Todos Santos: A Yoga Retreat at Pachamama

One day in October, my mentor and sister-friend who I worked with in NYC, Randee, called me to see if I wanted to join her on a 5 day yoga retreat in Todos Santos the first week of January 2022. I had been dealing with some health issues for a couple months plus had just attended ACL, my best friend’s wedding, handled the PR for Ranch Rider’s Migas Fest, and hosted my immediate and LA family at my house in Austin all in October. So, yeah, uh, my mind was rocked and when Randee called, I said yes immediately without seeing the price because I knew my body needed some rest and digest time! Over the holidays, I had some personal breakthroughs on things I had been working on all year professionally and personally, so once it was a few days before Todos Santos, I was really ready to fly! That being said, in mid-flight, I finally thought wait, what am I about to do and who else is going to be in this group? It was lovely heading there without any expectations but a view of the Pachamama Hotel pool that I saw on their website and Instagram.

As soon as I arrived at Pacahamama, the cute boutique hotel that has three ocean view suites and 12 adobe tepees, I saw the gorgeous bright blue pool surrounded by banana hammocks, cacti, and the sun setting over the ocean. It was a magical first sight to see, and then I met the whole group that I’d be spending the next 5 nights with where we would unwind our bodies through yoga and breath work twice a day, lounge at the pool, eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together followed by evening tea chats, and in between all of our elective massages, of course. The group consisted of 9 students (all residing in LA, NYC, and then 1 in DC and me from Austin) and 2 yoga teachers, Rebecca (who recently moved to Portugal) and Lindsey (LA). Lentil stuffed peppers was our first warm meal, and then we were on our way to our morning wake up call for our first yoga practice in a gorgeous yoga shala surrounded by all the live vegetation, tepees, singing birds, and sandy ground. I’ve always wanted to do a yoga retreat but didn’t know how the schedule would work and what kind of yoga intensity it would be. Our schedule gave us SO much free time with practice at 8:30 a.m. and 5 pm., breakfast at 10 a.m., lunch at 2 p.m., and dinner at 7 p.m. It felt very free, spacious and allowed us our own personal time plus enough time to connect, lounge, and enjoy the beautiful property and beach.


Before I break down the yoga, town of Todos Santos, and food—the coolest thing about this experience is that all of us showed up and dropped right into exploring each other without any judgement or knowledge of our past or professional status. We truly accepted and met everyone right where they were in life, and it was the most present I’ve ever felt. When I said adios to my new friend Pawla on the last day, she said to me, “I can’t wait to learn more about you,” and it hit me that I knew nothing of her past growing up in Lebanon, her daily habits living in DC, but just of her beautiful attitude and hardworking self and the memories we created together that week. This retreat was not fully focused on what you’d think of when you hear “yoga” in your mind or see it in a commercial. Overall, we learned how to move our mind with our bodies by breathing and caring for each other. One of the most memorable parts was when we wrote how we see ourselves and want for the New Year and shared with the team. This helped us understand each other in such a soft and comforting way.


I walked into this trip with the intention of disconnecting fully which meant fully off my phone, texts, emails, Instagram, etc. Man, I need to do this more often! I loved learning the teachings from The Bhagavad Gita, which is a collection of stories and Hindu ideas about dharma and yogi ideas that help us move through life while understanding the body and the mind. Rebecca Hajek taught me so much about a side of yoga I’d never learned before which is unreal because these are the initial teachings and reasons for all that we do in these classes. It’s so much more than a downward dog or forcing your body into a headstand (which I’ve never done, but you know what I mean). She instructed us via ashtanga, hatha, yoga nidra, and yogic philosophy.

The most exciting one was the yoga nidra (this is the state between sleeping and being awake) on the beach at sunset. With our bodies firm in the sand, Rebecca guided us through meditations that had us envisioning ourselves in a birds eye view, flying above us at sad time in the past, and then we visualized consoling ourselves with what we know now as a mind cleanse. Staring behind her the sun drifted below the horizon while the crescent moon rose, we saw stars and the bright planets of Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus sparkling. We finished by stepping into the ocean which naturally relaxed us and made us all hug and smile. Here is where the words “all you need is love” dropped into my head. Our group of strangers from all different backgrounds and countries came together so seamlessly to create an instant community of love, compassion, and openness, and I felt it SO hard right then seeing nature change over in the sky before our eyes.

