True Nature Travels Blog

alanaportiatAlana Roach is committed to getting the very most out of the spiritual experience she is having in this human lifetime. She has chosen to share her discoveries on the yoga mat with her students and the TNE Community is thrilled for her upcoming retreat, Explorations of Self, in Santa Teresa, January 2015. Here is what Alana has to say about what it means to “be something more…”

What does it mean for you to “be something more” as part of your yoga practice, teaching, and your intentions for your retreat?

What does “being something more” mean to me in my practice? I find that at the end of the day my personal practice is to just “be.” It is not being anything more or less, it is simply “be-ing.” Once I am in a place where I can sit and simply accept that moment for what it is, that is when I effortlessly become what it is that I was all along, infinite love. How can you become something that you already are?

I try to bring this “Be-ing-ness” into my teaching. I remind the student that they are perfect in this moment and to really sink into that. I believe that my purpose as a teacher is to guide you back to You. We can spend so much time running from this to that trying to accomplish some goal or task and when we get there often times we ask, what’s next, and so it goes on until one day we are left feeling let down, lost, empty. It’s because what we are seeking was never really lost, it was within us, always was and always will be. There is no need to want to be anything more than what you innately are, a perfect extension of the Universal Spirit and that is unbreakable.

At Explorations of Self: A Costa Rica Yoga Experience, I set the group intention of remembering. The practice of remembering that you are infinite love and infinite peace is like riding a bicycle. The more you tune into the frequency of Self (With a capital S to represent the Higher Self/Divine Self) the more you can recall. It will come through in the physical practice of yoga, the seated meditation, the chanting and singing, the laughter, the tears, the ocean and rainforest, the stillness. This week long retreat will re-unite you with You and it will be… well, just come and find out for yourself. As the Buddha once said, “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

1186238_202564636579750_212885431_nWho has been your greatest influence and why?

My greatest influences have been those who teach this truth with every fiber of their being. Names like Seane Corn. She followed her bliss and has since introduced and inspired others to their own form of bliss. I relate to Seane’s journey. She came from a dark past and yoga sort of swept her off of her feet and she never looked back, and so it was with me. She lives her life by being of service with her God given talents. I believe that we are given talents that we enjoy for a reason. Seane has shown me that no matter what anyone says to you about what they think you should be doing with your life, in the end it is your journey. She was one of the first people I looked to and said, “If she can do it, so can I.” I started following my bliss immediately and I continue to in every moment, with every breath that I take.

1001291_182300528606161_1146230267_nIf there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

Isha Kriya meditation. The repeated mantra in the beginning is, “I am not the body, I am not even the mind.” In that way I suppose it’s “Not me.” Ha ha.

Other than yoga, meditation, nutrition – what are some of your passions?

I love creation. Writing, dancing, singing, playing instruments, nature, just to name a few. I’ve been getting swept up in writing especially for the last few years. It’s a way for me to communicate my heart to others in a way that is unique to the way that my mind forms sentences. I blog (www.explorationsofself.com) and journal often, and I am in the beginning stages of writing my first book.

What is on your “Costa Rica Bucket List?”

Honestly, to learn how to surf and be decent enough at it to carve in the Pacific.

Join Alana in Costa Rica this January 17-25 2015 to explore the truth of who you have been all along and maybe catch some waves with her as well.  View our entire 2015 Retreat Calendar here.

True Nature Travels Blog

TrishCarty09Trish Carty is a part of the 2015 True Nature Yoga & Wellness Faculty. Her retreat, Fermentation for your Mind, Body, and Spirit combines nutrition with a focus on making your own fermented foods and yoga against the backdrop of the rainforest. Her blog, Keep the Beat, is packed full of wisdom, recipes and information to help people live and enjoy a healthy life.

What does it mean for you to “be something more” as part of your yoga practice, teaching and your intentions for your retreat?

Personally, I am so excited to bring nutrition and fermentation into a retreat based around the whole picture of a healthy lifestyle. Our workshop Fermentation with Mind Body and Spirit is just that! My intention is to inspire many to embrace their health through the knowledge of their body and the nutrients that it needs. Understanding nutrition fully is so important so that each participate can move forward with proper education for themselves, to empower and enrich their lives. As one aspect of this retreat I hope to help and teach anyone ready for this information.

bottled-veggiesWho has been your greatest influence and why?

