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It is Pura Vidyas greatest honor to facilitate this profound and transformational cleansing retreat. Plant medicine takes you to a realm beyond concepts and words. 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. 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 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. You will work with plant medicine, meditation, yoga, Reiki, and journaling. Practice the art of living in the present moment. Are you ready to live the life that wants to live you?
All ages are welcome as participants.
San Marcos la Laguna is a small Mayan village on Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala. It has become a Mecca for international travelers attracted by its beauty, tranquility, and diverse options for spiritual exploration and therapy. Terraced into the side of a cliff, The Yoga Forest is a 25-minute hike up into the valley from Lake Atitlan.
The four directions and ancient wisdom of the medicine wheel will provide an anchor for the retreat, and cacao will be your plant medicine. 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 you, 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 will be 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 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 of you individually steps into this path of self-realization and manifestation, you will 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.
Each individual who participates in this seven-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.
Every day, you will prepare a plant bath by pealing several different herbs and then cooking them over an open fire. You will take your plant baths in order to wash away stagnant energy and to make yourselves more appealing to the spirit realm.
On most days, CJ 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.
There will also be 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 your energy with the earth.
Coca leaf readings help you 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. Whomever 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 rubs an egg all over your body then cracks the egg into a glass of water. Based on the bubbles that appear in the egg, the practitioner 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 we 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 experienced death and be reborn and ready for the spiritual journey that lies ahead.
You are 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 energies with the plants that you will be working with in 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 used with intention, 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 knowing that you are all 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 do 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 you to experience the dying process. In shamanic traditions and Buddhism, life is ultimately a preparation for death. Aya allows you 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.
If you would like to depart later than 10 a.m. after checking out, there is a secure place for you to store your bags in The Yoga Forest’s office.
Limited internet is available at The Yoga Forest using the forest laptop, however guests are asked to use this minimally, and try to disconnect during their stay as a unique retreat space was created to disconnect from modern day distractions, and fully immerse in the experience of being here now.
The Yoga Forest is an off-the-grid experience. Composting bathrooms, outdoor shower, and naturally built cabañas work without electricity. It only has a little electricity in the cafe and kitchen for lights, and as such they cannot charge everyone's devices on the simple solar system.
It is necessary to bring your own biodegradable toiletries, a towel, and layers of clothing to suit varying temperatures during the day and night. All bedding is provided. Natural insect repellent comes in handy and a headlamp is a necessity.
Please be aware that natural water filtering systems are in use, and therefore you are asked to bring only organic soaps and shampoos with you.
For more information, ask your questions directly to Pura Vidya, who will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the Send Inquiry button to send a message.
Co-founder of Pura Vidya and Present Moment Retreat, and E-RYT 500 certified, Ananda is a renowned teacher of yoga, dance, and meditation. She has combined her joy of these self-healing therapies with her experience as a wellness coach and healing practitioner to create international retreats and trainings. Ananda offers Yoga Alliance certified teacher trainings with Yoga School Institute, giving each person the heartfelt attention and direct facilitation that cultivates an ecstatic, healing, and magical experience.
Integrating her teachings and passions, Ananda has developed the magnetic movement, a system of intentional-based healing that draws on the philosophy that all is a part of this magnetic energy that is driving everyone towards greater consciousness. By exploring your gifts and expanding your relationship with higher self, you come into alignment with your inner purpose of awakening. Through your collaborative efforts and unified intentions, you magnify the richness of this life's experience.
Ananda currently lives in Troncones, Mexico, the home of Present Moment Retreat, where she holds sacred space for individuals and groups as they journey toward self-realization and oneness. She suggests that as you step up to the essence of who you are within, you are connected to the wholeness of all that is. Ananda believes that you are here to expand into the greatness of who you are and to serve all beings in your highest capacity. She is inspired to inspire and to continue this journey moment to moment, breath to breath.
Three gourmet vegetarian meals will be served daily.
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"I wanted to take the time and share a massive amount of praise for the 300-hour training that I just completed in Peru with CJ Ananda. I know words can never express the amount of gratitude that has filled my heart but I will give it a try. The course was above and beyond all of my expectations. It seemed like every other day the facilitators had another surprise trip and / or present for us. The days were long, waking up at 5:30 a.m. every morning and staying in classes until 9 p.m. every night. Although the days were long and jam packed with classes, they seemed to still go pretty fast and I found myself completely engaged in all of the lessons. All of the facilitators put their whole heart into their teachings and it was definitely felt and fully received.The connections that I made on this journey and all the self-work that I was able to accomplish while I was there will be something that will forever change me, and something I will forever be grateful for. This trip was definitely a life changer and I would highly recommend it to anybody looking to enhance their knowledge mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Thank you so much!"
BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited