Ancient Voices Hawai'i Nei Retreat - Aya Papaya

Ancient Voices Hawai’i Nei Retreat

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When: July 5-10 2017
Where: Kona, Hawai’i
Retreat Center: Mauna lea Retreat

Enjoy 6 Days and 5 Nights at Mauna Lea Retreat Center. Adventure to swim with wild dolphins and guided movement journeys and vocal release with AyaPapaya. Visit sacred Hawai’ian sites with Kumu Ehulani Stephany.  Dance hula and learn ancient chants and rhythm making with Aunty Tutu.


~ Immerse yourself in beautiful Hawaii. Guided by AyaPapaya we will adventure and explore the Kona coast, snorkel in warm pristine waters, try exotic fruits, and hike along lava rock.

~ We will have a chance to swim with wild dolphins and/or other sea creatures, one day in a chartered boat and the rest offshore swimming to gently explore their natural habitat.  The spinner dolphins of Kona get their name from their acrobatics flipping through the air, and it is a sight to see from shore. In the water, at certain times, and when they want to, dolphins can be playful and open to human interaction.

~ Study with Kumu Ehulani Stephany Hawai’ian chants and wisdom.  We will be traveling with her to sacred sites, and to Volcano National Park where we can see where the lava flow lives in the crater at Halema’uma’u Crater.  Kumu will be teaching us a traditional Hula in honor of Pele (goddess of fire and volcano) that we will dance together.

~ Hands on workshop creating an authentic Hawai’ian gift with Kumu.  This will be something you get to take home as a way to connect with the islands and your experience here.

mauna lea hot tub

Private Hot tub at Mauna Lea

~ Dance the hula, learn chants, and play Hawai’ian instruments with Aunty Tutu.

~ Connect and integrate the body, heart, and soul with movement classes lead by AyaPapaya.

~ Release voice with song circles led by AyaPapaya.

~ Rejuvenate and relax at Mauna Lea Retreat Center with our private hot tub overlooking Kona and the ocean.


Sacred Sites on the Big Island


AV Boat

Chartered boat ride to visit the Nai’a

Guided Journeys to open our voices and movement

Guided Journeys to open our voices and movement

Swimming with the Nai'a

Swimming with the Nai’a















register now

Secure your spot with a $300 deposit NOW!


Enter to *Win* a partial scholarship for this year’s retreat.



Swimming with the spinner dolphins ~ A note from Aya:
Spinner dolphins hunt in pods at night and come into the bays closer to shore during the morning and afternoon to rest, mate, and play.  At the Dragonfly Ranch we are within minutes from three of these bays, and depending on where the dolphins are, we may be able to swim off shore to see them. We will also be private chartering a boat one day, which will take us to more secluded bays where dolphins like to go.  It’s important to remember that these are wild dolphins, and we cannot guarantee that we will see them every day or what kind of interaction we will have. I personally had the amazing and life-changing experience of swimming closely with spinner dolphins on my own journey to Kona at nearly every bay I explored, and even got to interact and play games with them, passing leaves back and forth, which is a favorite game of some dolphin pods. I believe they are intelligent and sensitive beings, and will come around to see us when they want to. It’s also important to remember that we are meeting them in their natural habitat during their resting period and to let them approach us rather then chasing them down. We don’t ever touch the dolphins, and get out of their way if they swim towards us but we may have the opportunity to interact with them in other ways.

Kumu 1Fire Element Journey ~
One of the unique elements on the Big Island of Hawai’i is the active volcano which has been erupting since 1983.  Pele, the goddess of volcano and fire is believed to live in the crater of Kilauea in Volcano National Park.  Pele, and her fire is a strong teacher on the Big Island and the splash and explosions of fire in the crater is an awe inducing site.  Kumu Ehulani has a special connection with Pele and we will  be spending a day deeply connecting with the fire element.  We will start the day visiting a sacred site where we will sit in traditional Hawai’ian ceremony, and continue on to visit Halema’uma’u, the crater, and see Pele’s lava flow in person.  Kumu will be teaching us a traditional hula in honor of Pele, and we will get to offer that dance together.

Aunty TutuHula and Chants with Aunty Tutu ~

Learn hula and traditional Hawai’ian chants with Aunty Tutu.  We’ll also be learning to play traditional instruments, and rhythm making to go with the chants. Aunty Tutu has been doing the opening blessing for AyaPapaya retreats on the Big Island from the very beginning and I’m very excited to have her for a longer class offering this year.


Remember WorkshopRemember ~ Innate Movement Meditation with Aya:
Just as we all have a unique fingerprint, there is a blueprint within us all a blueprint of how our body yearns to move.  Every person is a dancer, every dancer has their flow, their language that their body weaves.  In “Embody” we use breathwork, aromatherapy, and moving meditation to explore the subtle energies moving throughout our bodies, allowing for stillness, and letting our movements rise up from within.  As we move we will use theta healing for group downloads, as an invitation to move past blocks, and live fully in our power.

