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Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in Guatemala.
Kula Collective hopes that each individual who participates in this eight-day program comes to remember who they truly are and takes with them that which they already knew; that they are magnificent beings of light and love! You will leave feeling spiritually cleansed, emotionally empowered and expansive; ready to live life in your most enlightened state of being! Get ready to live the life that wants to live you!
The accommodation will be at The Yoga Forest, which was founded as a sustainable living experiment, through a desire for living simply, greenly, and in communion with everything that surrounds people.
In yoga practice, you clear the body and mind making space for wisdom and deeper understanding to flow freely and openly. In making space, you allow yourself to experience your fullness and connection to everything around you. Yoga is therefore about cultivating flow through the body and mind and opening up to the optimal experience - union.
Permaculture follows the same principles. In Permaculture, you are essentially making space for the wisdom of the entire system to fully flow, to become a more open and thriving container for life. Permaculture teaches you to observe the natural environment and work with, rather than go against, the natural order of flow; thus, in Permaculture you are also cultivating union. Through the Yoga of Permaculture, you are facilitating the experience of yoga as deep ecology, by allowing the ecosystem and yourself within that system to demonstrate their own evolution.
As you step into deep ecology and recognize yourself as part of the ecosystems and world that you breathe, you will begin to recognize the impacts you make. In Permaculture, the idea that everything gardens mean that everything you have in place is cultivating the whole. Therefore, it is imperative to take time and recognize the impacts of all the plants, buildings, elements, animals, and insects on the whole of your Permaculture space. You are always dealing with ecosystems, whether it is in the personal body, the garden, home, or community. Everything you do with your personal body impacts the world around you. It may be subtle, and perhaps you may never notice but regardless, your thoughts affecting your actions affecting your world make part of what gardens life in this world.
In yoga, a personal practice extends far beyond a quiet mind. It extends to where your attention goes. It increases your ability to respond as you become more aware. Through Permaculture, you will unite the response to an awareness of your environment into a fusion of deep green yoga.
At The Yoga Forest, Kula Collective wants to live true to your ideals and honest with yourself. For them, this means daily yoga, meditation, selfless service (seva or Karma yoga) within the community, and building a comfortable, peaceful place conducive to growth and sharing. To live in a healthy, balanced, natural manner is a way to make positive change for yourself and for the ecosystems in which you live.
The Yoga Forest is a young dynamic earth-based spirit community, which officially opened in November 2013 with an inaugural PDC course. It is still in the process of evolving social, ecological, and economic structures and recognize that this journey will be ever unfolding. Together, with the help of work stayers, interns, staff, and a crew of local Mayans, many beautiful things have been created here and there is still much to be done. They love to connect with mutually supportive souls and to expand the evolution of humanity toward a communitarian way of life, a way of life that harmonizes nature with spirit.
It is Kula Collective's greatest honor to help facilitate this profound and transformational cleansing retreat. While many ask to explain what will happen, they cannot truly answer because Plant Medicine will take you to a realm beyond concepts and words; and while they will provide you some tools to prepare for the cleanse, there is nothing that can truly prepare you for this journey to the soul. So, Kula Collective asks that you trust them completely and surrender to the process and know that you are guided and protected by the light you carry within!
Kula Collective have watched their friends and family transform before their eyes, they have watched their skin clear and their eyes brighten as years of age pour off their bodies. While the process is at times difficult and at times spectacular, when you finish you will know that every moment, no matter how challenging, was in complete perfection.
While you will be working with Master Plants, you won't know exactly which medicine you'll be working with until the time of the retreat gets closer. They often work with Cacao, Washuma (San Pedro), Sacred Mushrooms, and Ayahuasca. There is absolutely nothing to fear... all those that Kula Collective has worked with had life-changing and healing experiences.
Fear can always find an excuse for why you can't... but you can. And Kula Collective will be there to help, every step of the way. Trust, release, surrender, you are guided, you are protected, you are divine light, "We are all One... We are We!"
