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Women of Color Healing Retreats

In Good Conscience: Why I Left the Women of Color Healing Retreats in Costa Rica

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Last year, I experienced a period of exhaustion, triggered by traumas from my past. It took a toll on me and left me in a state of seeming depression: bouts of crying and physical and mental fatigue. With the multiple projects and social responsibilities on my plate, I was overwhelmed. After a meltdown, I realized that what I was suffering from wasn’t depression but burn out, functioning on empty. I was in crisis mode and needed relaxation and extreme self care.

As I approached my fortieth birthday, I resolved and committed to entering the next decade of my life intentional about how to treat myself well: my body, my mental health, and, in general, overall my well-being.

Costa Rica is a gorgeous country. The natural landscape of the property where we were placed was gorgeous and scenic. The accommodations were two star at best and not comparable to the price we paid.

The Women of Color Healing Retreats (WOCHR) in Costa Rica seemed promising, on recommendation from a close friend. The website had me thinking that it would be an experience that,  I have been seeking, needing. The website promoted a healing retreat created specifically for Black women, that included workshops, rituals at the river and ocean, yoga, and vegan meals for eleven days. I immediately reserved my spot and paid the $3,333 without hesitation.

I was ready. Then, things took a slightly different turn.

Prior to leaving for WOCHR, I received hyper-aggressive emails from founder and  self-identified healer and yogi, Satya X. The emails were meant to be informational. However, on multiple occasions, attendees were threatened with losing all of their money if they did not comply with responses in a timely manner, send back forms that were sent the week of/at the last minute or whatever else she instructed us. This, among many impressions, suggested that she was hosting a retreat in our (the attendees) favor by accepting our money. 

Despite the off-putting nature of the electronic communication, I was determined to open myself up to the experience in hopes that I would benefit from the promises of renewed energy and well-being. The website advertised an assortment of workshops including: Inner Journey, Self-Care I and II, Exploring Colorism, Tap Into the Ancient Power of Crystals, Mindfulness Medicine, Race, Gender & Politics, Exploring Meditation Modalities, Herbalism, a Medicinal Plant Walk, and a Sankofa Workshop. All worth my $3333.

However, of all that was promised, we only received two workshops – one on colorism and another on self-care. Personally, I felt like the conversations were sophomoric and to be honest, did not leave my cohort with any new skills or strategies to improve our lives when we returned home. Additionally, a self-care retreat for Black women is no my place in my opinion, to have a colorism workshop. That topic is oftentimes triggering for many of us, no matter where we lie on the hue spectrum. 

It became clear that the rest of this experience was going to become even more problematic when Satya told me that therapy was a part of white supremacy and that Black people needed to learn how to heal themselves without any outside help.

Lack of or under-programming aside, the accommodations were in stark contrast to what you would imagine a self-care retreat atmosphere should be. Environment is everything. While the landscape itself was gorgeous, we were in the interior of Costa Rica. If you’re a traveler, you know this meant that the property was occupied with every kind of living creature native to a rainforest imaginable, leaving some of us afraid to use the restrooms at night. Eleven women were split between two cabins where we shared a shower, sink, and toilet per cabin. The beds were hard and caused our backs to ache especially for the elders who were among us. Making matters worse: the massage or reiki that was promised on the website, was rescinded upon arrival. We were told that it was “canceled,” and that if we wanted the massage services we would have to pay an additional $55 to hire an outside practitioner. 

Reminder, each of us had to pay $3,333.

One of the cabins that I shared with four other women.

The meals were sparse. One night I asked for a pinch of salt to season my chickpeas. Satya stood up and replied, “Salt is killing Black people.” Despite the hyperbolic nature of  her statement, I was given a lime wedge to improve the taste, and went to sleep hungry. We were offered three meals a day, water, sometimes coconut water and unsweetened tea. We were told that if we desired snacks such as small mugs of smoothies or fried plantains, we would have to purchase it. Our $3333, as we found, did not come with comfort or sated appetites.

It was on this evening, Day 5, that two of the eleven women in our cohort decided to leave the retreat.

As I am an adamant supporter of Black enterprises, I tried to remain optimistic and show my support. By Day 6, I had all that I could take. My objective for being there was thwarted by the lack of organization and transparency of the entire setup. The morning of my last day at the retreat, I sat outside of my cabin trying to weigh the pros and cons of staying versus going. I decided to prioritize my comfort and peace of mind, and the only way that could happen was to leave. Two other women left with me.

