The Mayan Riviera is one of my favorite places on earth, and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful. Last month I lead my first yoga retreat at Casa Copal in Paamul, Mexico which is located along a curved stretch of shimmering Caribbean waters in a small bay south of Playa del Carmen. Each day we practiced yoga on the rooftop terrace with the ocean + sunrise/sunset as our background, biked to white-sanded beaches with turquoise waters, snorkeled, paddle boarded, jumped off of cliffs into cool, clear cenotes, relaxed in hammocks, ate healthy and organic meals prepared by a certified Cordon Bleu Chef, and explored the off-shore coral reef.
Yep. Seriously. It really was that magical.
Our first evening began with a welcoming ceremony featuring Mexican cuencos, which are brass bowls in a similar to the ones Tibetan Buddhists use. These bowls use their acute sound-waves to cleanse one spiritually and physically. The leader also used this time to bless us before beginning a week of yoga and good health.
Each morning, we saluted the sun with an energizing vinyasa flow yoga practice (Chef Shawn, by far the most popular person at the entire retreat always had coffee ready at 6:45am sharp).
There were a several group outings including a trip to the cenotes, which are sinkholes resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock and exposes the groundwater beneath. The water is cool, deep, clean and very clear which made it perfect for snorkeling… also for jumping off the cliffs.
Another day was spent wandering around the Mayan Ruins in Tulum. The city flourished between the 13th-15th centuries, and faded only 70 years after the Spanish army started conquering modern-day Mexico.
Next was a fantastic lunch at Le Zebra Hotel in Tulum. Their ceviche (both seafood + vegan options) were fresh, light and exactly what we were looking for before hitting the beach outside the hotel.
Other outings included salsa lessons and dancing, and an evening out in Playa del Carmen. Most days remained free so that people could adventure and explore this beach jungle paradise however they chose. Yogis booked massages overlooking the ocean, fished on the reef (Chef Shawn made delicious tacos with the fish Charlie caught!), biked to the private beach, went paddle boarding, snorkeled, or just lounged on the rooftop terrace or the main floor balcony.
Giant thanks to Janet for her support, sharing her beautiful home with us, and for making this retreat possible. Monster hugs and good vibes to all the yogis who were able to come share this experience with me!
If you’re interested in participating in a yoga retreat in the Mayan Riviera, or another location please get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org! There are loads of plans in the works!