True Nature Travels Blog

This fall, True Nature is heading to Peru with Kyle Weiger and Kaitlin Honeycutt of Ra Yoga. We’re offering an exclusive interview so you can get to know these incredible yogis and learn more about their upcoming retreat. 

Interview with Kyle Weiger of Ra Yoga

 

1. How does the idea of community and connection play into the retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

The Ra family is one of the best communities, if not the best community, that I’ve ever been part of. This retreat is about deepening our connection to each other and accomplishing something amazing together by climbing to the top of Machu Picchu. It’s going to be a team effort, with everyone supporting one another along the way.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why? 

My best friend, Clayton Olson. He turned me onto yoga, mindfulness, and self-development many years ago. He’s had the single greatest influence on my life by showing me practices that have shaped who I am as an adult. My positive mindset, determination, and constant state of gratitude all stem from my friendship with him.

3. If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why? 

Wild Thing. It’s fun and playful yet requires balance, strength, and a little bit of faith in the unseen. It’s just one of those feel-good postures where you can’t help but smile!

4. Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat? 

I love learning about the brain and why it does what it does. I’m curious about how it’s evolved over millions of years and gotten us to our current place. We probably won’t get too nerdy about the brain on this retreat but I will definitely look forward to exploring movement and how it’s tied to the brain 🙂

5. What is on your “Peru bucket list” and what are you most excited about? 

Aside from the obvious trip to Machu Picchu, I’m most excited for morning yoga in the shalas followed by breakfast with the entire retreat group. I love sitting around conversing after yoga and hearing about everyone’s experience and just generally bonding as a team.

6.   Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat? 

Don’t try hard. Try easy.

Interview with Kaitlin Honeycutt of Ra Yoga

 

1. How does the idea of community and connection play into the retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

Community and connection in my vision of our retreat is the entire essence of what we are trying to cultivate – bringing our community together to unify each other through the common bond we share of yoga. Our hope is to enable each other to find vulnerability within themselves and with the group to create an atmosphere that allows for radical self-exploration, relationship building and an evolutionary experience and that will last a lifetime.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why? 

I feel as though there are too many teachers who have come across my path that have influenced every part of me that is unreasonable to list just one person. So much of my life has been given to me by the influence, inspiration and motivation from others – Jenny Vande Hei, Sarah Tagge, Michelle Christensen and many other yogis enabled me to pursue my passion of teaching yoga and allowed me to be their shadow to gain as much knowledge as I could. Melayne and Cameron Shayne lit a fire in me when I was presented with the opportunity to take a Budokon class as well as their teacher training which transformed my yoga practice entirely. Molly Felix and Chelsea Morter and many other women at lululemon ahtletica in South Coast Plaza provided me with the opportunity to try different fitness outlets which sparked my love for indoor cycling and love for CrossFit. Dani Wellbrock-Gallinger inspires me every single day and reminds me that I can be whoever I want to be and not apologize for it. My father whom has since now passed continues to remind me every day that I can do whatever is that I want to do because he always believed in me. So much of everyone else has made me who I am today.

3. If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why? 

If Vinyasa yoga and Budokon had a baby, that would be the practice that describes me. Fluid and graceful meets strict precision and focus. Every movement and transition having an intention creating a footprint for the next moment to come. I get emotional just thinking about how beautiful it would be. I feel as though this describes how I like my life to be – simple yet challenging, inspired and with everything done having a reason.

4. Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat? 

Will these be explored in your retreat? As I mentioned earlier, I also teach indoor cycling and I coach CrossFit at a non-profit for people who are in recovery from substance and alcohol abuse. My passions involve any opportunity to allow someone else to achieve a better version of themselves through fitness and self care. During the retreat there will be opportunities for self care that are less vigorous as indoor cycling and CrossFit which are high on my priority list as well, like meditation, restorative yoga, self reflection with journaling and sitting in silence, as well as much needed nap time.

5. What is on your “Peru bucket list” and what are you most excited about? 

I am most excited about our hike to the top of Machu Picchu. I am very eager to see the beauty of South America and to have a new experience to take home with me unlike anything I have witnessed before. I am excited to see the culture of Peru and how the people there live their lives, and how different it is from the way we live ours.