Upon leaving WOCHR, I shared with my community on social media that I decided to leave the retreat and reclaim my time.

In response to that post, more than a dozen women relayed to me similar (or worse) experiences they or their friends had at WOCHR. 

I knew that the “retreat” was meant to help improve something in the lives of each woman who ventured there but was potentially creating more harm—not to mention leaving us absent a hefty sum from our bank accounts. Two of the women were over sixty and their kids paid for them to come. Other women were healing from an assortment of traumas, PTSD and difficult situations. One of the women who left with me broke down and cried and told me that she felt worse than she did before coming to the retreat.

Creating and holding space for Black women to heal is not only sacred but it’s critical. While it was difficult to call out a Black-owned business, I feel even more responsible to the countless Black women who, in desperation, are seeking out spaces for healing. I could not, in good faith, encourage Black women or endorse vulnerable communities to go out of their way to participate in something that may cause even more harm, (re)opening wounds of old and new. WOCHR does not seem equipped to facilitate experiences of healing. 

It’s painstakingly clear that Black women are in need of inexpensive self-care practices that we can employ at home. We are also in need rejuvenating experiences that will take us away from our every day routines. Personally, I’ve been actively involved with GirlTrek, the largest health movement for Black women in the U.S. GirlTrek encourages women to walk 30 minutes a day. This Labor Day, they’ll be organizing its annual Stress Protest in the mountains of Colorado. I encourage you to join us.

What other wellness practices and experiences have you personally benefited from? We’d love to promote those to our readers.

While I definitely did not get my money’s worth, the trip wasn’t a complete bust. I’m open to finding a Black-owned/run yoga studio or class in my city.  As a happy carnivore, I’m open to trying vegan recipes (with proper seasoning) and a few of the Black-owned vegan eateries in Philadelphia.  The camaraderie that was created by those of us who attended, was priceless. Moving forward, we have vowed, to continue to hold one another accountable for finding our joy, and indulging in wellness, one tiny radical self-care act a time.

Fortunately, I found a great therapist earlier this year. I couldn’t wait to vent about the retreat upon my return home. The session turned out to be fantastic (like Celie and Nettie, him and I shall never part…Makidada). Unlike what is being promoted at WOCHR, I know that therapy is essential to Black women’s healing, and most especially my own.

Namaste, NahI’mmago

– Shantrelle P. Lewis, Co-Founder of ShoppeBlack, Duly initiated Lucimi Sango Priest and African-centered curator and social entrepreneur. (IG @apshantology)

When life throws you catfish, always make poboys! My linesister Maya-Camille and I were a little too overjoyed to leave.


Accommodations: Prior to even going to the retreat, we were told that we were to stay in a hostel the night that we arrived and the night before we departed Costa Rica. I chose to reserve a room in a hotel instead. Additionally, the 11 women in attendance were split up between two cabins.The beds were very rudimentary and hurt each of our backs. Most especially the women who were elders in the group. As soon as you sat on them, you sunk down into the planks. There wasn’t any seating on the property such as hammocks or lounge chairs, anything that would allow you to recline, only hard wooden benches. Also, since the plumbing system was operated by a septic tank, we were not allowed to flush toilet paper in the toilet, we had to throw it in a trash can instead. Signs were posted in our cabins saying that in Costa Rica, you can’t flush toilet paper in the toilet because the system can handle it. That is a lie. That property couldn’t handle paper in the system. 

Maya-Camille, making the best of a situation that wasn’t ideal.

Vegan Meals: The meals were prepared by a chef based in Brooklyn with assistance from a Black Costa Rican woman who owns a restaurant and a couple other local women. For the most part the meals were surprisingly tasty, though sparse. Additionally, it would have wonderful to have been offered fruit and tropical or green juices along with our meals. Note: I would hire the chef for future events because some of the meals were tasty.

Ground Transportation: The week that we were scheduled to leave for the retreat, we were sent an invoice for $100 for ground transportation. We were told that if we did not send in the money within two days, we’d have to pay a late fee. This was an inconvenience for many people who had already budgeted their costs, and were not expecting to pay any additional fees. 

