In 17 short months, Imiloa has generated over 63 contracts, has hosted thousands of people from a hundred countries and maintains an overall survey average of 4.8 out of 5 stars across all of those retreats.
We have some insights on “secrets” that have been revealed to us by the very nature of learning about all these events and this industry at an incredibly rapid pace.
The immersive experience a retreat can offer can catalyze the individual and social transformation of communities. It forms strong bonds, reflections on life and often shakes you up in a way like few other experiential events can.
If you’re considering hosting a retreat, chances are there are more unknowns than known, especially if it’s your first.
Questions around success come up even before you’ve identified what success will be for you and your participants.
Questions around people’s interest level, marketing, sales and will Imiloa really have my back so I can fully show up for my content.
Although we understand feelings aren’t facts and our first reaction to fear isn’t our final reaction, we know all of this can feel abundantly real.
Imiloa works with you in an unprecedented way to bring clarity. We believe that clarity leads to serenity, and that serenity leads to peaceful prosperity.
We’re sharing with you the top three success secrets in filling your next retreat. It’s about financial success but also the authenticity of the relationships that are built as a result.
First and foremost, we suggest you articulate your values and vision.
A good exercise is imagining your ideal attendee — an avatar if you will — on the final day of their retreat. They’re at the gate in San Jose, about to fly home. What are they texting their loved on? What are they telling their mother about? Not multiple things. They’re talking about a single thing or two. That moment that changed everything. Maybe it was the food, or a workshop, or a new friend they met that helped them see their life in a new way.
Go there, and write about it. That is a piece of how you animate the values of your retreat.
What do your attendees want to get out of the investment? Out of the experience? Yes, what are their needs, wants, wounds, pains, challenges, desires, hopes and dreams?
From the moment your promotion hits them, wherever they are, all the way through the Discovery Call and closing process, the key is to remember that their mind is always asking: “What’s in it for me?”
Then it’s “OK, can this person and this group really deliver it to me?” You being clear allows them the unconscious permission to also be clear in their decision making, which allows for you to fill your retreat.
What are the actions you’ll take during the retreat, and what is the Possibility that is created as a result?
We prefer to talk about Possibility rather than results because ultimately you can’t dictate what results for another human being will be. But, you can be sure that if you create Possibility and enroll them in that possibility through the action you take and the clarity you share with them, that their lives will be transformed as a result.
By attending your retreat, what is now Possible in their life? What is Possible in their business or their relationship? This ought to drive every communication, every Facebook post and ad, every email newsletter and so on.
Values are derived from the exercises above, and the Possibility you create. Vision is driven by the naming of your retreat. We’ll talk about that another time, or Imiloa can also share with you more on naming tips in a Discovery Call.
Find a Retreat Center (hint: Imiloa Institute) that wants you to work closely with them
At Imiloa, you’ll be hosting at an institute that believes not only in educating and advancing human beings that are here, but we believe that it’s not just about your guests, but also about the communities that are impacted by the work you do here.
As such, our co-founder, who is also our COO, is head of the “Welcome Home Team” at Imiloa, the team of operators, managers, event planners, property team, housekeeping and more that ensure everything, from ticketing to touchdown to takeoff, is handled expertly. Having assistance from the initial stages of planning to the execution of your retreat will be pivotal in freeing you up to market, share and execute.
Everything from the ticketing and web conversion, to marketing support (although we don’t take the lead on this), to the touchdown of the group in San Jose, to the arrivals at Imiloa, every aspect of the event and until the group is safely back at San Jose headed home, is handled. All you have to consider is your curriculum and schedule. There are Four Kick-Off Calls that happen as part of the Kick-Off Series to ensure clarity and peacefulness. The event gets “locked” 30 days before liftoff. See here to read more about how our team can support you.
Be brave and bold with your offer
Selling is nothing more than creating, and sharing value.
We sabotage often when we sell. Why? Because we’re too busy thinking about ourselves. Get outside of your body. Get outside of you. Stop trying to convince someone of something you have for them, and instead really feel into what’s important to them.
Boldness has power, magic and bravery in it. You are out on the leading edge of thought, brave enough to turn back around and invite the rest of us there, too. Imiloa stands with you and we need you to also take the stand.
Be bold and share with your family, friends, your network of former and current colleagues. Spread the word from everyone in your direct network to your barista at your local coffee shop.
Retreats are an extremely intimate experience, and if you’re curious about creating and sharing value, we invite you to get comfortable with an appropriate amount of discomfort.
