9-Day Yoga Intensive Ayahuasca Retreat – March 16-24
This retreat is designed for yoga enthusiasts who are interested in the combination of a comprehensive yoga program and traditional Amazonian plant-based healing practices. The integration of these two ancient pathways to healing and self-discovery offers a powerful opportunity for lasting transformation. In collaboration with the Temple, this unique yoga program was co-created by internationally acclaimed yoga teachers, Marta Wanderlust and Ian Darrah.
Marta will be joined by Jennifer Ball, a resident facilitator with over 6 years of experience facilitating retreats at the Temple, as well as Maestra Lila and Maestro Damian, two traditional Amazonian shamanic / plant-medicine healers from the Shipibo tribe.
This retreat will run from March 16th to 24th and will cost $1,500.
The Temple of the Way of Light has significant experience over the last 5 years working with unique and highly qualified yoga teachers who not only bring their individual gifts and proven teaching methods but who have extensive personal experience working with ayahuasca in a responsible and sacred way.
The combination of intensive yoga and ayahuasca healing creates an extraordinary synergy where dedicated participants can accelerate their own learning, personal growth, healing, spiritual awakening and integrative process.
An Intensive Yoga Retreat:
With a comprehensive yoga program led by Marta Wanderlust.
An Ayahuasca Retreat:
With 3 ceremonies and healing lead by one male and one female healer.
Additional Components to Support Healing and Integration:
All the above is combined with art therapy, dance and movement classes, singing, individual consultations, group processing meetings, time to reflect in the Temple grounds, floral baths, steam baths, traditional plant remedies, and vomitivos.
Meet Marta Wanderlust
Marta is a gifted, passionate, and highly experienced teacher and student of yoga and the teachings of Advaita Vedanta. She has been practicing yoga for over 16 yrs. She began her professional training with a Jivamukti Yoga immersion, under the guidance of Yogeswari – one of the most senior teachers of the method. Marta was certified as an Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow instructor with Sampoorna Yoga, a traditional Ashtanga School in Goa, India. In India, she also had the privilege to meet her Spiritual teacher Rishi Sadihir of Timivannamalai, a renowned practitioner of Advaita Vedanta with decades of experience in pranayama, meditation, and with a depth of vedic knowledge. She also spent time at the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharishi, set at the foot of the sacred mountain Arunachala.
Marta’s love for the practice of being, Yin Yoga, comes as a result of her training with Joshua Summers, an experienced teacher of Yin Yoga and one of the original students of Paul Grilly and Sarah Powers. Her studies with Joshua initiated her into the system of meridians and Chinese Medicine. Marta has also undertaken numerous meditation retreats, including Vipassana and mindfulness trainings organized by the London Buddhist Centre.
She has taught at diverse centers in Europe, Asia, and South America and served as a 200 hr YTT teacher training instructor at Sampoorna Yoga, in India. Currently, she leads personal yoga retreats internationally. She has a passion for culture and tradition and travels extensively in her mission to experience, grow, and develop a platform to share with others, spreading the message of love and compassion.
In the last couple of years, Marta has been studying with the plant medicines and traditions of Central and South America. She has had the opportunity to study under the guidance of shamans and medicine people from various traditions, including Shipibo, Mexica, Lakota, and Kogi. Her studies across diverse traditions devoted to understanding both our human physicality and the pathways to Spirit have led her to understand that all paths are complementary, and ultimately lead to the very same realization of Unity. She is deeply grateful to all of her teachers, past and present, human and non-human, for shining their light under her stumbling feet.
Meet Jennifer Ball
A profound calling to further marry the paths of plant-spirit healing and integrative practices lead Jennifer to the Temple, where she has been incorporating yoga classes into our workshops, and now the Deep Immersion Program, since the fall of 2011.
Jennifer is from British Colombia, Canada, and first started working with the medicine in 2008. Her commitment to the study and practice of yoga and psycho-spiritual integration have been integral elements to the deep personal healing and transformation that she has undergone in her journey with the plants. The core calling for Jennifer has always been the fire of self-remembering: the path back to which she infuses with loving understanding and kindness.
