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The Story of The Shala

How we decided to build an event and yoga space in Dominical, Costa Rica

My partner and I came to Costa Rica in the summer of 2021 after being fatigued of living in nearly two years of a strict lockdown back in Dublin, Ireland. When my partners family asked why we did not just come and join them in Costa Rica, we suddenly realized we had no real reason to say no.

Costa Rica was a breath of fresh (hot) air!

The pace of life slowed down a whole lot, which to be fair took some getting used to. We started living with the clock of the sun, waking up early, going to bed early. Filling our days getting to know the beautiful area of Dominical, getting to know the incredible tight knit community here and helping build the family dream and business Casa Kia Ora.

"there is something special about Dominical"

People who visit the Dominical area frequently say, there is something special about this place. And they don't just mean the natural beauty. What they are experiencing and feeling is the community. Even though tourism is growing in this area, the majority of people who are here, live here either full- or part-time. This quickly results in everyone knowing absolutely everyone! People in this community go out of their way to help each other, whether it is finding a good tutor for your kids, or bringing back your favorite peanut butter from the States.

"the importance of building community, supporting community"

My incredible mother in law (founder of Casa Kia Ora) always talked about the importance of building community, supporting community and protecting community bonds. This most definitely stems from growing up and spending most of her life in Zambia and Zimbabwe (let's keep that incredible story for another blog post). After about six months of living in Dominicalito, my partner and I realized we wanted to play a more active and facilitating part in this community. And so, we started to dream up the Shala.

Yoga space in Costa Rica
We took this picture just a few days building of the Shala started!

"Overlooking where two rivers meet, with a jungle backdrop"

Where is The Shala

Just across from Dominicalito beach, in the backyard of Aracari Square, was a beautiful small unused piece of land that overlooks two rivers meeting with a jungle backdrop. It was the perfect space to build a simple minimalistic, yet beautiful space where people could enjoy the quiet and beauty of nature.

First and foremost The Shala is an event space. A space that can be used by anyone in the community for a very accessible price. It can be used for birthdays, baby showers, art classes, markets, workshops and lots, lots more. It has however also evolved into a yoga space. It's beautiful to look back on how this happened - due to the community. There was such an ask by the community for regular yoga that we are so happy to now be at a stage that a fantastic group of local yoga teachers offer 9 am yoga, 7 days a week!

Yoga class in Dominical

If you want to join one of the yoga classes, check the schedule here and just drop in! No reservation required, just come and join our community. If you are interested in hosting an event at the Shala, just contact us via WhatsApp or Email


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