Lynan Saperstein, the founder and CEO of The Experience Experts, a turn-key digital marketing agency advises following the DECIDE framework module.
As a marketing strategist and experience creator, she explains you can do this by listening to heart and soul in a way of “I can do it and I can be it.” Lynan also advises us that our mindset sets the tone and determines our success.
There is extreme power in the art and science of visualization and it starts with taking action and turning the results over to a higher power of your understanding.
With these tips, Imiloa is confident that you will fill your next retreat successfully. Schedule a discovery call to start your journey with hosting at Imiloa.
Imiloa Institute regularly gets many phone calls and online messages from individuals around the world considering attending a transformational retreat. They often ask us which one of our retreats should they attend and how to pick the right experience for them.
The Imiloa Team always appreciates these powerful conversations because Imiloa Institute in Costa Rica is emerging as not only a consciousness institute for educating human beings but as an authority on the space of transformation and healing because of how selective Imiloa is about who hosts retreats inside our gates.
Human beings find themselves in periods of transition, loss, relationship ebbs and flows, shifts in life responsibilities or learning to juggle the abundance that they’ve manifested in their life or business.
Because life in metropolitan cities, working for an impactful company, or as an entrepreneur can often be filled with stress and other toxicities, the demand for getaways, retreats and transformational experiences filled with healing and reflection is increasing every year.
This is why we built Imiloa to be in support & empowerment of the global eco-system focusing on education through a spirit of service and a posture of learning.
We are seeing solopreneurs, busy executives, tech entrepreneurs with fresh exits, artists, transformational leaders and so many others earmark budget yearly for retreats and deepenings the same way they would for mortgage or savings. Retreats are a wonderful way to take the time and space to get away from our day to day, as well as an opportunity to go inward to reflect. Our retreat guests experience a chance to refresh perspectives, refocus priorities, and revitalize their spirit for living. If you’re reading this, the question probably isn’t if you’re going to go on a retreat, but which one and how to properly pick the right one for you.
These 4 tips serve as a supportive source in guiding you on your journey to choosing and booking your next transformative retreat:
Envision how you want to feel at the end of the retreat.
Start by exploring what your desired outcome is and visualize where you see yourself on the last day of the experience. What do you want to take away from this time of inward exploration?
Who do you want to become? Thinking about these things will allow you to tune in and attract the right event.
Jake Sasseville, co-founder of Imiloa, notoriously only ever attended one retreat before creating Imiloa. “I attended one retreat, a men’s intimacy retreat. I wanted a stronger connection with myself and the world around me,” he says.
“I thought it was going to be a talk-therapy retreat. Careful what you wish for. Much of the retreat was in silence, it was based on “authentic movement” for three days. It transformed me.”
When thinking about how to choose the best event for you, Sasseville says, “…discover how you want to feel. Throw goals out the window. How do you want to feel, and let that be the driver.”
Research the values of the host or teacher
Two things to consider here in your research.
First is the master authentic. How do they present themselves? Do they resonate? The second thing to consider is look at the testimonials of what they used to talk about their expertise. Research the people they are quoting. Are they people you want to be with for five days?
Jake encourages all of us to look at , “…their beliefs and ethics and if they align with yours.”
Finally, a third part could be looking at the retreat center itself. Research the co-founders. Is it in alignment? Do they state values and vision or are they vague? Pictures tell a good story, but what’s under the hood? It matters because these three items make up how you feel about the experience and it will either allow you to do the work you came to do, or be a distraction.
Scour social media beyond the testimonials. Often you can find what people have said as it’s happening during other retreats.
Hearing their personal results and benefits from the retreat as it’s in progress can be a deciding factor in the decision-making process. Also, reach out to past attendees. Retreats at Imiloa range anywhere from $2,500 to $13,000 a ticket, depending on who’s teaching. It’s an investment and ought to include due diligence.
Are you willing to invest in yourself for a life-changing transformation?
If it’s a yes, determine a timeline, then a month(s) that you’ll do it. Don’t let the voice self-sabotage you into not acting. Focus on taking the next right action. Perhaps a savings plan. A $3500 retreat including airfare is $291 a month over 12 months.
Most retreat prices offer all-inclusive options with workshops, accommodations, food, and transportation. If they’re real good, they’ll have payment plan options to help as well. You are responsible for flights.
