ashtanga yoga practice yoga loft

Couples Retreat

New Year Meditation And Yoga Retreat 2017/18 Group Picture

New Year Meditation And Yoga Retreat 2017/18

Caribbean Yoga Holiday Cabarete Beach
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Yoga Holiday

The Yoga Loft Cabarete

Portrait of Chrissy Lefavour, founder and owner of Grateful Yoga

Cabarete Caribbean Kite Beach

Who am I?

Chrissy Lefavour is a writer, a lover and a yogini. Writing, journaling and sharing have been passions for Chrissy her whole life. Going on an adventure is always more fun when it can be remembered or shared, or both! She is a lover of the natural world; animals, the ocean, mountains, snow, surf, sun, clouds, thunderstorms and the way they play each day creating beauty in the world around us. If any of the above qualifies as yoga, then she has been practicing as long as she can remember with the support and encouragement from her amazing family and friends to follow her heart. Almost five years ago she started practicing Ashtanga yoga daily. Since then she has dabbled in kid’s yoga, SUP yoga, yoga with horses, restorative yoga, acro-yoga, aerial yoga and handstanding on the beach. Currently you can find her at her yoga studio, Grateful Yoga, in Vermont, hosting retreats and trainings in the Dominican Republic or traveling anywhere else the universe offers.

The Yoga Loft Cabarete

What am I doing here?

I am here because I love yoga and I love sharing it with other people. When I opened the studio in 2014 I knew someday I wanted to host teacher trainings. Within the first year people were asking for it, so after getting my own credentials in order, generating a syllabus and creating a training manual. This program continues to evolve just like any other practice but rests on some core yoga values and the traditional Ashtanga teachings. It is accessible to all humans at all ages and levels of practice. Our youngest trainee is 13 and I believe our eldest is 65 to date. The intensive trainings I like to think of as a choose-your-own-adventure…

Pairing with the Yoga Loft at eXtreme Hotel in Caberete has blown the roof off of what students can learn beyond the studio walls. First of all, the Yoga Loft only has one “wall” so we’re off to a great start. The studio setting is divine with the beachfront location, ocean breezes and amazing view. While the surroundings are more visually stimulating I find students are quieter, slower and naturally at ease here. We spend most of our training hours (30/week) in the Yoga Loft and I could honestly be up there 24 hours/day and be happy. Meals are served by locals in the onsite restaurant La Mesa Taina. Here you will be blessed with some English speakers but welcomed to try out your Spanish speaking skills with laughter and smiles. The food is served farm to table from Taino Organic Farm where we have a farm tour and river tube as a part of the trip. Learn about Yoga + Farming through concepts of energy management, sustainability and compassion. Accommodations are shared or private in the eco-friendly hotel and each room has a balcony.

The Yoga Loft Cabarete Caribbean

So what am I doing here? I am sharing this beautiful place with people I love and teaching them yoga. This is where the adventure starts… Student who stay for three weeks accumulate 90+ hours of yoga teacher training, the rest is up to you. Learn how to kitesurf, take long walks on the beach, nap in the comfort of your room, sip a happy hour cocktail, hike to some waterfalls, go horseback riding, meditate, breathe, enjoy. Before an arrow is launched from the bow it must be drawn back, held still, aimed mindfully in the direction of it’s target and then PING! It takes flight, a journey, freedom. Here are my favorite definitions of the word “retreat”:

(noun) withdrawal, pulling back, flight

(verb) change one’s mind, change one’s attitude

Join us on retreat for any or all of the above. I can’t tell you exactly how this training will change your life but it inevitably will. My goal in training is to create happy, healthy yogis with sustainable lifelong yoga practices. Your days will be filled with asana, pranayama, mantra and best of all, adventure!

yoga classes cabarete

Invitation To Check Out Our Beach-Front Retreat Paradise

Hey fellow Yogis

may yoga and surf retreat

This is your invitation to come and check out our beach-front retreat paradise, be our guest for a free 3 night stay in the Dominican Republic.

We are looking for yoga teachers who might be interested in hosting a retreat with a difference.

We offer the ultimate adventure retreat experience with a number of optional onsite activities such as our circus school, cross fit gym, kite surf academy and organic farm to compliment your yoga sessions.