Location: We were taken out to the interior of Costa Rica, in a location that was 3 hours and 44 minutes away from the beach in Puerto Viejo. The website actively advertised that we would be staying at a beach front property, a major draw for the attendees.

Costs: $3333 retreat price not including flights (which was supposed to include a healing massage or reiki treatment), $100 ground transportation $32 for two nights stay at a hostel (more if you paid for a hotel, in our case $300), snacks. NOTE: Initially, attendees were instructed to pay our balance via Paypal. When our last payments were due, we were told that Paypal would no longer be accepted and we would only be allowed to pay via an international wire transfer, which was more expensive for attendees and which ultimately meant that our payments would no longer be protected. The retreat is now offered at $4444.

Communication: We were sent a form that included the retreat’s “codes of conduct” to sign four days prior to our retreat start date. Additionally, the fine print included restrictions against wearing any clothes with labels, including any from small labels (in my case Black-owned companies).  The Code of Conduct also included a gag order about negative commentary about the retreat. I found it odd that a healing and self-care retreat would need to request something like this four days in advance to arriving.

“The zero tolerance hate policy extends to negative postings on any form of public social networking, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc. Should you post something before or after the retreat, affiliated with Women of Color Healing Retreats that the organizers feel does not align with the sisterhood and mission of Women of Color Healing Retreats, you will be asked to remove or edit the post.”

Karmic Yoga/Kitchen Duty: Almost forgot to mention, we had to wash dishes after our meals.

Yoga: I actually did enjoy the yoga classes. The instructor was kind, compassionate and very patient. Thanks to her classes, I’ll be trying out yoga with local Black instructors.

Featured Image: The morning I left the retreat. 

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  1. My gosh! I went to the black women’s yoga retreat with WOCR in May and your article completely echoes my exact feelings and experiences! Hopefully you were able to enjoy the rest of your trip and Costa Rica once you left!

    • Hi Aris! So sorry to hear that you had the same experience! That SUCKS. Hopefully this will help women make more informed decisions before falling into the same trap. The sad part is, this article doesn’t even describe EVERYTHING that went on. I was able to enjoy myself because that’s the kind of person I am. Take care! Thanks for sharing, Shantrelle.

      • Hi!!
        We are a travel agency in Costa Rica, we provide transportation services around all the country.
        I never hear about this retreat until today, a lady called me 30 minutes ago and explain me about this emails so agressives she received from the founder of this retreat and she thinks will loose all her money. In the website there is not a phone number or address where are they located. They don´t answer emails and no communication at all.
        Be carefull ladies!!
        Your Tica friend

  2. Thank you. Satiya X is not Her name. Her name is Andrea Smalls.
    She changed her name soon after we finished the retreat. We were part of the VERY first WOCHR she held. It was the same experience. However, there is no mention of us, EVER. She completely erased our experience digitally because of our clap back after returning home. She blocked MAJORITY of the women that were there on social media platforms. Many requested refunds through PayPal, and that is probably why they wasn’t fuckin with her towards the end.
    I hate the way I feel about this experience though. We NEEDED this. I had to hold a healing circle with the other women at the healing retreat…that is crazy! The very thing we were trying to escape and heal from showed up in her. She is a fraud. A wounded healer who doesn’t even want to heal for herself. Capitalistic and supreme, as if she is doing us favors. (Yes, that was our experience, too.)
    As the Retreat grew, I could never endorse it, I was honest with those who asked. I knew she hadn’t changed. I am sorry you, too, had to experience this in a such a way 2 years later. Thank you for your courage to leave and to share your experience. Like you, many of us that gathered there are divinely connected and forever sisters. Cherish them!
    Also, We hold healing space here in NY through BREATHE: Circle for MY Sisters if you are here or ever need space. And we are creating our own intergenerational retreat spaces FOR US.
    Ancestral blessings and healing to you, sis.
    Sending you love and light for the journey!
    Bless Up!

    • Ashley,

      I can’t believe how many women are sharing the same story…especially from years ago! Satya behaved as if this was the first time she was receiving ANY of these complaints. I’m happy to hear that you all created community, in the same way that we did. I hope that no one else is deceived. Blessings and light to you as well sis!
      – Shantrelle

    • “. I had to hold a healing circle with the other women at the healing retreat…that is crazy! The very thing we were trying to escape and heal from showed up in her. ”

      Yes good for you I know what you mean. When we have been so used to being treated bad we tend to accept being treated bad. It’s. It ok. I matter who treats us that way.