Imiloa has a commitment to advancing and educating human beings on our journey of mastery. As an emerging authority on retreats, programming and experience, because we walk our talk. We believe that we “win” if and when everyone “wins.” Our retreat hosts, who we fondly call ‘Masters’ and their retreat attendees feel our core values foundationally for all of their experience. We value fun, being a joyful environment for all – our team and guests, eco-aware of the world around us, and transparent in all our communications. Everyone who connected to Imiloa, feels the difference.
The range of retreat centers in Costa Rica and around the world is growing. The clearer you can be with yourself about what you want, the better choice you’ll make for your life. Let us know if we can help you in the journey, and of course we hope to see you at Imiloa Institute very soon. Check out our Upcoming Retreat Calendar to explore the different types of retreats that might be a perfect restorative and healing experience for you.
Did you know that the heart’s magnetic component is about 5,000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body?
One difference between the brain and the heart is that the brain has a section called the amygdala, it is one of the oldest parts of the brain and serves to help us survive. It was very useful in the past to keep us alert and alive from threats like animals, invading armies and harsh weather.
These days it usually keeps us from venturing into the unknown and living our lives as an adventurous dream.
That’s why I recommend following your heart. This is what we did with Imiloa Institute. We jumped into the unknown with our hearts.
We didn’t know about how to do business in Costa Rica.
We had never had a hospitality company.
We’d never done a construction project.
I’d never even held my own retreat.
We simply listened to our hearts and trusted that all would unfold as it should.
We knew we wanted to create a beautiful space for people to feel at home in their transformation and be able to take that feeling at home feeling with themselves with them anywhere they went when they left.
The Imiloa Institute came from a feeling of finally being at home in my own transformation after years of personal development courses. I realized the power of vulnerable sharing in groups which leads to freedom and feeling at home with ourselves and results in us being a space for others to feel at home.
It’s an energetic chain reaction that is spreading across the globe and all of consciousness.
Heart centered, adventurous courage to love ourselves enough to live our dreams.
I invite you to follow your heart and come experience feeling at home within yourself at Imiloa.
I invite you to follow your heart towards adventuring towards your dreams, whatever they may be.
Much love, Nadav
With only two months left in this decade, there is no better time than now to focus on what energy you want to bring into 2020.
Join us for one of these incredible upcoming retreats and see how it can help you manifest the next decade.
WILD LEADERSHIP TRAINING December 4 – 11, 2019
An incredible experience awaits you this December 4th-11th as Imiloa Hosts 4 Master Level Practitioners for Wild Leadership Training. Business success, personal power, tantric yoga, and ancestral connection awaits you.
ESSENTIAL YOGA WITH GEOFFREY RONINGER January 8 – 12, 2020
The Imiloa Institute is thrilled to announce we are hosting Master Yogi Geoffrey Roniger for Essential Yoga this January 8th-12th. Geoffrey is a gifted and hands-on yogic instructor specializing in linking an individual’s yoga-practice to the ancient being within that is always just a step away from being uncovered. Explore this one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the deep-self in one of earth’s most authentic natural environments.
PLAYING WITH INFINITY January 13 – 19, 2020
The Imiloa Institute is proud to present the Playing with Infinity Retreat, this January 13th to 19th in the brilliant sunshine of our Costa-Rican paradise. Plant Medicine, yoga and breathwork, coaching and meditations, and infinite discoveries await our guests in the miraculous natural setting that is Imiloa. Get ready to expand your consciousness.
SCALING YOUR MINDSET, SCALE YOUR BUSINESS January 27 – February 1, 2020
Imiloa brings you Scaling your Mindset, Scale your Business this January 27th-February 1st, a retreat experience designed for business leaders who are ready to move from a limiting plateau, through the valleys of their own self-doubts, to a vista of new heights and capabilities. Learn more about what this life-changing retreat experience can offer to your business, and to your financial success and freedom.
BECOMING SUPERHUMAN February 5 – 11, 2020
The Imiloa Institute is enraptured with it’s upcoming retreat this February 5th-11th: Becoming Superhuman. Join 2 Master and multi-modality practitioners at the intersection between spiritual vitality, business success, and mental/emotional stamina – as you upgrade the latent parts of your soul that may have been been previously or partially unavailable to you. Including Wim Hof breathing techniques as well as daily mindfulness practices, this retreat is sure to help you surpass your current state.
As we enter into a season known for the sniffles, taking extra care of what you put into your body is key. One of the healthiest choices you can make is to fuel your body with as much live, high-vibrational food as possible.
