Until we meet again.

Until we meet again.

Our final day together! Lots of fun and laughter. Some silliness and play. I love how everyone comes together like a family on these retreats. It’s a really fun way to travel. Bittersweet to say goodbye. Good memories. This week on the retreat was really packed with activities, and at the same time it just flew by and the last day was suddenly upon us. A very special group and a very special place. Thank you everyone and thank you Maui, Lumeria, and all the wonderful people we met on the island, for hosting us and letting us soak up all the wonderful energy on the island. I feel tired but also refreshed and rejuvenated from this experience. I’m already thinking about the next one. Where will we go next? The feedback from those on our last few retreats is — Croatia, Thailand, Iceland, Cuba, or India! Where do you want to go? Look out for one of these destinations in the near future. Until we meet again.  Namaste.

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Traditional Hawaiian Bonfire Ceremony!

Traditional Hawaiian Bonfire Ceremony!

We had a very special Traditional Hawaiian Bonfire Ceremony on the last night of our retreat! Thank you to Makoa Quest for organizing and bringing us this experience. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. Hearing traditional stories about Maui and Hawaii, offering old patterns to the fire and letting them go, making a commitment to live the best possible life, setting new intentions, and a special Ava ceremony. Deep and powerful. And the words of the Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner aligned with all that we are practicing in our yoga practice. The truth is Universal. Grateful for this experience and to have been able to share it with my students. 🙏

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The volcano Haleakala! It's been dormant for almost 300 yrs! Wow!

The volcano Haleakala!  It's been dormant for almost 300 yrs!  Wow!

The volcano Haleakala! It’s been dormant for almost 300 yrs. Incredible! I love the girls jumping in their Shiva Yoga shirts. Great shot! Maui has so much to see and explore. And the different parts of the island are so different. I will definitely be going back to explore a little more. Not enough time in just 1 week! And it’s so close — I can’t believe I haven’t been already until now. Beautiful! This incredible planet we live on. Let’s take good care of her and try to leave behind something better than what we found. 

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You are already 'there'!

You are already 'there'!

Another amazing group dinner at The General Store in Hali’maile! If you go to Maui — Mama’s Fish House and The General Store are really great restaurants. Highly recommended! 👍😁 

I will miss these group meals and especially this wonderful group. It is the journey! Enjoy the moments. Enjoy the laughter and the shared times together. There is no ‘there’! You are already ‘there’! This is it. Breathe into it. These moments are special.

Thank you for sharing such a fun week with me in Maui! Lots of great moments. Lots of wonderful memories. How incredible is this life? I am missing all of you already and can’t wait for the next adventure. 🙏❤️

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Hip Opening Workshop and Shoulder Opening Workshop, on our retreat this past week in Maui!

Hip Opening Workshop and Shoulder Opening Workshop, on our retreat this past week in Maui!

Hip Opening Workshop and Shoulder Opening Workshop, on our retreat this past week in Maui! We had the perfect balance of beautiful sunny days which allowed for lots of adventure and time to explore the island, and rainy, windy days where it felt great to be inside the yoga shala learning new things an deepening our practice. It was really fun to explore some deeper work on the retreat, as we might in one of my Shiva Yoga Teacher Training programs. We covered a lot in these workshops! From basic anatomy and asana breakdown, to sequencing, and understanding how yoga philosophy informs our yoga practice. Do you know the difference between the warm up and the deeper practices? My teacher’s would say that a lot of modern yoga is missing the bigger picture and the key elements that will allow you to experience a deeper connection to your Self, and really receive the full benefits of this incredible yoga technology. Make sure you are not just warming up to go home. 😂🤷‍♂️ Great work, Yogis! You were so focused in these workshops — we got to cover a lot in a very short period of time. 😁🙏👍

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Stand Up Paddle + Yoga!

Stand Up Paddle + Yoga!

