Event Highlights

  • Earn your 200YTT certification while journeying to one of the most beautiful sacred destinations on the planet
  • Enhance your understanding of the foundational aspects of yoga through asana, pranayama, meditation, kriyas, philosophy, anatomy, a healthy lifestyle and Ayurveda
  • Build your personal practice and gather concrete tools to embody the wisdom of The 4 Paths of Yoga, mindfulness, the Bhagavad Gita and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • Explore the potential of matching ecological integrity with human needs through permaculture design and sustainable living practices
  • Find your voice and unique expression as an empowered yoga teacher
  • Discover and apply sustainable project design tools to support a local community project
  • Immerse yourself in a beautiful retreat steeped in local wisdom and breathtaking landscapes
  • Embark on a journey of a lifetime and excavate the unique gifts you have to offer to the world


While each day will be different and focus on various themes and topics, here is a sample daily schedule to give you an idea of what a day during the Awakened Spirit YTT will look like:

6:30 Yoga and meditation
8:30 Breakfast
9:30 Yoga philosophy/ teaching methodology or anatomy
10:45 Tea break
11:00 Yoga Lab/ techniques
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Working Meditation
15:00 Yoga philosophy/ permaculture lecture or practicum
16:15 Break
16:30 Yoga Lab/ techniques
18:00 Dinner
*20:00-21:00 optional film or satsang twice per week

About This Event



Align your purpose and calling in beautiful Lake Atitlán Guatemla and grow likeminded community. Engage in learning through your yoga practice, re-inspire your lifestyle through permaculture and offer your heart in service to the local Mayan community. Learn the foundations of yoga through asana, breathwork, and mindfulness in this unique program combining ancient yogic wisdom and the intelligence of nature. 

In this monthlong hatha/ vinyasa teacher training retreat, you will gain the tools and resources to create and inspire change in yourself and your community. Awaken your true leadership to heal and nurture our communities and our earth. Deepen your yoga practice and embark on a transformational journey to discover how embodying holistic and sustainable practices can radically shift the way you live and engage in the world. 


• Yogis interested in deepening their practice
• Changemakers, innovators, activists and teachers
• Counselors and human rights workers
• Yoga teachers seeking to deepen their facilitation and community building skills
• Practitioners interested in new tools and approaches to designing and creating change


• Enhance your understanding of the foundational aspects of yoga through asana, pranayama, meditation, kriyas, philosophy, anatomy, a healthy lifestyle and Ayurveda
• Build your personal practice and gather concrete tools to embody the wisdom of The 4 Paths of Yoga, mindfulness, the Bhagavad Gita and The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
• Find your voice and unique expression as an empowered yoga teacher


• Gain knowledge in anatomy and physiology relating to the physical/mental benefits of yoga
• Learn a solid base of alignment, intelligent sequencing, theme weaving and adaptations in order to teach diverse populations
• Deepen experiential knowledge of the breath and its effect on the physical nervous system, our psychology and our spiritual selves
• Understanding of subtle anatomy and alignment guidelines for injury prevention to advance your yoga practice


• Learn the art of sequencing
• Explore various teaching methodologies, including modifications for age, focus and common injuries/conditions
• Become skilled at creating various class-styles: beginner, intermediate and an introduction to prenatal yoga
• Gain experience through a teaching practicum and receive feedback in a supportive environment


• Gain the tools and resources to create and inspire change in yourself and your community
• Release self-limiting beliefs and step into your power as a leader!
• Connect to your inner teacher and learn how to leverage your skills and strengths with your unique purpose
• Better understand how to design and manage a project in alignment with your values, skills, passion and leadership style


• Discover the subtle energy of yogic anatomy and how the chakras work
• Study and discussion of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Eight-Fold Path
• Learn about Ayurveda, nutrition, and the yogic diet


• Explore how to address issues of diversity, social justice, inclusion, and safety in a variety of contexts
• Learn how to nurture compassionate relationships, healthy families and a peaceful, sustainable world
• Discover the benefits and challenges of introducing yoga and mindfulness practices to diverse communities
• Learn and experience participation-based tools that support community impact projects through hands-on teaching
• Engage with the community that our work supports by participating in local social empowerment projects, addressing ecological and nutrition concerns in the local Mayan community


