In this community living retreat space in the Nicaraguan jungle, amongst waterfalls and rivers, your practice will be transformed forever, no matter what your current style or level! 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 about yoga and spirituality. Join this retreat to learn, and to submerge yourself in a world of yoga you always hoped to be real, but never dreamed to find. Allow yourself to be transformed.
You will be staying in your own jungle cabin, placed in the gorgeous nature setting of the Ashram. The cabins are of a comfortable size, with a beautiful locally crafted bed, a comfortable mattress, and stunning river views. Comfort, yet close to nature.
The Ashram is a quiet retreat away from noise of towns and cars. They have 12 acres of stunning waterfall (the largest in the area with 3 levels) and river land, their own budding vegetable garden and fruit forest, a beautiful log fire circle, many secluded, private shady areas with trees, and meditation, practice and relaxation areas by the river. Drinking water comes from a fresh water spring straight out of the rocks on the land. The yoga platform is surrounded by lush greenery and exotic animals.
This retreat is excellent for students of any level. You will transform your practice, no matter if you are a complete beginner or an advanced teacher. Xian’s teachings have proven over and over again to be revolutionary and mind opening for all students of yoga. Come, learn, and submerge yourself in a world of yoga you always hoped to be find, but never dreamed to real.
This retreat is truly inspirational and nothing short of life-changing. It is an extraordinary experience to explore a fascinating new world of yogic being.
The Ashram offers a very carefully designed, comprehensive program of learning, experiencing, and continued practice of yogic principles and philosophy on and off the mat devised to open your heart, body, mind, spirit, and energy channels. You will take home a toolkit not only to transform your yoga practice, but your life.
Besides yoga, each day offers guided study groups, amazing lectures on many spiritual topics, as well as fun and informative skill and knowledge sharing workshops in the afternoon, and maybe even space for you to share some of your own passions. You will have access to the Ashram's fantastic library on yoga and many other fascinating subjects, and of course there will also be plenty of time for peaceful relaxation, healing, enjoying the Ashram grounds, a dip in one of the three gorgeous waterfalls or a walk along the river, or maybe even a horse ride.
Xian 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 experience your postures, taking your practice to the next level, no matter your experience. Although based in Hatha yoga, the teachings and principles learned during this retreat, can be applied to any style of yoga.
This is not a new style of yoga, but (re-)learning and experiencing what yoga was always meant to be!
Xian will not teach you an exercise class, workout regime, or studio yoga class every day. Instead, her aim is to teach you yoga and have you feel the fabulous transformation of your body that is possible through this wonderful art form.
For the first 10 days, you will go workshop-style step by step through individual categories of alignment (standing, sitting, forward bends, side bends etc.). There will not be a classical yoga session, but a carefully designed methodology of demonstrations with in-depth explanations and your own experience of ‘before and after’. Once you have felt the openness you can achieve, physically and energetically, you will settle for nothing less.
You will realize that even postures that felt great to you before, can suddenly feel so much better. Postures you never really understood or felt, suddenly become accessible, nourishing and simply amazing. Together with a full energetic, as well as a physical journey in and out, a new world opens up to explore your body with consciousness and understanding, on and off the mat.
For the second half of the retreat, with the basics, covered, you will then continue with a full daily practice, as well as focus on many areas by request, such as hip-openers, shoulders, inversions, balancing postures, hand balance postures, headstands, handstands, practice for chakras, and much more.
In this retreat, you will learn more than in many yoga teacher training, on a physical, philosophical, and practical level. 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.
Besides asanas (postures/seat), your classes will also include daily lectures, explanations, and practice of:
You will of course also be able to listen to fascinating stories from Xian’s vast store of experience and knowledge
This is an wonderful offer to partake in many incredible workshops led by students and volunteers. This is your opportunity to share yourself, your knowledge, skills, and passions. Ahimsa Yoga Ashram Facebook site will give you many wonderful impressions of the informative, fun, fantastically silly and simply amazing things that people teach in these workshops. You don’t have to be a professional to share, passion is enough.
Please note that yoga and afternoon activities are not optional, as we are creating a truly life-changing container that requires the presence of all students.
An Ashram is not a five-star retreat or resort center. An Ashram is a house of learning. The Ashram's life is sweet, gentle, humble, down-to-earth, and with a joyful yogic lifestyle. They eat simple but wholesome food and their way of being is natural and uncomplicated. Their aim is to nourish consciousness, constant conscious awareness, gentleness, sweetness, and contentment with the little things, remembering how beautiful community and nature can be.
