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    Complete Guide to a Perfect SUP Yoga Retreat: Tulum Style

    Remember how I declared that I was barely a yogi 6 months ago, but helped you green your practice? Recently, I stepped up my game and tried a retreat in Tulum, Mexico for a week.

    After researching a few retreats in Costa Rica, I quickly realized how quickly things would add up with little time to see the country. After a few other Google searches, I stumbled across Yoga Adventures Tulum, founded by former North Carolina native Christina Thomas.

    The retreats range from pure yoga, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Yoga & aerial/circus yoga. Due to my love for SUP, I booked that trip and plane ticket for half the estimate of the Costa Rica journeys.

    How the SUP Yoga Retreat worked

    The retreat had enough structure to get into a groove, with enough time to soak in the sun and explore the local scene.

    Yoga adventures tulum schedule

    The Local Mexican Food

    Each day, our morning began by SUP yoga in secret cenotes, lagoons or the ocean following a breakfast buffet.

    We’d return for lunch, where we’d eat local food prepared by the locals Utopia staff. Lunch was a prepared meal like salads, sopes or tacos.

    Considering how much I love Mexican food, eating was one of the highlights. The lunches came with chips and dip, guacamole or other treats. And served with each breakfast/lunch, we enjoyed a different freshly-squeezed juice. It was complete heaven.

    Yoga Adventures Tulum lunch

    We’d have free time until an evening yoga class at 5:30, and then be on our own for dinner.

    The Yoga

    Our practice was lead by local yoga instruction Luna Limón. Luna was super knowledgable, patient and always changed the practice for a mix of poses and moves.

    Nancy of SUP Yoga Tulum took us to the most beautiful locations to practice SUP yoga each day. It was hard to imagine returning to a life outside of Tulum after savasana in these scenes.

    Gorgeous Tulum Mexico Cenote - where we SUP
    Gorgeous private cenote where we practiced SUP.

    I couldn’t complain about the views from our evening yoga class, either. Overlooking the beach, you could hear the waves crash and get lost on the turquoise ocean during poses.

    Yoga adventures tulum studio

    It was a pretty tough week, as you can see. Especially as I discovered I’m not quite ready for Cirque…

    julie aerial yoga tulum


    We gave aerial a try one evening, each giving it a go with the silks. When in Tulum, eh?

    Tulum, Mexico: Sustainability

    If there wasn’t enough reasons to love Tulum, sustainability is a huge one. Tulum is considered ‘off the grid’ and the beach is self-sustaining. Most of the energy is generated from solar panels, wind energy or backup generators, so electricity was only on from 5-11 PM each night – not that it mattered when we spent our days in the sun. Utopia requested high-energy items (hair dryers, curling irons, etc) to be left at home.

    I took the energy portion a bit further and kept my phone off for majority of day and evening. When you get away, it’s crucial to unplug in several ways. I appreciated the chance to break away from the norm.

    The people

    Although I asked a few of my friends to join, I went on this adventure solo. Anticipating a week of downtime and tons of reading, I was pleasantly surprised to hit it off with the ladies of the retreat. A mix of Americans and Canadians, we all enjoyed our yoga along with exploring, eating tons of tacos and a few happy hours, too.

    Yoga Tulum
    My newfound Yoga buddies – obviously, a fabulous group of goofballs.

    Beyond these lovely ladies, we encountered kind people in our journeys. My attempts at broken spanish were appreciated, and I enjoyed asking the staff about their hometowns and adventures. One of the girls that worked at Utopia even took us to her favorite restaurant downtown so we could experience the local scene.

    Overall, I couldn’t have dreamt of a more perfect winter getaway. Regardless of the time of year, reward yourself and experience a yoga retreat if you can.

    Readers, have you ventured on a yoga retreat? What was your experience like?

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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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