The Yoga of Chocolate: A Journey through the Senses | San Martin

Tarapoto, Peru

JK
Jyl Kutsche
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11 reviews
May 4 - 11, 2019
Group size: 8 - 15
The Yoga of Chocolate: A Journey through the Senses | San Martin
Tarapoto, Peru

Jyl Kutsche
  • Email address verified
  • Facebook verified
11 reviews

$1595
Deposit: $500
May 4 - 11, 2019
Group size: 8 - 15

About this trip

In this 8 day/7 night retreat, we will turn the spotlight onto what might be called the forgotten limb of Yoga, pratyahara. Weaving together asana, meditation, breath work, somatic movement, sacred ritual and ceremony, hands-on time on a cacao farm, and (drum roll), CHOCOLATE, as the vehicles with which we will use to recover, revitalize, resurrect and deepen our sensory awareness. 


And we will do so while surrounded and supported by the high jungles of Peru, just outside of Tarapoto; a region known for it's cacao farming communities. 


Because of the close proximity to so many small cacao-growing communities, we will be able to take our Yoga practice from our mats, onto a cacao farm! 


~We will travel by both car & boat to visit a cacao farm and participate in some of the harvest (TBD based on what phase of the harvest they are in when we are there)


~We will tour the cacao processing facility at Casa Qoya and learn about the importance of the fermentation and drying stages of cacao processing.


~We will participate in a chocolate-making demonstration from an award-winning chocolate maker, and see the art and skill required to take cacao truly from bean to bar.


~We will visit a a ceramic studio & workshop, well-known for the traditional pottery it produces, and try our own hands at this wonderful meditative work!


~We will tour the art gallery featuring the work of world famous artist, and Chazuta native, Joicy V. Bartra. 


~And so much more!


Our "base camp" for the retreat will be Puma Rinri Amazon Lodge, a 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence winner and truly magical space. Located in a protected location along the banks of the Huallaga River (one of the 3 offshoots of the mighty Amazon), in a canyon that will take you to the last foothills of the Eastern Andes. The property has over 150 acres of pristine, private reserve land; surrounded by forests, rivers, streams, as well as an abundance of native plants and wildlife. The site has the distinction of being a biological bridge, because it is located at the confluence of the Cerro Escalera Regional Conservation Area and the Cordillera Azul National Park, an area where three very different ecosystems intermingle: the tropical dry forest, the high mountain jungle and the low jungle of the Amazon plain. 

Pratyahara & The Subtle Body

In Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga, the fifth limb, pratyahara, is often defined as 'a withdrawal of the senses'.  It could also be considered the “bridge limb” - the point where the outer can become inner (and vice versa). 


However, a less common translation, and more accurate, translation of the word pratyahara is to recover our senses. 


I also see pratyahara as a resurrection of the senses, for when we use our senses as a means to recognize the newness of each moment, the magic that each and every moment holds, the more we see that rebirthing is constantly happening; and when we can harness this awareness, the potential truly is infinite. 


Scholars of yoga philosophy often regard pratyahara as the 'forgotten limb' of yoga, it's importance being gravely undervalued and ignored. Pratyahara is intimately related to ALL the limbs of yoga, as they all - from asana to samadhi—contain aspects of pratyahara; It  is the basis for meditation and provides the gateway towards the higher practices of yoga: dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption/oneness). 

Why Chocolate?

"Pratyahara does not mean suppressing the senses! We need our mind and senses to be outward in order to function in the world and enjoy life. Pratyahara means training and mastering the mind and senses so they stop roaming aimlessly, depleting us of our vital energies (prana) in the process." ~ Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD 


Cacao originates from the Amazon River Basin, an area which includes the area where this retreat will be held. For thousands of years, cacao has been considered a sacred food; a food high both in nutritional and energetic components. And, for me personally, it's much more than food - it's medicine. 


Cacao (chocolate) has been an integral part of my yogic path for decades. To me, it is prasad, an offering. And I'm far from the only one who sees it that way - cacao was known to the Ancient Mayans as a powerful heart opener and potent healer. (It's origins are in South America, but it's cultivation originated in Central America) It is an ancient plant teacher and facilitator that can assist one with the journey deep into our hearts. 


