Welcome Packet - Guatemala

200 hr & 300 hr Yoga Teacher Training Programs!


Operations Contact Information:

Kula Collective
Operations Director: Johana Stark
Website: www.thekulacollective.com
Email: info@thekulacollective.com

200hr YTT Required Books & Readings:

  • (200hr) The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope -This is required pre-reading, you do not need to bring it with you although it is also a useful reference for the course content, but please read it before the program begins.

  • (200hr) Yoga Sutras - any translation is fine, we recommend the commentary by Chip Hartranft or Nischala Joy Devi. Please bring a copy with you to the course.

  • (200hr) Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff (second edition). The first five chapters are required pre-reading for the course. You can either leave it at home after that or bring it with you for reference during the course.

  • Course Books: Yoga Teacher Training Manual: The Kula Collective Manuals are included in the price of tuition and we will have it for you at the start of the course.

300hr YTT Required Books:

  • (300hr) The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche - please bring this with you, it is a great idea to start reading and becoming familiar with the text. You can order the Amazon kindle edition and bring with you electronically if you are unable to order the book in time or receive post.

  • (300hr) The Upanishads - any translation is fine, we recommend the translations/transliterations with Eknath Easwaran and Juan Mascaro. Please bring this with you in paperback or electronically in kindle format, its a great idea to start reading and becoming familiar with the text.

  • (300hr Optional) - read the Bhagavad Gita before coming! There are beautiful translations/transliterations also by Eknath Easwaran and Juan Mascaro available on Amazon.

  • Course Books: Yoga Teacher Training Manual: The Kula Collective Manuals are included in the price of tuition and we will have it for you at the start of the course.

200hr Homework & Certification Requirements:

We reserve the right to certify only students who pass the practicum for safe teaching, and demonstrate an ability to facilitate and communicate effectively with a group in a class setting. In the case that you do not receive the certificate directly, we offer a coaching program to help students achieve certification. More details on our Homework & Certification Requirements page. 


We will assign various reading assignments from the manual throughout the course.

You will also be asked to answer some questions for reflection at the end of each of the three cycles, ideally the first session on the last day of each cycle. This helps you and the facilitators know whether you are spending enough time reviewing the concepts learned in the course, or whether you need to increase the intensity of your study and class participation.


During each day’s Art of Teaching class time, trainees will be gradually introduced to teaching by teaching their peers each pose or mini sequence in the class. This will progress towards ‘Group Teaching’ in the Review time each day - teaching one pose or mini sequence to the whole class, to help you find your voice and prepare you for the two practicums.

We will have two individual teaching practicums of 75-90 minute classes:

  1. The Kula Basic Flow will be taught to a peer.

  2. Your Unique Creative Sequence you will develop will be taught to a peer.

Dietary Restrictions:

Please let us know us know if you have any dietary restrictions and we will do best to accommodate.


If you don’t already have a regular practice, please take some time prior to the beginning of the training to start practicing yoga and meditation 3-5 times per week if possible.  This will help your body and mind more quickly adapt to the schedule once we begin the course. Please review the Kula Basic Flow.

Stay Healthy:

We recommend you begin the process of preparing your body by eating fresh foods that are organic and alkaline-forming such as fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients.  You may also want to begin limiting your consumption of meat, dairy products, salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine in the months leading up to the training. Drink water as often as possible and begin to listen to and notice any changes in your body’s responses to this purification process.  As we are cleansing the body from the inside out, you may also want to consider the effects of cleansing from the outside-in. This is a perfect opportunity to look at the products you are using on your skin, hair and scalp to determine the safety or toxicity of them.

A helpful website you can consult for products (such as sunscreen or bug spray) that you may be packing for this trip, is http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.  The cleansing and fasting is not a required part of this training.  It is only offered as an additional way in which you can create more space for more light in your life and in your practice.  If you are taking medication or have any personal or physical conditions that may be a contraindication to cleansing, please let us know.

Packing List:

Please refer to the Location section of the Kula Website to know what to bring specifically to your particular location.

  1. A neti pot and a tongue scraper are encouraged to be used as a part of the course curriculum. You can purchase both of these on your own at any health food store or on Amazon.  

  2. We encourage daily journaling before, during and after the training. Please bring a journal, as well as any creative tools that enable you to express yourself such as musical instruments, painting/drawing materials, etc.

  3. Please bring with you any sacred objects you work with such as crystals, tarot cards, mala, stones etc.

Health Questionnaire and Liability Form

This form must be filled out prior to the course.

