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Contortion & Handstand Intensive with Irene Pappas

September 19th - 25th, 2021

About the Retreat

This intensive is for those who are looking to explore their practice in new ways while relaxing and recharging. With twice daily practices and several workshops, this will be a chance to fully immerse yourself into an elevated learning environment. Irene will teach a variety of classes but the retreat will have a solid focus on handstands and contortion. While contortion can be a scary word, think of this as an exploration of deeper flexibility with a focus on building strength. There will be options for all levels, but this retreat is not for those new to yoga or movement. Check out the schedule for a better idea of what to expect from the classes, and if you have questions email Irene at info@fitqueenirene.com to see if this retreat is right for you!

In between classes you can relax by the beach or pool, book an excursion or massage (additional fees apply), or take a short walk into town. There will also be a professional photographer available to capture photos. This intensive counts as 30 hours of continued education for teachers registered with Yoga Alliance if you attend all the classes.


  • Transportation to and from the Cancun International Airport (30 min drive)
  • Twice daily practices
  • Guided meditation and journaling
  • Two handstand workshops, an intro to contortion workshop, and more
  • Professional photos
  • Brunch daily
  • 4 dinners
  • Laundry, yoga mats, and towels
  • Free time to enjoy on the beach or to head out on an excursion of your choice (additional fees apply)
  • Gift bag of sponsored treats
  • Upon completion you will receive a certificate that counts for 30 hours of continued education through Yoga Alliance *there will be some small homework/journaling assignments*

What’s not included:

  • Airfare
  • Lunches
  • Additional excursions (prices vary depending on excursion type)
  • Spa and Body Treatments
  • Travel insurance (recommended)/ Travel Visas
  • Gratuities


Sunday *flights should arrive by 3pm, if you need to arrive a day earlier arrangements can be made

  • 5:30pm Welcome + Practice
    This class will be a slowly building vinyasa flow with a focus on hip and shoulder opening to help you unwind after a day of travel. Irene will breakdown some of her favorite exercises that you will see in practices throughout the week.
  • 7:30pm Dinner


  • 8am Workout & Stretch
    This class will be a total body workout meant to compliment your yoga/movement practice and help prevent injuries. Class will begin with a thorough warm up, before moving into 45 minutes of workout, followed by a nice cool down stretch.
  • 10am Brunch
  • 4pm Intro to Contortion Workshop
    This workshop will break down the fundamentals of contortion in a safe and sustainable way. We will focus mostly on backbends and building the strength and awareness for deeper overall flexibility. Expect a full body warm up, strength and conditioning exercises, flexibility work, and workshop style pose breakdown.
  • 6pm Dinner


  • 6:30am Optional sunrise photoshoot
  • 8:00am Deep Stretch
    This class will explore effort and ease in a slowly moving flow incorporating long holds, juicy stretches, and feel-good movements. All the hip openers (including splits and middle split work), shoulder/chest opening, and more.
  • 10am Brunch
  • 4pm Handstand Workshop
    This workshop focuses on building strength and refining your technique for handstand and forearm balance. Irene will break down how to structure your own handstand practice, including a warm up, effective strengthening and flexibility drills, as well as specific skill work based on your individual needs and goals. There will be options on and off the wall for most exercises.
  • Dinner on your own in town


  • 8am Contortion Flow
    This class will combine contortion and yoga into a flow that will trick you into loving backbends. The end of class will be more workshop-style to explore deeper backbends, with options for everyone.
  • 10am Brunch
  • 4pm Discussion
    During this conversation, we will exchange tips on how to be an effective teacher, as well as discuss how to plan workshops and retreats. You will have a chance to ask Irene any questions you may have about teaching yoga/movement or the business side of things.
    6pm Dinner
  • 7:30pm Yoga Nidra
    This class will be a guided meditation to restore your body and your mind.