• Explore the potential of matching ecological integrity with human needs through permaculture design and sustainable living practices
• Connect with nature to inform your journey
• Learn the foundational principles of permaculture
• Learn practical tools and apply sustainable project design to support a local community project
• Co-create a community-lead reforestation project with the local Mayan community


Awakened Spirit was born from our personal visions for healing, creative freedom, and community. The seeds of this vision were planted in 2015 during our first yoga and permaculture immersion in the Sacred Highlands of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The heart of our community is grounded in a deep care for the earth, a reverence for ancient wisdom traditions and a belief in the human potential for transformation and healing. 

Our mission is to inspire personal transformation for regenerative change through yoga retreats and yoga teacher trainings in sacred locations around the world. 


Immerse yourself in an energy-conscious, off-grid, resourceful community of like-minded folk. Explore freedom of expression while re-discovering your true nature and connection to Mother Earth.

Shad and the team at Atitlán Organics consider small-scale food production and localized resource utilization the wave of the future. They are proud to spread the good word of permaculture, nutrient dense food production, local resource utilization, and other sustainable practices, as these are the areas where positive change can be most effective in our lives and communities.

Studying Permaculture with Atitlán Organics will fast track your understanding of how to interact with natural systems. The educational impact of Atitlán Organics is not only inspirational, it is also a fully-functional, profitable, and off-the-grid permaculture farm. The systems they have in place allow both visitors and students to experience the principles of permaculture in real time. They run their own sustainable hotel onsite called Bambu Guest House – a brand new, natural building boasting bathrooms and balconies in each room, new comfy beds, wifi, super hot water, and amazing views of the surrounding lake, mountains, and rivers. Lodging is shared, but private. The Bambu Guest House has a Farm-to-Table Restaurant that serves delicious and filling organic meals mainly composed of Atitlán Organics products, with some help from other local farms. Currently, Atitlán Organics supplies: milk, yogurt, cheese, salads, cooking greens, honey, coffee, chicken, taro root, pigeon peas, and herbs to the restaurant. 


• Receive an internationally recognized certification in yoga teaching and leadership
• Open and close your journey with a traditional Mayan Fire Ceremony
• Learn the fundamentals of our holistic and interdisciplinary approach to yoga
• Visit successful permaculture projects and learn from local wisdom keepers
• Discover the resources, inspiration, and community support you are seeking to create regenerative change
• Nourish your mind, body and spirit through daily yoga, meditation and living in harmony with the earth

Gain a renewed sense of purpose and passion, expanded networking and community organizing skills, and the heartfelt inspiration you need to deepen your connection to yoga and make meaningful impact in the world. Early bird pricing valid until the end of December.

This was the best travel and training experience I've had in terms of self growth! I have more confidence and am able to communicate easier with others. I’ve gained a lot more knowledge about the way I interact with the world and have more compassion for myself and others. I feel equipped as a leader – mostly in terms of owning my practice, truth and voice without hesitation, but also in sequencing, and the history and principles of yoga. Yoga has transformed me in every way – it’s such a great outlook on healing and expression. - Yara Kamal . . This training was the most authentic training I have ever participated in. Julia, Kristine & Shad did a fantastic job of taking the teachings of yoga & permaculture and presenting the material in a way that was relevant to our culture and time, allowing the teachings to feel alive while honoring it’s tradition. The emphasis on our connection to the environment and each other created a sense of community I haven’t found anywhere else. - Autumn Jean

What's Included

  • In-depth training 6 days a week
  • Daily yoga, meditation & philosophy classes
  • 1 day each week of unscheduled time to study and explore
  • 4 weeks of accommodations at Atitlán Organics' Bambu Guest House (community living focused on harmonious relationships with the planet)
  • 3 delicious, organic farm-to-table vegetarian meals per day
  • Permaculture immersion and community-led service project
  • Leadership + life-design module
  • Field trips to local permaculture projects
  • Mayan Fire Ceremony, Cacao Ceremony
  • Illustrated Yoga Teacher Training Manual
  • 200 hour Awakened Spirit Yoga Teacher Certification (YTT)*
  • *received upon successful completion of the program

