What is Ayahuasca?
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive plant medicine that has been used for centuries by indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest for spiritual, healing, and ceremonial purposes. It is a brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis plant or other plants containing the active compound DMT.
Ayahuasca is typically consumed at a Ayahuasca retreat a ceremonial setting under the guidance of experienced facilitators or shamans. These teachers are significantly knowledgeable about the traditional and spiritual aspects of the medicine enabling them to facilitate the journeys of the participants. Whereby the ceremony creates a sacred space for guests to embark on their sacred Ayahuasca journey and explore states of expanded consciousness in a guided experience.
What to Expect at an Ayahuasca Retreat?
An Ayahuasca retreat typically involves a multi-day immersive ceremony, guided by facilitators, shamans, or healers. In preparation for your ceremony an Ayahuasca diet should be adhered, which will specifically exclude things like alcohol and red meat. This is in order to ready the body for the ceremonial use of Ayahuasca. Undeniably the feature of the retreat is the Ayahuasca ceremony, where participants consume the specially prepared psychoactive brew.
During the ceremony, participants may undergo intense introspection, emotional release, and profound spiritual insights. Some participants experience altered state of consciousness whilst using the sacred plant medicine. Understandably the Ayahuasca psychedelic experience is known to be highly individual. Each journey can vary significantly from person to person, however many participants report positive effects on their mental health.
In addition to ceremonies, retreats offer various supportive activities such as group sharing circles, meditation sessions, yoga, and integration workshops. These activities aim to provide a holistic approach to the healing process. Furthermore, enabling participants to process their experiences and integrate them into their daily life effectively.
Why Ayahuasca Retreats Are Gaining Popularity?
Ayahuasca retreats are undeniably experiencing a surge in popularity as the Western world is increasingly recognizing the limitations of conventional medicine. Unquestionably society is now seeking alternative approaches to healing. Ayahuasca is seen as a powerful tool for psychological, emotional, and spiritual growth. Progressively these retreats are attracting those looking to address trauma, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Ayahuasca retreats offer a unique opportunity for individuals to connect with themselves, and the natural world on a deep emotional and spiritual level. Additionally, many participants report transformative experiences, heightened self-awareness. Certainly, many participants gain a sense of connection with something greater than themselves which continues to their everyday life.
Safety and Legality Considerations
When considering attending an Ayahuasca retreat either in the United States or South America, safety and legality are crucial factors to consider and that they utilize supportive embodiment practices. Correspondingly it is essential to choose a reputable retreat center that prioritizes participant well-being. It is advisable to look for centers that have experienced facilitators, qualified shamans, and a robust screening process to ensure suitability for the Ayahuasca experience. Additionally, understanding the legal status of Ayahuasca in your country of residence and the country where the retreat is located is plays an important role. While Ayahuasca is legal in some countries, it may be subject to certain regulations or illegal in others. Undoubtedly researching and complying with legal requirements regarding psychedelic drugs will help ensure a safe and secure experience.
A Handful of Our Absolute Favourite Retreats
Sacred Therapy Ayahuasca Retreats, Washington – Washington & California
Sacred Therapy is a spiritual church that holds private and public ayahuasca ceremonies. Private ceremonies provide a safe place for a life changing experience. Retreats consist of 3 days of integration and 2 nights of drinking Ayahuasca and to join a Sacred Therapy ceremony you must be a member of Cosmic Valley Native Americas Church (CNAC) which can be applied for online via a form on their site.
Located in Washington and California, this retreat offers intimate group settings and a focus on spiritual growth, emotional healing, and personal transformation. They also have an online herbal store with non-psychoactive products for use at home.
“We are a group of shamanically trained spiritual guides & medicine providers, here to offer you multidimensional tools through our Church and our Herbal Store.”
The União do Vegetal (UDV) Ayahuasca Retreat – New Mexico
The União do Vegetal meaning “the union of the plants,” is a religious organization that was founded in Brazil with a legal exemption to use Ayahuasca and other medicinal plants in religious ceremonies in America. They offer group rituals in New Mexico, providing a structured and traditional approach to Ayahuasca work.
