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  • Writer's pictureDesirae Penton-Crosley

Taking My Own Advice

From Pain to Purpose: Embracing Growth, Finding Courage, and Building a Yoga Retreat Center in Costa Rica

2021 was a year of growth and change for the world, for Dragon Yoga, and for me. At times, growth is painful, but nothing is as painful as remaining stuck where you don’t belong.


From Darkness to Light: Embracing Change, Building a Yoga Retreat Center, and Honoring Generational Healing


2021 was a year of growth and change for the world, for Dragon Yoga, and for me. At times, growth is painful, but nothing is as painful as remaining stuck where you don’t belong.

When Covid hit, it felt like my world was dissolving around me. I lost my home, my business, and close friends and family. Everything that defined my life was slipping away. Some days, I would lie in bed, cry, and wish I were somewhere else. I fell into a dark hole, neglecting self-care and even abandoning my yoga practice. Fear, doubt, and limitation consumed me as I stopped believing in a better future for myself.


Throughout my career, I've inspired others to believe in their endless potential, but I was not living that truth myself. A voice of generational trauma echoed in my head, telling me I was both not enough and too much. It whispered that I didn't deserve the opportunities and success I had worked for. This year, for the first time, I let that story take over.


As a leader in the Oklahoma City yoga community, there were times I felt unwelcome. Those experiences hurt. I realized that I'm not a guru—I feel pain and disappointment too. I'm strong, but I can't do it all alone. We all need the support of a community to thrive.


That's why I hold my community at Dragon Yoga so dear. I've poured my time, energy, and life into this community to foster growth. Despite the turmoil, 2021 was a significant year for Dragon Yoga. We celebrated three Yoga Teacher Training programs, hosted four yoga retreats, and I fearlessly spoke out on matters close to my heart in my last blog post. Dragon Yoga is more than a business; it's a community that supports one another and strives to make the world a better place.


In my darkest moments, Dragon Yoga and the Oklahoma City community supported me too. When I couldn't believe in myself, other business owners and the community at large showed up, reminding me of who I am and what I can do. I am deeply grateful to all of you.

Throughout my career, I have led by example, walking the walk to inspire my students and community to reach their fullest potential. I adore my Oklahoma community and cherish the opportunity to travel. Over the years, I have led retreats and workshops across the country and the world, carrying my OKC kula with me. Each retreat has propelled me towards the next phase of my life.


Now, I have reached a point where taking a step forward is not enough—it's time for a leap.


With a mix of sadness and excitement, I'm ready to share that 2022 will be my last year living in Oklahoma City full time. Starting in 2023, I am moving to Costa Rica to establish a yoga retreat center.


But before I embark on this new chapter, Dragon Yoga will host three retreats: Fort Collins CO in April, Costa Rica in June, and Taos NM in August. In April, I'll lead a 300-hour yoga teacher training program, followed by a 200-hour program in September. Dragon Yoga will flourish and grow, standing up for what we believe in. While I'll be stepping away from the full-time leadership of the studio, I'll always return to lead workshops and trainings. Dragon Yoga remains my kula, a candle that burns bright in a dark world, and I promise to keep adding to the flame after I move.


The retreat center in Costa Rica is a dream come true. I realized that I couldnIn order to encourage others to pursue their dreams, I must pursue my own with integrity. I had to get out of my own way and take flight. I owe much of this realization to all of you. You reminded me that I deserve to chase my dreams too, and for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


The retreat center in Costa Rica is just the beginning of an incredible journey. I want to honor my grandmother Evelene, who fought battles similar to mine. Despite her passing when I was just two years old, we share a deep connection. Our struggles for physical health, emotional safety, and breaking free from family patterns intertwine. By healing generational traumas and breaking the chains that held us back, I aim to change the future for every female in my life, starting with myself.


True self-discovery begins where your comfort zone ends, as Adam Braun wisely said. And now, it's time for me to embark on this transformative journey of embracing change, building a yoga retreat center in Costa Rica, and honoring the legacy of Evelene.

I invite you to join me on this path of growth and healing, as we learn to let go of what no longer serves us and step into a brighter future. Together, we can discover our true potential, ignite our inner flames, and create a world filled with love, compassion, and endless possibilities.


Get Inspired


Stay tuned for more updates as I share the progress of Dragon Yoga, our retreats, and the incredible adventure that awaits in Costa Rica. The Evalene in my heart will guide me, and with your support, we'll create a ripple effect of transformation that extends far beyond the borders of any studio or retreat center.

Remember, the journey begins when we have the courage to take that first leap into the unknown. Let's embrace change, honor our past, and build a future that sets our souls on fire.


The Evalene, Las Delicias, Costa Rica, 2023

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