Yoga, Heartfulness & Writing Retreat ~ January 21-28, 2017

What better time than now to recharge and rediscover balance, bliss and freedom in daily life? We’ll invite wisdom and love to guide our intention throughout the retreat in order to help expand our consciousness and center us in our hearts.

Join us for a special time of renewal as we practice awareness and moment-to-moment acceptance through yoga, mindfulness and writing sessions. Enjoy spa treatments, eat wholesome vegetarian cuisine and take time to unwind in a lakeside paradise.

The path of beauty weaves together the practices of awareness, wisdom, kindness and compassion. Take time for yourself in our beautiful, natural setting to walk this path.

What’s Included

  • 7 nights of accommodation at beautiful Villa Sumaya on picturesque Lake Atitlan
  • 3 daily delicious, home-cooked, well-balanced, vegetarian meals plus 24 hour tea/coffee and water
  • Tuition for daily group sessions, including mindfulness-based meditation, yoga asana, breath work, restorative and yin with essential oils (mat & props provided) — 12 sessions total
  • A one-hour treatment at our on-site Harmony Spa
  • Use of our solar hot tub (sun permitting)
  • All taxes

Not included: Transportation costs, optional extra activities and excursions (e.g. Trip to San Juan/Santiago/Chichi, Kayak/hike tour, Mayan Fire Ceremony), tips to Villa Sumaya staff.

Daily Schedule

Saturday, January 21st
3pm Settle in
5pm Opening circle
6:30pm Welcome dinner

Sunday, January 22nd
8am meditation
8:30 breakfast
10:00 orientation
11:00 Root chakra workshop
1:00 lunch & free time
4:30 Sacral chakra workshop
6:30 dinner

Monday, January 23rd
7:30 breakfast
Optional – Mayan Fire Ceremony 8:15 a.m. (Cost will depend on the number of participants)
12:00 Solar plexus yoga practice
1:00 lunch & free time
4:30 Solar plexus chakra workshop
6:30 dinner

Tuesday, January 24th
8am meditation
8:30 breakfast
11:00 Heart chakra workshop
1:00 lunch & free time
4:30 Heart-centered Yin Yoga
6:30 dinner

Wednesday, January 25th
8am meditation
8:30 breakfast
11:00 Throat chakra workshop
1:00 lunch & free time
4:30 Kirtan and sound healing workshop
6:30 dinner

Thursday, January 26th
8am meditation
8:30 breakfast
11:00 Third eye chakra workshop
1:00 lunch & free time
4:30 Crown chakra workshop
6:30 dinner

Friday, January 27th
8am meditation
8:30 breakfast
11:00 Kundalini Chakra Yoga Workshop
1:00 lunch
3:00 Cacao ceremony /Closing circle
6:30 dinner

Saturday, January 28th
7:30am yoga & meditation
9am breakfast
11am departures

Pricing & Registration

Singles: $995 USD

Bring a friend! Doubles: $730 per person

Bring two friends! Triples: $660 per person

*Special discounted rates for full-time residents of Lake Atitlan–please inquire!*

A $200 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space. For more info or to sign up, please write Michelle (reservations@villasumaya.com).

The Trecena of Batz: 13 Days of Creative Expression & Insight

140808122043-01-selfie-monkey-0808-exlarge-169The Mayan solar day 1 B’atz’ is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14.

{For an explanation of how the Mayan calendar works, read the full post here.}

From then until June 26, we are moving through the trecena ruled by B’atz’: the thread of life. Its animal totem is the monkey. These days are superb for expressing our creativity with lighthearted glee.

Dance. Sing. Paint. Write. Above all, play.

According to The Serpent and the Jaguar by Birgitte Rasine, on B’atz’ days, the Maya “express their intention to freely receive all that they have requested from the universe, and to be able to unravel or resolve any matter of issue, especially family problems.” These days are “extremely auspicious for all artistic works and endeavors; in fact, it is a powerful day to begin any project.”

Another aspect of B’atz’ has to do with looking at the cycles, habits and repeating patterns in our lives.