Chocolate will be one of the tools used as a means of directing the our attention inward. It's the perfect tool, actually, as chocolate is one of the most complex foods on the planet, more than twice as complex as wine in it's flavor notes! With mindful exploration, chocolate can teach us how to slow down and really taste, savor, and enjoy our present moment experiences. 

About Jyl

 

Jyl Marie (ERT-500, LMT) is a Senior Instructor of Prajna Yoga (Tias & Surya Little) and has received both her 200 hr & 500 hr certifications through them. She is also certified to teach their SATYA work*. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to her teaching, combining technique, alignment & flow with therapeutic somatic & Functional movement. She co-founded the Austin based non-profit organization, Community Yoga Austin, and has brought yoga to schools, veterans, recovery centers, prisons, shelters & senior centers. She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist specializing in Visionary Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, and Zen Shiatsu. 


Her exploration of chocolate as plant medicine has turned a lifetime chocolate obsession into a profound part of her life’s journey. jylmarieyoga.com


*SATYA, Sensory Awareness Training for Yoga Attunement is a body of work created by Tias Little that was designed to complement an asana practice. The SATYA movements cultivate inner listening and heighten proprioceptive awareness. The exercises are non-weight bearing and involve sliding, gliding and circular movements to reduce myo-fascial holding in the body. The exercises help mobilize the joints, remove fatigue from the body, balance asymmetries and align the right and left sides of the body. In a totally unique way, SATYA practice opens doorways into the interior, providing new pathways of perception and feeling. It guides students away from "doing" movement and toward sensing, receiving and "being" movement. As an adjunct to yoga practice, somatic awareness leads to embodied wisdom.

Getting to Peru

Where do I fly into?  

Peru has become a popular travel destination so I advise booking early for international and domestic flights. It also gives you time to shop around for the best prices.


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 Tarapoto. We'll be taking a shuttle from Tarapoto to our retreat center, Puma Rinri, on May 4th and another taking us back to Tarapoto the morning of May 11th. (If you're interested in arriving early or extending your stay, I'm happy to share recommendations on where to stay and things to do)>

From Lima you'll want to book a flight to Tarapoto. 


Please plan on arriving in Tarapoto no later than 2pm on the day that our retreat will begin – May 4, 2019. Please plan your departure flight out of Tarapoto for anytime after 2pm on the last day of our retreat, May 11th.  


I'll begin asking for everyone's travel info about 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. 


Visas

American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Peru, only a passport (make sure that the expiration date is NOT within 6 months of the travel dates.).

  

The Weather  

May is (in theory) at the end of the dry season in the jungle. Weather is tropical - hot & humid - with temperatures averaging in the upper 80s/lower 90s (F) during the day and upper 60s at night. However, it can cool down significantly after a rain storm, so it's best to pack layers and some rain/waterproof gear.  I will be emailing a more comprehensive list of what to pack about six weeks before the retreat begins. 


Hotel in Tarapoto

The shuttle to our retreat center will pick us up at Hotel La Patarashca in Tarapoto on May 4.  If you arrive a day early, this is also a lovely hotel to stay in - it's near the center plaza with a beautiful breakfast buffet included, a shuttle from the airport and a great restaurant.  Rooms run about $40/night. 

