I started offering yoga getaways because I love both travel and yoga and had the best time doing both.
I figured other people might just love it as much as it do and I was right. A yoga vacation delivers more fun, adventure and self discovery than your typical tropical ‘all-inclusive’ experience. Here are the five reasons you should come with me to Akumal Mexico next February. (women’s retreat Feb. 6 -13, couples retreat Feb. 13- 20 2016)
1. The Yoga.
That feeling of yoga goodness every day. Personal attention if you want it – your own space if you need it.
On a Field retreat recently one of the participants said it was like a food retreat with some yoga thrown in. I love to experience great food too! On my recent trip to Bali I ate a lot of a regional specialty, banana pancakes. Some places I stayed made them very crepe like with sliced bananas and other places made them fluffy and incorporated the bananas into the batter. Either way they were sweet and delicious. Food is one of life’s great pleasures and it is good to eat what nourishes you. I ate well and when I got back to Calgary I was surprised to find I had lost about five pounds. I know yoga is not about losing weight but a daily yoga practice combined with lots of walking is what allowed me to enjoy the local dish i really liked (sorry Gado gado) and yet not return home regretting it. Yoga practiced regularly builds muscle (increasing metabolism) and calms the mind (lowering cortisol) which many of us need.
The yoga practices during the retreat are optional of course – yoga is always an invitation never an obligation- but chances are you will grow to love yoga as much as I do.
There will be choices – a gentle stretch and breath practice an hour before dinner, a more vigorous practice in the morning. Morning practice starts at the very civilized hour of 9am and may involve some sweat before its done at 11:00 am.
Also, there are so many opportunities to walk, bike, kayak, snorkel and swim in this gorgeous place.
2. The Villa!
Villa de Valhalla is a privately owned home we rent for our yoga vacations. Akumal is home to many beautiful properties but Villa de Vahalla is perfect for our yoga vacation. The house has 6 bedrooms and all of them face the ocean and have their own balcony or deck. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and they are all incredibly spacious. There is a private pool and large common area.
The people who care for the house make it feel like home, albeit a super luxurious home with a private chef. 🙂
Luis is our grounds keeper, fixer and sometimes Spanish coach, Lupe is our housekeeper and a (very young!) grandmother who rides away from work side saddle on a motorcycle.
Liz is our chef of course! Fierce in the kitchen, soft of heart and sarcastic of wit, Liz will delight and nourish you. Liz learned so much about where to shop and what to prepare last time that i can’t wait to see what this year brings!
Sharon will be helping with emails and and communications before your trip so you feel informed and prepared. Last time the Cancun airport and a late driver made our transfers not so smooth but this time we are poised to get you out of the airport and into a comfortable van hassle free. Sharon will facilitate our day trip as well.
3. The Shopping.
This might not be on your wish list but if it is, listen up. While Akumal has its share of souvenir stands and t-shirt venders, the surprising thing is it has a couple of really high quality, interesting shops. These stores offer art, jewelery and fun stuff that you won’t find elsewhere in the area.
The Galeria Lamanai in Akumal is a my favorite. This place is family run and has the most beautiful things. They have been there a long time and know how to wrap for travel or shipping really well.
The art for sale at The Galeria Lamanai is curated from all over Latin America – I bought a painting at the Galeria by a Cuban artist the first time I went to Akumal 15 years ago and I still treasure it. This last trip I bought gorgeous silver hoop earrings and a vile of essential oil perfume for my daughter that she loves.
4. The New Day trip – its included !
This year we want to host a day adventure for all who want to come. In the morning we will travel to Tulum to have a guided tour of the Mayan Ruins (yoga will be a little earlier on this day). In the afternoon we will have a cooling swim in a cenote! This is also a guided experience and is something I am really excited about. Read about it here. Tour, guide and transport is included in your package price.
5. The relationships.
Always when I travel to do yoga, it is the connections I make with people that make the most lasting impressions.
Your fellow yogis are like minded travelers. The people that are already signed up are some of the funniest and smartest people I know. Great company indeed.
The staff at the villa, the people who cook your dinner, your new yoga buddies- you get to meet them, know them, love them.
I want to mention one more relationship and that one is with yourself. Yoga changes your relationship with yourself in so many positive ways. Cultivating this relationship may be the most important work you do.
come with me! you will never regret coming to Mexico and giving yourself this experience.
Need a bonus reason ? (the Mayan Riviera is the safest place to travel in Mexico)
Learn more here about the Mexico 2016 yoga retreat for couples or women.