Sober Surf Retreat

January 31st – February 6th 

February 7th – 13th, 2021

Come celebrate sobriety in community on the luscious beaches of Costa Rica. Dive into your “sober-cation” through group process, meditation, journaling and the company of a like-minded community. Learn and practice surfing, yoga, and mindfulness with dedicated and experienced instructors. Enjoy catered meals and  beautiful scenery  as we celebrate the promises in our life over a peaceful week in compassionate community!

Leadership Bios: 

Brad Herman: Brad is an enthusiast of recovery and has, since 2004, committed his life to helping  individuals, couples, and families reclaim their lives from addiction. Along with a B.A. in Human Services and Master of Divinity, Brad earned a Master of Addiction Counseling from Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. Combining his education and experience, Brad worked as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor for treatment facilities and in private practice, as a chaplain in a treatment center, and as a Spiritual Care Professional for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. He has designed and implemented programs for individuals and family members which combine spirituality and evidence-based principles of recovery. Brad values and works a 12 Step Program, sponsors men in recovery, and is sponsored. As a by-product of sobriety, he enjoys home life with his wife Anne, playing hockey, riding motorcycle and time with his four children and two grandchildren. 

Nicole Blaser: Dance and yoga are the foundation for joy and deep connection in Nicole’s life. As a 500hr certified Yoga teacher  with over 20 years experience in outdoor leadership, Nicole relishes in exploring presence through yoga, meditation, and outdoor pursuits. Her dedication to these forms has driven her to return annually to study yogic philosophy in depth at the Sivananda Center, practice Zen meditation since 2012 at Crestone Mountain Zen Center, and to tour the world professionally guiding wilderness expeditions, instructing yoga, snowboarding, mountaineering, and leadership  with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) ), the Adaptive Sports Center of Crested Butte, Big City Mountaineers and Southwest Conservation Corps. Her adventurous spirit combined with a commitment to daily practice has allowed her climb mountains as far and wide as New Zealand, South America, Africa and Alaska and she is excited to join our team in Costa Rica to guide us through meditation and breath practices so that we too can find grounded presence as we travel our varied life paths.

John Holien: John’s dedication to his sobriety journey over the last 30 years has allowed him to receive his promises in the form of many successful entrepreneurial endeavors and the joy of being the best father he can to his two wonderful children. It was not always easy though, and he has learned more from failures than success along the way. It took hitting bottom so completely after  a vision of his mother coming to his own funeral to finally turn things toward the path of sobriety and success. A life-long athlete, John has always gone hard in life, but at 45 he was introduced to yoga, which in turn deepened his meditation practice and he began to long for a more peaceful path. Upon a soul searching journey backpacking through Central America, he landed in Nosara, Costa Rica, one of the Blue Zones of the world, where health and wellness take precedence and he was finally able to slow down and just BE. Reborn to his own highest path and inspired to introduce the yogic lifestyle to others like himself, he is the visionary behind Sober Surf and Yoganic Growth Retreats. He is dedicated to gathering the best possible team to actualize his vision of leading holistic “sober-cations” to celebrate wellness in this beautiful place. 

Laura Zeigler: Laura is certified and teaches Yoga and AcroYoga to adults and kids in Boulder, CO. She loves practicing in community and moves into embodied relationship with curiosity, open communication and creativity. Through AcroYoga she discovered Thai massage and an ever deepening understanding of both physical and spiritual anatomy. Her practice of conscious, healing touch also includes luxurious therapeutic flights, in which the recipient can release deep holding patterns of stress and tension. She has been organizing and leading transformational retreats since 2017 and loves seeing how people can blossom in a conscious environment. When she is not on the mat teaching or practicing, you can find Laura spending quality time with her family, climbing, hiking and snowboarding in the mountains near her Colorado home, or upside down in the park – either on her hands or someone else’s feet! 

Guest Teachers:

Juan ‘SURFO’: Juan is often mistaken for Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn’s character from the classic film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) – but truly he is an original, one-of-a-kind ‘dude’ from a large Costa Rican family, born and raised right here in the Nosara area. Being one of the first local surfers in the area, he was nicknamed ‘SURFO’. Juan watched Nosara, a small isolated poor town, grow into a vibrant beach community – working and landscaping for newcomers helped him learn English. Now SURFO proudly owns and operates his second beach shop, LOCAL as well as rental accommodations 300 metres from the beach, LOST SURF RESORT. As one of the first TICO business owners in the beach area, he is extremely grateful to the many people who have given him opportunities that helped him achieve his dreams. He enjoys teaching guests to surf and making the rental and learning experience fun and easy. His laid back style is always ‘no shirt, no shoes, no problem’.

James Dopp Mueller: After serving with the US Army 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam, Jim had a 30-year career in Real Estate managing shopping centers for ITT, General Electric, Prudential Insurance and Travelers Insurance. Jim’s second career began with the Hazelden Foundation at their facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. He began working on the men’s unit. He then worked on the older adult unit, and then was promoted to the education department. His responsibilities included the supervision of the professional addiction training Institute, the Physician Faculty Training Program and he led the internship programs with eight Master degree programs. He eventually became the chairman of the Education Team, a member of the Clinical Leadership Team, and ultimately, a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Jim was sent to Costa Rica as a consultant/expert in 2002 to make a presentation on the Minnesota model to governmental agencies responsible for health care in Costa Rica. He was contracted to become the Clinical Director of ACERPA in San Jose to implement the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Model. Jim is one of the founders of Costa Rica Recovery and it’s current president. 


  • One week stay in the beautiful Jade Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica
  • All-inclusive catered gourmet meals (vegan options available)
  • Group coaching sessions
  • Surf lessons/ board rental included
  • Yoga and mindfulness classes
  • Average Total Investment: $2500 
  • Space is limited. A deposit is required to hold your spot. We recognize that the global atmosphere is one of uncertainty and will honor your commitment to this retreat regardless of unexpected changes to dates. In the event that we must postpone/ reschedule, we will credit your deposit toward a subsequent retreat of your choosing.