We have a lot of retreat experience and are on hand to help our new guest teachers plan every last detail. As we are an eco hotel our rates are extremely affordable and flights here are often half the price of other Caribbean destinations.

We don’t want to just tell you how good we are we would love to show you.

We have a very limited number of places available for teachers ready to do something different. We invite you and a plus one to come and be our guests at the hotel for a free 3 night stay. No strings attached, we know you will love us and want to come back.

We are flexible on dates but would recommend coming soon as the calendar will fill up quickly for available retreat weeks.

If this opportunity sounds interesting to you give us a shout back and we can set up a call or we can answer any questions by email.  You can reach us at

And you can find out more about the hotel at

We hope to be sharing a mojito in the sun with you soon.

yoga retreat

Turn Your Frown Upside Down On A Caribbean Yoga Retreat

Turn Your Frown Upside Down

yoga retreat

OK so you actually have to be on a yoga retreat to practice yoga and enjoy the benefits in your daily life.

Did you know a couple of minutes spent upside down every day can have a hugely positive impact on your health?

It is an ancient yoga tradition but don’t let that put you off. Inverting can be achieved easily by anybody and doesn’t need to involve any contortion or athletics. The benefits are immediate and it can be a really enjoyable practice.

Inverting literally just means taking your legs higher than your heart. My favourite way to get there is to lie with my legs up a wall, for those feeling more athletic it could be a headstand or a handstand.

So what are the benefits of yoga inversions?

  1. Your blood flows freely back towards your heart meaning your heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump the blood back. This is good because it clears the blood vessels and allows the heart to rest and repair.
  2. For the reasons above inverting can be great to prevent or help lessen the impact of varicose veins.
  3. Increased blood flow to the head nourishes the brain cells and some say it can help reduce hair loss (although this is debatable)
  4. If done with slow deep breathing it induces in your body a lovely relaxed state, literally calming your nervous system.
  5. It can help reduce swollen ankles (this works amazingly for pregnant ladies)

There are lots more reasons but I hope you won’t need any more than that to convince you to give it a go.

How to get into my favourite inversion.

Important Note – Anybody with high blood pressure that isn’t controlled should avoid this practice unless under the guidance of a teacher.

Step one – sit on the floor, side ways on and as close to a wall as possible

Step two – slowly turn your body so you can take your legs up the wall and your head to the floor. (This should leave you with your bum tucked in close to the wall).

Step three – if you have a cushion or blanket nearby place it under the hips so they are gently raised off the floor.

Step four – close your eyes, deepen your breath and relax for a couple of minutes or as long as its comfortable.

If you are not able to easily get to the floor you can practice this is bed by elevating the feet on some cushions at the foot of the bed.

Id love to hear whether you enjoy this practice as much as us. You can contact us on our social media here

Enjoy xx


boot camp retreat

Weight-loss Retreat Kickstart Your Fitness

BootCamp, Fitness Holiday, Detox Vacation, Yoga Camp, Weight-loss retreat…..

For many people researching this type of holiday, these might all sound super scary. The truth is that none of them are half as scary as they sound. And in fact they all have one thing in common; they will all be the kick-start to a new healthier you.

The aim of any fitness holiday is not to be a punishing regime but to be an educational fun experience where you will not only kickstart your fitness but also leave you inspired, refreshed and ready to embrace all the challenges of continuing when you get home.

Vicky our instructor at Yoga Loft Cabarete loves it when we she hears back from her retreat clients. Previous guest Fiona sent a lovely message which she wanted to share as it sums up what our fitness holidays are about.

Vicky says ‘Fiona is no different to many of you – a full time working mum who hadn’t exercised for years. But she made up her mind to get healthy and fit and she took action.   Making time for herself, joining a ‘boot camp’ and learning new ways of eating was a massive scary step. So read her story and be inspired….”

Weight-loss retreat
“I’ve had a good week but more importantly I had a lapse that has caused a revelation.

Yesterday was pretty dire not enough hours in the day, to much to do, the usual so I didn’t go for a walk at lunch time as too busy, didn’t really drink enough water (not good on detox) as too busy, worked late and ate too much tea too late (about 10pm).

