gaut_1In the midst of our busy lives, we can sometimes feel disconnected.  The constant “doing” in our lives can really wear us down.  That’s why we have created this retreat: The Elements of Connection.  Join Lisa Feder and Janice Samuelson, aka “The Gratitude Sisters,” for a week-long retreat at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

You will embark on a journey where you can explore beautiful and exotic surroundings, as well as inquire into your inner landscape.  We will spend our week “un-doing”—letting go of the busy-ness of all the doing in our lives.  The pace of the week will be completely relaxed, with time to practice Yoga, eat delicious, fresh meals, explore gorgeous surroundings, make noise, be quiet, rest, laugh, write, sing, dance, and bond.

Each day we will offer a Hatha practice and a Kundalini practice, so we can explore different perspectives.  We trust that you will return home with many new points of view, and a sense that “being” can be even more interesting than “doing.”

We believe in power and presence and peace.  We love laughter and don’t take ourselves too seriously.  We are passionate about sharing the practice because we have seen how vital and renewing it can be.

This retreat is for men and women, experienced Yoga practitioners and newbies or even the Yoga-curious.  All practices will be accessible to all levels of fitness and experience.

Retreat is February 24 – March 3.

Join us!

    • gaut_57 Nights Accommodations
    • Group Ground Transportation to/from Airport
    • 3 Vegetarian Meals each Day
    • Twice Daily Yoga Sessions
    • Delightful Surprises and Experiences
    • Group Service Project in the Community
    • Time to Relax and Reconnect


The retreat will be held at an intimate full-service lakefront hotel and yoga center on Lake Atitlan. All rooms have breathtaking views, natural decor, and outdoor spaces. The property has lush gardens, a full-service spa area with a hot tub and a sauna, a fair-trade boutique, a juice bar, and many places to hide away with a good book. Their cafe offers nourishing homemade vegetarian meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets are abundant.


Lisa Feder

Lisa1Lisa Feder is a full-time yoga instructor and wellness consultant living in Austin, Texas. She has had a passion for all things wellness for as long as she can remember. While working for over 20 years in the corporate world as a strategic marketing specialist, she began teaching fitness classes in her free time. This led her to explore yoga, and she fell in love with the way it made her and her students feel—physically, emotionally, and energetically. After teaching part-time for many years, she took the leap and started Being Well Yoga, where she brings yoga on-site to companies to help employees learn how to live healthier, more balanced lives. She also teaches in studios, schools, senior centers, parks, and private homes. Her approach is balanced, and she likes to bring humor, challenge, and deep relaxation into her practices.

Lisa is especially interested in helping students find a yoga practice that really works for them, and she believes that yoga can provide more ease and comfort to all. She has seen the effects of a healthy lifestyle on her family as well and wants to share. As a wellness coach, Lisa loves helping people explore how to incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives in a fun and sustainable way. One of her programs, a Week of Being Well, is an inclusive and integrated approach to mindfulness in eating, working, exercising, meditating, media usage, and sleeping. Her favorite thing is hearing about the positive changes her participants make for themselves.

Another workshop, “A Sigh of Relief,” teaches how yoga practices can be used during the day to manage stress before it becomes chronic. She also loves working with new Yoga teachers as they start their careers.

Lisa, RYT-500, E-RYT-200, incorporates many yoga traditions into her practices. She has certifications in Hatha, Hatha Flow, Kundalini, and I-rest Yoga Nidra. She has had the opportunity to study with Donna Farhi, Sean Corne, Sarah Powers, Anodea Judith, Beth Shaw, Amy Weintraub, Gary Kraftsow, and Richard Miller. All of these wonderful teachers have shared wisdom that informs her teaching, and she is grateful to them all.

Lisa received a BSBA in Spanish and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. She is fluent in Spanish, having fallen in love with the language during her junior year studying in Bogota, Colombia. She has served as President of the Board of Community Yoga, an organization that brings yoga to underserved communities. She currently serves on the Board of Power for Parkinson’s, which improves the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients through dance and movement classes. She lives in Austin with her husband and has two active offspring–a daughter and a son in college. For more information about Lisa, please visit her website.

