queer trans BIPOC inclusive yoga retreat Mexico

Transformative CONNECTION to INNER WISDOM & JOY IN BELOVED COMMUNITY

THROUGH RICH, LOVING

COUNTER-CULTURAL

YOGA SADHANA

queer trans BIPOC yoga retreat participants

A Magical Yoga Retreat

Created to Nourish

Folks Engaged in the Work of Collective Liberation…

Join us where the Jungle meets the Beach!

8 Days, 7 Nights at beautiful eco retreat Mar de Jade, in Chacala, Mexico

Saturday Nov 12th – Saturday Nov. 19th, 2022

Deep dive Yoga Immersion created especially for advocates, activists, and space holders centering the lived experiences of BIPOC, queer and trans folks! 

Additional discounts for Black Indigenous People of Color, trans folks, and QTBIPOC!

 

Avery Kalapa and Anjali Rao queer trans and south asian yoga teachers
Avery Kalapa and Anjali Rao iyengar yoga teachers

When was the last time you felt deeply at peace,

vibrantly healthy and embodied,

in awe of the beauty of life,

a smile spreading on your soft, warm face for no particular reason?

 

 

relax at this sunset beach in Chacala Mexico

The stress and fatigue of surviving within the current structures and systems are real.

The weight of the world is heavy,

especially for those of us in touch with our hearts,

holding a vision for and doing the work of collective change

while navigating our own intersectional identities and healing.

 

Sometimes we don’t know how much stress we’re really carrying until we can actually let loose, and let go. We forget another way of being is possible.

Does your body feel stiff and stagnant?

Do you feel mentally scattered, emotionally stuck?

Do you long to reconnect with a sense of spiritual awe, reverence, playful delight? 

If your body, mind and emotions are out of sync, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed, run down, disconnected.

You’re not alone if you’re finding it hard to relax, feel connected, much less experience the joy of being alive.

A tropical retreat designed to bring you into a deep experience of the full spectrum of yoga, inspiring nature connection, affirming community, and *real* chill time would do you a world of good.

yoga retreat sweetness Chacala Mexico

THIS IS THE TYPE OF JOY THAT BRINGS CLARITY OF PURPOSE,

ENERGY TO MAKE CHANGE,

AND THE CONFIDENCE TO STEP INTO THE NEXT CHAPTER OF YOUR LIFE:

AUTHENTIC

AFFIRMED

AND EMPOWERED BY THE GRACE OF ALIGNMENT WITH THE UNIVERSE.

queer yoga healing BIPOC inclusive yoga class

Imagine having this to look forward to!

It’s amazing how being on a yoga retreat can shift everything. Deep, daily asana and pranayama practice, illuminative philosophy, chanting and discussion, catalyzes profound vitality. It’s incredible to experience feeling so energized,  supple, and strong… awake, and relaxed. Resonant with cosmic rythms.

But even more meaningful is a tangible spiritual connection that cleanses the lens of perception.

These shifts are like jewels. We wake up to the preciousness of this life. The joy of being alive!

This remembrance of who you truly are when you feel relaxed, awake, and at peace, reignites your radical imagination, your inspired vision for your life. It reminds us what we love most about life, and allows us to slow down enough to actually soak it up and be present.

When we do this work in community, supported by spacious free time, gorgeous organic farm to table cuisine, the vibrance of secluded nature, glassy turquoise ocean waves… the combination is not only deeply healing, but helps you begin anew.

The ripple effects of this transformative joy at the root level helps you arrive into wholeness, and a sense of belonging that allows you to meet life with a soft, peaceful heart.

tropical beach and papaya yoga retreat 2022

The creativity, vitality, and inspiration from this Retreat will nourish all that ways you show up for what you care about most. Digging deep to heal and transform, held is community, reveals possibilities you never know existed!

 Not your average yoga retreat….

tropical yoga retreat center with flowers

WHAT MAKES THIS RETREAT SPECIAL?