Ann Widmore, Sandor Katz, Weston A Price, Dr. Pottinger, Cathy Eason, Caroline Berringer, Dr Natasha Campbell McBride and Nora Gedgaudas are just a few of my influences in the field of nutrition and fermentation. These are the pioneers in the field who have taught and lived their lives fully with purpose. I have learned so much. My biggest influences in my life as role models were my Mother and Father and Grand Mother. They taught me to live by example and hold your inspirations high and with the utmost integrity. Another huge inspiration is Don English. He taught me the powers of mediation through the Buddhist teachings. His lifelong quote is “accentuate the positive.” His personal interpretation is to “never give up. Always push forward with positive attitude and gratitude.” By chanting a very special phrase, each time you are “raising your positive vibration.” His brilliant analogy was to think of it “like polishing a tarnished mirror. Imagine that it becomes shinier and shinier. Or that you are polishing a jewel, ie you! So the action then, is to attract the (shiny) people into your life, positive people full of light and good!” Through his lifelong friendship, chanting and positive lifestyle I believe anything is possible!

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

Tree Pose and Buddhist meditation practice. One of my mentors has been a big inspiration for me to bring my meditation practice into my life on a daily basis. It is his life and intention that inspires me daily to stay focused and practice.

Tree Pose- one of the fundamental poses in yoga. To me it symbolizes the grounding I need to start my yoga practice. I feel like a tree in that regard. I try to root into the ground and stay grounded in life to be the best I can be to grow and learn. I try to be a role model to bring the best intention into my work as a nutritionist and chef. In order to be that I must stay focused and clear to help others find their way to a clean lifestyle, like a tree.

Other than yoga, mediation and nutrition what are some of your passions?

My passions are gardening, and living an intent filled life. I love to be full of joy like a child, but with the wisdom to carry on a graceful life. I love the outdoors and nature and my greatest passions in life is to move freely there. I love to hike, swim, ski, run, and generally be in the sun.

images2What is on your “Costa Rica bucket list?”

To explore inspire, teach and learn! I want to see all that Costa Rica has to offer. The volcano, waterfall, ocean and rain forest! Every aspect of this magical place I want to drink up while I am there. To share and experience with our participants and employees of Finca Luna Nueva will be such a joy!

For more information about Trish Carty, visit her website and to learn about her Fermentation Retreat, click here.

True Nature Travels Blog

426638_2774069488134_1808831123_nThe True Nature Community extends beyond the retreats we host in Costa Rica.  Our family or sangha reaches right into the heart of the teachers we connect with and supporting them at home, in their local studios and the students and communities they serve on a daily basis.

Karina Ayn Mirsky is more than family to True Nature.  She is our sister, teacher and friend.  We have worked, taught and served alongside her for over ten years – in Costa Rica and at home.  This summer she is bringing teaching a retreat at the Himalayan Yoga Institute to rejuvenate, inspire and uplift while in the company of other dedicated yogis.

580617_10201475583745110_1470843495_nShe is bringing together a group of bright beings to teach along with her during this retreat. True Nature co-founder Kristin Luna Ray will life voices and hearts with chant and kirtan during the immersion.  The spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, Pandit Rajmani Tigunat, PhD is also a special guest presenter.

Dates for the retreat are August 6th-10th.  More details about how to register and accommodations at the institute here.

ALSO! Check out Karina’s 2015 Retreat Information with True Nature in Costa Rica! We are so grateful for our connection with this amazing teacher and human being.

 

479910_10151044555750812_1405883343_nKarina Mirsky is a certified ParaYoga teacher and the director of Sangha Yoga in Kalamazoo, MI. She holds a master’s degree in East/West Psychology and is an adjunct professor of Yoga Studies at Antioch University Midwest. Karina draws on her experience as a performance artist, massage therapist, and cancer survivor to convey yoga as a therapeutic science and catalyst for personal transformation. In the March 2008 issue of Yoga Journal, she was featured as one of 21 teachers under the age of 40 shaping the future of yoga in America. Karina hosts teacher trainings and conducts private practice at Sangha Yoga, leads seminars in the USA and Canada, and holds annual retreats in Costa Rica.

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Check out Luna’s music video for Sita Ram on the True Nature Youtube Channel!

True Nature Travels Blog

“I know how much comes together to put a retreat on. It’s such a joy to work with Joshua, Luna and True Nature Education. They took care of everything and made the whole process easy so we could focus on what we enjoy doing most. We are really happy and hope to be back soon.”

~ David Newman (Durga Das)

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 8.42.19 AMKirtan Artist, David Newman (Durga Das) co-created a retreat with True Nature Educations co-foudners, Kristen Luna Ray and Joshua Canter this past January.  We were so honored to share this sacred time with David, his wife Mira and their daughter, Tulsi (who is the same age as Josh and Luna’s daughter, Jaya).

1545864_10151860138775812_1497835783_nDavid has been compared to George Harrison, Paul Simon and Dylan when they are in their “soul” mode by LA Yoga Magazine.  He is at the forefront of bringing the kirtan community together through he and Mira’s “Stay Strong” project, creating a global message that shows the community coming together through music, song, and prayer, to unite and uplift people and strengthen their ability to help in times of need.  100% of proceeds from their efforts are donated to Global Green USA.  Check out his Stay Strong music video featuring some of the leading kirtan artists today including Jai Uttal, Krishna Das and Radhanath Swami.