  • 8am Handstand Flow
    This class will blend yoga, dynamic movement, pilates, handstands, and more into a unique class that will challenge you in every way!
  • 10am Brunch
  • 1pm optional Cenote trip or open practice in the afternoon
    (Open practice gives you the space to work on your practice at your own pace, under the guidance of a teacher)
  • Dinner on your own in town


  • 8:30am Active Recovery
    This class will combine yoga, mobility work, and strength building exercises to have your whole body feeling good.
  • 10am Brunch
  • 4:30pm Press Dreams
    This workshop revisits some of the previous techniques before focusing on building strength, flexibility, and awareness to press or float up into headstand, forearm balance, and handstand. Irene will show you her favorite drills to build compression and shoulder strength, as well as teach you to work with your specific anatomy. Bring socks!!!
  • 6pm Dinner

Saturday *flights should leave after 2pm if possible.

  • 8am Bend and Fly
    Enjoy your practice with a light heart in this playful vinyasa flow combining all of Irene’s favorite elements (like backbends and inversions) into one class.
  • 10am Brunch

About the Teacher

irene-pappasIrene is passionate about movement as a tool for deep connection. She sees the body as a puzzle, and therefore a chance for self discovery. Over the past 9 years Irene has studied and trained in many different styles of movement and yoga. She has also studied with hand balancers, circus performers, movement artists, and contortionists to expand her understanding of the body. Irene loves teaching handstands and contortion in a way that makes them accessible while still allowing you to safely explore the limits of your body. Irene will help you understand your own body better, set realistic goals, and train effectively, all while having fun!

For more information on Irene, check her website www.fitqueenirene.com

Testimonials from past retreats:

“Rarely in life do we take the time to invest in ourselves, in our growth, in our restoration, and in our dreams. This last week with Irene was exactly that! I cannot say enough about how highly educational this week has been and how many things I learned, and that makes this training invaluable. She lead classes that focused on furthering and deepening our own personal practices as well as thoughtfully engaged us on how to strengthen our teaching abilities with new and innovative perspectives. As a teacher and a human, Irene is the utmost example of how to lead with integrity and character. She was always engaged in students’ needs, mindful of the varying degrees of skill and practice. She integrated multiple styles of asana practice as well as yoga nidra, and explored interesting journaling topics. If practicing under the guidance of Irene is a thought floating around in your mind, do not hesitate! I whole heartedly recommend this training. The Casa Om retreat center, staff and the location of Puerto Morelos is amazing and not something to be missed! You deserve it! “ – Sarah

“My primary goal as you know going into the week was to get advice and tools for developing a better home practice- and I think that was an overall theme of the retreat for everyone. I can say that in the weeks since I have been home, I have practiced more, and practiced more deeply than I have before. I am now comfortable coming home from work and knowing that I don’t need to rush off to a studio class to get a practice in for the day. Overall I thought it was a beautiful experience, Casa Om is definitely amazing, and I liked the different subjects that we were able to explore in the week I was there.” – Julia

“After an intensive with Irene I feel that I have been given the tools needed to thrive as a yoga instructor both in my personal practice and in sharing the wisdom with others. Her down to Earth attitude and wealth of knowledge make learning an easy process. I would highly recommend her retreats and workshops to anyone looking to learn and grow as a student or instructor.” – Jenessa

“My week spent at Casa Om with Irene was nothing short of amazing! The facility was absolutely incredible, with great accommodations, a gorgeous yoga studio, incredibly accommodating staff, and just a three minute walk to the beach. Irene herself was such an inspiration and I truly learned so much in the short time we spent together. Her teaching style allows for open communication and questions in the workshop setting, which helped me to grow as a student and a teacher. Thank you Irene and the entire Casa Om staff (including the amazing photographer Brooke!) for an informative and transformative week in paradise!” – Dudley

“Training under Irene’s leadership was tremendously valuable to me both as a current full-time yoga teacher and practitioner. Not only is she extremely knowledgeable and articulate in her craft, she is also a wonderful human and her warm energy easily invites you near. I left this training feeling validated and inspired, and am very interested in pursuing other training opportunities she provides as she continues to spread her light and passion around the globe.” – Margaret


Casa Om has 9 beautiful bedrooms, a spacious and well-equipped yoga room, swimming pool, and a kitchen. Bedrooms are double occupancy, and have either a private bathroom or a bathroom shared between two rooms.