The thread of life refers to time. Ancient Mayan artifacts depicted the Goddess Ixchel weaving the cosmos on her backstrap loom. In fact, the elements of the loom, weaving procedures, designs and the weaver herself are all part of the Maya vision of birthing and the Cosmos.

By paying attention to the patterns in our lives, we can eventually get to the root of things and uproot unwanted or harmful habit-patterns. This, in turn, creates space for our natural creativity to flow and flourish.

This trecena is also a great time to let go of inferiority and superiority. No need to compare—just be you.

Here’s to embodying the delight, creativity and curiosity of the monkey and exploring the multitude of patterns we’ve woven into the colorful tapestry of our lives.

July/August 2016 Retreats!

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I am super excited to be offering two yoga retreats this summer with my dear friend and fellow yoga teacher Paola at Villa Sumaya… Join us!

Living from the Heart: Stress-Free Lifestyle
July 2-9, 2016
Yoga, mindfulness, writing workshops. Nutrition, Ayurveda, Hikes and Healing

Yoga, Mindfulness & the Transformation of Suffering
August 13-20, 2016
Yoga, mindfulness, writing workshops. Permaculture, Learning and Healing

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Writing Down the Chakras

Writing is an art, a gift, a practice.

I practice and teach writing as taught by Natalie Goldberg in her numerous and fabulous books, primarily the classic, Writing Down the Bones.

Her few, simple rules for writing include: keep your hand moving, don’t reread (until after the writing session), don’t edit, let go of control, don’t worry about correctness (spelling, punctuation, complete sentences, or even making sense). Let your heart-mind stream its consciousness onto the page. She encourages writing by hand, with a pen or pencil, in a notebook. Especially in our day and age of so much screen time, so much sitting the fluorescent glow of computers, writing longhand is a wonderfully prehistoric thing to do.

Writing practice, like any practice, is ideally done daily or as frequently as possible. Writing is a skill that improves with practice. Everyone can write; anyone with intention can be a writer. We cannot only write when we are inspired. Writing practice is the foundation of our mindfulness practice and our published works, as well.

Here are some suggested sentence starters to use during your writing practice, categorized by chakra…

The root of the solution: Muladhara ChakraRoot / 1st chakra

I am ___________.
I come from ____________.
My roots are __________.
I feel safe and secure when ____________.
I feel unsafe and insecure when __________.
I connect with Earth by _______________.
I need _____________.

second_chakraSacrum / 2nd chakra

I want ___________.
I feel ___________.
I desire ___________.
I sense ____________.
I move ___________.
I flow with ___________.
I connect with water by __________.

third_chakra_imageSolar Plexus / 3rd chakra

I will ___________.
I do ___________.
I’ll go ___________.
I am now _____________.
My passion is ___________.
My purpose is ___________.
With my effort, I ___________.
I connect with fire by ____________.
I manifest __________.
I create ___________.
I destroy ___________.

fourth_chakra_imageHeart / 4th chakra

I love ___________.
I give ___________.
I freely share ____________.
My heart is ___________.
I care about _____________.
I cultivate compassion by _________________.
I am devoted to _________________.
I adore ________________.
When I was a child, I loved _______________.
I am grateful for ___________.
I appreciate ________________.
May all beings ______________.

fith_chakra_imageThroat / 5th chakra

I listen ___________.
I hear ___________.
I speak ___________.
I say ____________.
I express _________________.
I communicate ________________.
I write ________________.
I convey ______________.
My voice is ___________.

sixth_chakra_imageThird eye / 6th chakra

I wonder ______________.
I see ___________.
I visualize ___________.
I look within and ___________.
I feel intuitively that ___________.
I imagine __________.
I close my eyes and __________________.
I open my eyes and _________________.
I envision ________________.

seventh_chakra_imageCrown / 7th chakra

I connect with ___________.
I believe ___________.
My spirit ___________.
My soul ___________.
I have faith in ___________.
I trust ___________.
I am inter-being with ___________________.
I am interconnected with _________________.
God is _______________.
The universe is _____________.
Life is _________________.