More Metta! (By popular demand, two retreats to Metta Earth in one year) || Metta Earth Institute, Lincoln, VT, September 14-16, 2018 || www.mettaearth.org
The Metta Earth Institute is a beautiful mecca of sustainability and heart-centered living-off-the-land in Lincoln, Vermont. Considered a spiritual center of the state, Lincoln, Vermont, is a high-vibrational host to this beautiful site. Built on 158 acres of mountains, fields, rivers, and trees, The Metta Earth Institute is a haven of permaculture, ecopsychology, environmentalism, and living lightly in the midst of its natural habitat. The opportunity at the Metta Earth Institute is to be at the forefront of the sustainability movement and to bring stewardship of the earth to the surface for examination and participation. There is a felt sense of oneness with all things, a centering into oneself, and a depth of connection that is humanizing and freeing against the backdrop of natural beauty and among other caring souls that is more available in this place through their vibrant mission and intentionality of action.
Their organic farm and flower garden is a sight to see, and is mostly what feeds and supports retreat participants for the entire weekend save a few supplemental foods from neighboring farms. The garden invites butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, and is lovingly planted on land that was blessed specifically by a Lama. It continues inside, and super special houseplants line the rooms of the main house, including a robust and mysterious Night Blooming Cereus. Daily meals, mostly grown from the organic farm on the property, are served community-style, where coming together to dine is an opportunity to experience express gratitude for the fruits of the earth, our togetherness, and the opportunity to practice.
Metta Earth Institute describes their mission in the following way: “We support living lightly and compassionately on the planet. Regenerative principles include: interdependence and a cooperative work ethic, conservation efforts for the protection of wild lands and native species, innovations in human-scale farming and gardening, contemplative practices including mindfulness, yoga, and meditation, culturally enhancing arts and healing practices, permaculture design, appropriate technologies, renewable energy, and green building.”
The main house “maximize(s) green building techniques and materials in every detail, such as the minimizing of waste through careful reuse and recycling, the use of nontoxic and eco friendly paints and building products, and energy efficient house systems...and serves as a common space for guests and staff with kitchen, bathing, library, laundry, dining, living and teaching spaces.” The Yoga Studio, also located in the main house, is floored with sustainably harvested bamboo and has light pouring in through large windows on both sides, facing the mountains and the gardens. Yurts on the premises offer another way to enjoy the land through your stay, as you have the opportunity to sleep in the midst of the forest in a sacred circular space. Camping is also offered for those who wish to bring their own tents to set up on the land.
The retreat includes four of the usual LA signature classes intended to deepen your practice, both physical and spiritual, complete with core connection and sermons of intention, to invite homecoming to and uniting of body and spirit. The practices are adaptive and can accommodate all abilities and one restorative practice with sound healing and reiki. Meditation, both active and seated, interspersed throughout. Gillian and Russell, owners and directors of The Metta Earth Institute, co-create the retreat and share the mission and values of the Metta Earth experientially throughout the time together. Gillian offers a tea making/ceremony in which we learn to connect more deeply to plants and the earth and join in the art and meditation of sipping and sharing space, which includes a walking meditation to the river to help us connect and attune to the water and the land, both vital elements of the tea to be made. Gillian and Russell share the mission of Metta Earth through their teachings and presence in daily ways that are woven into mundane interactions, making the ordinary extraordinary. Weather permitting, a bonfire will connect us to the natural elements, allowing that energy to burn what no longer serves us and to kindle that which we wish to foster. Russell is at the helm in the kitchen, and helps us to remember where our nourishment comes from. Through his gentle presence, he teaches us the power of service and awareness.
Includes: all accommodations, all yoga, reiki, sound healing and meditation, a daily morning smoothie/juice offering before practice, three daily local organic meals, tea making and ceremony, farm tour.
Does not include: transportation to and from the institute, purchases in the Metta Earth store. Items available for purchase may include cookbooks, fresh eggs, homemade kombucha, dried garlic and chilis, tinctures, maple syrup tapped from Metta Earth maples, homemade salves, and more.
Investment per person: Room in Main House: $575/Yurts on Premises: $535/Camping: $470
Laura@ahrens.yoga for questions or to register. $100 deposit secures your spot. All deposits sent to Laura Ahrens, PO Box 1266, Brookline, MA 02446
Retreat to Apoyo Lodge, Laguna de Apoyo, Masaya, Nicaragua January 17-23, 2019, www.apoyolodge.com
“Apoyo Lodge offers students and teachers the perfect environment; a unique secluded and natural setting ideal to pursue a mindful, health-conscious lifestyle in peace and solitude. The lodge specialises in plant-based global cuisine and sources seasonal, local, organic produce when available.