Release and Manifest is a simple and powerful program offered in a safe environment which is naturally conducive to the work of letting go of your past and manifesting your dreams. In addition to daily yoga, you will have a daily workshop that will be filled with lessons that contain stories, insights, systems, and tools that can be applied to your personal and professional life. Through methods such as meditation, yoga, Reiki, healing arts, and journaling, you will practice the art of living in the present moment.
The four directions and ancient wisdom of the Medicine Wheel will provide an anchor for the retreat. Within the foundation of this wisdom, you will find nature’s intelligence as your guide. The sacredness of Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes that surround it, and the earth and the sky that envelop The Yoga Forest become your greatest teachers on this transformational journey.
By simply connecting to the elements, you are shown how to be in the flow of life and release that which no longer serves you, personally and collectively. Trusting nature’s wisdom, you will be able to accept where you are on your path and let go, knowing that you are held in the arms of Mother Earth, supported and connected.
From here, you will be able to journey deeply into the exploration of who you are and who you came here to be. Now is the time to reveal yourself to yourself. As the Hopi Elders stated: “We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for.” This is the perfect opportunity to excavate your passions and gifts in order to dream your world into being! As each individual steps into this path of self-realization and manifestation, you naturally create space and trust for others to do the same. In the process, you are raising your overall vibration and therefore, the vibration of universal consciousness and the world.
While not every Shamanic cleanse is the same, they all tend to follow a similar flow. As often as possible, Kula Collective will offer yoga classes in order to keep your bodies loose and your minds focused and strong. They will also have plant baths available daily to continuously wash away the toxins that you are purging.
In the beginning of your cleanse, you will make ceremonial offerings to the spirits of the land in order to open up a healing space. You will often invite a local shaman to help with the opening. From there, you will move into a diagnostics phase which may be a Coca Leaf Reading, an Egg Reading, or a Diagnostic Massage. During this phase, you will be determining what your body needs cleaning, where the energy is flowing freely, and where your blockages are.
In the third phase of the cleanse, you will be working to free up physical and emotional blockages; this usually consists of a tobacco purge and/or a sweat lodge. Finally, once all the energy is flowing freely, you will move into the final phase of the cleanse where you will start to work with Plant Medicine to clean yourself on a spiritual level. Below are several activities which many of the cleanses incorporate:
Every day Kula Collective will prepare a Plant Bath by pealing several different herbs and then cooking them over an open fire. They take their Plant Baths in order to wash away stagnant energy and to make yourself more appealing to the Spirit Realm.
On most days C.J. Ananda will offer an optional, although highly recommended yoga class. She will customize the classes to appeal to all levels. For those who have taken Ananda’s yoga, you know that you’re in for a treat!
In the Andean tradition, before any cleanse can be initiated, a shaman must first open the healing space by calling in the Spirits of the Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and most importantly, the Apus (mountain spirits). It is essential that you have the support of the local spirits to guide you on your healing process. With the guidance of a beautiful mountain shaman from the Kero tribe, you will co-create this sacred ceremony, called a Despacho.
You will visit ancient Wacas (power places) where you will make offerings to the Apu Mountain Spirits. Coming down from the mountain, you will have a chance to buy woolen goods to keep you warm and other artisan crafts from the beautiful indigenous market.
You will also hold a Cacao Ceremony to open up your heart chakras, for love is the strongest healing power and if your heart chakra is open, then you are assured a profoundly healing experience. Sound Healing will accompany the ceremony to harmonize the group vibration and to synchronize the energy with the Earth.
Coca Leaf Readings help determine the best way to navigate the cleanse, to find out exactly what your Spirit is ready for. Close your eyes, focus your energy, and blow your spirit into the leaves. Whoever is guiding you through the reading will let the leaves fall and let you know the best way to proceed with the cleanse. It sounds like magic...and it is.