Eight weeks ago I’d have had a bar of galaxy for my breakfast and moaned about how much of a failure I was after a day like that, but not today.

I don’t feel like I have failed, just that I had all my 20% treats in one day, back on detox this morning and eating veg for breakfast. I am taking 2 bottles to work today so I always have water and have changed my diary so I can walk to a meeting this morning, already done tea, its in the fridge and lunch is in the car ready for my day.

The revelation is I CAN DO THIS, I still have a face like a baboons bum after class and I can’t do as much as I think I should be able to BUT I can do more than I could 8 weeks ago. 5 sit up and press ups seems a silly number now and although it is still difficult I get out of bed to do 20 of each every morning and one morning I know 20 will be too easy as a warm up.  I may never run a marathon but I can run for a bus……….not that I ever get a bus but one day who knows?

The value of the learning experience on a retreat is huge. Whatever challenges you are facing, wherever you are on your fitness journey, taking a week out of your life for a kick-start will be life changing.”

We would love you to come and join us at the Yoga Loft Cabarete for the vacation of a lifetime.

You can find out more about our yoga retreats at

The Importance of Variety

Like anything too much of one thing can be counter productive and the same goes for exercise, yoga and a fitness holiday. Even if you don’t mentally get bored of the same old workout your body does, and will eventually start to plateau as it gets used to what you are doing.

Here at the Extreme Hotel variety is the key to our success in daily exercise and on our fitness retreats and yoga holidays.

We have some amazing instructors who teach a variety of disciplines such as 3D movement, yoga, pilates, dance, circus skills, kiting, surfing, Cross-fit and weight training. Each instructor is an expert in their field and it’s hilarious when we do each other’s workouts. No matter how good we are in our own field without fail we always struggle in each others training sessions.

It doesn’t matter how fit you think you are, varying your routine will always offer up a new challenge to your body. For most people who do exercise already you are probably guilty of falling into a routine and the body quickly conditions itself and adapts.

Wherever you are on your fitness journey you will find a fun new challenge at the Yoga Loft Cabarete

women's yoga surf camp

The New Yoga Retreat Adventure Vacations

The Old Days Of Yoga Retreats

In my early days as a newly qualified teacher, yoga retreats were few and far between. Enthusiasts could travel to India to seek out the mystic teachings of the yoga masters and with a lot of searching it was possible to find ashram experiences closer to home.

As yoga has grown in popularity thousands of new teachers qualified and set up classes and studios around the world. It was a natural next step for us teachers to create immersive retreat experiences for our students, we had a built in community who we wanted to share our love of yoga with.

The Boom of Yoga Holidays.

I was lucky enough to travel all around the world and have worked in many of the top yoga destinations creating retreat experiences. When I started the retreats were new and exciting, many people were experiencing wellness travel for the first time.

Something Exciting & New For The Yoga Vacation Market

But fifteen years later I feel it is time for something new. The yoga holiday format needed a shake up for those who have ‘been there and done that’. When I discovered the Extreme Hotel in the Dominican Republic, I knew I had found my Caribbean Mecca.

A collective of small businesses the Extreme Hotel is a sustainable, eco hotel situated right on the beach at the quiet end of Cabarete, a kiters paradise. With year round sunshine and a permanent island breeze, the weather is close to perfect.

 The Extreme Hotel – My New Caribbean Yoga Retreat Mecca

Amongst its residents at the Extreme Hotel are the Yoga Loft with its beachfront deck, an onsite Circus School, Kite Academy and Cross-fit gym. The collective have everything you could possibly need for an action packed but rejuvenating holiday.

If that wasn’t enough the hotel also own an organic eco farm and the restaurant is supplied with amazing ingredients fresh from the farm. The food is outstanding, healthy and delivered in an incredible beachfront setting.

We can create a bespoke retreat experience for every guest. Whether you want to yoga and relax, join a detox retreat, a weight-loss holiday or try your hand at circus or adventure sports, we have the perfect package for you.

And best of all because it is an eco hotel all of this comes without the normal giant price tag. 7 night vacations start from just USD $700.

Find out more about our retreats at