Some guests describe the lodge as "the perfect place to unplug from the outside world" to further remove themselves from daily distractions in order to connect with their highest selves in the natural world. Lake Apoyo is an ideal location to escape the daily distractions of city life and reacquire a connection with your true self in the stillness and tranquility that the nature reserve offers. The water of the lagoon is believed to have special healing properties and is coined as “the jewel of Nicaragua.”
Twice daily yoga will fine tune your body, mind, and spirit. Registration will close at 10 maximum participants ensuring that the group size is intimate. We grow and learn in relationship, and the group will learn just as much from each other as they will from the teacher and the topics explored. Room types are below and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Retreating can be the space needed for introspection, reflection, and reconnection in order to come back to our daily lives with more attention and intention. da Vinci would step away from his canvas in order to see it with fresh eyes and new perspective. This retreat will be a deep dive into living the practice of yoga, for returning to our lives with more mindfulness, openness, and freedom. Through the lens of yogic philosophy, Buddhist meditation, and somatic psychology, this retreat will encourage participants to hone the tool of standing strongly in themselves in order to come back to the helm of their own lives. In yoga, we won’t mess around-- the 2- hour morning practice will be the usual LA signature intended to deepen your practice, both physical and spiritual, and invite homecoming to and uniting of body and spirit. The practice is adaptive and can accommodate all abilities. The evening 75- minute practice, depending on the night, will include meditation, restorative, chanting, and continuing education topics in the realm of yogic philosophy that will be intentionally woven together and built upon each other from night to night and from day to night that will reinforce our learnings together. We will unwind the nervous system to glimpse the benefits of repatterning and releasing habitual ways of being so we can approach life with more intention and choice. We will eat three meals on each full day of the trip (dinner will be provided on the first day and breakfast will be served on the last), the resort is known for their absolutely mouth watering plant based meals that respect the planet and animals and are mostly grown locally. While not in practice, enjoy relaxing on-site or enjoy an excursion to some of the wonders nearby.
The following rooms are available in single or double occupancy (first-come, first-served):
2 Lake View Suites with Private Balcony, each sleep triple occupancy. Each suite is equipped with two queen beds, one single bed, private modern American standardised washroom, ceiling + floor fan and two sets of double french doors which lead to private balcony with direct views of the lagoon. 2 Lake View Rooms with Private Patio, each sleeps double occupancy. Each room is equipped with two single beds (which can be pushed to form a king), private modern bathroom with hot water, and a set of double french doors which lead to a private covered patio area covered with direct views of the lagoon. 4 Forest Rooms, each sleep double occupancy. Each room is equipped with two single beds (which can be pushed to form a king), private modern bathroom with hot water and ceiling + floor fan. All rooms have direct views of the lush garden and surrounding woodlands.
Excursions are optional but so enriching to the trip.
A half-day trip to Granada City and SUP tour of the 365 islands allows you to enjoy a tour of the colorful colonial city of Granada and a stand-up paddle board trip (SUP) through Las Isletas in Lake Cocibolca, the great lake of Nicaragua, situated at the foot of the impressive Mombacho Volcano. Visit the Cathedral and the Convento de San Francisco (oldest church in Central America), then take a stroll down the picturesque Calzada street to the Centro Turistico, where you can board your paddle board for a close-up view of Las Isletas. Las Isletas consist of around 365 small volcanic islands which were formed when the Mombacho Volcano erupted about 20,000 years ago. The Mombacho Volcano and Zipline Tour trip includes a ride in an army truck from the base of the volcano to the top, stopping along the way to visit a coffee plantation and the lush cloud forest with incredible panoramic views of Granada and Lake Nicaragua. Optional Zip Line Canopy Tour: zip through the treetops as you go from platform to platform ranging in height from 10 to 100 feet above the canopy floor. The San Juan Del Sur trip and tour takes you to the once sleepy fishing village of San Juan del Sur, known these days as the surf capital of Nicaragua. Enjoy a surf lesson in one of the famous beaches in the area, or just relax by the mighty Pacific Ocean. Apoyo Lodge is also heavily involved in Seva (the Sankrit word for selfless service). They work with Granada Animal Outreach, Organizacion Nicaraguense Ambiental, and The Peace Project, whose work reflect their personal mission to bring peace and healing to humans, animals, and the environment. If you should choose to on your trip, you are welcome to inquire about contributing your time in service to one of these organizations in your free time during the day between practices.
