Vinyasa Yoga Retreat at Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Zen Mind, Yoga Body, Eco Lodge 

The Flexitarian Method for Wellness & Self-Realization

About Doron Hanoch – Spiritual Director

Doron Yoga & Zen Center is intent on creating a regenerative spiritual community and education center dedicated to the awakening of consciousness, service and kinship with the land.

Zen Yoga Center Atitlan

Garden House Zen Yoga Retreat Center
The Garden House at Zen Yoga Retreat Center

What is the Doron Yoga & Zen Center?

DYZC is a spiritual, no-nonsense retreat center (ashram) that seeks practical solutions, based on real experiences rather than religious dogma. Self-responsibility, honesty, integrity, transparency and care for each other are foundational values.

We study, practice and integrate yoga and Zen infused with regenerative living inspired by permaculture and the flexitarian method along with mindfulness actions. We seek to involve the local community with our practices of The Yoga Lifestyle.

We offer a safe home to unlearn our limiting conditioning, and learn how to live a joyful life including, art, yummy nutrition, dance and philosophy programs to realize our full potential.

DYZC offers in-depth study and practice programs, along with lighthearted dance and play. This is the land of free spirit meets responsibility.

Culture Identity: Yoga Meets Zen

  • Clarity and Honesty: Beyond truth, speaking in a way that is not misleading others. Admitting fears, and issues that need work.
  • Authenticity: Speaking from experience, representing our selves as we are. Learning to be comfortable with ourselves.
  • Positive change: Helping others
  • Communication: Always seeking to have clear, loving communication while taking responsibility for our projections and feelings.
  • Responsibility: Holding ourselves accountable for what we speak and do, and even how we feel. Gestalt as a model.
  • Practice: Put our study into real life practice. Yoga and meditation meet real life.
  • Show up: to all practices on time. Show up to yourself, and stand up to your old conditioning.
  • Open to Change: Change and transformation are inevitable and we accept them. We learn to implement the new realizations.
  • Simplicity: in our action and possessions. Use what we need, share excess.
  • Permaculture: Work with nature, respect local resources and culture, sustainability, eco-friendly, organic, reduce and reuse waste.
  • Aesthetics: Clean, earthy, Zen, simple, natural, cozy with breathing space.

Why Guatemala?

View of Lake Atitlan from the Doron Yoga Retreat Center
View of Lake Atitlan from the Doron Yoga & Zen Center

More specifically, the answer is why the small village of Tzununa on Lake Atitlan. We were dreaming mountains and water. Tzununa is set on the shore of the beautiful lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes, which emit a powerful feeling. It a 5 minute tuk tuk or boat ride from the famous spiritual village of San Marcos La Laguna. The land itself is in a valley, along a creek (small river). The sound of water flowing, and the beauty of the greenery sets up perfect places to sit and be present.

The land itself is rich with dark rocks and stones, that add to the power and magical feeling. All who stepped on the land just wanted to sit and be. Just be absorbed in the nature. At the moment it has plenty of coffee, banana and some jocote trees. It has a slight slope with a rocky terrain.

The villagers are very friendly and kind. The women walk around in their traditional hand-woven clothes, carrying wood on their backs, and slapping masa dough between their hands to create tortillas that will be prepared on a wood burning stove. The traditional Mayan lifestyle in such a beautiful setting is very healing.

Transform your mind. Transform your life. Doron Yoga – a holistic approach to well-being.

Ongoing Events and Activities

Daily Activities

6:00-6:30am: Zen Meditation

6:30-7:00am: Pranayama

12:30-1:30pm Lunch

5:00pm-6:15pm: Yoga

6:30pm: Dinner

Additional Activities

Fire Goddess – Campfire with pizza, music, chanting and fire gazing.

Dharma talk

Blessings and singing with dinner

Zen Dance

Temascal: Mayan Sauna

River dipping, or lake swimming

Garden work and walks


The Doron Yoga Programs

Teacher Training: 200 Hour, 300 hour

The Yoga Lifestyle: Week-long intensive with optional extra week residency

Zen Mind Yoga Body: Week-long

The Yoga Life residency: Work-study program

Workshops and non-residential programs

The right of passage: Tools for young adults entering a life of bliss and responsibility

World Human: Celebrating unity with diversity.

