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Soul & Spirit Peru: A Retreat for Women of Color June 1st – 8th, 2023

RETREAT OVERVIEW

 

Experience the magic of Peru’s Sacred Valley with a wonderful community of Women of Color. Maya Breuer, Kiesha Battles, and the Synergy Yoga team welcome you to Soul & Spirit Peru. For the past two decades, Maya has nurtured a sacred space wherein women of color can express themselves freely, without social or familial expectations through yoga, dance, deep discussion, self-inquiry, and joy! For the first time in its history, the Retreat for Women of Color will take the show on the road to the heart of the goddess Pachamama, in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Our journey begins in the Andean city of Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. From Cusco, we travel to Willka T’ika Wellness Retreat & Boutique Hotel, in the town of Urubamba, surrounded by the splendor of the Andes. During our stay at Willka T’ika guests will experience outdoor herbal baths; therapeutic massage; daily yoga classes; nutritious farm-to-table vegetarian meals; and the well-known chakra gardens which hold a variety of healing herbs. From our Willka T’ika base camp, we will explore the Sacred Valley through daily trips including Machu Picchu; Moray; and Urubamba. Our vision for the retreat is to offer guests a range of cultural experiences, deepening their understanding of Inca culture; create an environment in which guests can decompress and relax from their daily routines, and celebrate life through a daily yoga practice while absorbing the high energetic frequencies of the Sacred Valley.

Retreat Leaders: Maya Breuer and Kiesha Battles

Local Hosts: Francisco Morales-Bermudez and Salim Rollins

 

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INCLUDED

●  Accommodation

All meals except for two lunches (see the itinerary for details)

All travel expenses from the time guests arrive in Cusco, Peru

All entry fees to the Inca sites

All yoga classes

Medicinal Plant Bath

Presentation by youth from Synergy Rising non-profit

 

NOT INCLUDED

Massages

Additional Spa Treatments

Cocoa Leaf Readings

*All of the above can be booked at Willka T’ika Hotel

 

COST

$2,500 – Shared Room

$3,300 – Single Room

 

 

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ITINERARY

Day 1 – June 1st

Arrivals

Guests will be picked up from Cusco Airport by Synergy´s driving staff and driven an hour and a half to Willka T’ika Hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Dinner: Willka T’ika

Day 2 – June 2nd

Morning Yoga  

Breakfast: Willka T’ika

Tour of Chakra Gardens – Roxana, Willka T’ika staff

Lunch: Willka T’ika

Chakra Workshop with Maya Breuer

Dinner: Willka T’ika

The morning and afternoon activities are centered around understanding and experiencing the energy of the chakras. Willka T’ika Hotel was designed to include seven magnificent chakra gardens. Each garden contains symbols, shapes, sculptures, and medicinal plants that resonate with one of the classic seven chakras, or energy centers, of the human body. The vibrant flowers blooming in each garden are of the particular color associated with that chakra, flooding your eyes with the hue. Both the wavelengths of light and the vibrations of the flowers themselves offer peaceful healing energy to the mind, body, and soul.

Highlighting the wonder of our host hotel. Maya will guide us through a chakra workshop following a guided tour of the jewel of Willka Tika, and its chakra gardens. Roxana will walk us through all seven gardens. Throughout the retreat, you are invited to visit the gardens and have an intimate experience with them. Maya’s workshop will give us the information we need to focus on the chakras that are calling for our attention. Additionally, guests will receive herbal baths and massages over the course of the day.

* one herbal bath & massage per guest is complimentary with registration. We will have a schedule for you to sign up for your session at your leisure. The Massage & Herbal bath will be booked at the hotel registration. There will be a list at the bar in the common area.

Day 3 – June 3rd

Morning Yoga

Breakfast: Willka T’ika

Following breakfast, we’ll visit the Urubamba Farmers Market which is a ten-minute drive from the hotel. Andean culture holds a deep respect for the earth and its harvest as expressed through the divine feminine energy of Pachamama. At the Urubamba market, we will see the local crops including fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, coffee, and more. Our final morning experience in Urubamba will be a presentation from the youth of the Synergy Rising non-profit.  The Synergy Rising NGO is a youth empowerment program based in Urubamba, Peru & Kibera, Kenya.

Lunch:  Da Collector

After our visit to the market, we’ll walk fifteen minutes to Da Colektor Cafe for Lunch. Da Colektor is known for its lovely modern/rustic design and healthy menu.

After lunch, we’ll visit the Seminario Ceramics Center. Artists and founders Pablo & Marilu Seminario have been an integral part of preserving & celebrating Inca ceramic artistry for several decades. Pablo currently has a permanent exhibit at the Chicago Art Museum. Following the presentation, we´ll participate in a ceramics workshop and create an original piece of art that can be taken home as a memento.

Return to Willka T’ika 

Synergy Partner Yoga class led by Francisco Morales-Bermudez

Dinner: Willka T’ika

Day 4 – June 4th

Morning Yoga Class

Breakfast: Willka T’ika 

Following breakfast, guests will have personal time to walk the gardens or book healing sessions or coca leaf readings.

*coca leaf reader, Alicia, will be available on days 4 and 7 of the retreat to schedule readings for Soul & Spirit guests

Lunch: Willka Tika

Afternoon: Presentation on Inca Agriculture – Mariela Baca

Dinner: Willka T’ika

Day 5 – June 5th

Morning Yoga 

Breakfast: Willka T’ika

Following breakfast the group will travel 45 minutes to Chicheros where we will be welcomed by the community that maintains the tradition of Inca weaving. 

