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7 tips for hosting your own yoga retreat

 Hosting and planning your own yoga retreat can be daunting. Here at AmaSer we are happy to share our insights. Here are our 7 tips on how to begin the process. 

1. Secure that money

A boring way to begin things, yes, but securing funding is crucial. Especially during these difficult times. A lot of retreat venues require a deposit to book your retreat. This is a personal financial risk for you. In case you have to cancel for any reason, you are likely to lose your deposit. Take into account that many venues ask for minimum numbers of students to sign up in order for you to host a retreat. So try to secure this before if you can.

Other important costs to consider:

  • Advertising the retreat
  • Lost income from classes you’ll miss out on teaching when you are away
  • Your own travel expenses
  • How to budget for the retreat’s food, any excursions, and activities

2. Create your vision

Your vibe will attract your tribe. When your retreat is an authentic reflection of...

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The Multi-Tasking Yoga Teacher

lifestyle tips yoga yoga teacher training | Posted Nov 09, 2020

Original Piece by Avani | 2016

There is a lot of pressure on yoga teachers to be juggling many skills: all star communicators, anatomy and physiology pros, committed practitioners, always kind, compassionate and available, skilled at hands on touch, present with ever breath…you get the picture.  It may seem overwhelming  to consider how you can focus on clear, concise cueing, observe you students, move through the space AND add hands-on touch.  The important skill in all of this is to approach each element with singular focus.  As you begin to feel more and more comfortable getting off your mat, see how it goes to add in just one assist (say, downward facing dog).  See how that goes.  Once that becomes very fluid, add the next piece.  How would you feel to move off your mat, offer a down dog assist AND add in a breath cue?  

What’s most important is that nothing is forced.  Forcing...

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AmaSer - The Magical Experience

Imagine you are overlooking the clear blue Caribbean ocean, the sun is setting behind the mountains that encircle the coastline. You have an amazing view because luckily you are on a jungle hillside. As you watch the coast turn from that light shimmering yellow to a deep cerebral purple, all around you is a cacophony of birds, chirping insects and howler monkeys calling in the now dimly lit treetops. Perhaps, you are at an evening yoga class at AmaSer. 

I’ve just started working here and in my opinion, the location of AmaSer is one of its most unique qualities. It is just a few minutes walk to town and the ocean, yet the elevated hillside microclimate provides a sense of seclusion and fresh, boisterous air. You’ll notice that AmaSer is not just in the jungle, it is intentionally amongst the jungle. Every corner of AmaSer is padded with foliage. Draped over the walkways you’ll see ferns, and palm leaves, tall or short coconut, banana and moringa...

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You, Yes YOU, Are a Yogi

lifestyle yoga yoga teacher training | Posted Nov 09, 2020

You, Yes YOU Are A Yogi  

The explosion of yoga on Instagram has visually defined what it means to be a yogi: $120 yoga pants and top, a skinny body with magically non-sweaty hair and professionally done makeup, most likely white.

No matter who you are, whether you fit most of those descriptors or none, it can be extremely intimidating to claim what seems to be such an elusive and EXclusive title as your own.

When asked if you do yoga, it’s hard not to qualify your ‘yes’; “Yeah I guess, but I’m not one of those crazy handstand people.” A full, confident, yes is a long-fought discussion with the Self until you can finally claim that YOU. Are. A. Yogi.

Here are some golden tidbits to help you end that war once and for all:

  • What we know as ‘yoga’ today in the West is really called ‘Asana,’ or the physical component of Yoga. And get this- it’s only one out of the EIGHT limbs of yoga!
  • Asana literally means...
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Let YTT Change Your Life, It Changed Ours: Real Voices From YTT Graduates

“First of all, it was so so so much more than I could have ever expected. I went in with a vision that I wanted to deepen my knowledge since I felt ”kind of stuck.” I did my practice and went to yoga lessons since 2012 so I felt it was time to get deeper.

Also in my daily life I started to ask myself questions about the meaning of life. I felt like humanity (myself included) is becoming so separate from nature and things that are natural for us. The only thing in my life that got me more connected was Yoga.

So after this YTT I felt so connected to my dharma. Many of my questions I’ve been thinking of was exactly what YTT was giving me. It was so liberating.

