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9 Days Sacred Expression Women's Yoga Retreat in Guatemala

  • Villa Sumaya, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Sololá, Guatemala

Overview

Women's Self-Exploratory Writing and Yoga Retreat Guatemala

You are invited to take a brave and honest journey into your center to connect with your intuition and express from your core. With this luxury retreat option, breathe and relax into lakeside luxury as you gather for an inspiring and beautiful week beneath the watch of volcanoes. Join a sacred circle of women in the spirit of reclamation for a creative inner adventure through meditation, yoga, and self-exploratory writing in Guatemala!

Highlights

  • Daily meditation and yoga practice
  • Take part in sacred healing ceremonies
  • Daily self-exploratory spontaneous writing sessions
  • Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and beautiful view around Lake Atitlan
  • Spa treatment and group wood-burning sauna session
  • 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals daily
  • 8 nights accommodation

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 15.

  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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Resting in a secluded lakeside cove, Villa Sumaya is an eco-chic sanctuary dedicated to rejuvenation, holistic practices, and preserving Mayan tradition. This gorgeous location offers expansive views, inviting and comfortable accommodation, delicious and nurturing slow-food meals, juice bar cafe, on-site spa, solar hot tub, fair-trade boutique and wood-burning sauna in unparalleled natural surroundings. Villa Sumaya is an eco-friendly wellness center perfect for self-care, refreshing perspectives, and renewing energies.

During the retreat, you will be staying in the beautiful rooms of the Maya Rose house. Maya Rose is a ranch style house with six unique rooms in a row, each varying in size and having its own unique touches of colorful decor. Most rooms can be arranged either as a private room (with a queen-sized bed) or double room (with two twin-sized beds), based on the requests of the guests.

All of the Maya Rose rooms have private bathrooms with hot showers and outdoor patios with exceptional lake views. They are centrally located near the courtyard, dining room, gardens, and boutique.

Two complimentary computers are offered for quick check-ins with friends and family. Wi-Fi access is available for 20 USD for the week.

Set out on a transformative creative and spiritual journey through daily meditation, yoga, and self-exploratory writing as a channel to reveal insight from within. Participate in healing ceremonies that help to call your spirit and stoke your soul voice. Breathe, stretch, relax, and connect with your center while sharing in the experience with other women.

This retreat is not about writing as a subject or art form. In this retreat, you are the art form. Every woman has a voice in her own life. You are gathering together to rise it up and own your self-expression. Inspired by the four shamanic directions and rising the feminine, you embark on a revealing week of re-igniting the voices of your heart and empowering yourself as the storyteller of your life.

Allow raw, creative expression

In the women's circle, you will raise inner journey themes and work through them with dynamic, reflective, and creative self-exploratory writing exercises. In addition to verbal writing prompts, you may bring in movement, images, nature, or sound. You will find that prompted writing gives you a key inside, and somehow you are more able to sneak past your internal filters to unlock fierce personal truths and insights.

The circle provides a loving and encouraging space to free your inner voices, speak your experience, enliven your possibilities, spark your imagination, and connect more deeply to energies within and with each other. The alchemy is in the daring greatly - it's in the sharing.

Call in the four directions and feminine energy

The four directions (embodied by the serpent, the jaguar, the hummingbird, and the eagle) provide a thematic framework to inspire the sacred journey. They beckon you to an adventure of higher levels of perception and connection, to detach from self-limiting stories, and come back to your heart and your courage.

You are inspired to become more aware of how you influence your reality. You are invited to envision your life into greater beauty. You will plunge deeper into the center of your wild, knowing and beautiful feminine nature, calling her to rise in strength as you take the journey.

Explore and open your stories

With raw expression, you will play at exploring the inner stories that constrain you and limit your perception, such as character roles you play, limiting beliefs you animate, narratives you create and recreate, and the words that entrap you. You will open the possibility to transcend these creative blocks of your creative energy. You will practice giving your feelings form, putting them into motion and expression so they can transform.