What’s included

  • 7 nights accommodations
    in the beautiful Puma Rinri Amazon Lodge
  • 3 vegetarian meals/day
    Gluten-free and vegan options available with advanced notice.
  • Daily Yoga
    Jyl will lead you through a daily Prajna Yoga practice, combining Hatha Yoga & SATYA, a body of somatic movement techniques developed by Tias Little, to further heighten that awareness
  • Daily Meditation
    Jyl will guide you through daily meditation practices facilitating your journey inward.
  • Cacao Ceremony
    An opportunity to connect with and call in the spirit of the plant as we embark on our week-long journey together.
  • Guided Chocolate Tasting
    We'll explore the subtleties in aroma, flavor, texture, taste, and energetics by mindfully tasting a selection of origin chocolate from different regions of Peru.
  • Transportation
    Transportation to & from Tarapoto on May 4 & 11.
  • Chazuta Cacao Farm Tour
  • Chocolate Making Demo
    Led by one of Peru's finest chocolate-makers, Luz of Nina Chocolates.
  • Tour of Casa Qoya
    learn about the importance of the fermentation and drying processes
  • Ceramics Workshop
    Learn how the traditional ceramics that Chazuta has become known for are made...and an opportunity to create your own piece!
  • Guided Night Hike
    an opportunity to experience the life that awakens in the rainforest AFTER dark!
  • Guided Day Hike
    Rainforest walk to Pucayaquillo waterfalls. Coca Circuit and poison dart frogs photo tour.
  • Flights
  • Travel/Health Insurance
  • Tipping
  • Personal Expenses
  • All Optional Excursions

Available Packages

Triple Occupancy Room
Available until Apr 01, 20196 left

Beautiful, spacious, eco-friendly accommodations in one of Puma Rinri's triple occupancy rooms for 7 nights. Includes 3 nourishing vegetarian meals per day and all the other amenities included with the retreat. 


Includes:

  • 2 floors
  • 3 Beds
  • Private bathroom with hot water
  • Ceiling fan
  • Terrace
  • River views

* Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($500.00) before March 15. No refunds after March 15, 2019. You may transfer your reservation to another person as long as you notify Jyl in advance. In case of cancellation of the retreat, you will receive a full refund. Due to special arrangements made with the retreat centers and hosts, there is no exception to this policy. $500 initial deposit holds your space. Total fees can be paid at one time or in installments with all final payments due by April 1,, 2019. No exceptions.

$1595
Deposit: $500
Double Occupancy Room
Available until Apr 01, 20194 left

Beautiful, spacious, eco-friendly accommodations in one of Puma Rinri's double occupancy rooms for 7 nights. Includes 3 nourishing vegetarian meals per day and all the other amenities included with the retreat. 


Includes:

  • 2 Double beds
  • Private bathroom with hot water
  • Ceiling fan
  • Terrace o balcony
  • River view

* Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($500.00) before March 15. No refunds after March 15, 2019. You may transfer your reservation to another person as long as you notify Jyl in advance. In case of cancellation of the retreat, you will receive a full refund. Due to special arrangements made with the retreat centers and hosts, there is no exception to this policy. $500 initial deposit holds your space. Total fees can be paid at one time or in installments with all final payments due by April 1,, 2019. No exceptions.

$1795
Deposit: $500
Private Room (no a/c)
Available until Apr 01, 2019only 2 left

Beautiful, spacious, eco-friendly accommodations in one of Puma Rinri's private rooms for 7 nights. Includes 3 nourishing vegetarian meals per day and all the other amenities included with the retreat. 


Includes:

  • Double beds
  • Own bathroom with hot water
  • Ceiling fan
  • Terrace o balcony
  • River view

* Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($500.00) before Feb. 1st. No refunds after Feb. 1, 2018. You may transfer your reservation to another person as long as you notify Jyl in advance. In case of cancellation of the retreat, you will receive a full refund. Due to special arrangements made with the retreat centers and hosts, there is no exception to this policy. $500 initial deposit holds your space. Total fees can be paid at one time or in installments with all final payments due by May 1, 2018. No exceptions.

$2195
Deposit: $500
Private Room with A/C
Available until Apr 01, 2019only 2 left

Includes:

  • 1 King size bed
  • Private bathroom with hot water
  • Ceiling fan
  • Air conditioner
  • Terrace
  • River views


* Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($500.00) before March 15. No refunds after March 15, 2019. You may transfer your reservation to another person as long as you notify Jyl in advance. In case of cancellation of the retreat, you will receive a full refund. Due to special arrangements made with the retreat centers and hosts, there is no exception to this policy. $500 initial deposit holds your space. Total fees can be paid at one time or in installments with all final payments due by April 1,, 2019. No exceptions.