    • I am in the process of attempting to get a refund. This is a sad, disgusting scam that needs to be stopped. I have filed an official complaint with the Costa Rica Travel Bureau

      We need to support each other by speaking up and calling this woman out. I encourage all to go beyond angry posts, file a complaint. This is the only means of holding this shyster accountable.

  3. I try to support black people in business whenever I can. When I do its mostly disappointment. We are our own worst enemies sometimes. I’ve also come to the realization that many black people just don’t know how or don’t want to learn how to run a business and wonder why so many fail.

  4. This makes me so sad. I feel horrified actually. I provide retreats to women of color. It is my mission, for every woman who attends, to feel loved, relaxed, seen, celebrated, and rejuvenated. I work so hard to provide a beautiful experience, and frankly, this makes it bad on all retreat hosts.

    Any retreat host who cannot provide a truly healing, loving, and beautiful experience for participants, should get out of the business.

  5. Wow. Thank you so much for this. As a practitioner that was invited on the retreat, I desired that a person that went on the retreat would share this experience. All of what you said was true even on the practitioner side (which most participants will likely never know about). Thank you for this. I do hope that this is shared, by many. The cost has gone up significantly. It seems like with a good PR team, you can make anything look great. Once again, kudos to you.

    • Sorry to hear practitioners are experiencing this too (but it’s not surprising). I just wish more people would speak up publicly. As of right now, it looks like I’m a lone wolf howling in the dark. That’s one of the reasons why she thinks by changing her hashtags and sending out newsletters that she’ll be able erase my statement. But Karma is a b…and well, that’s all I have to say. That and I hope she gets well. And I wish you well in your endeavors.

      • I am scheduled to participate in the wochr starting next week. After multiple emails where I finally informed Staya X that I did not intend to turn a blind eye to financial abuse because she has cloaked herself in black Nationalism; I received the following reply:

        “We wil let you know this afternoon if you will able to attend the retreat. After months of receiving emails of you attacking the space we no longer know If this is the space for you. take care.”

        My so-called “attacks” were to seek reassurance after reading this post and requesting to speak with someone multiple times by phone to confirm the agenda. I suspect there is some personality disorder at work. I am expecting a skype call today and will find out if I can get any of my money back

  6. Shantrelle, first and foremost I want to say that I am so sorry for your experience but I am so thankful that you wrote this article. People need to know what they are getting for their money. I’ve lived in CR for more than 14 years and I experienced a similar situation 2 years ago with the first WOCHR that was held in Puerto Viejo. I was with a large group of women who also had not so positive experiences with Satya X, Andrea Smalls, Andrea Black, Andrea X, or whichever alias she is now choosing to go by. With what I witnessed and experienced during that retreat is that this work is very much needed and is not to be taken lightly or played with. Taking responsibility for people’s emotional well-being, safety and health at a costly price is nothing to play with!!! Just like you, I didn’t want to call out a black owned business especially by another black woman, so I have taken matters into my own hands. With my network of healers and self-care instructors I have taken on the project of creating “Sister Circle Healing Retreats”. In response to this project I have gotten more than my share of ugly, hate-filled, messages from the founder of WOCHR. I’ve tried to keep to the well known quote of Michelle Obama “When they go low, we go high” in dealing with this. Im so glad that Shantrell has brought this to light!

  7. I don’t know when you went but this was on Vice news a few months back
    Based on her beliefs about black and white separation yet running the retreat on land owned by a white man, I’m not surprised by your experience. I would love to go on a retreat like this if it was executed honestly and thoughtfully.

  8. Thank you all for sharing your experience. I’m always seeking a safe space for women of color to bond, grow and heal with…I wanted to try this retreat but now I know better. I’m based in Brooklyn, NY and if you could recommend any local based retreat, domestic or international retreats for women of color please reach out to me at – definitely interested in sharing my creative gift as well.