– Integrate functional, classical asana with meditation, decolonial philosophy, mythology and history, devotional ritual, dance, writing, and more! Embrace a fuller scope of yoga, beyond just physical asana.

– BIPOC, queer, trans affinity spaces for soulful expansion and affirming connection.

– Honor the lineages of land, community, and spirituality.

– Support good works with your travel investment. Visit a special a special healing space built on sustainable visions and actions of community care and sacred service.

– Body positive brave space crafted with care to center and celebrate the precious aspects within you that have been pushed to the margins. A chance to embrace the richness of shared healing space that is multi racial, multi gender, multi generational…

– Opportunity to participate in a Temezcal ceremony with skillful local Healers.

– Laughter filled meals together, sweet friendships, emmergant community!

– Space for deep rest and play.

– Gorgeous tropical ocean love! Swim, explore, snorkel, frolic, dance in the gentle waves…

– Profound practice that meets you where you’re at, and opens the door to transformation

 

All Inclusive Retreat: Includes Transport from Puerto Vallarta, Gorgeous eco-luxury Lodging, 3 Beautiful Meals a Day, and all Yoga Sessions.

Prefect for solo travelers, friend groups, or partners ready for a sweet week of reconnection!

“OMG I feel like I’ve breathed more in the last week than I have in the last few months.”

Lea (she, they) – participant from last year’s Mexico retreat

Chacala Beach is one of the most beautiful and tranquil beaches on the lush Pacific coastline known as Riviera Nayart. It’s a 90 drive up the coast, north of Puerto Vallarta. Nayarit has a rich history of Indigenous resistance. Mar de Jade is an integral part of the local community and since its humble beginnings over 30 years ago has created and supported many impactful grassroots initiatives. 

Socially Conscious Travel

There are plenty of extractive yoga retreat resorts out there, and thankfully, Mar de Jade isn’t one of them.

Mar de Jade isn’t just a gorgeous Retreat space on a golden sandy beach….

It’s an ethically inpsiring sustainable initiative founded by activist, visionary, meditation practitioner Dr. Laura del Valle, and two of her siblings. Laura is now in her 70s and is a powerhouse – and three generations of the Del Valle family still lives at Mar de Jade, working alongside a wonderful and dedicated staff who are considered family – some of whom have been part of MDJ for decades. This is one reason the space feels so warm, more like a beautiful intentional community than a resort. For over 3 decades Mar de Jade has been an integral part of the local community.

From their first free medical clinic in the early 1980s, to accessible Montssori Waldorf elementary and a Trade school, and so much more, this project has grown into MDJ Community Projects, a non-profit that runs education, women-centered equitable health, and micro-industry programs, and a 17-acre permaculture Organic Farm.

If you’re invested in spending money in a way that reflects your values and want to travel respectfully, this is a great opportunity to have the trip of lifetime that aligns with the greater good. MDJ directly supports these projects.

We encourage you to bring extra donations and also school supplies in your suitcase to support these projects if you are in a positon to do so.

While Covid is not over, Mar de Jade is well equipped to help us navigate the logistics of travel that minimizes risks. You can learn more about thier policies here.

circle of friends on a beach sacred play for activists and change makers

This was a magical experience. An invitation to get curious about my embodied experience, to explore what I wanted and needed, by myself and in community, to feel more whole. The anti oppressive and decolonized approach to yoga was transformative, the opportunity to engage in identity work in caucus spaces, the ever present sound of the ocean, a full moon fire ritual, swimming in the warm Pacific under the moonlight. It feels like a dream I am so grateful to have had. 

– A (they, them) – participant from a recent retreat with Avery

Inclusive and Affirming

All people, especially folks who have been left out of or turned off by mainstream yoga spaces, should have access to the revitalizing nourishment of deeply informed, classical yoga that goes beyond fitness, without having to code switch or assimilate in order to practice.

Navigating both travel and wellness spaces can be fraught for those who hold underestimated identities. This Retreat is specially designed to create an inclusive, warm, welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ practitioners, allies, activists, healers, changemakers, socially conscious folks who love yoga from diverse social locations, of various ages, body types, backgrounds. We gather for practice, play and rest as a sacred way to deeply replenish, as a way to connect us to life, not as a privileged escape from it.