Jennifer began practicing yoga in 2004, but not long after she sustained a back injury from a car accident, she began to redirect her yoga practice as a means of self-healing. This experience helped catalyze a deep calling to share the benefits of yoga with others. In 2006, she undertook a 250-hour yoga teacher training in Victoria, BC. She then began to teach and continued to travel, studying and practicing various different styles of yoga, as well as meditation, Indian classical music and dance. In 2013, Jennifer completed a two-year, 500-hour advanced teacher training with the Insight Yoga Institute, founded by Ty and Sarah Powers, which fuses principles of yoga, Buddhism, and psychology. One of her primary teachers is Jennifer Welwood. Since 2012 she has also been studying Shadow Yoga with Scott Blossom.
Jennifer teaches a number of different classes at the Temple, mainly within the Deep Immersion Program, including Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Nada Yoga, Meditation, and Self-Inquiry. Her classes blend the treads of these ancient wisdom traditions in a down-to-earth way that inspires taking each moment of life as opportunity for learning and practice.
Program Philosophy and Guiding Principles
Yoga literally means ‘to yoke or join.’ It is a path of integration, uniting the personal, individual self with the Universal Self. The aim of the practice of yoga is the movement from a state of separation towards that of our inherent connectedness, or from dualism towards non-dualism. Similarly, ayahuasca also potentializes our capacity to dissolve boundaries of separation and access the states of deep connection and unified ‘beingness’ that are the very aims of yoga.
By bringing the millennial science and art of yoga into working with the vast, natural intelligence of the plant realm we have the opportunity to understand and feel the essential design, effects and benefits of yoga at a much deeper and more expansive level than we might otherwise attain with ordinary awareness.
Ayahuasca can reveal and unlock the subtle realms of energetic experience described in some of the most ancient yogic texts, assisting the yoga practitioner to deeply anchor his/her practice into embodied experience. Yoga teaches us to inhabit our bodies and to become increasingly aware of the life-force within and around us. Through this awareness we develop the capacity to sense where and when the energy within us is not flowing freely and we become empowered to dissolve blockages as well as to consciously invite and conduct life-force-energy to serve the natural intelligence within us.
Ayahuasca works in a similar and complementary way, enhancing our natural energetic sensitivity and helping us to tangibly sense blockages in our bodies and subtle energy systems. Ayahuasca often also facilitates intuitive, self-corrective movement – guiding us to move and breathe in ways that assist us in balancing the flow of prana within us. Essentially, ayahuasca can be invaluable in connecting us to a spontaneous ‘inner yoga’ that is born of increased sensitivity and awareness.
In our experience, the integration of ayahuasca and yoga have greatly supported our guests to access states of deep inner sensitivity invaluable to their personal yoga practice. We have found that the medicine greatly assists in accessing the high levels of awareness cultivated by yoga and its related practices, helping the practitioner to have greater body consciousness and an inner understanding of posture and anatomy, increased sensitivity to subtle energy and energy meridians and an increased capacity to concentrate and focus the mind. The combination of ayahuasca and yoga can facilitate outstanding healing outcomes including lasting mental clarity, a more balanced lifestyle and an overall sense of wellbeing.
“Thank you so much for the yoga. It helped me so much before the ceremonies because, at first, I was feeling nervous and uncomfortable and then after the yoga I felt so relaxed and then even during the ceremony I was remembering different things from the yoga class which helped me receive so much more from the ceremony. This whole process has been absolutely amazing and I am just so grateful for the yoga because it maximized my ability to get all of the benefits possible from the ayahuasca sessions and better integrate them day-by-day. Thank you!”
At the age of 13, Lila was the victim of a serious accident after a tree fell on her right leg and an excruciatingly painful, chronic infection set in that had her bed-ridden for over a year. She was treated by her mother, the legendary Maestra Ynes, who started her on a dieta with an extremely powerful tree, catahua. The dieta succeeded in curing her leg, and was the gateway for her path as a curandera to open.
She has worked for many years with her mother, Maestra Ynes, and her siblings Maestra Laura and Maestro Jose, as well as other extremely well healers respected all over Peru and in Europe. She is a specialist in ‘warmé’ ikaros which focus on love and happiness. She works with an amazing amount of kindness and care, and is an absolute joy to have on the team.