  9. I was contemplating this retreat so hard the past few months and couldn’t get myself to purchase it. Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is so upsetting to hear! It’s angering. I want to do some mass healing retreats because we need them but I Want to do them for free or low-cost BECAUSE WE NEED THEM! My goal is to get white men to pay for them TBH. I do not like people taking advantage of the spiritual space. That was their rent, I’m sure they live in NYC and that’s all that retreat was for them, and they figured at the very least they could say the price was worth the workshops, but then for them to not deliver or be realistic on the prices. I want to be compassionate, over the years I’ve fumbled around with cost vs value in my intuitive business, but I always make it right, I care if people don’t feel they got above what they paid. That is inflicting more trauma, not healing and they should be ashamed. I am sooooooo sorry sis. I don’t know why, I’m just a passer-by. But I guess I’m sorry from a person in the spiritual space, because how can anyone be trusted when this is happening over and over and over.

  11. I remember reading about this Women of Color Retreat and thinking how awesome it sounded. I am sorry that you had to experience this at a healing retreat. I just wanted to let you know that all retreats are different. I, too, host retreats. In fact, I hosted a retreat in Costa Rica in March 2018 that was inexpensive (about $1000), healing, relaxing, and fun. My retreats are not exclusively for Women of Color, but I’d love to do one in the future, maybe in Jamaica. I have two upcoming retreats, one in Mexico in November 2018 called “Women with a Vision Retreat,” and a Be Still Meditation Retreat scheduled in June 2019 in Tuscany, Italy. I also put on local Unplug:Reset Your Life Retreats. My retreats are faith-based, spiritual and healing in nature. We do gentle yoga, guided meditation, healing workshops, healing circles, and explore the area. I also provide lots of time for inner work, rest, and reconnection. If you’d like to learn more, please visit my website You can see the many testimonials from my retreat page. For those of you looking for a wonderful retreat experience, please check it and subscribe for updates. Thanks for sharing your story. It just goes to show you that glitters is not gold.

  12. Thank you for using your platform for honesty. It is sad that we must think twice about discussing the integrity of a business when it is black-owned. What makes it worse is that you are outside the US without much recourse. I went on a similar retreat in Ghana and it still irks my spirit that I went on this “yoga retreat” and returned more pissed than when I left. Complete fraud just as what is described in this article. Who knew that anyone would go as low than to capitalize on their community and call it yoga…so disappointing…

  13. A friend shared this post with a few of us and I need to say I’m sorry this happened to you. I hope this doesn’t dissuade you or others from participating in future retreats from reputable folks like myself who actually have been doing this work for years, quietly and sometimes without the fanfare of socia media. Moments like this, I have to trust in the ancestors and universe that a positive lesson comes out of these experiences and I see it has for you so yay. Should you need any reccos for yogis to eateries and retreats, have plenty. 💚

  14. I am so upset that you and every other woman who opened themselves up to this opportunity had your trust violated. Thank you for this truth telling with compassion. My friend and I were planning to attend this retreat after we finished our doctorate program coursework to prep for disseration writing. I am so grateful that you shared your experience.

  15. Thank you for sharing. This will help many with their decision to attent this particular retreat in the future.

  16. Wow. I don’t want to say anything negative about another retreat, but I can tell you of a healing Retreat where you will receive all that is promised, and can speak with past attendees. Some of who will be returning for their 3rd time, and it is for women of color.

  17. I’ve been very apprehensive about retreats, especially ones where I have to travel. I had invested in one only to be so turned off by the “host” that I didn’t even attend. It pains me that people take advantage of those in vulnerable states. I’m happy to have found my own tribe and healing space with @LaBrujasclub here in NYC and I do hope to hold space for others to heal in the near future. Thank you for sharing your experience and potentially saving someone the heartache.

  18. Shaking my head about your article. Basically you and these ladies did not research this business properly. This business scam you out of money. For the future do the research and stop allowing your emotions to get in the way. I’m a cynic by nature and people who are struggling mentally need to find a good therapist and not waste their time, energy, and money on scams.

    • LOL. Hi L, I’m a very experienced traveler (I travel out of the US multiple times a year) and you’re right, I didn’t scour the internet looking for any sign that this would be a sham of a retreat. Based on what I DID see, it looked like a positive experience. Had she done what she promoted she would do, the retreat would have been fine. But she did not. I still enjoyed myself with the women I met. And also, I’m not a cynic and won’t ever be one. Thanks for reading! – Shantrelle

  19. Mikyia mo (Greetings),

    This is so unfortunate, yet we are grateful that you spoke up. Coming across this today was interesting because we are hosting our third and final retreat of this year in September in Folsom, CA. In 1849 some of our Ancestresses and Ancestors established the first goldmining settlement along the American River. This settlement called ‘Negro Bar’ would later become Folsom, CA. The nearby Negro Bar State Park is named after this settlement. We are returning to this Ancestral land for our NUB-NUBIT: Rejuve-Nation – Training, Cultural and Ritual Retreat. Nub/Nubit are the terms for ‘gold’ in ancient Kamit and are titles of certain Abosom (Orisha, Vodou). Our retreat is open to Black Women and Black Men exclusively.