We practice to reorganize our bodies and minds, nervous systems, patterns. Such practice makes healing within and the collective, tangible.

body positive yoga
queer trans BIPOC inclusive yoga retreat
mar de jade

What’s to Eat?!

When you think of “retreat food,” do you picture small plate portions of cute but unfilling fare? Not here!

Abundant farm-to-table flavors prepared with love will nourish not only our bodies, but spirits too!

Savor vibrant tropical fruits and generous veggies, hand gathered eggs from Mar de Jade’s chickens, homemade jams and an incredible array of desserts.

Spice and flavor…Mar de Jade’s organic farm provides much of the nourishing, delicious food we’ll be enjoying.

Chacala literally means, “where there are shrimp.”

Slow food, enjoyed with friends, in a breezy outdoor palapa while overlooking the ocean…. This is where food becomes medicine.

Are you gluten free?

Vegan?

Excited about local seafood, animal protein?

Mar de Jade is well prepared with an array of colorful options. There’s a spread of fresh fruits, salads, and veggies, as well as warm, delicious cooked food (often from the woodfired grill in the garden!) offered at each meal.

Go back for seconds if you like!

Throughout the day coffee and kettles of fresh herbal teas are steeping. Cream, cow milk, almond mild, coconut milk… sugar, stevia, honey …they’ve got it…! So lovely.

End the day with a mezcal cocktail if that’s your thing.

These feasts are bound to a highlight of the trip.

Health IS wealth!

health yummy organic food at our yoga retreat

“Avery’s teaching weaves profound joy and deep spirituality, physical exuberance and emotional release. Their knowledge and skills are vast. They are a caring and careful teacher, always offering modifications and alert to individual needs, adapting accordingly. And, thier love of – and commitment to yoga are wonderfully infectious.”

 

Christina (she, her) 

queer trans yoga philosophy

Call of the Ancients 

This immersion includes a deep dive into the myriad philosophies of Yoga as they emerged in response to the socio-cultural context of the times.

We will explore the rich tapestry of Yoga history from an intersectional lens, learn from ancient wisdom holders, and discern how we can practice yoga with integrity, authenticity and courage.

Anjali offers unique insight and access into the feminist, queer, and trans Yoga stories and histories that have been obscured by heteropatriarchy and colonization.

She specializes in digging deeper for the stories within the stories, and the ways Yoga and history and movements for social change have influenced each other. Anjali brings a critical perspective on caste and race and approaches these and other complexities in a direct, sensitive and heartfelt way that is a gift and inspiration to her students. 

Sessions with Anjali will be a true treat, and ignite new meaning to practices such as asana. They will weave storytelling, poetry, lecture, chanting, journaling and create room for reflection and lively discussion.

Anjali dancing joy yoga sacred lineage

Stability + Alignment: Iyengar Yoga for the People!

We’ll be practicing alignment based asana with Avery as a conduit for all 8 limbs of Patanjali’s system. The Iyengar method is brilliant, and deeply informed by both functional anatomy and embodied, classical yoga philosophy.

Iyengar Yoga provides deep, challenging, yet adaptive and supportive practices to make transformative yoga sadhana accessible to all bodies. We’ll use props and intelligent sequencing responsive to the needs of each participant. Learn to work with your body, not against it.

Part of having a body in our stressful modern era is dealing with its challenges – pain and stiffness, joint instability, neck and shoulder problems, back and knee issues, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, injury, illness… you have your list I’m sure!

Stability, functional anatomy, and deeply informed alignment are foundational to the asana at this retreat. We will explore strong, dynamic work, and practice rigorously – but in ways that are truly beneficial for you body, and every other layer of your being. We will sometimes use props and there will be options for consentual hands on adjustments as we explore active and restorative practices.

If you teach yoga, this is an amazing opportunity to deepen your skillset and your practice.