The practitioner will rub an egg all over your body then crack the egg into a glass of water. Based on the bubbles that appear in the egg, the partitioner can tell you what exactly needs healing in your body. Most people find this silly at first until they experience the accuracy of the reading.
While you will inevitably love the massage, enjoyment is not really what it's about. Your therapist will be deeply probing your channels in order to discover densities in your energetic channels. Once they know where the blockages are, it will be easier to free them up.
Chupa Runa is an ancient Incan tradition that will help your body flush itself of toxins. You will sit through intense heat, allowing your pores to open and letting any doubts or fears release. When you emerge from the Chupa Runa, you will have vividly experience death and be reborn and ready for the spiritual journey that lies ahead.
You will be finally ready to start your work with the Master Plants. You will begin with a Tobacco Purge where you will drink concentrated Tobacco Juice followed by seven liters of Malva tea. This deep purge helps to open your stomach and throat chakras and cleanse your upper intestinal track.
You will often have the opportunity to prepare your own Plant Medicine, merging your energy with the plants that you will be working within the coming days. This beautiful practice elicits a deep meditation as you synchronize your energy with the plant and respectfully request the use of its healing energies.
Psychedelic Mushrooms are often used in recreational settings but when used with intention, they can be very powerful teachers. Those that work with mushrooms often experience very profound periods of connection with all that is. The experience with oneness can dramatically alter one's life with the knowledge that all are intimately connected and that all is constantly unfolding in perfection.
You will then start working with Washuma. Just as Washuma grows in the high desert mountains, which are quiet and bright, so too is the experience. While all plant medicines force you to look into the depths of your soul, Washuma does so with a benevolent, kind energy. Deep meditations, strong connection to Earth Energy, and out of body experiences are common with Washuma.
Mother Aya often allows people to experience the dying process. In Shamanic traditions (and Buddhism), life is ultimately a preparation for death. Aya allows us to experience a mini-death, which at first may be scary but with practice, becomes blissful. How beautiful that this wise plant teaches you how to die, helps you overcome your fears and anxiety so that you can be prepared for the real thing. While it may sound scary, there is no greater teacher than Ayahuasca.
She completed a 200-hour Akhanda yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India, to the teachings of Yogrishi Vishvketu. She studied permaculture with the founders, Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton in Australia in 2012. Exploring playful connections with others in yoga practice, she is also certified as AcroYoga teacher with AcroYoga Montréal. The following year, she traveled to Peru to complete a 500-hour yoga teacher training with a focus in shamanic and Ayurvedic cleansing with School Yoga Institute.
Grounded in the teachings of Advaita Vedanta Jaya, Jayananda weaves openly through his life passions of tantra, yoga, shamanism, and sound healing into a prayerful and poetic teaching. Certified E-RYT 500 studying traditional Ashtanga, Satyananda, and Sivananda styles of yoga in depth in India, he brings about an approach that is based on tradition yet modern in its understanding. From the philosophies of the scriptures to neuroscience and transpersonal therapy, you find just how your practice rooted in this quality of meditation will transform your life.
Coby’s deep rooted interest in Shamanism found its perfect complement when he married a Yogini, CJ Ananda. Their combined passion is to find harmony in the combination of these two ancient healing traditions. Coby took this belief to heart, starting a spiritual journey that took him several times around the world. He spent many years in Latin America reconnecting with the Earth.
C.J. Ananda is an ERYT 500-hour certified renowned teacher of yoga, dance, and meditation. She has combined her joy of these self-healing therapies with her experience as a wellness leader and healing practitioner to create international retreats and trainings. Ananda facilitates 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher trainings, shamanic cleanses, and transformational retreats giving each person the heartfelt attention and direct facilitation that cultivates ecstatic, healing, and magical experiences. As a teacher, she sees each of her classes as an opportunity to hold sacred ceremonial space.
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During this retreat, you will be served with three gourmet vegetarian meals every day.
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