Lunch:Made & served by the Chincheros Community

Following lunch we will visit a workshop of Chinchero women weavers. The weavers will give us a presentation sharing their traditional dyeing techniques and the ancient stories that are embedded within their designs. These images pay homage to the natural elements and the universal balance of feminine and masculine energies. Additionally, the women will offer a demonstration of the dance of the scissors, which is from the Sacred Valley region. Chinchero is known for having maintained Inca culture in spite of attempts by the Spanish to “civilize” and reform the culture.The residents of Chincero have handed down the ancient textile science of the Inca including traditional looms; the use of various herbs, plants and vegetation for their dyes; and Incan designs which transmit cultural values that hold relevant teachings for our current time. 

Dinner: Willka T’ika

Day 6 – June 6th

Early Breakfast: Willka T’ika

Today we visit the sacred site of Machu Picchu! Following breakfast we will drive for one hour to Ollantaytambo where we’ll board a train to Aguas Calientes, the town that rests at the foot of Machu Picchu. From Aguas Caliente we’ll take a bus ascending the mountain to Machu Picchu. Michu Picchu is the most recognized site of the Inca civilization. We will go on a guided tour of the sacred site and gain a deeper understanding of its purpose in Inca society and the details of its construction.

Lunch: Aguas Caliente (at the base of Machu Picchu)

*guests will pay for lunch themselves

Following lunch we will board the train back to Ollantaytambo. A shuttle will pick us up at the train station and take us back to Willka Tika for dinner.

Dinner: Willka T’ika

Day 7 – June 7th

Morning Yoga 

Breakfast: Willka T’ika

This is a day of rest and reflection on our experiences together during the Soul & Spirit Retreat. Guests can book a massage, an herbal bath, or a coca leaf reading. Lunch: Willka T’ika

Dinner: Willka T’ika

Day 8 – June 8th

Morning Yoga 

Breakfast: Willka T’ika

Return to Cusco International Airport

 

PURCHASING YOUR TICKET

We suggest buying your flight from your home city to Cusco. There will be a layover at the Lima Airport. Hopefully, your layover is not too long. But if it is or if it’s overnight, Lima has a nice airport hotel. Here is the link: 

WYNDHAM HOTEL

Once you connect to your domestic flight from Lima to Cusco, we will be at the Cusco Airport to pick you up. If you’d like to arrive a couple of days early and spend time in Lima, the coastal capital of Perú, please let us know and we will arrange transportation for you and will connect you with our favorite spots in the city. 

We recommend that you purchase travel insurance in case there are unforeseen travel challenges with respect to COVID regulations. We will update guests as to the current travel requirements to enter and leave Peru closer to the time of the retreat.

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WHAT TO PACK

Temperatures in Cusco typically fluctuate daily. Evening time is chilly and daytime is usually sunny and warm. Layering is the key. Here’s what we recommend you bring:

●  A light down vest or jacket

●  Long undershirts

●  At least one heavy sweater but remember, Peru has some of the best and coziest sweaters in the world made from alpaca wool!

●  Hiking boots for the Rainbow Mountain hike

●  A daypack for all of the day trips

●  A rain shell just in case

●  A water bottle

●  An empty duffle bag to carry all of your beautiful garments and artwork back home!

 

HOSTS BIOS

Maya Breuer (she/her)

Maya Breuer is the vice president of Cross-Cultural Advancement for Yoga Alliance, providing support for the advancement of cross-cultural competency across all Yoga Alliance programming and activities. Celebrated as one of America’s distinguished Black Yogis by Black Enterprise magazine, Maya is the cofounder and emeritus president of the National Black Yoga Teachers Alliance and a preeminent yoga teacher, speaker, practitioner, author, and community activist.

In 1998, Maya founded the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™, offered biannually at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, where she is Emeritus Trustee. She has also been training and certifying yoga teachers throughout the United States at her Santosha School of Yoga since 2001. Maya has been featured in Yoga Journal, Black Enterprise, Essence, Heart and Soul, Common Ground, Black Women’s Health, Upscale Magazine, and many Kripalu publications. She  co-authored an NIH study—now included within the Annals of Internal Medicine—called Back to Health: Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Minorities with Chronic Low Back Pain.  For the past 30 years, Maya’s mission and dharma has been to educate and support people of color to integrate yoga practices and its philosophical perspectives into their daily lives.

 

Kiesha Battles (she/her)

A full-time yoga teacher and trainer, a co-director of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™ and has taught for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. In addition to teaching through her own I Am Yoga organization, Kiesha has been the yoga director at Charlotte Family Yoga Center and is on the board of You Call This Yoga, a nonprofit organization offering accessible and adaptable yoga classes to under-served communities.

With a graduate degree in Asian studies, Kiesha brings knowledge of Asian philosophy, religion, and language, as well as Eastern philosophy including Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Kiesha teaches with confidence that comes from a strong training and rich experience. Her instruction is careful and crystal clear; she gives options and variations that make her classes accessible for students at any level. Kiesha specializes in Yin Yoga, which allows for deep stretches and in-depth exploration of each pose. She also has training in prenatal yoga, Curvy Yoga, restorative, and Grounded Kids as well as Chinese medicine.

$3,300

SOUL & SPIRIT PERU: A RETREAT FOR WOMEN OF COLOR JUNE 1ST – 8TH, 2023
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