The Epic Academy: 32 Day 200-Hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica

  • Manuel Antonio Villa, Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Yoga Teacher Training and Business Academy

All yoga teacher training programs lack a vital piece: the business skill set required to make an abundant and sustainable living in teaching what you love. A love for yoga, self-practice, and a 200-hour certification isn't enough to share this information with others safely and manifest your dreams. Epic Living Retreats believes in spreading light and love to the far reaches of the universe. So make yourself a better teacher and entrepreneur by joining this training!


  • 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training course
  • Intensive stand up paddle board yoga sessions
  • 6-hour Pilates mat and myofascial release workshops
  • 32-hour conscious business training and workshops on building a modern website
  • 2 shamanic plant medicine ceremonies and Temazcal sweat lodge
  • Shuttle transport to and from Manuel Antonio
  • 31 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily raw vegan meals
  • 27 days with instruction
  • English
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You can choose a shared or private room. All rooms have powerful fans and two of the master bedrooms are equipped with air conditioners. All linens are provided with cleaning service twice per week. Washer and dryer are free and on site. Reverse osmosis water filtration system is available on site as well. The following types of rooms are available:

  • Three master bedrooms with queen beds and private baths
  • One shared dorm room with two twin beds and one queen bed which is facilitated with private bath and can accommodate up to three students
  • Two standard queen bedrooms with one shared bathroom, kitchen, and living room

In this ground breaking 34-day program, Epic Living Retreats will fuse the Epic Academy business curriculum with a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification program. In their signature academy, they will empower and assist you to develop your brand, find your voice, and also design and build your website. You will be immersed in Epic Living Retreats' advertising, social media marketing, blogging, copy writing, and sales techniques.


  • A consistent yoga practice for the last two years (three times per week)
  • A strong passion and drive to become an entrepreneur
  • Tech savvy with social media experience
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • A "can-do" attitude with ability to problem solve

Vinyasa yoga teacher training outline

Techniques and practice (100 hours)

Explore a vast array of asana styles and theoretical elements by using Hatha as the foundation. Morning practice is an intensive two hour Vinyasa flow. While the afternoon is a gentle two hour Hatha with deep focus on alignment, pranayama, and meditation. Remaining time will be spent on lectures covering topics of the day.

Teaching methodology (25 hours)

You will learn all aspects of teaching including how to plan classes, choreograph sequences, demonstrate postures, execute physical adjustments, use voice, and verbal cues (English and Sanskrit). You will also practice and learn how to hold space for a variety of different emotions, physical injuries, and limitations. The use props and postures modification are also extensively covered. The importance of observation will be emphasized since it is the foundation of excellent teaching.

Anatomy and physiology (20 hours)

Dive deep into the physical (muscles, bones, fascia, etc.) and energetic (chakras, nadis, etc.) anatomy of the human form. You will be taught all body systems (e.g. nervous system, muscular system, endocrine, etc.), human kinetics, and how all of these relate to yoga practice. Anatomy provides a comprehensive blueprint for all postures while clarifying the effects of pranayama and meditation within the body.

Philosophy and ethics (30 hours)

Epic Living Retreats will review topics within Hindu mythology and the traditional teachings from the ancient scriptures of the yoga sutras, Hatha yoga pradipika, and the bhagavad gita. Looking into these Vedic scriptures will give you insight on how much more there is to your yoga practice than the physical body. By learning the eight-limb path and applying it throughout your life you will be more confident incorporating it into your classes without overwhelming your students. Two hours will be spent on the ethics of the teacher-student relationship and how important this is when giving physical adjustments.

Practicum (10 hours)

You will practice your teaching to the group and develop your voice and style. Sometimes the scariest part of being a new teacher is getting up in front of people. The more you practice within a supportive group the more your confidence grows. This is a chance to receive and give feedback as well as observe others teach. Electives are interspersed throughout the month and include kids, Ashtanga, and pre-natal yoga practices. Basic Ayurvedic principles and variations for advanced postures are also covered.

Conscious business academy and website build

What ever your dream will require a website and key business techniques. This 32-hour academy preps you with all of the marketing and sales techniques necessary to launch a thriving business on the ground and online.

You will learn how to design and build your own website on the robust and renowned WordPress platform to showcase your talent and mission to attract students. No coding will be required. It's incredibly important that you know how to function your own website without the need of a developer or designer. Having complete control over your website is critical to saving money and expanding your brand rapidly. Below is the short list of what you'll know how to do by the end the month working one on one and in small groups with Amber and Daniel.