6.   Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat? 

I read this quote the other day and I found it rather fitting: “attract what you want by being what you want”. My hope for this retreat is to create light within others and a passion for yoga that has been lit in me, but I must first allow this to be what shines through me to others first if I have the hope to give that away. If I want goodness and gratitude for this retreat, I must be that. If I want kindness and love, I must be that. Everything I want this retreat to embody I must first

This fall Kyle, Kaitlin, and True Nature will be heading to Peru for a mystical week of yoga and an optional tour of Machu Picchu. You can sign up to join this once-in-a-lifetime adventure at http://truenaturetravels.com/retreats/yoga-peru-kyle-kaitlin/ 

True Nature Travels Blog

Meet Susan Urquhart-Brown and Christopher Brown, two of True Nature’s incredible retreat leaders! 

Meet True Nature Instructors Susan Urquhart-Brown and Christopher BrownThis fall, Susan and Christopher are leading the “Power of Presence” retreat in Peru’s Sacred Valley. In our exclusive interview with Susan and Christopher, we discussed yogic influences, passions, and the true power of presence!

Susan is a yoga, meditation, and mindfulness inquiry teacher. Susan’s nurturing style combines Body, Mind, and Spirit to facilitate bringing presence to all aspects of Life. Christopher is a mindfulness inquiry teacher and speaker who has been on a journey of awakening for 30 years. He is passionate about individual transformation and facilitating others in their awakening process.

Read our exclusive interview below and sign up for their Peru retreat here

1. How does the idea of “Power of Presence” play into your retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

The Power of Presence Retreat is focused on reconnecting with the mystery and wonder that we delighted in as children. We use a three-prong approach to dissolve the veil of seriousness to unite with the profound beauty and silence of each moment. We work with the body through yoga, the mind through meditation, and the heart through joyful play and connection.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?

Osho, Alan Watts, Adyashanti, and Isacc Shapiro have been our most influential teachers. We honor how each uniquely points to the mystery that knows no comparison.

3. If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why?Meet True Nature Instructors Susan Urquhart-Brown and Christopher Brown

Peaceful Warrior (Shanti Virbhadrasana). Why? Like the pose, I am flexible in mind and body, calm, strong, and graceful.

4. Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?

We love to travel, explore, and learn about the countries and cultures we visit.

5. What is on your “Peru bucket list” and what are you most excited about?

On our bucket list in Peru is communion with the mountains, connecting with the culture of the extraordinary Peruvian people, and learning about the ancient Incan culture.

6. Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

“You are what you think having become what you thought.” -Osho

peru.jpg

True Nature Travels Blog

At True Nature, we believe in the magic of movement and the bliss of being. These are things that True Nature retreat leader Adriana Lee loves sharing with others. She’ll be sharing this and more at her upcoming August retreat in Greece. We had the opportunity to ask Adriana a few questions about the retreat and learn more about what it means to awaken in Amorgos.

Sign-up for the retreat today while there are still spots available!

Greece_Janet

Awakening in Amorgos: A Yoga Retreat in Greece with Adriana Lee

August 19-August 26

Join Adriana Lee on a week-long journey of discovery. Explore the beauty of Greece while diving deep into the depths of yourself. Leave behind your commitments, your schedule, your to-do lists, and all of the busy-ness of your daily life. Embark on a journey into your soul through your yoga practice, meditation, and allowing yourself to simply be.greeceview

This retreat will include daily yoga, meditation, plenty of sunshine, clear blue waters, renewal in the spa, and free time to explore the beauty and the culture of the Greek Island of Amorgos. Give yourself the gift of rejuvenation, self-discovery, and peace. Take these things with you off of the island and learn to hold this peace within you during the chaos of daily life.

Read our exclusive interview with Adriana below:

True Nature: How does the idea of “Awakening in Amorgos” play into your retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

Adriana: I chose the word awakening because I feel that through our yoga practice we wake up to our life’s purpose and to our own truth. I see a theme of self-discovery happening and a journey towards our true north.

True Nature: Who has been your greatest influence and why?

