Awakened Heart

Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Emily Alderaen
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2 reviews
Feb 11 - 18, 2023
Group size: 1 - 20
Awakened Heart
Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Emily Alderaen
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
2 reviews

Feb 11 - 18, 2023
Group size: 1 - 20

About this trip

Take a pause from routine and responsibility to (re)connect with your fearless and radiant heart! Cleanse your body and mind with daily invigorating asana practice and connect with community through supportive group activities that enhance synergy and clarity. Drawing upon ancient yogic wisdom, somatic awareness, and trauma-informed group process work we will (re)discover our authentic nature and celebrate self love. 

You will have the opportunity to participate in a temazcal, a traditional indigenous sweat lodge, to purify the body and mind. A local guide will lead us on a hike to learn about our natural surroundings, exploring a volcano to a secret beach. We will conclude our week with a traditional cacao ceremony, led by an experienced facilitator, to celebrate a deeper, more intimate connection with ourselves and each other. 

Through yoga asana, guided inner work, and group experiences that connect with the local culture and traditions, you will leave feeling more balanced, connected, and awakened, from the inside out. 


MdJ Retreat Center & Accommodation

Mar de Jade is a s beautiful retreat center nestled between the lush jungle and the lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean on the outskirts of the fishing village of Chacala, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The accommodation and grounds are a thoughtful blend of simplicity and luxury, with every detail considered to support your rest and play. We will practice yoga in an oceanfront studio with the soundtrack of the waves guiding our practice. Ample time will be left to relax in a hammock, swim in the pool, explore the village of Chacala, or join the many local excursions offered.

Mar de Jade serves three deliciously vibrant meals everyday, using fresh ingredients from their 17-acre organic farm.  Meals feature plant-based ingredients, as well as fresh fish and chicken (no beef or pork), and  the kitchen is happy to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies. Tea, coffee, purified water, and more are available all day. 

Mar de Jade on the Riviera Nayarit

Mar  de Jade offers a variety of accommodation for a  range of budgets. (Please disregard the prices listed on their site. As my retreat  participant, you will receive discounted rates listed below.) 

Prices include three meals per day and use of the retreat facilities.  These prices do not include my fee as the retreat organizer, spa treatments, or additional excursions. 

In order to reserve your spot and to access the group discounted prices  listed below, you will need to pay the organizer fee first.  

  • Quad Dorm: $1050 (available as all women/femme identifying or co-ed depending on availability)
  • Guest Room:      
    • Double Occupancy: $1300/person
    • Single Occupancy: $1900
  • Garden Room:      
    • Double Occupancy: $1550/person
    • Single Occupancy: $2250
  • Ocean Room:      
    • Double Occupancy: $1700/person
    • Single Occupancy: $2550

*Children age 6 and under are free; 7-12 are welcome for $40/day.

**If there are 3 people wanting a Double Room of any type, the 3rd person would be an additional $800.

***If  you wish to bring children, a partner, a babysitter, etc. who  do not wish to participate in the retreat, they can pay the  accommodation fee listed above without paying my organizer fee. (Limited  slots for this option.) 

Yoga & Guided Activities


Invigorating, alignment-based Vinyasa classes will begin  each morning. Classes are suitable for most levels, as modifications are offered. This is a wonderful opportunity for beginners to gain confidence in their practice and for experienced yogis to deepen and grow.  

Yoga poses are an excuse to  become curious not only about how your  body moves, but about your internal reactions to what is happening. Your practice on the mat serves to guide your life off the mat, whether that is finding strength, balance, and flexibility, or in becoming more  present and observant of your thoughts. Woven into class is pranayama (breath work), meditation, singing, mudra (hand gestures), and yogic philosophy and mythology. 


Afternoon/evening gathering times will provide an opportunity for personal exploration through kirtan, free movement, journaling, sociometric activities, and group processing. We will cultivate an experience of safety, vulnerability, and curiosity in order to increase self awareness and enhance connection with others. While you are encouraged to embrace discomfort, your personal safety and limits will be honored. 


An ancient indigenous sweat lodge, temazcal is a ceremony steeped in Mexican heritage used for therapeutic and spiritual purposes. Combined with song, chants, and local herbs  for health and therapeutic  benefits. Ceremonies usually last for two or more hours and are typically led by a sort of spiritual leader called a shaman or temazcalero. Incorporating song, chants, and local herbs, the ceremony takes you through four puertas, or doors, representing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. Temazcals are thought to purify not just the body but the mind and soul—healing you from the inside out.


Cacao ceremonies are a celebratory ritual that open the heart through the use of cacao. Traditionally, cacao ceremonies have been conducted by the Maya and Ancient Aztec civilization, with origins dating back to 1900 B.C. This ceremony will be led by a local, experienced guide and will represent the culmination of our week. 


A local guide will lead us on a hike to a volcanic crater as we learn about local flora and fauna. The hike ends at a secret beach, where we can swim and relax. A boat will pick us up and return us to the retreat center.  

