Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala

Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala: Hours, Address, Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala Reviews: 5/5

Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala
5
Yoga & Pilates • Lessons & Workshops
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8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Monday
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Friday
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
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About
Bienestar is the Spanish word for well-being. Assisting you in a journey to create a life style of well being is our mission. We offer a variety of modalities to connect the mind, body and spirit, including yoga, meditation, and holistic psychotherapy. We offer everyday classes and private work in our community and year round professional educations professionally certified by Yoga Alliance and IAYT. We have a beautiful garden location along the Uvita River.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
46 reviews
Excellent
42
Very good
3
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
1

Kristin B
15 contributions
Before signing up with Bienestar – Uvita Yoga Shala, I was discussing with Lura through Yovada where she was able to answer questions I had regarding her experiences as a psychotherapist and yoga therapist, and what I am to expect from this YTT program. She explained that there will be brand new accommodation and this group of students (the one I was to be a part of) will be the first ones to stay in these rooms. Then I continued my research on her school through her website. It was written that students will have the opportunity to enjoy a “comfortable lounge area with a yoga library and DVDs for relaxing and socializing. [There are also] … plenty of outside hammocks for resting between or after classes”. The photos looked beautiful as the “school” was surrounded by trees, there was a beautiful pool with a waterslide, and colourful hammocks on posts that overlooked the lush greenery of Costa Rica’s rainforest. We also spoke over the phone where she mentioned how beautiful the accommodations are going to be, and overall romanticized how beautiful the location of her school is. After speaking with her, she requested my email so she could send me the registration and information package.
Upon reading her email, I asked her how I can proceed with registration. She replied saying I can send her the money directly through a wire transfer in USD to her Costa Rican account. I sent through the requested amount in Canadian dollars. Unfortunately, there was an error with the beneficiary’s name which was the bank’s fault; as a result, the bank collected a large fee. I called Lura to explain the issue and she seemed to be understanding of the situation as she offered to pay half the cost of the fee if the bank did not reimburse the money. I explained that I was traveling before I arrived in Costa Rica and my only opportunity to send money was that day (it was the last business day before my departure). I suggested that I send her a portion of the total cost to ensure she receives some sort of payment and will send her the rest once I return to Canada to file a complaint to my bank – she agreed.
The shuttle picked us up from the airport and drove us to Bienestar. However, when we got off the bus, it was absolutely nothing like what we were told. To our surprise, we arrived at a construction site. Men were working on the building, construction equipment scattered on the second floor, concrete dust EVERYWHERE, and a building that was an incomplete project (unfinished drywalls, no railings, etc.). Instead of arriving at a beautiful yoga school as promised, it was quite the opposite. She attempted to fluff up the excuses with laughter claiming, “Oh, you know how it is in Costa Rica!”, instead of addressing the real situation at hand – we were lied to. There was no green/lush rainforest, the pool was entirely different than the pictures, the library was simply cardboard boxes of musty-smelling books in her room, and there were certainly no hammocks. Where we arrived, was a completely different location than what was advertised on her website and other third-party booking platforms (Yovada & BookRetreats). The only “lounge” area we had were our bedrooms and the yoga deck. We spent the first week of classes listening to power tools from the construction, we were being watched by the construction workers on-site while practicing and walking around, and breathing in concrete dust. The bedrooms were especially covered in this dust, which is completely toxic to breathe in. I had to take my sheets and shake them out outside due to how much there was in my bedroom. Two of us students sat her down and displayed our concern for the fact we invested quite a bit of money into this school and the project is far from being complete. Instead of taking responsibility for her lack of transparency, she continued to fluff up her excuses laughing it off and claiming she thought it would be done by the time we had arrived with no discussion of compensation.
In her teachings, she was very adamant that we teachers need to avoid oversharing and gossiping. This took me by surprise because on the first night she spent the entire evening talking poorly about other YTT schools in the area, the teachers themselves, and why she was better than all the other yoga schools.