Hear more about what David has to share about his experience with True Nature Education on our You Tube Channel.

1618690_10151860137970812_342940989_nAlso, to read more about what our first family retreat together was like, read Joshua’s reflections on being in community with David and his family.

True Nature Travels Blog

3acc086f1a4d1e767e6ca195aa5bf9a8It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle of life, the speed of the Facebook feed, the limited hours in the day and the dreams and opportunities that we sometimes feel are passing us by.  The amount of energy that we spend “thinking about being caught up” is staggering when you actually take a moment to reflect on it.

 

 

 

How much time have you spent lately worrying about something or replaying a negative story in your head?

A lot, huh? What if you took all of those moment you spent worrying and put that energy towards cultivating more presence and awareness in your life?  Or better yet, building on a dream, imagining, spending time with loved ones, letting someone know how grateful you are for them. Yes, life CAN feel and be overwhelming sometimes, but it’s truly in those moments that we have the opportunity to step back into presence.

Wait, what?  When we feel disconnected from living fully – THAT is when we need to step back into it?  YES!  When we notice ourselves getting wound up in a story or pattern, that is the perfect moment to notice and bring yourself back to your center.  To remember your true nature is one of love, pure being and you are whole and perfect in this moment.

This powerful practice can change your life because no matter where we are on the path, there will always be countless moments throughout your day when you have the opportunity to notice yourself disconnected from presence.  Moment by moment you begin to recognize that each one counts.

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It’s a gradual process, one that takes practice, patience and the willingness to keep coming back, day by day; moment by moment.

Here are some thoughts to support you in calling this practice into your life.

Befriend your habits (the good, the bad and the ugly)

Recognizing that your habits, patterns and beliefs are all truly a part of the wonderfully already perfect you is an important first step.  We will always have obstacles (inner and outer) in our lives so approaching them like a “friend in need” with compassion, empathy and forgiveness is a good approach.  Hey, everybody worries sometimes.

Let your “bad” habit jumpstart a positive one

True Nature Travels Blog

The holidays are already upon us, meaning that the commencement of the 2013 True Nature Education retreat season is almost here.

As we begin the new year, our yoga retreats lead the way. Our second retreat, the 4th Annual Karma Yoga Experience, is co-hosted by Karina Mirsky along with TNE co-owners, Joshua Canter and Kristin Luna Ray. Karina is also co-hosting our third retreat, the Rainforest Vital Health Retreat, with Dr. Claudette Baker, practitioner of Chinese Oriental Medicine of 28 years.

Karina is an internationally celebrated yoga and meditation teacher, yoga educator, and transformational coach. She is the director of Sangha Yoga in Kalamazoo, MI, and is a teaching faculty member of the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. She is also an adjunct professor in Antioch University’s Yoga Studies program.

Karina has been teaching yoga since 1998. She was one of the first certified teachers of Rod Stryker’s ParaYoga®. Her work with both individuals and groups is informed by her experiences as a performance artist, therapist, and cancer survivor.

You can find Karina in several publications. She was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post for the Yoga, How We Serve series. She’s also a regular contributer to Yoga International and  is the cover model of the current issue, Winter 2012. In the March 2008 issue of Yoga Journal Karina was honored as one of 21 teachers under the age of 40 who is shaping the future of yoga in America.

We’re excited to have Karina returning to host retreats with us again in her 4th season with us. We caught up with her to hear more about her thoughts on TNE and intentions for her upcoming retreats.

True Nature Education:  Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Karina. Tell us, what has been your experience working with True Nature Education?
Karina:  I love working with True Nature Education. I have run retreats with them for four years, and I wouldn’t dream of working with any other organization. Participants can relax and trust that all they have to do is arrive at the San Jose airport. TNE takes care of everything else, including transport from the airport, meals, lodging, retreat activities, and excursions. The TNE staff is friendly, highly organized, and well-versed in the various regions of the country as well as in the Costa Rican language and culture. They make traveling to a foreign country an enjoyable and effortless experience.

TNE:  With your first retreat with us coming up, what is the intention of the 4th Annual Karma Yoga Experience?

Karina:  Each year Luna, Joshua, and I bring participants to a different location in Costa Rica to be immersed in the land and culture of that region [for the 4th Annual Karma Yoga Experience]. The intention is for participants to unplug from their day-to-day lives and connect with the earth and other seekers, but mostly their own core Self. During the retreat we will weave sacred music, meditation, yoga, dharma talks, and ritual into our daily activities. We eat delicious, healthy meals and spend quality time in nature. One of the highlights of the week is when we partner with CREER Service Organization to conduct a service project in the local community. This provides a very special cross-cultural experience for all involved. This retreat is truly one of the most holistic programs in my catalog. People leave feeling uplifted, inspired, and empowered. Past participants have described this retreat as a transformative, life-changing experience. Many return year-after-year and often bring their spouses and friends back with them. If you want to touch your heart and fill it with joy, then this retreat is for you!