More teachings we went over that I’d like to remember frequently are the 6 Pillars of Bhakti which include:

  1. I will not criticize
  2. I am tolerant
  3. I take no offense
  4. I forgive immediately and completely/ I am quick to apologize
  5. I see the good in others and I let them know
  6. I am grateful and I take tally of my blessings

These struck deep with me, and afterwards, we went around and shared a compliment to the person to the left of us. What stunned me the most is that each compliment given was exactly what I saw and understood in each person. We had only known each other for 3-4 days at this point, and what everyone said I totally agreed with and understood. I was told that I am radiant and because of how open I am it made her feel safe enough to be herself. It brought some tears to my eyes but mostly a smile.

Our other teacher, Lindsey Valdez, gave us the gift of sound with all of her musical talents, instruments, and heavy as an elephant gong that she traveled with all the way from LA just to give us the perfect experience. She taught me so much about breathing as we did several Pranayama sessions with nasal breathing, belly breathing, and taught us the proper body work for Chaturanga, Crow, Headstand, Handstand that no one else has patiently shared with me in classes. You can feel her spiritual journey through her own teachings and her passion is so contagious. She made me want to learn how to be a better at yoga. Lindsey instructed us through beautiful sound baths and really put our souls at rest and together at the same time.  If you live in LA, you can book a private class with her, too!

I felt such a calling from both Rebecca and Lindsey for giving me the education that their teachers like Yogi Charu had given them and they shared it in such a digestible way that I can take it home with me and use in my everyday life. Yoga is truly a lifestyle for everyone and there are all kinds of teachings, lessons, and movements you can do that fit your body and intention of self balance or awakening. It’s been so publicized in America in a way that I missed all of this until now, and the best part is that you can choose what works best for you and there is no wrong or right way.


Pachamama offered several types of massages in their little hut. My favorite was the Deep Energy Reiki Massage with Hesed. I have always wanted to try Reiki since I learned about it in Sedona, and I had no idea what to expect, so I was a little nervous. Once he told me that he was hired by Liz Lambert in Marfa at El Cosmico, then I got even more excited! The point of this service is to deconstruct the body with a physical deep massage and finalize with chakra alignment and stimulation of energy points. He made sure to tell me that the energy did not come from within his body but something natural from what he feels in his hands and specific sensations compared to the rest of my body. This made me also feel better because I had heard Reiki was a little woo-woo, and they don’t even touch you which was not the case here.

The massage was incredible, and he made me feel really in my body. The way he massaged in circles down my spine, and the right side of my neck was a technique I had never felt before. I had been really worried about my stomach from my previous health issues, and he let me know at the end of our session that my entire body was normal and already aligned with my chakras that he didn’t have to change anything. That almost made me more disappointed, but what he told me which is what I am always working on, is that it’s all coming from my thoughts and constant thinking. He said he can tell I have a strong opinions and emotions, and I just need to get out of my head and more into how my body feels. To live my truth in my heart vs. what I think I should be doing or what others want me to do. Yes, anyone can tell us this, but it was just another reminder for someone who is an Aquarian over thinker and likes to make sure everyone else is comfortable first!

Other spa offerings at the hotel included Myofascial Release/Connective Tissue Massage which was very soothing and circular mostly on the back, neck, shoulders, and legs. They also had Deep Tissue, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Holistic Massage, Ayurvedic, and Cupping.


