About.

Journey to the Mayan Heartland for a transformational experience with Atitlan Organics and Awakened Spirit Yoga. Deepen your practice and feel the subtle and profound shifts that happen when you embrace sustainable and holistic practices. Drawing on the wisdom of both ancient yogic philosophy and Mother Earth herself, this 4-week course teaches the foundations of yoga through asana, breathwork, and mindfulness. Embedded within this training is Atitlan Organic's Foundations of Permaculture Course, which gives participants the chance to come into a deeper and more symbiotic relationship with the natural world. Highly recommended for yogis, change-makers, innovators, activists, seed planters, or anyone is interested in transformation.

Program.

The Sacred Earth YTT includes a full 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training (recognized by the Yoga Alliance) and a Foundations of Permaculture course! Our curriculum is rooted in the connections between Mind, Body and Earth and is designed to leave you inspired and empowered. We will learn to ground this knowledge and experience in the earth and in our actions. We will be delving into many topics during our time together including:

Anatomy & Physiology in Asana, Cueing, Teaching Methodology, Fostering Safe and Diverse Learning Environments, Yoga Philosophy and Ethics (the Yoga Sutras), all while exploring the intersection between yoga and permaculture. (See below for full curriculum)

SAMPLE DAILY FLOW:

6:00 am Meditation

6:30 am Yoga & Movement practice

8:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am Yoga Philosophy

10:45am Yoga Lab, Anatomy or Methodology

12:15pm Lunch

2:00 pm Yoga Philosophy or Permaculture

4:15pm Yoga Lab, Therapeutics or Methodology

7:15pm Dinner

8:00 pm Evening activity (meditation, circle, movie or reflection)*

*3 times per week


ACTIVITIES & WORKSHOPS:

  • Opening Mayan Fire Ceremony

  • Tour of Atitlan Organics Permaculture Farm and food forest

  • Sharing circles and group activities

  • Lunar Ceremonies

  • Cacao and Sound Ceremony

  • The Permaculture Principles

  • Approaches in Permaculture

  • Yoga Off the Mat

  • Field trip to Quix’aya (“Heart of Water”), an epic self-organized Maya Permaculture-inspired community.

  • Temezcal (Meso-American sauna)

    • YOUR STAY:

      During the course participants will stay in the Bambu Guest House, a super beautiful eco-hotel in the indigenous village of Tzununa. The "Bambu" was opened in 2015 as a site to house our permaculture volunteers and students. As such, it was founded out of a deep commitment to meaningful and sustainable living, values which resonate deeply with the yogic tradition.

      Built from all local and natural materials, the Bambu blends harmoniously into the surrounding nature. All guest rooms are big and bright, and come equipped with private bathrooms with hot water, wifi, comfy beds and balconies with hammocks and amazing views of Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes. The Bambu’s farm-to-table restaurant is supplied by Atitlan Organics and other local producers and serves 3 fresh, delicious meals a day plus snacks, dessert, tea and coffee. The skilled chefs are able to accommodate almost all dietary needs The Bambu Guest House proves that luxury and sustainability can go hand-in-hand!

      Participants of the Sacred Earth YTT have two room options to choose from

      GUEST ROOM: The spacious and airy guest room sleeps 3 people comfortably and offers a private bathroom and shower with hot running water, wifi, and a balcony with chairs and a hammock. Beautiful views of the lake and mountains and the soothing sounds of birds and the nearby stream filter into the room, soothing you into peace. USD $1395


      COMMUNAL ROOM: Our large communal room sleeps up to 6 people comfortably. Huge panorama windows let in incredible natural light, while the variety of bedding options gives everyone what they'd like. As with all our rooms, the communal room enjoys its own private bathroom and shower with hot water, wifi, and a balcony with chairs and a hammock. USD $1395

      FOOD

      The Bambu Guest House's on-site farm-to-table restaurant features products from our farm and other local producers. During your stay, you will enjoy three delicious and nourishing buffet-style vegetarian meals per day plus snacks and dessert, and tea, coffee, and filtered water available throughout the day. The dedicated staff works lovingly to prepare meals which sustain you as you journey into your studies and practice, and we promise that your bellies will be kept just as happy as your hearts and minds are! We pride ourselves on being able to accommodate nearly any dietary requirement, whether that be vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, or other special needs.

