Susan Urquhart-Brown

Connect to Your Elemental Nature!
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica Retreat with Layla Gilman Reed

Come and explore your elemental nature in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse places on the earth. It’s a magnificent land where you can truly connect to the elements. It’s the perfect place to realize (or remember) that you are an elemental being, made of the same sacred and ancient building blocks that make up the Universe. I invite you to take this opportunity to deepen your connection to yourself and your True Nature by exploring the five elements: earth, water, fire, wind, and space. Each day we will explore one of the five elements, its corresponding chakra, Ayurvedic dosha, and its connection to you. We will delve into the elements as they manifest in both the outside world and your inner world. 

Each day we’ll enjoy PuraVida – the good life. And how you choose to connect to PuraVida is up to you! There will be time to connect with others and time to enjoy your own company.  You can join in as many of the yoga sessions and group activities as you would like. You can rise with the sun or sleep in and relax by the water with a good book. You can partake in excursions (surf lessons, snorkeling, canopy tours, bird watching, or hiking in a national forest) or you can just walk the white sand beach, nap in a hammock, and enjoy the slower rhythms of beach life. You can explore the town of Santa Teresa or stay at the resort and enjoy the lovely amenities like the spa and the pool. 

There will be two daily yoga practices. The morning practice will be a gentle flow practice with modifications for all levels of practitioner. The evening practice will be a quieter yin/restorative practice.   Both practices will focus on the element of the day and will incorporate meditation.

  • 6 nights accommodations (1 night at airport hotel, 5 nights at retreat center)
  • 3 meals per day starting with dinner on the first night and ending with breakfast on the last day
  • Group Ground Transportation to/from SJO Airport to Retreat Center
  • Daily yoga practices
  • Personal retreat time (having time to nap, explore, walk, read, and just be)


The retreat will be held at an intimate beachfront hotel and yoga center located in Santa Teresa, a breathtaking white sand beach on the Pacific Ocean of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Situated on four acres of unspoiled tropical beach, you will find beautiful swimming areas and also outcroppings of rock where natural tide pools form. Each room at this center is unique and the size of the rooms vary. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are prepared daily and include healthy vegetarian options along with fish and/or chicken. The food is organic when available and prepared with nourishing ingredients.

Layla Gilman Reed

Over twenty years ago I walked into my first yoga class. It was held in a church basement as yoga studios weren’t a common occurrence in the Midwest in the early 2000’s. I was managing a Starbucks and my district manager thought that yoga for stress management would be beneficial for his team. He gifted us all a ten week series and I couldn’t be more grateful! I wasn’t a sporty kid growing up. I loved tromping around in the woods, riding horses, and splashing around in any body of water, but would not have considered myself athletic in any manner of the word. Those first ten weeks of yoga helped me to start to connect to my body in a way that I didn’t even realize was possible. And the practices of embodied presence, pranayama, and meditation became invaluable with regards to stress management. I continued my “church basement” practice and found more classes using videos, books, and recreation centers.  

I slowly developed a love for yoga and integrated it deeper and deeper into my life. I completed my 200hour teacher training program with YogaHOMe in 2009. I loved teaching so much I wanted to deepen my knowledge, so in 2013 I enrolled in YogaHOMe’s 500hour teacher training. After eleven months of study, I graduated with my 500hour certificate. I have been teaching continuously for almost thirteen years and am honored to be an eRYT200, eRYT500 YACEP and have assisted in some 200 hour teacher trainings. Along the way I developed a deep love and respect for Ayurveda. I have my Ayurveda Yoga Specialist certification from the Himalayan Institute and enjoy teaching Ayurvedic workshops. I sprinkle Ayurvedic wisdom into most of my classes. I find making a connection to the seasonal and elemental wisdom of Ayurveda incredibly meaningful. I also have a Master’s Degree in Education.

My dear friend and esteemed colleague Karen Johns and I opened our very own studio, The Yoga Nest, in September 2016. We spent five years in our cherished space. We held regular classes, weekend immersions, Ayurvedic workshops, chanting and meditation evenings, and even hosted “Death Cafes.” Karen and I and decided to close the doors to our beloved physical space in July 2021. We are now each teaching virtually out of our homes. We are loving that physical proximity no longer limits who can attend classes with us! I also love teaching private groups, workshops, and day long retreats in and around the Cincinnati tristate area. 

I have a thirst for knowledge and learning! I love creating community and connecting with people. I like to think that my classes reflect my welcoming, inclusive, and laid-back style. My personal motto is “It’s all about Balance.”  My personal yoga practice brings me a profound sense of peace and grace in an often hectic and sometimes overwhelming life. For me a great class means sharing breath and laughter, a little sweat, and sometimes even a few tears. I am passionate about creating an open, non-threatening environment in my classes and I welcome my clients to come to the mat and explore all yoga has to offer.

