When one thinks of a Pilates Retreat in Peru, the image of doing hundreds surrounded by llamas at Macchu Picchu may come to mind. This retreat was that, and so much more spiritual, without even being planned. On the first day of the retreat a shuttle drove all of the guests from Cuzco to the Sacred Valley. We drove through beautiful mountains not knowing what would await us at our destination. The roads narrowed and got bumpier, the town got increasingly more rural, and then the gates to The Source, our retreat location, opened. It is difficult to describe the awe and wonderment of everyone as we were given a tour of what would be our magical home for the next week. One looked just above the center to the nearby mountains and a breathtaking waterfall spilled from the top, giving life to the land below. The movement studio was round to honor the five elements of nature (ether, air, fire, water, earth), with a skylight that made it feel as though the waterfall was falling into your body as you moved. Each perfectly set building on the grounds was circled by water that led to other small waterfalls throughout the property. We opened our first evening with a traditional Coca Leaf Ceremony given to us by a Peruvian shaman. This taught us the deep importance of Pachamama to the Peruvian people (earth and elements), and how we must honor that which is inside of us and that which surrounds us.
This atmosphere set the tone for how I structured each class. Having been a Pilates teacher for 20 years and an Ayurvedic Practitioner for 10, I was excited to create a combination of the two. Within each class I focused on an element, whether it was earth and grounding, water and fluidity, fire and heat, air and lightness, or ether and space. It is beautiful to see how this can take one’s Pilates practice to a deeper level. During one of our classes, a Grammy award-winning harp player filled the studio for a two-hour meditation and restorative class. When we were not diving deep into movement, we enjoyed receiving massages, eating incredible healthy meals, deepening our friendship by the fireplace, shopping in the local market places, and going on tours to ancient sites. I always feel one should give back to the community they visit, so I organized an outing to a local indigenous school and an orphanage. The retreat guests all brought school supplies, dental care items, clothes, shoes, first aid equipment, and much more. The smiles and joy from the children was the best thing we all could have received. Our journey finished in one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Macchu Picchu. It was truly an indescribable adventure, where lifetime friendships were made and a deeper awareness was formed about how we – and the earth – are all connected.
Join Pilates Nosara Adventure Retreats in Costa Rica on June 23rd, 2018, in Colombia on September 8th, 2018, and in Mallorca, Spain in September 2019.