The rooms at Casa Om are comfortable and beautifully designed with air conditioning and fans. Drinking water and a small coffee maker are in each room, and most rooms have a small mini-fridge. Yoga mats, towels, and beach towels are provided!

Wifi is included and available throughout the resort.

Enjoy meals up on the rooftop palapa with a stunning 360 degree view of Puerto Morelos, perfect for watching sunrises and sunsets over the Mayan Jungle.

Casa Om sleeps 18 and is across the street from the beach.

Some meals are provided by Casa Om’s team of exquisite chefs who locally source their food for an incredible culinary experience. Their food is guaranteed to help you be stronger and healthier on your trip.


During the workshop, a wide variety of options are available at the many colorful cafes and restaurants that Puerto Morelos has to offer. Or you can shop at the local market and use the kitchen facilities. For those who wish to join in, we will gather for a closing night dinner at a favorite, local restaurant on the beach.


Passports are required! Flights should be reserved to Cancún. Puerto Morelos is a short and easy taxi ride about 20 minutes from the airport.


For years the quaint, yet lively, village has drawn yogis from around the world for their winter retreats. Just 20 minutes from the Cancun airport Puerto Morelos lies between the ocean and the jungle and offers experiences to explore both. With its perfect placement on the Riviera Maya, Puerto Morelos offers easy access to all that this magical coast offers.


Optional Excursions (additional fee applies):

The Mexican Riviera is flush with these beautiful underground pools and a trip here isn’t complete without a dip in these refreshing waters. There are multiple cenotes to visit that are much less crowded than those in the Tulum area and only about 30min away by car. Find tranquility below ground or liven you experience with a cenote/zip line combination. Both options are available and booking at least a day in advance is recommended
Snorkeling & Snuba
The biodiversity on the protect reef in the Mexican Riviera is stunning. Take off for an afternoon when the sun lights up the corals, tropical fish and sponges and search for turtles or reef sharks. Snorkelers can float above it all while snuba divers (no certification needed) can swim down into the tropical traffic. Either option will highlight why this area is protected and turned into a National Marine Park. Yogis can walk to the beach and take a 5min stroll to reach the operator. This natural oasis is literally steps from our retreat center.
If you’re a diver there’s twice the opportunity here, you can dive in the coral reefs or, for something a little different, take a cavern or cenote dive. Seasonally the more adventurous (crazy?) yogis can also try a bull shark dive…eek! Tons of diving options await the intrepid.
Akumal Sea Turtle Snorkel
The warm Caribbean waters off of the Mexican Riviera boast sea turtle populations year-round. You can outfit with a dive shop to snorkel with these lovelies or head out with your own gear and see if you get lucky.
Coba Ruins
The Mayan ruins at Coba is one of the few sites in the Yucatan that is still relatively unrestored. Many of these ancient buildings are the same as when they were rediscovered in 1890. The beautiful location is less hectic and touristy than other Mayan sites and is certainly worth the day trip.
Casa Om Spa
Whether you’re looking for an amazing massage or energy work, The Travel Yogi team can tell you first hand how amazing the team at Casa Om is. Please be prepared to book early to secure a spot. Once the word gets out from the first few massages, they’ll book up quickly!
Playa del Carmen
Take a shopping trip, have a great meal, or just enjoy people watching on a trip to Playa del Carmen. This is a fun tourist spot where you can shop for anything from cheap souvenirs to boutique items.


$500 non-refundable deposit to secure your spot.

Room 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Standard Double Room: 2 Twin Beds, Private Bath
Double Occupancy: $1699 per person

Room 7 & 8
Standard Double Room: 2 Twin Beds, Shared Bath
Double Occupancy: $1599 per person

Room 9
Premium Room: King Bed, Large Soak Tub, Private Bath, Larger Room, Balcony Access
Double Occupancy: $1799 per person, Solo Occupancy: $2250

Room 11

Dorm Room: most economical option, holds 6, Private Bath
6 Person Occupancy: $1199 per person

Room 12
Premium Room: Queen Bed, Private Balcony, Top Floor of Casa Om, Sunrise/Sunset 360
Double Occupancy: $1799 per person. Solo Occupancy: $2250

Register Here