Damian studied and taught as a teacher in schools in the Iparia district for a time before falling gravely ill from a dano sent by a jealous co-worker. His curandero uncle took him under his wing in another community, and along with his curandero grandfather worked together to heal him. It took four to five years of serious dietas to eventually heal his illness, during which time he learnt an incredible amount from the plants about his own healing process, and consequently, how to heal others.
He started to work as an ‘assistant’ curandero with his uncle and then with his grandfather, a very well regarded Shipibo healer, for many years. Damian is a powerhouse in ceremony yet soft and gentle during the day. He has a sincere calling to heal others and brings a pure heart and very much integrity to his work at the Temple. He is well loved by guests who attend his workshops with us and offers the perfect masculine balance to support Maestra Lila.
The Onanya, Ayahuasca, and the Master Plants
We deeply honor and respect the indigenous healing traditions of the Amazon that have evolved over thousands of years and offer the most effective ayahuasca healing experience. We work with some of the most respected, kind-hearted, and powerful healers (Onanya) from the Shipibo tribe, who are experts in ayahuasca healing and plant-spirit shamanism of the Amazon.
Our team of healers has been carefully selected over many years to work at the Temple. They bring a rich cultural and medicinal legacy, time-honored rituals, intricate practices, an expansive cosmology, an encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants of the Amazon and a far-reaching ancestral lineage to the healing process.
In the Shipibo tradition, the healing process is focused on cleansing and purifying the energy field that surrounds us – or niwe in their language – which can pick up toxic energies from the environment and the traumatic issues of our past. The Shipibo healers’ encyclopedic knowledge of medicinal plants (rao) of the Amazon Rainforest allows them to heal a huge range of psycho-spiritual, emotional and sometimes physical conditions. They do this through ancient healing practices involving incredibly beautiful ikaros (songs of the plants), intense perfumes, individually prescribed plant remedies (available on our 12-day and 3-week programs) and powerful energetic work.
The Shipibo tradition is a system of plant-spirit shamanism that facilitates healing from a vast number of different plant and tree spirits, who transmit healing energies through the ikaros sung by the healers in ceremonies. The Onanya see ayahuasca as a nexus to the plant-spirit worlds, and is not the only plant spirit they work with. The key to the depth and efficacy of this ancient healing system is to call in and work with a plethora of other plant spirits in each ceremony, alongside ayahuasca, to affect deep healing. Without bringing together a team of plant spirits, the healing work of ayahuasca alone would be more limited. To be clear, the only plant brew guests drink in ceremony is ayahuasca, although you will receive energetic healing from many different plants spirits in every ceremony.
We provide potent and visionary ayahuasca sourced from deep in the rainforest of the Shipibo territories. Our ayahuasca is made from cielo (sky/heaven) ayahuasca and chacruna with no admixtures. The ceremonies led by our healers offer the highest levels of shamanic mastery available in the Peruvian Amazon combined with an exemplary track record in terms of safety, protection, care for and support of our guests.
Ian Darrah, co-creator of the Yoga Intensive Ayahuasca Retreat
Although he will not be with us for this program, Ian lent his expertise as a yoga teacher to the development of this unique offering. He currently offers public classes & workshops, private instruction, and is a leader of Yoga Teacher Trainer Certification programs. Ian is an E-RYT 500 and has spent time training under the most renowned Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Satyananda, and Sivananda teachers in the world. His strength as a teacher comes from decades of experience as an impassioned student of health and human potential, and is deeply dedicated to support the personal development and empowerment of others.
- 50+ Hours – Comprehensive Yoga Instruction: including theory, practical workshops, mindfulness & meditation.
- Yoga Classes Suitable for all People: regardless of physical condition. The program’s highly skilled teachers are able to make everybody feel comfortable, welcome, and safe. Appropriate variations are made available to students for all physical postures and movement sequences, as well as during other techniques or exercises and whenever necessary.
- Emphasis on Physically Gentle Yoga: more exploratory, creative, bio-energetic (pranayama, mantra, mudra, yantra, visualizations-nada/sounds-chakra) and restorative inspired styles (or softer expressions of some of these styles of yoga) including: Vinyasa Flow, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Integral, Sivananda, Anusara, Iyengar, and Kundalini Yoga. This program does not focus on the more physically demanding and intense practices such as Power Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, or some of the “hot” yogas.
