April 14-21, 2018

The Path of Beauty: Mindfulness, Yoga & Writing Retreat

Journey to the sacred shores of Lake Atitlán for a week of yoga, meditation, ceremony and transformation. This is a magical and magnetic spot on the planet, located in the Mayan heartland, the Western Highlands of Guatemala. With three majestic volcanoes surrounding the lake, this is a truly potent 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 — a gorgeous eco-retreat center called Villa Sumaya. 20160214_075819

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.



Flow of the Week

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

Sunday ~ orientation, sauna, spa day, lower chakras, writing: roots

Monday ~ lower chakras, journaling, yin yoga, vinyasa flow, Mayan fire ceremony, writing: desire

Tuesday & Wednesday ~ heart chakra, hatha & kundalini yoga, pranayama, metta (loving friendliness), sacred cacao ceremony, writing from the heart

Thursday ~ throat chakra, mindfulness, chanting, writing: voice

Friday ~ upper chakras, journaling, meditation, closing circle

Saturday ~ writing: integration, morning practice, breakfast, departures

About the Teacher

Hi! I’m Michelle. I am a believer in the power of poetry, circles and stories. I’ve been teaching yoga since 2002 and gratefully practicing since my adolescence. 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’ve been a columnist for Elephant Journal since 2010 and have self-published several inspiring books. I lead retreats that incorporate yoga asana, vinyasa, pranayama (breath work), yin yoga, mindfulness, meditation, Buddha dharma, creativity, vegetarian diet and community. My yogic studies and teachings incorporate yoga 

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.

Ready to Join the Circle?

For more details, visit the Villa Sumaya website or contact me!


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