FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Our Solstice Chakra Reset will be taking place in Jamaica in June 2023, and we imagine you may have several questions on your mind and heart before embarking on this healing journey.
We have prepared some answers to anticipated questions below.
If you do not see your question answered below, please feel free to contact us at JamaicaYogaRetreats@gmail.com
Q - How do I register/where do I sign up?
A - Please follow the following 4 steps to secure your spot at our Solstice Chakra Reset!
If you wish to stay in a single (in your own room), please select an option that ends in a "1" (for example, OV-1, and CM-1).
If you wish to share a room or stay in a double or quad, whether that be with a participant you do/don't know, please select an option that ends in a "2," or a "4" (for example, OV-2, CM-2 or JND-4)
Waiver and Terms and Conditions: We love retreats. For the safety and security of all parties, we do require contractual agreements for participants of the retreat. Please click the ‘Terms and Conditions’, and ‘Waiver’ buttons to download respective documents, review, sign, and return to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to purchase travel insurance for your travels to Montego Bay Airport. While we are not requiring proof of travel insurance, you will be held responsible for a shuttle fee if you do not arrive within the time frame required by Jakes for your free on-the-ground transportation (up to $100 one way). Additionally, there are no refunds after March 31, 2023 for deposits or monies paid toward this retreat, unless we (Empress and Sheena) can rebook your space. For cancellations prior to March 31, 2023, $400 plus processing fees of your deposit are non-refundable.
Sending your deposit: After you have registered for the retreat, please be on the lookout for an email from email@example.com for instructions on how you can complete your deposit. In the email, we will also confirm the retreat package and payment plan/timeline that you have outlined in your registration form.
We accept payments via PayPal, Venmo, Cash App or Check (mailed to Sheena at her Philadelphia address). Please click on the links below to complete all payments for the retreat.
Q - What can I expect in this retreat experience?
A - Our Solstice Chakra Reset will be 7 full days of harmonizing meditation, chakra philosophizing, yogic activation and fun as well as opportunities to rest and release. Here are some of the things you can expect with your package:
1. Ground roundtrip transportation airport pick-up and drop-off from Montego Bay airport if you arrive on June 16th between 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and depart on June 23rd (between 11:00 am - 10:00 pm).
2. Twice Daily Yoga classes – Activating Vinyasa Flow at Sunrise and Restorative Hatha/Yin at Sunset
3. Daily insights and participatory education on yoga philosophy through an Afro- and Asian-centered lens as well as practical application of & activities on how to use the chakras to heal and balance oneself
5. Fresh seasonal fruits before breakfast & unlimited access to water during retreat.
6. Delicious, life-giving island meals and beverages for those who reserve at Jakes Hotel and the option of meals or pay-as-you-go food packages for those who reserve at Just Next Door
7. Downtime to enjoy the beach, read on a hammock, treat yourself to a body scrub or massage, support local businesses, and an abundance of sunshine!
Q - What is a Solstice Chakra Reset?
A - Yoga is a systematic spiritual practice that teaches us how to deepen our connection to inner selves, through breath work, mindful movement, engaged philosophy, and embodied praxis. The Chakras are a knowledge system and energy centers that have been passed onto us from ancient African, South Asian, and indigenous civilizations. Similar to yoga, the Chakra system is a tool that brings us into an energetic understanding of our inner selves. Placed in conversation with each other, yoga and the chakras allow us to tap into our highest selves and achieve our highest purpose -- ideally a higher purpose that is also connected to the liberation of humanity and Mother Earth. This is why Empress Thandi and Sheena Sood decided to birth and curate a Solstice Chakra Reset that is purposed toward the interconnection of individual and collective freedom. This wellness reset is designed as a 5-day retreat that is designed for participants to connect with the land, culture and people of Jamaica; to deepen their journey to self; to learn some practices and life hacks for everyday wellness; to apply ancient wisdom systems to their personal lives, relationships, social justice, and purposeful work; and to experience an unforgettable and sacred adventure.
Q - What precautions are the retreat curators AND hotel management staff taking to ensure safety and protection from COVID?
