Colleen interviews Sophia Bruun about her upcoming retreat Peaceful Pacifico set in Oaxaca, Mexico. Register today
Q: What is the daily schedule like during the retreat, including the timing of yoga classes, meditation sessions, and other activities?
A: While no two days are exactly alike, we start each morning around 6:45 with a 20-30 minute meditation to welcome the sunrise, typically followed by a yoga asana class. Multiple styles of yoga are offered throughout the retreat, from yin and restorative to dynamic vinyasa and jivamukti flows. Every day includes free time, and plenty to do, or not do, during that time, like go to the beach, get a massage, swim in the pool, relax in a hammock, etc. Evening activities will finish by 10 PM at the latest. All activities are optional, but of course, you are encouraged to participate!
Q: Can you tell me more about the New Moon Temazcal ceremony and its significance in the retreat experience?
A: The Temazcal Ceremony is a very special opportunity to set personal intentions while harnessing the energy of the New Moon in Aquarius. It just so happens to be a very community-oriented sign, making it an ideal time for this shared experience. This portion will include an educational talk about the cultural significance and philosophy behind what we are doing, a fire ceremony, a cacao ceremony, temazcal (sweat lodge) ceremony, and a water ceremony at the end. We will learn about and experience this ancient tradition with our lovely temazcaleros, Jesus and Sonya, who are wonderful guides and compassionate space-holders. This is a very cleansing, healing, and rejuvenating experience that will take place during the exact timing of the New Moon.
Q: How is the digital detox portion of the retreat structured, and what support is provided to help participants disconnect from technology successfully?
A: The idea of a digital detox is to intentionally take a break from the alluring world of screens, especially social media. This portion of the retreat officially commences on the morning of the 8th and closes on the morning of the 11th. Participants have the option to turn off their phone and store it in their safe, or to turn in their phone to me if they worry about temptation, and I will store it, off, in my safe. Everyone is asked to bring a watch and a flashlight as they won't be able to use a phone for these purposes. And, ahead of time, I will also provide an emergency contact to share with friends/family so that retreat participants can be reached if needed.
In my previous experience hosting digital detox retreats, the digital detox inspired a very thoughtful conversation around mindful tech consumption and also brought up some emotion. The general consensus was that it ultimately felt liberating and refreshing to be without a phone, but at times brought up discomfort in some, which is also ok! We will have a very supportive and non-judgemental container to navigate this experience together, and I have no doubt it will be illuminating for all involved.
Q: Could you share some details about the accommodation options and what attendees can expect regarding comfort and amenities?
A: The retreat center has a range of clean, tasteful, and comfortable accommodations, including a king-sized room for one (or a couple) with breathtaking ocean views, or shared rooms with two double beds, with either ocean or jungle views. Every room comes with bathroom essentials, beach towels, fast & free WIFI, a safe, a fan, and a terrace with hammocks. The ocean-view rooms have gorgeous high palapa ceilings crafted with local traditional building techniques, as does the yoga shala and dining hall. While there is no hot water or A/C, there isn't a need for either, especially at this time of year! The biggest issue for some may be the steep hill that we will be walking up and down to go between the retreat center and the beach. It is only a short walk (10 minutes), but quite an intense workout, and extremely heart-healthy – all that! We will occasionally take taxis, but if you want to go to the beach in your free time, be prepared.
Q: What makes this retreat unique regarding sustainability and its environmental impact, especially considering activities like the eco-tour and baby sea turtle release?
A: This retreat is meant to support not only mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, but also ecological consciousness. How? For example, the retreat center does not have hot water or A/C (major energy consumers) and incorporates many natural and reclaimed local materials in its structures and interior design, like bamboo and palm leaf. Some of the wood furniture even comes from trees that fell during hurricanes.
Activities with an environmental focus include the karma yoga offering, where we can help local volunteers prepare recycling for shipment, the lagoon tour of La Ventanilla, and the baby sea turtle release. Our La Ventanilla tour guides are true stewards of the land, responsible for the reforestation efforts to bring back the mangroves after massive losses during a hurricane in 2022. Our boat tickets directly support these efforts. We will also be supporting the revival of the sea turtle population, as this region of Oaxaca has a dark history involving sea turtle massacres before the turtle meat trade was outlawed in Mexico. Thankfully, today, major conservation efforts are underway to repopulate the ocean with these beautiful creatures, and we get to be part of that! We will also walk much of the time to lower our emissions during the retreat.
Peaceful Pacifico is taking place in Oaxaca, Mexico February 7th - 11th and is hosted by Sophia Bruun. There are only a couple spots left as of today. Bring a family member or friend, and book now to experience an intention digital detox and focus on connection to self and others.