True Nature Travels Blog

Michelle Donice Gillis

Yesterday, as I was mindlessly scrolling social media, I came across a post from a woman I know who has recently begun practicing yoga. I was so moved by her photos and heartfelt words chronicling the transformative power of this practice that I felt the need to move beyond the voyeur role that social media affords in order to encourage her to continue her journey and to possibly consider yoga teacher training. Almost immediately she responded to my post stating that it was something she had considered because of the need for more representation in the yoga community. Agreed. We need to welcome older, larger, browner, blacker, and gender fluid bodies into our yoga community and mean it this time!

I know that over my decade long yoga journey, I am often the only woman of color in the room, which is surprising when we consider the origins of this transformational practice.

Many times, I am also the oldest.

In recent years, especially in the wake of BLM, the conversation surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has burgeoned, extending its tendrils into every nook and cranny of our societal framework, including the Zen haven of yoga studios. Though the practice is deeply rooted in Eastern traditions and philosophies, the modern yoga scene often exudes an aura of exclusivity, one could even say, elitism.

This elitism, which is closely intertwined with the ‘whiteness’ of wellness, is a multifaceted issue that continues to plague the yoga community. As we unfurl our mats and bend into our ‘downward-facing dogs,’ it becomes evident that the reflection staring back at us is starkly uniform—an amalgamation of bodies that are predominantly white, slender, and young. While it cannot be denied that the landscape is shifting, the question remains – how can we cultivate an environment where diversity is not just a buzzword but a living, breathing facet of our practice? How do we give honor to the people who created this practice beyond offering a trite “namaste” at the end?

At its core, the yoga community is a tapestry of narratives; stories interwoven by the quest for inner peace and the desire for wellness. However, these narratives are often shaped and dictated by those who hold more privilege within our society. The ‘whiteness’ of wellness is a phrase that encapsulates the idea that wellness spaces, including yoga studios, cater disproportionately to those who are white and of a higher socio-economic status.

This phenomenon is multifaceted, with several factors contributing to the isolation of marginalized communities. The lack of representation in media and marketing, the inherent sexualization of yoga that often caters to a specific demographic, and the historical erasure and commodification of yoga from its roots within South Asian cultures all play a role in perpetuating this exclusivity.

If I’m to be honest, there have been times when I’ve walked away from yoga studios because I didn’t feel welcome. Sure, there were signs on the door and attempts at inclusivity, but it felt formulaic and not a part of the studio’s true culture.

I believe the revolution (is that too strong of a word?) that is needed begins with a simple shift in perspective. It beckons to the community to dismantle the barriers that have been erected over time. Incorporating DEI principles is not merely a trend; it is a necessity.

To breathe new life into yoga, a conscious effort must be made to diversify the roster of yoga teachers and thought leaders. This is a critical step in ensuring that the narratives presented are reflective of the wider community. Encouraging and supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and trans practitioners to take the helm not only opens the door for new perspectives but also empowers groups that have historically been marginalized within Western wellness spaces.

The physical space of the yoga studio also plays an important role in reflecting the value of diversity. Studios that cater to larger bodies, provide sliding scale payment options, or are ADA accessible, and have non-gendered bathrooms, or culturally sensitive classes (e.g. all female courses for women who are unable to remove their hijabs in the presence of males) are taking tangible steps to welcome individuals who may have previously felt excluded. Furthermore, the content that is taught within these spaces should be sensitive to varying cultural and body diversities, ensuring that yoga is presented in a manner that is accessible and respectful to all.

One of my favorite symbols from yoga is the Lotus Blossom because they bloom from the murkiest of waters. In these muddy waters, the lotus becomes a beacon of light that shows us a path forward. There are many yoga studios and organizations around the country who have become these lotus blossoms. They have taken the initiative to champion the cause of diversity within their communities. By offering classes specifically geared towards BIPOC individuals, the LGBTQ+ community, seniors, particular religious groups, and larger bodies, these teachers have been able to carve out small but significant victories in the quest for inclusivity. They must be celebrated!

The road to an inclusive yoga community is a winding one, with no singular path leading the way. However, there are several actions that studios and practitioners can take to pave the way for a more diverse and equitable future.