Yoga_Adriana_Grand_CanyonAdriana: I’ve had so many incredible teachers who have influenced me over the years. I would say my greatest influence has been Heba Saab. She taught me to teach from my own heart, to trust my intuition and my ability to see, and also to find my voice as a teacher. She showed me the importance of ceremony and the importance of fully stepping into the teacher role before each class. A lot of pre-class rituals I have were completely inspired by her. Her guidance has played a pivotal role in shaping the way that I teach.

True Nature: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you, what would it be and why?

Adriana: Child’s pose. I’m a bit of a dreamer, and for me child’s pose has this dreamy childlike quality to it. It’s a great reminder to not be so serious and so tough all of the time. It’s a sacred space where you can totally tune into your own internal awareness and tune out distractions.

True Nature: Other than yoga and meditation, what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?Yoga_with_Adriana_Tree

Adriana: Travel, hiking, and art are my three other passions, and yes we will absolutely explore these! I think traveling is the best thing that you can do for yourself. It opens your mind and your heart and connects you to the whole of humanity in a way that you just can’t connect living in your own little corner of the globe. My hometown is Las Vegas, and a lot of people don’t realize how much nature there is to explore outside of the city. Hiking was definitely always my favorite past time and I am beyond excited to get to hike and go adventuring in Amorgos! As for art, I feel expressing yourself through some creative outlet is truly the best medicine. So I think we’ll definitely explore a bit of that.

True Nature: What is on your “Greece bucket list” and what are you most excited about?

Adriana: Wow, I don’t even know where to begin! I love Greek food so I’m excited to eat! I know I want to do a boat tour and maybe see some caves. Hiking is also top on my list. I haven’t made any rock solid plans, though. I kind of just want to see where this takes me!

True Nature: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

Adriana: “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” -Ray Bradbury

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True Nature Travels Blog

Meet Dawn “MotherHeart” Smelser, one of True Nature’s incredible retreat leaders!
dawnmotherheartThis spring, Dawn MotherHeart is leading the retreat “The Heart of it All” in Costa Rica. In our exclusive interview with Dawn MotherHeart, we discussed yogic influences, passions, and what’s really at the heart of it all.
 
Dawn MotherHeart has been teaching yoga for almost 20 years. She received her formal training in yoga at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India, where she lived under the guidance of her Guru Dr. Jayadeva Yogendraji from 1999-2000. Dawn was ordained Spiritual Healer by Divine Ministry in 2005 after three years of studying the esoteric yoga tradition and opened MotherHeart Studio in 2012, where she trains yoga teachers. She publishes Rooted Magazine, dedicated to unearthing the traditional roots of yoga and lifting up modern day mystics and pilgrims. In Dawn’s upcoming retreat, she will lead an inspired practice that shares the wisdom of some of today’s best poets and the heart of the classical yoga tradition to bring you back to the sweetest things in life.
 
Read our exclusive interview below and sign up for her Costa Rica retreat here.

1. How does the idea of “The Heart Of It All” play into your retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?dawn in India

I named the retreat “The Heart Of It All” because it seemed to encapsulate the essence of what I am trying to bring, without rambling on and on. For one, I was trained in a very heartfelt approach to Classical Yoga. My teacher used stories to bypass the ego and go straight to the heart of Yoga Philosophy. I also am a huge fan of Karla McLaren and The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You,’ which has helped me to practice and teach from my heart….and gut. I have come to resonate with a more embodied and passionate approach to yoga, rather than a whitewashed and sterile philosophy, that I noticed, was easy to use as another way to judge ourselves negatively against. I love good poetry and its ability to point us to the deeper truths of being human so I want to bring poetry in too. And lastly, I named my studio MotherHeart, and the retreat feels like a natural extension of the work I am doing with the community there.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?

My teacher at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai has been a profound influence to me. He is very compassionate and a high scholar of yoga but doesn’t do the whole people pleasing thing. Also: his enlightenment hasn’t stopped him from having a passion for table tennis. His humor is subtle and the way he speaks truth is direct and dispelling of misapprehension.

carnival dawn3. If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you, what would it be and why?

Hmmm, let me see. 1. Laughing meditation…I don’t actually practice it much, but the times I have, I felt the point where insanity met hilarity and I am familiar with that. 2. Lotus pose because I too have grown out of mud. 3. Candle gazing because it is deeply mysterious to me. I love to teach candle gazing and every time I practice, there is a new experience.

