What It's Like to Have a Yoga Retreat to Yourself

“Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.” -Anonymous

 A few years ago I came into work fairly… in need of a vacation.  I sat down with my co-worker and huffed, “It would be so nice to go to a yoga retreat.”  Tap-tipity-tap went her fingers on the keyboard, and up on her screen came Villa Sumaya.

In five days, I read three complete novels. Heaven.

 Now, Villa Sumaya is perfectly situated on Lake Atitlan near Panajachel, Guatemala.  The lake itself is stunning, framed with mountain peaks and lush green amazingness.  But Villa Sumaya?  It just takes lovely to a whole new level.  Instead of sticking out within its jungle/mountain/lake home, it kind of… melts into it.  Like it was there all the time.  Since always.  Nothing about the natural surroundings was changed to make Villa Sumaya possible.  The casitas are built up the mountain, and you have to make some effort to reach them.  But when you get there?  You feel like the last person on Earth.  

 Or the only person paying to be there.

 (That was me.)

 Yes, that’s right.  When I sent it out to the universe that I just needed some time ALONE for god’s sake, the universe heard me.  Of the 20+ rooms that Villa Sumaya offers, mine was the only one occupied for the four nights and five days that I was there.  I got the natural hot springs to myself.  I got the dining hall to myself.  I got the yoga studio to myself.  And yes, it got a bit lonely.

 And yes, it was absolutely wonderful.

 Visiting during rainy season (=why it was so empty) meant that every afternoon for about three hours the sky opened up and showed its dark side.  This was one of my favorite times of the day.  I could sit on my private porch, in my private yoga resort, and just read.  Or write.  Or sit.  In five days, I read three complete novels.  Heaven.

 In the sunny morning time, I could hike along the secret pathways that led around and up the mountain.  I could sit out on the dock with my toes dipped in the lake, thinking about nothing.  A day never passed without my speaking to someone on staff, but hours did pass without my meeting another person.  I was, for all intents and purposes, alone in paradise.

 Replicating this experience would be almost impossible.  I can’t imagine Villa Sumaya would ever be that empty again- everything that makes up the place is perfection.  But maybe, at a time when you need it the most, sweet solitude can be yours as well.  

 In the meantime, go ahead and book yourself a spot at Villa Sumaya.

We'd love to hear from you!  Have you tried an international yoga retreat?  What did you think?