About Your Instructor

Emily attended her first yoga class at the age of six and spent formative years living in ashrams in India and Portland.  She attended a yoga teacher training in Brazil and received a 200-hour  Yoga Alliance Certificate from Find Balance Yoga in 2011 and has been teaching in Oregon ever since. Additional training includes Nonviolent Communication, trauma, and mediation.  Emily's teaching is inspired by structural alignment, somatic healing, and seasonal cycles. 

Emily began participating in and co-facilitating group process work in 2012 and is consistently moved and inspired by its healing, transformative power. Additionally, she works in the mental health field and is pursuing her Masters in Counseling. 

Emily lives in the Columbia River Gorge, where she homesteads, raises two children, and endeavors to cultivate wonder.

Pricing & Booking

To promote transparency and ensure access to your desired room, activity fee will be charged separately from the accommodation  prices. 


First, reserve your spot by paying a $500 activity fee. This fee grants you access to all activities listed above, as well as discounted group accommodation rates. 

Venmo @Emily-Alderaen

Paypal @EAlderaen (

Check or Cash 

Credit card: you can pay your balance on this site, but they will charge you a fee.

Next, it's time to reserve your accommodations. You will need to pay the above fee BEFORE you can reserve your room and access the group discounted prices (listed above in the Accommodation section). When you know what room you'd like and if you have a roommate preference,  book online, by phone, or email as soon as possible. It is first come,  first served. 

1. Book Online (unique booking link for direct access to the retreat)

2. Call 1-800-257-0532

3. Email

Note:  The online booking system will only reserve complete rooms. If more than two people are booking together and wish to split the deposit on multiple credit cards, please call Mar de Jade directly. They are not able to guarantee shared rates if roommates do not book  together.

*If your whole being is saying yes AND you are having trouble finding the funds, please contact Emily about trade. Especially open to photographers, web developers. 

Cancellation Policy

Cancel prior to Nov 11: full refund

Cancel prior to Dec 11: 50% refund

No refund after Jan 11.

Mar de Jade's Cancellation Policy:

Early Cancellation: You will be entitled to a full refund less 10% of the total cost, if you notify us at least two months prior to your scheduled arrival date. • Late Cancellation: With  notice of cancellation less than two months from your scheduled arrival  date, there will be a cancellation penalty of 25% of your total stay. • No Refund: with notice of cancellation less than 2 weeks from your scheduled arrival date. • Credit: You  can apply your full deposit towards another reservation within 12  months of your cancellation date, with no cancellation penalty. There  will be no monetary refund in this case and you must cancel with at least two weeks notice. • No Show: No  refund or credit for failing to show up for a reservation without prior  cancellation. Guests who choose to travel on overnight excursions away  from Mar de Jade during their stay will not receive refunds for those  nights. No refunds will be given for missed meals.

Check out Mar de Jade's Covid safety protocols here.

What’s included

  • Daily yoga classes
  • Daily group activites
  • Meals
  • Traditional temazcal
  • Cacao Ceremony
  • Jungle hike
  • Airfare
  • Airport Transfer
    Private airport shuttle can be arranged for ~$20 per person (shared)
  • Booze
  • Gratuity
  • Spa services/Excursions

Your Organizer

Emily Alderaen
2 reviews
Emily is a yoga teacher, mother, homesteader, and seeker. She believes whole-heartedly in practice of connecting the body as a way to heal the mind. She is influenced by ceremony, music, mythology, community, and rhythms of nature.


A beautiful blessing... with even deeper appreciation after the hiatus of the pandemic. We gathered to explore our subtle bodies in early 2020, stayed home for two years, and gathered once again to explore the great mystery of joy. It was the perfect bookend to end our isolation from one another. The retreat center was beautifully situated and maintained, with delicious food (too much food!!) and lots of outdoor spaces. The yoga room was beautiful, spacious and so nicely situated above the changing tides below that we became mesmerized by diving pelicans as we listened to Emily's soothing yet commanding voice. Every morning we shared a different class; asanas, chanting, pranayama, and three times we enjoyed dancing across the sunlit floors as the sun sank colorfully into the ocean beyond the fluttering draperies. It was magical and mystical, tasty, healthy and delicious, creating connections and deepening our sense of community, and so special to share space in this sacred way.
By connie c for The great mystery of joy: a yoga retreat on 28 Feb, 2022
So, I am home, and wish I could still be with our perfectly sized group, practicing everyday. It was so good to have a daily practice and with such a lovely group and with such delicious food, and in the jungle! The temperature was never too hot and the shady jungle provided a green on green heartfelt space where we could all let go and relax. There were adventures, and activities for those who wanted them, but I chose many a day, to sit by the pool and write. The pool was small, but like an oasis in the desert, all that was really needed. The catered food was fantastic; tasty and healthy and prepared by the loving hands of four locals who gave us plenty of deliciousness and also catered flexibly to our various dietary needs. Our homes were quite a variety, and tucked away on the steep hillside, so that we could hear one another laughing or singing but not the snores or a neighbor's sleepless night. I would definitely go again, and felt so taken care of by our fearless leader who kept adapting to the situation and listening to our choices. Thank you, Emily, for creating this retreat. I hope you do so again.
By connie c for Uncovering the Subtle Body on 04 Feb, 2020
Thank you for joining and being such a strong and supportive pillar in the group.
By Emily Alderaen on 06 Feb, 2020