4. Other than yoga and meditation, what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?

West African dance has been a love of mine for the last 15 years or so. I think it will creep into the retreat somehow, though we may have to find some drums. I love to sing and tell stories too so I will be inviting folks to join me on the beach at night for impromptu singing and storytelling. I warrior dancelike to call or coax out other people’s gifts, and it is amazing how a group can be enhanced this way.

5. What is on your “Costa Rica bucket list” and what are you most excited about?

Swimming, hiking, napping, and just being there. I want to try ziplining too, which I am slightly embarrassed to admit.

6.  Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

“Don’t jump up and shout, ‘Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!’ Just stand up quietly and dance with me.”-Oriah Mountain Dreamer
funny dawn

True Nature Travels Blog

BLACK BEAN CAROB BROWNIES (GF)

I am always looking for new ways to re-invent the naughty favorites.
Based on your feedback, brownies have been re-born.

Carob is a tropical fruit with a delicious, sweet and edible pulp. When dried and minced, it resembles both the textures and flavors of cocoa powder. The difference between carob and cocoa is the caffeine content. Carob has 0 caffeine and can help with those of us who are caffeine sensitive. By all means, if cocoa is your preference, this recipe can easily be cocoa translated by simply replacing the carob with cocoa. Same portions and all are tasty options.

Why would you re-create something so perfect to begin with? I hear it all the time… people will say, “No thanks,” before they ever try a healthier variation because they think it will taste like cardboard, hence it is will be a waste of their palette’s time.  I agree.

I believe food was meant to be an experience. Something that not only smells enriching, but looks, and taste it as well. Not only this, but also enriching for the body’s health. YOU CAN have it all. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

This recipe is sure to fulfill your chocolatey desires while staying true to a low glycemic and gluten free diet.

Give it the ultimate test for yourself. Make these brownies for your friends and family. They are sure to enjoy them just like they would with a traditional recipe!

So, the next time you have a craving, know that you don’t necessarily have to abstain. There are healthy alternatives for every recipe out there.

Black Bean Carob Brownies
Total Time: 15m
Yield: 9-12 brownies
Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
• 2 tbsp carob powder (If carob is too much of a leap, I understand. Don’t worry, cocoa can be substituted!) (10g)
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, or agave (or honey, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
•  3 eggs (or flax seed eggs)
• pinch uncut stevia
• 1/4 cup coconut or ghee
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
• optional: more chips, for presentation
Instructions
Black Bean Brownies Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will magically firm up! Makes 9-12 brownies.

 

BIO : Alana Roach  is a International Yogi currently based out of Annapolis, MD. Formerly adorned by the city lights and the busy streets of America, she was then whisked away by the illustrious path of yoga and took to traveling the world to share it with others. A few years back she started to write about the transformation she undertook by  practicing conscious meditation. Her passions became her career and she now holds RYS Teacher Trainings & International Retreats, Health Coaches, and writes every opportunity she gets. In her spare time she loves cuddling with her daughter, surfing, being in nature, and living amongst her ever growing and global loving and conscious community. She is on Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, and can be reached by email explorationsofself@gmail.com

True Nature Travels Blog

True Nature is honored to be working with inspiring, beautiful, and shinning leaders. Becky and Betty are no exception. With their robust experience, expansive practice, and lovely spirits, we are so excited about their upcoming retreat in Playa Uvita, Costa Rica this January 28February 4. 

Learn more and register today!

Join Virginia natives Becky and Betty for a week of self discovery and reconnection with the core of our infinite being. Surrounded by nature, nestled between the ocean and the jungle, warmed by the tropical air and embraced by the infinite sky, we will take advantage of the surrounding elements by combining asana practice with workshops that invite earth, air, fire, and water to parallel the elements within us.

We will explore the beauty of the external landscapes of Playa Uvita, Costa Rica while navigating our internal landscapes; flowing freely on our mats while quieting our minds with stillness and meditation. As we partake in island adventures, we remain open to infinite possibilities. As our journeys take us within, we invite you to dive deep through opportunities for ceremonial work, self reflection, and healing. Stripping away the distractions of everyday life, we will get back to basics, cultivating our ever present and universal truth that lies within.