TNE:  And with your second retreat following, what is the intention of the Rainforest Vital Health Retreat?

Karina:  With the pace of our lives and levels of stress and toxicity we face here in the US, Americans are seeing increasing numbers of cancer diagnoses. As a yoga and meditation teacher for over 15 years, and cancer survivor of 10 years, people often seek my guidance when they or a loved one is facing a cancer diagnosis. Yoga and meditation are wonderful tools to reduce stress, increase vital oxygen, and self awareness. I am overjoyed to be co-hosting the Rainforest Vital Health Retreat with Chinese Medicinal Oncologist, Dr. Claudette Baker. She is a cutting edge expert in the field of cancer prevention and holistic treatment. The jungles of Costa Rica are the perfect environment to heal and restore vital energy. This retreat is a rare opportunity to culture vibrant health in a sacred, peaceful, and oxygen-rich environment. This experience is also highly educational, making it a valuable learning opportunity for yoga teachers and other health care providers.

TNE:  What else do you want people to know about your retreats with True Nature?

Karina:  Know that you deserve a break from your daily life. Joining us for a retreat is the best kind of vacation; a true RESToration for your body mind and spirit. We have exhausted mothers, high-powered executives, people with disabilites, elders, college students, and newbies to yoga all join us and want to come back year after year. Come, you won’t regret it.

For more information contact us by email at info@truenatureeducation.com or by phone at

True Nature Travels Blog

As our 2012-2013 retreat season continues into February, we will be offering one of our new yoga programs, Where Heaven Meets the Earth: A Costa Rica Yoga Experience, from February 16-23  for a week of yoga, nutrition, and music in nature.
Hosted at the Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, True Nature Education co-owners Joshua Canter and Kristin Luna Ray will be alongside yoga instructor and nutritionist, Shayna Hiller, in the mountain Costa Rica jungles with views of Mount Arenal. Within the lush surroundings of Finca Luna amidst thriving gardens, a sustainable farm, and secluded jungle hiking trails, the week-long retreat will foster an illumination of heart, mind, and soul through the practices of Hatha and Bhakti yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.
Following her yoga certification at the Nosara Yoga Institute, Shayna hosts yoga and nutrition retreats in Costa Rica each year, and we are so grateful to have her along with us for this unique program. She is also a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, with a mission to share the benefits of a steady yoga practice and healthy lifestyle with people from around the world.
We were lucky to catch up with Shayna as the momentum for the retreat builds, to tap into her thoughts, insights, and expectations for the upcoming program.
True Nature Education: Greetings, Shayna, and thank you for taking the time to interview with us. We are looking forward to this retreat and having you join us to host a new Costa Rica retreat through TNE. How did your relationship with Joshua and Luna and the inspiration for this program first arise?

Shayna:  I met Joshua and Luna in Nosara, Costa Rica, this past Winter. I was teaching yoga there

True Nature Travels Blog

With December just around the corner, our 2012-2013 retreat season is about to be underway. One of the first retreats on our calendar is Rhythms of Joy: A Costa Rica Yoga Experience, from January 12-19, 2013.
Hosted at the beautiful Nosara Bed & Breakfast Retreat Center in Nosara, Costa Rica, you will experience a week-long immersion in yoga, nature, rhythm, and spirit along the Pacific Coast near one of Costa Rica’s best-protected wildlife preserves. Within the nurturing environment of jungle life, daily yoga classes will guide you through the tuning of your individual spirit alongside a thriving community of yogis.
The retreat will be co-hosted by True Nature Education Co-Founders, Joshua Canter and Kristin Luna Ray, alongside the talented Tiina Kivinen. Tiina is a wonderful yoga teacher, hailing from Ontario, Canada, and having achieved her 500-HR Professional Level Certified Yoga Teacher through the Nosara Institute. Her Costa Rica yoga roots have remained strong as the assistant director of Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher Training in Nosara. When she is not in Costa Rica, Tiina teaches at Hot Yoga Peterborough in Peterborough, ON.
I was lucky to catch up with Tiina to check in with her about the upcoming retreat and gain some insight into her thoughts and excitement.
True Nature Education:  Thanks for taking some time away from your busy schedule! We are so excited to return to Costa Rica and unite with you for this unique program. Tell us, what is your intention for the Rhythms of Joy retreat?

Tiina:  My intention for Rhythms Of Joy retreat is that everyone who participates will get exactly what they need out of the experience… especially a heightened state of love, joy, and peace! Being on a yoga retreat can be a highly transformative experience, especially in such an inspiring environment as Costa Rica, and the practices that we are