You will play with the creativity of perspective, exploring how to rewrite your experiences, reclaim your narratives, and own your role as the storyteller of your life. You will let awe in and invite back mystery. As you explore your inner stories with honesty and compassion, you will feel your voice begin to emerge more authentic and true.

Gather in ceremony

You will participate in evening healing sessions (sound, movement) and ceremonies for renewing wise and wild guiding energy. These will complement the writing journey in reclaiming your heart and soul voice.

Meditate and practice yoga in nature

With daily guided meditation and yoga, you reconnect with the direct sensory experiences of your breath and your body, and become increasingly aware of the power and influence of the energy you bring to each moment. Meditation and yoga support you to reach beyond your daily thoughts and become more present to the moment and to yourself. Through stillness and movement, you listen deeper within, open up, and release.

During meditation, yoga, and the sacred self-exploratory writing circles, you will gaze upon the ripples of the lake and green volcanoes. All mats and props are provided. In addition to comfortable cushions, low chairs for the writing circle are available upon request.

You will arrive on Friday, November 18, 2016 in the afternoon to relax and settle in. The circle will be opened in the evening after dinner. Your daily flow will begin on Saturday, November 19. Please note on two days, you will have only one writing circle to allow some space for excursions.

Sample schedule

  • 07:15 Meditation and holistic Hatha Flow or Vinyasa Flow
  • 09:00 Delicious breakfast
  • 10:00 Sacred expression writing circle or discussion
  • 12:30 Delicious lunch and free time
  • 15:30 Sacred expression writing circle or discussion
  • 18:30 Delicious dinner
  • 19:45 Sauna, circle, healing ceremonies (some evenings)
  • Aimee Hansen

    Aimee works as a freelance writer, writes children stories, plays at poetry, and is writing a book about the storyteller within. She holds a 200+ hour yoga teacher certification. She is inspired and humbled by witnessing how something raw and honest in the human spirit aches to open, when given the invitation. She began Storyteller Within Retreats to share in the experience of exploring humanity and stepping into courage as women.

This retreat will take place at Villa Sumaya in Santa Cruz, Guatemala. Cradled by rural highlands and lush forests, Lake Atitlan is a breathtaking beauty framed by three majestic volcanoes, Atitlán (11,598 feet), Toliman (10,360 feet), and San Pedro (9,908 feet), which create a panoramic vista from Villa Sumaya. The lake is dotted with small villages with local inhabitants of Mayan descent.

Indigenous women on these beautiful shores continue to wear traditional dress and create colorful weavings. Farmers grow coffee, corn, and pitaya fruit. Avocados, papayas, and jacotes are plentiful.

Activities
  • Hiking nearby
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Massage
  • Sauna
  • Shopping
  • Spa
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool nearby
General
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Hammock
  • Lake
  • Lounge
  • Studio
Services
  • ATM / banking nearby
  • Baby sitting
  • Tour assistance

Three delicious vegetarian meals per day are included in the price. Embracing the values of slow-food preparation and culinary consciousness, Cafe Sumaya Sol offers delicious homemade vegetarian meals that blend local and international cuisine. Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets are abundant and fish and chicken are available for an additional fee (7 USD per meal). Organic artisan coffee and a wide selection of herbal teas are available. You can also treat yourself to exotic smoothies, kombucha, wine or cocktails, and raw homemade snacks and treats.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

It's always recommended to stay at the lake and in Guatemala for some extra time and enjoy the beauty, if your schedule allows. During your stay at Villa Sumaya, you can relax in a hammock and enjoy the views, swim in the lake, do a meditative walk on nature trails, receive a spa treatment, dip in the solar hot tub and pools, or detox in the sauna in daily breaks. On two days, there will be longer breaks. Storyteller Within Retreats offers optional group excursions such as visits to villages or adventure options.