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.
Besides studying yoga, you are invited to allow yourself to delve into a new experience without judgment and expectations, and be transformed. To open up and stay open to your internal world as well as to a communal lifestyle of active curiosity, exploration, and learning. The Ashram combines joyful play and deep learning in easily accessible, open way.
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 with your toolkit of countless tips and tricks and profound experiences, which will allow you to take this magic home with you.
Everything about the Ashram is different to your average yoga school. They are not just a school. They have a lifestyle to share, a new and different way of thinking and being. The teachings are deeply rooted in the way they live and think. The path comes from many years of deep practice, observation, studying, and sharing their knowledge. They are their life. They are the foundation for their actions, thinking, and creations.
Their teachings are not only about fitness or copying and pasting information, but about experiencing a holistic way of integrating this ancient knowledge into your everyday life. You do not go there to join a fancy retreat, but to come and share the ashram lifestyle. By joining them, you make a commitment to awareness, consciousness, change, openness, and evolution. To take responsibility for your actions, relations, and communications and if you don’t know yet how, you can learn.
You come to the Ashram to learn. Learn why yoga is more than you have ever imagined, why it is exciting, and profound, and beautiful. At the Ahimsa Ashram you will experience this life every day. They cannot do the work for you, you have to be prepared to throw yourself into this all by yourself. They will guide, assist, and hold you every step of the way. By coming you will be part of something special.
As part of the Ashram way of life, there is no smoking, meat, alcohol, chili, garlic, onions, coffee, or other stimulants, very little sugar, Ahimsa (no harming - even mosquitos), as well as restricted Internet access (30minutes per day) to unplug. We are happy to explain why we live this way if you are curious.
Eelan is Xian’s wonderful three year old baby boy. Xian makes a point of conscious education, by including her son into her lifestyle. He is a beautiful little creature and will sometimes be around during the day, although of course not during teaching hours
This retreat will take place about 5km outside of San Rafael Del Sur, 15km from Masachapa and Pochomil beach, Western Central Nicaragua. A tiny local community, Los Chepenos, is only a few minutes away. The nearest town is San Pablo (3.5km on a beautiful nature packed dirt road, ca. 30min walk), a tiny local town with a yummy local bakery and a few small pulperias (shops).
The next bigger town, San Rafael Del Sur, is another 3km (5-10 minutes, 10 cordobas/35cents, by Rickshaw taxi) from San Pablo. San Rafael Del Sur is a small, truly local town, with an abundant market, all facilities and a PALI supermarket.
The town of Masachapa and the vastness of Pochomil beach are accessible by bus or taxi from San Rafael Del Sur.
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Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be simple yet delicious vegan meals that are lovingly prepared for you. Cold tea, other little yummy surprises, and snacks are also provided. If you enjoy cooking, on some nights students have the option to partake in preparing our meals. Cooking together is fun and helps relax the mind after much learning. It is also very exciting to taste all the different flavors people from different countries bring to the table, as well as to put some of what we learn in our Ayurveda classes into practice.
If you have any special desires for food or other items, you can satisfy them during Saturday visits to the nearby towns and the local bakery. 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.
The Ashram currently does not support special dietary requirements.
There are beautiful walks in the surrounding areas that can be enjoyed whenever you have time within the weekly schedule. As the Ashram is very deliberately set in a secluded location and the program is very busy, you will have time to visit San Rafael Del Sur or the beach on Saturdays, the Ashram day off.
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. On request, horse rides might also be arranged for Saturdays.
Please book your flight to arrive at Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA), Managua
You can take a bus from Managua, “Terminal de Buses Inter Urbanos Israel Lewites” to San Rafael Del Sur for around 1-2$, 1hr40min. From San Rafael, you can take a Moto Taxi straight to the Ashram for 100c/3 USD, 30 minutes.
You can take a private taxi from the airport to San Rafael Del Sur, for around 70 USD (Ahimsa Yoga Ashram is happy to arrange this airport pickup for you). From San Rafael, you can take a Moto Taxi straight to the Ashram for 100c/3 USD, 30 minutes. Or, if you let them know to pick you up with a 4x4, for 90 USD, the taxi will bring you straight to the Ashram. Normal taxis or cars will usually not come up to the Ashram as they do not like driving on dirt roads.