After the first week, I was extremely taken aback when Lura pulled me aside to ask for my payment saying “I didn’t think it was going to take a fu*king month!”. I was extremely confused as I was under the impression I was okay to pay her the remainder when I return back to Canada. Immediately, I started to panic as I was being threatened, that I would not receive my diploma nor be registered on Yoga Alliance until she received her payment. I find this completely understandable, however, it was in the manner she demanded it which gave me quite an uncomfortable feeling. I began to calculate how much I owed her and put the money through PayPal for it to be processed. I told her how much I had put aside but was confused once again as she was saying I was required to pay a random amount that was not listed on her site, third-party booking sites, or with the early bird discount.
The following day, she pulled me into her office/bedroom/library, and she told me she has not received any form of payment. I immediately burst into tears as this freaked me out – there was no way my CAD 4,000 disappeared into thin air. On the date of my deposit in her account (I saw her banking statements), she had my deposit written as a future student. Instead of asking for that future student’s transaction receipt OR mine, she accused me of not paying. Her bank does not allow her to see the account name of where the money is coming from so, she guesses which student provided her money rather than looking at financial records. I was sitting in her office bawling my eyes out and instead of providing me any form of support (considering she was a trained psychotherapist), she was sitting there watching me cry saying, “I don’t really know what to tell you”. I felt lost, alone, and extremely anxious. Once I was able to gather my thoughts, I asked her if she was able to take my transaction receipt into her bank so they can look into the matter further. She replied with a simple, “Yeah, I guess I can do that”.
I think it was throughout the start of the third week that I honestly didn’t think my experience could get any worse. As Lura is an experienced psychotherapist, I was baffled at what I was hearing in my class. We were discussing our third practicum and Lura began to gossip about her previous students and their submissions. She then began to mock one of her students who struggled with alcohol addiction. As a recent graduate with a psychology degree, and with respect for those who struggle with mental disorders, I know for a fact this behaviour is unacceptable… let alone from a mental health professional! It wasn’t until after 15 minutes of her mocking this poor student, that one of the students in class broke the discussion so we could continue learning about yoga teaching.
As the final week approached, I couldn’t wait to get myself out of this horrible place. Lura pulled me into her office/bedroom/library and suggested we just “assume” the deposit in her account was from me and not that future student. She then told me that Yovada is threatening to kick her off the site because she was poaching students from their site (exactly what she did with me) and I must pay the remainder to Yovada instead of her PayPal account. She followed by saying she will write me up something that I can send to Yovada and will blame the initial bank transfer issue as the reason why the money was not sent to Yovada in the first place. She mentioned she will also send a message from her personal account explaining ‘what happened’. I was feeling vulnerable as a student and felt it was necessary to be compliant with her demands as my yoga teacher. Twenty minutes after speaking with her, I realized that this was very wrong, and I didn’t feel comfortable with what she was telling me to do. I sent her a message asking if we could discuss it in further detail. She replied saying she was unavailable that day and would let me know when a good time is. It wasn’t until a few days before I was leaving to head back home that I asked her to talk about our previous discussion. Surprisingly, she had a new amount that was different than what was listed on the sites and different than her second request. Again, I was compliant and agreed to it. I also asked if I was able to contact Yovada myself and she was very against this idea as it may spoil her coverup story.