 

We had the privilege of interviewing Betty and Becky! Check out our exclusive interview below:

True Nature: How does the idea of “Infinite Connection: Invoking the Elements Within” play into your retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?

Becky: The theme came to us quite naturally. It is Our intention for our participants to reconnect with the deepest parts of themselves and with this incredible Earth that Embraces us each and every day of Our Lives. Every day of the retreat will be dedicated to a different element including Earth, fire, air, water, and ether… There will be lots of magical representations of each intertwined.

Betty: The Elements are with us all day every day, even when we’re unaware of it. Not only do they surround us, but more predominantly, they are within us. We are born from the Earth and will return there when we pass. Our bodies are composed of 60% water. Our lungs automatically fill with air to keep us alive. Our words and actions are fueled by fire that is sparked directly from the passion of our spirit. Our intuition, guidance and dreams dictate our place in Ether. These elements surround us in nature, but they are also our internal nature. We are ready to return these simple but powerful bases of existence as we dedicate one day to each element through meditation, asana, workshops, ceremonies and a few surprises along the way 🙂

True Nature: Who has been your greatest influence and why?
Becky: I don’t believe that I can choose just one person who has been my greatest influence. I have been surrounded by and continue to be surrounded by so many incredible teachers everyday of my life. I have to thank my parents for raising me in a way that was open-minded and also with an open heart. They raised me in nature which is where I find the deepest sense of spirituality. I also have to acknowledge my teacher, Arlene, who is with me each and every day as her physical body has left this Earth. She has given me a message and it is my Dharma to continue on… Serving as a vessel of blessing; an instrument of Peace…My sister Betty continues to be my muse and inspiration as well… Constantly reigniting this fire of passion reminding me why I do what I do. My students continue to be some of my greatest teachers… Acting as mirrors… Reflecting so much inspiration and guidance.
Betty: I can’t specify an actual physical human who has been my greatest influence. My greatest influence has been Life itself. All of the “coincidences” (which of course aren’t just coincidences), the magic of being in the right place at the right time, the misfortunes, accidents and detours (that led me to the exact place I was meant to be) teaching me everything I need to learn, and handed me the tools necessary to face anything that comes my way. Traveling internationally has also been another one of my greatest teachers. Through 70 countries I’ve learned to navigate the world and it’s people; to go with the flow or to stand up for myself, to take care of myself and to look out for myself, when to trust and when that huge red flag of intuition shoots up. Of course, the people I’ve met along the way and in each stop of the winding path have made the adventure what it is so far, but that’s tens of thousands of people, and I certainly don’t have enough space to list them all!
True Nature: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why?
Becky: If there was a yoga pose or meditation that describes me, it would be a vinyasa flow. I am constantly changing and flowing into this beautiful now moment… the only thing constant is change.
Betty:  My personal expression as a practice would definitely be a super hot and sweaty powerful surrender class. Essentially I totally dig hot power flow classes (around 100 degrees in a studio or equatorial locations around the world 🙂  and then stretch it out with a final yin sequence. I’m on the cusp of Pisces and Aries, so I have both water and fire in my blood. I like to sweat and burn and then surrender and just be.
True Nature:  Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat?
Becky: Exploring the beautiful and wild Outdoors! My home…
 
Betty: Ah, there are so many! I love to write: finding expression with words. I love to dance: finding freedom with
movement. Recently I began hooping, which has been an incredible teacher of meditation through mind, body, movement and music. Reiki and energy healing are also huge sources of connection for me. And my other job is as a photographer, which I went to school for, and have been doing professionally for eight years now. Writing, energy exploring and photography will all certainly be present as creative outlets for us and our participants. I’m pretty sure we will get a good dance party going at some point as well, and I always travel with my hoops so there will definitely be opportunities to flow with these sacred circles 😉
True Nature: What is on your “Costa Rica bucket list” and what are you most excited about?
Becky: I am most excited about going with absolutely no expectations… Allowing the unknown to unfold.
Betty: I am lucky enough to have already visited Costa Rica a few times for work. Every time I travel in Costa Rica, I fall in love with the landscapes, people, food and way of life, over and over again. I am so excited to share this incredibly vibrant country with others, allowing the Elements of Costa Rica and Playa Uvita to do what they do best as we pay respect to them both internally and externally.
True Nature:  Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?