One 60-minute therapeutic spa treatment of your choice is included in the price. The on-site Harmony spa offers additional rejuvenating bodywork sessions, including various massage styles, Ayurvedic consultation, and energy work depending upon the available therapists at hand. The spa can accommodate four women in private healing rooms.

  • 1 60-minute therapeutic spa treatment of your choice
  • 1 group wood-burning sauna
  • 2 self-exploratory writing circles most days
  • 2 to 3 sacred healing ceremonies such as Mayan, sound, and dance
  • 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals per day
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Daily meditation and yoga practice
  • Gratuities for the local indigenous staff
  • Unlimited tea or coffee service
  • Use of solar spa pools
  • Additional activities or excursions
  • Airfare
  • Extra spa treatments, massages, or private saunas
  • Meal supplements and alcohol
  • Personal expenses
  • Transportation to and from the venue
  • Travel insurance
  • Wi-Fi access

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at La Aurora International Airport (GUA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. The closest international airport to Lake Atitlan is Guatemala City's La Aurora International Airport, which is three hours away from Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. From Panajachel, it's a ten minute scenic boat ride to the private dock at Villa Sumaya.

Storyteller Within Retreats can help arrange your private transportation to Villa Sumaya from the airport, hotels nearby, or from Antigua. Private shuttles are 10 USD to 15 or 25 USD per person, depending on how many other guests you are sharing with. Storyteller Within Retreats can coordinate with other guests with arrivals or pick-ups at similar times. The private shuttle will pick you up from the airport or your hotel for the three hour journey to Panajachel, where it will bring you to the boat dock.

From the dock in Panajachel, they can pre-arrange a private boat ride. The cost depends on how many guests you are sharing with. You can easily get a public boat to the Villa Sumaya dock too for 15 GTQ or 3 USD. The ride is fifteen minutes.

You are advised to fly into La Aurora Intl Guatemala City (GUA) by 1 p.m. on the day retreat begins, and book return flights for mid or late afternoon on the day the retreat ends.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Storyteller Within Retreats an inquiry.
  • Review by Andreas from Munich, Germany
    10 out of 10

    "San Marco is special."

    "A hippy community since over 30 years - in harmony with the natives."

    "The Yoga Forest is even more so, a special place to stay for a yoga retreat or sustainable organic farming in midst of the jungle."

    "It's about 20 minutes walk from the village."

    "Prices are rather high, in comparison to those in the village, but first of all it includes the meals and there is a discounted price for a week."

    "A highly recommendable place with an amazing view over the lake and an indispensable visit for sustainable living."

    "It's even wifi free!!! That helps to unwind and arrive in the jungle."

    Trip Advisor Website, edited

  • Review by Lisa S
    10 out of 10

    "I came to Guatemala for The Story Teller Within retreat organized and facilitated by Aimee Hansen. The Yoga Forest was a beautiful venue for this retreat, located in the Guatemalan highlands, offering unparalleled views of Lake Atitlan (often cited one of the most beautiful lakes in the world ;)). The accommodations were awesome - I had the opportunity of staying in two shared cabanas, one on the lower level, and one on the upper, Lakshmi. Both were very comfortable and clean, and offered amazing views of the lake and forest."

    "The staff at the Yoga Forest were very welcoming and made each guest feel like family."

    "The food was fantastic, even for me, being a meat-lover ;)"

    "The energy at this venue was very warm and positive. Being in seclusion, surrounded by wonderful people and the raw beauty of nature, really enhanced my retreat experience. "

    TripAdvisor Website, edited, edited

  • Review by Debbie
    10 out of 10

    "I was so worried if I was making the right choice. As soon as I got to The Yoga Forest steps, I knew I'd made the right choice. I felt the retreat as a whole was an inspiring, life-altering experience. It's something that will always stay with me and has opened my eyes to the experiences awaiting me if I follow my heart. I do not consider myself a writer but found this circle to be so supportive and inspiring that all my insecurities melted away. It felt relaxed enough to stay open. I have created bonds in a week that I would consider as strong as some I've known for years. Aimee was so warm, inviting, and nurturing. She is truly an inspiration, a great teacher and very insightful. The Yoga Forest is a magical, breathtaking place full of beauty and love... The food was delish and very healthy. I feel inspired to continue meditation and yoga. For me, this has inspired the freedom to be me, to follow my intuition, and to take risks. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude. Go, you're in for a life-altering experience. Follow your heart. Take a risk. You won't be sorry."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Brookie
    10 out of 10

