FP Escapes Yoga Retreat Diaries: Yelapa
January 27, 2016
We went to Yelapa with a dream and left with an awakened and renewed spirit…
On a secluded mountainside, overlooking the ocean, we partook in a journey that brought us within while also creating outward transformation. A journey celebrating the first new moon of 2016, one that would grant 28 of us permission to reflect on the past and set intentions for the 365 days ahead. With the guidance of Aarona Ganesan and Sophie Jaffe, our FP Escape was nourished with the New Year and Winter Solstice.
We eagerly arrived in Mexico, ready to be whisked away by water taxi to the place we would call home for the next seven days. Rocked by waves, we smiled in gratitude upon the majestic Sierra Madres lining the expansive sea. Our humble flat-bottomed boat pulled up on shore, and we made our way by foot through the small town of Quimixto until reaching Xinalani. Like a network of treehouses, the eco resort wound its way up a steep mountainside, surrounded by lush jungle and crashing waves. And we, protected and inspired, settled in.
Each day as the sun rose, we found our way to the jungle studio for morning practice. Aarona led us through artful asanas set to beautifully-crafted playlists, infusing her instruction with meaning and intention. Meanwhile, Sophie set up a three-day food-based cleanse rich with Philosophie superfoods and Sun Potion supplements. By the end of the week, blockages were broken down, and our bodies buzzed with newfound energy.
Further embracing a vibrant, healthy lifestyle, we filled the week with adventure. We hiked, we surfed, we created and we danced. Our muscles burned happily in motion, and our skin glowed from the sun’s gentle kisses. We slowly grew closer to our intentions with everything, from daily moon deck readings and deep superfood cleansing to mantra workshops and a new moon ceremony. It all prepped us for one especially important ritual: the temazcal. An ancient practice in Mexico, temazcal celebrates the guidance of ancestors and is meant to cleanse the spirit and bring clarity to the mind. We arrived at the sweat lodge, where we were greeted by a shaman and cleansed with copal resin before climbing into the womb-like structure. We sat circled around heated volcanic rocks symbolizing ancestors as the shaman led us through a journey of reflection. At the end of the ceremony, we emerged into the beach light as if being reborn. We all agreed — this experience was most certainly a highlight,and a turning point on our spiritual journey.
Every person came to FP Escapes for one reason or another. Some of us faced hurt, and some of us simply sought out a deeper life experience. We came to realize that, at times, you must go into the quiet, you must settle into the dark, in order to truly hear. Basking in the sun, sitting blind in a temezcal, climbing our way to a yoga studio at dawn – we removed the superfluous and were left with something real. True friendships flourished as we connected to the potent power within. Out of that experience newfound vision arose; and let’s face it, one’s vision changes everything.