Travel Diary: Mystical Yoga Farm

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In June I attended a 3-week yoga certification course at the Mystical Yoga Farm on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.  The permaculture farm is a 5-minute boat ride across the bay from Santiago, Atitlan removed from most of society and almost completely ‘off the grid.’  The farm is a self-directed Spiritual Community focused on self-sustainability, producing fresh organic food, creating healthy yogi’s, teachers and healing practitioners. The desire is to heal the earth and its inhabitants through connection with nature and Spirit, the source of all of creation.

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During my 3-week training we were led by a group of amazing teachers and gurus.  We learned the tradition of Sadhana Yoga: the Vinyasa Flow is based on Ashtanga, and the Hatha Flow is based on Sivananda. We learned Pranayama breathing techniques, cleansing rituals for a yogic lifestyle, philosophy, anatomy for yoga, meditation, yoga in the marketplace, etc.  It was truly a packed schedule of 2 or 3 physical practices a day with classes and meals in between.

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The group of 19 of us were usually in bed by 9pm, and always up by 5:30 for meditation on the dock followed by yoga.  I really bonded with my 5 cabin mates. Super sweet girls from Canada, Colorado, California, and North Carolina.

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We worked off of an ancient shamanic medicine wheel for our schedule throughout the training. It’s based off of 4 directions (winds) with a correlating spirit in each direction. Each cycle is 4 days with the 5th day being a break day.  We started with the Serpent, wind of the South, then to the west for the Jaguar, then North for the Hummingbird, and finally East with the Eagle. Each cycle brings up new emotions and feelings for all of the students, the Serpent is ‘letting go’, Jaguar is ‘perception’, Hummingbird is ‘soul’, and Eagle is ‘energy spirit.’  It was a great structure for the training and also gave us time to process and rest in between each phase. The first two cycles we learned Hatha Flow and taught that on our own at the halfway point. The second two cycles we learned and taught the Vinyasa Flow.

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We did a lot of meditation and soul reflection with journaling. A lot of people came to the training to work through other things from their past. Or if they didn’t specifically come for that, most things came up by the end. It was really emotional and very healthy for the group. I have never felt more at home in my life, my body, and my spirit and I think this training really helped to solidify that.

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I would highly recommend the Mystical Yoga Farm as a destination for anyone looking for more than a vacation. It is truly a place to relish in the beauty of the world and look inward at what our human journey is all about. It is in a gorgeous and relatively easily accessible.

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