The Yoga Forest

About us

The Yoga Forest was founded as a sustainable living experiment, through a desire for living simply, greenly and in communion with everything surrounding us.

In yoga practice, we clear the body and mind making space for wisdom and deeper understanding to flow freely and openly. In making space, we allow ourselves to experience our fullness and connection to everything around us. Yoga is therefore about cultivating flow through the body and mind and opening up to optimal experience – union.

Permaculture follows the same principles. In Permaculture, we are essentially making space for the wisdom of the entire system to fully flow, to become a more open and thriving container for life. Permaculture teaches us to observe the natural environment and work with rather than against the natural order of flow. Thus, in Permaculture we are also cultivating union. Through the Yoga of Permaculture, we are facilitating the experience of Yoga as deep ecology – by allowing the ecosystem, and ourselves within that system, to demonstrate their own evolution.

As we step into deep ecology and recognize ourselves as part of the ecosystems and world that we breathe, we begin to recognize the impacts we make. In Permaculture the idea that everything gardens means that everything we have in place is cultivating the whole. Therefore it is imperative to take time and recognize the impacts of all the plants, buildings, elements, animals, and insects on the whole of our Permaculture space. We are always dealing with ecosystems, whether it is in the personal body, the garden, home, or community. Everything we do with our personal bodies impacts the world around us. It may be subtle, and perhaps we may never notice, but regardless our thoughts affecting our actions affecting our world make us part of what gardens life in this world. In Yoga, a personal practice extends far beyond a quiet mind. It extends to where your attention goes. It increases your ability to respond as you become more aware. Through Permaculture, we unite the response to and awareness of our environment into a fusion of deep green yoga.

At The Yoga Forest, we want to live true to our ideals and honest with ourselves. For us, this means daily yoga, meditation and selfless service (seva or karma yoga) within the community and building a comfortable, peaceful place conducive to growth and sharing. To live in a healthy, balanced, natural manner is a way to make positive change for ourselves and for the ecosystems in which we live.

Find your Self in the Forest.

Venue Highlights

San Marcos la Laguna is a small Mayan village on Lake Atitlán in the western highlands of Guatemala. It has become a Mecca for international travelers attracted by its beauty, tranquility and diverse options for spiritual exploration and therapy. Terraced into the side of a cliff, The Yoga Forest is a twenty five minute hike up into the valley from Lake Atitlán, To escape to our lush tropical food forest please travel to us with a backpack, organic soaps, a head torch and a spirit of adventure.

Amenities

  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

We serve local organic produce whenever is possible and prepare our delicious vegetarian meal with love. We can cater to certain dietary restrictions, such as vegan and gluten free. Please advise management of your needs as well as any allergies.

Accommodations

The Yoga Forest has multiple accommodation options to suit all explorers. All accommodations are built using natural building techniques and materials, featuring comfortable beds, warm feather duvets, pillows, and decorated with Peruvian Shipibo fabrics and Guatemalan cushions.

Shared Cabañas:
Looking out over Lake Atitlán and its surrounding volcanoes, our shared cabañas accommodate four people,in large single beds. Using natural building techniques, our cabañas are constructed with either bamboo or cypress, palm roof and natural adobe walls or traditional bahareque (wattle and daub) of this area. The beds are comfortable, with warm feather duvets and pillows, and decorated with Peruvian Shipibo fabrics and Guatemalan Cushions.

Private Rooms, Radha & Krishna
With wonderful views of Lake Atitlán and the surrounding volcanoes, private rooms Radha & Krishna are located under our Shakti Shala and accommodate one or two people in a queen size bed. The beds are comfortable with warm feather duvets and pillows, and decorated with Guatemalan cushions. Most suitable for yogis, as meditation often begins upstairs at 6.15am (some days it will be in the other Temple space), and the Shala above may be used for personal practice or various workshops during the day.

Private Room, Lakshmi Wellness
Lakshmi Wellness is a space often used for massage treatments when unoccupied, with magical views of Lake Atitlán, the Lakshmi cabaña is the highest accommodation on the property made of cypress wood from sustainable Guatemalan plantations. This private space has a queen and single bed inside, and a comfortable terrace with sofa bed and hammock.

Private Forest Cabins
If you're looking for privacy, the Forest Cabins are perfect for you. With amazing lake and forest views, these cabins feature small terrace to relax and enjoy the view and accommodate two people with a queen and single bed inside, perfect for couples or friends to share.

Shiva Yogi Loft
A unique private space, the Shiva Yogi Loft is an open aired bamboo loft in our beautiful Shiva Temple, next to waterfall and cliffs. It is tucked up into the palm roof of this 10m high temple, creating a semi-private space with a queen size bed for one or two people (as there may be classes going on down below). Most suitable for yogis, as meditation often begins downstairs at 6.15am (some days it will be in the other Shala), and the Temple may be used for personal practice or various workshops during the day.

Ganesh Loft
Located above our cafe and office, the Ganesh Loft is built into the cliff wall. Made with bamboo, cypress and a palma roof, the Ganesh Loft looks out over The Yoga Forest to the lake and volcanoes. The Ganesh loft has a low to the ground queen size bed, antique Guatemalan furniture, Mayan fabrics and Indian textiles. The Ganesh Loft is only available at certain times of the year.