Everything that comes out of Imiloa’s kitchen is designed to not only feed your body, but also to help you become more connected to nature.
Try out this yummy Imiloa take on vegan curry!
Cauliflower Curry Rice
1 big cauliflower 2 bunches of green onion, cut fine 3 spoons of madras curry 1⁄4 cup of crushed cashews 3 spoons of sesame oil 2 spoons of tahini 1 tablespoon of cumin 1 diced red bell pepper 1 bunch of cilantro 1 lime
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Grind it until it looks like the size of rice grains. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.
Buen Provecho !
As our dream for an empowering center for growth, education, and transformation becomes fully realized, we are compelled to express deep and immense gratitude for each and every soul who steps foot onto our property. We are blessed by the knowledge and vulnerability brought to this sacred space.
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Why Imiloa is the Perfect Place for a Digital Detox
When we think of a digital detox we assume, “What am I going to miss?” when in fact we ought to ask “What can we gain?”
It’s reported that the time we consume on our phones consists of 30-second bursts. This suggests that what we are doing is an automatic, habitual type of behavior. If we stopped to examine how much of our lives are truly spent on mindless scrolling, the reality can be quite alarming.
There’s no denying that technology is only going to advance with time. But as we find ourselves at a critical moment in time, we’re beginning to witness some of the negative side effects that come with hours of screen time. Think: increased anxiety and stress, insomnia, depression, wasted time and overall, missed opportunities to truly connect with others.
It’s almost as if we are stuck in a catch-22; a conundrum of some sort. In a way, we are more connected than ever, yet why do so many of us feel so disconnected?
This need for space and time spent away from our screens is dire. With our “smartphone addictions” forming at an all-time high, health experts are deeming this the year of the “tech diet.” This trend of digital detox experiences is on the rise as more modern travelers are seeking opportunities to go offline.
Pioneering this innovative concept to “disconnect to reconnect” is at the center of Imiloa. It’s at the “Heart” (where we dine, chill and create) of this 5-star Institute where zero internet is available. It encourages guests to interact, connect, and engage in their present surroundings (which are extraordinary, pre-historic jungle trees and animals).
The space is designed to honor the indigenous Costa Ricans that came before us while incorporating Balinese culture. It’s a multi-use, dining, lounge, and relaxation area, ideal for group and individual meditation and rejuvenation. It’s not a particularly challenging space but it’s design challenges guests to be intimate with themselves, and each other. It causes some discomfort, but once a few nights have passed, the real reward and connection is from the very art of the disconnect.
Disconnection with ourselves means we can’t listen to our inner guidance system. We hand over our personal power, including to our technology. We divert from real human connection, from the healing powers of nature, and most importantly, from ourselves. Imiloa has dedicated itself to being a pathway for people to find their way back home to themselves. The property is a catalyst for this very simple appeal.
One of the Founding Family members from Imiloa Institute, Eric Grotefeld, a wildly successful investor, entrepreneur and activist in the area of reducing our interaction with technology, shares that he checks his phone only once a week. It was this concept of limiting screen time that inspired Eric and the Imiloa team to create the environment in “Heart.”
Eric says that “Imiloa is a unique place that presents guests a gift of newfound freedom: time and space spent in nature.” It is this belief that as humans, our first true love is mother earth. It’s why the aesthetics at Imiloa are characterized by the surrounding Costa Rican Savegre Mountains. We chose intentionally.
There’s an ambiance throughout Imiloa that makes room for guests to experience an immediate connection to nature, without the itch to check-in online. Imiloa provides a safe place to open up, dig deep, and self reflect while practicing intention setting, engaging more, and learning to be fully present.
The result is not only a renewed sense of awe and freedom in life, but it is also that many of our guests come back and see us two and three times a year for various retreats. It’s as much about the co-attendees, the masters themselves and the nature and structure of Imiloa that make people want to come back again and again.
Giving yourself a break from digital communication is proven to bring significant benefits, both mentally and emotionally. Our goal is to provide a space where guests can free themselves from the noise and “clutter” of the digital world and return to a more mindful and balanced lifestyle, recharged.
The Most Useful Mindful Meditation Tips from the Experts at Imiloa
The term “mindfulness” has become an increasingly popular concept in culture and has grown in interest and potential over the past decade. What was once an original ancient Buddhist practice for exploring the human experience, is headed mainstream.
But what exactly is mindfulness?