    "This whole experience has been a joy. I feel so refreshed and renewed. The circles were wonderfully organized. I feel like I opened myself up to new and ideas and feelings in my writing, and there was a good balance of creativity. Aimee was so knowledgeable and prepared with excellent prompts. You see her truth in the way she shares and encourages. She was an instant friend. I have loved meeting these women and learning so many things about how we are similar, despite the differences. I feel we will all be life-long friends and will see each other again one day. I also feel I am now a better friend to myself and know my thoughts/feelings just a little better. Food was always tasty and plentiful at The Yoga Forest and the cabanas... were perfect. I love how most of the food grows right here. I feel I am taking away a stronger feeling of purpose. I have a direction and many new curiousities to explore. This experience has also renewed my dedication to living a more healthy and active lifestyle."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Patricia, Boston, USA
    10 out of 10

    " How ironic to leave from a storyteller within retreat totally speechless. I have little words, amazing memories, strong connections, and so many lessons. It was really easy to share in the environment that Aimee created for us. I felt super comfortable and open in our circle and loved all our writing prompts. It's hard to put into words how liberating and special all the night ceremonies were. The Yoga Forest could not be more perfect. It's magical, mystical, unreal and breath-taking. I took a picture of every single sunrise. Food was delicious every single day.I'll take away the strength to write my own story, to take control of the brush and make something beautiful. Nothing will take away what I learned here from my heart. This retreat meant everything - the women, nature, memories, darkness, light - all of it. This has the been the best week of my life. I'm so grateful. Just do it. Paradise on earth, with the raddest, most grounded retreat leader. She's a mentor and forever friend now. If you feel drawn to this place, come."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Kendra, from Seattle, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I can confidently say this experience was transformational for each women in our circle. This retreat allowed me to once again show up for myself. It taught me to not only trust my own feminine intuition, but the collective feminine intuition. I feel that I was always on my journey, but this retreat taught me to savor and to show up to take each step. I loved hearing the journey of other women and realizing that we are never really walking alone."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Meghan, from Milwaukee, USA
    9 out of 10

    "This retreat has been a beautiful part of my life journey that I'm so glad I took. I felt immediately connected to all the women and the place. I loved being able to talk about deep stuff with six other beautiful women instead of small talk. Aimee has such a gentle soul. She is honest and sincere. You know she is speaking from the heart and she is great at keeping us ladies on task! She eased all of my worries beforehand with emails that came less than a day after I wrote her. The Yoga Forest really is a retreat. I love its distance and separation from town, its beautiful and serene views.The place itself was clean, wonderful, and at one with nature. Beds comfy, hammock relaxing, views stunning, meals always so, so delicious. Night ceremonies were beautiful and fit perfect with our week. This is an experience you will never forget. It's a chance to be creative and really focus on yourself. It's a wonderful way to pause and focus on what truly drives you. What a glorious thing Aimee put together. This will touch so many women."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • 9 out of 10

    "This whole experience has been a joy. I feel so refreshed and renewed. The circles were wonderfully organized. I feel like I opened myself up to new and ideas and feelings in my writing, and there was a good balance of creativity. Aimee was so knowledgeable and prepared with excellent prompts. You see her truth in the way she shares and encourages. She was an instant friend. I have loved meeting these women and learning so many things about how we are similar, despite the differences. I feel we will all be life-long friends and will see each other again one day.I also feel I am now a better friend to myself and know my thoughts/feelings just a little better. I love how most of the food grows right here in The Yoga Forest. It was always tasty and plentiful and the cabanas were perfect. I feel I am taking away a stronger feeling of purpose. I have a direction and many new curiousities to explore. This experience has also renewed my dedication to living a more healthy and active lifestyle."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • 10 out of 10

