surrounding jungle. Also included are delicious home cooked and healthy meals made from fresh local produce, a variety of community engagement opportunities to connect travelers to the local people and culture and a healthy dose of knowledge surrounding sustainable living and ways in which we can work to help conserve the ocean, all while living the “Pura Vida” lifestyle in this delightfully undeveloped area of Costa Rica, where the rainforest and the sea come together.

The impressive work that Bodhi Surf School has accomplished in raising environmental awareness has not gone unnoticed. This past November, Bodhi was approved at a Certified B Corporation, a certification that signifies a for-profit organization as one that shows a commitment to a higher standard of performance in the social or environmental areas of their business. As a result of the extensive work Bodhi has done not just for the local community, but for global environmental and marine conservation efforts, they have been awarded this prestigious certification, having to meet rigorous standards and a meticulous review to do so.

Bodhi Surf School has shown such impressive initiatives, a documentary is currently being filmed following the story of the founders, the vision of Bodhi and the long-lasting effects their work will have. Director Jazeen Hollings of Hustle It Up Films was first introduced to Bodhi when her parents vacationed there for their 25th wedding anniversary. Upon their return, Hollings noted her family making sustainable lifestyle changes, such as reducing their use of single-use plastics. The far-reaching potential of the teachings of Bodhi intrigued Hollings, and she set out to document the actions of Bodhi and their ability to create lasting change, and thus The Bodhi Wave was born. The film aims to focus on a few major themes, including eco-tourism and its positive impacts on conservation efforts, humans’ deep and inevitable connection with the natural world and how surfing specifically can be a successful educational tool to redevelop that connection with nature and start conversations about ocean conservation. The film also focuses on the founders, and how following your heart and leaving the traditional nine to five lifestyle can have a positive impact, personally, locally and even globally. Hollings and her team are currently filming in Bahia Ballena with the Bodhi team and the film is set to premiere later this year. For more information on The Bodhi Wave and to follow the production crew, visit https://www.facebook.com/thebodhiwave/.

We are all looking for great getaways, that perfection vacation spot where we can unwind and de-stress from our hectic daily lives. However, if you are looking for something extra special, for an adventure that you can enjoy in the moment and really take back home with you, then you must add Bodhi Surf School to your list of travel destinations. With relaxing yoga sessions, thrilling surf lessons, delicious and nutritious food, rich community engagement and a memorable reconnection with nature that will really stick with you, Bodhi is the perfect place to spend your next vacation. For more information on Bodhi Surf School and to book a trip, visit https://www.bodhisurfschool.com/.

By Emily Parker

Riding the Wave of Conservation Awareness in Costa Rica

A Tale of Bodhi Surf School

By Emily Parker

greater knowledge and appreciation for the natural world. Those who visit Bodhi not only learn how to surf and practice yoga from experienced instructors, but also have the special opportunity to reconnect with mother nature and learn how they can help protect our earth and our oceans through every day acts.

An average week at Bodhi for any traveler will consist of five sessions each of professional surfing instruction at the local Marino Ballena National Park and yoga practice at the Bodhi Shambala Yoga Center, a beautiful outdoor raised platform that sits in the canopy of the surrounding jungle. Also included are delicious home cooked and healthy meals made from fresh local produce, a variety of community engagement opportunities to connect travelers to the local people and culture and a healthy dose of knowledge surrounding sustainable living and ways in which we can work to help conserve the ocean, all while living the “Pura Vida” lifestyle in this delightfully undeveloped area of Costa Rica, where the rainforest and the sea come together.

The impressive work that Bodhi Surf School has accomplished in raising environmental awareness has not gone unnoticed. This past November, Bodhi was approved at a Certified B Corporation, a certification that signifies a for-profit organization as one that shows a commitment to a higher standard of performance in the social or environmental areas of their business. As a result of the extensive work Bodhi has done not just for the local community, but for global environmental and marine conservation efforts, they have been awarded this prestigious certification, having to meet rigorous standards and a meticulous review to do so.

Bodhi Surf School has shown such impressive initiatives, a documentary is currently being filmed following the story of the founders, the vision of Bodhi and the long-lasting effects their work will have. Director Jazeen Hollings of Hustle It Up Films was first introduced to Bodhi when her parents vacationed there for their 25th wedding anniversary. Upon their return, Hollings noted her family making sustainable lifestyle changes, such as reducing their use of single-use plastics. The far-reaching potential of the teachings of Bodhi intrigued Hollings, and she set out to document the actions of Bodhi and their ability to create lasting change, and thus The Bodhi Wave was born. The film aims to focus on a few major themes, including eco-tourism and its positive impacts on conservation efforts, humans’ deep and inevitable connection with the natural world and how surfing specifically can be a successful educational tool to redevelop that connection with nature and start conversations about ocean conservation. The film also focuses on the founders, and how following your heart and leaving the traditional nine to five lifestyle can have a positive impact, personally, locally and even globally. Hollings and her team are currently filming in Bahia Ballena with the Bodhi team and the film is set to premiere later this year. For more information on The Bodhi Wave and to follow the production crew, visit https://www.facebook.com/thebodhiwave/.

We are all looking for great getaways, that perfection vacation spot where we can unwind and de-stress from our hectic daily lives. However, if you are looking for something extra special, for an adventure that you can enjoy in the moment and really take back home with you, then you must add Bodhi Surf School to your list of travel destinations. With relaxing yoga sessions, thrilling surf lessons, delicious and nutritious food, rich community engagement and a memorable reconnection with nature that will really stick with you, Bodhi is the perfect place to spend your next vacation. For more information on Bodhi Surf School and to book a trip, visit https://www.bodhisurfschool.com/.

By Emily Parker

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March 2017 - Sustainable Travel

34 - SEVENSEAS