“Lisa’s yoga retreat exceeded my expectations—I knew I would get the opportunity to practice yoga in a beautiful and exotic setting. What I didn’t anticipate was that as the week progressed a supportive community would develop as our shared adventure connected us to the retreat center and each other. Our leaders guided us with care and purpose, nourishing the physical and spiritual. We were given an opportunity to silence our inner critics for a week and open our hearts to the experience of being close to nature and each other.
Often during yoga class the teacher tells you to set an intention and take it with you throughout your day. However, once I walk out of class, somehow that intention dissipates as reality takes over. On the yoga retreat, keeping that intention throughout the day became possible and being surrounded by other yogis who were holding on to their intentions created an atmosphere of calm and well-being. It was a magical and meaningful week.” ~Liza
“Lisa’s retreat was a special and magical experience. 20+ women who were mostly strangers on day one were deeply bonded by day seven. Lisa created a space for all of us to look within and trust our own wisdom, and to support each other in the process. We laughed and cried, sweated profusely, and generally had a great time. Two months later I still am thrilled to see my Costa Rica sisters in class and can still pick out their voices in a class chant.” ~Jeana T

Janice Samuelson

Ever since she was a young child, Janice has loved movement and full expression, Janice1whether in dance or theater.  When she moved to Austin in 1979 she discovered the practice of Yoga and fell in love with it!

This began her journey to the heart and a path of healing that continues to grow daily. Practicing for over thirty years, Janice shares her love and the gift of Yoga on and off the mat. In the spirit of love she combines the energy of healing with playfulness to guide her students.

“I believe that Yoga opens us up to the possibilities of discovering the true self”.

Janice received her 200 hour Hatha teacher training for the Yoga Institute of Houston and 100 hour from Dharma Yoga Austin.  Janice also teaches Kundalini Yoga with her 300 hour teacher training as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She has studied Gong therapy with Mehtab Benton and Siri Bahadur Singh. Janice has also studied Sat Nam Rasayan with Guru Dev Singh. She has studied under Sheila Singh for Yoga Nidra.  She also leads workshops that include Kundalini and Healing Addictions, Kundalini and Pranayama, and Kundalini and the Yoga of Sound. She leads Energy Bath workshops where Hatha, Kundalini and the effects of Sound therapy are woven together to create deep relaxation.  Additionally, through her love of music and sound, her students enjoy the healing benefits of Tibetan bowls and Gong therapy.

Her background with children started when her son was four years old. Becoming certified in the Radiant Child Program levels I & II, she has been teaching children in and out of the Yoga studio for the last 17 years. Her love for children is evident in every child she meets.

Janice lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and their two pets.  Janice’s 21-year-old son lives in Austin as well.   Janice’s passions besides Yoga include gardening and the beach and she finds inspiration from these two places.

For more information about Janice please go to


“What I love most about Janice as a yoga teacher is I always feel her loving kindness and her beautiful heart throughout the whole class. Her gratitude for each person’s presence and her love and care for each person’s well being is so sincere and evident. And she makes it fun!” ~Amy Conger

  • Tours of Local Villages* gaut_2
  • Tours of Local Mayan Markets*
  • Mayan Ceremonies*
  • Kayaking*
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Zip-lining*

*There may be an additional fee for activities marked with asterisk.

Harmony Spa is one of the gems of this retreat center. They offer services from massage to esoteric readings to ionic foot baths and more. All therapists are very experienced and offer their healing services on-site for reasonable prices.

Please be sure to review Our Policies.


To register, go to our Online Registration Platform.

A non-refundable $35 Payment Processing Fee will be added to the tuition rate upon registration.

For technical questions or alternative payment options, please contact us.


Getting There

You will be booking your flights to the Aurora Airport in Guatemala City (GUA). Before booking tickets, please be sure you have received your official confirmation note that the retreat has met its minimums. There will be one group airport shuttle each way based on our flight window guidelines. Be sure your flights align with the provided flight windows if you wish to use the group shuttle.

Booking Your Flight for the Best Price Possible!

True Nature Education and STA Travel have partnered together to provide you the best airfare for your upcoming trip. STA Travel is a full-service travel agency which offers affordable, flexible fares and access to their exclusive airfare deposit program. Please use the following link to book or contact STA Travel directly:

Travel Insurance

gaut_8We cannot emphasize more the importance of travel insurance. As we all know, especially as travelers, “life happens.” Whether it’s family, work, mother nature, or a change of heart, it is important to be prepared in case you need to unexpectedly change your travel plans. Often for less than $100, you can purchase a travel insurance policy and be protected in the event that you need to make a change or need to be covered financially prior to or during your trip. To purchase insurance with the True Nature discount, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have questions about travelling abroad? After you register, we will provide you with a Participant’s Package with helpful information. Also be sure to check out our Student FAQs. If you have other questions, feel free to write us at and let us know how we can help!

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