In August 2019, I journeyed to Guatemala for a month to photograph, and participate in, a yoga teacher training program. The training, by Echo Flow Yoga, took place at The Yoga Forest, which is a self-sustaining yoga community perched upon a mountain in San Marcos, on Lake Atitlan.
Life without email, phones, or electricity was an experience I’ve been mentally escaping to now and then, between online classes and meetings, social media and texts, and generally staring at a glowing rectangle all of the time.
Most mornings at The Yoga Forest, I’d wake up to a cold cabin, and warm hug from my dear loft-mate, Heidi. We’d lay in some sleepy form of Sphinx pose, on our parallel beds, and watch through our window as the sun rose—colorful swirls of pure art therapy—over the volcanos and mountains, in (mostly) noble silence.
The day would start, and we learners would flow into the Shiva yoga platform, cold feet, breath hanging in the air, bundled in sweaters, hoods, woolen blankets, and socks. We’d shed layers as we went through our asana practice.
By the time we were done meditation and journaling, the day was warmer, and the dining area was bustling. The incredibly hard-working women who make the Yoga Forest run had our delicious breakfasts ready for us; hot tea, bowls of unimaginably sweet fresh fruit, expertly hand-made tortillas, oatmeal, maybe shakshuka on a particularly lucky day. A nourishing experience on every level, really.
My cabin-mates and I had plans to meet up somewhere in this wide-world but our reunion was postponed by circumstances I shall not name. I hesitate to say that we might have more luck with that soon but, either way, I look forward to the day when we can gather and connect again, until then, I am grateful for our What’s App group chat that fills with random voice messages at odd hours of the day and night. I guess life with internet does have its perks.