Tzununa community volunteering

Become a Doron Yoga Affiliate: Contact for details.

Doron Yoga Work Study Programs

This is a great opportunity for those that want to experience a deeper connection with the sangha (community), have the opportunity to dive deeper into study, learn while working in service and enjoy the extra activities, as well as receive discounts for programs. You will receive dorm accommodation (or your own tent), with optional upgrades depending on availability.

Work will be determined by the need of the DYZC as well as your skills. You need to be in good physical shape and health. The terrain is uneven, and there is plenty of physical work to be done. You will be asked to sign a liability waiver and take your health as your own responsibility.  There are limited business positions available that may include marketing, communications, office administration, and funding offered only with compatible previous experience.

Workdays: Monday – Friday


6:00-7:00am Practice: Pranayama and Zen meditation

7:30 – 8:30am: Breakfast and change clothes

8:30am – 12:30pm: Work period

12:30-1:30pm: Lunch

1:30 – 2:30pm: Work period

2:30 – 5:00pm: Break

5:00 – 6:15pm: Yoga Asana Practice

6:30pm: Dinner

8pm: Evening activity or free time

Work-study options
1 month, 3 Month & 7 Month Options Available

Stage 1: All work-study programs begin with a 2-week trial – both for you and for us, to make sure it is a great fit physically, mentally, & spiritually. Investment: $350 for evaluation, programs, room & board.

If it is not a good fit, you are welcome to stay as a guest.

Stage 2: 3 months work-study: Investment: $275 per month (after the 2 week trial). Receive 20% off any two programs after completing the 3 months successfully.

Stage 3: 7 months work-study: Investment: $150 per month (after completing stage 2). Receive 30% off any two programs, after completing the 7 months successfully.

Full-Time positions available by personal invite and based on center needs.

Want to support?


Donations  are greatly appreciate and help build better quality facilities and gardens, as well as help us create / improve facilities for our neighbors.

Thank You Kent Putnam for your generous donation of $10,000. You are helping to materialize the vision of Doron Yoga & Zen Center!

Donations can be made through our crowdfunding site. If you would like tax exemption information, we can offer a receipt.

Scholarship Funding Opportunities

If you are willing to sponsor a student, please let us know. We would like to create a scholarship program, where you have the connection with the student (if you wish). Scholarship amounts can be for $500, $1000 or full Teacher Training Course. Your name will be on the site (unless you request to stay anonymous) while you offer the sponsorship. We will review the scholarship application, and run it by you to decide final qualifications.


We seek Enthusiastic, self driven individuals that believe in promoting no nonsense yoga, bringing a new standard of yoga infused with Zen to the world. You will have lots of direct practice and communication with Doron to help you on your own path. Email for more details.

Marketing: Do you have professional Marketing expertise?

Online Work: Can you help with online projects including word press, bookings and email communications?

How The Doron Yoga & Zen Center Came to Life

The vision for a Zen, Yoga, Art Center has been cultivating within me for about 25 years, since I first stayed in ashrams in India. The lifestyle of living with others sharing the same practice, the support of the community (sangha), and teacher has made a great difference in my growth and practice.

I maintained a joyful yoga lifestyle even while running an art and fashion photography studio in New York City. I always took time off to practice in Zen centers, yoga ashrams, artists’ residencies, and retreat centers. I found that stepping away from my daily routine served as a great jumpstart and improvement for my practice, calmness of mind and overall happiness. It helped me study better and deeper. Each one of these settings was amazing but none of these offered what I needed and wanted. I was seeking a Zen Yoga Retreat.

I needed a place that offers the committed, mindful and respectful practice of Zen along with greater physical movement such as a yoga center, combined with ecology / permaculture practices, so I could actually eat good, healthy, balanced food as found in some retreat centers. Top it off with an opportunity to be creative, and offer programs for the improvement of the local community, and you get my dream place.

I wrote the book: The Yoga Lifestyle: using the Flexitarian Method to Ease stress, Find Balance and Create a Healthy Life, and wanted to find a way to pass on these teachings in the most practical way. Teaching it in a retreat setting is ideal, as it offers an all-encompassing way of living along with dedicated time and space to focus on the practice with a sangha (community of like-minded people).