We went to town a couple times which was probably less than a 20 min drive to shop the quiet and pleasant streets. Beware of stray dogs, although they are pretty cute. A few boho stores include ZÓCALO, Nomad Chic, plus Mexican tourist shops with gorgeous ceramics—definitely go for a tequila bottle holder or coffee mugs. Try the mint chocolate ice cream at Baja Tasty and if you are extra like me, get the chocolate cake slice to pair it with. We hung out at Plaza Migas and had fish tacos and mezcalitos at Pacifica Cantina. I like the grilled fish tacos over the shrimp. They have live music here on Friday’s, and it was super hip. This is def going to be THE PLACE. Don’t miss Taller 17, an outstanding bakery with fluffy chocolate chip cookies, ooey gooey blondies, and coffee. They close at 3 p.m.


My favorite restaurant, however, was a further drive called Pura Playa where you can reserve bonfires on the beach and all the fresh seafood and cocktails come out of a little shed/bar. We shared the best fish tacos I’ve ever had, enormous glass coupes of ceviche, and giant tuna tostadas washing it down with Hibiscus Mezcal drinks called Jaguar. If you are looking for well-made Mexican blankets, check out The Blanket Factory which also has table runners. Stop by Baja Beans on your way back for coffee and a massive blueberry scone that tasted more like a biscuit meets muffin. Yum!


What made the retreat so easy was that the amazing crew at Pachamama made all of our breakfast, lunch, and dinners. It was truly so nice not to have to decide what to eat and to just sit down and be taken care of— kind of how I felt about the entire retreat. It reminded me of Casa de Luz. The GM Anabel was so incredible, warm, and professional along with the rest of the staff. Our breakfasts consisted of Molletes (bean spread on bread) topped with pico and a side of scrambled eggs; Green Omelet; Red Chilaquiles; Sopes, which are corn cups filled with zucchini, mushrooms, lettuce, and the works; Avocado Toast.

Lunch and dinners consisted of: Vegetarian Buddha Bowls with Tamarind Sauce; Fish and Vegetarian Burritos; Ceviche; Enchiladas made with poblano sauce; Fish Skewers with Grilled Pineapple. Plus, fresh juice concoctions everyday! I loved the cantaloupe and guava most.

Also, if you are staying at this boutique hotel, breakfast is included for each guest. They only provide lunch and dinner through retreats or a large amount of people.


It’s really tough to put such an impactful trip into a short amount of words as I could probably write an entire book about this experience and each person! My biggest takeaway is how incredible it is for 11 strangers (besides Randee and me!) to come together so easily, share their hopes, dreams, struggles, wishes, desires and everyone automatically accept it and be there on such a compassionate and supportive level. We don’t know each other at all but we all came prepared to share, learn, and grow together. Heck, I was so present I felt like my head was just sitting off on a bookshelf back in Austin. Each day I almost couldn’t remember the other because I was just so THERE for each moment living and loving everyone and more importantly myself. There were, of course, some things that came up for me that I thought I had already worked through, and it was just a simple reminder that I am human, and so is everyone else! (For example, I got really in my head the day I had reiki was less present making me upset because I had done so well the whole time.) I’ll never forget how Leora told me sometimes there is no answer and when Angela told me that you can feel two things at the same time.

It was so special to spend so much time with Randee, someone who I worked with just at the bud of my career and learned so much from. I felt so safe with her there and really just so loved through all of our memories, conversations, work and self talk. It is so important to keep people around that are always rooting for you and who you want to see succeed. On the first day, Rebecca said that yoga is meant to shift consciousness and that just because they are yoga teachers they are still going through life like all of us growing and learning each day. That really set me up for an open mind and comfort because you always look at your mentors and teachers like they know it all.

I think the definition of L.F.G. is this badass group! Everyone showed up and gave it their all, and the expectations that I did not set for this experience were pleasantly met ; ) I stopped my outside world via turning off my phone for 5 days and was able to fully turn on my inside world and share it with 9 perfect strangers. I’d really like to write about the mark that each person gave to me, but I think I told them enough in person and hope they can feel it! Thank you so much Angela, Leora, Kim, Sam, Day, Katrina, Randee, Pawla, Lindsey, Becca.


If you are looking for a similar experience Rebecca is hosting a retreat this July in Greece where you can sign up here!