    "As soon as I got to The Yoga Forest steps, I knew I'd made the right choice. I felt the retreat as a whole was an inspiring, life-altering experience. It's something that will always stay with me and has opened my eyes to the experiences awaiting me if I follow my heart. I do not consider myself a writer but found this circle to be so supportive and inspiring that all my insecurities melted away. It felt relaxed enough to stay open. I have created bonds in a week that I would consider as strong as some I've known for years. Aimee was so warm, inviting, and nurturing.She is truly an inspiration, a great teacher and very insightful. The Yoga Forest is a magical, breathtaking place full of beauty and love. The food was delish and very healthy. I feel inspired to continue yoga. For me, this has inspired the freedom to be me, to follow my intuition, and to take risks. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude. Go, you're in for a life-altering experience. Follow your heart. Take a risk. You won't be sorry."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Marie, San Diego, USA
    10 out of 10

    "This retreat changed my life. Going into the retreat I was nervous to share my writing since I usually only journal for myself, but I found that sharing was a huge part of the healing and discovering process for me at the retreat. The women in our group came together to create a truly magical space in which we all confided, explored, and were challenged. Through the love and kindness of our writing circle, I was able to let go of fear, dig into the questions, and reclaim the creative soul within that I had suppressed for so long. To do all of this at the Yoga Forest - disconnected from devices and reconnected to face-to-face interactions and an insanely beautiful setting in nature-was perfect.It's a phenomenal setting to meditate and practice yoga. Aimee has the energy of a sage--someone so wise and who truly listens to people. She has a beautiful way of asking just the right questions to encourage each person to think with a shifted perspective, not imposing her opinion but rather allowing the person to come to their own conclusions and new understandings through her gentle guidance. She speaks from the heart to our hearts. My favorite thing is that I committed to myself. That I committed to vulnerability, and in that, came a release I could have never possibly predicted.I left feeling healed, liberated, and empowered. I made life-long friendships with wonderful, inspiring women who represented so many parts of what I am seeking in this life: the female embodiments of love, courage, light, honesty, drive, and beauty. GO. You wont regret it. This retreat will make you laugh, cry, dig, unearth, grow in more ways than you could possibly imagine, and you will see first-hand the magic as well as the magic you have within."

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Danielle from Arizona, USA

    "Simply incredible. From the opening circle to the very end, I simply loved it. It is truly incredible to me that one wise woman can think up such an incredible journey - it was a lifetime gift to be a part of it. I loved the mix of humor and deep reflection. At a point in my life where I deeply needed this, the writing circles gave me a space, and the exercises a format, not only to claim my truth (not to mention discover it!) but to say it out loud. I found The Yoga Forest to be a relaxing retreat setting fitting for this experience, and integrated with respect into the community.Just two days after, I long to return to the magic of the lake and that forest. I left the magic of The Yoga Forest with a clear vision of the incredible light inside me, the power of my voice, and a deep sense of inner peace. If you have become a stranger to yourself, and want a safe, relaxing, hilarious, rejuvenating journey of empowerment and self-discovery, this is the retreat for you."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Julia from Australia

    "It was incredible to travel to magical Lake Atitlan, and feel welcomed by Aimee, the Yoga Forest and the other women in the group. I was expecting it to be a great experience, but it went beyond my expectations. I loved the combination of writing, yoga, healthy eating and felt very refreshed by the end of it. The writing circle was introspective, spiritual and therapeutic. I think Aimee was an incredible facilitator, balancing the group dynamic well. The sleeping quarters were clean, comfortable, warm, and better than I expected. The evening ceremonies were excellent. Really loved the remoteness of The Yoga Forest.I definitely felt a good energy at Lake Atitlan. San Marcos was really cute and great for days off - the swim was incredible and the massage centre was a great. I feel revived and more motivated, and more confident in myself for sure. My favorite parts were the uniqueness of the experience, the transformative effect, the friendships, the fun! Thanks a million Aimee, for sharing your gift with me and the group. It was an incredible experience."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Danielle
    10 out of 10