Recognized for its community service, the core beliefs of the UDV are living a good, moral life in accord with the teachings of José Gabriel da Costa.
A key component of their spiritual practise is the preparation and consumption of Hoasca, a tea made from two plants indigenous to the Brazilian Amazon – the vine Banisteriopsis caapi and a bush botanically related to the coffee plant, Psychotria viridis.
“Religious practitioners ritually prepare the tea and consider it sacred, much as Catholics believe the wine and host they take at communion to be holy.”
Origen Sagrada Ayahuasca Retreat – California, Colorado, Connecticut and Columbia
This retreat center combines Ayahuasca ceremonies with other indigenous practices, meditation, and integrative therapies, fostering healing on multiple levels.
Facilitated by elders from the Muruy tribe of the Amazonas of Colombia. Yagé known as ‘the teacher’ is the prepared medicine of the sacred plants Ayahuasca and Chacruna, especially for each retreat.
To register for a ceremony you must first complete the online application and receive a call from the staff to review your medical history in order to experience this powerful plant medicine.
The retreat spans over two nights, beginning with a herbal plant blessing. The medicine is consumed twice over the night, with a combination of traditional therapies utilised between each consumption. Live music is played until dawn to assist with introspection and healing.
Ceremonia Circle Journeys Ayahuasca Retreat – Colorado
Ceremonia offers Ayahuasca retreats in Denver, Colorado, at their beautifully appointed facility providing a supportive and safe space for personal transformation, inner exploration, and integration.
“Whether an 8-week journey or single day ceremony, we offer a four phase transformational program designed to maximize the benefits and safety of your experience.”
Referred to as a “3-stage arc of transformation.” Ceremonia offer a unique integration program featuring staggered programs in different levels, utilising both Psilocybin and Ayahuasca. Their psychedelic retreats offer participants online training, 2 one hour preparation workshops, an integration course, integration calls, peer group calls, and community access.
Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center – Brazil
Located in the beautiful Atlantic Rainforest, in Brazil’s Amazon region, this center emphasizes spiritual development and personal growth through the plant medicine ceremony, shamanic rituals, and integration workshops.
They offer 9 and 11 day workshops with indigenous healers. Ayahuasca ceremonies are run every other day, utilising an Ayahuasca brew made from the bark of the Caapi vine and the leaves of the Chacruna plant.
The purpose built facility features 6 jungle bungalows and a dorm, and hosts a variety of spirituality and yoga sessions.
“In our opinion, it’s worth dedicating at least 1 week of your life to go deeper and do a full retreat instead of ‘just an Ayahuasca trip’”.
Soltara Healing Center Ayahuasca Retreat – Costa Rica and Peru
Soltara offers 4 stunning locations in both Costa Rica and Peru. Both beachside and jungle locations, combining Ayahuasca ceremonies with holistic therapies, nature immersion, and integration support.
Retreats range from 5,7 and 12 nights, and even a special New Years Eve retreat.
Working under the guidance of indigenous Peruvian Shipibo healer or lead facilitator, in combination with clinical psychologists Soltara fuses integration with tradition. Ceremonies are held in a large circular hut called a “maloca”. During the ceremony the healers will sing each guest a “icaro” which is a personal healing song.
“’Soltara’ comes from the Spanish verb ‘soltar’ which means to let go or release.”
Ayahuasca Retreat, Centre of Consciousness – Netherlands
The retreat is located in a cosy renovated Dutch farmhouse amidst picturesque rolling fields, combining therapeutic psychedelic science and ancient wisdom. They offer both Ayahuasca and Psilocybin experiences.
Both group and private retreats are available. Ayahuasca ceremonies are held in traditional yurt by a Peruvian Shaman. Ayahuasca, Centre of Consciousness features a range of live music from various musicians to assist with consciousness expansion while undertaking the Ayahuasca journey.
A range of retreat lengths are available, and a video call and dietary guideline are provided for preparation before the retreat.
“To facilitate healing and the expansion of consciousness.”
Mush Love xo