Next summer, Sarah and Christine are leading “The Ultimate Amalfi Experience: Discover. Explore. Renew.” retreat in Italy. In this exclusive interview with True Nature leaders Sarah and Christine, we discuss yoga influences, favorite poses, passions, and more!
Sarah is a Toronto based yoga teacher that that brings a fun, playful energy to her classes. She believes in focusing on alignment and respecting your body’s needs in every position. Christine focuses on the unique journey of every student and brings creative alignment and thoughtful theming to her classes. Read on to learn more about these True Nature leaders and their upcoming retreat!
Meet True Nature Leaders Sarah and Christine
1. How does the idea of “Discover, Explore, and Renew” play into the retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?
When we thought about hosting a retreat, we wanted to relate it back to who we are, what we love to do, and what we are excited about. These three areas are so vital to who we are as people, and as teachers. Both of us love to discover more about ourselves. We often do this through our surroundings, from discovering something new in the city to exploring, learning, or trying new things. A big aspect of our yoga life relates to renew, as we watch people leave class with a refreshed sense of self. During the retreat, our goal is to guide folks through aspects of “Discover, Explore, Renew”. This might happen through the practice of yoga, the formation of new relationships, the enjoyment of delicious food and wine, exploration of neighborhoods, or through a renewed sense of self. We are so excited to discover, explore and renew with what is sure to be an amazing group!
2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?
Sarah: I have definitely thought about this question a lot as it seems to be one that comes up frequently. I feel very connected to my family, and I truly feel that my greatest influence was my nonna (my father’s mother, my grandmother). I feel like if you asked me this question when I was younger I may have not mentioned her, but as I age, I see how much influence she has had on my life; from the person I am, to the person I want to be, and how I see myself. This is another reason I am so excited to head back to Italy – my grandparents emigrated from Italy in the 1950’s to Canada – as I feel so connected to them every time I return!
3. If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?
Sarah: In this moment, my favorite pose is 100%, Downward Facing Dog. I would say that each “stage” of my life has been a different pose. I remember different times when I would have said Side Plank, or Warrior II, but for awhile now it’s been Downward Facing Dog. I love this pose as I am a very extroverted person, and have a hard time focusing in on the present. This pose allows me to focus inward on myself, on my practice, and serves as a reminder to tune-in. I can feel so much going on in my body as I make even the smallest movements or adjustments. I also love working with this posture from a teaching perspective as this pose and variations of it can do so much for the body (especially in a world where we are sitting, typing, texting, etc. and our spine can become very compressed). Ahh, I have so much love for Downward Facing Dog! 🙂
Christine: Ooh, this is a great question! And surprisingly, one that I have not been asked before! My current favorite pose is Mountain Pose (Tadasana). This basic pose is often overlooked, as people are often searching for more challenging, sexier, Instagram-able poses. However, really engaging all of your muscles, rooting through your feet and rising up through your head, is a lot of work! Allowing yourself to get back to the basics with Tadasana – the pose from which all poses stem – can have a tremendous impact on many areas of both your yoga practice and your life outside of yoga.
4. Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?
Christine: Aside from yoga and meditation, I enjoy eating, drinking wine, and connecting with people. All three things will surely be incorporated into the retreat; we’re in Italy, after all! The passion and simplicity that Italians infuse into their food is something magical to experience. Add local wine and it elevates this experience to the next level. For me, the memories that are created over sharing a meal and savoring a glass (or two!) of wine, are some of my most treasured.
5. What is on your “Italy bucket list” and what are you most excited about?
Sarah: I know I cannot wait to have some delicious food, wine, coffee, gelato, and more (nom nom nom to all the things). What I am truly ecstatic about is sharing this experience with others, and the opportunity to do yoga in a space that is so beautiful.
Christine: I agree with Sarah, as exploring different flavors of gelato is pretty high on my list! I am also excited to bring a group of people to a place that I truly love, and to create a space for us to connect, discover, explore, and renew.
6. Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?
We were inspired by the Dalai Lama quote, “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” These words apply to so many different aspects of the retreat, be it traveling to a new country, exploring a new type of yoga, or discovering a new food. Pushing boundaries leads to new discoveries, and this retreat will provide a safe and welcoming environment to make that happen.
Learn more about these two incredible True Nature leaders and sign up for their retreat today at http://truenaturetravels.com/retreats/yoga-italy-sarah-christine.