Directions

TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS
Morning Travel Recommended. Please arrange to take an 8-9am collective shuttle (Q100) from Antigua (or you can request a 9-10am private shuttle for Q800) in order to in San Marcos la Laguna with plenty of time in order to find Circles Cafe for our free 2PM ESCORT SERVICE. Please plan your travels accordingly, either spending a night in Antigua to make a morning shuttle, or stay in San Marcos la Laguna a night early. For your safety, LATE ARRIVALS ARE NOT PERMITTED.

THE DETAILS

1. Get to Antigua at least a day early and stay the night – Antigua is the tourist hub of the country and nearly all transportation runs through here. There are shuttles every hour from the airport to Antigua (Q100, 45mins-1.5hr depending on traffic)

2. From Antigua direct- Get an 8am or 9am collective shuttle (or 9-10m private shuttle) direct to San Marcos la Laguna (Q100), 3.5-4.5hrs depending on traffic, roads and weather). You can also come via San Pedro la Laguna if there are no shuttles leaving for San Marcos la Laguna (Q100), 3.5-4hrs). If on a San Pedro shuttle service, either get off the shuttle in San Pablo la Laguna and take a tuk-tuk (Q5) to San Marcos la Laguna (the next town over), or go all the way to San Pedro and then take the ‘lancha’ boat (Q10) to San Marcos.

3. From Antigua via Panajachel – From Antigua take a morning collective shuttle service (Q90) approximately 2.5hrs to Panajachel. From Pana take a ‘lancha’ boat (Q25) from the public dock (muelle publico) to cross the lake to San Marcos La Laguna. The lancha leaves every 30mins until 7.30pm and usually takes around 1 hour.

4. Arriving into San Marcos la Laguna; We are a 25 minute hike from the lakefront (15mins escorted along the mountain paths to The Yoga Forest from the back of town. Please find The Yoga Forest Meeting Point at Circles Cafe, just 30 meters down the path to the lake from the basketball court in the town center before 2pm.

We offer a FREE ESCORT SERVICE from Circles Cafe at 2pm sharp each day when we are expecting arrivals. Please email us to request the escort first, and on arrival to Circles please inform the Circles staff (before 1.30pm) that you are wanting an escort to The Yoga Forest, so that they may call us to be there for the 2pm service.

PLEASE BE AWARE WE DO NOT ACCEPT LATE ARRIVALS - 2PM SHARP PICKUP ONLY FOR ESCORT SERVICE



BACKUP PLAN FOR LATE ARRIVALS - Please stay in town and contact us on 33011835 that you arrived late so we can arrange the 2pm escort service for the following day. We recommend La Paz Hotel, Circles Cafe and Paco Real for accommodation if you missed the pickup. If you have missed the 2pm pickup due to circumstances beyond your control, when availability permits, we will extend your booking by an extra night free of charge. If extension of an extra night is not possible, we will offer a 50% refund on the first missed night for inconvenience. Please do not arrive alone, or after 2pm, if you arrive late, stay in town and come up the next day.

If you are determined to adventure your own way, follow the instructions to the right, and keep and eye out for the painted flowers on stones along the pathways, like the image below, please understand that we accept no responsibility for your safety if you choose to arrive and depart the forest on your own.

PRIVATE SHUTTLES

Private shuttles are recommended and can be arranged for a direct service from Antigua or Guatemala city to San Marcos La Laguna for a cost of Q800 (US$110) between 8-10am ONLY. Our drivers will meet you on arrival at the airport, or hotel, and upon arrival show you to Circles Cafe to await the 2pm ESCORT SERVICE. Please contact us at info@theyogaforest.org to arrange this for you.

PRIVATE SHUTTLE CANCELLATION NOTICE; Please be aware that short notice of less than 24hrs of a cancellation or delayed flight etc are still due for full payment. If a driver needs to be sent twice to get you (for them it is an 8 hour journey!) you will need to pay the cost of both trips.

Save these instructions and bring them on your travels to ensure a smoother journey to finding the Forest.

CONCERNED ABOUT SAFETY IN GUATEMALA?

Guatemala is a beautiful country, from the people to the culture to the landscapes, offering amazing experiences to any traveler. Safety is as much a consideration here as in any developing country you may visit or in any touristed area where economic disparity exists. If it will be your first time to Guatemala, or you are a concerned traveler, we always recommend private transport for peace of mind, which allows us to be in touch throughout your journey to The Yoga Forest. Please aim for a morning arrival before 12pm at the airport, or spend a night in Antigua and come the next day.

While traveling and when visiting towns and villages, we advise mindfulness. Don’t flash expensive devices or carry large amounts of cash. Theft tends to be petty and opportunistic. Take care with your valuables and lock them away safely. During your stay at The Yoga Forest, 24/7 security is provided on the property as well as secure storage for valuables in our office safe.

Tags: ayurveda healing kula collective massage meditation permaculture wellness yoga yoga retreats yoga teacher training

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