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In this community living retreat space in the Nicaraguan jungle, your practice will be transformed forever! Learn the principles of alignment and listen to amazing lectures on yoga philosophy and other spiritual subjects. Learn all the things you always wanted to learn and ask all the questions you always wanted to ask. Join this retreat to learn and submerge yourself in a world of yoga you have always hoped to be real, but never dreamed to find. Allow yourself to be transformed!
Each student will be staying in their own large, private tent in a beautiful jungle setting. Each tent is covered with a roof for maximum space and comfort. Each tent has a large mattress, sheets, pillows, and a towel. You can also put up your own tent in your own space if you prefer. Additionally, the ashram is equipped with compost toilet and outside lounge areas. This rustic, simple, yet comfortable setup will enable you to learn and to immerse yourself in a yogic lifestyle close to nature and without distractions.
The ashram is a quiet retreat away from the noise of towns and cars. They have one acre of land at the end of a long dirt road with a tiny house and garden, a large open space with a log fire circle, a small, budding veggie garden, and many secluded, private shady areas with trees for the tents and relaxation. They also have their own well with drinking water. The yoga platforms are surrounded by lush greenery and exotic animals.
Please read the whole program of this yoga retreat very carefully.
This is not a fancy center, but an ashram, a house of learning. For this magical retreat, you are invited into a natural, wonderful jungle space with access to incredible knowledge and experiences. The quality of teachings and the communal ashram sharing environment are of the highest caliber and are a unique and wonderful offering.
You will learn many things that are not taught anywhere else and you will encounter a little piece of magic which will allow you to open your mind and heart. You will leave there having learned many little tips and tricks that will allow you to take this magic home with you. The ashram combines joyful play and deep learning in a wonderfully open way.
Xian’s teachings are yoga style independent and have been proven again and again to change her students practice beyond what they ever thought possible, no matter if they were a beginner, advanced student, or even yoga teacher.
Please note that people at the ashram live a simple, down-to-earth, joyful yogic lifestyle, which means they eat simple but wholesome food and their accommodation and style of living are natural and uncomplicated. Their aim is to nourish consciousness, constant conscious awareness, gentleness, sweetness, and contentment with the little things.
Besides studying yoga, you are also invited to open up to your internal world and to a communal lifestyle of active curiosity, exploration, and learning. Learn to make a wooden spoon, learn to sing a song with someone, read a book, help in the garden, play with babies, or simply sit and listen to the jungle.
Allow yourself to delve into a new experience without judgment and expectations and be transformed. This retreat is an extraordinary experience to explore a fascinating new world of yogic being.
Each day there are question and answer sessions with Xian. There are also amazing lectures, great skill and knowledge sharing workshops in the afternoon to learn a variety of incredible skills, and maybe even you sharing some of your own passions. You will have access to the ashram's fantastic library on yoga and many other fascinating subjects.
During the student study groups, you will learn how to design your own yoga practice and sequence, and there is time for themed self-practice. There is also plenty of time for peaceful relaxation, healing, and enjoying the beautiful ashram grounds.
The ashram is your space for these three weeks. If you use this precious time wisely, you can leave there a changed person if you allow yourself to stay open, and if you immerse yourself into their program without expectations, judgment, and with an eternally youthful open heart.
There are some rules to be observed, such as:
The ashram asks you to honor and respect, and maybe even get to love these guidelines during your stay here.
Please know that this is a very carefully designed comprehensive program of learning and experiencing, which has been tried and tested over many years. It is designed to open your body, mind, spirit, and energy channels.
Xian’s frustration with finding a yoga class where she actually learned something made her research, experiment, and practice for many years. From this experience, she developed an unexpected, brilliant new approach to yoga that is simple, logical, yet revolutionary. It tweaks traditional postures in sometimes just the slightest way, changing the way you will ever think about yoga and transforming your practice forever, no matter your level or style.
Many students of yoga, including some yoga teachers, have often never learned truly how to do a yoga posture but are often simply trying to copy what a teacher did or a what yogi in a photo or video looks like. Many students are unsure of how to do an asana, where to feel the stretch, or which alignment principles behind the movements are.
This is achieved by tweaking the alignment of traditional postures, through elongation, spiraling and many other little tricks.
When you understand that, you will learn to revolutionize your practice, no matter what style of yoga you usually practice. Once you have felt the openness you can achieve, you will settle for nothing less than feeling absolutely fabulous. This is not a new style of yoga, but relearning and experiencing what yoga was always meant to be!
Beginners, advanced students, as well as new and established teachers are welcome. On Xian's mat, all people begin anew! Come, learn, and submerge yourself in a world of yoga you always hoped to be find, but never dreamed to real.
Please note that Xian will not teach you an exercise class, workout regime, or studio yoga class every day. However, she will systematically teach you yoga.
From Mondays to Saturdays, your morning classes will last for two hours. Besides asana, your classes will also include meditation, bandas, mudras, mantras, lectures, and stories on interesting topics from Xian’s vast store of yogic knowledge. On selected afternoons, Xian will be giving lectures on various spiritual subjects.