A- We are continuing to take COVID seriously. All of the staff at Jakes Hotel are vaccinated as well as the retreat curators. Feel free to read Jakes Treasure Beach's Covid Protocols document here.
The retreat will be held in outdoor areas to minimize exposure and transmission of the virus. As well, during the times at which participants will be in enclosed spaces (for instance, a bus ride), participants will be asked to mask up.
Q - What do I need. to know about traveling to Jamaica?
A - You will need a valid passport to enter Jamaica. If you are traveling from the US, you will not need a visa.
While Jamaica is no longer requiring tourists obtain a negative COVID test to enter the country, we highly encourage tourists to check https://www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/ to find the updated policies and guidelines to enter Jamaica.
Q - I have never practiced yoga before, but I am interested in attending. Is that permitted?
A - Yes, we certainly will not restrict participants from attending the retreat based on previous practice of and familiarity with yoga. We will be practicing twice per day, so if you are new to the practice, your body will be challenged. At the same time, participants will be encouraged to practice to their own limit/capacity and to sign a waiver that certifies they are in physical conditions suited to participate in a yoga retreat. The morning yoga sessions will be gentle, Hatha-inspired practices, and the evening sessions will be restorative and oriented toward contemplative mindfulness. While the retreat asks that participants commit to showing up in body, mind, and spirit for the entire retreat period, the sessions will definitely be offered at a beginners level and catered to all levels of practice. Participants should talk to the curators if they have further questions about their own capacity and commitment, but ultimately, please know the decision to participate is ultimately yours.
Q - When does the retreat begin and end?
A - The retreat begins on Friday, June 16th at 6:00 pm with a tour of Jake’s, opening circle and welcome dinner. The retreat ends on Friday, June 23rd no later than 11:00 am. Housing accommodations cover the nights of June 16th, 17th, 18th 19th, 20th, 21st and the 22nd. Check in is on the 16th is at 3:00 pm. Check out on the 23rd at 11:00 am.
Participants who want to take advantage of the included roundtrip ground transportation pick-up through their retreat package should book their air travel to arrive at Montego Bay Airport on June 17th no later than 7 pm; and to depart from Montego Bay preferably after 1:00 pm.
While we understand travel itineraries vary based on an assortment of reasons, participants must book their airfare accommodations to/from Montego Bay Airport for their ground transportation to be included. If you book your flight from Kingston, Jamaica, ground transportation will not be included, but there are taxis available for a price.
We will have a formal closing ceremony on the night of June 22nd, but we will also offer an additional closing yoga class on the morning of Friday, June 23rd, to conclude by 9:30 am. For those who wish to partake in the final yoga class, please plan to book your return flights accordingly (with enough time to account for transportation to the airport and airport check-in). Montego Bay Airport is approximately 2.5 hours from Treasure Beach.
Q - What is the cost to participate in the 7-day Solstice Chakra Reset?
A - The cost of the retreat varies based on the package that participants select. Please click here to see all the variety of accommodations available, ranging in cost from as low as $1,125 per participant to $3,250 per participant to accommodate all budgets.
Q - Is the retreat all-inclusive?
A - The retreat includes accommodations, yoga teachings and excursions for all participants. It is also all-inclusive with meals covered for participants who register their accommodations at Jakes Hotel (All Ocean View, Garden View, and Cottage options). Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner meals are covered at a limit of $75/day at any of the following three restaurants: Jakes Hotel’s in-house restaurant, Jack Sprat Restaurant, or Lovers Leap.
The retreat does not include meals for participants who register their accommodations at Just Next Door (formerly known as Jack Sprat Motel), with the exception of 2 meals and snacks included for off-site excursions. For participants who book one of the retreat packages at Jack Sprat Motel (Just Next Door), they have the freedom of exploring the town for meals on their own, or they can pay an additional $75/day ($375 for entire retreat) for meals at Jakes Hotel’s in-house restaurant.
Q - Where will I be staying?