Becky: Victoria Erickson continues to be one of my greatest inspiration in the world of words. Whenever I have the blessing of going on adventures such as this I take her with me in this poem:

Promise to stay wild with me. We’ll seek and return and stay to find beauty and the extraordinary in all the spaces we can claim. We’ll know how to live. How to breathe magic into the mundane.
Victoria Erickson

Betty: This may be cliche, but the Ticos (Costa Rican people) say “Pura Vida,” which literally translates to “pure life.” However, they say it for everything! It could be used as “take it easy”, “enjoy life”, “all good”, “purity in life”, “hello”, “goodbye”, and “this is life!” They use it to represent a peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family and friends. I am so excited to get back to this: peace, simplicity, and nature. 

 

 

 

True Nature Travels Blog

We are constantly inspired by the teachers we work with and Monica Mesa Dasi is no exception. This May, Monica will be leading a Costa Rican yoga retreat, so we’ve asked her a few questions to help you get a better feel for what it will be like to go on a Costa Rican adventure with this inspiring woman!
    Costa Rican Yoga Retreat Monica
True Nature:  How does the idea of Yoga of Heart & Soul play into your Costa Rican yoga retreat? What themes do you see coming up throughout the journey?
Monica: I called this yoga retreat the Yoga Heart and Soul because the Prana Vinyasa classes that I will be teaching will be deep, fulfilling, and nourishing classes. The study of Bhakti, which is the yoga of love, devotion, and service, and the magic of the sea will add to the alchemy of this week together. As far as themes, we will be focusing on: connecting to the Divine inside ourselves, inspiration from the great masters of the Bhakti tradition, and connecting to the beauty that surrounds us.
Costa Rican Yoga Retreat Monica Cobra
TN: Who has been your greatest influence and why?
M: Shiva Rea has been the greatest influence in my life. Through her, my path in yoga has blossomed and she has brought me to my other two greatest influencers, Neem Karoli Baba and Lama Tsultrim Allione. They have all three blessed my life fully with jewels of wisdom and inspiration.
Costa Rican Yoga Retreat Monica Pidgeon
TN: If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why?
M: My sadhana, or sacred daily practice, begins with pranayama and meditation followed by a creative namaskar and flow that answers my needs for the day. This is the way every day of my life begins and it is my anchor to be able to live a soulful life of love and service.
TN: Other than yoga and meditation, what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your Costa Rican yoga retreat?
M: My other passions are surfing, the ocean, the power of nature, and bonding with others to support one another on the path of life. This Costa Rican yoga retreat is perfectly aligned to enjoy and explore all of my passions!
Costa Rican Yoga Retreat Monica Volcano
TN: What is on your “Costa Rica bucket list” and what are you most excited about?
M: I am most excited to meet the wonderful souls that come together for this Costa Rican yoga retreat as well as the magic of the sea and all that Santa Teresa has to offer us.
TN: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming Costa Rican yoga retreat?
M: “Love everyone, Serve everyone, Remember God.” ~ Neem Karoli Baba. This is my Guru’s teaching and it is my great honor and joy to spread it in all that I do and teach.
Join Monica for her Costa Rican yoga retreat by going here and signing up!
Costa Rican Yoga Retreat Monica Wild Thing
Monica Mesa Dasi
Prana Vinyasa Yoga Teacher/Trainer
Shiva Rea Samudra Global School of Living Yoga

True Nature Travels Blog

IMG_2344_snapTrue Nature is so fortunate to be working along side amazing, inspiring, and talented teachers that lead global retreats! Two of our newest instructors is leading a Costa Rican retreat in February 2017.

Join Virginia natives Becky and Betty for a week of self discovery and reconnection with the core of our infinite being. Surrounded by nature, nestled between the ocean and the jungle, warmed by the tropical air and embraced by the infinite sky, we will take advantage of the surrounding elements by combining asana beachpractice with workshops that invite earth, air, wind, and fire to parallel the elements within us.

