Sacred Self-Care: A Women’s Yoga & Ayurveda Retreat
Donna Farhi & Melissa Spamer
May 25-June 1, 2019 (Sat-Sat)
Suryalila, Andalusia Spain

"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” 
~ Jean Shinoda Bolen

An exclusive retreat for women of all ages

​​​The shared ​quad and dorm ​rooms are part of a ​larger building that ​features lounge areas and access to tea making facilities​ if, for example, you like to stay up late and read​. ​As we will be maintaining ​a policy of silence from 10pm, once you go to bed you will not be disturbed. ​​

Join Donna Farhi and Clinical Ayurvedic practitioner and teacher Melissa Spamer for a life-changing week in southern Spain.  Learn and experience how the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, can be incorporated into your everyday life to bring back that inner glow that is the hallmark of radiant health.  Drawn from the ancient wisdom teachings of India, Ayurveda is the science of living in balance with nature.  By attuning ourselves with our feminine rhythms and cycles we can restore ourselves to vibrant health, calm the mind, and build a clearer connection with our personal goals and visions for our life.

Being on retreat provides time to slow down, pause, and reflect on the rhythm and purpose of one's current life.  This time of contemplation can open the door to new insights and possibilities which can bring sacred meaning to the everyday occurrences one encounters. This retreat will center on the theme of what self-care means for each woman, while introducing tried and true remedies, practices, and skills to help embody what one knows about living in balance.

A key feature of this retreat will be a focus on identifying the belief systems and habit patterns that may be undermining your well-being.  Overworking, irregular and poor eating habits, and insufficient rest, can gradually erode vitality.  Tapping into our deeply felt sensations and learning to form a loyal allegiance to this inner wisdom can pave the way toward learning to adapt, choose and tailor fit those Yoga and Ayurvedic practices that best meet your needs from day to day.

Each day of the retreat will begin with a silent meditation (optional for those of you who are not early risers . . . ), followed by an active morning Yoga class.  Morning asana practice will focus on gentle warming and hydrating practices that loosen and release the body as well as strengthening and stabilizing sequences.  In the afternoons we will focus on Restorative Yoga practices for all phases of a women’s life as well as the deeply nourishing practice of Yoga Nidra (a guided meditation technique designed to move you into a profound state of relaxation and self awareness).

Melissa Spamer will teach a wide range of Ayurvedic self-care practices and will introduce you to simple lifestyle practices, home remedies, self-treatments, and healing foods that can have a profound effect on your health and wellness.  The afternoon and evening lectures will also include guided time for reflection and contemplation on living a life that feels balanced, nourished, and meaningfully connected.

This retreat will help you learn a valuable repertoire of practices and support you in developing strategies to prioritize daily self-care once you return home.  The synthesis of Yoga and Ayurveda can help you to joyfully reclaim your life as you wish to live it.  You will come away with a solid foundation in understanding the root causes of imbalance, and a clear pathway to living a more wholehearted, aligned, and inspired life

You will be provided with a special kit to take home and implement some of these changes.

Vibrant gourmet vegetarian meals support your retreat. In between sessions treat yourself to a massage with a Suryalila practitioner, relax at the salt water swimming pool, or simply put your feet up and enjoy a good book while basking in the pure air of Andalucia.

​"In Gestalt Therapy, it's said that true dialogue happens when we enter an ‘I-Thou’ relationship, seeing the uniqueness in the other which highlights our own uniqueness and allows for both to be changed by the interaction. To be part of a week where there was true dialogue confirmed to me just how healing this interaction is, and permitted me to enter into my own practices feeling supported by you. Likewise, your careful disclosure of life events brought to life the messages you were conveying, which unfortunately is not common in our community through fear of seeming fallible. Your dedication to Yoga is truly inspiring (in the truest sense of the word) and a reminder that this is an evolving tradition which each of us brings to life through our own experiences.

You​ have a team of people who are embodying what it means to be on the Yoga journey, and I'm grateful to have been part of it. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you and Melissa again in 2019.

​Charlene McAuley, Suryalila Woman's Retreat, 2018

All inclusive package from ​15​​​76.00 includes:

  •  S​even nights accommodation (​see the right column for options)
  • Three gourmet vegetarian meals a day featuring produce from Suryalila’s ​organic gardens.
  •  Active morning and Restorative afternoon Yoga class each day taught by Donna Farhi
  • Optional morning meditation session
  •  Extensive lectures including an introduction to Ayurveda, understanding and determining your unique constitution; Ayurvedic nutrition, and special sessions on Ayurveda for self-care and women’s health, specifically regarding menstruation, perimenopause, menopause, and beyond
  •  Take home Ayurvedic kit
  •  E-book: Yoga For Women Theraputic Practice Sequences
  •  Comprehensive digital handouts to complement the Ayurvedic lectures
  •  Exclusive use of all facilities at Suryalila Resort including wifi Internet access, saltwater pool, ecosauna, juice bar, and outdoor dining and relaxation areas, all set in the beautiful Andalusian countryside

Additional options:

  • Melissa Spamer will be available for Ayurvedic Health Consultations ​75 minutes, €135. An appointment schedule will be sent to you prior to the retreat (see below for further information).
  •  Suryalila has its own fabulous massage therapists​​ that you can book with Suryalila ​​​​during the week, to fit around the week's schedule (this will be available upon arrival).