Pilates mat and myofascial release workshop

Every Saturday morning, you can enjoy in-depth 90-minute Pilates mat and myofascial release workshops designed to take your personal practice and teaching to the next level. These 6 hours will be counted as part of your total elective hours. Amber will show you how to weave these two extremely powerful techniques into your yoga offerings.

Learn the seven guiding Pilates principles and how you can easily apply them to enhance all of your favorite activities. Flow through beginning-advanced mat sequences with Amber and learn how to move from your center with proper alignment, ease, and grace. Pilates is a rigorous and precise method created to uniformly balance and build long lean bodies.

Dive into the intricacies of myofascial release with tennis balls and foam rollers. Amber will teach you how to roll out the most tense places in your deepest connective tissue from head to toe. By releasing the fascia and blasting through energy blockages you can unlock a new level of mobility.

This technique and skill set is invaluable for pain management, injury prevention, increasing mobility, and improving performance on every level. Imagine a full body deep tissue massage you can give yourself and teach your students how to do for themselves.

Stand up paddle board yoga and Pilates intensive

Take all of your yoga and Pilates skills to the gorgeous 85 degree Pacific Ocean. In this two and a half hour intensive, you'll flow through a dynamic Pilates-Vinyasa fusion class on a stand up paddle board with Amber. You will launch from one of the most mesmerizing peaceful coves and paddle out beside the little islands for class.

Practicing on a wiggling board adds a major stability challenge to your asana. Falling in the warm water is part of the fun and learning. Learn how to stroke with the paddle properly and safely with your core for speedy and efficient traveling. Amber will lead and show you how to enter the waves and read the water currents for the safest and most fun experience.

Shamanic twist

Sacred plant medicines and Temazcal sweat lodges have been used by shamans world wide for thousands of years to heal, awaken, and elevate consciousness. The plant that you will mediate in sacred ceremony with is known as a the mother of all master plants. It comes from the depths of the Amazon rain forest and has been used extensively to elicit spiritual revelations, heal past traumas, and reverse addictive behaviors.

One ceremony of sipping this mystical and potent brew has been described as 10 years of meditation compressed into one night. It is also the deepest physical and emotional cleanse of your life. Two ceremonies in a row is ideal because it allows the medicine to heal deeper. This experience sparks the beginning of a powerful spiritual journey to the center of your heart and the depths of the cosmos.

There is no better way to enhance the celebration of your graduation from training than with a traditional Native American crow sweat lodge and back to back plant medicine ceremonies September 8 through the morning of September 11 at Posada Natura Retreat Center.

Epic Living Retreats works with the highest integrity and most experienced shaman in the region. Creating the safest space for your spiritual unfolding and evolution is their top priority. Epic Living Retreats has led over a dozen groups to The Temple of Light in the last year alone with outstanding results.

Weekday schedule

  • 07:00 - 09:00 Two-hour Vinyasa practice
  • 09:00 - 09:30 Organic breakfast
  • 09:30 - 11:30 Morning lecture
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Organic lunch
  • 13:15 - 14:15 Afternoon lecture
  • 14:15 - 14:30 Break
  • 14:30 - 16:30 Afternoon Hatha or alignment, adjustments, and posture clinics
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Organic dinner followed by rest and reflect

Saturday schedule

  • 07:30 - 09:00 Pilates mat or myofascial release workshop
  • 09:00 - 10:00 Organic breakfast
  • 10:00 - 12:30 Social media marketing and website building
  • 12:30 - 13:30 Organic lunch
  • 13:30 - 16:00 Sales training followed by an organic dinner

Sunday schedule

  • 08:00 - 09:00 Organic breakfast
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Organic lunch
  • 17:30 - 18:30 Organic dinner
  • Amber Zuckswert

    An international Pilates and vinyasa yoga instructor, professional contemporary dancer, and holistic nutritionist. She specializes in crafting personal lifestyle design programs and retreats, featuring international renowned experts for stressed, over-worked individuals who are eager to radically increase their health and happiness forever.

  • Aly Nind

    Aly is certified with over 900-hours in Hatha, Ashtanga, and Sattva yoga along with another 2200-hours in massage therapy. Over the last several years, she has lead annual retreats in Costa Rica and Peru. Her passion for sharing the power of yoga lead her to create her own teacher training program. She is the lead educator for the yoga teacher training portion of this program from Monday through Friday.

  • Daniel Finnerty

    Daniel is a "sales jedi" who roams the world fighting evil, engaging in high adventure and teaching his system, "Sales for Introverts & LightWorkers", to conscious business entrepreneurs. He developed his sales systems over 17 successful years at the highest levels of the health and wellness industry.