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Listen to and learn from the experiences of the marginalized. Consider creating a community advisory board or implementing survey questions beyond “How was your class” so that all voices can be heard.
  2. Education is key. It is crucial for the yoga community to be informed about the cultures and histories from which yoga originates. Understanding the tradition allows for a more respectful and authentic practice that is free from harmful appropriation.
  3. Amplify the visibility of diverse yogis. Making space for these practitioners in advertisements, social media, and within studio spaces serves to normalize and celebrate diversity.
  4. Build partnerships with local community organizations can be a powerful way to bridge the gap. Collaborative events can help to make the practice more accessible to a wider audience.
  5. Speak up! If you are in a yoga space that doesn’t feel welcoming, let them know in a loving way.

The quote “Be the change you want to see in the world is often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. The truth is that each of us holds the power to be a catalyst for change. As we roll out our mats and begin to practice, we must be mindful not only of our own bodies but of the collective body to which we belong. It is in this union, this shared breath, that the true ethos of yoga can be realized.

Join Michelle in Greece September 29-October 5, 2024 for 6 sun drenched days exploring the unspoiled island of Amorgos. 

True Nature Travels Blog

Author and researcher  Dan Buettner wrote the Blue Zones over fifteen years ago after his curiosity was sparked to discover why certain areas of the world had people not only living to 100 and beyond but thriving. You may have seen his four part special recently released on Netflix.

For the last three years my yoga partner, Wendy Methvin and I have led Blue Zone themed retreats in Costa Rica, one of the original Blue Zones. What do the Blue Zones have to do with yoga and why do we keep going back?

There are five principles or tenets of Blue Zone living:

  • Move – not in a gym, or for exercise but natural, non-exercise movement. Think gardening, walking or riding a bike to visit friends or run errands.
  • Eat Whole Foods – while the diet varies for each Blue Zone, they are all eating an abundance of real food that didn’t come out of a box or can. They are making their own bread and even wine!
  • Connections with Family & Community – spending time with loved ones face-to-face. Laughing, playing and enjoying.
  • Sense of Purpose – these people have a reason to get out of bed. They haven’t aged out of being relevant and have interests they pursue and things they want to do.
  • Rest and Relaxation – their lives are not dictated by adhering to a strict schedule  or rushing from one thing to the other. They stay connected to nature and look to create moments of pleasure and joy.

While these may sound simple and accessible, it is opposite of our societal norms and pace. And you may still be questioning, what does this have to do with yoga?

  • Asana – the physical practice of yoga promotes mindful movement
  • Saucha – one of the Niyamas or directives towards ourselves, saucha translates into cleanliness or pureness. Eating real food is a way to be clean
  • Pura Vida – the retreat community allows us to connect with others who also want to live better. Many of our former guests have brought a spouse, sibling or friend. Travel to Costa Rica allows us to meet people in an actual Blue Zone and witness through our own eyes how they embrace pura vida or “pure life”.
  • Kleshas – from the yoga sutras we learn about thekleshas, or mental states such as fear and ignorance that veil or cloud our mind keeping us in a mundane existence. 
  • Rest & Relaxation – not only does yoga offer breathing techniques, meditation practices, and restorative asana; the retreat experience purposefully allows free time to be in quiet stillness with yourself and nature.

And these examples are just off the top of my head. The Blue Zones and yoga provide a template with plenty of room to make an individual lifestyle of authenticity, vitality and joy. Don’t just continue to survive when you can THRIVE!

Costa Rica seems to have been the birthplace of yoga retreats. It never fails to calm me with its beauty and kindness. It just makes sense to return again to an actual Blue Zone and live the life we are talking about creating. It’s a mashup – Pura Zone! Azul Vida! 

Join Jennifer Brewer and Wendy Methvin in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for CREATE YOUR OWN BLUE ZONE, their 3rd retreat to the original blue zone of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula for a week of yoga, nature, fresh local food and community.  January 26th- February 1st, 2025

True Nature Travels Blog

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding moments of feeling grounded & calm can be a challenge. But what if we told you that you could infuse your daily routine with the grace and mindfulness of yoga? The beauty of yoga lies not only in the serene moments on the mat but in its ability to enrich every facet of your existence. Join us as we explore simple yet impactful ways to weave yoga into your daily life, nourishing your body, mind, and spirit.