Please join the Kula Community Page:

This group is for all Kula alumni of all programs. This is a good place to share thoughts and ideas, questions and revelations, poetry, art, music... or if you're on the road and looking for a place to stay, your Kula has got your back, just ask.

Venue Contact Info:

Name: The Yoga Forest

Website: www.theyogaforest.org

Location: San Marcos, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Primary Contact: Administrative Manager

Email:  info@theyogaforest.org

Phone: +502 3301 1835

Flight Recommendations:

Plan to arrive into Guatemala City Aurora (code GUA) International airport. From there, please keep in mind that it is still a half day journey to The Yoga Forest, so be sure to arrange a flight to arrive one day prior to the day the training program begins.


Option 1:  Arrive to San Marcos a day early and stay the night in a hotel/hostel (or contact The Yoga Forest for availability the night prior and ask to arrange a private shuttle direct to San Marcos from the airport so that you settle in a day early.

Option 2:  From the airport take a shuttle straight to Antigua Guatemala (they leave every hour) and stay in a hostel/ hotel in Antigua for the night (see recommendations below). Antigua has great restaurants, markets, night life and is a safe tourist town. From there, take a collective shuttle for the earliest departure the next morning at 8am sharp (arrange at any travel agency the night prior - they are everywhere) and begin your journey to the lake in order to arrive to the meeting point for 2pm.

Arrival Day: You must be in San Marcos la Laguna by 2pm at the latest on the arrival day for an escorted pickup in town (this would mean catching an early 8am shuttle from Antigua at the latest). There will be one free escorted pickup arranged for the arrival day from Circles Cafe, at 2pm sharp. Make sure you have arrived on time for the pickup. For detailed information about getting to The Yoga Forest on your own, see the YF's Getting Here page.

Departure Day: Schedule your flight out of Guatemala either in the late afternoon/evening (after 6pm) of the last day of the training (Private shuttle would be necessary to arrive in time), or stay a day or two extra. We will finish around 10am on the last day. There are collective shuttles leaving San Marcos each day at 2.30pm for Antigua, arriving around 6pm, spend a nice night or two exploring Antigua and then take a collective shuttle back to the airport for your flight. Private and collective shuttles can be arranged with the Yoga Forest staff a few days prior to departure, there is no need to arrange in advance.

Hotel Recommendations near Airport: Hostel Novo, Quetzalroo, Hotel Dos Lunas, Hostel Villa Toscana, Mariana's Petit Hotel

Hotel Recommendations in Antigua: A Place to Stay - Kula students receive a 10% discount! Contact them on their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/A-Place-to-Stay-Hostel-172308802844967/)

Arrange Transportation: The Yoga Forest can arrange a private transfer from the airport to bring you straight to San Marcos la Laguna, to arrive either for the free escorted pickup or the driver will walk you to the forest. The cost is Q800 (US$115) each way, and must be paid directly in local currency only to the driver upon arrival (There are ATM's in the airport), please be aware The Yoga Forest will not make this payment for you. Ride share suggestions will be offered for students with similar flight times within 14 days of the course start date. For detailed information about getting to The Yoga Forest on your own, see the YF's Getting Here page.


Laundry: Laundry can be sent to town for our local ladies to wash your clothes in their homes and will be brought back to you once they are line dry, which can be a few days in the wet season. You can also take your washing to laundry services offering wash/dry service by machine if you prefer, cost is usually Q50 per 12 lb load.

Internet: We do not have wifi available for guests at The Yoga Forest and recommend that you connect in town prior to hiking to The Yoga Forest to let your loved ones know that you are safely in San Marcos. The Yoga Forest is a unique retreat space where we encourage you to disconnect from modern day distractions and fully immerse in the experience of being here now!

Electricity: We operate on a simple solar electricity system. You may charge your devices in the morning when the sun is shining ONLY between 9-10am. Please put devices on charge in the charger station at breakfast and remove them at lunch, the charging station will be turned off in the afternoons once the sun has passed over the panels or when power is low. We recommend you keep your devices in FLIGHT MODE while with us to maximize your battery life.

Observing Quiet Times: The Yoga Forest is a place of tranquility and peace. We maintain quiet times from 9.00pm to 9.00am to respect the serenity of the natural setting and encourage inward reflection. Lights in communal areas will be switched off and silence is requested. Please respect and show kindness to all staff and other guests.

Book Extra Days If Desired:

If you would like to arrive early or stay later, please contact The Yoga Forest directly by emailing info@theyogaforest.org. Once you have signed up for the training you will automatically be allocated a shared cabana space. If you would like a private option, please email The Yoga Forest directly and quickly in order to reserve one of the limited private spaces as soon as possible. Make your payment for R&B using these following links, R&B must be settled at least 14 days prior to the course start date.