What's Not Included

Travel costs and optional activities not included

Venue Highlights

Lake Atitlan has been called one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and in our humble opinion it is! At the Bambu you will re-connect with nature, fall asleep to the sounds of the nearby stream and wake up to amazing sunrises over the volcanoes surrounding the lake. Nearby Atitlan Organics permaculture farm is a great opportunity to connect with Mother Earth and re-discover the harmony between humans and the natural world.


Lodging is in shared and spacious rooms. Twin and double beds available. Linens and towels are provided. Each room has a private bathroom with shower, hot water, wifi, a balcony with hammocks and seating, amazing views, and super comfy beds!


  • Free Wifi
  • Sauna
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping
  • Ceremony Space

Menu Types

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


Retreat participants will receive three delicious, nourishing meals (with dessert!) throughout the day as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, and tea, coffee, and filtered water throughout the day. Bambu's farm to table restaurant is supplied by Atitlan Organics permaculture farm and other local producers to ensure the freshest meals possible. Trust us, your belly will be happy!


Coming from Antigua or Guatemala City you must travel to Panajachel, which is one of the three big towns on the lake and takes about 3-4 hours by shuttle. To get to Panajachel, you can take a tourist shuttle from Antigua for roughly Q100 per person or Q225 per person from Guatemala City. There are also private shuttle options that will you take you straight to our door in Tzununa. We can help make arrangements with any of this, so just let us know if you want some help.

From Panajachel, you take a boat (lancha) at the public dock. Tell the captain that you are going to the town of Tzununa ("zoo-new-nah") which is three public stops from Panajachel. This costs roughly Q15-20 per person.

Get off at the public dock in Tzununa and take a tuk tuk (little three wheeled car), tell them you want to go to El Bambu. This costs Q5 per person. When you get to El Bambu, go through the gate and up to the main building.

As noted, we are in the quiet, little town of Tzununa. From the guest house you are less than a 10-minute walk to the lake and less than 20 meters from beautiful rivers. You are a 45-minute walk or a 10-minute tuk tuk ride away from the town of San Marcos La Laguna. This has many places to eat, drink, practice yoga, etc.

We can help you get to the lake from Antigua, the airport, or from anywhere. Just contact us and we can arrange a shuttle for you.

Cancellation Policy

100% deposit refund for cancellation 30+ days before event.
50% deposit refund for cancellation 15-29 days before event.
0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-14 days before event.
The remaining balance (total price minus deposit) is due upon arrival.
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earth health holistic mindfulness permaculture retreat transformation wellness yoga ytt

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Lila Li   June 10, 2018

      An amazing place to rest, recharge and grow!!

    I stayed at the Bambu Guesthouse for 5 weeks as a facilitator for a yoga teacher training and had a wonderful experience. We loved the beautiful scenery from our room and even more so from our hammock on the balcony. Our morning meditations on the brand new yoga platform were very relaxing and peaceful, especially with the sunrise views over the lake. The staff were super helpful and they met our every need with positivity and friendliness. The food was healthy and delicious and sourced locally from the organic farm right up the road. I would recommend anyone who is looking for a nourishing personal retreat, or to dive deeper in permaculture and sustainability to stay at the Bambu Guesthouse. It's a fantastic experience!

  • Julia Forest   June 07, 2018

      Stunning Views and Wonderful Staff

    What can we say? We love Colleen and Shad and the venue is the perfect amount of eco conscious vs comfort. We brought a group of students to Bamboo for a 1 month yoga teacher training and Shad went above and beyond to ensure that the space was ready to accommodate our group. The food was delicious, local and organic and the dessert was creative and freshly made every day. We enjoyed the community dinning experience. Rooms are kept very clean and have a lot of natural light. The staff is very friendly and approachable. What we especially enjoyed about our stay was the early morning meditations on the yoga platform. Thank you again for a beautiful experience! We look forward to returning again in November!

