Xinalani Eco-Resort, Mexico
November 9-16, 2024

Awakening Our Sacred Relationship With Nature and Ourselves

Join Awe experts Dr. Michael Amster and Aylana Zanville for a week of relaxation, rejuvenation, adventure, and Awe at one of Mexico’s world-class retreat centers, Xinalani Eco-Resort. This remote tropical beachside resort can only be reached by a 40-minute boat ride south of Puerto Vallarta. Xinalani is the ideal healing retreat to unplug, reset, savor the fresh ocean air and nourishing food, and experience the Awe of Mexico! This retreat offers a luscious blend of activities for your body, mind, and soul.

Think about how you feel when you see a beautiful sunset, connect deeply with a friend, or stand before a mountain that seems impossibly high. This feeling — often includes goosebumps and a shiver down our spine — is known as Awe.

More than ever, we need to reconnect to one of the most powerful of all human emotions: the emotion of Awe. This is because Awe is a prosocial emotion in which we feel more connected, open-hearted, happier, present, and caring toward others and all life on earth. Awe is in you and surrounds you every moment, but most of us don’t know how to access it.

If you would like to overcome burnout, anxiety, depression, and loneliness with feelings of wonder, playfulness, and connection, this retreat is for you! During the week, through a combination of experiential learning and group practices, you will learn how to access states of Awe at will—freeing up constricted energy and resulting in new healthy perspectives. In addition to accessing the emotion of Awe, participants will learn to shift their state of consciousness, which is one of the most effective ways to break dysfunctional patterns of behavior and communication.



  • Understand the science and benefits of awe
  • Master the skills of the A.W.E. Method
  • Learn self-care yoga and mindfulness techniques
  • Shift your level of consciousness to living more in heart and awe
  • Enhance your health and well-being
  • Improve relationships
  • Develop the tools to live life in awe every day

By the end of the retreat, you’ll feel refreshed, revitalized, and empowered, with tools to support your continuing Awe journey at home.

A Typical Day on Retreat

Deep in a natural wildlife sanctuary, we are greeted each morning by the sound of tropical birds and watching morning light spread over the ocean. Sip on freshly brewed Mexican coffee and enjoy a light breakfast of yogurt, fruit, and homemade granola (non-dairy options available). We will meet for our morning yoga, qi gong, and mindfulness practice in one of Xinalani’s six pristine and beautiful yoga spaces. All levels of practice and experience are welcome. We will break for a full breakfast buffet after our daily morning practice.​

Following breakfast, we will dedicate time to learning about the power of Awe through a combination of experiential learning and group sharing. Next, we will convene for a nutritious, locally sourced lunch, followed by free time to rest and awe-venture, including jungle hikes, swimming among waterfalls, dipping into the ocean, kayaking, and snorkeling. Aylana, a professional surfer and surf instructor, will offer a complimentary group surf lesson open to all retreat participants. Many additional excursions are available for a fee, including whale watching, participation in a cacao ceremony or Temazcal (an ancient Mayan cleansing ritual), and spa treatments. There will be plenty of free time to slow down, rest and rejuvenate.

Awe-inspiring sunsets over the Pacific are not to be missed! After dinner, we will wrap up each day with group sharing and activities such as salsa dancing lessons, beach bonfire, movie night, awe practices, and more.


Xinalani is in a nature preserve with 33 eco-chic rooms or beachfront casitas staggered on the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The setting is truly awe-inspiring. Nestled between a lush jungle and a picturesque ocean, you’ll be mesmerized by the natural beauty surrounding you. Rooms range from $2075-$4450 per person depending on single vs. double occupancy and room type. Room price includes all meals, round trip transfers from/to the airport via boat, taxes, and all retreat classes by Michael and Aylana.

The food at Xinalani is exceptional! Mostly organic, local, fresh food with both vegetarian and meat options prepared especially for us. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know.

Note: Since the resort is built into a jungle, there are many stairs on this property, 176 to be exact. Our home for the week is built on a steep hill. There’s an elevation of 215 ft from the beach to the highest point on the property (the Jungle Studio). Please consider this if you have had knee surgery, a hip replacement, or chronic pain that limits your use of stairs.


