The 4th Annual Maya Tulum Mexico Yoga Retreat 2013 – Guest Blog Post by Sarah Willis Founder of SVARA Yoga.

Yoga on the Beach

Yoga on the Beach

Hi my name is Sarah Willis. I am a Mother of a 1-year-old Son, and an advanced certified Yoga teacher. I host a Yoga retreat in the beautiful Tulum Mexico every year. I have traveled to the Yucatán in the South Eastern part of Mexico since the 90s, and the magical beauty of this ancient paradise captivates me and draws me back again and again.


On the auspicious occasion of New Year’s Eve day 1999, the dawn of the new millennium, I was in Tulum with a group of adventurous women. We had decided to go on a jungle tour of an incredible emerald-green cenote (swimming hole) and experience an all women’s Temazcal (ritual Mayan sweat lodge ceremony) guided by a female Shaman who only spoke the native Mayan tongue. It was a special experience, truly a lifetime highlight. We worked with letting go of old patterns and behaviors, and making room for light and love in our hearts. Some of us were struggling with attachment to regrets or relationships that were no longer serving us, others with overcoming addiction and low self-esteem, others struggled with identifying who they were in the world and what they wanted to do. The ritual of the Temazcal offers us the opportunity to connect and support one another and then to set the intention to move forward embracing our dreams, creativity and making space for nurturing the soul’s progress, our Dharma, as it is called in Sanskrit. I remember feeling deep love and respect for the women with whom I shared this experience. Some are still close friends, others have drifted a bit, and others I never saw again, but I feel that we will always be energetically connected.


A beautiful place to practice yoga

A beautiful place to practice yoga

It was also during that trip that I discovered the Yoga retreat center and spa, at the resort Maya Tulum. Walking down the beach after a lazy morning, I stumbled on the most beautiful stretch of beach jettisoned by a stone formation extending into the water. The glimmering white sand is combed clean of the black hair-like seaweed that washes up on the shore, and chaises with white towels and beautiful natural palapa-style huts dotted the bluff above the beach. Venturing onto the property and winding my way through the manicured sandy paths connecting all the edifices and areas of the resort, I found the front desk and was able to get a tour. What a gorgeous spot! Beautiful rooms, with all the details—hibiscus flower and lily bouquets, mosquito netting draping from above the beds and some have luxurious bathrooms with views of the Caribbean. There are 2 high-roofed Yoga practice spaces with some resident Iguanas who like to lazily walk the perimeter of the structural beams, as if they were our ancestors supervising practice. The restaurant has ocean breezes and view, a juice bar, and gorgeous locally sourced food. Upon first sight, I was determined to bring my own group there some day.

Well, I am happy to say that I manifested that dream, as this April I am returning for our 4th Annual Maya Tulum Yoga Retreat!


I feel that it is hugely important to take vacations away from our modern chaotic world. Especially as Women and Moms! So often we are running around taking care of everyone else’s needs and neglecting ourselves so much that we can start to feel very off-balance.

It is essential for us to take care of ourselves Ladies!

Fun Times

Fun Times

Even if we feel like we can’t afford it financially, or time-wise, or we worry that our business will suffer (I have heard all the excuses), I argue that retreating to a beautiful natural paradise can reconnect us to deeper aspects of ourselves. By linking up with our basic bio-rhythms for a week instead of our WiFi hotspot (which is available in 2 main areas of the resort, by the way): being with nature, taking in fresh air and long sleeps, we can return to our regular lives with a healthier, calmer and more serene sense of being, and actually get more done. Even though I’m working during the week-long retreat, going to Maya Tulum once a year strengthens and reaffirms my connection to my Yoga practice. It also helps me to remove so many outside distractions and potential pollutants from my life and brings me closer to the source of my creativity and inspiration. I always leave feeling vitally alive, lighter, kissed by the sun, thinner and happier.

So whether you are a Yoga virgin or an advanced student, I urge you to be wise and come retreat to Maya Tulum with from Saturday April 13th until Saturday April the 20th. If you are a Mom, you can bring your baby (my, then 5 month old Son was with me last year), as babysitting can be arranged among the lovely staff, so you can do your daily Yoga practice.

As your teacher, I will offer 2 classes a day: the morning Yoga class is more rigorous Ashtanga-inspired Vinyāsa, and the afternoon class is beginner and prenatal friendly with restorative elements. Just hang out on the beach with a book the rest of the day, or partake in all kinds of activities and excursions, including a life-changing Temazcal experience. Give yourself some space away from it all!

One of my favorite Yoga masters, Sri Brahmananda Saraswati, was fond of saying: “When you have space in your mind, you are wise. When you have no space in your mind, you are otherwise.”

I invite you to set an intention to clear out old toxic stagnant energy, and bring forth the True Wise You. Moms, Dads, Singles, Babies – ALL are welcome.


Participating in my love of Yoga


All-inclusive packages range from $1605 – $2620 per person, but transportation is not included. Make arrangements to fly toCancún (flying direct from JFK, Cancun is 4 hours, 3 hours direct from LAX). The resort van driver will meet you outside of customs, and take you straight to Maya Tulum. Please contact Melanie for reservations today!

Mention that you saw our blog post on when making your reservation and get $50 off!

Maya Tulum Reservations office: 888 515 4580 x231 OR visit


One thought on “The 4th Annual Maya Tulum Mexico Yoga Retreat 2013 – Guest Blog Post by Sarah Willis Founder of SVARA Yoga.

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