Oaxaca, Mexico Women’s Writing and Yoga Retreat 2012: Lifting Your Creative Voice

Oaxaca Women’s Writing  and Yoga Retreat:  Lifting Your Creative Voice, Arrive March 2-Depart March 9 — 7 nights, 8 days

Add-ons:  Arrive March 1 and take a regional cooking class on March 2.  Depart on March 10 and go on an artisan villages excursion on March 9.

Imagine a setting so beautiful that it inspires all the best within you to write and create.  Here, amid the bougainvillea blossoms and in the shade of ripening pomegrantes, with the backdrop of 9,000 foot mountain peaks, you will enjoy a rich and rewarding experience.  Our all-inclusive retreat is perfect for renewal and self-reflection.  With Professor Robin Greene, MFA, guiding and coaching you in a supportive small group atmosphere, you’ll be encouraged to find your own creative center and to surprise yourself with the power of your words. You’ll have the opportunity to work with memoir, journaling, poetry, and mixed genre writing in an intimate workshop environment.

See what 2011 participant Sue Spirit wrote about the retreat.  Her essay was published in All About Women magazine.

We cannot promise that you will win a poetry prize (as one of our participants did this year after writing her award-winning poem at the retreat) or be published in a magazine!  We can promise that you will stretch, explore, and develop as a writer.

Offering 5 CEUs for 15 contact hours of instruction awarded by Methodist University. This applies to educational license recertification.

If you are working on a project — bring it.  If you have something in mind but haven’t yet put it to paper (or computer), this is the place to do it.

In addition, we include daily yoga sessions with our incredible yoga maestra Beth Miller, who employs movement, chanting and “vocal yoga” using the breath to find voice and creative center.

The retreat is designed to accommodate both novice and experienced writers, and it is limited so as to offer an especially satisfying small group experience. Through writing exercises, discussion, caring feedback, and the simple gift of time, you’ll gain knowledge and perspective about the art and craft of writing. Our goal is to empower you to tell your story well, and to lift and share your voice—widening your lyrical range and adding to the tools in your narrative toolbox.

In addition to daily writing exercises in organized sessions, Robin will meet one-on-one with participants so that each writer feels nurtured and personally served.

Workshopping session

You’ll have an opportunity to retreat and write on your own during open time in the schedule if you choose, but there’s also plenty to do here. We’ve scheduled daily yoga, stretching and meditation sessions, and there’s ample time for other activities such as walking, hiking, bird-watching, and visiting village weaving and artists’ studios.

What the Retreat Includes:

  • 18 hours of group writing instruction
  • One 45-minute individual coaching session
  • Daily workshops to give/receive feedback
  • Focused sessions to hone your skills:  grammar, reading in public, publishing
  • 6 daily yoga sessions, tailored to varying skill levels
  • Women’s traditional temescal sweat lodge
  • Guided tour to Tlacolula regional market
  • 7 nights lodging
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches and snacks
  • 5 dinners

Optional Added Fee-based Activities:

  • Massage with a Shiatsu massage therapist
  • Traditional cooking class (includes lunch) — stay one more day to participate!
  • Continuing Education Units for Teachers

Getting ready for yoga!

There are lovely walking paths around the village, along the river and into the countryside near a local reservoir. You are welcome to venture out and explore the village and its environs on your own.  Personal safety is not a concern here.

Prep during optional cooking class

Come join us in an inspiring setting of great natural beauty for an opportunity to explore and lift your voice, enrich, and empower your world.

What Past Participants Say

“It was all perfect.  You gave us a beautiful writing workshop in a beautiful village setting and you also gave us a strong community-of-women bond that will far outlast this conference.  Mil gracias!” — Katie Kingston, MFA, Trinidad, Colorado

“The quality of the teachers was stellar and the combination was a perfect fit for me.  Robin has a clarity that is lovely, supportive, truth-telling, knowledgeable, superbly skilled.  Beth is a beautiful, beautiful teacher.  Combining the yoga and sound with writing was profound.” —  Nancy Coleman, Portland, Maine

“This retreat is held in a really wonderful place, with a guide who knows a great deal about the town, has true relationships with people who live here.  Robin and Beth were great teachers; they worked really well together.” — Morgen Van Vorst, Los Angeles, California

“The week helped with my intention to write my book.  There were too many valuable parts to list! We experienced an amazing time together, sweating leaves, meditation, chanting, writing, and honoring our lives.  This was an awesome experience.” — Susan Florence, MFA, Ojai, California

“Deep and delicious work in a very supportive environment.  I now have a focused, with understanding and direction to move forward with my writing.” –Beth Miller, Boulder, Colorado

