True Nature Travels Blog

In the realm of wellness and self-discovery, the connection between human beings and the environment is profound. At True Nature Travels, we believe in fostering a deep love for the environment by integrating sustainable practices into our retreat planning. Join us as we explore how conscious choices can transform your retreat into a celebration of love for Mother Earth.

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Accommodations:

Opt for accommodations that prioritize sustainability. Look for venues with eco-friendly certifications, green building practices, and a commitment to reducing their environmental impact. From energy-efficient lighting to water conservation initiatives, your choice of accommodation can significantly contribute to the overall sustainability of your retreat.

2. Minimize Waste with Thoughtful Logistics:

Design your retreat logistics with waste reduction in mind. Encourage participants to bring reusable water bottles and provide water-refill stations to minimize single-use plastic. Use compostable or reusable dining ware during meals, and work with local suppliers who share your commitment to sustainability.

3. Support Local, Sustainable Cuisine: 

Explore local, organic, and seasonal food options for your retreat menu. Supporting local farmers not only boosts the regional economy but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food long distances. Highlighting the richness of local cuisine adds a unique flavor to your retreat experience.

4. Incorporate Nature-Based Activities:

Maximize the natural surroundings of your retreat location by incorporating nature-based activities. From guided hikes and outdoor yoga sessions to beach clean-ups and tree planting, these activities not only connect participants with nature but also instill a sense of responsibility towards environmental stewardship.

5. Environmental Education Workshops:

Integrate workshops or talks that focus on environmental education. Invite local experts or conservationists to share insights on sustainable living, wildlife preservation, and eco-conscious practices. Empowering participants with knowledge creates a sense of shared responsibility for the environment.

6. Offset Carbon Emissions:

Consider offsetting the carbon emissions associated with travel to and from your retreat location. Collaborate with reputable carbon offset organizations that invest in environmental initiatives, such as reforestation projects or renewable energy development. This step can enhance the overall eco-friendliness of your retreat.

7. Mindful Gift Giving:

If you choose to provide gifts or mementos for your retreat participants, opt for sustainable and eco-friendly options. Consider items such as reusable tote bags, bamboo utensil sets, or locally sourced, handmade products that align with your commitment to environmental consciousness.

8. Engage in a Community Service Project:

Leave a positive impact on the local community and environment by organizing a community service project as part of your retreat. This could include volunteering for environmental conservation initiatives, cleaning up local parks, or supporting local sustainability projects. 


True Nature Travels Blog

Italy, a land brimming with history, culture, and natural beauty, has a unique way of teaching us the art of ‘gratitude’. The Italians have a beautiful word, “grazie”, which traces its roots back to the Latin word “gratias”, meaning “thanks”, which is also the origin of the English word “gratitude”. Over centuries, “gratias” morphed into “grazie” in Italian, retaining its heartfelt sentiment of expressing gratitude. However, in the context of Italian culture, “grazie” signifies more than just a simple ‘thank you’. It is an embodiment of appreciation, a reflection of the Italian ethos of relishing and recognizing the beauty in every facet of life. Whether expressed for a meal, a kind gesture, or the simple pleasures of life, “grazie” is a testament to the Italian spirit of celebrating and expressing gratitude for life’s blessings.

A Culture Steeped in Appreciation

The Italian culture is steeped in appreciation for the simple and beautiful things in life. From the aroma of a freshly brewed espresso to the intricate detail in a piece of Renaissance art, Italians have a deep-seated appreciation for beauty in all its forms. This appreciation encourages a sense of gratitude for the everyday things that bring us joy and satisfaction.

Gratitude in Italian Cuisine

Italian cuisine also embodies gratitude. Every dish tells a story of the hard work of the farmers, the fishermen, and the cheesemakers. In Italy, farmers and cheesemakers are the backbone of the country’s renowned cuisine. The Italian countryside is dotted with farms that have been family-owned for generations, where the age-old traditions of farming are still preserved and practiced. These farmers devote their lives to producing a bounty of fresh vegetables, fruits, olives, and grains, which form the basis of Italian dishes.