  20. We can be so aggressive with each other because generationally society has been aggressive with us. This is a symptom of a larger sickness we all are still trying to heal from. Great job assessing your critical needs moment by moment which shows that your self-care game is awesome. Keep going and congrats on making a great decision. Hopefully those leaders who are aggressive will soften their programming, expectations and their treatment of their fellow Black woman sooner than later.

  21. I appreciate you letting others know about your experience AND look forward to hearing about the retreat YOU will put together to ensure attendees really get what is promised and paid for 😉

  22. Thank you for writing this! This is what I just posted on FB along with your article:

    I am SO GLAD she posted this. I had misgivings about this retreat when I first saw it advertised last year. My points of contention-
    1) the founder claims to have been fed up with the racism and other ills of “the establishment” so she felt the only thing to do was leave the United States for a more tranquil isle. Point: I call BS. If you are truly concerned about the plight of black folks and other people of color, why leave? Why not stay here and fight WITH US??
    2) The founder claimed that she felt that black women needed safe spaces to unplug, reconnect, and heal, etc… Point: That may be true, is true, but be honest. You mean black wealthy women. Anybody I know who has 3Gs to drop on a “healing” can heal thyself by putting that money on some bills. And/or take 1-3 trips for the same cost and have some good ole fun with friends.
    3) The founder claimed to have identified a location to facilitate such proposed healing. Point re-stated: If you cared ANYTHING about your “sisters’ getting what they need in a safe space you wouldn’t be charging them $3-4000 to do it, and certainly not in Costa Rica! I’ve been running women’s healing groups in my hometown for the last three years and EVERY SINGLE TIME we begin again it takes weeks to secure a location for the time and duration that we need it. Each potential retreat participant could donate a fraction of the retreat cost (heck…a fraction of the plane ticket) and undergird the costs of safe meeting spaces for local women’s support networks for years to come.
    I’m SO GLAD this woman shared her experience. If you can afford to heal in Costa Rica, I bet you can afford to heal yourself AND OTHERS right where you are. Don’t be so quick to run.
    Shoot… Dr. Sebi is dead and gone and I’m STILL trying to get to Honduras. Get outta here…

  23. I’m so sorry about your experience. Thanks for sharing it! What is the yoga teacher’s name? I need a good teacher.

  24. Wow, my sister I am so sorry to hear of your experience . However, I appreciate your honest reflections. Thank you.

  25. Dang! Thank you so much for sharing this exhaustive review. It’s so sad when these kinds of spaces don’t hold up their end of the expensive bargain… I read the articles and was so excited the space existed. Unrelatedly, my friend in Accra does great retreats for anyone based in Ghana/West Africa:

  26. Thanks for sharing your experience as I know it was a difficult decision. I heard the owner on The Karen Hunter Show on Sirius/XM and was intrigued but wanted to do my due dilligence before I invested in her retreat. She has a much larger audience due to Vice and being on Karen’s show. Hopefully she will learn from your thoughtful critics and quickly change her business model or she will no longer be in business. Her target market is very savvy black women and our networks are very interconnected.

  27. Thank you for speaking out and sharing your experience. Sounds like the leader of this retreat is more interested in serving herself than others. How appalling to issue what is essentially a gag order on top of it all. Truth always comes out eventually though… In any case, I heartily agree that “it’s painstakingly clear that Black women are in need of inexpensive self-care practices that we can employ at home.” Here’s one such resource:

  28. Damn. I’m sorry that you went through all of this bullshit. 🙁

    I do just want to mention that the toiler paper situation (not being able to flush toilet paper) is a common thing in Central America, at least from my experience. I spent 3 months in Nicaragua and some weeks in San José, CR, and in most hostels, rural housing, bars, music venues, and urban houses it was common for us to be told to not to flush the paper, or for there to be signs saying not to do so.

    That being said everything else you went through was complete and utter bullshit, and it’s a shame that, for the price you paid, they couldn’t invest in a better plumbing system.

