We arrived by slow boat as it cruised through Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. I’ve heard a lot about the sacredness of the land and suddenly I felt it. Three volcanoes spread their raw majestic beauty across the horizon and in their intrinsic ways, created a shift within me. It was the freshest, enlivening feeling and it was easy to remain present. The sun was setting as we pulled up to the dock leading to The Mystical Yoga Farm. We walked the path of lush wild flowers, past a small boat converted into a living space and through the farm’s abundant vegetation.
We climbed up the hill to our treehouse nestled amongst a field of coffee plants and opened the door to our new-found nest. For moments in life where inspiration hides, this moment overfilled the gaps. With no electricity, we found ourselves by candlelight under the starriest sky overwhelmed with gratitude. I stayed awake late that night, and traced the steps over and over again in my mind.
The subtle pinks of the morning sky rolled in early as we awoke to the sound of a gong. We practiced meditation as the sun rose and filled the shala with warmth. I was surrounded by kindred souls as we centered our breathing, focused on grounding, and became present through sun salutations and deep savasanas.
This was my first yoga retreat experience and I realize I have found magic. Our daily yoga practice varied from vinyasa flows, chakra studies, to a mindful hatha practice. The combination of yoga and permaculture brought us even closer to the land — the land that abundantly nourished our bodies with plates full of farm-to-table dishes. A full spectrum of vegetables were prepared for every meal and I’ve never had salads that tasted so alive.
We had no cell reception which allowed for reflections and a deeper connection with our inner selves. Our days exposed us to things such as a cacao ceremony performed by a shaman as well as a kombucha brewing workshop.
Electricity was limited to the communal space, and they conserved water by using compost toilets. This wasn’t a glamping experience per se, but it truly was magic. The kind of magic that slowly unravels far longer after you have left and makes you feel that you have lived wholly, entirely and fully.