Written April 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Kristin: Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. I’m sorry your experience wasn’t what you expected. The construction was an unusual situation that I had hoped to have completed before your arrival and will be fixed for students coming in the future. With the pandemic affecting the global supply chain, especially in countries like Costa Rica, construction on the additional shower and living space I had hoped to have completed before your training began was delayed. I determined that it was better to allow construction for those few days of your 30-day training so your group would have an additional shower to use, rather than wait and not have that option for you, but I understand that was not preferable for you and the plumbing and tiling disturbed your experience. Likewise, the furniture for the second floor lounge was delivered late and was only available for your use half-way through the program. Your pictures of additional storage spaces are outside of the teaching and living areas for students and I’m sorry those were still a construction zone and disturbed your training. We have daily housekeeping and so I am distressed to know that your concerns about dust went unaddressed. I will use your feedback to make improvements. I was concerned that a group dinner conversation about the yoga alliance school policies was understood as criticism of other yoga schools. As a yoga practitioner and mental health professional, I seek to maintain a positive attitude and relationship with all members of my community and I respect the privacy of all my clients and students. The price is $3980 for the 200-hour YTT for one person for the training, private room, three meals a day on class days, and transportation to and from the airport. Payment is due in full prior to the start of training. Because Costa Rican banks do not identify the sender of bank transfers, I request all students send me their bank transfer receipt so I can properly identify who has paid. Thank you for your feedback about the booking process. Students who book through Yovada or Book Yoga Retreats have a three-step process that includes: 1) register and pay the booking fee required by Yovada or Book Yoga Retreats, 2) complete your Bienestar YTT application, and upon acceptance to the program, 3) complete your registration and pay the tuition balance to me. As you can see from other reviews, I seek to build positive relationships with my students. Please accept my sincere apology that your experience did not meet your expectations. Sincerely, Lura Shopteau
Written April 29, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy S
McAllen, TX4 contributions
Family
My 15 year old daughter and I did yoga several days with Lura. We loved it!! Lura is very knowledgeable and great for all levels. I highly recommend her; whether you are going for understanding the health benefits of yoga, learning the proper poses, or for a good yoga class, this is the place.
Written March 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

maguy75n
2 contributions
Lura is an excellent teacher, observer and human. His place is peaceful and his heart welcoming. I took Yin yoga training with her.
It was 5 wonderful days.
Written October 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lulu
1 contribution
I took the 200 YTT with Lura. She is a very experienced yoga teacher who combines the classic old school yoga with updated healthy body postures. Her insistence on body consciousness is what I personally enjoyed the most. Her type of yoga was exactly what I was looking for : spiritually, emotionally and physically always respecting our personal limitations. Instagram or facebook arn’t a thing for her - another reason why I decided to do my first training with Lura. Housing, food and class size (we were just 4) were all excellent. The fact the the class was small really allowed us to ask all the questions we needed to ask and get 100% of Lura’s expertise and attention. Anatomy classes are included in this program and taught by a very knowledgeable lady. Apart from the course itself, Lura is a lovely, generous and patient person. She is always available for you and will always be available for you in the future as well. My experience couldn’t have been more complete or better. Every now and then there would be extra events we could participate in such as sound baths, traditional indian music, etc. Last but not least Lura gifted us with a professional photoshoot to be ready for the real world. It was a fantastic experience. Lura always makes sure there is a good atmosphere. Great energy, support and care. I got a volunteer job right after the course and I felt ready to tackle the classes as a new certified yoga teacher! Thank you Lura for all your love and motivation! ❤️🙏🏽
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Marisolulu, Thank you so much. It is easy with great students that are excited to learn. I love where I live and the work I do so sharing this place and yoga make my life rich. I know I will see you here again and I look forward to it. Lura
Written March 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kayla Elise
2 contributions
Solo
My significant other and I discovered this lovely yoga shala during our vacation in Uvita, and we're so happy we found it! The owner, Lura, is a yoga therapist with an abundance of knowledge about yoga and an eye for alignment. She also has wonderful teachers who have a great understanding of anatomy and how to use yoga for strength and mobility. This is a great place to enhance your yoga practice through yoga therapy techniques in a beautiful place! We will definitely be going back in the future!
Written February 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Kayla, I am glad you enjoyed your class and lovely Uvita.
Written March 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Katie
4 contributions
Family
My experience with Bienestar exceeded my expectations with being provided a thorough education. Lura is bursting with knowledge, and I couldn’t imagine a teacher being more accessible. She worked so hard to make sure my needs were met as an individual, and as a student. With a small class size- I was free to ask all the questions I had, and the experience was so personal. Also speaking to her partner, Ananda, teaching A&P to an extent I wasn’t expecting. I left with such incredible information and resources all around.