1. Rise with Intent


Begin your day with a clear purpose. Dedicate a few minutes every morning to connect with yourself before you engage with the outside world.

  • Enjoy a gentle wake up stretch
  • Check in with your body, your mind & heart – how is it now & what does it need today?
  • Start with mindful attention to set the tone for a grounded start to the day

2. Take a Breather


Embrace the incredible power of your breath, as you navigate your day. Whenever you sense stress, struggle, or overwhelm, take a pause to invite a few intentional deeper breaths into your body. Whether you are at your desk, in your car, waiting in line, walking in nature or meeting a friend, this simple practice brings attention into the body and into the present moment, offering a refreshing wash of calm.

3. Yoga Breaks


Integrate short yoga breaks into your schedule. Use your lunch break or other free moments to practice a few rounds of sun salutations, seated twists, or forward bends (even in your chair!) Pausing to stretch your body releases endorphins and these mini-sessions will help reinvigorate your body and refresh your mind.

4. Mindful Eating


Transform mealtime into a mindful experience. Sit down quietly at the table, savor each bite, and appreciate the nourishment your food provides. This simple act of mindfulness enhances digestion, adds pleasure to your day and helps you connect with the present moment. (Bonus: it can also help reduce overeating and increase awareness of food choices.)

5. Moving Mindfully


Infuse mindfulness into your daily activities. Whether you’re walking, cooking, cleaning, or even commuting, bring attention into your body and feel your experience. This simple shift in awareness can make the ordinary feel extraordinary, helping you find more joy in every moment of your day.

6. Nurture your Grateful Heart


Take a moment each day to pause and dedicate it to gratitude. Reflect on three things you’re thankful for, connecting with your body, mind, and heart. This practice of gratitude and appreciation can infuse your daily life with positivity and help you lead with your heart.

7. Cultivate Connection


Explore the power of being present and listening mindfully when interacting with others and our world. Whether it’s a conversation with a friend, a family gathering, a work meeting, or even a walk out in nature, create deeper connections by fully engaging in the moment and actively listening to those around you. Listening is a superpower for living more mindfully.

8. Yoga Nidra or Meditation


Incorporate a short session of Yoga Nidra or quiet meditation into your day. Even just 10-minutes of guided relaxation or mindfulness can help you re-center and cultivate a greater sense of inner peace.

9. Evening Wind-Down


As bedtime approaches, create a soothing personal ritual for yourself. Consider a warm bath to wash off the day’s energy. Gentle stretches and restorative poses to relax the body and a few deep breaths to calm the mind. Before settling in, take a moment to recall those things you feel grateful for – setting the stage for a peaceful night’s sleep.

10. Practice Presence


Above all, commit to the practice of being fully present in every facet of your life, as best you can. Whether it’s sipping your morning tea, engaging in conversation, or working on a project, immerse yourself completely in the experience of each fresh new moment. Wake up, connect, feel & enjoy!


Remember, yoga isn’t confined to a mat or a studio. It’s a way of living mindfully and authentically. By weaving these simple practices into your daily routine, you’ll discover that the essence of yoga can infuse every moment with intention, peace, and a profound connection to yourself and the world around you.

Escape and rejuvenate with Maria and Richard in a tropical paradise. Visualize a week, where each day is bookended on your yoga mat, gazing at the Pacific Ocean. Maria and Richard are thrilled to curate this 7-day journey designed to reinvigorate your spirit. Nestled at the juncture of a lush jungle and the pristine beach of Chacala, Mexico, we will together delve deep into the time-honored practices, enabling profound healing and spiritual awakening.

True Nature Travels Blog

Have you heard of this thing called, yoga therapy? Maybe thought to yourself…isn’t all yoga therapeutic? To that I say YES! And yet…there is a distinction to be made about the differences between yoga and yoga therapy. There are less than 4,000 of us certified yoga therapists on the planet, so if you are unfamiliar…you are not alone.