Ramana Maharshi, who died in 1950 in India, was known to share that in a meditation practice, if your brain scatters, bring it back to center by inquiring: “Who am I?” This is a remarkable awareness in and of itself; it actually shuts the mind down because each time the inquiry is posed, the mind simply cannot answer.
Mindfulness and meditation practices simply keep us open and allow us to collapse the judgments we have in the world by acknowledging that they exist.
But how do we do it? How do we actually…meditate?
Lee Davy, one of the Founding Family members at Imiloa, explains just exactly how we can achieve this. Lee used to own a gym in Toronto before becoming investor #2 at Imiloa. His life is radically focused on others and sharing the technologies and tools that he believes can transform the lives of others.
First, Davy explains, there are three important components of meditation that we must understand in obtaining this state of contentment.
The first element of meditation is awareness. By going inward, dropping in, and visiting ourselves on a deeper level, we can become more aware of what’s going on around us. Classically, we can do this by focusing on the breaths. When our brains wander, we acknowledge and gently refocus on the breath.
The second component of meditation is the practice of being in the present moment. This entails recognizing and noticing our current state. This allows us to check in on the mind and sift through our thoughts, emotions, concepts, images, feelings–all without judgment.
The third part of meditation is attunement. This is the notion of honing in on the concept of “more.” It’s how we acclimate and visualize more love, sensations, healing, growth, energy, and overall, more abundance into our lives.
These three components of meditation are proven to bring us higher degrees of health, wealth, bliss, overall, a sense of contentment.
With so many techniques, technologies and tools for meditation, it can cause overwhelm. Meditate on it.
Kidding. Sort of.
Davy suggests that a great habit to form is establishing a morning meditation practice before you get out of bed. One of his favorite practices is a three and a half-hour meditation of the pineal gland. This practice took Davy years of dedication to put into place.
Davy explains that the pineal gland is a small “pine cone” shaped piece located in the center of your brain in the endocrine system. This system is known to regulate melatonin, as the gland works to govern and maintain the circadian rhythm. Essentially, our sleep/wake cycle.
The gland has also long been associated with the idea of the “third eye”, or “the eye of intuition” which comes from the yogic symbol of all-knowing. However, Davy goes on, the pineal gland is a space that’s located above the third eye and works as the sensing unit. This gland begins to degenerate as we reach the age of ten, which is when we start to lose touch with our spirituality.
But with a solid pineal gland meditation practice, we can help begin to regenerate the health of this gland. Davy shares that a way to do this is by getting into a comfortable position, keeping your spine straight, and to visualize and place your attention solely onto the pineal gland. This awakens intuition and activates inner wisdom while creating a soothing and peaceful state of mind.
Physical activity is another great form of meditation. Any form of movement whether it be yoga, free dance, or activities such as running gets the blood flowing. The art of movement and physical activity gets you out of your own head and more into your own body.
Another suggestion Davy recommends for meditation is learning how to breathe. Yes, that’s right. It may come as a surprise as we think of breathing as a natural thing, right? But studies show that most of us are not breathing correctly which can lead to anxiety symptoms and depression. New research shows that we tend to take small sips of air and hold in our chest, forgetting to breathe with our bellies.
An exercise that Davy loves to share with his guests at Imiloa to help with “belly breathing” is the WimHof Method. This type of breathwork is easily approachable and consists of two parts. The first technique is similar to a polar bear plunge.
An extremely chilly dip in artic-type water is believed to boost the immune system, increase energy levels, and relieve joint pain. Another version of the WimHof meditation consists of 5 rounds of deep belly breathwork.
Generally, this part involves 30 breaths within the rounds, while adding small retention after each round of breathing. This style of breathwork allows us to control the flow of air through our lungs to regulate our body’s energy. It also steers us away from reacting in a fight or flight mode, thus giving a sense of relaxation and response.
Ultimately, learning to incorporate some of these mindful meditation techniques really comes down to honoring your own spiritual journey. When we begin to nurture our bodies, we start to nurture our spirit.
And by nurturing our spirit, we are nurturing the world. It’s an important aspect in life to fill our own cup first; as one cannot pour from an empty cup. There’s a subtle art to finding the delicate balance between lingering too long in the past and overthinking about the future.
By acquiring habitual meditation practices, we can usher ourselves to a state of awareness, and awareness is what brings us to the present moment. The present moment is where we can find true contentment.
Life is happening for us, never to us. We gain this perspective through our meditation practice. And what emerges is a more playful, joy-filled life being realized in the present moment to moment.
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