Costa Rica Reflections ~ Practicing Pura Vida 


Pura Vida (or “pure life”) is a Costa Rican phrase that has many meanings, but captures the simplicity of the spirit that lives within this majestic country. People say it to each other as a greeting or a parting good-bye, to take it easy, or enjoy life, and as a reminder, it’s all good. It’s an expression of external and internal optimism.

How do you practice purity in life? Through love, gratitude, being comfortable even when you are uncomfortable, connecting with yourself and others, smiling, and having fun. It’s a practice that lights you up from the inside so that you shine happiness to experience and feel life.

The definition of practice is both a noun and a verb:

Noun: The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, to put to use.

Verb: To perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. To rehearse, work on, polish.

body book surf shot

Life is a practice, everyday, as a noun and a verb. Each moment, hour, and day is unique with dynamic and subtle opportunities to learn. There is no magical recipe for finding joy. However, the ingredients are personal and require effort to create happiness and balance in your life. Practice valuable activities daily to choose thoughts of gratitude and optimism, to feel the good and bad emotions in situations, to choose to surrender, and to let go and trust in order to nourish an inner home to grow joy.


Do you play a sport, exercise, or have a favorite hobby? Golf, surfing, tennis, piano, painting, sudoku, or you name it, they all require dedication, commitment, and daily practice of moving your body and/or sharpening your mind. It takes refining and repetition to improve and grow. When you practice, you learn, and that’s exactly what I did. I took my own advice from my blog last month, to “Have Fun” and booked a last-minute trip to Costa Rica to surf with my friend and coach Jim Hogan at his camp. And it was SO MUCH FUN. I practiced and laughed, practiced and smiled, practiced and cried. I also had countless wipeouts and jellyfish stings; surfed intimidating, challenging, and daunting waves; experienced vulnerability to the max combined with aching muscles and soaring emotions of frustration to complete freedom, ultimately to FEEL more connected and alive to the practice and experience of life and surfing. I felt an ocean of pure love, pure life.


As Cameron Diaz says: “If you want to build strength, you must be comfortable with discomfort.”

Everything takes practice in life, and not just in sports, but building strength in our careers, relationships, and even in our mind while sitting in stillness. Often it is uncomfortable to step out of our comfort zone to challenge and inspire ourselves to make changes in our attitude, which opens opportunities for growth. Simply meditate and be present with your best teacher, yourself… to learn and to feel. Sitting quietly in meditation for 5 minutes takes practice, discipline, and consistency. L i f e is a never-ending journey of awareness and reflection to discover Pura Vida.

How will you practice Pura Vida in your life and share it with others?

Take it easy and enjoy the purity of l i f e,

Amanda Kriebel DPT, E-RYT 500

*Enjoy practicing pura vida with this new visualization meditation video:

Affectionately described by many as a yoga scientist, Amanda Kriebel is an innovative Doctor of Physical Therapy and Yoga Teacher who humbly claims to be a student of life. She inspires her patients and students to find JOY through creative techniques to optimize their physique and health. She developed a clinical collection of short yoga routines called the Surf | E x p a n s i o n Yoga Series designed for all types of individuals and athletes curious to explore yoga. Amanda has assisted the sports medical team at World Surfing League events since 2011. She is an avid surfer/snowboarder/lover of the ocean and the mountains. As an adventurer herself she is dedicated to promoting health and longevity so that you dwell IN JOY. Learn more about her and her exclusive videos: | Facebook | Instagram @amanda.kriebel | YouTube Channel

Photo/Video Credit: Micaela Malmi Photography