March 24 – 31, 2019


Yoga, Meditation, Service & Exploration
with Martha Whitney
For practitioners of all levels

Slow to the world and reconnect to your wholehearted self in this transformative retreat.

Imagine being inspired by the beauty of the natural world with morning fresh-air pranayama and meditation.

…. Imagine spaciousness in your body, mind and heart with two daily yoga classes.

… Imagine engagement and generosity as you participate in a rich service project and explore neighboring artistic communities.

…Imagine rejuvenating with times of quiet and contemplation, play and connection, restorative yoga, and deep rest.

VS Sitting in Tiger Temple

Awaken Your Good Heart is for those who want to nurture their spirit!  This all-inclusive, eight day journey includes twice daily yoga classes, hikes through vibrant villages, cultural and artistic activities, plenty of time for rest and exploration, and opportunities to share your joy, curiosity and love of life with local children.

The retreat will take place on the shores of Lake Atitlan at the wonderfully relaxing Villa Sumaya retreat center.  We will sink deeply into the beauty and tranquility of Villa Sumaya with its bamboo forests, lush gardens, tropical flowers, and stunning views of the Lake.

VS Welcome

Sumaya means “long-awaited dream” in Sanskrit, and Villa Sumaya is the perfect sanctuary to support your practice and your spirit.  We will be gathering for yoga and mediation in The Blue Tiger Temple, a spacious studio with wooden floors and glass walls overlooking Lake Atitlan and its three volcanoes. Our morning meditations will also take us throughout the grounds of the retreat center, where the songs of birds, the scent of flowers, and the waves lapping at the dock will inspire our outdoor practice. Each yoga and mediation session is intentionally planned to meet the needs of all participants; everyone from the beginner to the longtime practitioner is welcome!

VS Tiger Temple Inside

Morning Yoga


Martha photoRetreat guide, Martha Whitney, has designed a week full of both depth and lightheartedness.  Martha is known for offering a mindful, inspiring and welcoming yoga environment that fosters self-acceptance and embodied well-being. Her in-depth training in anatomy, movement and breath allows her to artfully guide postures that access body ease and aliveness. Her classes are skillfully designed to be accessible to a range of bodies and skill levels. Martha has been teaching yoga and offering body-mind therapy for over 25 years. She offers Yoga and Meditation retreats in Vermont and Quebec, inspiring joyful connection to our inner and outer landscapes.

IMG_3489Kristin DeVoe-Talluto creates travel experiences that weave together service, beauty, connection and adventure.  As the Director of Worlds of Light, Kristin leads trips to Guatemala each year, and is honored to serve as the coordinator for this retreat. Lake Atitlan holds a very special place in her heart and she loves to share it with those who feel drawn to experience its beauty and power.

Retreat Schedule

The flexible schedule is designed to allow you to deepen your yoga practice, immerse yourself in local culture, and serve the community all while soaking up the majesty of Lake Atitlan.  The schedule below captures the flow of the day while we are at the retreat center.

6:15 – 6:45   Guided meditation
7:00 – 8:30   Yoga class with meditation and pranayama
8:30 – 9:30   Breakfast
9:30 – 12:30 Time for relaxation
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 5:00   Excursion
5:00 – 6:30   Yoga class
6:30 – 7:30   Dinner
8:00 – 9:00   Evening program: yoga, meditation, artistic expression, discussion, etc.

For a detailed description about how each day will unfold, please see the retreat itinerary.

Processed with VSCO with c2 preset

Yoga and Meditation

Morning Pranayama and Meditation: We’ll be inspired with early morning, fresh-air pranayama (breathing practices), mindful walking, and sitting meditation. Savor this uplifting start to your day on the shores of Lake Atitlan or in our beautiful studio over looking the lake.

Morning Yoga: Each morning before breakfast we will enjoy a deeply nourishing, rejuvenating and integrative yoga practice. The practice will begin with gentle movements to wake your body with ease and then will deepen with a mindful, slow flow of postures to connect you to your spacious and grounded self. Practices on three of the mornings will include yin yoga in which floor postures are held within breath and compassionate awareness. Yin opens the deeper tissues for flexibility and balanced energy. Each of our morning practices will end with a guided savasana.

Late Afternoon Yoga: Throughout the week Martha will lead a series of one-hour practices designed to balance the body–mind–spirit.  The flow of each class will be responsive to each day’s activities, and will include pranayama, asanas, and meditation.

Evening Practice: We’ll end our days in deep wellbeing with three evenings of Restorative Yoga Practices and Yoga Nidra.

Martha will guide these practices to meet a mixed level of yoga experience and body ease.


