Colombia Yoga Retreat

I haven’t the words to correctly express how grateful I am for this retreat” ~ Marianne E

Please check back for dates on the next retreat to Colombia.

Watch the video from our last retreat….

 

Go on a jungle trek or take a siesta in a hammock with a good book after a delicious lunch. It’s your choice. Our central location offers many adventurous and cultural activities to do both here in the resort and nearby. At night, enjoy an impressive bonfire on the beach while gazing up at the moon, the Milky Way and all the shooting stars.  Live alongside nature for your vacation with the ocean lulling you to sleep at night and the calm sunshine waking you up in the morning.” - verbiage from Gitana Del Mar (retreat location)


Set right on the beach, your luxury accommodation will be the perfect haven to indulge in a daily practice of yoga, take a dip in the Caribbean, lounge on a hammock, take long walks or let it be a magical backdrop to an early evening of writing and watching the sunset.

I structure all of my retreats so that you will experience the perfect amount of group time practicing yoga, meditating, writing and eating together.  And then, enough space for personal time.

Cultural activities are included in our program; a visit to world heritage site Tayrona National park & a visit to Minca and the coffee plantations.  Optional activities include spa treatments, cooking classes, tubing down the river and more.  Plus, you have the option of taking spanish immersion classes if you wish!  Just imagine yourself; post yoga, post writing, heart and mind open, sitting on your lounge chair – cocktail in hand (if you’re so inclined) learning spanish.

Yoga; It’s a Vinyasa style practice; diverse and interesting.  Each day will be a different kind of practice that is inspired by the energy of the group.  All levels are welcome but it will be easier if you have had some experience of yoga.  Absolute beginners will need to contact me before coming on the retreat (and I mean absolute beginner as being those who’ve never done a downdog or touched their toes in their life).  Those with some experience of yoga, but not a confident practice, will be well looked after and supported.  And those with a strong practice will find themselves in good company.  Please contact me if you suffer any injuries.

Meditation: The meditation practice will appeal to a beginner or someone who has moderate experience of meditation.  In fact, many of the past participants have been able to carry their meditation back into their regular lives. On occasion, the meditation will be silent.  We sit for 15- 25 minutes.  You are not required to adhere to strict guidelines, if sitting for 15 min is uncomfortable for you then you are allowed to lay down!  It’s cool.  But it’s a practice, so we will build up to 20 min and by the end of the week I guarantee that will go by fast for you.  That said, if most of the group have a decent meditation practice then, by all means, we’ll indulge and push boundaries.

Writing: Don’t be intimidated.  The practice of writing, combined with yoga is for the purpose of immersion, attention and awareness, not critique and publication.  There are private exercises to dig into, that are not going to be asked to be read aloud.  There will also be public exercises which I will ask you to read but you will not be forced to do so if you are not comfortable.  It appeals to the novice writer, the creative person who doesn’t do a lot of writing, the professional writer who is experiencing a lack of inspiration and many others.  Writing is a way to take all that you cultivate in a yoga practice, all that you experience in a new environment and all the madness of your thoughts and emotions and place it somewhere so it’s not bottled up inside.  It’s transformative without meaning to be.  It’s fun, irreverent, ridiculous, imaginative, reflective, impulsive and sublime.

Santa Marta, Colombia, located in the north-west enclave of the country, is where you will retreat for the week.  We’ll indulge in a daily yoga practice; stretching and sweating and meditating to the sound of lapping waves from the deep azure Caribbean only yards away.  You’ll wake and open your door to step out on to a soft, cool sandy floor; yes a week with no shoes and sandy toes!

Enjoy three freshly prepared meals each day using local ingredients – often straight from the garden in the surrounding area.  Our accommodations are on the ocean, located right in between the exciting colonial city of Santa Marta and the majestic and protected Tayrona National Park.  Gitana Del Mar is a boutique beach resort, an oasis, built entirely for the purpose of hosting yoga retreats and group events.

Our week together will be a perfect mix of yoga, meditation, writing exercises, cultural immersion and private time.  Time to relax and indulge your senses in a quality of freedom not easily accessed in the midst of our over scheduled lives.  The responsibilities of home will take a different position on your list of priorities while you spend the week immersed in self-study and gratitude.  Yes, you will feel utterly grateful you made the decision to come on this retreat and honor the virtues of taking a break from routine to indulge in something new.  Resetting your internal odometer and slowing the pace down for a week will ignite a passion to return to your sacred self.

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About Colombia

Colombia is still an untapped tourist market but is very quickly becoming the darling of travel destinations.  National Geographic voted north Colombia, and Santa Marta, as a ‘best trips‘ destination in 2012 and its popularity has been growing ever since.  But still, when people hear the words “I’m going to Colombia” they usually respond with a question “Really?  Aren’t you worried?”

It’s no surprise, the country; once considered the wild west of Latin America is still sobering up its reputation from the Pablo Escobar days; it’s been a long and lengthy hangover.  Which is a shame because the country no longer resembles any of its wild west reputation that history has given it.  Its vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, delightful culinary treats and its close connection to the indigenous heritage make Colombia a spiritual and sensory wonderland.

The people are warm and friendly, they have a whip-it smart sense of humor and they are laid back and kind.  Oh, and let’s not forget coffee, salsa and pretty hot men and women!  Um….

Santa Marta is the oldest city in Colombia and you can read a lot more of it’s history and heritage here.

Ecologically, Colombia is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, and is considered the most biodiverse per square kilometer.  It’s a cultural and ecological haven that you have to see to believe.

I’ve visited Colombia three times and fell in love with the country, so much so that I’ve been keeping it on my radar as a second location to host my signature yoga and writing retreats.  The stars have aligned for this all to happen and the perfect location presented itself.  I can’t wait for this one.