- Theory Includes: yoga philosophy (exploration of Advaita Vedanta ‘monism,’ Samkhya ‘dualism’ of the yoga sutras of Patanjali & the 8-limbs, and Tantra-Hatha philosophy encompassing sacred ‘bio-energetics,’ honoring of the Divine Feminine and the elements of nature and discussions about the 4 main paths of yoga (Raja, Karma, Jnana, and Bhakti yoga).
- Mindfulness/Meditation Practice includes: Advaita Vedanta inspired techniques, conscious breathing with Metta Bhavana, Heart-Centered methods, Vipassana, and Kirtan Kriya.
- Yoga Nidra & the Art of ‘Yogic Psychic Sleep’: It has been said that 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra equals 2+ hours of good sleep! You will learn through direct experience how deeply restorative and rejuvenating the practice of Yoga Nidra is.
- Pranayama (Breathing Exercises): the retreat includes systematic, safe, and progressive pranayama training. Major classic pranayamas such as Dirgha, Kapalabhati, Ujjayi, Anuloma Viloma, Bramhari, and the cooling pranayamas will be thoroughly explained, taught, and practiced according to traditional protocols.
- Mantra (Sacred sound) & Healing Songs: Students will learn various forms of vocal meditations, including the practice of bija mantra (seed syllable chanting), sound breathing meditations and chakra alignment meditations that combine body awareness, visualization, breath, and the use of powerful sound vibration. These practices literally tune up the practitioner by calming, relaxing, focusing, and amplifying felt states of consciousness. They assist to align bio-energies as well as to facilitate a stronger, more consistent concentration optimal for meditation. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn and practice one or more mantras and healing medicine songs. Ayahuasca greatly enhances one’s ability to feel deeply connected to healing music/songs/sounds, and thus this retreat places special emphasis on this aspect of yoga (Nada Yoga).
- Yoga Postures (Asana), Movement, & Stillness: Vinyasa Yoga is the creative linking together of asanas (postures) synchronized with and guided by breath. This can involve ‘slow flow’ with detailed somatic exploration of the relationship between deep breathing and movement or more dynamic or artistically expressive postures and explorations in ecstatic breathing.
- Yin & Restorative Yoga to Compliment Ayahuasca Ceremonies: Yin Yoga was created from an understanding of Chinese Medicine & Qi (or Chi) and the subtle energy pathways of the human body known as meridians. Yin yoga is passive and receptive and targets the internal tissues of the body: the joints, ligaments, tendons, bones, fascia, and organs. The practice is incredibly nourishing and restorative to these deeper internal tissues and encourages the fresh flow of vital life force energy through the energetic channels that pass through them. The four main sequences of Yin Yoga will be covered. Restorative Yoga involves the passive stretch response of muscles and connective tissues for deeper myo-fascial release. The result is profound relaxation of the nervous system and innumerable mental, physical, and energetic benefits. These practices specifically assist the body and mind to let go and release blockages at the physical, emotional, and energetic levels, removing the obstacles that impede optimal wellness and human potential.
- Practical Workshops: Teaching about asana families, their general physiological and energetic benefits, alignment principles, safe exploration of variations, and how the posture affects and relates to the chakras (energy centers). Also, detailed posture clinics with an in depth experience of the most common asanas.
Plant Spirit Healing
The three ayahuasca ceremonies are intimate, with two Shipibo healers (one male and one female), one facilitator and a group limit of 14 guests. All ceremonies are held in a maloka dedicated to the guests of the Deep Immersion Program. The maloka is completely screened from mosquitos with toilets just outside. Mats are provided and arranged in a circle facing the healers and the facilitator in the center. A ceremony assistant is present in front of the bathrooms to lend a hand or light as needed.
Jain Póiti (Floral Baths)
A Jain Póiti is a floral bath that forms a vital component of the shamanic healing process through cleansing heavy energies and blockages, clearing negative thoughts and emotions, purifying the mind and body, and promoting transformation through the properties of the specific plants and flowers used in the bath. Quite literally, it assists with the blossoming and flourishing of life. Traditionally, healers take floral baths either immediately before or after a ceremony. Floral baths also help to bring down a strong ‘mareacion’ – the effect of ayahuasca. Floral baths are given at midday on almost every day of the retreat, for all guests.