Arrivals, Departures, and Airport Transfers
Airport transfer is arranged by Apoyo Lodge. The resort is located an hour and 15 minutes from the airport. We will coordinate airfare to make transportation more ecological. Please speak with Laura before booking your flight. Please arrive at the retreat center by 7 pm on January 17th. You may check into the retreat as early as 2pm on January 12th. Dinner will be provided. Departure from the resort is at your discretion, however you must check-out no later than 11am on January 23rd. Breakfast will be provided on this day.
Included: Twice daily yoga. 3 communal plant-based meals per full retreat day (including dinner on retreat day of arrival and breakfast on day of retreat departure). Roundtrip transportation. Unlimited coconut water, morning herbal tea, drinking water, bananas, and limes. Daily maid service (all linens and beach towels provided). Unlimited wifi. Hot water and all natural locally handmade shower products provided. Unlimited beach access.
Not included: Airfare. Not included, but available: extra snacks and beverages, spa treatments, tours, and excursions.
Deposits are non-refundable. All payments are non-refundable.
$1195 investment for double occupancy, $1490 for single occupancy for 7 days, 6 nights
Laura@ahrens.yoga for questions or to register. $500 deposit secures your spot. All deposits sent to Laura Ahrens, PO Box 1266, Brookline, MA 02446.
Viva La Vida! || Retreat to Playa Viva, Playa Icacos, Juluchuca Mexico, March 23-30, 2019 || www.playaviva.com
Playa Viva is a sustainable boutique hotel with an emphasis on positive social and environmental impact for the local ecosystem. Located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, just 35 minutes south of Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa International Airport, Playa Viva is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains near the village of Juluchuca, situated on a mile of pristine and private beach. The property’s nearly 200 acres includes an estuary, an Aztec archaeological site, turtle sanctuary, and a coastal forest and mangrove ecosystem which supports an array of stunning wildlife. Miles of trails bring you up close and personal with the natural beauty of the land.
The Playa Viva Turtle Sanctuary is on site at the retreat center, and was founded to protect turtles from predators and poachers alike. The Turtle Sanctuary at Playa Viva is staffed by an all-volunteer team comprised of members from the local community of Juluchuca. The turtle sanctuary, "La Tortuga Viva", which translates to "The Living Turtle", and its team of volunteers receive training and minimal support from SEMARNAT, the Mexican Department of Environmental Protection. They release turtles almost daily, and you may be able to participate in their release and watch them make their journey to the sea.
Twice daily yoga will fine tune your body, mind, and spirit. Registration will close at 12 maximum participants ensuring that the group size is intimate. We grow and learn in relationship, and the group will learn just as much from each other as they will from the teacher and the topics explored. Room types are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Retreating can be the space needed for introspection, reflection, and reconnection in order to come back to our daily lives with more attention and intention. da Vinci would step away from his canvas in order to see it with fresh eyes and new perspective. This retreat will be a deep dive into living the practice of yoga, for returning to our lives with more mindfulness, openness, and freedom. Through the lens of yogic philosophy, Buddhist meditation, and somatic psychology, this retreat will encourage participants to hone the tool of standing strongly in themselves in order to come back to the helm of their own lives. In yoga, we won’t mess around-- the 2- hour morning practice will be the usual LA signature intended to deepen your practice, both physical and spiritual, and invite homecoming to and uniting of body and spirit. The practice is adaptive and can accommodate all abilities. The evening 75- minute practice, depending on the night, will include meditation, restorative, chanting, reiki, and continuing education topics in the realm of yogic philosophy that will be intentionally woven together and built upon each other from night to night and from day to night that will reinforce our learnings together. We will unwind the nervous system to glimpse the benefits of repatterning and releasing habitual ways of being so we can approach life with more intention and choice.
Participants will be served three meals daily, supplied by the property’s on-site organic farm and garden. Snacks are also provided as needed. While not in practice, enjoy relaxing on the property’s 200 acres of protected land, at the on-site pool, on the mile-long private beach, or enjoy an excursion to some of the wonders nearby (listed on Playa Viva’s website). Optional is a Temescal, a traditional sweat lodge ceremony.
Included: airport ground transfer to and from, all meals and snacks, all non-alcoholic, non-blended beverages, twice daily yoga, meditation, reiki, all taxes and tips, donation to the turtle sanctuary. Not included: Flights, blended drinks, organic coconuts, excursions. Investment: $1,790 per person for 8 days, 7 nights. $500 non-refundable deposit secures your spot. To register or inquire: firstname.lastname@example.org