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According to wikipedia, “Karma yoga (Sanskrit: कर्म योग), or the “discipline of action,” is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism. One of the four pillars of yoga, Karma yoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. It states that one can experience salvation (Moksha) or love (bhakti) of God by performing their duties in an unselfish manner for the pleasure of the Supreme, which is the welfare of the world.”

visit www.365yogini.com for more info

visit http://www.365yogini.com for more info

Starting July 19th, 2009, Gigi Yogini will begin her Karma Yoga Tour practicing EcoTourism and visiting various yoga studios and wellness communities in the Nicoya Peninsula and the Central Pacific Cast.

Gigi will be hosting two retreats providing Yoga, Adventure, and Volunteer opportunities:

July 19 – 25 – Los Mangos, Montezuma, Costa Rica
This retreat will include 10 yoga classes: 6 Vinyasa Flow and 4 Restorative. It will also include an adventure retreat with surfing, zip line, waterfall hikes, or boat rides. Volunteer opportunities include beach cleanup and working with the local youth.

August 2 – 8 – La Escuela de Pura Vida, Manuel Antonio, Costa RIca (Full Moon Adventure)
This retreat will combine Yoga, Surfing, Salsa dancing, and Spanish classes in one of the most popular towns in Costa Rica. Adventures include waterfall hikes and futbol games. There are more party opportunities here than volunteer opportunities.

Gigi Yogini from the Shoe Project and Andrew McGregor from the Tiziano Project discussed Citizen Journalism and the power of the people with modern technology. Now we have all the tools we could possibly need to document the world in our pockets; so people are using their cell phones to capture what’s happening around them and then when they share their news, they are journalists without any training.

It’s guerrilla journalism, new media, and user generated content all wrapped into one.

I left my heart in Montezuma. The simple lifestyle, expansive beaches, and thought silencing waterfalls rejuvinated me in a way that I never knew were possible. When I came home, I had a million questions.

After 200 hours of yoga teacher training in New York for the past month, I came home again with answers.

First things first:

Friday the 13th – I arrive in San Jose at 6:30am for my first research trip for the future Adventure Documentary about Costa Rica’s EcoTourist’s Paradoxical Paradigm

Featured Cities:

San Jose (Tico Times)

Jaco (Resorts)

Manuel Antonio (La escuela de la Pura Vida)

Montezuma (Los Mangos and La escuela del Sol)

December 15, 2008

Globe-250

Beyond Green Travel

with Costas Christ
Top Ten Worst Green Travel Destinations

Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ

When NBC’s TODAY Show Travel Editor Peter Greenberg asked me to contribute a list of the top 10 places people should avoid when they travel, to include in his new book, Don’t Go There! (www.PeterGreenberg.com), I was a little reluctant at first. I am a firm believer that travel, no matter the destination, can be a powerful learning experience. In fact, some of my worst trips have been among the most interesting. They are the places I still tell stories about. But when looked through the lens of sustainable tourism principles—being environmentally friendly, helping to protect cultural and natural heritage, supporting the well-being of local people—there are some places that stand out, and its not for the better.

So here is my top 10 must-avoid travel destinations list

(or at least consider this warning so that you know what you are getting into before you go).

#9 Costa Rica’s Over-Developed Coast – There is a battle going on in Costa Rica, once the darling of ecotourism. The battle is between those who are working overtime to make the country a true green travel destination, and unscrupulous developers who like marketing the green label, but couldn’t care less about practicing the principles. The latter are winning in Tamarindo, Jaco, and a string of other coastal areas that have succeeded in carving up the landscape into large condos and megahotels. Your travel choice makes a difference in this struggle. The Costa Rican Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST)  helps identify the good guys.

Lonely Planet’s Introduction to Costa Rica – Updated November 25th

Lonely Planet's Photo of a Costa Rican Beach

Lonely Planet's Photo of a Costa Rican Beach

“More than 27% of the country’s area is protected, creating a haven for countless species of flora and fauna. The value of this natural resource is unquantifiable: annually Costa Rica attracts more than one million visitors… Tourism is the country’s top source of employment and investment.

It’s not easy to maintain the delicate balance between preserving natural resources and cashing in on economic opportunity. But most Ticos are proud of their natural heritage, and they recognize that the goals of environmental conservation and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive. This is the enlightened approach that has earned Costa Rica its reputation as the paradigm of ecotourism.”

My photo of trash on the beach in Montezuma, Costa Rica.

My photo of what the beach looked like in Montezuma, Costa Rica.

Ah-hem…now do you understand my confusion???  If this is the paradigm of ecotourism, then I am brutally disappointed. Where is the disconnect, I wonder? If tourism is “the country’s top source of employment and investment,” and if Costa Rica is considered the “paradigm of ecotourism,” then either A. The country needs to invest in its waste management or B. We need to redefine ecotourism.

If anything is going to get done about the dumping of trash in the country of Costa Rica, we’re going to have to bring international attention to the problem. These are the suggestions and references I’ve received from friends for further support of this project:

Tico Times

National Geographic

Green Peace

Sierra Club

LA Yoga

Santa Monica Daily Press

Sustainability Television

Redes de la Peninsula

La Nacion

al Dia

La Teja

National Geographic

Oprah

Ellen Degeneres

People Magazine

Sunset Magazine

Surfer Magazine

Outsider

Fuel TV

Science Channel

Discovery Channel

CBC

PBS

Lonely Planet

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