Italian cheesemakers are artisans of dairy. From the creamy mozzarella of Campania to the sharp pecorino of Sardinia, Italian cheeses are a testament to the skill and dedication of the cheesemakers. Each cheese is unique, reflecting the characteristics of the region it comes from and the individual touch of the cheesemaker. The art of cheese making is often passed down through generations, reflecting a deep bond with the land and a profound understanding of the craft.

Both farmers and cheesemakers exemplify the Italian tradition of “fatto a mano” (made by hand), a testament to their tireless work ethic, their passion for quality, and their commitment to preserving Italy’s culinary heritage. Their contributions, while often unseen, form the heart of Italy’s gastronomic story, and it is through them that the narrative of gratitude in Italian cuisine unfolds. 

Learning Gratitude from Italy

So, how can we learn gratitude from Italy? The answer is simple. Slow down. Take the time to savor the small moments, just as Italians do with their slow food and slow living philosophies. The Slow Food movement began in Italy in the 1980s as a reaction against fast food and fast life. Instead, it promotes a return to traditional food production methods. At the heart of the movement is respect for biodiversity, sustainable farming and fishing methods, and fair compensation for producers. The idea is to savor high-quality foods, prepared with care while respecting the environment and cultural traditions. It’s not just about taste, but a way of life that supports the well-being of both the planet and the people who live on it. For Italians, the Slow Food movement encapsulates their inherent appreciation for the process of creating a meal – from the fields and waters to the table, it’s a journey of patience, love, and gratitude.

Italy doesn’t just offer us a feast for our senses, but also a lesson in gratitude. The Italian way of life encourages us to appreciate the beauty in everyday living and to express our gratitude for the simple joys that life brings. Grazie, Italy, for teaching us the art of appreciation! Whether it’s a leisurely stroll through a vineyard or a moment of quiet in a bustling piazza, there’s much to be thankful for when we pause to appreciate the beauty around us.

Experience Italy on Retreat

Experience this slower pace and gratitude for the simple joys at one of our Italy Retreats. 

True Nature Travels Blog

I have been fortunate enough to go on yoga retreats in incredible locations throughout my adult life. Yoga retreats, for me, are digging deep with oneself, taking a break for self-care, and being within the community. For me, the collective group energy on retreat is so powerful, whether it be in meditation, having a meal together or in deep breathing conversation. The conversation you experience on retreat is rich and fulfilling because you are in the deeper headspace.That can be so rewarding for a person. 

My memories from retreats include: Watching the sunrise over a secluded beach in Costa Rica, Zipping through the rainforest on a zipline, feeling like Tarzan swinging over the trees, swimming with dolphins in the Pacific Ocean with a group of eight retreaters,while schools of  dolphins surround and swim with us. It was an incredible experience.  surrounding us and swimming with us was an incredible experience. Swimming over a gorgeous reef in the bright blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.And of course, the yoga, The guiding practice which puts you in the right headspace to make this trip. 

This experience is different from a regular trip. Getting in the mindspace of peace. where those experiences are so much richer than regular vacations. And so that it becomes an exercise in self-care in self-nourishment. I will treasure all of my experiences. Great connections I have made on retreat that will last forever. Retreat is truly a revitalizing experience. It enriches your life, and allows you to come back to the world rejuvenated. Rejuvenated by the sun, by connection, by laughter, by yoga, and a deeper connection with yourself. 

Even though, I have experienced such incredible retreat and travel destinations,whenever I see a new retreat destination that want to go to, which are primarily destinations where my teacher will teach, I think,” Is this location accessible to me?” I am a person with Cerebral Palsy, which is a disability that affects my movement and speech.Despite the well known fact that I like to challenge myself,  am really a person that really wants to live life,and will travel terrain, even if it may be difficult,It has been suggested on 4 occasions that I not participate on a retreat because the terrain is too difficult. Of course, this is very frustrating to me when I am told that this retreat is not open to me. Open to me because the terrain may be too hard or the altitude may be too high, or that the trails may be too difficult as would be in Machu picchu. Because I want to experience this with all my heart. By taking this away from me, it is taking away the chance for me to study with my teacher, which is something I treasure doing in these incredible locations. 