A - This retreat includes housing. Participants will stay at Jake’s Hotel Treasure Beach, which is located along 7 acres of coast line. Additional amenities at Jakes include guest access to a salt water swimming pool, an oceanfront yoga deck, Driftwood Spa, an in-house restaurant, life guards on duty, indoor reception and lounge areas, and the ease of a beach in your backyard.
Q - Will I be sharing a room or can I have a room by myself?
A - It depends what retreat option you select. Participants have the option to share a room or have a room for themself. When you select your accommodation, you can choose single (Look for the option that ends in a "1") if you wish to stay in a room by yourself; double (look for the option that ends in a "2") if you wish to stay in a room with 1 other person.
If you choose to stay at Just Next Door, you can save even more by staying in a quad accommodations (look for the option that ends in "4" or "D).
Cost varies according to the retreat package you select.
Q - Will downtime be incorporated into the retreat?
A - Yes! There are a couple days where we have excursions planned to the waterfalls, Wisdom Preserve Farm and Lovers Leap, but there will also be a couple days with whole afternoons and evenings of free time! Check out the beach, local restaurants; make a wellness appointment at Wise Wellness Spa; rest on a hammock with a book or journal; go on a hike, or rent a bicycle! It’s up to you! If you want to schedule more down time in Treasure Beach, you can also lengthen your stay for a day or two after the retreat ends!
Q - Can I arrive at Jakes a couple days before the retreat begins or stay in Treasure Beach for a few days after the retreat ends?
A - You are more than welcome to arrive earlier than the retreat or leave after, but all reservations must be arranged and confirmed directly with Jakes Hotel management staff if you plan to stay there, or of course with wherever your subsequent destinations take you!
Q - I really want to participate, but I cannot pay all of the cost upfront. Is there a payment plan?
A - Yes. We are happy to arrange for a payment plan. We do require that all participants email us to get their payment plan approved. Please calculate a monthly payment plan suggestion that will work for you. In your email, please inform us of how much you wish to pay each month leading up to the retreat. Please note that the retreat organizers must receive 50% of the total amount for your specific package by March 31, 2023; and 100% of your retreat cost by April 31, 2023.
Q - What is the deposit?
A - We are asking that 50% payment of your selected retreat package is due upon registration to secure your spot in the retreat. If you wish to email us about a payment plan and suggest an alternative deposit, that is fine. You must still be prepared to make a 20% deposit upon registration. Please note that, per our cancellation policy, $400 of your deposit plus processing fee, are non-refundable.
Q - Which airport should I fly to?
A - We strongly recommend you fly into Montego Bay Airport. It is closer in distance to Treasure Beach and transit time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Should for some reason, you need to fly into Kingston airport, talk to us about additional charges for ground transportation.
Q - Who do I contact for my airport pick-up/drop-off?
A - Once you book your flight, please send the following flight details to Jakes Hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org and copy us at: email@example.com. In your email, please remind the staff at Jakes that you are attending the Solstice Chakra Reset hosted by Empress Thandi and Sheena Sood, and that your ground transportation is included with the retreat package.
Arrival information: Date, Flight number, Expected Time of Arrival
Departure Information: Date, Flight Number, Departure time.
(Preferred but not required): A photo of you (so we can forward it to the Taxi driver for them to easily find you at the airport).
PLEASE SEND your flight itineraries no later than May 7th, 2023. Once we group your arrival/departure times into a cohesive list, we will forward your itineraries to Jakes. Please note that that ground transportation is arranged via an airport shuttle. Because Jakes Treasure Beach is over 2 hours from MBJ airport, Jakes arranges airport pick up/drop off in groups of 4. While we will do our best to minimize wait times (and will try to accommodate you as best as possible), participants may arrive at the airport and be asked to wait for up to 3 hours for their arrival/return flights.
For those participants who arrive on June 16th and depart on June 23rd, Jakes Treasure Beach can include the ground transportation pick-up from Montego Bay Airport on these dates if you arrive/depart within the time frames listed above.