Definition of Yoga Therapy

“Yoga therapy is the professional application of the principles and practices of yoga to promote health and well-being within a  therapeutic relationship that includes personalized assessment, goal setting, lifestyle management, and yoga practices for
individuals or small groups.” ~IAYT

To become a yoga teacher, one completes a 200 hour teacher training. In order to become a yoga therapist, one completes an additional 800 hours to fulfill the requirement of 1,000 hours of training, which includes a mentorship practicum. The emphasis of each yoga therapy program varies, but all need to be accredited through IAYT [International Association of Yoga Therapists]. There is often a focus of both medical and mental health modalities, and all honor the teachings from a variety of yoga and spiritual traditions.

Yoga therapy is often done one on one in a private session. A yoga therapist creates an individualized plan based on the client’s medical history and life story. This plan includes a wide range of mind/body practices, from postural and breathing exercises to deep relaxation and meditation. Yoga therapy tailors these to the health needs of the individual to empower them on the path to healing. Groups can also be led by a yoga therapist addressing a specific health care need, but is often capped at a number of participants.

My own personal journey to become a yoga therapist was an amazing experience. I highly recommend this path to those that are interested in working in conjunction with the medical industry and /or the mental health profession. Enjoy an enriching career, or my preferred term, dharma, sitting in guidance and witness as clients unfold their own path to healing. The world needs more peace, love, and healing now more than ever. To be a part of this process is a blessing and an honor.

Join Julie for a week of guided, and supported, rejuvenating fun with unlimited exciting adventures and memories to make and cherish. In Amorgos, Greece.

Hatha yoga, gentle yoga, and restorative yoga will be offered.

As a certified yoga therapist, Julie’s goal is to create a welcoming retreat for anyone interested in attending.

True Nature Travels Blog

Worry and its Remedy

Worry. It’s an experience we all have at various points in our lives. Some of us are prone to worrying; some are chronic worriers. Oftentimes, we woe about things over which we have no control. Sometimes we worry about things that scare us, intimidate us or force us to step outside of our comfort zone. No matter the source of your worries, it is undeniably draining and exhausting to carry that weight for any length of time.

I suppose worry falls in the spectrum of normal human thought and emotion, but it can create blinders to reality and if we are not mindful, become a habit of the mind. That’s the way the mind works; think any thought frequently enough, and the brain lays down a neural pathway. Once that worry pathway is laid down, it can become a slippery slope to misery and suffering. In Yoga, we call that samskara.

It’s worthwhile to consider how worry is formed so we can understand how to manage it more effectively. In order for worry to exist, we have to imagine that something bad might happen.

The nature of worry is that it projects us into an imagined future reality; it’s a fantasy.

Think of worrying as a self-created and imposed state of needless fear. Worry is a futile attempt to feel in control of the uncontrollable. It does nothing to guarantee positive outcomes or change current realities. Besides that, it has detrimental effects on the body, mind, and spirit.

It sucks our positive energy, dis-empowers us and puts our focus on the problem instead of
the solution. It can obscure the light within and create an aura of negativity and darkness.
Lately I’ve been finding myself worrying frequently about climate change and it’s devastating impacts. There’s reasons to be concerned for sure…the latest wild fire, flood or drought.
There is little I can do to put out fires and recede flood waters already there, yet I worry that
my grandchildren will have to negotiate an environment beyond repair in years to come. It’s a
valid issue to be concerned, but what does my worrying actually do?

Here’s some good news. We can transform our worrying so that it has a healing effect. Worry uses our imagination, and so can the antidote to worry. Instead of going to the dark place where all the fear, angst and doubt reside, imagine instead the best possible result or outcome. That’s an actionable place for me when it comes to climate change worry.

I channeled that worry energy into a different direction; I purchased a book to give my children and grandchildren called “The Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint” by Paul Greenburg. I swore off plastic wrap, switched to sustainably packaged household goods, planted more flowers for the bees and butterflies, have at least one day a week when I don’t drive anywhere, carry my own shopping bags for everything and use my vote for candidates who care about climate change….the list of things I can do continues to grow.

Now, instead of feeling like a passive victim, I feel like I am doing my small part to assure the planet is livable for my grandchildren.

The point is we can take our worry and recognize it for what it is: a waste of energy to hook into, but also an arrow pointing to the positive things we can do to ameliorate our fears and concerns. This way, we can generate peace and well-being instead of anxiety, nervousness and dis-ease within ourselves.

There’s a close cousin to worry…dread.

