Updated: Dec 29, 2018
This photo captures it all — the beauty, the sunset, the salty ocean waters. What a joy it was to have co-led a yoga retreat with my soul sister Jessica Lauren in Chacala, Mexico at Mar de Jade this December. We couldn't have asked for a more magnificent group to gather with. Thank you for this magical photo Gabriella Perry - your photos skills are out of this world! xo
Now, I have to ask, have you ever been on a yoga retreat before? — For me, there's nothing more peaceful and calming than immersing in a breath-giving environment where you are practicing yoga and exploring healing arts practices twice a day. And of course all the other perks - like three delicious meals a day, and a blissful balance of free-time and excursions.
What could be more restoring than a whole week devoted to your self-care? Sigh. I miss it already and it's only been one week of being back in Chicago! lol 🙈💛xo
Experience — I’ve been teaching yoga for nearly 11 years and organizing and leading yoga retreats for over 4 years now and I can tell you this — every retreat is unique, no two retreats are the same. There are many influences that impact the unfolding of the experience — the people attending, the location, the studio space, the excursions, the food, the amenities, and the list goes on... I have to say, Mar de Jade exceeded my expectations!
The People — I’m happy to say that I have come home with my heart full! Everyone who felt called to our retreat became one big happy family for a week. We laughed, cried, shared meals, talked, went on eco-adventures, spent quality time together, and indulged in alone time. There was truly a perfect balance of things to do and time to chill. We were all teachers and healers for one another. I feel so so blessed to have brought together such an incredible tribe of humans! Thank you to all of you for bringing your good vibes and blissing out with us!
The Studio — The studio space at a retreat center holds the sacred container for all of the practices you will experience. The setup, the props provided, and the overall ambiance can truly make or break the vibe you are setting. This is perhaps one of the most important details to research when searching for a location to host a retreat at.
I’ve seen my fair share of studio spaces at retreat centers and nothing has compared to the care and craftsmanship that Mar de Jade has put into all three of there yoga studios — yes three beautiful studios, fully stocked with props with floor to ceiling windows that open completely with screens to keep the bugs out (so hard to find at retreat centers) with breath-giving ocean views! I’m literally drooling... this was by far the most enchanting studio I have ever had the honor to teach in.
The Location — Mar de Jade went above and beyond to support me every step of the way. Their coordination team answered every call and every email promptly with a warmth that could be felt miles away. Upon arrival we were welcomed and taken care of immediately.
And they are being honest when they say they are nestled where “the jungle meets the sea.” We got the best of both worlds. The beach by Mar de Jade is more private and it’s just a short walk down the beach to the local life and into their sweet little town!
I can rave forever about the handcrafted decor, the stunning rooms, the spa, the studios, the reading nooks, and the dining area — everything was built by their Aldea carpenter team and local craftsman! Mar de Jade is sustainable, eco-conscious, creative and has beautiful views. It’s simply magical there. I’ve fallen in love with a place!
The Owners Give Back — Laura and Angelica, a mother daughter team, are two of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met. I swear they have each lived seven lifetimes in one! Their drive to support the people of Chacala is heartfelt and authentic.
We had the honor of hearing Laura’s story about how Mar de Jade started from her good will to bring healing and medical care to Chacala. We got to visit their non-profit sectors; El Rancho — their 17 acre organic farm, Aldea — their Trade School that empowers under-educated and impoverished youth through skilled trades and education, and El Jardín — their non-profit Montessori-Waldorf inspired school with a scholarship program for the community of Chacala. Learn more about these community projects and opportunities to donate or volunteer your time.
The Excursions — There are so many opportunities to go on adventures through Mar de Jade! In addition to taking a tour to visit the non-profit projects mentioned above, many of us took advantage of their Temazcal Sweat Lodge Experience with a local Shaman from Puerto Vallarta. I'll always remember the sacred experience we all shared in there as we moved through the four puertas, or door as we connected with the Great Spirit, our Inner Child, the Divine Mother, and our Ancestors.
We all went to on the Las Cuevas Hike and Boat Trip - a must! And we got lost in the art at the La Peñita Traditional Mexican Market, a thriving section for locals selling food and household goods. Every moment of every voyage was filled with wonder and awe.
Gratitude — Thank you for the memories, the magic, and the love everyone! I can't wait to see the video my fiancé Johnny is putting together! Thank you for bringing your music, your wisdom, and your art as a cinematographer and co-founder of JV Studios. 🌴🌞
Review — "Wonderful and relaxing yoga and meditation retreat. Cass was a phenomenal leader, wonderful energy and just the right balance between yoga, optional activities and pure relaxation. Cass and her co-leader did a very nice job presenting a variety of yoga, meditation and healing arts styles each class so I learned and experience a lot of new things. Cass was professional, organized and approachable throughout the whole trip. Beautiful location and setting." - Jessica Gordon, NY (thank you for the photo Jess!)
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