For those who arrive on June 15th or depart on June 24th, in the event that we will still try to arrange for a free carpool for ground transportation. This guarantee is dependent on how many participants arrive on the 15th/leave on the 24th (if at least 4 participants arrive on the 15th and a group can be established, it is included). If not, we can still help arrange for the airport shuttle, but participants may be asked to cover part or all of the airport shuttle costs. In the event that there are not enough people going to/from the airport at that time, you will receive an airport transfer voucher of (estimated at $50) and be required to pay the difference to the driver (estimated at $100).
For those who arrive on or before June 14th or leave Treasure Beach for MBJ airport after June 24th, the cost of ground transportation is your responsibility.
Please note that because of the variation in arrival times and arranging carpools, participants may have to wait at the airport for 1-2 hours. Please arrange to have snacks with you for your arrival, and we certainly will send some snacks and water with the drivers.
Q - Where is Treasure Beach?
A - Treasure Beach is located along the southern coast of Jamaica in St. Elizabeth’s Parish, the farming belt of the island. Significantly removed from the traditional “tourist areas” in Jamaica, Treasure Beach is known as the home of Community Tourism and boasts several fishing villages along its coast. As an unspoiled town, Treasure Beach offers visitors an authentic glimpse into Jamaican culture and lifestyle. It offers both a serene and relaxing atmosphere, as well as the beauty of sandy beaches, stunning sunsets, vibrant coral reefs, magical starlit nights, friendly locals, rich farmland, delicious cuisine and mountainous views.
Q - Are the beaches safe to swim in?
A - Yes! Because of the coral reef and layout of the coast, some beaches in Treasure Beach are designated as safe for swimming, while others are reserved for fisherman. The beaches at Jakes Hotel and Jack Sprat have lifeguards on duty and present daily between 9 am – 5 pm. As well, there are other beaches in the area, some are more suitable for swimming than others. Some of the beaches are located in private bays.
Q - Is Jamaica safe for tourists?
A - Jamaica is largely a safe area to visit. Treasure Beach is undoubtedly one of the friendliest areas in Jamaica and offers a welcoming and comfortable experience. Tourists are more likely to find someone willing to help rather than harm or hassle them. Treasure Beach is a mostly rural town that boasts a tight-knit community. People know each other here, and that helps locals and tourists stay accountable to each other.
Q - Will the retreat be LGBTQ+ friendly?
A - Absolutely. While the country itself is not fully welcoming of all identities and orientations, as retreat curators and organizers of this space, we certainly welcome participants of all sexual orientations and gender identities to the retreat and will make it a point to center inclusivity in our retreat space.
Q - What if I want to arrive a day or two before the retreat begins and leave a day or two after the retreat ends?
A- We figure folks will be asking this question, and we definitely understand why participants may want to arrive early for or stay after the Solstice Chakra Reset! Ground transportation to/from the airport is dependent on our capacity to arrange carpools to/from Montego Bay Airport.
If you wish to reserve an extra night at Jakes, please contact their management staff directly to schedule accommodations, by phone 1-876-965-3000, Whats App 1-876-564-3000 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org (Please let them know you are arriving for the Solstice Chakra Reset in June 2023). If you wish to settle in the room you are in for the retreat, you can definitely let them know the room (for example, 2 or 3-bedroom Cottage, Oceanview, Gardenview, Jack Sprat Motel/Just Next Door, etc.) you are booking, and they will try to accommodate you accordingly.
Q - What if I am on a tight budget but want to attend?
A- If you are on a tight budget, we can also recommend other cottages and guest homes within walking distance of Jakes, such as Shakespeare Cottage or Katamah Guesthouse. If you stay at a location other than Jakes/Jack Sprat, the cost for participation in the Solstice Chakra Reset is $800. It includes access to the twice daily yoga practice, daily lessons and activities, on the chakras, excursions to YS Falls, Lovers Leap, and Ancestral Wisdom Preserve farm, musical entertainment, and 2 meals.
Q - What if I need to cancel or if a medical emergency came up?
A- Please refer to our payment and cancellation policy page for answers to these questions, or email us if your question/concern remains.