Yes - Yoga Forest offers additional days for a discounted rate of US$40 per night pending availability.


  • Postponement/ Transfer to another Yoga Forest YTT course, 100% credit for R&B to another program.

  • Full cancellation of Yoga Forest training more than 90 days of course commencement, 100% refund on R&B.

  • Full cancellation of Yoga Forest training within 30-90 days of course commencement, 75% refund on R&B.

  • Full cancellation of Yoga Forest training within 30 days of course commencement, 50% refund on R&B.

  • Full cancellation of Yoga Forest training within 7 days of course commencement, no refund applies.

What to Bring:

Probiotics: You may want to prime your digestive flora with some probiotics before you leave for Guatemala and tuck some away in your luggage to have with you while you travel. The probiotic that can effectively fight unwanted bacterias/parasites in the belly is Lactobacillus Plantarum, it is important to make sure the probiotics you bring contain this bacterial strain.

The following are supplements and medicines you can bring with you, but please do not start them before you arrive and only take them if you have a stomach problem:

1. Paragone: this supplement will cleanse your system of unwanted parasites as well as prime your digestive system if you have a stomach parasite. This product can be found at most health foods stores such as Whole Foods. You may want to bring an extra pack in your bag in case you are affected by parasites during your visit to Guatemala.

2. Activated Charcoal and Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) or Colloidal Silver. Both are easiest to bring and take in capsule or liquid form, and work well to cleanse the system if you are sick.

3. Personal Water Filter or SteriPen: We use triple carbon and clay Eco-filters to purify our spring water, but you can also bring a personal water filter to attach to your water bottle for a further filtration.


Weather: Weather in San Marcos La Laguna is usually very mild. Most days the temperature is around 17-24 degrees Celsius, however due to the altitude here at Lake Atitlån (1500m), nights can be as low as 8 degrees. Guatemala has a dry season (November to April) and a wet season (May - October) each year. July and August are often also dry with a break in the rains. Please pack accordingly for stays during the wet season.

  • Please bring a journal and any creative tools that enable you to express yourself such as musical instruments, painting/drawing materials, etc.
  • Please also bring something sacred to put on the altar.
  • Headlamp
  • Organic and biodegradable shampoo/conditioner/soap
  • Pen
  • Towel
  • Yoga Wear
  • Sweater/Jacket/Poncho
  • Hat
  • Batteries
  • Water bottle
  • Natural repellant
  • Bathing suit
  • Shoes / Boots
  • Yoga Mat (Mats are provided, but feel free to bring your own!)

Immigration and Visas:

Your Guatemalan Tourist Visa (valid for 90 days) will be given to you at immigration once you've arrived in Guatemala. Depending on your nationality you may need a return flight out of the country to be presented at check in for your flight.


No inoculations are required to enter Guatemala, but it is always best to talk to your doctor and check out the Center for Disease Control website for information about recommended vaccinations.


Our filtered water has been tested by a local authority and is approved for drinking and washing. While we take necessary steps to ensure your drinking water is filtered and food is prepared in a safe and clean manner, we encourage you to take responsibility for your health in Guatemala.

It is common for travellers in Guatemala to suffer from upset stomachs, diarrhea and/or vomiting from exposure to different bacterias. If you do fall sick during your time with us, we encourage you to surrender into the experience and allow it to be an opportunity for growth and learning about the deeper layers of Self. Many insights arrive during times when the body is releasing if we allow the space for it.

We encourage you to regularly eat papaya seeds, probiotic foods such as kimchi, add kombucha vinegar to your water, and take GSE and Activated Charcoal if you have a sensitive system.


The Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ) is the local currency.  

~7.4 quetzals = 1 USD

~5.65 quetzals = 1 AUD

~5.7 quetzals = 1 CAD

If you are enjoying your time with us and plan to extend your stay, we ask that you pay in advance for any extra days/weeks in cash or credit card. Forest café bills must be settled upon departure. There is an ATM machines in the town of San Marcos la Laguna at Super Tienda Jose behind the Libreria Arco Iris and beside the bridge of the dry river bed.

Extra Activities:

Permaculture Tours are offered at 10am on Thursdays, and you may attend to learn about the Permaculture systems in place at The Yoga Forest. On Saturdays we offer a community Kirtan where we sing and celebrate as a devotional practice. Sundays we offer a Cacao & Ecstatic Dance lead by various DJs we host for the event. Any further activities we host by outside facilitators may have an additional cost for attendance.