What's it about

 

 • Beach-chic bungalows with private bathrooms   * Restaurant serving 3 fresh, healthy meals a day   *• Daily tropical fruit juices

• Beach-front Yoga Rancho/Event Space    * Massage Spa(optional)    *Kayaking(optional)    *Surfing & Stand Up Paddle Boarding(optional)

• Day Trips to one of Colombia’s gems, Tayrona National Park    *Coffee Farm tours in Minca    *Trek to Lost City (Cuidad Perdida) (optional)

• River Tubing(optional)    *Waterfall hikes(optional)    *Mountain treks to indigenous villages(optional)

 

About me tab

 

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I’ve been teaching alignment based, therapeutic vinyasa yoga since 2008.
I taught my first retreat in India, in 2014, which was sold out and followed up with another successful one in 2014. Leading retreats is now the teaching platform I feel most aligned with because of the relationships that are formed and the transformation I am witness to.

It became apparent, quite instantly on that first retreat, how powerful a week of immersion in yoga, healthy eating and creativity is. It became a week where people could let go and unravel, but also engage in a narrative that was about empowerment and seeking what is good, what is present and what is possible. After that first retreat I knew that I had ability to create an environment of care, guidance and support – that, and I know how to travel well…I’ve been doing it all my life.

So, I love leading retreats because I get to linger in conversation.  I make friends; and I care deeply about the experience of everyone on my retreat.  I am curious about how they got there, where they are now and where they’re going.

Why yoga and writing? Well, I think that’s a longer conversation but essentially both are about exploration, attention and surrender. However, I believe that when we are being an expressive self, we are being a creative self. And, when we are being a creative self, we are as close to the ‘source’ as we can be. In the creative space that I hold, there are no rules. We strive for nothing but the practice itself and surrender our critical, results driven mind for the simple freedom of being.  Being curious, being ready and being open. This, to me, is what spirituality is all about.   

Pricing

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Deposit $500 – non refundable after 24 hours.

Triple Occupancy – $1500

Double Occupancy – $1775

Single Occupancy – Please contact.

Payment can be made via check, PayPal or direct deposit.  Western Union is also accepted.  If paying by PayPal – a small surcharge fee will incur, this is the fee that Paypal charges me.  Please email lyn.girdler@gmail.com for inquiries or to secure your spot with deposit, or full payment.

Full payment must be made by June 12th.  If full payment has not been received by this date, company has the right to assume that you will not be attending and your space will be offered to those on a waitlist (of course, we’ll be in touch before that!)

 

Testimonials tab

 

 

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The way that Lyn has organised the course, yoga in the morning and writing in the evening, meant that we greeted each day with bodies and minds open to the sensory experiences that was the stuff of India. In the evening we were able to express those experiences with words through thought-provoking exercises aimed at exploring both the self and the world around us. The venue was gorgeous, the food exquisite and the people, warm and open. Loved every minute of it.’  Jean M (London, UK)

The retreat was one of the biggest gifts I could ever give myself. It was exactly what I needed at that time. Time for myself in an astonishing surrounding with a beautiful teacher. The location and the food were perfect and totally fitted in the whole perfect picture but off course that’s not what the retreat was about for me. It was about connecting with myself and discovering new things and finding new spaces I had not been before. The combination of yoga, meditation and writing made the difference. The writing-exercises Lyn gave us were extremely inspiring and gave me insights that ‘only’ doing yoga could not have given me in this single week. Besides wisdom, the writing gave me so much ease and joy and brought together everything that I could find in my mind, heart and body. Lyn challenged us to experience the week in a way that was perfect for ourselves, not for anybody else. I was most amazed with the effect of working with intentions for yourself. I could take big steps in doing something that is a great challenge for people who dare to live their life’s with eyes open and something that has always been a challenge for many of us: becoming more of you. During (and after!) the Yoga and Creative Week I became more of me. Incredibly thankful!!!!’  Anne L (Amsterdam, Holland)

I haven’t the words to correctly express how grateful I am for this retreat (ironically).  It wasn’t just for the opportunity to come to India, which I’ve always wanted to do, but then everything that Lyn brought to it.  Her hard work was evident in every moment and the group that came together was so special.  I am taking with me, some potentially, life altering habits and, as Lyn reminded us daily, I am going to trust my practices’ Marianne E (Connecticut, USA

Dear Lyn, Thank you so much for your supportive following of my journey.  Your wisdom you shared regarding fear really pivoted my perspective and assisted in the shift I was looking for.  I pulled up the original email I sent you the other day and I felt so grateful for your faith in this journey for me from the beginning.  You led a beautiful, thought-provoking retreat.  I am so honored to be a part of it.  Thank you for your nurturing introduction to the beautiful and frustrating country of India’  Jessica R (Michigan, USA)

Additional info for retreat tab

 

 

To get a feel of past retreats – the facebook page offers some photos.

More information will be posted periodically, so continue to check back. You can also sign up for the newsletter.

Simon Bolivar International airport (CODE: SMR) is the main airport serving Santa Marta.  Depending on where you’re flying from, you may be able to get a flight direct.  Another option is to fly into Bogota, spend a day in the city and then catching a domestic flight to Santa Marta.  There are many options.

There is a private facebook page set up where travel conversation happens.  Some people are flying into Cartegena on a direct flight and then taking a bus to Santa Marta (only 4 hours).

Feel free to contact through the contact page or email directly at lyn.girdler@gmail.com

ALL RETREAT PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE 25% DISCOUNT ON OUR ONLINE STORE WHEN THEY REGISTER FOR A RETREAT.  OFFER VALID FROM DAY OF SIGN UP UNTIL THE LAST DAY OF THE RETREAT.

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