Asana, pranayama, and philosophy become much more meaningful through an anti-oppression lens. Our embodied spiritual transformation is a conduit for social change. The Retreat will not only strengthen you asana practice, but the ways you live your yoga, off the mat.

Invest in your health and happiness

Coming on a Retreat can feel like a brave stretch. You are so worthy of this level of care, healing, play, and relaxation!

This is preventative medicine for body, mind and spirit. Plus, when you sign up the benefits go far beyond the actual week on the beach. Months of gleeful anticipation, and sweet memories that last a lifetime become part of the tapestry of your inspiration, resilience, and true wellness. In fact, when we’re feeling healthy and happy, we don’t feel so driven to over consume, run ourselves ragged, get stuck – coming on retreat helps you be truly resourced.

Are you a yoga or wellness teacher? This Retreat is an in-depth yoga intensive, and provides Continuing Education credits for Yoga Teachers through Yoga Alliance and IYNAUS. Plus, if you teach yoga professionally, this whole trip could be tax deductible!

gender affirming yoga
circle of friends on a beach sacred play for activists and change makers

Accessibility

There are several room options to fit your budget, discounts for BIPOC, trans, and QTBIPOC, payment plans, and even 3 50% off Equity Scholarships available for QTBIPOC to help make this dream-come-true week in paradise more accessible.

All participants are required to have up to date Covid vaccine. 

If you have questions about if this retreat can meet your needs, feel free to email Avery using the form at the bottom of this page. 

For more accessibility on the space, info visit Mar de Jade’s FAQ.

We’ll enjoy:

  • Daily yoga asana, meditation, pranayama and philosophy workshops in a fully equipped studio overlooking the ocean. Silent meditation at sunrise – or sleep in, your choice! Most days will have a morning and afternoon session, with some afternoons free for unstructured rest or adventures.
  • Three gourmet meals a day. Every dish is made daily from scratch using fresh ingredients from Mar de Jade’s Organic Farm. Delicious and well balanced buffet-style meals are served in an open-air dining room overlooking Chacala bay. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, as well as fresh fish, seafood and chicken.
  • Ample time to relax in the pool, play in the waves, snorkel, nap, and explore. Soak and swim nestled amidst banana trees, bougainvillea flowers, and palm trees. Sway in a heavenly hammock while you watch the sunset colors dance on the perfect waves.

Optional activities include:

 

  • Temazcal – an ancient purification ceremony in an Aztec sweat lodge with a skilled Indigenous healer 
  • Massage (like, incredibly powerful healing, highly recommeded) and spa treatments (on location)
  • Visit Mar de Jade’s Organic Farm and Community Projects
  • Jungle hike and offerings to 2000 year old petroglyphs
  • Snorkel at Isla Coral, an uninhabited island with crystal clear waters, teaming with ocean life, a short boat ride from Mar de Jade
  • Day trips to Surfing, fishing trips, horseback riding, a birdwatching and wildlife tour, and more!
  • Spanish language lessons

What’s included:

  • Transfer to and from Puerta Vallarta Airport
  • All meals, lodging, yoga sessions
  • Taxes and processing fees

What’s not included: 

  • Airline Tickets
  • Gratuity for the MDJ Staff
  • Alcohol
  • Spa treatments
  • Temezcal
  • Excursions and Activities
  • Tips for Massage Therapists, Activity Guides

About Your Facilitators:

Avery Kalapa (they, them)

Avery queer trans yoga teacher

Avery Kalapa (they, them) is a Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, community weaver, and queer and trans wellness advocate; eRYT500, YACEP, BFA, with 20 years experience. Avery’s approach is rooted in anti-oppression: yoga for inner healing and collective liberation.

They love creating affirming healing spaces that don’t require assimilation. Celebrated for their enthusiasm, accessibility, and depth of technique, their teaching reflects deep gratitude for the Iyengar Lineage. They offer a vast knowledge of integrative functional anatomy and stability and embodied philosophy that empowers their students to experience tangible positive transformation in body mind and consciousness.

