The idea of YAMA was born in 2015 by founder Elissa Chrisson. A passion-driven love project and dream.
YAMA Community is about learning, sharing, connecting, playing and dancing with the natural world.
The name YAMA was not without thought. YAMA is the first limb of the Ashtanga (yoga) eight-limb practice. The 5 YAMA's are ethical guides to living in avoidance of violence, lying, stealing, wasting energy and possessiveness. YAMA is also a Hindu deity of destruction and a metaphorical death of one's self into a new vibrant, self-loving, kind and caring person. In Japanese, YAMA directly translates as 'mountain', the high points of the earth that have magical, healing energy. We aim to deliver many mountain tours so you can explore this for yourself. Finally, YAMA is an acronym for Yoga, Arts, Movement/Music, and Adventure.
We want to take you on a journey to explore the wonder of your inner world and these abundant vast lands we call earth.
THE YAMA EXPERIENCE
The YAMA family warmly invites you to come and connect in nature and have a therapeutic experience filled with yoga, arts, meditation, breathwork, music, workshops, wellness, adventure, food, sharing, co-creation, relaxation, love and play in some of the world's most exotic locations. Welcome to paradise!
WHAT TO EXPECT
The YAMA experiences are adventurous, mindful, globe-trotting boutique retreats. Each trip is unique, wild and wonderful and captures this common theme of celebrating life in colour through dance, arts, music, yoga, and connection with ourselves and others while exploring the raw elements of nature. We are not just a yoga retreat! Our element of difference is that we provide a range of adventure activities, movement styles, breathwork and arts. Flow with life, find your freedom and travel with like-minded soon-to-be lifelong friends.
Our trips are LGBT & gender-inclusive. The theme we wish to encapsulate is a mini-festival vibe, a sense of freedom, openness and connectedness. If you are free-spirited, fun and fabulous, you are perfect for our trips!
The average age of our groups is 20-55 years old. Most, but not all, of our trips are somewhat physically demanding (trip dependent) and may require a moderate fitness level. However, we encourage anyone open to the challenge to come along. If you believe you can do it, then you can!
Let us take you on a life-changing, soul-soothing journey. Learn, live and experience the local culture and native arts while establishing techniques to create inner peace and self-awareness skills to integrate you into life back home.
Anyone may be a part of our community. No prerequisites exist for participating as long as you act with integrity, care and respect.
2. SHARING, GIFTING & PLAY
We encourage you to bring your unique gift and share it at this gathering. YAMA is a space to express yourself through what brings you joy. This could be everything and anything from a hugging workshop to music, games, play, arts, singing, creativity, culinary, performance and dance. Shine through sharing. It's great for the soul.
3. SELF EXPRESSION
Radical self-expression is our thang - dressing up in exotic locations and taking epic misfit shots. Be outrageous. The more outrageous, the better. Everyone is free to be whoever they want, as long as it doesn’t harm others and the environment. We recommend (glitter-free) recycled or second-hand fashion.
Leave no trace. Just make memories. We are passionate about the natural world, and as visitors, we have a responsibility to keep it clean. YAMA fam love a beach clean! It's SEXY! When our community gets involved. We are working with Climate Force and Reforest Now to give back to the earth and our feathered, furry and scaly friends.
Learning should be fun. There are many opportunities to learn on a YAMA experience, whether it be from the community gifting or through our professional, fun young facilitators. Some of our trips also offer intensive learning and certifications (trip dependent). All our retreats are unique and offer different opportunities for self-development and growth on a physical and mental level.
Ensure you have all the items you'll need during the entire retreat. For guidance, we will provide a packing list for each experience. So that you dont forget your toothbrush or your passport ;)
We can't wait to create something beautiful with you.
MEET THE TEAM
Yoga teacher & Artist
A photograph is a language that can be understood anywhere in the world
Buy a YAMA gift voucher for someone you love
In the experience is the emotion, in the emotions is the gift. The best gifts are not... Things.
Elissa’s teaching style and calming presence were an invaluable part of my Wild Women’s journey to Uluru. Our group had varying levels of experience and she provided an array of yoga experiences for all tastes and levels of practice. Her classes were considered & energising and she utilised the ever changing landscapes of the outback we practised in. I believe Elissa’s personal style of teaching is a testament to her years of experience, both on and off the mat, in helping all students reach their greatest potential. I can’t wait to practice with her again
I had the pleasure of travelling to Outback Australia with Elissa on a Yoga and Hiking trip. I love practising yoga at home usually following Vinyasa styles on YouTube. Elissa has opened my eyes to many other styles of Yoga which I am really keen to explore more and she has also corrected my techniques. I am really grateful for this experience, for the yoga and also to have experienced this trip with such a beautiful soul. I look forward to planning another adventure with Elissa soon! I had the pleasure of travelling to Outback Australia with Elissa on a Yoga and Hiking trip. I love practising yoga at home usually following Vinyasa styles on YouTube. Elissa has opened my eyes to many other styles of Yoga which I am really keen to explore more and she has also corrected my techniques. I am really grateful for this experience, for the yoga and also to have experienced this trip with such a beautiful soul. I look forward to planning another adventure with Elissa soon!
Training with Elissa has completely changed my life. I had never practised yoga prior to attending Elissa's classes, and after just one class I was hooked. I came from barely being able to touch my toes to now practising yoga almost every day and being able to reach further than my toes, backbend comfortably and do handstands. Elissa has a really great and fun teaching style and places a lot of focus on technique. Over time, I have learnt a significant amount from Elissa about the philosophy of yoga and come to appreciate not only the physical side of yoga but also the mental, spiritual and emotional side.
As a nutritionist, I have been trained to understand the link between the mind and body, however, Elissa has furthered my understanding through sharing with me her knowledge and passion for yoga. I have learned that breathing, muscular strength and specific and holistic treatment set up a sound foundation for healing the mind - which in turn, heals the body. Thanks to Elissa, I have now incorporated yoga into my treatment plans and find it to be a very effective and useful tool to treat disease. Elissa is a passionate, knowledgeable, strong and natural educator. Her selflessness and dedication to sharing the wisdom of yoga is something no-one will regret being apart of. It is a breath of fresh air to see someone investing all their time in something they truly love and believe in.
Elissa was my amazing motivational yoga teacher for 3 to 4 mornings per week for 2 months during my holidays in Goa India in 2019
She has the X factor personality and work ethos as a truly great professional, experienced yoga teacher and is deffo top of her game in teaching !!
I’m truly looking forward to my next yoga sessions in January 2020 with Elissa !!
I would recommend her 100 % to everyone in the the world !!
Paul Mc Glade From Dublin, Ireland 🇮🇪
I have been learning under Elissa since February this year and in this time I’ve seen massive improvements in my practice. Elissa focuses not only on helping you into a pose but doing it correctly to prevent injuries.
Initially, I went to yoga to improve my flexibility, but with practice, I’ve realised that other areas have also improved such as my strength and breathing. Seeing these improvements has encouraged me to regularly work on my yoga practice with support from Elissa.
Thank you Elissa, this is the strongest and most flexible I have ever been!