And now only Thanks to Caribe Yoga Academy I feel like I got such an ultra mega good training, so good that I felt the courage to start working with yoga right away in Sweden. Sharing the things of yoga that I feel very passionate about. And it’s working!! Talking about earthing, Ganesha and...

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Being Yoga.

A singular journey through a universal experience

 

Yoga Teacher Training: (Day One) 

8:00 a.m. – As I walk up to the lower entrance of Cashew Hill to meet the other girls, it feels reminiscent of all those summers I spent in camp. Nervous excitement, and quiet chatter can be felt and heard before we all walk in and head up the stairs. We’re gathered to take part in a non-immersive yoga teacher training through the Caribe Yoga Academy (CYA) that will take place every second weekend, over the course of the next three months.

Some of the girls have never seen the space before, because in all actuality, it’s only a few days old. We are the first group to be training at the CYA’s brand new facility here on Cashew Hill. We all take in the site together, along with the main attraction; the enormous wooden platform perfectly positioned to offer a clear view of the Caribbean Sea. The studio space is surrounded on all sides by the lush, green jungle and...

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The Vagus Nerve: The Body’s Natural Muscle Relaxer

Stress is one thing that we all are probably very familiar with, no matter what we do or where we are. Everyone has different ways of dealing with stress; some ways can wreak havoc on the body, and others offer a sweet sense of relief. 

Luckily, yoga is one of the best, natural forms of stress relief. Here’s how it works…

Yoga is much more than the physical asana that we bend and twist ourselves into. Pranayama (breath work) is a practice of guiding and controlling the breathe in order to awaken prana (life force) within the body. One of the most commonly used pranayama techniques is called Ujjayi breath, or victorious breath. Ujjayi breath begins to heat the body from the inside, and simulates the sound of the ocean in the top of the palette and the back of the throat. To practice this breath, you can slightly constrict the back of the throat and breath in and out of the nose. Imagine you are fogging up a car window with your breath making a...

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To Yin or to Yang? Uncovering the Benefits of Yin Yoga

Everything contains both yin and yang energy. We have all seen the popular swirling black & white “yin-yang” icon, which symbolizes the importance of balance and harmony between light and dark, hot and cold, masculine and feminine etc. We are constantly in a state of both yin and yang, however, we can place ourselves in states where one or the other is dominant. Often times in our hectic daily lives, Yang energy dominates our bodies and minds. In order to remain balanced, increasing Yin in our lives can be highly beneficial.

Yang energy is masculine, fiery, dominating, aggressive, hard, and hot. It represents fast and loud, movement and light, aggression and strength. This is the energy that takes over when we are in an intense hot yoga class, slipping in sweat with a strong focused mind. We feel the internal fire building with heart racing and muscles contracted, burning up all of our impurities. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Yin energy. This...

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Etiquette Schmetiquette: Student Edition

OK Yogis, I get it.

We are:

Carefree and flexible in both body and spirit, we go with the flow, move like water, have open minds, open hips, seek to love and appreciate ourselves for who we are, see the light in all beings and sometimes we wear balloon pants and flowers in our hair. Yogis have become synonymously associated with granolas, the earth mother/father archetype, those that you see flocking to music festivals with face paint and third eye crystals, the ones who make funny shapes with their bodies to some music that others “just don’t understand.” That’s us, yep. The yogis. We’re probably off somewhere participating in a massage circle or looking for the newest brand of local, fair-trade, organic, raw, vegan…anything. Yes, that is us. Now I say this all with love and only partially in jest because yes, I am one of you! You are all in me! I see your light; you see mine, yadda yadda yadda, Namaste and all that jazz. BUT….

 

...

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Etiquette Schmetiquette: Teacher Edition

Instructors can be culprits of the strange and inappropriate during class time; float around in the ethers living off of sunshine and rainbows, a bundle of macramé so thick you can’t find their wrist.  Teachers might come across as militant dictators, sporting black spandex from head-to-toe, catwoman-like, not one strand of hair out of place…probably because they’re as rigid with their beauty regimen as they are in their practice.  Hey, there’s a flavor for every type of student and it’s important to stay true to your own voice both as you teach and as you choose a teacher.  However, guidelines do exist in helping us steer clear of offensive or bothersome behaviors.  As teachers we can also step into ritual, a sacred cycle, one that sets us up to remain accessible while, of course, leaving room for our own personal flair.

 

 Show up and start on time.  As a yoga instructor “on time” means 20...

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