Last updated March 9, 2022
An indigenous-inspired experience is a holistic practice aimed to treat imbalances as well as prevent disease—a word that stems from dis-ease.
For thousands of years, humans have worked with nature and the spiritual world to live authentically, discover hidden truths and heal. Indigenous-inspired experiences help you to see your shadow as well as your light.
As you connect to all parts of yourself and explore your higher consciousness and uncover more of the world around you, many things may change. Experiences can be highly uncomfortable and challenging at first, but once you step into the world of indigenous-inspired healing and surrender to the process, there is a lot of light, love and beauty waiting for you.
While some people prefer to dip their toes in the water with lighter practices, others prefer to dive right into the most intense experiences. There is no right or wrong, and there is no rush. Learn, explore and decide what feels best for you.
Below are five indigenous-inspired experiences that can help you live healthier, be happier, release trauma and discover your deepest truths—but most of all, transform your life.
Purify and feel reborn with Temazcal (or Temazcalli) ceremony
Sweat lodges have been a part of indigenous-inspired healing for thousands of years with the Temazcal ceremony being more than 5,000 years old. It was a big part of the Aztec healing tradition and used to help with childbirth as well as for meditative and therapeutic purposes.
In a Temazcal ceremony, you enter a sweat lodge made from volcanic stone, cement or wood. This space is called the “Earth’s Womb” and is an igloo-shaped hut. A Shaman places a blanket over you and covers the hut to shut out all light and impressions.
Hot volcanic rocks are then placed in the center and water is poured over the rocks to produce steam. Herbs, typically sage or copal, are added to cleanse and renew. Prayer, smudging, intention, meditation and chanting make the Temazcal ceremony complete.
If you’re curious, Hacienda El Porvenir in Ecuador offers a Temazcal ceremony plus other healing experiences as part of its wellness program.
Release and align with an indigenous-inspired sacred cacao ceremony
Cacao is a sacred plant that has been used for healing and rebalancing the connection between humans and nature for thousands of years. Cacao stems from the Mayan word “Ka’kau” which means “heart blood,” and “Chokola’j” which means “to drink together.” The Mayans believed that cacao was a gift to humans from the Gods and served to restore the connection and balance to the divine.
The cacao ceremony is a beautiful and more gentle journey, usually performed by a Shaman, where you gather with others in a circle, set intentions, pray, release old energy and bring in newness and love. It’s detoxifying for the body and emotions, opening the heart and holding many nutrients to increase vitality.
In an intimate space, you share your deepest dreams, thoughts, feelings and intentions with others in a circle. Dancing is usually a part of the cacao ceremony, as well as tantric meditation.
For wellness retreats that offer authentic cacao ceremonies, take a look at Palmaïa, The House of AïA in Mexico.
Unleash your creativity and power with indigenous-inspired womb healing
Womb healing has been practiced for more than 7,000 years and is still new to most of us.
The womb of a woman represents creativity and power and is a sacred space in her body. According to ancient teachings, it stores experiences passed on from mother, grandmother and ancestors.
Many women carry trauma from abortions, past relationships, abuse and more. In womb healing, you work with releasing the trauma that has been stored consciously or unconsciously to unleash your power and creativity. Healing the womb can be done through womb meditations, meditations of the sacral chakra (where the womb is), Yoni steaming, herbal baths, retreats and workshops.
Heal and transform with Ayahuasca
Ayahuasca, or “Mother Ayahuasca” has become one of the more well-known indigenous-inspired healing methods. It’s a plant medicinal and psychedelic brew that brings you into a higher state of consciousness, opening you up to all things spiritual. It’s used for healing and purifying the mind, body, heart and soul so that you can discover your true nature and purpose.
Ayahuasca uncovers your darkest shadows and brings everything you have been hiding from to light and transforms your deepest wounds into wisdom and knowledge. Many return to Ayahuasca several times, with each time uncovering a new insight and truth, healing something new within. Both the preparation weeks before and the integration part afterward are essential to get the most of the experience.
An Ayahuasca journey is different for each person as everyone has their own unique wisdom to receive and path to take. Some barely feel anything while others have a highly intense journey. It’s crucial to work with an experienced and authentic Shaman that can guide and support you properly.
Open your heart in a Huachuma ceremony
Huachuma, also called “San Pedro,” is a cactus and psychedelic plant used by ancient tribes as medicine. It has been used in ceremonies for about 4,000 years and is referred to as a “Master Teacher.”
The Huachuma ceremony is all about expanding your heart consciousness and discovering how the spiritual and the physical world work together. Releasing negativity, emotional wounds and transmuting darkness, the indigenous-inspired ceremony is performed to bring people into more love.
With the help of drums, shakers, an indigenous jaw harp, tobacco, smudging, music, dancing and prayers, a Shaman guides you through this ceremony. Huachuma has the power to heal diseases, both mild and severe, and is highly introspective.
It uncovers false beliefs about yourself and introduces the truth. San Pedro is highly toxic if used incorrectly and should always be taken in the presence of an experienced Shaman.
How to approach indigenous-inspired healing to get the best results
Indigenous-inspired healing experiences have the power to change your entire view on life and yourself. Surrendering to the process when you work with plant medicine is key. This doesn’t mean that it’s easy, but that’s one of the great challenges that also bring great rewards.
If you’re ready for deeper indigenous-inspired healing experiences, Vacayou’s travel concierge team can help you discover, book and plan your next healing and spiritual retreats at some of the best destinations in the world.