    "There were many times prior to the retreat when I had serious doubts about this experience. From the opening circle to the very end, I simply loved it. It is truly incredible to me that one wise woman can think up such an incredible journey – it was a lifetime gift to be a part of it. I loved the mix of humor and deep reflection. At a point in my life where I deeply needed this, the writing circles gave me a space, and the exercises a format, not only to claim my truth (not to mention discover it!) but to say it out loud. I found The Yoga Forest to be a relaxing retreat setting fitting for this experience, and integrated with respect into the community. Just two days after, I long to return to the magic of the lake and that forest. I feel like I got the gift of a journey that without the circle... would have taken me years to complete. Aimee is simply amazing. I benefited so greatly from her dear presence, voice and inner light/beauty/force. She dared to help us confront the vulnerable truth in all of us, dared to nudge, dared to make us look into one another's eyes – and it was truly amazing. I loved the community of trust, vulnerability, and self-discovery that so rapidly formed between strangers. The evening ceremonies were so powerful and meaningful. I told myself I had unrealistic expectations for a retreat. How can one week help me find myself? But it did. I not only realized I had been inside myself all along, but that I love myself! What a great feeling to be able to write that and mean it. The experience inspired and taught me a new way to walk through the world, a way to reclaim my story. I left the magic of The Yoga Forest with a clear vision of the incredible light inside me, the power of my voice, and a deep sense of inner peace. If you have become a stranger to yourself, and want a safe, relaxing, hilarious, rejuvenating journey of empowerment and self-discovery, this is the retreat for you!"

    Storyteller Within Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Tanja from Germany

    "The retreat was one of the most powerful, precious life experiences I've ever had, and at a time I needed it urgently. I will say thank you so much for the new view on my life. I feel so much better now and can enjoy my travelling so much more! The atmosphere at the Yoga Forest was amazing. The women's circle was a friendly, committed community and we shared and helped each other. There was a feeling of security and support.I learned the only boundaries we have are created by ourselves. I learned that we project things. I learned to see the beauty in everything. A stone can have many facets and beauty like a flower. The most important message I took was I can create my life every day. I only need to open my eyes. And when I fall back into habits and thoughts, I can question my feelings and the fear behind them.GO! Its the best thing you can do! Every woman needs a self-confidence update."

    BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Sherry from Antigua, Guatemala

    "I so enjoyed meeting Aimee in San Marcos. We shared "getting to know you" stories over an herbal tea and then I went to her writing workshop at the yoga center in the welcoming hotel there, la Paz. I loved her presence, her invitations, her wonderful listening skills and her ability to create an experience where we all felt safe and motivated to play a bit with our child, our muse within. I was surprised at some of the mini-stories that I found emerging on my pages and was delighted to hear those of others--so authentic, so personal and so real. I will definitely attend one of her week long adventures and encourage other pilgrims on this life's amazing journey to do the same. I did walk up to the Yoga Forrest to get a sense of the setting and was blown away--almost!Thanks so putting all this together Aimee, and look forward to seeing you soon."

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Tamia from New Zealand

    "The yoga forest is an absolutely stunning location and a perfect place to escape to for a week of yoga, writing and exploration! Aimee is a great facilitator who provides a beautiful and open space for writing and sharing. The writing prompts are brilliant, allowing you to both run wild with your imagination, and also explore the inner world we live through. Its amazing what comes out when you give yourself the chance to put pen to paper and let the words flow!"

