I manifested two years ago that Costa Rica would be the next country to explore. It caught my attention with the accumulating amount of black travelers and explorers being pulled to this gorgeous oasis in Central America. My excitement about coming here fluctuated up and down several times in 2022. I lost interest, got it back,
lost it again, and found other countries to seek instead of here. Finally, after being given an amazing opportunity, there was no more fence-straddling. I immediately booked a flight in November of 2022.
A little over a year ago, I decided to search social media communities and groups involving my interests so that I can reintegrate into new social groups. I joined one group on Facebook called The Brown Girl Yoga Tribe and noticed right away the soft exchanges between so many black women yogis. It was (and is) a vibrant community with no pretentious entitlement that I’d found in other online groups. I had no idea at the time I joined that the founder of the group was based in Costa Rica. Excitement and intrigue peaked again. “What is this place and how can I get involved?” I thought. I wasn’t sure how I was going to cross paths with this wonderful Yoga home for black women, in the very same country that I’d been already intrigued by. However, I kept faith knowing that the chance would present itself when the timing was aligned.
Fast forward to today, March 2023 I am now doing a one-month work exchange here in La Virgen, Sarapiquí, Costa Rica at The Brown Girl Tribe Sanctuary (BGYT). Two years later, a dream turned into reality. The founder, Jowa Marshall, is an entrepreneur, mother, dedicated Yogi, author, and strong advocate of Black wellness. Her studies of interest involve intuitive movement that connects the mind with spirit and different methods to tap into the body through mindful meditation. She is a 500 Hour certified Yoga instructor and has lived in Costa Rica for almost 9 years.
We hit it off right away when I was interviewed for the opportunity. Jowa has a very similar energy to the kind of women I’m already great friends with. Her Leo radiance and my Sagittarian flare made our interaction complimentary. Yoga was not the only passion we had in common; what I love most is that Jowa is a Black woman living abroad.
The Brown girl yoga tribe Sanctuary is an artistic, radiant, and cozy retreat center situated in a lush jungle surrounded by beautiful landscapes and biodiversity. It is painted with creativity, adorned with plant care, and scented with sage, incense, and palo santo. I think it’s safe to say most women immediately feel like they belong here. Everyone in the work exchange holds unique skills and respective talents in different forms of wellness from Yoga and meditation to sound healing, dietetics, gardening, and more. It is the haven black and brown women have been needing since forever. We are doing nothing and everything, at the same time and at our own pace. Whether it's quality time when having meals or hikes in the jungle, the fellowship that BGYT provides allows black and brown women to connect on a deeper level.
For anyone who is evolving in their practice of wellness, you must follow the movement that is the Brown Girl Yoga Tribe. You can get involved by hosting a retreat, attending one, or by signing up for workshops and work exchanges. The BGYT Sanctuary is a black-owned safe space for creative people to build community and have transparent conversations that our busy lives often prohibit not only with others but also with ourselves. There is something special about retreating from the chaotic busyness that keeps us anxious and having time to just sit and think more clearly. I am very grateful that I’ve been able to become a part of this beautiful tribe.