| Events |

Jenn Chiarelli and 5 Other Metro Phoenix Yoga Instructors to Host International Retreats

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

What's better than yoga in Phoenix? Yoga on a far-off, beautiful beach, where your biggest concern, of course, is what to do between your morning and afternoon yoga sessions.

Yoga retreats have been on the rise over the past few years, and it's no surprise, given the surge in people practicing yoga coupled with our inherent love for traveling to beautiful locales. Some of the Balley's favorite instructors are hosting retreats in such idyllic spots as Nicaragua and Hawaii, and we've rounded them up into one place for you to check out.

See also: Yoga Rocks the Park Returns to Phoenix's Steele Indian School Park February 23

Jenn Chiarelli (LifePower Yoga, Urban Yoga, and Madison Improvement Club), originally a professional ballerina, has been a fixture on the local yoga scene for almost a decade. Since 2006, she has hosted retreats all over the world, including ones in Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

Chiarelli says she was inspired to host retreats out of a desire to share her love for Costa Rica, where she originally took her teacher training and met her friend Annie, who owns the inn Chiarelli is hosting her retreat at this year. The retreat runs from Thursday, June 26, to Tuesday, July 1, in Playa Grande's Rip Jack Inn.

"Playa Grande, Costa Rica, has a very grounding and Mother Earth feeling to me," says Chiarelli. "The beach is enormous and the ocean just embraces you. It's a peaceful country."

Chiarelli says she thinks instructors love hosting retreats, and yogis love going because it is a retreat from life's stresses, a break to rejuvenate, replenish, and revive.

"It's a time to go deeper and explore your practice on and off the mat," Chiarelli says. "I like to incorporate intention setting, detoxifying, and healing classes and a fire cleansing ritual with a beach bonfire. So it's a deeper experience, and of course there is plenty of time for fun in the sun."

During the six days, attendees get two yoga classes, plus meditation daily. Airport transfers and three meals a day will also be provided. Early bird pricing lasts until March 16 and is $1,600. Prices go up to $1,750 after March 16. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot. For more information, see Jenn's website.

Courtesy of Anton Mackey
Anton Mackey


True Hot Yoga

, Urban Yoga, Madison Improvement Club, LifePower Yoga, and The Village) and

Desiree Lapre

(LifePower Yoga) are teaming up for the third time under their

Jet Set Yogis

retreat organization, which gives back a portion of its proceeds to the community it visits. This year Mackey and Lapre chose Tulum, Mexico, for their destination. Yogis will be staying at the

Amansala Resort

, and it's worth noting that the word "amansala" is fittingly taken from two Sanskrit words: peace and water. Lapre says they chose Tulum as their location based on many recommendations.

"We have been told that it is one of the most beautiful and spiritual places in the world," says Lapre.

The retreat takes place June 8 through 14 and includes two daily yoga sessions, one excursion, three meals a day, transportation between resort and airport, among other things. Pricing is $2,200 for a single occupancy room, $1,800 for double, and $1,500 for triple. For more information on the retreat, see Anton or Desiree's website. Space is limited, so if you're interested, it's recommended that you secure your spot as soon as possible. Deadline to register is April 25.

"Can you think of a better way to spend money: travel and yoga together, on a beach, in a tropical location?" Mackey says. "I can't think of anything better. It's the perfect combination and what people want. They want to get away, to clear their minds. And what better way to clear your mind than with yoga practice?"

Brother and sister team Devon (Madison Improvement Club and True Hot Yoga) and Shaelyn McCole (True Hot Yoga, Urban Yoga, and LifePower Yoga) are offering their first retreat, which will take place on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, at Yemaya Island Hideaway. Devon and Shaelyn have been teaching classes and workshops together for the past two years and wanted to extend their partnership in hosting a retreat together this May.

"We were inspired to start hosting retreats to encourage others to infuse their practices with travel," Devon says. "It is our belief that travel reminds us to remain open to the flow of life's greater plan, and that we are all here together, regardless of where we came from."

Devon says his and Shaelyn's favorite aspect of retreats is witnessing the transformations of a group of strangers into a tight-knit group of friends. He echoes Anton's sentiments on yoga on the beach being a great way to get away from the craziness of everyday life, and come back feeling fresh and invigorated.

Devon says they chose Little Corn Island in an effort to find a place off the beaten path where students can truly disconnect and dive deep into their practice. He says Little Corn Island is only a mile long, with no cars.

The retreat runs May 24 through June 1, and pricing is $1,999 for double occupancy and $1,790 for triple. The retreat will include seven nights in a beachfront eco-luxury cabana, two yoga classes a day, three local organic meals a day, yoga and movement workshops throughout the week, unlimited transportation around island, and organized group flight from Managua to Big Corn Island, plus group boat ride from Big Corn to Little Corn Island. For more information, visit Shaelyn's website.

Julie Blew has been practicing yoga for 11 years, teaching for 10, and held her first retreat in Hawaii in 2008, where she is hosting her April retreat again this year. She attended her first retreat there and travels to Hawaii at least twice a year.

"I love sharing my favorite place on Earth with others," says Blew.

Blew says that the best thing about going to a retreat is getting to step out of your day to day life, experience new things, and disconnect.

Julie's Hawaii retreat will be held April 23 through 28 at the Kailani Retreat Center on the Big Island. Each day will feature two yoga sessions, with plenty of time in between for free time, workshops, and three meals a day. Pricing for lodge double occupancy is $1,350 and bungalow double occupancy is $1,500. Because of the quickly approaching retreat date, you'll need to reserve your spot soon if you'd like to attend. For more information, visit Julie's website.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.