It comes from knowing something is sure to happen, yet we avoid taking action to fix the issue before it becomes a problem. We procrastinate and ruminate about the things nagging at us… that unpaid bill, a looming deadline, a rift with a loved one, an upcoming medical test or procedure. In these cases, simply acknowledge that worry is present, acknowledge the fear, then take action tackle the dread and procrastination.

If you can empower yourself to put worry in its rightful place, you might just find there’s no good reason to angst after all. Mobilize your resources for positive change as the remedy instead. Your body, mind and heart will thank you for that!


Cyndi Bulka Powers

Cyndi Powers is the mindset mentor for changing the way you think about your body, food, exercise and your life.

She’s been a Yoga teacher for more than 25 years, a Thai Yoga bodyworker, owned a Yoga studio, is an Integrative Health Coach, and now provides a fresh perspective and blueprint to living a healthy, happy life of abundance without stressing over the scale or what you can or can’t eat. Join Cyndi in Panama May 7-13, 2023!

True Nature Travels Blog

yoga tips
Yoga soothes and rejuvenates, and it helps us practice mindfulness as we grow stronger.
To tap into the kind of positive energy that yoga brings, we need to think about more than just how we move. We have to pay attention to the rhythm of our breathing, the atmosphere, and our emotions. We need to bring them in balance. But how exactly can we do that? By using music. Music brings harmony to life. It gives us those three key ingredients that we need: rhythm, atmosphere, and emotional connection that can elevate yoga from a mere workout to a truly profound experience. Here’s how to create your own perfect yoga playlist.

Consider the time of day

morning yoga
Morning yoga is usually meant to energize you and get you going, while a nighttime routine might be aimed at relaxation. Upbeat music might not be a great idea if you’re trying to let tension go and soothe your mind enough to help you sleep after a workout. Tailor your playlist to the time of day and the goal you’re trying to accomplish with your workout. Allow the playlist to create the right environment – either that of fast-paced, energetic joy, or that of a
safe, soothing relaxation

Think about your audience 

Are you working out alone? Then all you need to consider are your own needs. However, if you’re a
yoga instructor or a YouTube influencer with a large following, then you have to put your audience first. Think about what they need and how you can help them focus on the workout session, how to make them get through the tough parts and motivate them to keep going. 

Make sure that the playlist transitions from song to song smoothly and that your audience gets to hear relaxing tunes when they need to slow down and hold a pose, and picks up the pace when it’s time to move. 

Create visuals


creating a yoga playlist

If you’re creating a rockin’ playlist to go with your yoga, why not include some visuals to ensure you enjoy a more complete experience? If you’ve got an ear for good music, then you could put your skills to use and create the perfect mix that will inspire you to become fully immersed in your yoga workout. You can use a simple online video maker and browse through music visualizer templates to easily create a video to go with your playlist. Once you’re done, just download your video in full HD and you’ll have the perfect thing to accompany your yoga sessions.   

Match the music with the pace


If your yoga sessions tend to be more than 20 minutes long, then you likely have different sections in your workout. This is especially true of Vinyasa or Ashtanga types of yoga, which incorporate a lot of fast-paced movements. You want to find the songs to match these parts, and then have your playlist change as the workout winds down and your breathing slows. If you get it right, music will guide your movements and help you achieve perfect fluidity. This is especially important for beginners, who often feel like they’re stumbling through their asanas. If you want to learn how to be more graceful, then a good playlist is a way to go. 

Figure out the length of your yoga playlist


A playlist that lasts exactly as long as your workout does can be a great way to motivate yourself. After a while, you’ll learn the playlist by heart and your body will get used to moving to the rhythm. You’ll also have a pretty good idea of how much time is left before it’s over. 

If you are preparing this playlist for your class, make sure to adapt it to their pace and adjust things as you go. If you see that most of the attendees struggle with certain sections, make sure there’s an upbeat song playing to motivate them to break through their limits.  

Consider incorporating silent sections into your yoga playlist


Depending on the kind of yoga you practice, silent sections in your playlist can be very useful. Do you want the workout to be a meditative experience that encourages mindfulness? Then don’t be afraid to introduce silent sections into the playlist. This will give you some time to focus on your breathing and let tension go before you are gently eased back into the workout. 