What’s Included

  • Selected accommodation
  • Three delicious, healthy meals plus early morning coffee, tea, fresh fruit, granola and yogurt
  • One yoga/mindfulness class per day
  • One group Power of Awe experiential learning class per day
  • Kayak & snorkel equipment
  • Surf lesson with Aylana
  • Plenty of free time to awe-venture and restore and restore
  • Round-trip airport transfers and boat ride to the retreat center
  • All taxes

Retreat fee does not include airfare, travel insurance, eco-tours & excursions, tips to guides for eco-tours & excursions and gratuities to staff (approximately $100-200), spa services, or alcoholic beverages.

Cancellation Policy

If you must cancel, all monies minus a $200 non-refundable administrative fee will be refunded if you cancel before July 25, 2024 (105 days before the retreat). After August 1, 2024, if you find someone to take your space or we can fill the space, we will refund your money minus a $200 non-refundable administrative fee. If you register after August 1, you must pay in full, and the retreat is non-refundable unless we can fill your space minus a $200 non-refundable administrative fee.

Don't Delay!

We anticipate the retreat will sell out, so please reserve your room soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is prior yoga or mindfulness experience needed?
Classes will be accessible to all levels and cater to all individuals. We want every BODY to experience the gift that is yoga and mindfulness! Mobility is needed for the stairs on the property. The resort is built into a jungle. There are many stairs on this property, 176 to be exact. There’s an elevation of 215 ft from the beach to the highest point on the property (the Jungle Studio). Please consider this if you have had knee surgery, a hip replacement, or chronic pain that limits your use of stairs.
Is there internet access at Xinalani?

Although we recommend you take advantage of your visit to Xinalani to disconnect from digital life, if you require a reliable internet connection, it will be available in all rooms, common areas, and yoga studios.

What should I bring?
A list of all recommended packing lists will be sent to you about 1 month before departure.

But here is a list to get you started. Keep in mind it is an eco-friendly resort, so they will be providing most toiletries, and electronics will be limited. There are also a lot of stairs, so a backpack would be ideal to carry things around so your hands are free to use on the stairs.   Yoga mats and props will be provided.

Packing List from Xinalani

Is there anything to do outside of Xinalani retreat center property?

Xinalani offers a remote island experience and is only accessible by boat. The resort offers ample opportunity for relaxation and exciting excursions but limited amenities. There is a small local village within walking distance that you can explore.

What about flights to Puerto Vallarta?

Many cities from the USA and Canada have daily nonstops to Puerto Vallarta. You need to ensure you arrive anytime before 4 pm on November 9, 2024, so you can catch the boat to the resort. Flights cannot leave any earlier than 12 pm on November 16, 2024.

Are there bugs at the retreat center?
The retreat is during the dry season, and mosquitos should not be a problem. All the beds have mosquito nets. If you are sensitive to mosquito bites, then bring bug spray for use during sunset when the bugs are out.

To register for the retreat, please complete the following Google form, and we will contact you to finalize your registration. A $600 deposit is required to hold your space. This amount is applied to your total cost. Final payment must be made by July 25, 2024 (105 days before the retreat). Or you can pay in full now and take $50 off the total cost. You can pay by check, Venmo, Zelle, or credit card.

About Your Retreat Leaders

Michael Amster, MD

Michael is the co-author of The Power of Awe, and a physician and a researcher at the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center. With twenty years as a pain management specialist, he is currently the founding director of the pain management department at Santa Cruz Community Health. He has been a meditation practitioner for over thirty years, and is a certified yoga, qi gong, and meditation teacher. He splits his time between clinical work, writing and research on mindfulness, and leading awe-inspiring retreats.

Aylana Zanville

Aylana is a lifelong seeker of awe as a professional surfer and teacher of yoga and capoeira. In 2003, she created Ola Chica and pioneered the movement to create flattering, functional women’s surfwear. Aylana splits her time between coaching up-and-coming female surfers, teaching yoga and capoeira, and co-leading surf and awe retreats with Michael.

Please contact Aylana with any registration or logistic questions at