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Erin from Canada

    "I spent November 2013 at the farm for 24 days. I've taken it in my heart back to Canada. My journey was to take my YTT 200hr and celebrate my 40th birthday with a spiritual connection. The combination of all the beautiful souls partaking and the hard working, creative farm workers made for one of the most memorable times of my life. This is a little "peace" of paradise if your interested in community living, simplicity, sustainability, yoga and evolving your spirit. I do plan on returning in the future."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Andrew

    "This place (The Yoga Forest) is incredible. For my first yoga experience, I could not have asked for a more beautiful backdrop, more delicious food, or more friendly people. Will definitely be back, for sure!"

    The Yoga Forest website, edited

  • Review by Ana

    "The Yoga Forest is a paradise, with beautiful people and amazing learning to be done. Life-changing. The yoga shala is magnificent, the view spectacular, the food great, the company-just perfect. So much love to be found. It's super relaxing. Getting up every morning to watch the sunrise over the volcanoes was soothing to the soul. Highly recommend."

    The Yoga Forest website, edited

  • Review by Olivia Trevino

    "6am on my last morning- gazing out over Lake Atitlan from a comfy hammock chair, I am filled with gratitude for this dream-like place and my time spent in it. If magic is real, then it dwells in places like this one. The Yoga Forests beautify radiates from the plants, the animals and above all, the people that call this home and labor each day to help it run and grow."

    The Yoga Forest website, edited

  • Review by Tyler Homen

    "I love The Yoga Forest! The mountains, the lake, the plants, the animals and the people are all amazing. This place will surely thrive for eternity."

    The Yoga Forest website, edited

  • Review by David Lyger

    "This space and the people who come here are amazing. Time just flies by as you unplug and tune into nature. The Yoga Forest Permaculture experiment is simply stunning and is truly an inspiration. The staff / interns and Hayley create a warm and inviting atmosphere for travelers of all walks of life. I simply cannot wait to return."

    The Yoga Forest website, edited

  • Review by Sergei Kramarenko

    "This is the most beautiful yoga studio Ive ever had the pleasure to do yoga in. Thank you Yoga Forest Family!"

    The Yoga Forest website, edited

  • Review by Sara from Texas, USA

    "I spent a little over 3 weeks at the Mystical Yoga Farm and can't stop raving about the experience. The farm is located in between the volcanos, right on the lake. The views from the shala where I practiced daily yoga, the rancho where I enjoyed Pedro's amazing vegetarian cooking, and from the hammock outside my room all took my breath away....every single day! Speaking of the food, it was fresh and always something new. It was also very easy to get a boat to the surrounding towns on the lake if you want to explore. The staff was incredibly invested in the farm and educating and making us comfortable with such such passion. Although the place is rustic, it quickly felt like home. I can't wait to return!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Gina from Dallas, USA

    "This retreat was one of the most amazing things I've done for myself. Aimee is a wonderful person so enlightened and compassionate. She made a huge impact on how I will look at situations in my life from now on. The writing prompts were sometimes challenging because looking at your true self can be hard. The facilitation was wonderful. Aimee had so many things planned for us above and beyond the writing exercises. I loved the energy of our group; how we all connected and pulled each other up.I feel that I have learned a lot that will help keep me true to myself. I loved the evening ceremonies. The Yoga Forest location was beautiful! The steps and distance to the rest room took some getting used to, but I feel like it was good exercise. My private room, The Ganesh Loft, was beautiful. The food was so delicious. Aimee was great at answering all my questions before I booked the retreat. The retreat was what I expected, only better. I learned a lot about my narrative around love. Please continue this retreat and consider adding others in the future!"

    July 2015. BookYogaRetreats.com, edited

  • Review by Danielle from Minnesota, USA

    "So great, very healing, and affirming. Exactly what I needed. Great group dynamics. Fabulous exercises. I really loved the prompts and being able to debrief after with the option of sharing the writing or just reflecting. The location was so beautiful, really peaceful. I'll take with me the ability of reframing my past histories. I wouldnt say that I saw myself as a victim, but I definitely wasnt framing myself as the hero/shero.Ive been telling everyone here that I came home with my joy, not that it had been gone for that long, but I definitely regained the part of it that had been away. What a gift. And 7 new friends, how do you complain about that? Like everything, youll get out of it what you put into it, but if you are willing to go deep, it will go there with you, and you wont come out the same as when you went in. In the best possible way."