      TUITION & NEXT STEPS:

      We invite you to reserve your space on the upcoming course by paying a deposit of $300. The full tuition for the course with accommodations is $3,750 (Communal Room) or $3,950 (Guest Room). Upon payment of your deposit, we will be in touch with a questionnaire and information regarding the remainder of payment.

      FACILITATORS:

      Julia Forest, Lead Facilitator (ERYT 500): Julia Forest is an international yoga teacher, women’s health advocate, writer and closet artist who is passionate about health, environmentalism and yoga. She feels most at home wherever she rolls out her mat and finds inner peace and connection from a daily meditation practice. She created the Yoga Leadership and Permaculture Program, the first yoga teacher training program that combines yoga, mindfulness, permaculture and leadership to transform lives and communities.

      With more than a decade of teaching experience, Julia believes that yoga comes alive when practiced in every moment. She shares wholeheartedly the many blessings that yoga has brought to her life. Her passion for yoga, social change, connection and community has lead her to share holistic yoga teachings in many countries around the globe.

      Kristine Vanderplas, Lead Facilitator (ERYT 200): Kristine is inspired by the healing power of nature, the beauty in the world around us and the immense wisdom held in our bodies. Her life journey has taken her around the world, driven by the curiosity of human interactions and the eco-systems in which humanity thrives. She is a facilitator of movement, meditation and transformative experiences. Her yoga practice is informed by a deep listening to the body – accessing the wisdom held within to contribute to growth and healing. She is captivated by the potential of nature to heal and spends a great deal of time in the wilderness and working with the elements. Kristine co-created Temple23, a spiritual healing and events center in Toronto in 2015, and has moved on to pursue her wanderlust and desire to live in deeper connection to nature.

      For over 14 years, Kristine has contributed to global community development with a focus on youth. She has supported the strategic planning and implementation of several large international projects and continues to explore the intersection of creativity and sustainable change – searching for the most effective approaches for healing ourselves, our communities and this beautiful planet we call home.

      Rachelle Harvey, Facilitator (RYT 200): Rachelle is a yoga educator and lifelong student of movement, music, and the arts. Her years of professional experience in the fields of graphic design and art direction inspire how she weaves creativity through the practice both on and off the mat. Her pursuit of somatic study and expression is fueled by the desire to know deeper layers of the Self and come into a greater sense wellbeing through our relationship to breath, the planet, and each other. Her classes are informed by traditional Hatha yoga and inspired by dance and naturally arising movement, resulting in a fluid and therapeutic approach.

      As an artist and facilitator, Rachelle strives to create inclusive and accessible spaces for the teachings of yoga to live and breathe through everyone. She is fascinated by the mysteries of sound, the intelligence of nature, and the body’s innate ability to heal and create. She believes in the transformative power of the voice and weaves deep listening practices such as mantra meditation and sound healing into her work. She also loves to work with Cacao as a plant ally in facilitating expanded awareness of the heart and embodying deeper states of authenticity.

      Rachelle has studied all over the world and. She currently facilitates movement and sound retreats around the globe, and offers branding and design mentorship to conscious entrepreneurs following pursuits of passion. She is the founder of Folk Collective, an ethical trade initiative that supports artisans around the world while preserving the generational wisdom of craft lineages. She is one of the founding members of Awakened Spirit Yoga and currently hangs hats and stores mats in both Canada and Guatemala.

      Shad Qudsi, Permaculture Facilitator: Shad Qudsi has 15 years experience in organic and commercial gardening and farming. He is in Permaculture Design and has over 9 years experience in holistic site development and homesteading. Shad originally set out to study mathematics and work in big business, but long ago had a change of heart. In 2010, Shad and wife Colleen founded Atitlan Organics Permaculture farm in the village of Tzununa. He can now be found dancing in his garden. Aside from all of this, Shad is an enthusiastic teacher who truly believes in the work he is doing. Human resiliency cannot be erased from the landscape and now, it is coming back with a gentle loving caress.


