Due to travel restrictions, all of Worlds of Light's 2021 Guatemala trips have been cancelled.
A call to care deeply
March 13-21, 2021
with Martha Whitney & Kristin DeVoe-Talluto
For practitioners of all levels
This retreat is for those of you--wise, wonderful women-- who have a heard a call to care more deeply for yourself, for others, and for the world. Our journey together will take us to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala and the Villa Sumaya retreat center. We will sink deeply into the beauty and tranquility of Villa Sumaya with its bamboo forests, lush gardens, tropical flowers, and stunning views of the Lake. 'Sumaya' means "long-awaited dream" in Sanskrit and "a little piece of paradise" in Arabic. Within this sanctuary, we will deepen our practice and expand our spirits.
We will gather for yoga and mediation in The Blue Tiger Temple, a spacious studio with wooden floors and glass walls overlooking Lake Atitlán and its three volcanoes. Our morning meditations will take us throughout the grounds of the retreat center, where the songs of birds, the scent of flowers, and the waves lapping at the dock will inspire our outdoor practice. Each yoga and mediation session is intentionally planned to meet the needs of all participants; everyone from the beginner to the longtime practitioner is welcome!
Lake Atitlán's majestic beauty evokes presence and invites us to be ever more aware of our own gifts and capacities. We'll integrate play and sacred intention as we practice yoga, learn from women in the local community, laugh with one another, and connect with land.
This all-inclusive, nine-day journey includes twice daily yoga classes, visits to vibrant villages, cultural and artistic activities, plenty of time for rest and reflection, and opportunities experience the natural beauty of Guatemala.
"I cannot express the meaning of this retreat to me. Expectations weren’t only met. They were exceeded beyond anything I could have imagined."
Yoga, Meditation & Exploration
YOGA AND MEDITATION
Morning Pranayama and Meditation: We'll be inspired with early morning, fresh-air pranayama (breathing practices), mindful walking, and sitting meditation. Savor this uplifting start to your day on the shores of Lake Atitlan or in our beautiful studio over looking the lake.
Morning Yoga: Each morning before breakfast we will enjoy a deeply nourishing, rejuvenating and integrative yoga practice. The practice will begin with gentle movements to wake your body with ease and then will deepen with a mindful, slow flow of postures to connect you to your spacious and grounded self. Practices on three of the mornings will include yin yoga in which floor postures are held within breath and compassionate awareness. Yin opens the deeper tissues for flexibility and balanced energy. Each of our morning practices will end with a guided savasana.
Late Afternoon Yoga: Throughout the week Martha will lead a series of one-hour practices designed to balance the body–mind–spirit. The flow of each class will be responsive to each day’s activities, and will include pranayama, asanas, and meditation.
Evening Practice: We'll end our days in deep well being with three evenings of Restorative Yoga Practices and Yoga Nidra.
Martha will guide these practices to meet a mixed level of yoga experience and body ease.
Ancient Maya traditions are alive in the highlands of Guatemala. We will participate in a fire ceremony with a Mayan Day Keeper, visit with a woman who weaves traditional textiles, wander through an outdoor market, and tour a village where life-size murals depict scenes from daily life. We will also have the chance to explore the colonial city of Antigua and spend the afternoon visiting the handcraft markets and walking the cobblestone roads of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
The retreat also includes time that is intentionally unscheduled so that you can create the perfect week for yourself: take a dip in the Lake, stroll into town for some sightseeing, indulge in a spa treatment, go on a hike, rent a kayak, hang out in your hammock, read on your private patio, enjoy a smoothie or a cocktail by the pool, or sit on the dock and breathe in the tranquility and ease of Lake Atitlán. You might also choose to book an optional extra tour through the retreat center, explore solo, or get a group together for an outing. Possible activities include:
Private boat tours
Exploring other villages
Hot tub or sauna
One of our retreat days will be devoted to connection in the local village. We will meet with leaders of Amigos de Santa Cruz, a remarkable NGO (founded by former Vermonter, Pat Thorpie). We'll tour the village of Santa Cruz, learn about Amigos’ programs and take classes from women trained through their programs. You'll have the chance to bead a bracelet in the local style, prepare a Guatemalan feast, or go to a woman's home and weave a scarf. For those who are interested, we will provide information about bringing down donations to support Amigos' programs. This day of connection is an opportunity for retreat participants to deepen their understanding of the local village and learn from an organization doing remarkable work in the community.
The flexible schedule is designed to allow you to deepen your yoga practice, immerse yourself in local culture, and serve the community all while soaking up the majesty of Lake Atitlán. The schedule below captures the flow of the day while we are at the retreat center.
6:15 - 6:45 Guided meditation
7:00 - 8:30 Yoga class with meditation and pranayama
8:30 - 9:30 Breakfast
9:30 - 12:30 Time for relaxation
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 5:00 Excursion
5:00 - 6:30 Yoga class
6:30 - 7:30 Dinner
8:00 - 9:00 Evening program: yoga, meditation, artistic expression, discussion, etc.
For a detailed description about how each day will unfold, please see the retreat itinerary.
Martha Whitney has designed a week full of both depth and lightheartedness. Martha is known for offering a mindful, inspiring and welcoming yoga environment that fosters self-acceptance and embodied well-being. Her in-depth training in anatomy, movement and breath allows her to artfully guide postures that access body ease and aliveness. Her classes are skillfully designed to be accessible to a range of bodies and skill levels. Martha has been teaching yoga and offering body-mind therapy for over 25 years. She also offers Yoga and Meditation retreats in Vermont and Quebec, inspiring joyful connection to our inner and outer landscapes.