  • Johanna Thorn

    Author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book “Live Vibrantly! 10 Steps to Maintain Youthfulness, Increase Energy and Restore Your Health” is fiercely committed to guiding people in taking ownership of their health giving them freedom to live life beyond the ordinary; full of energy, free from fear of aging or disease. Her path to becoming a Restorative Eco Chef and Wellness Coach became clear after having restored her own health from one debilating health issue after another including an auto-immune disease.

EpicSelf Headquarter is nestled in the rain forest within a five-minute walk to all shops, restaurants, and activities in the heart of Manuel Antonio. The spacious jungle, compound of three Costa Rican style homes, is a 20-minute walk or 10-minutes bus ride to main beach with the fastest Wi-Fi in town and a massive yoga deck.

Nearby places

  • City center - 5 minutes
  • Main beach - 20 minutes
  • Pilates
  • Swimming nearby
  • Temazcal
  • Beach nearby
  • Yoga deck
  • Laundry

Enjoy delicious raw and vegan super-food cuisine which is prepared and served by Epic Living Retreats' two personal chefs, Ronan and Ryan. Plant based nutrition, especially during such vigorous training, is key to boosting the quality of your experience. Epic Living Retreats only uses the highest quality, locally grown, and certified organic produce and super foods to create scrumptious dishes.

You will also be served green juice, fresh coconut water, super-food smoothies, herbal teas, and savory soups, as well as rainbow salads, wraps, pasta, pizza, and even desserts like cheesecake and pie. Your taste buds will enjoy the food as much as your belly. All meals are crafted with proper food combining guidelines and fermented foods to aide digestion, cleanse, and boost your immunity. You won't know what to do with all of your new energy.

Ronan is a highly experienced chef who has worked in every aspect of the restaurant industry for over 20 years. Originally from London, he moved to Costa Rica four years ago to pursue his passions. As an artist, his speciality is beautiful and delicious plant-based cuisine. He sees each plate as a canvas waiting to be created.

Ronan weaves his passion and dedication to a plant-based lifestyle into every dish. He loves teaching how food can be healthy, ethical, scrumptious, feasible, and sustainable. He believes that cooking and preparing food is a practice of ahimsa, the yogic principle of “non-violence”. Ronan is the witty head chef and serves all of the guests with a smile. You can feel his love in every bite.

Ryan, from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a self studied expert on plant based nutrition, detox, and cleansing. He has years of experience as a chef, including one of Costa Rica's leading sustainable, off grid yoga retreats, where he currently produces healing vegan cuisine full time.

Teaching chi gong, traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda influence both his diet and daily work practice. Ryan's passion, combined with inner joy and peace, is magic in the kitchen and his meals. He will assist Ronan throughout the month. The two of them together is pure fun.

  • 2 shamanic plant medicine ceremonies
  • 3 daily organic, raw, and vegan meals
  • 4 Pilates mat and myofascial release workshops
  • 32-hour conscious business and website building training
  • 31 nights accommodation
  • 200-hour Yoga Alliance Vinyasa yoga teacher training
  • Shuttle transport to and from Manuel Antonio
  • Stand up paddle board yoga and Pilates intensive sessions
  • Temazcal sweat lodge
  • Flights
  • Transport costs while staying in Manuel Antonio

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Ground transport to and from San Jose International Airport (SJO) is included in your package.

  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on departure.


  • Review by Andie from United States
    10 out of 10

    "Amber & Daniel are wonderful hosts and such kind, grounded people! They were incredibly supportive in helping me plan and prepare for my Costa Rica travels to their retreat center. My lodging accommodations were cozy, clean, private and such a relaxing place to rest my head. And the raw-organic food was out of this world! Fresh, clean and green. The detox was just what my body needed and has inspired me to take these eating habits home with me. Amber is a phenomenal Yoga & Pilates instructor. She is super knowledgable about movement and the human body and working with many different levels of fitness. I really appreciated Amber's ability to speak calm and professionally while giving simple yet clear cues that helped me stay focused and confident in being able to follow along with her class. Her classes are creative and challenging and Amber adds in her own humor that makes it a more fun & personable experience. Thank you, thank you! Highly recommend this retreat center for your next adventure!"

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  • Review by a traveler
    9 out of 10

    "I have been inspired and motivated to activate my lifestyle. I have gotten dietary nutritional advice, been re-inspired to practice yoga regularly and to generally re-evaluate my health life. The Center for Epic Living is an asset to Manuel Antonio."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Damian G. from Costa Rica
    9 out of 10

    "Amber and Emily do a great job with The Center for Epic Living. I get 100% organic produce from them. They are always accommodating and helpful with my Epic Living basket that I get once a week. Thank you for being so patient. See you guys soon."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Melissa from United States
    9 out of 10

    "I started each morning during my Costa Rica vacation with Amber's classes. I practice yoga regularly, but it was my first time trying Pilates. She is a great teacher and the one and a half hour class flew by. She teaches for all levels. The studio is beautiful and light filled. My body felt great each day."

