Date of retreat: Early April 2018 When I first started investigating Aya two years ago, I was immediately drawn to Silvia and Spirit Vine was my first choice although I ended up doing my first retreat in Peru, that was 18 months ago. The Peru trip was great but I knew I wanted to experience Spirit Vine at some stage and it certainly lived up to expectations. Some insights below. Accommodation / facilities: Top draw, can’t find fault with anything. There was limited wi-fi on our balcony, not so much inside, but for me that was a good thing, may be an issue for others. Good wi-fi was always available in the main lodge. The food was probably the best vegetarian food I’ve ever had and there was plenty. The retreat itself is just stunning and the staff were attentive and unobtrusive Workshops: I learnt so much from others during the workshops and it was a real privilege being able to witness Sylvia draw on her years of professional therapeutic work as she gently guided us along this path of healing and exploration. Brazilian energy: The Aya experience I had in Brazil seemed to have a different, calmer energy to Peru, where I had been before, I’m told this was down to the setting. I found the Sprit Vine experience gentler, although I did see a lot of familiar scenes and experience some of the same “spiritual ceremonies” with elders/guides . Silvia: Don’t know how she does it but she managed to bring a really interesting mix of people together, something like 14 different nationalities. Loved the fact that she was all about teaching us to go inside and find the answers from within, that we already have the knowledge and not to rely on “experts” (including her) to tell us what they think. It’s not a perfect process and is work but she patiently strives to give us tools we can use in a practical sense to explore our perceptions and experiences and interpret what comes up in the ceremonies. Group dynamics: Silvia’s assistant Rohan is a very interesting guy who is a great listener with a lot of cool stories. Interaction between Silvia, Rohan and the group was very easy and caring. Nice balance of energy with Silvia and Rohan always making sure they were at opposite sides of the dinner table so it was easy to listen and learn. Music: The only concern I had before the retreat was that they used recorded music. This turned out to be the most amazing, mind blowing music that totally worked and had the shamanistic songs interwoven in a really original way. Silvia could make a fortune off those soundtracks! Itacare: Close enough but not too close to the retreat. It’s a good ideal to stay a few extra days and explore / wind down after the retreat. English in the area is not widespread, use google translate and try to learn basics of Portuguese. After the retreat I stayed for a few days of surfing in Itacare and it was fantastic to be able to hang around in the evenings with a few of the new friends from the retreat who did the same. Health / Life changes: I have kept up with a mainly vegetarian diet and feel amazing for it, although I will occasionally eat meat in the future if at friends’ houses, etc. Because I had done Aya before it now feels more normal for me. I haven’t experienced any drastic changes, this is what I expected anyway. I do feel like I’ve had a spiritual “tune-up” like some of my antennae have been adjusted. Thank you Silvia and Rohan

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