    Thank you for sharing your story, love.

  29. Three years ago I did the Landmark Forum, a highly transformative weekend filled with brilliant coaching and exercises that made an enormous difference in every area of my life! The coaching I have received there was delivered by well-trained facilitators and leaders who exemplified peace, power, self-expression and freedom in dealing with life. My work there has wonderfully impacted my communication, relationships, confidence and sense of direction in my life. In the Forum I found tremendous peace with my past, and I began to invent a new life for myself. I highly recommend checking out this course in your city! 🙂

    I later coached a program there and I saw for myself, if we want to be leaders or coaches of others and guide them through any sort of discovery or healing, we must deal with ourselves powerfully first. As much as the idea of these retreats sounds nice, from a distance you can also see it is rooted in some sort of complaint / criticism of the world as well. There is a kind of “survival” and reacting / fixing even in the creation of it. And it seems from reading this article the creators and leaders have not transformed themselves deeply enough to impact others in the way that they maybe hoped to. This is sad, and I think that the faux-spiritualism and new-age stuff that is out there like this gives people a negative and cynical perception of the deeper work. We can’t throw around words like “healing” and “retreat” – when they really perhaps mean things like “find agreement for your opinions” and/or “escape from your problems” lol. I hope the organizers of this learn something from experience.

    If you’re reading this, I wish you many opportunities to transform yourself and grow! You can evolve and transform your experience of any aspect of your life.

  30. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I saw a video of the founder and immediately felt uneasy about her overall anger. You can not create a space of healing for others while holding so much anger yourself. This is not how the universe works. As a Yoga Teacher and Reiki Master, I know this to be true.
    You mentioned in your article that you are looking for affordable resources for our community to learn yoga, meditation and even about vegan food. In response, I would like to offer to you and your community the opportunity to be among the first to be a part of my online classroom
    In this space, I provide a monthly meditation, a weekly plant-based recipe, a weekly yoga class and daily inspiration. I have just launched this week and the fees range from $1.00 -$19.00 per month.

  31. I didn’t think this retreat could get any WORSE, but your experience showed me that it did. I was a part of the Yoga Retreat last June 2017 and everything you stated in this article is TRUE. The Chef got fed up with her mess he stopped cooking food and left. I feel like you need to have a healing retreat set-up to heal from this retreat. I was hoping it would get better but it hasn’t. So sorry that you experienced this. I made sure to inform those who I told about it when I got back to not waste their money.

  32. I would report them to US Chamber of Commerce as a fraudulent business targeting a vulnerable population

  33. Wow! I had high hopes for WOCHR. I felt inspired to launch my healing initiative, Brown Girls Write, because I feel trauma and health disparities are a huge issue in communities of color. I’m so sorry she had this experience but I thank her for having the courage to share with us.

  34. I’m sorry you had to go through this but I’m glad you spoke out about it. There are too many broken people out there taking advantage of other people’s pain. Frankly, I saw the Vice clip and she rubbed me the wrong way in that. There was something about her energy that just didn’t sit right with me and I felt bad for feeling that way, but now I know that my intuition was valid.

  35. Hi! I was originally scheduled to attend the June 2018 retreat but in April, I was dismissed from the retreat for asking about the “Costa Rica Time Zone”. Satya X felt that I was not respecting her authority. It was insane. I was shaken and a bit jarred, even though I had a sneaking suspicion that this was God and that my “dismissal” was for the best. The more I interacted w/ Satya and her staff, the more I felt that attending the retreat would be a mistake. But I didn’t want to just quit. I felt like I NEEDED this retreat! In the end, it turns I was spared from a colossal nightmare of a situation.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Like many, I did feel some trepidation at speaking poorly of a Black business owner but Satya X/Andrea Whoever is digraceful and I did try to speak up. I tweeted and mentioned CNN, HBO, VICE and the other media group she said would be present @ the June retreat. But I never received a response of any kind. I also saved my email exchanges w/ Satya as proof. She is unhinged. And while I am so sorry to hear about your terrible experience and that of so many others, it’s good to know that I was not alone and I avoided an even worse disaster of a situation. And in her emails, yes, she did act like it was her first time being told about her poor behavior.

    May we all continue to be blessed on our life journeys as we seek peace, joy, love, connection and healing. 🙏🏾

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