We will explore the beauty of the external landscapes of Playa Uvita, Costa Rica while navigating our internal landscapes; flowing freely on our mats while quieting our minds with stillness and meditation. As we partake in island adventures, we remain open to infinite possibilities. As our journeys take us within, we invite you to dive deep through opportunities for ceremonial work, self reflection, and healing. Stripping away the distractions of everyday life, we will get back to basics, cultivating our ever present and universal truth that lies within.

You can learn more about their retreat and sign-up here! 

Becky shared with us one of her inspirational poems with us. Take a look below……..

IMG_20160610_075004

Knowing

Something deep within me knows. Knows where I have been and where I am going. It is not a knowing in my mind. It is a knowing deeply rooted in the depths of my soul. It is the animal of my body; constantly in touch with my instincts no matter how distracting the stories become.

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A tiny seed does not need instructions to grow as it fearlessly roots down into its loving mother two then courageously grow up towards its father. The seed does not think. It knows.

A delicate spider does not study an instruction manual to weave her silver miracle that comes forth from within; providing her with everything she needs to survive. The spider does not think. Golden GoddessShe knows.

A stallion does not need permission to run wildly through the fields when his muscles ache to move. He listens, he feels, he unapologetically flies. The horse does not think. He knows.

Why must I think?!

Ha!

Exactly.

I shall leave you to your thoughts as I grow… As I weave… as I fly… Empty and free…

This is what it is to trust.

Namaste.

Here is a little bit about this good vibe goddess!

Becky Eschenroeder—a Richmond Virginia native—is an accomplished Yogi who is recognized as a 500 hour RYT, 200 hour E-RYT, RCYT and was voted as one of the top three yoga instructors by Richmond Magazine in 2015. Becky studied under Arlene Bjork and Grace Yoga Training Systems prior to Arlene’s passing in late 2009. Becky then obtained her 500 hour RYT through Om On Yoga under the guidance and wisdom of Jennifer Elliot. It is through this experience that she made the commitment to be a full-time yoga teacher. Becky made the conscious decision to dedicate her life to bringing her love of yoga, movement, and learning to all walks of life as evidenced by her deep commitment and involvement in such initiatives as Project Yoga Richmond and YoKid.Golden Goddess

With a degree in Psychology from James Madison University combined with her elementary school teaching license from Mary Baldwin College, Becky uses both her knowledge and experience in these disciplines to design yoga workshops, classes and retreats, here and abroad, that expand the senses, broadens the mind, and opens the heart to what is truly possible. Her ability to meaningfully connect with those she serves so selflessly arises out of her personal commitment and disciplined approach to deepening her own learning and practice of yoga, philosophy, and meditation.

Becky has been a proud Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, Project Yoga Richmond and YoKid Stretch Your Limits. Becky is a certified YoKid Facilitator Trainer responsible for training fellow adults in ways to incorporate yoga into children’s lives. Becky is also trained to teach children’s yoga through the “Yoga with Nitya” format, and yoga to individuals who have undergone trauma.

Becky can be seen riding her bike around town as she commutes to and from teaching yoga classes, private lessons, and meeting with community leaders. You might also see her leading a Yoga Hike along the James River during the warmer Virginia months. These only a couple of many examples of how she lives her life in full beauty and in alignment with the yoga teachings and practice. Becky is a creative and passionate woman who loves art, freelance photography, hiking, kayaking, traveling and running along with most outdoor adventure activities. She adores doing all these things with family and friends—both old and new.

This is the fundamental lesson that keeps Becky grounded in uncertain times and one that she learned many years ago when she first began practicing on the mat. Becky lives her life holding a deep belief that it is her responsibility to guide others down this path and help lift them up through action and word. Namaste.

True Nature Travels Blog

This October, the beautiful and inspiring yoga retreat leader, Dakini will be teaching a Vino your Vinyasa retreat in Italy. Read on to learn who she is and how you can join her adventure!

yoga retreat leader                         yoga retreat leader

True Nature Education: How does the idea of Vino your Vinyasa play into your upcoming Yoga Retreat, and what themes do you see coming up throughout the journey? 

Dakini: Vino Your Vinyasa is obviously a play on words but it also metaphorically represents the feel of how I guide yoga.  While I believe the practice delves into the inner depths of a person’s psyche, I also see being whimsical-the Divine play of Lila Rasa- as a way to lighten the mood.

