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A “Svadhyaya” Retreat to Cala de Mar, Ixtapa

My name is: Maria Elena Checa.

I’m known for being: Co-owner of Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa. Wellness is my passion! I’ve dedicated my life to creating experiences where people can feel good because feeling good is the start to everything, no? Along with my trusted team of highly qualified professionals, I am constantly creating unique and transformative experiences for our guests.

I’m hosting a retreat called: Our latest offering is what we’re calling our “Wellness Journey.” Our guests can curate their own ultimate wellness retreat. The idea is to combine our skills and offerings with our guests’ individual interests to create a personal and unique retreat experience, complete with plenty of downtime to chill poolside with a margarita or mezcal (if that’s what the guest is looking forward to). Some options for the journey include:

  • an opening ceremony for intention set on the private terrace of your oceanfront suite
  • tailored daily yoga for two
  • couples meditation in the beautiful outdoor “Zen Zone” hideaway by the ocean
  • a therapeutic massage for two (don’t miss the special fresca drinks and teas at the spa!)
  • a hydro-ritual for two
  • mezcal tasting
  • golden milk workshop
  • smoothie workshop
  • closing ceremony in Cala’s Cove: take your intention card to sea or take your card home to plant your intentions in your own garden. (These cards are 100% biodegradable, as they are made out of seeds). 

The minimum stay is three-nights and meals included are all healthy with vegan options.

The next designed retreat I am hosting is: “Svadhyaya.” It will focus on the inner self. Because, so often, we feel like we’ll be happier after losing X amount of pounds or once we make more money or even we’ll be a “real yogi” once we can master koundinyasana etc. There will always be something that we imagine could make us happier and Svadhyaya is about finding acceptance, satisfaction and contentment. This retreat is about appreciating ourselves and learning that, like seasons, we are subject to change. And, instead of working against those changes, we can learn to accept the natural ebbs and flows of life. I’m excited that people will have the opportunity to explore the idea that we don’t need to find happiness anywhere but within ourselves.

It’s happening: March 25-29, 2020 at Cala de Mar. To book, call: +52 755 555 1109

I was drawn to this spot because:

What makes Cala de Mar so special is it’s an elegant little hideaway perched on the cliffs of Ixtapa—where the luminous tropical savanna forest meets the ocean. I really believe it’s where magic happens.

And we’re more than just a resort with amazing views. The natural beauty of this place is transformative. Whether you’re celebrating a wedding, anniversary, going through a breakup or just need space from life, the environment lends itself to allowing the body and mind to reset. 

First off, just being by the sea is restorative. The negative ions in the sea air allow you to absorb more oxygen and boost serotonin levels in your brain. And gazing into the vastness of the ocean and its never-ending horizons is such a humbling sight. The ocean is really a great catalyst for deep introspection, which is why wellness and the ocean usually go hand-in-hand.  

There are other activities for resetting and unwinding like meditating in the Zen Zone, relaxing in the infinity pool or taking a walk under the canopy-covered cycle path.

I also love how serene everything is, yet so alive! It’s such a symphony of sounds here from the ocean crashing against the rocks to the jungle birdsongs to the clicking of geckos.  

This retreat is special because:
We bring alive an authentic and traditional local experience with the right dose of downward dogs, meditation, top-quality spa treatments and other offerings. 

The temazcal sweat lodge is a great example. At Cala de Mar Ixtapa you will be able to enjoy an ancient Mexican-American tradition with ultra-luxury accommodations and superb healthy foods, all in the most inspiring location. 

Our offerings for this retreat include yoga, meditation, sunset salutations, nidra yoga, janzu, a cacao ceremony, sessions for introspection, a fire ceremony, a temazcal sweat lodge ceremony and more. We provide guided activities focused on health, self-care and enlightenment so you can leave feeling inspired.

One thing you can’t miss is:

The traditional temazcal sweat lodge ceremony. This experience is guided by Lupita, who calls herself “la guardiana de la tierra” or “guardian of the earth.”

It’s part sweat lodge/part sacred ritual that was practiced by the ancient Aztec people. Like a sauna, the restorative part of this practice occurs as the body rids itself of toxins through sweating, but there is a deeper meaning to the whole practice too. 

Once inside, you will be encouraged to chant and do a deep dive into your body and soul. The temazcal represents a womb or a symbolic passage between the heavens and the underworld and, when you leave the bath, you are reborn again.

My favorite secret detail is:

How well the healing practices of the East and the West blend here. We have activities taught to us by the ancient Indians and Aztec Mexican like the cacao ceremony and temazcal along with Eastern practices like yoga, qigong and janzu.

Your body will thank you because:

This retreat is designed for the well-being of the body and mind. Most often, you return home from a trip having overindulged in wine and food or anxious, thinking about catching up with your daily routine. But, after a stay with us, our guests go back feeling better than when they arrived. They are rejuvenated, inspired, full of energy—oh, and they also come home looking like a bronzed gods/goddesses if they choose!

I never retreat without bringing:
A positive attitude and an open mind. I set daily intentions to help me stay present and patient. I try not to get caught up in my phone or work as much as I can.

And I never go anywhere, let alone a retreat, without SPF—and it has to be clean, non-toxic, reef safe. 

Retreating should be part of your process because:

Retreats are transcendent experiences like a little reset button, so we can recalibrate. We all work too much; that’s a fact. And although work can be fulfilling, sometimes even fun, the majority of us are spending half our lives sitting hunched over on a desk under fluorescent light, which is not good for the body or the mind.

We all deserve to reconnect with ourselves and our natural environment. Take your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, breathe the clean ocean air, book a deep tissue massage and enjoy all of it guilt-free. Let someone take care of you for a little bit; let us take care of you. (It’s sort of our bread and butter.)    

Cover photo by Marina Denisova and Natalia Criado, all other images courtesy of Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa 


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