$2495
Deposit: $500
$1595
Deposit: $500

Triple Occupancy Room
Past Trip

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive

Arrive at Pumarinri 

Settle into our rooms

Enjoy our first dinner together

New Moon Ceremony

Your Organizer


JK
Jyl Kutsche
11 reviews
Jyl, 500 EYRT, LMT is a Senior Instructor of Prajna Yoga. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to her teaching, combining technique, alignment and flow with functional and somatic movement. Her exploration of chocolate as plant medicine has turned a lifetime chocolate obsession into a profound part of her life’s journey. jylmarieyoga.com

Reviews

A special heartfelt Thank you to Jyl Kutsche and her team of expert guides and teachers. The Yoga of Chocolate: Journey of the Senses vastly exceeded any expectations I had for traveling to my forgotten childhood dream location of Peru and Machu Picchu! I have attended Jyl’s Yoga of Chocolate workshops and have thoroughly enjoyed them and was fascinated by her passion for cacao and stories of the amazing country of Peru that led to my decision for this retreat. Every detail of the yoga retreat at Sacha Munay, Sacred Valley was perfectly coordinated for the comfort and enjoyment of our group to enjoy yoga, ceremony, star gazing, hiking, self care bodywork, delicious organic meals and the finest and most delicious chocolate tasting on the planet. Guided sightseeing tours to Marsal, Moray, Chinchero and Pisac for shopping complimented the amazing cultural experiences of the Sacred Valley and Cuzco region.
After the Journey of the Senses of the Sacred Valley half of our group then continued on through the Andean rainforest to visit a cacao farm in the amazon jungle to enrich our appreciation of where cacao is grown among coffee and many varieties of citrus. We then participated in harvesting the cacao, roasting the beans and processing it to increase our knowledge and depth of appreciation in the amount of work that goes into making chocolate. It is truly a labor of love and an inherent pride of the farmers that grow it. The journey of the senses continued on as we hiked a portion of the Inca trail to Aguas Calientes for the night and to be the first bus to arrive for the most epic experience of sunrise on Machu Picchu! A deep bow of gratitude to Jyl and her expert guides for this life changing experience ~ Namaste
BG
It was a really wonderful trip. Well planned for, with the right balance between inner journey and outward experiences in a magical land. Accommodations were very good, people in the group and taking care of us super nice. Great Adventure! Thank you,Jyl and all.
We cannot recommend The Yoga of Chocolate : A Journey through the Senses/Sacred Valley enough! Jyl Kutsche is a kind, generous and thoughtful leader and teacher. Her passion for Chocolate, yoga and movement and the beauty of the culture, the people and the environment of the Sacred Valley is contagious. Each aspect of the retreat was well organized with each destination, activity and guide offering unique and thoughtful perspectives on Peru. Jyl has done her work in searching out lovely locations to stay, day- visits and guides that are articulate and knowledgable about the sites. We came away in love with Peru and hope to visit again. My husband and I were older participants and would not hesitate to join Jyl for another retreat! We highly recommend Jyl Kutsche's retreat offerings!
What can I say? This trip followed a week-long retreat around yoga and chocolate, and it was a wonderful continuation of that week. Visiting Ambrosia & Mario in the jungle and doing a bit of work with cacao (but mostly enjoying Ambrosia's food, playing with the dogs, eating the fruit, and listening to the birds), felt like a huge privilege. And Machu Picchu was absolutely breathtaking (thank you Pachamama for the PERFECT morning sun!). I am grateful to Jyl for setting me on this cacao path, but also for arranging such wonderful guides both for this trip, and for the retreat. Roger added a lot to this trip: his stories, his patience, and his willingness to jump in really took this trip to the next level (pardon the pun). Kudos must also go to Aurelio and his masterful driving. And to the new and wonderful Jaya hotel in Aguas Calientes. If you're at all curious about cacao, not afraid to get your hands dirty, and want to dip a toe into another world, this is the trip for you.
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