For the first 10 days, you will go workshop-style step by step through individual categories of alignment. You will watch demonstrations and then experience the new open ways on your own body. They will focus on forward bends, side bends, turns, back bends (chest openers), combinations, as well as standing and sitting comfortably cross-legged. Within these categories, you will cover postures such as standing, sitting, kneeling as well as lying front and back.
You will learn the fundamental principles of yoga and how to feel fabulous and open in every single posture, as well as being able to take full unrestricted breaths of air by focusing on alignment, elongation, and much more. You will learn how important tiny changes in posture are in terms of your arms, hands, head, rotations, and eyes.
You will understand little magic tricks that are never taught in yoga classes, which will transform your practice forever. At the ashram, you will be taught everything you always wanted to know about yoga, your teachers will explain everything you never understood, and you will learn what you never thought possible.
With the basics covered, you will then continue with a full daily practice, as well as focusing on many areas by request, such as hip-openers, shoulders, inversions, balancing postures, hand balance postures, headstands, handstands, and much more. You will also learn different pranayama and mudras; how to do them, why and when do to different kinds, why they are so fabulous, and many other exciting practices.
No matter what your level of experience, yoga tradition or style is, everybody leaves the ashram with knowledge, practice, experience, and lots of great unexpected insights. This retreat is suitable for beginners, advanced students, as well as new or experienced yoga teachers.
This is your opportunity to partake in the ashram’s afternoon community sharing workshops or maybe even to share yourself, your knowledge, skills, and passions. Ahimsa Yoga Ashram’s Facebook site will give you many wonderful impressions of the wonderfully silly, informative, fun, and simply amazing things that people teach in these workshops. You don’t have to be a professional to share. Passion is enough.
Eelan and Kailan are Xian’s wonderful two-year-old twin boys. Babies are the best teachers. You will learn quiet and excitement, fascination with the little things, exploration and adventure, caring, patience, and how completely and utterly in the now babies are.
Xian makes a point of conscious education, by including her babies into her lifestyle, setting clear boundaries, and within those allowing complete freedom. They are beautiful little creatures and they will sometimes be around during the day. As these little buddies still sleep in the morning and at lunch time, the ashram asks for quiet time during these hours.
The afternoon program starts between 14:30 and 15:00, depending on the offering.
Please note that yoga and afternoon activities are not optional. Saturdays are your days to rest and explore places outside of the ashram.
Xian is an internationally trained and certified Hatha yoga teacher, energy and massage healer, AcroYoga teacher, psychic, acrobat, circus performer, trapeze artist, fire dancer, and author of the book “Why You Don’t Need Shoes.” Her extensive experience of supporting her students’ spiritual development and physical radiance makes her a unique teacher and mentor. Her 20-year yoga practice, which she taught all over the world for over 11 years, focuses strongly on correct alignment principles to open the energetic and spiritual body. Xian teaches with humor, love, insight, and a touch of magic.
This retreat will take place about five kilometers outside of San Juan Del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua. About a 10-minute walk away from the ashram is a tiny local bakery, which bakes and sells fresh bread all day for about 10 NIO. You will smell it on the way up.
There are beautiful walks in the surrounding areas and wonderful sunset spots not far from the ashram. Great beaches are accessible by shuttle. Group taxis from the ashram can also be arranged.
The nearest town, San Juan del Sur, is five kilometers away. It is a small surfer beach town with all basic necessities. A supermarket is at the town entrance. There is also a small store in San Juan del Sur’s market with imported products such as couscous and quinoa.
To go to San Juan Del Sur, you can walk for 15 to 25 minutes along a beautiful dirt road to the main road. The walk to town from the road takes about 25 minutes. You can also take a taxi for 1 USD, take a bus for 1 USD, or you can hitch-hike. Please remember that you will only be able to go to San Juan del Sur on Saturday, the ashram’s day off.
A bigger town, Rivas, is about one hour by bus for 1 USD, or 25 minutes by taxi for 2 USD per person. Rivas is a beautiful town with a huge market and all facilities.
Breakfast and lunch will be simple yet delicious vegan meals that are lovingly prepared for you. Cold tea or other little yummy surprises and snacks are also provided. As you will be a part of a communal lifestyle, on some nights, students will prepare vegan meals together with the volunteers. This always makes meals a lot of fun as everybody brings their own wonderful ideas and skills to the table.
The ashram currently does not support special dietary requirements. If you have any special desires for food or other items, you can satisfy them during Saturday visits to the nearby towns, the local bakery, and the tiny ashram store. You can also opt to add some items to Ahimsa Yoga Ashram's shopping list if you pay for them. They will head out for shopping twice a week.
As the ashram is in a very secluded location and due to the nature of the program, you will only have time outside of the ashram on Saturdays, on which you can visit the village of San Juan del Sur, the city of Rivas, or the beaches.
There are also beautiful walks in the surrounding areas and wonderful sunset spots not far from the ashram. Xian is also a professionally trained body piercer (by the internationally renowned Fakir School of Body Piercing In San Francisco, USA). She specializes in ritual piercing and breath control.
Please book your flight to arrive at Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA).
You can take a bus to San Juan del Sur for around 75 cents.
You can take a shuttle from the airport to San Juan del Sur for about 30 USD.
Take a taxi from San Juan del Sur to the ashram for about 7 USD. Ahimsa Yoga Ashram will send you the directions to the ashram once you have confirmed your booking.