Soul Collage with Iris Silva:

Iris BioIris Silva is a gifted painter and educator of the Arts and Body Awareness. Iris has always had a passion for Yoga and Body Awareness. She has dedicated her life to the appreciation of the Visual Arts and the interrelationship between artistic creativity and body awareness as a path to Shamanic Consciousness. She defines her life journey as having become a ‘Modern Shaman’ and navigates Cultural Backgrounds imbued with Healing Powers. Since 2003 she has become a SoulCollage© Facilitator. SoulCollage© is an amazing technique of Self Discovery. Participants follow the simple direction of allowing themselves to cut out magazine photos and fitting them together in new and surprising ways, creating a deck of cards, which have deep personal meaning. This fun and eye opening artistic self-expression method bypasses the mind and goes straight to the Soul, providing illuminating insight into oneself.

Included in your Retreat Package:

– 6 day 5 night stay at the Mauna Lea Retreat Center
~ 3 organic meals a day  (except for three meals eaten off site)
– Facilitated workshops and guided meditations lead by Kumu Ehulani Stephany, Aunty Tutu & AyaPapaya
~ Journey to visit a sacred site and Volcano National Park
~ Hands on workshop with Kumu to create an authentic Hawai’ian makana (gift)
– Chartered boat excursion to more secluded bays where dolphins like to gather
– Snorkel gear rental for all 5 days
– Transportation from/to airport to Retreat Center  as well as all transportation throughout the retreat
– Opportunity to swim with wild dolphins in beautiful Hawaii

Bios of our Hosts:

Kumu 2Kumu Ehulani Stephany ~
Ehulani has studied hula, and chanting, under 14 different kumu hula  (hula teachers) in the Hawaiian Islands. Having learned various lineages and styles of hula and chants, Ehulani has developed her own style by incorporating elements of all, and diving deep in Hawai’ian culture.
Ehulani has trained and assisted with many Kahuna nui, in cleansing, clearings, and numerous blessing ceremonies, which lead her to be blessed as Ali’i Kahuna nui (High Priestess).

Aunty TutuAunty Tutu ~
Aunty Tutu is an ordained minister, and owner of Feel the Touch of Aloha, a Hawai’ian culture based entertainment company.  Aunty is a beloved educator of Hawai’ian culture and spreads aloha everywhere she goes.  She teaches ukulele lessons, hula lessons, and lei making classes (fresh flower, tea leaf, and yarn).


Aya Iwasaki ~
Movement is integral in Aya‘s life and a source of grounding and connecting with spirit.  Combining training from various teachers Aya embodies beauty and grace in her dance  and brings authentic movement into her flow. Aya feels empowered by movement to live  fully and in constant exploration of new creative outlets and projects.
Her most recent  project has been “Remember” an intuitive slow movement dance class that she has been  developing.  Aya has seen the  healing power of movement arts first hand, and is  passionate about sharing, performing, guiding others in connection to their bodies and voices.

register nowStart your journey today!  Reserve your spot with a $300 deposit

Reasons to Join the Ancient Voices Retreat:

~ Swim and connect with dolphins and their energy
~ Break out of your daily routine and realign with your true nature and purpose
~ Connect with nature and wild animals, and reconnect with the wild primal that is within you
~ Integrate the body, heart, and soul through guided experiences and self love practices
~ Nourish the body with local organic food, sunshine, and healing waters
~ Explore the coastline of Kona – the big island of Hawai’i
~ Learn how to give yourself permission to radiate your full brilliance
~ Slow down and take time to reflect on yourself and your life, set intentions
~ Swim in the cleansing waters of the blue Hawaiian oceans
~ Have a safe space to share authentically amongst others on the same path
~ Cultivate mastery of the body and mind through song, vibration, movement and meditation
~ Make new friends and form deep connections
~ Give yourself the gift of a transformational experience

Testimonials :

“Being a part of Aya’s guided dolphin adventure was truly profound and life changing for me. I had never experienced the ocean and it’s magic in that way before. The excitement from everyone when we first jumped in the water was palpable. We had seen the dolphins coming to the surface to say hello, but nothing compared to what it was like to be with them in their environment. Literally hundreds of dolphins were swimming in the bay. Almost everywhere we looked we could see groups of them swimming together and dancing around each other in the water. Some of them were a lot more friendly and would come in surprisingly close to get a better look. They were just as curious about us as we were about them.
It was amazing and it is an experience that I would recommend to anyone. It surpassed my wildest expectations and I look forward to returning to the Big Island of Hawaii every year to reconnect and dive deeper into my connection with the ocean. The depths of emotions and transformation this journey birthed for me is something words cannot truly express. I am so grateful to Aya and all of the facilitators and participants that took part in and helped to create such a magical adventure.” – Caterina Suttin

“My snorkeling experience with the dolphins on the Big Island was indescribable. I’ve been a diver for years and have encountered turtles, sharks, manta rays, sea lions, etc. But the dolphins were beyond compare. It felt like I was in a dream!” – Pam Mayer

“I totally LOVEDDDDD Everything about the trip!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH Aya and Shannon for capturing all of these incredible moments! It was truly a blessing to be able to spend a week on the magical island with all of you and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! It was so incredible to be that close to the dolphins as well! They are beautiful creatures and I really have an even greater appreciation for them now that I have been able to experience them in their NATURAL habitat!  <3 Also THANK YOU again so much for the birthday cakes! You are too sweet! The food was amazing, the chefs were so kind and accommodating to our diverse needs, and everythign was truly magical! I really discovered a part of myself that I didn’t know existed while on the island. I conquered some of my biggest fears, and experienced so many new things that it is hard to believe I was only there for a week!!!  – Carolyn Marrone