  • Stella Artuso   June 04, 2018

      Yoga Retreat at the Bambu Guest House

    I recently co-facilitated a 5-day yoga & meditation retreat at the Bambu Guest house. I'm so happy that my first yoga retreat in Guatemala ending up at this stunning location and space. My co-facilitator and I felt supported by Shad and Colleen during the pre-retreat leg work (organizing, promoting etc.) Once we arrived, I knew we made the right decision to lead our yoga retreat at the Bambu Guest House. We were a small group and we felt taken care of from the moment we arrived up until we ended our stay. We were welcomed to use the space like it was our own home and could not get over the view of Lake Atitlan (and incredible sunrises!). The Guest house is a clean space, has comfortable beds, (hot!) showers, and lovely hammocks located on each private balcony. All yoga props needed are available, which was so helpful for us (as not all guest houses will provide this). Shad got his bolsters locally made (and they are gorgeous!). The food was consistently delicious. Chefs are from the local community and always provided fresh, tasty and filling meals. Much of the food that is served is from the local farm and mostly organic. Shad and Colleen were quick to take care of any minor issues we came across. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is that I felt that it was a little noisy at times (dogs, tuktuk etc- but, really its all part of the charm of being in Guatemala :)

  • Kristine Vanderplas   May 18, 2018

      Loved my time here!

    I stayed at the Bambu for a month while faciltating the Sacred Earth YTT with Awakened Spirit Yoga. The accommodations are comfortable and beautiful, the view of the lake is spectacular, the yoga deck is awesome and the meals were always a highlight. The staff at the Bambu went above and beyond to ensure that everyone in our group was accommodated for and comfortable. Located just down the road from Atitlan Organics we benefited from farm fresh produce and also the knowledge and expertise around permaculture. A beautiful community that is connected and committed to reducing their footprint and living in harmony with the land. This is an incredible retreat centre and I highly recommend a visit just for a meal or a longer term stay!

  • Colleen Donovan   May 17, 2018

      Warm, Caring, Knowledgeable

    Julia is an inspiring person and truly worth studying under. She is warm, cares deeply about all her students, and is knowledgeable and experienced in many areas of yoga, meditation, and holistic living. Cannot recommend highly enough!

  • Neal Hegarty   May 14, 2018

      My Stay at the Bambu

    I absolutely loved staying at the Bambu Guest house, I've stayed there as a course participant and as a normal guest. Its a beautiful construction, has amazing farm to table food and great friendly staff. Most of all I love the family vide there, its just like being in a house. The library is full of great books, its a great place to chill and read, do yoga on the deck. Its also an amazing place to take a course, with a really great environment, super conducive to learning and fun!!

  • Oliver M Goshey   May 13, 2018

      The best place to learn and explore

    Though this place is undoubtedly beautiful and unique, the real value is in all of the amazing courses that they offer throughout the year. Anyone interested in regenerative living, natural building and permaculture will find some of the best teachers and experts in the world here with real experience and gorgeous examples of inspiring projects all within walking distance of the hotel. On top of all of that, the farm to table meals are an absolute highlight. This a community that's really walking the walk in the way they build, farm, and interact with the community. Definitely worth coming back to a few times to make use of all the offerings and opportunities here

  • Isa Fortier   May 13, 2018

      Stunning spot

    The Bambu guest house, is a confortable spot to stay when you want tranquility, good vegetarien meal and meet people who have interest on permaculture. The Guest house is link with Atitlan organics an amazing permaculture farm who have 12 years of strong work. They now have a abondant and beautiful garden.

  • Colleen Donovan   August 31, 2017

      Knowledgeable and Passionate

    Shad not only has a wealth of knowledge to share with his students, but is driven by a true passion and belief in permaculture and holistic living. His course is inspirational and no one who takes it will ever look at the world in quite the same way again. Highly recommend

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

So that I am rejuvenated to be the best I can be in my relationships - personal, work and in Society - offering and giving to be of benefit to others! Laura

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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