There’s something about Mérida that draws soul travelers and spiritual seekers to visit, only to return again and again, and some even move there. Perhaps it’s the magic of the place, perhaps it’s the spirit of the Maya that calls to those whose souls are connected to the ancient land.
I’ve been drawn to Mérida since I took a workshop at Exhale in Venice, CA in early 2012 with Miguel Angel Vergara, a highly regarded Mayan priest and author of several books on the Maya. In the workshop we got a glimpse of the ancient wisdom of the Mayan and its heart-based spiritual and meditation practices, which are mystical and enlightening, and the teachings go deep within our being.
As the capital of the Mexican State of Yucatán and the largest city in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mérida is easy to get to by flight from Mexico City or by bus from Cancun or Tulum. Once you’re in Mérida, you’ll find it convenient to get around the city by foot, or rent a car and explore the Mayan ruins - the lovely ruins of Uxmal are about an hour away, while Chichen Itza is an hour and a half away.
What To Do
1. Get A Mayan Birth Chart Reading
Make an appointment for a Mayan birth chart reading with Miguel Angel at Casa K’in. A Mayan reading is different from any other astrological reading and especially helpful when you’re looking to find your spiritual path or need confirmation of your life path. Spending an hour with Don Miguel Angel is illuminating and a must when in Mérida - his words of wisdom and insights are truly inspiring.
2. Visit The Sacred Ruins
Mérida is within a two-hour distance or less by car to many of the ruins in the Yucatán, including Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Dzibilchaltún, and Chichen Itza. If you don’t have time to visit all the ruins, use your intuition to choose which ones you feel most called to visit.
At my astrology reading, Don Miguel Angel asked me which Mayan temples I was planning to visit. I told him I was drawn to Uxmal and Chichen Itza. He nodded and said, “These temples are the opposite in energy. Go there and feel the difference. Uxmal represents the divine feminine whereas Chichen Itza is the divine masculine.”
3. Join An Authentic Sacred Tour
Go deeper into the heart of the ancient Maya world and experience the wisdom of the Maya by joining one of the sacred tours. Trudy Woodcock at Casa K’in leads group tours to sacred ruins and organizes workshops taught by Don Miguel Angel.
Through ceremonies and meditations at sacred sites, and specific practices taught by Miguel Angel, you’ll gain spiritual and authentic viewpoints of the Mayan rituals and cultures you wouldn’t get from most other tours. Click here for a schedule of upcoming workshops and journeys.
Where To Stay
Hotel Julamis is a small and charming boutique B&B with gracious hosts, a lovely rooftop, and seven beautiful rooms, including a spacious apartment suite, all of which are reasonably priced. Housed in a restored 200-year old building, Julamis is a peaceful sanctuary, a home away from home.
Owner Mel Gonzalez , who moved to Mérida from Cuba by way of New Jersey seven years ago, is a former art professor and an extraordinary artist. The beautiful murals on the walls of the bedrooms and common areas are his unique creations. If you’re lucky, you may be able to catch him painstakingly paint each flower on the wall and add intricate details to a leaf in a quiet afternoon, or share a shot of tequila with him and his partner Erid in their warm kitchen.
Where’s The Yoga?
Traveling to these sacred sites, feeling and tuning in to the energy, and absorbing ancient wisdom are all a big part of yoga. Being in a foreign environment where everything is new, and much of it sacred, raises our awareness level and instantly snaps us into the presence, which is the essence of yoga.
If you insist on doing asanas before or after a full day of exploring, the lovely rooftop of Hotel Julamis is a lovely setting for your own morning sun salutations or evening moon salutations. Perhaps Mel, Erid, and their friendly beagle will join you!