Creating your perfect playlist will take a while. You might not get things right the first time, but this only means you get to play around with music until you get things right. When you’re done making a playlist, test it with your workout and see how you feel about it – did the music energize you? Did it help you get through difficult asanas? If the answer is yes, then you’ve done your job right.  

True Nature Travels Blog



True Nature Founder, Joshua Canter, and his talented wife, Luna Ray, have compiled a playlist to bring you back to your breath during this time of high-stress. Enjoy Luna’s powerful kirtan songs and Joshua’s calming guided meditations to help bring you back to center as you adjust to your new normal. We are wishing you and your loved ones health and safety. Happy Listening!

You can also find the playlist here.

True Nature Travels Blog

The yoga chakras are the energy channels in the body through which the prana (our life force) flows. Although there are various different ones, there are 7 most commonly known. These are the root chakra, the sacral chakra, solar plexus, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye and the crown chakra.  

When the yoga chakras are activated and in balance, the prana flows freely and the physical, mental and emotional bodies are in harmony. However, when one or more yoga chakras are out of balance, this can also create disharmony within. Asana practice is an effective way to create equilibrium between all parts of the self and live with clarity, purpose and be aligned with all parts of the self. This yoga sequence is one which can be practiced when feeling physically, mentally, emotionally and/or energetically out of balance. However it is also important to know that in order to maintain balanced, a consistent practice is beneficial and indicated. 

Balasana-Child’s pose

Yoga Chakras1

Start in Balasana, child’s pose. This is a reflective asana which takes our awareness inward. Take a few deep breaths here and notice how you are feeling. This would also be a good time to set your intention for your practice ahead, but also to go within and nurture yourself. As the root chakra governs stability and feeling safe in the world, balasana is a reminder to acknowledge all parts of the self and doing so with a loving intention, to know that the mat is your safe space. 

Adho Mukha svanasana – Downward facing dog 

Moving into downward facing dog which creates space in the body by lengthening the spine. It also strengthens the wrist and ankle joints and energizes the physical, mental and emotional body.  Through this asana we also become more grounded emotionally and physically. The hands are part of Anahata, the heart chakra and the feet are governed by Mooladhara, the root chakra. As this is considered an inversion, it also helps to energize the body and mind and connect with the higher chakras, particularly ajna (third eye chakra) and sahashrara (crown chakra). 

Kapotanasana – pigeon pose

Yoga Chakras2

This asana is a great hip opener therefore it activates and brings in balance Swadisthana, the sacral chakra. This is the energy channel for connecting with our sensuality, sexuality, pleasure and the feminine energy within. This chakra is also our centre of creativity. Swadisthana means sweetness and it can be translated as experiencing the sweetness of life. There are also different variations to explore such as mermaid and king pigeon (eka pada rajakapotanasana). This will open the heart space further, which also brings the energy of the prana through anahata. 

Navasana – Boat pose

The solar plexus chakra or Manipura is located just above the belly button and it is our energy center of inner power with the element of fire. Working on the stomach area brings the energy and prana movement through Manipura. If there is excess fire, the asana can be done in a gentle way, and if Manipura is under-active, navasana can be done in a more dynamic way by bending the knees,  straightening the legs, then repeating. 

Sirsasana – Headstand 

Yoga Chakras3

Considered the queen of all asanas, sirsasana activates Sahasrara, the crown chakra. This is the energy centre that connects us with the divine and is also known as the space for experiencing enlightenment. During sirsasana, we turn the whole-body upside down, which also disrupts the flow of the prana. When we are in a headstand, our eyes need to stay open, therefore seeing the world through a different perspective. It requires courage and an openness to create this energetic shift. Whilst upside down, we can lift the trunk, creating space through the body, whilst activating the lower chakras. To maintain balance, there is nothing else we can do but to simply surrender and focus on our breath. This asana brings a sense of humbleness which teaches us to let go of the ego and become one with all that is around. 

Svasana – corpse pose

End this sequence with a 10 minute savasana silent meditation. Lie down on your mat, relax your whole body and close your eyes. Bring your gaze to the space between your eyebrows, the third eye chakra or Ajna. This means infinite power and ajna is the eye of our soul. When this chakra is in balance and activated, we let go of illusions and connect with our inner wisdom, seeing the world exactly as it is and trusting our intuition.