As a regular yoga practitioner- I came in rather confidently about what I thought I knew. I was able to reshape my foundation for a stronger practice, and learn how to teach this practice with integrity.
I was afraid to find a YTT that only focused on feeling more like a retreat, or getting lost in the crowd of a larger class. This was definitely not that- I definitely recommend Bienestar to anyone looking for a solid, thorough education in traditional yoga.
Written July 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Katie, Yoga is a deeply personal experience, and each individual arrives with a different level of knowledge, practice and abilities. We work at opening up your experiences in a variety of yogic practices and trying to bring each individual forward in their practice. Thank you for your appreciation of our program, your were a attentive and diligent student and I know a dedicated yogic practitioner.
Written July 25, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Laura F
3 contributions
Solo
I recently completed my 200 hour teacher training course with Lura. Her patience, knowledge and caring approach made for a unique and growing experience. She goes out of her way to accommodate everyone and their individual needs and cares about each and every student. I wish I could’ve packed her in my luggage and taken her with me. Laura F.
Written August 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Laura, I believe teaching is an act of love, a love of our subject and those who are committed to studying, exploring and growing into a knowledge of themselves. I appreciate you're recognition and all of your efforts while you were here at Bienestar, you were an asset to our group. Lura
Written August 14, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sarina1684
2 contributions
Solo
Lura was my first yoga teacher. Through the 200 YTT program I experienced what having a real, honest, deep, pure as much as knowledgeable and very professional teacher means. She is loving and unemotional in her delivery at the same time, thorough, sweet, understanding and so human that the learning process becomes a soft absorption of the concepts, everything stays with you. A life changing experience, thanks to a great person, helped of course by a wonderful environment, AMAZING food and great company. If you come to Uvita, you can't miss a class (or more) with Lura!
Written August 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Sarina1684, Thank you for the glowing review. Inspired students motivate every teacher to be their best. I am glad that as you progressed as a student your were ready to go to the next step and committed a yoga teacher training and all that entails in growing your knowledge of yoga and it's practices. Uvita offers us much in the ways of stunning nature, fresh foods and the opportunity for a healthy lifestyle. Much graditude for all you contributed, Lura
Written August 14, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sophieeleanorspence
London, UK2 contributions
Solo
I recently completed Lura's 200hr YTT and could not recommend it more. It was almost as if I hadn't been doing yoga correctly since I started. She adjusts and teaches you in a way that I've never experienced before.
I would highly recommend training with her. I went not knowing if I wanted to teach and have left desperately wanting to share what she taught me.
The setting was beautiful, it was amazing to switch off completely for 4 weeks and my fellow yoginis were just amazing girls too.
If you love yoga, then do your 200hr! And if you want to do it in Costa Rica, then choose Lura at Bienestar.
Pura vida & much love x
Written June 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you Sophie, The immersion in nature here in lovely Uvita is an integral part of the magic. Yoga is not one size fits all and having the direct experience offers the opportunity to focus individual on all parts of our being. I am glad you made the shift for yourself and see the benefits that are possible for everyone. You will be a great teacher. Lura
Written June 29, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Globaltraveler108
Westport, CT40 contributions
Couples
We booked a private yoga session with Lura and were impressed with her knowledge of yoga and ability to refine one's yoga practice with small adjustments that made the world of difference. It was great learning new things from Lura and the reasoning behind a certain movement or form. Lura breaks down the moment into individual components that are specific to each client. This is what I enjoyed most because body anatomy and even flexibility, balance, and strength varies for each individual and even by day.

Lura was able to guide us to better technique and improved foundations for our yoga practice. I would recommend a private session with Lura if you can.
Written June 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you so much for the lovely review. It is always interesting and fun to work with clients that are interested in their bodies and overall health. I appreciate the review and knowing that you are dedicated to your practices. Lura
Written June 29, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala

Bienestar Uvita Yoga Shala is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Mon - Sat 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM