Journey to the sacred shores of Lake Atitlán for a week of yoga, meditation, ceremony and transformation.

Lake Atitlán is a magical and magnetic spot on the planet, located in a Mayan heartland – the Western Highlands of Guatemala. With three majestic volcanoes surrounding the lake shore, this is a powerful place to heal and balance our bodies, minds and hearts.

Deepen your connection to the heart of the Earth and your own heart. Relax and renew in our little piece of paradise. 20160214_075819

2018 Retreat Calendar

April 14-21 ~ Grounded in Gratitude @ Villa Sumaya

May 5-12 ~ The Path of Beauty @Villa Sumaya

December 1-8 ~ Yin Yang Yoga & Writing Retreat @ Villa Sumaya

If you’d prefer to arrange a PERSONAL RETREAT on the dates of your choice, contact me to start the conversation!

About the Retreat Center

In Sanskrit, the word Sumaya means “long awaited dream come true.” Nestled into a secluded lakefront cove on the stunning shores of Lake Atitlán and founded in 2000, Villa Sumaya is a spiritual retreat center on 18 acres of sacred Mayan highlands. Villa Sumaya has been featured in Yoga Journal and Taschen’s “Great Yoga Retreats.” This gorgeous location offers panoramic lake and volcano views; elegantly-appointed, comfortable rooms; truly amazing, nurturing slow-food meals; juice bar and cafe; on-site Harmony Spa with spectacular healers; solar hot tub; fair-trade boutique and wood-burning sauna in majestic natural surroundings. Villa Sumaya is an eco-friendly wellness center ideal for self-care, rejuvenation, reflection and renewal.

Sacred Ceremony


Xicoy, the Cacao Spirit, is one of the most playful spiritual guides in ancient Mayan cosmology. A traditional Mayan plant medicine, cacao induces an expansive, mood enhancing quality. It is used to uplift the spirit, open the heart, deepen focus, remove blockages and enhance awareness. Gathering in a sacred circle of celebration, we’ll partake in the ritual sharing of a cacao elixir- an experience that promotes a meditative, reflective state and inspires a profound sense of joy and heartfelt gratitude.


In the traditional Mayan day-count fire ceremony, beautiful offerings are created and consumed, invoking connectivity with source consciousness while prompting us to leave behind our conditioned concept of self and fueling the fire of our sacred life purpose. Resting in the stillness of the fire’s glow, we’re invited to lighten our load and soothe the scars resultant of life’s challenges, cultivating awareness and acceptance of the role we’ve played in the grand scheme of things.


Flow of the Week

Saturday: arrive & settle in / 4:30 opening circle / 6:30 dinner

Sunday: orientation, spa day, lower chakras, sweat lodge ceremony

Monday: lower chakras, journaling, yin yoga, vinyasa flow

Tuesday: heart chakra, metta (loving friendliness), cacao ceremony

Wednesday: heart chakra, hatha & kundalini yoga, pranayama (breath work), Mayan fire ceremony

Thursday: upper chakras, mindfulness, optional San Juan trip

Friday: upper chakras, journaling, meditation, closing circle

Saturday: departures

Flow of the Day

7:30 yoga & meditation group practice / 9:15 breakfast / 1:30 lunch / 3:00 ceremony, circle or workshop / 6:30 dinner

About the Teacher

Hi! I’m Michelle. I am a believer in the power of poetry, circles and stories. I am the creator of Yoga Freedom and have been teaching hatha yoga since 2002.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, my home base since 2012 is Lake Atitlán in the Guatemalan highlands, where I enjoy writing, reading, playing with my daughter, teaching, learning, being in nature, speaking Spanglish with my partner, cooking, eating, hiking, swimming, and generally soaking in the present moment.


I’m also a freelance blogger, most notably for Elephant Journal and have self-published several inspiring books. Since 2010, I’ve been leading yoga retreats in Guatemala that incorporate spirituality, creativity, good food (mindful eating, vegetarian meals); and community.

My style of yoga is called Yoga Schmoga, and it incorporates hatha yoga asanas, pranayama (breath work), yin yoga and restorative poses, mindfulness practices and meditation. I draw also from the Zen and Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Since 2015, I’ve been the retreat and reservations manager at Villa Sumaya.

Ready to Join the Circle?

What’s Included:
– 7 nights / 8 days private or shared accommodation with lake views and patio seating
– 3 amazing vegetarian meals per day & unlimited coffee/tea/filtered water service
– Twice daily yoga and meditation sessions
– Sacred cacao and Mayan fire ceremonies
– Concierge service to assist with organizing all your transportation, spa services, cultural outings + early arrival and/or extended stays

Shared Room: $1,795 USD per person

Private Room: $2,200 USD

Early Bird Special! Sign up at least 3 months in advance & get a free spa treatment!

Payment plans and some partial scholarships are available; inquire if interested.

*Not included: airfare, airport transfers, Villa Sumaya staff gratuities, alcoholic beverages, optional activities, spa treatments and excursions

* Shorter stays (minimum of 3 nights) are available… email to request a price quote.

* A non-refundable deposit of $400 will secure your spot. Final balance is due 6 weeks prior to the retreat. The group is intimate. Space is limited to 12 people. Advance registration required.


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