Ancient Maya traditions are alive in the highlands of Guatemala. We will participate in a fire ceremony with a Mayan Day Keeper, visit with a woman who weaves traditional textiles, wander through an outdoor market, and tour a village where life-size murals depict scenes from daily life.  We will also have the chance to explore the colonial city of Antigua and spend the afternoon visiting the handcraft markets and walking the cobblestone roads of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Awaken Your Good Heart also includes time that is intentionally unscheduled so that you can create the perfect week for yourself: take a dip in the Lake, stroll into town for some sightseeing, indulge in a spa treatment, go on a hike, rent a kayak, hang out in your hammock, read on your private patio, enjoy a smoothie or a cocktail by the pool, or sit on the dock and breathe in the tranquility and ease of Lake Atitlan. You might also choose to book an optional extra tour through the retreat center, explore solo, or get a group together for an outing.  Possible activities include:

  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Spa treatments
  • Private boat tours
  • Exploring other villages
  • Hot tub or sauna
  • Cooking classes
  • Birdwatching

One of our retreat days will be devoted to service.  We will meet with leaders of Amigos de Santa Cruz, a remarkable NGO (founded by former Vermonter, Pat Thorpie). We’ll tour the village of Santa Cruz, learn about Amigos’ programs and work on a volunteer project to support their efforts. Lunch will be provided by teens trained in Amigos’ culinary program, and we’ll continue with the service in the afternoon.  For those interested, we will provide information about bringing down donations to support Amigos’ programs. This day of service is an opportunity for retreat participants to deepen their understanding of the local village and build connection with the Mayan community.


Villa Sumaya is known for its exotic, thatch-roofed complexes, elegantly-decorated rooms, patios with stunning views, and gorgeous studios. Villa Sumaya’s lush grounds contain hammocks, tropical flora, medicinal herbs and organic vegetable gardens. There is also a cafe, juice bar, healing spa, hot tub, sauna, boutique and plenty of cozy common areas. Retreat participants will be housed in double and triple rooms. Limited single supplements are available. Our pre- and post-retreat accommodations in Antigua will be in a comfortable, modest hotel two blocks from the main plaza.


Delicious vegetarian meals are offered three times each day, inspired by local and international dishes featuring Guatemala’s abundant fruits and vegetables.  Breakfast buffets include a main dish, granola, yogurt, fruit and daily specials. Luncheon buffets include a hearty vegetarian main course, organic greens, homemade bread and a local fruit platter. Dinner buffets include soup, vegetarian entrée, seasonal side dishes, organic greens and a scrumptious dessert. Guests may enjoy unlimited tea, coffee, and filtered water throughout their stay.  Participants may purchase juices, smoothies, local beers, wine, homemade margaritas, and cuba-libres, and fish and chicken options are offered for an additional $7/portion.

VS Dining Room


Spa Services (Optional)

Villa Sumaya offers revitalizing, therapeutic healing treatments at its Harmony Spa. If you would like to deepen your personal wellness with a treatment, you will have the option of booking an appointment with one of the gifted therapists on staff when we arrive at Villa Sumaya.


Pricing for the retreat begins at $1995.00.  For more information, please see the pricing guide.

What is included:
• 8 days and 7 nights of accommodation in double or triple rooms. (Six nights at Villa Sumaya and one night in Guatemala City or Antigua).
• In-country transportation during the retreat
• All meals in while on retreat
• 12 yoga classes with Martha
• Morning meditations with Martha
• Materials for our service projects
• Cultural activities and workshops including a Mayan Fire Ceremony
• Excursions to villages, Antigua, and an open-air market
• Gratuities for drivers

What is not covered: Personal expenses including international airfare, obtaining or renewing a passport, medical services, trip cancellation insurance, pre-retreat accommodations and meals, alcoholic beverages, laundry services, spa services, wifi at Villa Sumaya, and any private activities, transportation and meals not taken with the group.

Gratuities for the staff at Villa Sumaya are not included in the program fee and participants are encouraged to consider offering $6-8 per day which will be pooled and shared among the entire staff–from the gardeners (who carry your bags) to the cooks, servers, local managers, and housekeepers who make our stay so enjoyable.


The retreat begins at 1:00pm on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at Villa Sumaya.  We will be staying seven days and six nights at Villa Sumaya and then traveling as a group to spend our final night together in Antigua. The trip concludes with breakfast and shuttle transfer to the airport on Sunday, March 31.

Pre-Retreat Package (Optional)

You are encouraged to make pre-retreat arrangements that fit your schedule and budget.  However, if you would like ease and peace of mind, consider registering for the pre-retreat package. This includes airport shuttle service to a hotel in Antigua on Saturday, March 23, 2019, hotel accommodations on Saturday evening, dinner on Saturday evening, breakfast the next morning, and transportation to the retreat center. The cost for the pre-retreat package is $240.  For more information, please see the pricing guide.

Private Accommodations (Optional)

Retreat participants will stay in double or triple rooms while at Villa Sumaya and in Antigua. For those who prefer more privacy, we are able to offer a limited number of single rooms.  The single supplement cost is $400.  For more information, please see the pricing guide.

International Flights

International flights are not included in the retreat fee.  The local airport is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. Ideally, retreat participants will arrive in Guatemala by 8:00pm on Saturday night to allow plenty of time to get to their hotels and rest before the retreat begins. If your flight arrives after 8:00pm, we encourage you to choose a hotel close to La Aurora International Airport.


A deposit of $500 will hold your space. Please review our Deposit and Refund Policy for the retreat.


The balance of the retreat is due December 1, 2018.  Those who choose to pay in full by August 1, 2018 will receive a complimentary massage from one of Villa Sumaya’s gifted therapists.  Payment plan options are available.

If You have Questions…

We want you to feel comfortable, confident and excited about your time with us, and so we have included lots of additional information about the retreat on the pricing page, the retreat itinerary description, and the FAQs.  If you have any questions, please contact Kristin and Martha.

If you are ready to reserve your spot…

The 2019 retreat is full.  If you are interested in future retreats, please contact us to be added to our retreat mailing list.

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Casa del Tejido