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  • Review by Chazuni from United States
    9 out of 10

    "Amazing yoga today with Amber, owner of Epic Living in Manuel Antonio. Beautiful yogi, beautiful space, beautiful ocean views, all add up to beautiful experience. Om shanti, Ganesh."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Jon P. from United States
    10 out of 10

    "The center for Epic Living is located in Manuel Antonio and affords a great view of the Pacific ocean while you are getting your yoga groove on. The owner and lead instructor, Amber, is a 20-year veteran of ballet and dance from California. Her little toned body and prima ballerina face are on par with the view and her attentive instructions to all levels of yoga devotees make this a cannot miss location for Pilates and yoga. My wife and I attended both types of classes and enjoyed them immensely. Emily the always happy and smiling intern is a joy to see upon entering this studio. We only regret our week went by way too fast .For the men out there, I am a 57 year old male, a sportsman, with a body scarred and pinned together from a lifetime of activity. She is great on having you respect your body and offers modifications on poses for those physically challenged or injured. The best money you can spend in Manuel."

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  • Review by Caren M. from United States
    9 out of 10

    "I am fairly new to yoga. I know lots of poses and can participate in an all-level class but get nervous it may move too fast or there will be too many advance moves (binds, inversions). This class was great for everyone. I loved the sequencing, pace, and flow. Amber is an excellent teacher - providing very helpful and detailed cues so that the student could experience the proper alignment and form. The studio is lovely -brand new room, with a mirror, lots of light, and a view of the ocean. I am looking forward to returning tomorrow!"

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  • Review by Bonanza from Costa Rica
    10 out of 10

    "I am new to yoga since coming to Manuel Antonio in December. I practiced Bikram yoga for about a year, almost a decade ago, and nothing since. I wasn't sure my 50 plus year old, recently retired, recent ex-smoker, over stressed body was ready to commit, but I have found Amber's techniques of Vinyasa yoga and fusion yoga / Pilates to be challenging and attainable. I have learned with my daily practices, felt welcomed and encouraged, to move and grow at my own pace. I have seen almost immediate improvement in my stamina, strength and clarity.The studio is clean, has breathtaking views of the Manuel Antonio Park and Pacific ocean, an organic produce program, and holistic products to purchase. Very impressed with the depth of knowledge and variety of activities that the staff and studio is offering. Tourists and locals all seem equally welcome. Not sure how this internationally known nutritionist, dancer, yoga instructor ended up in this piece of paradise, but my body and soul are sure glad she did."

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  • Review by Harlow from Costa Rica
    9 out of 10

    "I've been living in Costa Rica for several years and visit Manuel Antonio often. I've taken yoga classes at several studios in Costa Rica over the years, but I must say that the studio at The Center for Epic Living is not only my favorite, its by far the cleanest and nicest studio I've been to in all of Costa Rica. And from the studio's floor to ceiling glass windows you can see the ocean and watch amazing sunsets while taking a class with Amber (the owner) or one of the guest teachers. This is also a great place for yoga and Pilates teachers to host retreats, since there are several hotels within walking distance (two located directly across the street), and its also located near shops, restaurants, cafes and a quick 2-minute drive to several of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches, including Playa Espadilla and Playa Biesanz. Next time you're in Manuel Antonio, stop in to The Center for Epic Living to take a yoga or Pilates class or pick up natural foods and health products at their store!"

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  • Review by Rachel T. from United States
    9 out of 10

    "A beautiful center aptly named for the intentions and services it provides. During class with Amber it is hard not to sneak glances at the beautiful ocean view out of the open studio space. Learning how to move my body in different ways and how to build strength and flexibility instantly cultivates a mindset that I can do, be, and achieve anything I want to in life. The variety of classes offered piques all of my various interests - salsa dancing, yoga, Pilates, and Spanish. The Center for Epic Living is a central hub for personal wellness and growth and truly helps me to live my epic best self. I am so blessed to have stumbled upon the experience of this center which is nestled in the little slice of paradise, Manuel Antonio. I highly recommend a visit to anyone wanting to invest in his or her physical and mental health."

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Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Epic Living Retreats is an organization specializing in yoga, Pilates, and various forms of dance. They also host online coaching as well as yoga retreats and teacher trainings in Costa Rica.

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32 days / 31 nights


Arrival: Sunday January 14, 2018
Departure: Wednesday February 14, 2018

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