TNE: Who has been your greatest influence and why? 
Dakini: I have been lucky to have a multitude of teachers that have inspired me throughout my life but true influence comes from my students.  I feel honored to be able to witness how this practice transforms each of them.
 
TNE: If there was a yoga pose or meditation practice that described you – what would it be and why? 
Dakini: Bhakti.  I have found as my practice has shifted so has my need to be connected to the Divine.  There is beauty in every being and chanting the names of the gods and goddesses has helped me to personally experience peace.
 
TNE: Other than yoga and meditation – what are some of your passions? Will these be explored in your retreat? 
Dakini: I am extremely into art and fitness and weave these two things into my teaching.  The retreat is a way for us all to explore things and ideas that inspire us.
 
TNE: What is on your “Italy bucket list” and what are you most excited about? 
Dakini: Cultural immersion is a part of my Italy bucket list.  I am excited to meet the locals and experience all the Italian culture has to offer.

TNE: Is there a saying or quote that really resonates with you and your upcoming retreat?  
Dakini: ‘Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.’ ~ Rumi
Find out how you can join yoga retreat leader, Dakini on her Italian adventure at http://truenatureyogawellness.com/event/yoga-retreat-dakini-italy-2016/!
yoga leader

True Nature Travels Blog

A Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

A UNIQUE JOURNEY TO LIBERATION OF THE HIGHEST SELF

When I started to prepare to lead this upcoming Costa Rica yoga retreat in June, I tossed around a million ideas of what I thought would be cool to share with students for a week intensive study. For example, I thought about working towards attaining advanced asanas but I wanted something MORE. Even as a teacher, I want to come away from this retreat feeling fulfilled and recharged.

Attend a Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

I met with a woman who is looking to get into yoga – she started out by telling me that she has had previous back surgeries and for many years has had chronic physical pain. When I asked her what she wanted to get out of our private yoga sessions, she mentioned to “stretch” and “not feel in pain every day”. The more we talked, our conversation got deeper. Because of the injury that led to the surgeries, she was laid off from her job, which then led to months of being contained to the home as she could not get around very well and obviously financial worries became an issue. You can imagine how this eventually led to a very dark place of depression and pain pill dependancy.

I honestly feel that the universe takes care of us and does not let us wallow around in the dark for too long, especially when we are ready and open to make a change. When we finally got to the bottom of things, I mentioned that the reason why I practice yoga personally is to have FREEDOM. Freedom from WHATEVER is keeping me from being happy. Being in chronic pain can feel like a prison, physically and mentally, so we look to open the areas of the body that have been injured and search for freedom from pain. Depression, anxiety and consistent sadness can also feel like shackles around your brain and then we physically manifest these emotions. Allowing yourself to LET GO and BE FREE from these issues is a lot of work but it IS possible to find that freedom.

Or maybe you don’t suffer from these particular matters but know that there is something bigger meant for you…you just haven’t figured it out…yet. I feel like FREEDOM AND LIBERATION is attainable for many different areas of our lives and the ULTIMATE GOAL OF THIS BEAUTIFUL FREEDOM AND LIBERATION IS…..HAPPINESS AND CONNECTION WITH OUR HIGHEST PURPOSE.

There is a reason why each of us are here on this beautiful Earth! I want the students who experience this week with me on a Costa Rica yoga retreat to come away feeling like they have a closer knowledge and are at peace with who they are, why they are here and what they will do once they get home to keep living with this flame lit inside. All I ask is that you show up with an open mind, a ready heart and are willing to experience the unknown. This will be an exhilarating time of physical movement paired with breath, unlocking the barriers to allow the life force within to flow. There will be opportunities to have meditation, reflection, and internal study as well as group support. We will do something that serves our community spirit by a local service project. Plenty of time will be open for you to schedule adventures such as zip lining, lounging by the pool, spa treatments, hiking and so much more! Costa Rica is the perfect backdrop for this rejuvenating retreat aligned with the healing energy of nature. I could not be more honored to share this week with all who attend.

Each person is on their own unique journey and by attending this retreat, I hope to guide you to a place where you understand and connect with your highest Self. You deserve it!!!

Namaste, Kim

Lead A Costa Rica Yoga Retreat