    March 2015. Storyteller Within Retreats, edited

  • Review by Andrea from New York, USA

    "I feel the retreat was overall a very worthwhile investment, and in many ways it exceeded my expectations. I'm grateful for the lovingness and openness nurtured throughout the entire retreat. I found the facilitation to be very helpful in encouraging creativity and openness in writing. The activities were varied and connected. The space was wonderful for sharing and reflecting, because of the facilitator's guidance and also because of the sacred physical space we created, in addition to the unbounded feeling of being in open air.I will take with me very beautiful memories of sharing our deepest narratives and stories, and the new attitude I have now to approach life with more positivity and self-belief. You will benefit no matter what."

    March 2015. Storyteller Within Retreats, edited

  • Review by Kim from Canada

    "The experience was more than I imagined. The personal growth I achieved this week is the most compact, meaningful growth and self-awareness experience I've ever had. The writing circle was always comfortable. I felt safe to share anything and loved and validated. The way Aimee was animated and passionate when she spoke helped me grasp every concept. She was confident and brave, down to earth and honest, funny and serious, clever and inspiring, beautiful inside and out, a gift to others.I will take away self-growth, self-awareness, and accountability. Confidence to be myself, confidence to tell my whole story, even the parts I had never shared before this week. The ability to silence my inner critic and the ability to project love. The ability to rewrite personal narratives and to never let myself fall victim. The workshop truly took me on a sacred journey and gave me tools for writing."

    March 2015. Storyteller Within Retreats, edited

  • Review by Jules from Canada

    "I learned a lot about fun ways of writing and self-exploration. It helped me on my journey. I felt supported and held in the writing circle and everyone respected each other's views. The writing exercises were interesting and fun. Aimee encouraged sharing. It was fun to have different yoga styles every day. I will take with me continued exploration of self and attachment to a story, and a more clear understanding of how to look at my present moment."

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  • Review by Tania from Boston, USA

    "The writing circles were introspective, honest, and deep. I was excited to attend each circle and felt I was able to open up and share things I normally wouldn't share, feeling comfortable, understood and respected. Aimee was fabulous - natural and comfortable in facilitating the group through very deep conversations and self-reflection. She really embraced each of our personalities and journeys, and could creatively articulate back to us things we may or may not have thought about. The group was interactive, accepting, and very intelligent with writing. I dug incredibly deep and did more than healing my broken heart from loss.I found a new love for life. The venue was magical. The meditation & yoga were a perfect way to start each day. If you are at all confused, or questioning your path in life, or want to escape to a serene, spiritual place to be surrounded by nature and beauty and do some self-reflection, you need to go. To be disconnected, from work and "life", and get away and do something for yourself, I say go!"

    March 2015. Storyteller Within Retreats, edited

  • Review by Celia from Canada

    "The retreat was in all its parts, absolutely magical and timely. Aimee's innate intuition, wits and magical eloquence gently leads a seamless flow through the retreat and its different themes. The journey is your own, unique for each person. It powerfully brings new perspective on stories from the past which your inner voice thought were set in marble. The beauty of our sacred sharing circle is that no matter how different our stories are, the common thread is they are all shared from the heart and that allows everyone to practice empathy and compassion, to realize we can all relate to one another. I am blown away at the healing power of authentic heart-opening sharing.The experience was deeply moving and enriching for me, a rare opportunity to allow genuine vulnerability, honesty and humility which come around to create more grace, resiliency and give us a powerful tool (writing) on our own journeys. Come with a very open heart. Be prepared to allow your inner child to surface and be playful. Consider the medicine of allowing vulnerability as a gift to yourself and others."

    March 2015. Storyteller Within Retreats, edited