Avery is involved in various yoga equity and community care projects. They have a major crush on life! They’re also a gardener, artist, and parent. Avery brings the lived expereince of being a white, nonbinary, trans, queer settler grateful to live on unceded Tiwa land, in Albuquerque NM.

Anjali Kamath Rao (she, her)

Anjali Rao

Anjali Rao (she, her) is a yoga educator, researcher, and activist deeply interested in sharing the ancient wisdom of yoga in service to the challenges of the times. She brings an intersectional lens in integrating yoga philosophy and history, with storytelling, imagery and poetry.

She is an Indian American immigrant, a cancer survivor, a faculty member of YTTs and offers a course on Yoga and Activism in Accessible Yoga Training School.

She believes that a dedicated practice of yoga in all it’s expansiveness can alchemize and heal the world by creating ripples of change within and around us.

She is an aspiring writer, VP of the Board of Accessible Yoga. She is a lifelong student of Classical Dance, loves chocolate, books, old trees, the ocean and napping with her rescue pup, Hershey.

This Retreat is Perfect For....

  • Yoga practitioners who value healing spaces for folks with diverse identities and lived experiences. This Retreat is open to all, and is geared towards centering queer and trans folks, Black Indigenous People of Color, while uplifting non normativity, authenticity, body positivity, and the practice of co-conspiracy. 

  • Practitioners who want an deep immersive experience of Yoga Sadhana – who want to learn about the history, and full system of Yoga beyond just poses – and who would delight in a week of sincere practice in a wholesome, down to earth, luxurious tropical beach vacation setting.

  • Folks interested in alignment based asana and the Iyengar method: strong, active sequences and restorative asana infused with devotion, rooted in peace and justice.

  • Nature lovers who find joy in rad community, play that delights, and possess a sense of adventure, and are ready for some deep soul nourishment, something AMAZING, and truly life changing, to look forward to.

  • People who are up to date on their Covid vaccination.

 

“I leapt into Avery’s Retreat without having studied with them or knowing Iyengar yoga. I arrived ready to embrace the unknown, honor and connect with the land and its species, disrupt old and create new patterns in my body and mind, and reimagine what it means to be in community with strangers (many who organically became friends).

The energy, foods, and experiences that were shared among the group were life supporting, affirming, and playful.

Avery’s ability to facilitate care in a yoga space allowed for potent conversations, a foundation for transformative healing that I will revere and reference throughout my life, and a sense alignment with and curiosity about my deepest truths.

The metaphor for myself experiencing the retreat is an onion—spicy, strong, sweet, complex, textured, grounding, layered, dense. Supported by the land, Avery’s mindful awareness, and the community they brought together, invoked feelings of caramelization—a sense of spreading, softening, warming, and sweetness pulsing through my senses and spirit. Simultaneously, I felt sliced open—weeping and peeling back old layers and patterns in mind, movement, consciousness and unconsciousness. As a kid, I despised onions, and now they are among my most treasured foods. Onions, to me, represent change, evolution, intersection, and opening, and they also pair wonderfully with other things.

This retreat and symbolism is a reminder that I can always welcome new space to expand, express and seek liberation, and often most radically among the collective. I feel ready to build off this foundation in relation to myself, my chosen and ancestral families, and in service to the community.”

Jamie (she, they) – participant from last year’s Mexico Retreat

Room options are available on a first come, first served basis.

 

INVESTMENT 

Price Options per person, depending on your room style:

 

DORM Style Loft: (Up to 4 people per room) $2250

Double Occupancy, GUEST Room $2500

Double Occupancy, GARDEN Room $2750

Double Occupancy, OCEAN Room: $2850

Triple Occupancy SOLD OUT

Single Occupancy SOLD OUT

 

 

Save your spot with a $500 deposit, or pay in full.

Payment plans are available.  These prices include all taxes and fees!

After you pay, look out for a follow up email with a registration form. This is where you can tell us who you’re rooming with, or, if needed, we will pair you with a sweet roommate. Choose your room option when you check out. 

