Playa Yoga Retreat 2015

This trip was cancelled on 11/1/14 due to low applicant volume. Sorry!

When: February 28 – March 21, 2015
Dates subject to slight shift due to airline availability

Where: Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Who: 8 students (ages 15-21) plus trip leaders Abbi Miller and Katie Brennan
A total of 8 students is required to run this trip.

How Much: $3400 includes all group activities, ground transportation, housing, breakfasts, and dinners.
International airfare, lunches, snacks, and extra activities are not included.
How Can I Fundraise For This Trip?

Group Flight Departure/Arrival: Dallas-Fort Worth / Cancun

Priority Application Date: October 31st, 2014

Application StatusCancelled due to low applicant volume.

¡Vamos a la Playa!

Katie and Abbi, your incredible leaders

Katie and Abbi, your incredible leaders

Do you dream of being a human pretzel? Enjoy talking about superfood smoothies? Like speaking Spanish whilst standing on your head?  Then vamos a la playa (let’s go to the beach)!

This is not your average beach trip. Join Abbi and Katie for a delicious yoga retreat that will soothe and strengthen the mind, body and spirit.

Trip Purpose

Every Unschool Adventure trip is created with a specific purpose in mind. On this trip, we will connect, play and deepen our understanding of yoga on the magical beaches of Mexico.  No previous yoga experience necessary, but an interest in learning is a must.

What is yoga? Yoga is an ancient practice formed over 6,000 years ago in India. It is a science and an art. There is a huge physiological component (read: breathing, stretching) that enhances all of our body systems, but also so much more to understand that is “off the mat”, in terms of philosophy and lifestyle. We will gather daily to practice the asana (yoga poses), as well as ending with a small themed lesson followed by a group discussion on yogic principles based on the Ashtanga eight limb path to yoga.


Our group will enjoy 75-min private yoga classes with Abbi six days a week. Most classes will take place on the rooftop “sky loft” yoga space at the Soho Hotel in Playa Del Carmen.

Abbi has taught yoga for 6 years and facilitates an athletic (read: sweaty), musical ,and rooted Vinyasa flow practice. A certified instructor through Laughing Lotus (San Francisco) and Karma Kids (NYC), she teaches to yogis of all abilities and embraces modifications whenever needed. Her classes are friendly, playful and challenging; including chanting, focus on alignment, yogic philosophy, pranayama / breath work, challenging advanced poses, guided meditation, and good old-fashioned fun. When you finish her class, you will feel like life just got a little bit juicier.

1043858_10101585571798293_4865638522645425960_nKatie will be our fearless leader of the pre-dinner meditation sessions on the beach!  She has led mindfulness exercises with her therapy groups and clients (she is a therapist and in the middle of a dance therapy program). Mindfulness is the practice of sinking into the present moment while being aware of thoughts that may come and go without judging them or attaching to them. This practice reduces stress and increases self awareness.

As a group, morning mindfulness will be guided in different formats, seeking to connect with our natural setting at the beach and our own inner voices and emotions, just as they are. We will practice paying attention and listening deeply despite distractions that may come and go. We will use our breathing and moving bodies as we move toward being more fully at home in ourselves and the world.


Sound Therapy

Sound Therapy

Beyond Yoga

Additional, included group activities will include:

  • Shaman-led Mayan meditation session in a jungle temple
  • Touring the Xenotes Oasis
  • Exploring the ecological wonders of the Sian Ka’an Reserve and nearby Mayan Ruins of Tulum
  • Sound therapy yoga session

Field trips will only go to destinations known to be completely safe for western tourists. The exact group activity is subject to change.

For those who want even more awesomeness, we will help you arrange the following optional, pay-your-own-way activities:

  • Additional yoga class offerings in Playa Del Carmen with other yoga teachers (of which there are many)
  • Spanish language tutoring (private or group) with a local organization, Spanish Joyfully


Housing and Food

The group will stay in a private rented vacation home within walking distance of downtown Playa Del Carmen. Each student will have his or her own bed.

Breakfasts will consist of simple foods like eggs, fruit, yogurt, cereal, and croissants.

Lunches are a chance for students to explore the area in small groups and find whatever suits their fancy! As a major health retreat destination, Playa del Carmen is full of organic markets and smoothie bars. There’s also great local Mexican food (of course) and an array of international cuisines such as Indian, Sushi, Thai, and more. (Are you drooling yet?) We recommend bringing $10 per lunch.

Dinners are organic meals custom-crafted by a local chef, delivered to our doorstep. Any dietary need can be catered to, including gluten-free, carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, and ayurvedic. A few possibilities include:

  • A Mexican themed night, with tacos (corn so they are gluten free) or wrapped in lettuce with a lentil and nut “meat” filling and lots of different salsas
  • Gluten free pasta with a roasted cauliflower “Alfredo” sauce
  • Thai style gluten free spring rolls with a peanut coleslaw
  • Vegan, gluten free avocado chocolate (or carob) cake

Rooftop “sky loft” yoga space

Daily Schedule

Monday through Friday:

  • 9:30am: breakfast & group mini-meeting
  • 10:30am: walk to downtown Playa Del Carmen
  • 11:00am: morning rooftop yoga practice + yogic philosophy talk with Abbi
  • 12:30pm: lunch
  • 1:30pm-5:30pm: staff-led beach time and/or student-led free time (for additional yoga classes, optional Spanish lessons, volunteering, napping, etc.)
  • 5:30-6:30pm: beach meditation session led by Katie
  • 6:30pm: group gourmet organic dinner and evening meeting
  • 8:00pm: unscheduled evening free time, for group games, long conversations, and headstand competitions

Saturday & Sunday:

  • One full “day off” for rest and relaxation
  • One group excursion (see “Beyond Yoga” above)
  • Option of more yoga at local studios or extended beach time

On every Unschool Adventures trip, we keep things loose and give you as much free time as possible to rest, explore, and organize your own activities, whether that means finding a great lunch spot, haggling for souvenirs with friends in a market, or taking a quiet hour to journal. Introverts and extraverts alike will get what they need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the extra costs on this trip?

The program fee of $3400 includes all group activities, ground transportation, housing, breakfasts, and dinners.

International airfare, lunches, snacks, and extra activities are not included.

We anticipate the following extra costs:

•Roundtrip group airfare from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cancun: $500-$700
•Lunches: $200
•Snacks & gifts: $100
In total, the extra costs are estimated at $800-$1000. Please note this does not include domestic airfare to/from Dallas-Fort Worth.

Optional activities:

•Additional yoga classes: $10-20 per class
•Spanish lessons: $20 (group) or $30 (private) per hour

How safe is Playa Del Carmen and the surrounding areas?

Playa Del Carmen is a very popular destination for western travelers, and crime rates are very low there compared to other parts of Mexico. Even so, we will take extra precautions and not allow students to walk without staff at night.

When is the program fee due, and what is the refund policy?

After receiving your offer of enrollment, we ask for full upfront payment of the program fee. If this is not possible, we ask for a $1000 nonrefundable deposit with the remainder of the balance due 3 months before departure date (i.e. end of November). If neither of these plans work for you, please write us before applying to discuss options.

All payments beyond the first $1000 are refundable until 3 months before departure date, at which point no refunds can be offered.

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