“We learned from the other women in the group, from the culture, the language and people in the village.  It was magical.” –Bridget Price, Sydney, Australia and Mexico City

“I loved that Robin, Beth and Norma were just a part of the group.  I loved going to the markets and the cooking class.  I’ve always wanted to come to Oaxaca and this was the perfect opportunity.” — Sue Spirit, Boone, North Carolina

Bridget, writing during free time

About the Workshop Leaders

Robin Greene is a Professor of English and Writing, and Director of the Writing Center at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is also co-founder and editor of Longleaf Press, a literary press that publishes contemporary poetry. Greene is the recipient of a NC Arts Council/NEA Fellowship, a university teaching award, and a visiting professorship in Romania. Her work is widely published in literary journals. Greene has led community and conference workshops, has served as a writing consultant, and has taught creative writing for over two decades. Her books include Real Birth: Women Share their Stories (nonfiction), Memories of Light and Lateral Drift (collections of poetry), and Augustus: Narrative of a Slave Woman (published in 2011). Greene holds an M.A. in English from SUNY-Binghamton and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. See Robin’s website: www.robingreene-writer.com

Beth Miller is our yoga instructor who combines yogic practice and philosophy with meditation, creativity and improvisation.  She specializes in Vinyasa-Hatha yogic traditions and employs sonorous yoga practices as an approach to help women of all ages to give voice to their lives.  She has a background in Holistic-Health Counseling, working primarily with teen girls and young women to inspire healthy lifestyle habits.  In addition, Beth is a vocal artist, performer and teacher of Western classical and sacred music.  She holds a B.A. in music from Westminster Choir College, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, and completed the chef training program from the Institute for Culinary Education.

Norma Hawthorne has produced arts and educational programs in Oaxaca, Mexico, through Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC since 2006.  She has offered tapestry weaving, natural dyeing, painting, documentary filmmaking, and photography workshops that have been attended by participants from throughout the U.S., Canada and from as far as Australia.  During her twenty-five year career in higher education, Norma has organized national award-winning continuing education programs for Indiana University, University of Virginia, and George Washington University, and has raised more than $20 million for The University of North Carolina School of Nursing.  She holds the B.A. from California State University at Northridge and the M.S. from the University of Notre Dame.

Healthful meals with vegetarian options

Lodging/Accommodations and Cost

To keep this program affordable, we have selected clean and basic accommodations at a woman-operated bed and breakfast inn that is part of their family compound.  Josefina, along with her mother-in-law Magdalena and daughter Eloisa, prepare delicious meals from scratch.

Base Cost: $1095 per person double occupancy with shared bath facilities.  Single rooms are available with a single supplement. A limited number of double occupancy rooms with private bath, and single occupancy with private bath are available. Please indicate your preference below.

[  ]  Option 1: I will share a room, double occupancy with shared bath, $1095 per person.

[  ]  Option 2:  I prefer a single room with shared bath for a total of $1195 per person.

[  ]  Optional 3:  I will share a room, double occupancy, with private bath for a total of $1195.

[  ]  Option 4:  I prefer a single room with private bath for a total of $1395.

[  ]  Option A:  5-hour Zapotec cooking class, includes local market shopping tour and lunch, on March 9.  Add $110 (includes class,one night lodging, three meals).

[  ]  Option B:  One-hour massage, to be scheduled during open times in the weekly schedule.  Add:  $45.

[   ] Option C:  5 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for 15 contact hours of instruction, with certificate of completion, $75.

[  ] Option D:  Cooking class on March 2, add $110 (includes lodging on March 1 in Teotitlan del Valle).

[  ] Option E:  Artisan Villages Excursion on March 9, add $250 (includes overnight at lovely bed and breakfast in Oaxaca City on March 9)

Most travel workshops of this type and length cost more than twice as much!

The trip does NOT include airfare, taxes, gratuities, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and local transportation to and from Oaxaca city.

We reserve the right to substitute instructors and alter the program as needed.

Reservations and Cancellations

A 50% deposit based on your preferred options is required to guarantee your spot.  The final payment for the balance due (including any additional costs) shall be postmarked by January 1, 2012.  Payment may be made by check or PayPal.  We will be happy to send you an itemized invoice.

Please see our cancellation policy in the “Register + Refunds” section of the front page – tab is on the banner.  We strongly recommend that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip, since unforeseen circumstances are possible.

To get your questions answered and to register, contact: normahawthorne@mac.com or call (919) 274-6194

Please make checks payable to Norma Hawthorne, OCN-LLC, and mail it to: Norma Hawthorne, 110 Blue Heron Farm Rd., Pittsboro, NC 27312.  Thank you.

This retreat is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.  We reserve the right to make itinerary changes and substitutions as necessary.