In this 8 day/7 night retreat, with the option to continue on with a 4 Day/3 night trek to Ausangate Glacier immediately afterwards, our focus will be on: HOW WE CHOOSE TO MOVE THROUGH THIS WORLD.
And we will do so while surrounded and supported by the energy of the Sacred Valley of Peru, a part of the world famous for its Apus (which means mountain, or mountain spirit in Quechua). The retreat center where we will be staying,, Munay Sonqo (which in Quechua translates as love from the ancient forests), has been built with the utmost respect for the land, following permacultural principles in all of its construction (and a gorgeous organic garden from which much of the produce we'll be eating will have been grown). This center is a true sanctuary for deep work, with hardly a detail overlooked, take the majestic yoga temple which has been built on top of quartz crystal, for example!
As you walk around, assess where you are, reflect on where you have been, and dream of where you are going. Every moment in the present contains the seeds of opportunity for change. Your life is an adventure. Live it fully. (John Francis, PhD)
Walking represents both function and FREEDOM. The ability to walk, to locomote, is what moves us through the world, connecting us with one another and with nature, and is an ability that can easily be taken for granted or overlooked...until we experience pain or discomfort in our body, something that often comes with aging, but not something that has to come with aging. Yes, our bodies change as we age (all things do), but pain is not an absolute factor in that process. (Pain science is now showing that pain is usually way more complex than simply a physical issue.)
Human movement is not a simple science. Walking, as basic as it seems, is an extremely complex phenomenon that can simultaneously involve all of your muscles at once.
- Katy Bowman
How can our yoga and movement practices better support us in how we move through the world? Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, Consciously, Energetically...and with MORE EASE? This is what we will explore during our retreat...through yogasana and mobility-specific training....interweaving slow and subtle work with more dynamic approaches, breaking down things (in a geeky but fun way) and then just letting things MOVE in the way that feels good to YOU!
Because, we are meant to MOVE.
And when we move well, we feel better. Our appreciation for our amazing bodies grows, our relationship with the world expands; life feels fuller and richer.
And this is my hope for each and every one of us sharing this planet, and more specifically for anyone who chooses to join me for this retreat!
Accommodations: all accommodations will be in generously sized, beautiful shared double or triple rooms.
Meals: dietary restrictions and preferences can be accommodated.
Daily Schedules: will vary from day to day. Each morning we will begin with a movement practice and meditation. Some evenings will include restorative practices or contemplative gatherings. Days will alternate between trips to local archaeological sites, or classes with guest teachers, to being wide open for you to just rest & relax or put your movement practices to play with a hike up to the nearby waterfall or down to explore the surrounding communities.
Or schedule a massage!
Just know that there will be a balanced schedule of organized activities and time to RELAX & RETREAT!
OPTIONAL TREK TO AUSANGATE (May 15-19)
Immediately following our time at the retreat center, you have the option of joining me to put our love of walking into even greater practice with a TREK to the most revered of all the Apus, the might Ausangate Glacier!
Note: we will camp at nights on this trek (tents and sleeping pads will be provided, but you will need to bring a sleeping bag) Each day's hike will range from 4.5-6.2 miles (the last day's hike will be short - approximately 1 hour).
After leaving the retreat center, we will spend one night in a hotel in Cusco, giving you the chance to spend the afternoon exploring this beautiful city and taking in it's delicious historical and culinary options!
Early the next morning we will depart on our trek.
See below for more detailed info about the daily itinerary for the trek.
Jyl Marie (ERT-500, LMT, FRCms, VCSW™) has been practicing Yoga since 1990. She is a Senior Instructor of Prajna Yoga (Tias & Surya Little) and has studied with them since 2003. She received both her 200 hr & 500 hr certifications through them and is also certified to teach their SATYA work of somatic movement.. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to her teaching, combining technique, alignment & flow with therapeutic somatic movement, play, and functionality!
She is a certified Mobility Specialist with Functional Range Conditioning and continues to deepen her yoga and movement training with her current teachers: Carrie Owerko, and Gary Ward.
She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in Visionary Craniosacral Therapy with Hugh Milne and Visceral Manipulation with the Barral Institue.
Since 2016, she has divided her time between the US and Peru, leading workshops, trainings, and retreats in both countries. When not on her mat (or rolling around on the floor), you’ll likely find her hiking some off the beaten path trail, or on a cacao farm!
For more about Jyl, you can visit her website at jylmarieyoga.com
or follow her on Instagram.
COVID Travel Updates:
I will be posting travel updates and information as I hear it on the event page for the retreat on my website. I will also be sending out regular updates to all who are registered or who would like to stay updated (you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to receive updates)
Where do I fly into?
From your home airport book your flight to Lima, the capital of Peru (airport code LIM). Lima is the international gateway for Peru, and the hub for pretty much all flights in the country. Our retreat will both begin and end in Cusco. We'll be taking a shuttle from Cusco to our retreat center, S'acha Munay, on May 8th and another taking us back to Cusco the morning of May 15th. (For those continuing on for the Ausangate trek, we will spend the night of the 15th in a hotel in Cusco and arrive back in Cusco on the afternoon of May 19th.)
From Lima you'll want to book a 1-hour flight to Cusco (CUZ). Cusco is a wonderful city, so you might want to come in a few days before the retreat begins to explore, and also acclimate to the altitude.
Please plan on arriving in Cusco no later than 2pm on the day that our retreat will begin – May 8, 2021. Please plan your departure flight out of Cusco for anytime after 1pm on the last day of our retreat, May 15, 2021 (or on May 20th if you're doing the Ausangate trek. We are expected to arrive back in Cusco around 4pm on May 19th, but it would likely be safer to stay the night in town rather than risk trying to catch a late flight to Lima that evening).