We attempted to do a little yoga on the Stand Up Paddle boards. I have so much respect for the yogis who do this regularly and make it look so easy. It was really hard!!! Lol. What a fun day! Such a great group on this retreat. Almost everyone on the retreat was returning after having already done a previous retreat adventure with me and it was kind of like a reunion for a lot of us. So nice to see everyone and share another adventure together. Where are headed next?  Possibly Iceland, Croatia, Thailand, Alaska, or India. Stay tuned! Lots of fun adventures on the horizon! Don’t forget about the Elysia Yoga Convention next year in Greece too!

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Hanuman is the symbol of perfect balance.

Hanuman is the symbol of perfect balance.

Hanuman is the symbol of perfect balance and also represents the bridge to the Ultimate Reality, the experience of the true Nature of your Self, and through that experience, your connection to the Universe. 

This picture was shot in one of the Temples in the jungle in Bali. It’s hard to see it in the picture but I’m doing the pose on this small grass walkway that is separating two rice fields. The walkway is pretty narrow. The field on this side is just a short drop into the mud, but still, into the mud. The field on the other side is about ten feet lower. A long drop into the mud! I managed to find balance and not drop into the mud, but there was a pretty high probability that was going to be the end result of getting these shots. Lol 😂. See you on your mat!

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What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?

What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?

Fire ceremony and cleansing ritual on our retreat to Bali. We always do a variation of this ceremony on my yoga retreats. First, we do some journal writing exercises, and then boil things down to one thing we are ready to let go of once the retreat is over. And then we condense that down to just one word. This word gets written down on a piece of paper and gets burned in the fire as part of the ceremony and cleansing ritual. These ceremonies aren't always fun. They aren't always the "feel good" moments on the retreat. Yoga isn't always about feel good moments. You've gotta go through your stuff to get to the other side. The fire ceremony and cleansing ritual offers another opportunity to dig deep and take a look at old patterns, to shine the light on some darker areas, and then to set an intention to let go of this old pattern that isn't serving you. Often times, these ceremonies are uncomfortable. They make you feel vulnerable. They can be confrontational. They make you look at something about yourself or about how you're living your life that you may not want to look at yet. That's the point. This is yoga. Getting out of your comfort zone is your yoga practice. Being vulnerable is your yoga practice. Yoga isn't all about rainbows and unicorns, and neither is going on yoga retreat. Your yoga practice at times will be confrontational. It will challenge you. It should challenge you. Yoga is intimate. It's vulnerable. It's profound work. It's not always about being happy and smiling, or, checking out, listening to music, and distracting yourself. What are you ready to let go of? What are you ready to burn off in the fire? What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?

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I'm so grateful to be here!

I'm so grateful to be here!

It's 5:00am. I'm practicing on the roof at Soulshine. The sun starts coming up and I have this spectacular view overlooking the rice fields. I stop my practice for a minute to catch a picture. It's beautiful. I want to soak it up and hold onto this moment. I'm so grateful to be here. I'm so grateful for this morning and this day ahead. Without my yoga practice I would miss these moments. I would literally miss some of them because I'd be in bed sleeping. I'd miss others because I'd be moving too fast. I'd miss others because I'd be caught up in the noise in my head. Yoga helps you slow down. If you slow down enough you will find stillness. In the stillness you experience your inner light. In the stillness you change your relationship to your Self. This changes your relationship to everyone and everything around you. I'm so grateful to be right here, right now.

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Powerful opening circle ceremony!

Powerful opening circle ceremony!

Powerful opening circle ceremony! I've been leading these ceremonies for a long time and I think they are always so profound. We are losing spaces in our modern world where we are really being seen and heard, and we aren't encouraged enough to hold the spaces for others and really see them and listen to them share their story. Make space for someone in your life. Sit down with them. Look at them. Listen to them. It's time for us all to get a little more vulnerable with each other and to get a little more intimate with each other.

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 7!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 7!

This was our last day to explore the islands. The trip had started off feeling like it was going slow and then a few of the days just flew by and suddenly we were on our last day. We had bonded so much as a group. It had been such an amazing time together on the islands. I was going to miss this Galapagos Islands family and our home away from home at Semilla Verde.

We were up early for a yoga class at 6am. Sun Salutations and meditation. It's amazing how just doing fifteen minutes of sun salutations and a fifteen minute meditation can change the rest of your day. If you don't have time for a full practice this alone can be enough.