Off the mat, I’m an avid reader, an occasional writer, and serious lover of food and drink! I love to cook, eat, and even read and write about food. My husband Adam, our dog Byrdand I love to hike, take our little Scamp camper on adventures around the country, and host friends for game nights and fire pits.  I love to putter in the garden, bicycle, hike and have any excuse to be outdoors when the weather allows. Winter tends to bring hibernation on a little more and you can find me cooking, reading, watching movies, listening to jazz records, and working jigsaw puzzles.

  • Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) 
  • Surfing Lessons
  • Boat Ride to Tortuga Island with Snorkeling
  • Hiking in Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve
  • Zip-lining/Canopy Tour
  • Kayaking
  • Karma Yoga Activity
  • And More…

*Price of some Activities are not included in tuition


Discover the true meaning of relaxation at the center’s Spa, offering a variety of first-class spa services performed by professional therapists. Treatments utilize 100% natural products. Offering massages, wraps, exfoliation treatments, facials, acupuncture, reiki, reflexology, and other beauty treatments, the Spa is located in front of Santa Teresa Beach so that you may enjoy the sounds of the sea and its cooling breezes.

Please be sure to review Our Policies.


Click Here to Register Now!

Paying an initial non-refundable deposit of $350 and $35 Payment Processing Fee (added to the tuition rate upon registration) will lock in your tuition rate and hold your space for the trip.

For technical questions or alternative payment options, please contact us.

Getting There 

You will be booking your flights for the San Jose International Airport (SJO). Before booking tickets, please be sure you have received your official confirmation note that the retreat has met its minimums. There will be a domestic flight and a group airport shuttle each way based on our flight window guidelines. Be sure your flights align with the provided flight windows if you wish to join the domestic flight and group shuttle that is included in your retreat package. The drive time to the center is approximately 45 minutes from the domestic airport.

Booking your Flight for the Best Price Possible!

True Nature and Lets U Travel have partnered together to provide you with the best airfare rate for your upcoming trip. Identify yourself as a True Nature participant and let the agent know which trip you are on. Click here for more details.

Toll-free phone number: 1-866-291-7809


Travel Insurance

We cannot emphasize more the importance of travel insurance. As we all know, especially as travelers, “life happens.” Whether it’s family, work, mother nature, or a change of heart, it is important to be prepared in case you need to unexpectedly change your travel plans. Often for less than $150, you can purchase a travel insurance policy and be protected in the event that you need to make a change or need to be covered financially prior to or during your trip. 

True Nature Travels - Costa Rica

We have partnered with two insurance companies: Trawick International and CSA Travel Insurance (available for U.S. Residents only). 

Read more about our insurance partners and their policies here. We encourage you to research the insurance company and policy that best meets your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have questions about traveling abroad? After you register, we will provide you with a Participant’s Package with helpful information. Also, be sure to check out our Participant FAQs. If you have other questions, feel free to write to us at and let us know how we can help!


Shared Accommodations – $2895 USD

Beachfront Shared Accommodations – $2995 USD

Single Accommodations – $3795 USD

Beachfront Single Accommodations – $3895 USD

Paying an initial non-refundable deposit of $350 and $35 Payment Processing Fee (added to the tuition rate upon registration) will lock in your tuition rate and hold your space for the trip.

For technical questions or alternative payment options, please contact us.

Sign Up with No Risk

In response to COVID-19, True Nature is offering a temporary exception to our cancellation policy. When you sign up for any 2023 retreat, your deposit is fully transferable. There is no cancellation fee if you transfer to another trip or put your deposit ($350) on hold for a future trip until the final payment date.*

We want to make sure everyone feels safe to travel and we are here to help and support you throughout this journey.

*This offer is valid for any new registrations prior to 108 days before the retreat date.

True Nature Travels is closely monitoring the situation regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global travel. For more information click here.


  • Initial deposits and the $35 registration fee are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • 50% of payments are refundable up to 90 days before a retreat excluding the initial deposit and the $35 registration fee.
  • 89 days prior to a retreat, tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • True Nature Travels is not responsible for any loss incurred due to currency conversion rates.
  • Full tuition is refunded* if the trip is canceled due to low enrollment.

*Refundable amounts do not include applied credits.

If you wish to cancel your spot on a trip you must submit your cancellation by email to

Santa Teresa Yoga Retreat
Costa Rica
Santa Teresa Yoga Retreat
Costa Rica Santa Teresa Boutique Hotel, Spa & Yoga Center

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