I'll begin asking for everyone's travel info at least a month before the retreat begins, to coordinate our pick up time/place. (If your trip falls outside of the group transfers, you'll be responsible for transportation costs)
Any tips for good flights to Peru?
Yes! It can be cheaper to book two separate flights with one from your departure city to Lima and another from Lima to Cusco.
If your dates are flexible, both Google Flights and Kayak.com offer features for searching with flexible dates. The Hopper app may also be a useful tool. You put in your dates and it will tell you whether flights are likely to increase, decrease, or stay the same.
Also, I do recommend getting travel insurance when you book your flight.
American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Peru, only a passport.
* I will update you on any restrictions that may be implemented due to COVID as I hear them.
May is at the end of the rainy season in the Peruvian highlands. It is typically sunny with blue skies and temperatures are in the low-mid 60sF during the day to high 40sF in the evenings. It is best to prepare for all weather conditions including rain, cold mountain conditions and warm days.
The Ausangate trek will take us to even higher altitudes, so expect cooler nights. Average temperatures for that time of year are upper 60s and sunny during the day and low 30s at night.
How will the altitude affect me?
Every traveler is different with respect to how their bodies respond to elevation change. You can acclimate more easily if after landing in Cusco you spend the first night or two in the Sacred Valley as the altitude is significantly lower. For example, the altitude of Calca is 9371 feet in comparison with that of Cusco which is located at 11,154 feet. Travelers may experience some fatigue, sleeplessness and shortness of breath with exertion during the first 24 hours. This can be minimized by drinking lots of liquids including coca tea, avoiding alcohol, and not overexerting yourself the first day. If you have any medical conditions, it is recommended that you discuss the effects of altitude with your physician before traveling.
The locals chew on coca leaves as an effective remedy for altitude sickness. We will have those available and will also be participating in a coca ceremony with a local Q'ero shaman at the beginning of our retreat. But, supplements such as ChlorOxygen can be helpful (I'll have some available) and making sure that you're staying well hydrated.
Is Cusco part of our itinerary?
We will not be touring Cusco during the retreat, however, if you are continuing on for the Ausangate trek we will spend the afternoon and night of May 15th in Cusco...plenty of time for you to get a taste of all that this city holds - it is a magnificent city to visit!
Exploring Cusco (some recommendations for hotels, restaurants, and things to see/do will be sent upon registration for the retreat)
If you wish to continue your Peru adventure, I am offering an optional 4 Day/3 Night trek to Ausangate Glacier immediately follow our time at the retreat center.
The cost is $995 per person.
The general itinerary for our trek is as follows:
Arrive in Cusco at approx 1pm. Check into a hotel (shared rooms) near the city center, Enjoy the rest of day & night to explore this amazing city! (Breakfast and accommodations are included in Trek package, but lunch and dinner are this day are not.)
Breakfast at hotel. Depart Cusco at 6am. A private shuttle will transport us to the trailhead at the base of Ausangate to begin the day's hike. Arrive at Upis, our base camp for the night, in time for lunch and dinner. Two person tents will be awaiting our arrival.
Elevation Climb: 13,800-14,100 ft
Hike Distance: 4.5 miles
5am Wake Up with Coca Tea or Coffee brought to your tent. Breakfast to follow. Early departure towards the Arapa Pass, alongside Ausangate. Today's hike will be challenging, but you'll be breathtaken (and inspired!) by the incredible landscape and lakes and villages we will pass through along the way. We'll arrive at our base camp Puca Cocha in time for lunch, a nap, and later, dinner. On this night we'll sleep under the watch of the might glacier Ausangate!
Elevation Climb: 14,100 - 15, 580 ft.
Hike Distance: 6.2 miles
Today's hike will take us through the Red Mountain Valley, a swaft of colorful mountains and untouched landscapes. We'll cross the Warmi Saya Pass and emerge to see the famous Rainbow Mountain in the distance. From here we descend (yay!) to our base camp in time for lunch and rest for the evening.
Elevation Climb: 14,700-16,375 ft
Hiking Distance: 6.2 miles
Early wake up at 4:45am with Coca Tea and Coffee awaiting us, and breakfast to follow. Today's short hike (approx 1 mile) will bring us to Rainbow Mountain where we'll have time to explore, take pictures, and (if weather allows) gather for a short final guided meditation and ceremony together as a group. We'll continue on towards the Red Valley (approx 30 minute walk) and from there we'll once again meet our driver and via private shuttle begin the journey back to Cusco.
It is estimated that we will arrive back at the hotel that we departed from in Cusco at approx. 4pm.
If you would like to spend the night at the hotel we departed from, I can help you book that room (private or shared) for an additional fee. I will send out information about this after registration).
If you plan on staying in Cusco and have made your own arrangements for accommodation, we can assist you in getting a taxi to your destination.
There are a limited amount of evening flights from Cusco to Lima. If you choose to depart Cusco on the night of May 19th, I would suggest booking a flight no earlier than 7pm to be safe. We can assist you in getting a taxi to the airport when we arrive back in Cusco.
⫸Awesome English-Speaking Guide & Assistant Guide (if necessary)
⫸Professional Chef (able to accommodate dietary preferences & restrictions)
⫸Mules & Horses to carry our equipment
⫸Boiled Water & Snacks
⫸Entrance Fees for Sites and Camping and Thermal Baths
⫸1 extra horse in case of emergency
⫸First Aid Kit & Oxygen
⫸Private Shuttle to/from Hotel in Cusco
⫸Horses will be able to carry/transport 7kg of personal supplies for each person
⫸Personal Gear (Layers!!)
⫸Dinner on the last day (May 19)
⫸TIPS for guides, drivers, chef, horse caretakers