• Caitlin McAninch

6 Reasons to Go On an Acro-Yoga Retreat

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

I was given the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua to spend a week on the beach, photographing an Acro-Yoga Wellness Playground. I may be a little biased since I had the time of my life, but I think the Wellness Playground might have been the best Yoga Retreat I could have ever gone to.

Here are my 6 reasons that you should go on an acro-yoga retreat:

  1. Acro-Yoga promotes trust and communication

  2. You do not have know anything beforehand!

  3. Acro-Yoga actually feels really, really good (when done correctly).

  4. You leave with 24 wonderful new friends, or how ever many people come on the retreat.

  5. You'll probably eat amazing food every day.

  6. You will gain a new sense of confidence and motivation you may not have had in the beginning.

Even though I was technically the photographer, that did not mean I was an outsider. I got to attend, play and participate in every playful activity they had to offer.

Why was the Wellness Retreat such a success? It specialized in Acro-Yoga with the focus of this week being connection, trust, and communication.

Not only were the people amazing, we also stayed at the most majestic resort. We stayed at Magnific Rock in Popoyo, Nicaragua on the Pacific Coast.

The best part about Magnific Rock is being able to see the ocean from anywhere. The top floor was the Yoga studio with windows on three sides. The lower level was the restaurant, open for anyone passing through to come and eat at. They reserved our table at the edge where the railing was, so we ate everyday listening to the wave crash against the beach. The lowest level is the bar and balcony with the pool. We hung our aerial silks and slackline down there.

Above is the top floor and yoga studio and below is an image of the middle floor with the restaurant and dining area.

We each stayed in separate cabins or apartments along the side of the hill, separate from the main restaurant building. My cabana had three walls, two hammock chairs, and one bed with a mosquito net. It may have been roughing it for some, but my roommate and I were able to sooth ourselves to sleep with the waves crashing against the shore every night.

The entire week was ours. Everything we did or did not do was up to us, the whole week was optional. Anyone who wanted to try the aerial silks or slackline could. None of the classes filled up, and there wasn't any pressure to attend a minimum or a maximum. As the photographer, I attended almost every single class. We were all friends by day two, and there was never a dull moment with nothing to do.

My favorite class was the laughter yoga. We spent the class laughing and smiling. I know it might sound silly just reading about it, having to force laughter, but trust me, it isn't forced by the end.

We had a number of activities to choose from including Therapeutic Acro-Yoga with Anastasia and Laura, aerial skills, acro-yoga, yoga, slackline, Budakon and Thai massage.

Each day offered the possibility of surfing, there were also classes for people like me who have never tried before. This stretch along the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua is special and unique because of the winds that come in from the east off of Lake Nicaragua. This, combined with the winds coming from the west provided perfect beginner surfing waves every time.

One of the 'classes' during the week was about giving back to the community. We talked through the possibilities of helping clean up the beach, pick up trash, but the resort already has that covered. So then we began brain storming on how else we could say thank you to the small town that so graciously has welcomed us, and we decided to donate money to the local school. Each of us donated any desired amount, the school gave us a list of supplies they needed for the rest of the school year and the following year. We not only got everything on the list, but there was also money left over to help the school however they saw fit.

Let me tell you, giving back felt just as good as shavasana at the end of class.

Wondering why it is called Maginific Rock? Jutting out from the beach below, a stunning and sublime landmark that can be described as nothing less than Magnific. 

By the end of the week we all felt refreshed, revived and overwhelmed with inspiration to take back home with us.

As for me, I took mine and continued my travels to Medellin, Colombia. 

If you are interested in the Wellness Playground 2018, there will be more information posted soon! Follow them on Facebook!

The more I've seen, the more I realize I've seen nothing at all.

I challenge you to Escape Reno, the world is such a beautiful place.

- Shelby McAuliffe

Shelby McAuliffe is an incredibly talented photographer from Reno, NV. Check out more of her work on her website at McAuliffe Photography.

You can see more up to date posts on her Instagram @mcauliffe.photography and her Facebook page.

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