Optional ​​excursions (pre- or post-retreat only, not available during the retreat): please book these directly with Suryalila​. 

  • Benamahoma River Trail ​is a 30 minute drive into the mountains of Sierra de Grazalema​, ​the 13th ​century ​border zone between the Arab Kingdom of Granada and the Christian Kingdom of Castilla. From the picturesque village of Benamahoma, ​embark on a 2 hour hike through ​the old forest. The route is shaded, gentle and easy, following the Rio Macajeite downstream. ​Take a refreshing swim; the waters ​here have been acclaimed​ through the centuries for their medicinal proprieties. On a lucky day, you might catch a glimpse of trout. The walk ends up in the ​village of El Bosque where you can stop for a drink or a meal at one of the cafes in the village square.
  • Hike the UNESCO biosphere reserve Garganta Verde Canyon ​(Green Gorge) in Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. This spectacular canyon has been artfully carved by the streams of the Pinar River. Famous for its lush vegetation and wildlife, it offers outstanding views​. Be prepared for an unforgettable hike, several exciting abseils, and refreshing ​swim in the Garganta Verde Canyon. The entire tour ​takes 5 hours.
  • ​Explore the stunning 'white villages' of Andalucia.
  •  Enjoy a horse ride directly from Suryalila into the surrounding countryside. The part-bred Andalucian horses living on the Suryalila grounds are owned by Conny Muennemann, who will lead your ride. There are beautiful trails to explore for 1 or 2 hour rides for all levels of experience, with all equipment provided.

​Not included:

  • ​International and/or domestic travel to/from Suryalila
  • ​Travel or travel cancellation insurance
  • ​Wine
  • ​Juice bar purchases
  • ​Shop purchases
  • ​Optional tours and additional services other than those specified ​in the above package inclusions


Thank you for reading our FAQ page before contacting us with any further questions.

Donna Farhi

Donna Farhi

Donna Farhi is a Yoga teacher who has been practicing for 40 years and teaching since 1982. She is one of the most sought after guest teachers in the world, leading intensives and teacher training programs internationally. Her approach to Yoga is informed by the refinement of natural and universal movement principles that underlie safe and sustainable Yoga practice. This concentration on fundamental principles allows students of all levels of experience and from all traditions to build their own authentic Yoga practice. Considered the “teacher of teachers” students return to Donna’s intensives year after year to be a part of the inspiring evolution of Donna’s own practice and teaching.Donna is the author of four contemporary classics; The Breathing Book, Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness and Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living. Her fourth book Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship is a curricular text for teaching trainings worldwide. She has been profiled in four separate publications on exceptional contemporary teachers of our time, including Yogini: The Power of Women in Yoga. After four decades of practice Donna believes that Yoga is about learning to befriend our self and to be in friendship with others as a means to building greater fellowship with all of humanity. American born, Donna now resides in Christchurch, New Zealand on a 30-acre farm.

Melissa Spamer

​​Melissa Spamer, M.A., C.Ay., ERYT 500, began the formal practice of Yoga twenty five years ago, and has been teaching Yoga professionally for twenty years. Her deep love of Yoga led her to study it’s sister science, Ayurveda. She began to incorporate the principals of Ayurveda into her daily life, and witnessed profound changes in her overall health and well-being. She entered a clinical practitioner program with the highly regarded Dr. Vasant Lad and spent two years studying intensively at the Ayurvedic Institute. During this time she also completed studies with Dr. Robert Svoboda, Swamini Mayatitananda, Dr. Claudia Welch, and Dr. David Frawley. During her years in clinical practice Melissa has worked with a wide variety of healthcare needs presented by her clients. She has gone on to specialize in women’s heath, chronic pain and auto-immune disorders, as well as mental health and Ayurvedic nutrition. Melissa is also a licensed massage therapist, holds a graduate certificate in holistic healthcare, and has a master’s degree in Somatic Psychology. While not traveling and teaching, she maintains a private Ayurveda and counseling practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ayurvedic Consultations

  • Client’s Primary Concern
  • Current Lifestyle & Diet
  • Ama (level of toxins circulating in the body)
  • Agni (digestive strength), and Organ Health.
  • Pulse diagnosis will be utilized to determine your Prakruti (inherent constitution) and your Vikruti (current imbalance)

​     After the assessment, the client may be given any of the following:

  • A Daily Routine
  • Dietary and/or Herbal Recommendations
  • Ayurvedic Lifestyle Practices which may also include a Breathing, Meditation, or Yoga Asana Practice

Refunds and Cancellation Policy

​​The deposit less 15% bank charges and booking fee is refundable until ​December 15, 2018. No refunds can be made after December 15, 201​8. In case of cancellation, you may transfer your deposit or your reservation to another person as long as you notify us with 30+ days notice. In case of cancellation by Ladino 2004 Ltd, you will receive a full refund of all funds received by Ladino 2004 Ltd. In case of an emergency where Donna cannot travel, Donna will assign a senior teacher in her place (this is highly unlikely). Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.

All participants will be required to complete an application and sign a liability waiver to participate on the trip.

Travel Insurance

We STRONGLY recommend that you purchase travel cancellation and travel insurance in case you need to cancel your trip and/or flights. Please note that travel insurance may need to be purchased within a limited window of reserving your trip or purchasing airline tickets. Please check with your travel agent for details as terms and conditions vary between countries and agencies.


Thank you for reading our FAQ page before contacting us with any further questions.