Upon arrival, all guests participate in a vomitivo, or stomach cleansing. This involves drinking a strong herba luisa tea followed by water, which induces purging and begins the process of physically and energetically clearing the body in preparation for the first ceremony. This practice gives the medicine more direct access to deeper issues as it is less occupied with the physical cleaning that takes place in the earlier ceremonies.
Within the first few days of arrival, each guest has an individual consultation with the healers and facilitator. This is an opportunity for the healers and facilitator to get to know you; the challenges that you are facing in your life and the difficulties you have had in the past. Consultations are an important starting point for guests to set intentions and to share them with the healers, as well as begin the process of getting to know the healers and establishing trust. The consultation will then be expanded on significantly when the healers look into the energetic system of each guest in ceremony.
- 50+ Hours of comprehensive yoga instruction (see Core Components tab)
- 3 ayahuasca ceremonies
- One male and one female healer
- Group size of 14 people
- In addition to yoga instructor Marta Wanderlust, highly experienced facilitator, Jennifer Ball, will guide guests throughout the retreat with processing and integrating the healing experiences
- A cleansing steam bath on the first day of the retreat
- Daily jain póiti (banos de florecimento) – cleansing, purifying and strengthening floral baths.
- Vomitivos (stomach cleansing) to rid the stomach of toxins
- All food and drink – a deliciously simple diet suitable for working with medicinal plants and ayahuasca
- Group processing and integration meetings
- Laundry service
- Translation from Shipibo and Spanish to English
- All workshops facilitated in English
- Porters to carry your luggage to and from the Temple
- All transportation to and from the pickup and dropoff location and the Temple
What’s not included:
- Airfares (International and National)
- Airport transportation
- Travel Insurance
- Accommodation in Iquitos
- Peruvian Visa costs for non EEC or USA nationals
- Personal expenses (meals and drinks in Iquitos, etc)
SAMPLE Daily Program:
6:30-7:30am: Meditation & Pranayama session (introducing different techniques each day)
7:30-9am: Asana practice (on the days after ayahuasca ceremonies very gentle flow or yin)
10-11:45am on post ceremony days: Group Share – Facilitating ayahuasca integration; on non post-ceremony days: 1 hour Yoga Nidra, and deeper exploration of yoga workshop or lecture
12-12:45pm: Flower baths
4-5:15pm optional: Practical Workshop: posture clinics/asana exploration
5:30-6/6:30pm: Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga
6pm on non-ceremony days: Dinner
7-8pm: Meditation / Yoga Nidra
8pm: Ayahuasca ceremony (Days: 2, 4, 5, & 7)
|9 Day Yoga Intensive Ayahuasca Retreat||US$ 1,500|
A portion of the income from our ayahuasca retreats funds critical projects on environmental justice, sustainable development and intercultural education run by our Peruvian NGO- The Chaikuni Institute – partnering with Indigenous People in the Amazon.
Terms and Advice
- We accept payments via credit card and PayPal. Credit card payments are made during the online booking process. If you select to pay via PayPal, we will issue you an invoice after your medical questionnaire has been approved. If you have made a credit card payment and later learn that you are not cleared to come for a workshop per your medical history, your payment will be fully refunded.
- Payments are only refundable provided we have a minimum of 8 weeks notice prior to the start of a workshop. Any refunds given will occur a $100USD cancellation fee. You may change your workshop reservation to another date at no cost or transfer your payment(s) to another participant, provided said participant has been approved to attend a workshop and that it is a minimum of 8 weeks prior to the start of the workshop.
- If original payment was made with a credit card, any refund will be credited back to the card originally charged. We are only able to refund via PayPal for other forms of payment.
- For cancellations within 8 weeks of the start of a workshop, payments will only be refunded, credited to a future date, or transferred to another participant if we can fill your place in the workshop. We will try our best to do so.
- We strongly recommend that you take out adequate travel insurance for any cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances. Squaremouth is an insurance service we can suggest that can cover not only retreat costs but the possibility to recover airfare costs too.
Availability and Booking
All registrations must be made from a computer as we do not have mobile capability for our medical forms at this time.
Once you have completed your booking and your medical information has been reviewed by our team, we will be in touch with you to confirm your booking.
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]
Please do not book flights or make any travel arrangements until your registration and medical information has been reviewed and you have been approved to attend a workshop.