We had breakfast at Semilla Verde and then waited for the bus to take us on our last excursion. The dogs were out playing. The cat was wandering around. A couple of turtles were already eating nearby on the lawn.

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 6!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 6!

On Thursday of our retreat we had a day off from excursions. I led the group in a late yoga class that started at 7:30am. The turtles were all hanging out in the turtle pond and we got to watch them during class, right outside the window of the yoga studio.

We had a late breakfast at 9am and then the day was free until the afternoon and evening.
Most of the students went to town after breakfast and continued exploring on their own. I hung back and stayed at Semilla Verde. I needed a few hours to just wander around the property and be alone. This was the first chance I had to walk the paths on the property and explore a little and the turtles were everywhere.

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 5!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 5!

We started off with an early morning pranayama and meditation practice at Semilla Verde. Love watching these yogis transformation after these seated practices. Powerful stuff!

A quick breakfast at Semilla Verde and we were off to Tortuga Bay for some hiking, hanging out at the beach, and kayaking.

When we arrived at Tortuga Bay we hiked through this beautiful forest to get to the beach. The trees were all white and silver and it looked like they had been blanketed in ice. It was really beautiful!

The beach was really nice at Tortuga Bay. We hung out and snapped some pictures and chilled for a bit. Lots of black Iguanas on the beach and a few sea lions swimming nearby.

Kayaking was a blast!

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 4!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 4!

Day 4 of our Galapagos Islands adventure we were up early to do an asana class to start the day off!

I was getting up a little earlier than everyone else to do my own practice on the retreat before leading our morning classes and most days when I headed from my room to the studio it was still dark outside. I often came very close to stepping on one of the giant turtles who were sleeping on the pathway to the studio or nearby. The turtles hiss at you when they are scared or startled and it sounds very strange.

This morning on Day 4 was one of those times when I almost stepped on one of the turtles and we startled each other. I was walking to the studio, half asleep, and it was still pretty dark out. Suddenly, a loud hissing sound to my right startled me. I remember thinking, what the heck is that noise? I think I must've woken up the poor turtle as I was walking by because when I looked back over my shoulder, I could vaguely see him and he was looking around, moving his head from side to side, still hissing and looking rather confused. They usually just tuck into their shell and hide for a few minutes when they are startled. This guy was startled just like I was and was probably thinking, what the heck is that noise, just like me.

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 3!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 3!

Day 3 of our Galapagos Islands adventure took us to North Seymour Island.
We woke up early and I led the group through a challenging yoga class to get us ready for our day.

After class, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Semilla Verde and then took a bus to the port to board the Sea Finch.We arrived at North Seymour island and went exploring with our guide, Steve, giving us deeper insight into all of the animals we encountered.

North Seymour was home to a number of different species of birds. One of the most interesting was the blue footed booby. I think I have a couple of good pics of one or two of them. The blue footed booby has these really goofy looking eyes and bright blue feet, which makes them look like they were dipped in paint.

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 2!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 2!

This was our first official day waking up at Semilla Verde. I was up at a little before 5am to do my practice so I could lead the group through a morning session at 6am. We did a sun salutation practice, followed by a seated seedless meditation.

After a quick breakfast, we were on our way to the port to head to Bartolome Island.
Steve, a really nice, down to earth guide was to lead us on this journey. We lucked out with Steve as he turned out to be a walking encyclopedia.

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Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat! Day 1!

Galapagos Islands Adventure Yoga Retreat!  Day 1!

We left from LAX on Friday morning. I was flying with three other students coming from Los Angeles. We flew to Panama City and then on to Guayakil, a small city in Ecuador. We spent the night in Guayakil and met up with two more students at the airport, who were booked at the same hotel.

Saturday morning, we took an early flight to the Galapagos Islands, landing on Baltra Island, where a former American military base was located during WW2 . From Baltra Island, we took a short bus ride to a ferry and then took a ferry to the island of Santa Cruz, where we would be staying. A second bus ride took us north across the island. We climbed in elevation as we headed inland and watched the land change from an arid and dry desert landscape to lush green and tropical forest.

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