Are you able to contribute funds towards the equity scholarships for this Retreat, to help a QTBIPOC community member attend? Easily arrange your donation with Avery using the email form below or when you complete your registration! 

 

EXTRA DISCOUNTS

 

cis BIPOC $150 OFF

white Trans folks $150 OFF

use code MXEQUITY22

QTBIPOC $300 OFF

use code MXQTBIPOC22

After 10 folks sign up, 3 (three) 50% OFF scholarships will become available for QTBIPOC practitioners! Email Avery using the form below, to inquire.  

 

FAQ

Where do I fly into?

You’ll fly in and out of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Book a flight that gets in by early afternoon Saturday Nov. 12th and that departs Saturday afternoon Nov. 19th (Unless you want to build in some extra time in the area, which is fun and recommended if you have the time and resoures …)

Can I bring my kids?

Mar de Jade is family friendly! Email Avery to inquire about the extra cost to come with your kid(s). No childcare is available on site, however, so depending on age you’ll need to arrange someone to be with them.

Can I bring my partner who doesn’t want to join the yoga part?

YES – though they will still be responsible for the full price of the Retreat. Inquire for details. If you would like to come but need to skip some of the yoga sessions, no worries – we support your rest and agency. 

I have some old injuries, body issues … will I be able to do the yoga?

YES – You will be in good hands! We will be able to accommodate you and help you heal if you are dealing with physical issues that need care. If you are newer to yoga asana but up for diving in, you are welcome to join. Expect to be in a group of seasoned practitioners. Appropriate modifications and alternatives will be given during the retreat. Common yoga therapuetics such as knees, back care, and neck and shoulder issues will be addressed. Classes will be beginner – intermediate level and customized to all in attendance.

Do I need to bring my own props?

Nope – Mar de Jade has everything we’ll need, such as blocks, belts, chairs, blankets, bolsters. If you have a fave yoga mat, eye wrap, or special props you like to use, feel free to bring it along.

Is the ocean warm for easily swimming, or chilly?

Warm! Especially this time of year. This is also the mellow season in terms of wave size – great for swimming. We will be on a tropical beach, so get ready to shed the winter layers. Pack for summer weather. It’s nice to have multiple bathing suits so one can dry while you’re in and out of the pool, hot tub, and ocean throughout the day (and night!). At night it cools down a litte – nice to  have a lightweight long sleeve layer.

Can food allergies and other dietary restrictions be accommodated?

Yes – Vegan, veg, and gluten free options are always available, but if your meals need to be specially prepared separate from the group meals, there may be an extra fee.

What about Covid?

Readiness to travel is a personal decision. We want to make sure we do all we can as a group to keep everyone safe.

The state of Jalisco where we will be travelling has kept its numbers low througout, and has a lower Covid rate that most places in the US. Vaccines are a controversial issue in many communities, including yoga and holistic health communities. We want to know we’ve done everything possible to make sure we and the people hosting us stay healthy, so I am requiring that all participants are vaccinated.

We will be following the CDC and best practice protocols around Covid safety; it is required that all retreat participants are up to date on Covid vaccines and available boosters AND we will follow Mar de Jade’s current Covid policies.

Because of these factors and the contracts in place with Mar de Jade, airlines, etc, it is highly advised each participant gets travel insurance to cover their trip should anything not go according to plan. There are no refunds, transfers or discounts for cancellations, illness, arriving late, leaving early, or travel snafus. If you cancel your participation in the retreat for any reason, this cancellation policy applies. In the unlikely event that we must cancel due to pandemic shut down, border closures, natural disaster, etc, we cannot guarantee a refund – however, we will reschedule the Retreat!

What forms of payment do you accept?

You can pay with credit or debit card online. However, if you’d rather pay by check, Venmo, paypal, or Cash App these are also acceptable. You’ll need to email me to set that up. Lots of options! We can also break payments into a few chunks if that helps.

Still have questions? Email me, we can set up a call to chat.

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