Winter Yoga Retreat: Yelapa Mexico with Sarana Miller and Thomas
February 6, 2021 - February 13, 2021
Arriving from different places, our Yelapa adventure begins as we touch down at Puerto Vallarta International airport. Despite the large name, the PV airport is relatively small and quite expedient in view of the number of tourists they handle per day. Getting your luggage and going through customs is a breeze and out to a taxi you go heading for the pier in the old town of Vallarta. Some of you lucky ones will be able to arrive early, staying in Vallarta for some days, or perhaps adding time on the tail of your trip. While there are a lot of large and loud drinking Americans there, I really enjoy the Mexican charm and vibrancy of this beautiful port city.
Yelapa is a small town or village on a large cove or bay on the southernmost rim of the Bahia de Banderas, the Bay of Flags. There are no roads to Yelapa so the contact of the village with Vallarta is via water taxi. When we board the boat for Yelapa we take another step onto our adventure. As I leave the dock, I always have the feeling that we are leaving the known and familiar and venturing into a shamanic journey of sorts. There is a feeling of remoteness and solitude on the beach, and in the village and river valley of Yelapa. On the 40 minute ride I have witnessed whales, schools of dolphins, turtles and manta rays; not all on one journey, but the water life is really incredible. For those who have been to Yelapa before, the Hotel Lagunita stands on the far left side of the beach while the village is on the far right side of the bay. The hotel itself was built by an amazing artist with extensive rock, stone, brick and bamboo structures and walkways. The rooms are done in Polynesian and art deco motifs. They are spacious, colorful, and all have full bathrooms, running water and 24 hour electricity. The hotel is perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean so the sound of the sea is enormous, present with us day and night. The hotel seems to be placed in the middle of a garden with beautiful palms and tropical plants everywhere..
Arriving at Hotel Lagunita, we will get our room assignments and meet before dinner for an orientation and introduction. Our yoga practice begins on Sunday morning and concludes with the morning practice on Saturday. That's six full days of yoga practice.
7:00-8:30 Stretch, Meditation and Pranayama
8:30 -10:00 Active morning practice*
10:00 am breakfast
11:00 am - 5:00 pm: free time to be on the beach, resting and rejuvenating; lunch is during this time, ordering off the menu sometime before 3 pm.
5:00-6:30 pm: afternoon restorative practice
7:30 pm: dinner
*shortened morning practice on Wednesday
Price and Registration
Price: $1,575 Double, $1,850 Single USD
Price of retreat includes food, housing, tip for hotel staff. Cost of the retreat does not include: airfare, bar-tab, water taxi, massage and spa services.
Print the Registration Form, fill out the form, and mail along with your deposit to:
Thomas M. Fortel
6100 Heege Rd
St. Louis, Mo. 63123
$500 deposit due by January 31, 2020. Payment in full due the day of your trip.
Please contact Thomas if you have questions or need additional information.
If you cancel your participation in a retreat up to eight weeks before the retreat, you will receive a full refund. If later than eight weeks before, you will get a full refund if your place is filled. If it is not filled, you will lose your deposit.
There are many fisherman and boats for hire should you want to take a fishing or pleasure trip on the ocean/bay. We will organize a hiking trip up the river valley to a local waterfall for Wednesday. This is a popular hike each year and the only time we venture away from the ocean. Otherwise our time is spent on the beach, in the sun or shade, playing, doing art work, reading and being massaged by the magnificent environment of the natural world.
The food at Hotel Lagunita is fantastic. Breakfast begins with a fresh fruit platter, granola and yogurt, and then you are welcome to order any breakfast item you like off the menu. Lunch is taken on your own time and convenience before 3:00 pm and is also ordered off the menu. There are a few fresh fish restrictions (lobster and large prawns), otherwise ordering as you wish. There will be a large green salad and aquas frescas (fruit punches) served for dinner, then any of two entrees, either fresh fish or meat. Desert is served with the evening meal.
I love going to Mexico each year, in the middle of the California rainy season, to practice yoga with friends and fellow students, to swim in the big ocean, and expose myself to the kiss of the sun. I warmly welcome you to this most excellent time of yoga and fun in the sun.