Kristin DeVoe-Talluto creates travel experiences that weave together service, beauty, connection and adventure. As the Director of Worlds of Light, Kristin leads trips to Guatemala each year, and is honored to serve as the facilitator for this retreat. Lake Atitlán holds a very special place in her heart and she loves to share it with those who feel drawn to experience its beauty and power.
"You will be in such good hands. Go without hesitation. Martha is an unusually engaging, attuned and inspiring yoga teacher and Kristin is an extraordinary master of detail and calm implementation. Martha, in addition to yoga, inspires with poetry. Kristin has an eye for beauty and makes it into an offering."
The Retreat Center
Villa Sumaya is known for its exotic, thatch-roofed complexes, elegantly-decorated rooms, patios with stunning views, and gorgeous studios. Villa Sumaya’s lush grounds contain hammocks, tropical flora, medicinal herbs and organic vegetable gardens. There is also a cafe, juice bar, healing spa, hot tub, sauna, boutique and plenty of cozy common areas. Retreat participants will be housed in double and triple rooms. Limited single supplements are available. Our pre- and post-retreat accommodations in Antigua will be in a comfortable, modest hotel two blocks from the main plaza.
Delicious vegetarian meals are offered three times each day, inspired by local and international dishes featuring Guatemala's abundant fruits and vegetables. Breakfast buffets include a main dish, granola, yogurt, fruit and daily specials. Luncheon buffets include a hearty vegetarian main course, organic greens, homemade bread and a local fruit platter. Dinner buffets include soup, vegetarian entrée, seasonal side dishes, organic greens and a scrumptious dessert. Guests may enjoy unlimited tea, coffee, and filtered water throughout their stay. Participants may purchase juices, smoothies, local beers, wine, homemade margaritas, and cuba-libres, and fish and chicken options are offered for an additional $7/portion.
SPA SERVICES (Optional)
Villa Sumaya offers revitalizing, therapeutic healing treatments at its Harmony Spa. If you would like to deepen your personal wellness with a treatment, you will have the option of booking an appointment with one of the gifted therapists on staff when we arrive at Villa Sumaya.
“My room brought tears to my eyes upon entering it. The view, the colors of the waters and volcanoes, colors of the room, grandness and coziness of the suite, all were overwhelming...the perfect atmosphere for a retreat.”
Cost, Dates & Details
Each room at the retreat center is unique, and retreat pricing is based upon your room selection. The all-inclusive retreat fee begins at $2295 for a shared room and at $2695 for a private room. Please review the pricing guide for more information about room options.
• 9 days and 8 nights of accommodation in double or triple rooms. (One night in Antigua, six nights at Villa Sumaya, and one night in Guatemala City).
• In-country transportation during the retreat
• All meals in while on retreat
• Twice-daily yoga classes with Martha
• Morning meditations with Martha
• Materials for all projects
• Cultural activities and workshops including a Mayan Fire Ceremony
• Gratuities for drivers
Personal expenses including international airfare, obtaining or renewing a passport, medical services, trip cancellation insurance, alcoholic beverages, laundry services, spa services, wifi at Villa Sumaya, and any private activities, transportation and meals not taken with the group.
Gratuities for the staff at Villa Sumaya are not included in the program fee and participants are encouraged to consider offering $8-$10 per day which will be pooled and shared among the entire staff--from the gardeners (who carry your bags) to the cooks, servers, local managers, and housekeepers who make our stay so enjoyable.
The retreat will be held March 13-21, 2021. We will spend our first night in Antigua, and then will stay seven days and six nights at Villa Sumaya and then travel as a group for our final night together in Guatemala City. The trip concludes with a shuttle transfer to the airport on Sunday morning.
Private rooms are included in the retreat fee and participants may select, based upon availability, the room locations and rates that meet their needs. Participants who register and room with a friend will save $200-$400. Please review the room options prior to registering.
International flights are not included in the retreat fee. The local airport is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. Retreat participants are encouraged to travel together and information about suggested flights will be available in April. Transportation from the Guatemala City Airport to our hotel in Antigua is included in the retreat fee for those who arrive on the suggested flights.
A non-refundable deposit of $500 will hold your space. Please review our Cancellation and Refund Policy for the retreat.
In addition to the deposit, $1500 is due September 10, 2020 and the balance of the retreat is due January 10, 2021 Payments may be made by check. If you'd like to use a credit card, a 3% surcharge will apply to cover processing fees. Payment plan options are available.
IS THIS RETREAT A GOOD MATCH FOR YOU?
This retreat resonates with open-hearted, adventuresome, resilient women who have a curiosity about the world. While there is a certain rigor inherent in the landscape and the travel, the retreat is designed to gently and lovingly support and nurture a wide range of yoga and meditation experiences. On previous retreats, our community has included women ages 17-77! If you have concerns about your physical capacity and your needs for yoga class, or about walking up and down stairs, or getting on and off the boat taxis, we invite you to get in touch with Martha. She'd be happy to talk with you about what you can expect.
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS...
We want you to feel comfortable, confident and excited about your time with us, and so we have included lots of additional information about the retreat on the pricing page, the retreat itinerary description, and the FAQs. If you have any questions, please contact Kristin and Martha.