Recently, I went on my first ever yoga retreat in Chacala, Mexico at a wellness resort and yoga retreat center called Mar de Jade. I had never been on a yoga retreat before and wasn’t sure what to expect! I used to go to yoga classes in San Francisco years ago and loved it. This was my opportunity to jump back into yoga and also see what a yoga retreat is all about. Little did I know, I was about to embark on a week long journey of reflecting and learning about how to better yourself and the community around you.
Before & After Mar De Jade Yoga Retreat
Upon arriving at Mar de Jade, I was greeted by my Yoga Instructors, Jenny and Wade (on left), who I would be with for the following week. On the first day, I met my group that came from all walks of life and story lines. They started off as strangers and quickly turned into friends. Also, everyone was there for a different reason but we all had something in common that was soon to be discovered. There is something special in the air at Mar de Jade. You find a connection inward and with others.
This resort and retreat center has everything a yogi could dream of! It has the Spa, pools, Jacuzzi, private beach, bar, amazing food, a cute dog named Nina, excursion activities (hiking, whale watching, nearby town visits), and friendly staff. The best part about it is the experience of being there. Well, actually, a lot of people would say the home-made peanut butter. It is really good after all! 🙂 Most noteworthy, is the overall feeling you leave with which is really what stays with you. I arrived a bit anxious not knowing what to expect and I left relaxed and with renewed focus. Mar de Jade is a place to go to unwind and also feel part of a community focused on betterment of self and the world around you.
Mar de Jade Photo Gallery
Mar de Jade: School & Farm Visit
Over the course of my week stay, I got to know the family that started and runs Mar de Jade. I met Dr. Laura, who started Mar de Jade in the 80’s and also got to know her daughter Angelica who manages the operations of the resort and retreat center. Both of them as well as the rest of their family and team at Mar de Jade are heavily involved in the local community. They spend a large portion of their time focused on supporting the small fishing village of Chacala and nearby farming towns through their Community Projects.
When you visit Mar de Jade, you will have an opportunity to visit several of their projects including the Waldorf & Montessori school. They actually built this school from scratch! It started as an empty lot and turned into a place for learning and building connection. This school is offered to low-income kids in Chacala and provides them with holistic and quality education. I definitely recommend going on this tour when you visit as it’s truly eye-opening to see the impact on the children in the community. If you’d like to help fund the school for these low-income students, you can click here to donate. Note your donation will be 100% Tax-deductible.
The same day as the school tour, you will also have an opportunity to visit their 17 acre farm. They grow organic food and produce everything from mango and papaya to jamaica, carrots, arugula, eggs, beans and peanuts! On the farm, they also have a Trade School offered to under-educated youth, another community project that teaches practical skills.
School & Farm Photo Gallery
So, this was my first Yoga & Meditation Retreat and I went with Yoga Within You Retreats with Chicago-based instructors Jenny Guzon-Bae and Wade Yoga. If you’re in Chicago, I highly recommend paying them a visit! Also, they hold retreats around the world, so be sure to check their event pages if you’re interested. Both have an extensive background in teaching yoga and a clear passion for yoga and meditation.
At the start, I remember a few of us were weary of what we signed up for – two yoga classes a day that added up to nearly 4 hours?! Would we survive? Our first class was from 7 – 9 AM and the second one from 4 – 5:30 PM daily and for a week straight. Every class varied in difficulty level, practice, and focus. Yet, Jenny and Wade did a wonderful job teaching varying levels of poses from beginner to intermediate and advanced. Each day we gathered we had a new theme to focus on. They incorporated themes of staying grounded, facing your fears, removing obstacles, opening your heart, connection, and finding truth and light. Overall, our week together went by so fast and many of us can’t wait for the next retreat!
Yoga Retreat Photo Gallery
Overall, Mar de Jade offers more than a wellness vacation. It’s a place that can truly empower you to make positive changes within you as well as your community. A place where you can find connection with others through yoga and meditation. During your stay, they truly inspire you to make a difference in more ways than one. I walked away from my first ever yoga retreat feeling refreshed! I want to send a HUGE thank you to Mar de Jade, Jenny, and Wade for an incredible experience! I absolutely loved spending time with all of you and can’t wait to come back already. For more information, you can check out their website at Mar de Jade.
Please note I was welcomed as a guest by Mar de Jade and Yoga Within You Retreats. As always, all opinions are my own.