About the Author

Miriam IndriesMiriam Indries is a published author, yoga and meditation teacher, passionate about holistic healing. She is also a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner and NLP coach. A keen traveller, wondering soul and student of life, Miriam is the creator of, online platform empowering others to find their greatness.

True Nature Travels Blog

summer solstice

Summer is nearly upon us in the northern hemisphere. On June 21, 2019 the sun will travel on its longest path, providing the most daylight. The summer solstice is all about reflection and connecting to the natural world. By observing the sun, the body creates mindfulness to see the sun’s light within and help center the mind and body. It is a day to reflect on light and what it brings to our lives.

summer solstice

Warming Welcome

Sun Salutations, known in Sanskrit as Surya Namaskar (pronounced Sir-yah- Namah-skar) is a yoga sequence used to awaken the energy of the Inner Sun that can be dormant. These movements help increase blood circulation, create a flow of movement, strengthen your muscles, and leave your skin glowing. Relax your mind, warm your body and deepen your breath with these movements.


sun salutations


“Awareness is like the sun. When it shine’s on things, they are transformed.” -Nhat Hanh

Awaken your inner fire

Let go of what no longer serves you and create space for what’s yet to come. Try and do at least one or two rounds of the Sun Salutation. Even if you don’t feel that you have the time, you’ll feel the warmth! As we perform these yoga Sun Salutations to celebrate the sun, we can be mindful of our inner connection with the universe. It is a powerful time to celebrate the light within ourselves and the light we can bring to others.

Wishing you an abundance of light this Summer Solstice!

summer solstice

True Nature Travels Blog

Battling Stress with Yoga

There is such a thing as being physically healthy while also being extremely stressed. However, this is a precarious balance that can’t be maintained for long, simply because stress inevitably affects physical health. The American Psychological Association provides an overview of how much stress, particularly chronic stress, can actually introduce prolonged changes to your physiology. In short, if your mission is to achieve holistic health, you can’t do it without an effective way to battle stress, which is where yoga enters the picture.

But before anything else, it’s important to understand that the source of your stress is unimportant in this equation. An article published on Lottoland lists the most common causes of stress as the following: money, job, the economy, family, relationships, family health, and personal health. Simply put, nearly every aspect of our lives can cause significant stress. They also mention how the most common reported signs or symptoms of stress include irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and a general lack of motivation. It’s clear that stress can be a killer, and that it can come from anywhere. But how can yoga fight it better than any other stress-beating exercise?

Battling Stress with Yoga

The answer to this lies in understanding another important fact: yoga is a mind-body practice. While it’s more popularly known today as a way to shed excess pounds – thanks to modern yoga studios – yoga actually originated as a way of bringing harmony between the mind and the body. Journalist Ramya Achanta wrote a feature on StyleCraze “a deeply spiritual practice that is part philosophy, religion, science, and exercise.” The word yoga itself actually comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which essentially translates as “to unite.” We’re not saying that you need to achieve spiritual balance in order to battle stress – although it will certainly help. But even without delving into the deepest traditions of the ancient practice, consistently practicing the rudimentary principles and poses of yoga can serve as protection against the main causes of stress in your life.

After finishing several classes and ensuring that you’re properly attaining and maintaining the poses, you will be competent enough to practice it on your own. Ideally you’ll need a large mirror in order to correct your poses on the spot, but if you hone your muscle memory enough through consistent practice, you can do yoga anywhere, whether you’re at home, on vacation, traveling for business, beside a stream in the forest, on a mountain summit, or even in the break room at work. And it’s not just yogis and fitness enthusiasts who can attest to yoga’s stress-beating properties. Psychology Today reveals how yoga is widely accepted by the medical community as a powerful way of handling life’s daily stressors.

Battling Stress with Yoga


To find out which type of yoga can help you beat stress, check out our own recommendations here at True Nature Travels. You should also find the nearest yoga studios in your neighborhood to see which ones offer free or discounted classes for beginners. Technically speaking, every type of yoga can be used to manage stress – it’s up to you to find which ones you prefer so you can practice regularly. The more consistently you practice, the better chances you have against major stress.