9-Day Yoga Intensive Ayahuasca Retreat – October 4-12
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, Ian Darrah and Marta Wanderlust. For this course, Ian will be joined by Jason Grechanik, a resident facilitator, as well as two traditional Amazonian shamanic plant-medicine healers from the Shipibo tribe.
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.
This retreat will run from October 4th to 12th and will cost $1,500.
“Shamanic Roots of Yoga” Retreat:
With a comprehensive yoga program led by Ian Darrah.
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 individual consultations, group processing meetings, time to reflect in the Temple grounds, floral baths, steam baths, traditional plant remedies, and vomitivos.
Meet Ian Darrah
Ian brings his expertise and experience to the Temple after teaching yoga for decades through public classes, workshops, and private instruction. Ian is a leader of Yoga Teacher Trainer Certification programs and has trained under highly regarded Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Satyananda, and Sivananda teachers around the world. He holds an advanced yoga teacher certification at the 500-hour level from the Sivananda Yoga School, a Level 1 Vinyasa Yoga certification with Rossella Rossi, runs a yoga school registered with the Yoga Alliance in the United States, and continues to apprentice under Swami Brahmavidyananda of the Sivananda-Satyananda lineage. Ian is widely recognized and respected as a teacher of teachers, having led numerous yoga teacher trainings, mentoring and inspiring many to become very successful yoga teachers.
His yoga teaching is also complemented by his passion for indigenous systems of healing and transformation. Ian has completed a 4-year Native American vision quest, has been trained and authorised to hold sweat lodges, has carried out numerous shamanic plant dietas in the Peruvian Amazon, and has many years of personal experience working with sacred plant medicines including ayahuasca, tobacco, peyote, and san pedro. He has also lived in various ashrams carrying out advanced trainings and attended several Vipassana meditation retreats.
Ian is a passionate student of health and human potential, whose mission is to guide people to live happier, healthier, and more creative lives through the realization of their higher purpose and achieving peace of mind beyond the conditioning and pain of the past. Through his varied experiences and extensive training, Ian is the perfect guide to teach specific yoga practices that significantly support integration and embodiment of ayahuasca healing. The yoga practices that will be learned during this retreat will provide a pathway for the years ahead to continue the process of integration, self-discovery, and transformation.
Jason has always had a curiosity for life which has led him across the world and drawn him to many practices over the years, such as Yoga, Taiji, Qigong, Vipassana, Aikido, Muay, and Jiujitsu.
Born in Sri Lanka to American parents and having travelled extensively since a young age, Jason became drawn to learning about the ways of the world. He began his martial arts training at a young age when he began studying Judo and Tae Kwon Do. After moving to New York City, a deep longing began to arise for many of the primordial questions that humans have, such as who we are, where we come from, and what is the purpose of life?
This began a journey of sorts looking for answers. He began practicing Yoga around this time and shortly after began studying Qigong and Taiji. He also began studying Aikido as well. New York offered an amazing base to be able to have so many teachers to be able to choose from. With Yoga he studied at as many places as he could try to learn different styles, forms, and philosophies. With a deep curiosity he began reading any classical and contemporary texts he could find on religion and spirituality.
A few years later he felt compelled to leave and packed a small bag not knowing exactly where he would end up or for how long. His travels led him for about two years throughout Asia, much of time searching for answers and learning esoteric teachings. He spent many an hour in temples learning meditative techniques. He spent time in Wudang learning the classical thirteen movement form of Taiji.
His curiosity eventually led him to the Amazon where he began to work with plants and learn the traditional ways of healing. His experience combines many different modalities of working with a variety plant medicines and teachers. The medicinal plants of the Amazon, and the way in which the indigenous peoples work with them, has had a transformational effect on his life. He honors the symbiotic relationship with plants holding deep gratitude not only for the food and life sustaining gifts that they provide humanity, but also recognizing their sentience, intelligence, and teachings that offer us a profound opening to a world that most people in modern society could never imagine!
He approaches his work at the Temple as he approaches his work with plants – with respect, humility, and a genuine desire to learn, so that doors can be opened in life and to healing on all levels. Jason is deeply grateful to all of his teachers and to everyone that has helped him in this journey to where he is, and to wherever it may lead. At the Temple, Jason works as a facilitator, as a teacher of meditation, yoga, and martial arts, and offers ceremonies and dietas working with tobacco.
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!”
“You have been an amazing teacher. As a teacher, your authentic concern for the growth of your students goes above and beyond what I was expecting from my classes. I was able to feel safe in a non-judgmental environment with a teacher with very clear, professional boundaries, who at the same time expresses his sincere spiritual guidance. You bring much to the profession and I thank you. Namaste!”
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.
- 30+ 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 Ian Darrah, 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
|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.