      FULL CURRICULUM:

      TECHNIQUES, TRAINING, AND PRACTICE

      • This includes analytical training and guided practice in asana, pranayama, kriyas (purification), chanting, mantra, meditation and other traditional yoga techniques. Daily yoga and meditation practice.

      • Introduction to prenatal yoga.

      TEACHING METHODOLOGY

      • Communication skills such as group dynamics, time management, and the establishment of priorities and boundaries

      • How to address the specific needs of individuals and special populations

      • Trauma sensitivity training and teaching one on one sessions

      • Principles of demonstration, observation, assisting and adjusting

      • Qualities of a teacher & teaching styles

      • Form, method of teaching, benefits and cautions of principal asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing techniques) and 2 kriyas (cleansing techniques)

      • Learning to create various class-styles: beginner, intermediate and an introduction to prenatal yoga: each class having either a very mindful, flowing sequence, or dynamic, depending on your nature as a yoga teacher, and the students present in any given class

      • Teaching methodology, including modifications for age and common injuries/conditions, how to create a grounded and inspired space for teaching/learning, the use of voice, prenatal modifications, etc.

      • The Five Categories of Asana: The trainee will practice and learn the key poses in each category of asana (standing poses, forward bends, backbends, twists, and inversions) and will begin to develop a relationship to both the form and the function of these different categories

      • Maps of Alignment: Trainees will achieve comprehension of the alignment maps for each of the five categories of asanas through observation and experience of how the poses in each category share a common foundation, and how to build upon this foundation.

      • The student learning process, learning styles based on doshas

      • Business aspects of teaching yoga (including marketing and legal)

      ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY

      • Human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, fascial chains theory, etc.)

      • Energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, 5 pranas, koshas, etc.)

      • Anatomy and physiology along with its application to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc.)

      YOGA PHILOSOPHY, LIFESTYLE, AND ETHICS

      • The study of yoga philosophies and introduction to traditional texts (such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Bhagavad Gita)

      • Self-reflection, independent study

      • Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of dharma and karma

      • Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community

      • Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others (seva)

      • Introduction to Ayurveda, nutrition, and the yogic diet.


        PRACTICUM: 

      • Practice teaching as the lead instructor

      • Receiving and giving feedback

      • Observing others teaching

      • Assisting students while someone else is teaching.

        PERMACULTURE:

      • Complete Atitlan Organics Introduction to Permaculture Course

      • Permaculture ethics and principles and their application to farming and lifestyle

      • Gardening, including garden design, garden bed preparation, and planting

      • Landscape design via Permaculture Zones

      • Earthworks, including swales and contours

      • Water systems, including catchment, banana circles, and swales

      • Integrated animal husbandry.

        ADMISSIONS CRITERIA:

      • You must be at least 18 years of age to participate in our training.

      • Physical, mental, and emotional preparedness: Our certification program is offered in a 4week intensive format. To be admitted, you must be ready to fully participate in all aspects of the training. Participants must be able to support the group learning process, be on time and be prepared to engage in all of the classes.

      • Yoga experience: At a minimum you must have been practicing regularly for one year. Any pre-reading and homework required must be completed prior to the commencement of the training. There is a total of 10 hours of homework which includes reading the books on the reading list and assignments. You must be prepared to complete all requirements to the director’s satisfaction to receive your certificate for the entire training. This certificate can then be submitted to Yoga Alliance for Registered Yoga Teacher designation.

      By registering for this course, we understand that you have read and complied with the above criteria

Living Conditions.

Sleeping

  • shared rooms

Vegetarian Food

  • over 80% locally sourced
  • restaurant on site

Internet

  • fast: streaming video

Ongoing classes

  • yoga
    multiple times a day
  • permaculture
    1-2 times per week
  • meditation
    daily

Getting here.

We are located 3.5 - 4.5 hours from La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. Public shuttles run several times a day from the airport or Antigua to Panajachel, the main town on Lake Atitlan. From “Pana,” you will take a lancha (boat) to Tzununa, about a 30 minute ride. Get off at the public dock in Tzununa and grab a tuk tuk (small three-wheeled car) to the Bambu Guest House.

Alternatively, you can take a private shuttle direct from the airport or your hotel to the Bambu Guest House.

We are happy to help arrange your in-country transportation. Just let us know your travel plans and how we can help. 

Contact

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