As I have stated before, I have had some incredible experiences on retreat,despite the fact that I haven’t been able to attend every retreat I’ve wanted to. Even though I was able to attend these retreats, some of these places where I retreated were more accessible than others to people with disabilities. None were totally accessible and had many obstacles. For example, at one place I had to, to hold onto a person in order to walk around the property.  Although people that were on retreat were more than willing to help me out, as an adult who values his independence and ability, this is hard for me. The yoga space at almost all of these facilities were upstairs,  or down inaccessible paths. Now, I could get you all of these yoga spaces, but being on a yoga retreat, you would think the first thing a property owner should do is make the place where the primary practice is held, accessible to everyone. Even though I have been able to overcome obstacles and go on retreat in these awesome places. When it comes to a person with a more advanced disability, or uses a mobility device, such as a wheelchair, they would have no chance of going on most of the retreats I have been to. 


Before describing what is needed for accessibility for people with disabilities, I would like to talk a little bit about the need for yoga retreats for people with disabilities. In a society where people with disabilities often feel discriminated against in many phases of their life, they are required to go to doctor appointments or cannot find a job in the field they want,  are unable to get a leg up in an ableist society. Retreats can be very nourishing for them. 

In offering them an accessible place to go, they are able to  rejuvenate and refresh, and come back into society. With that openness and freshness, this is really important. There is a growing, accessible yoga movement in society today and a press of making the practice accessible to everyone. It is imperative, as we make the practice more accessible than it is,  that the accessibility extends to retreat locations. So, we are able to invite people with disabilities to enjoy the richness of retreat. I understand, some retreat places that are indoors may be more accessible than outdoor retreat places, but people with disabilities are individuals with different interests, and they should be able to decide where they will wanna go and have several options, just like anyone else.

When we think of accessibility, we often think, can a person with a disability or in a wheelchair get in the door or access the basement. When looking at a yoga retreat, the accessibility extends to many things other than the front door. It extends to things like- Is the lodging accessible? Is the shower accessible? The toilet? The yoga space? The activities and other aspects of the retreat. People often think when they hear that they need to make a space accessible for people with disabilities. Their first thought might be “Oh my gosh, that will cost me a fortune.”Instead of thinking that you are just making a space accessible for a person with a disability, it may be helpful to know that by making a space accessible, you are benefiting many different populations and that principle is called universal design. Universal Design is the design in composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent passable by all people, regardless of their size, age, ability or disability. 

For example, think of a walking shower. Yes, you may first think of benefiting a person in a wheelchair. However, you would be benefiting someone with a large statue, or someone who is older and does not move it well, or someone who has had an injury that may or may not go away. With universal design, you are making an environment accessible, usable and pleasurable to use. Everyone benefits!  

Above, I alluded to the example of getting to the yoga space and my experiences retreating. Many of the walkways to those yoga spaces were rocks. They were not paved and were not easily accessible. Someone who is older, who is in a wheelchair, who uses crutches, would have a tough time getting to that yoga space. The solution does not have to be elaborate, but just make the surface smooth. So that way of getting to the yoga space is accessible for everyone and  everyone can use it. 

One of the things that I mentioned that was very meaningful to me is the excursions on yoga retreat.  Finding accessible excursions does not mean that the excursion has to be any less enjoyable, but instead looking for options that everyone can participate in, regardless of their accessibility level. For example, if you are going on a boat cruise. Look for a boat that is accessible. If you are going hiking, look for a trail that is accessible. I understand, on the True Nature website that most of the retreat locations are out of the United States; therefore, some countries may not have accessibility guidelines. However, it is important to make spaces, wherever you are, that are accessible to people with disabilities.

Welcoming a disability and people with different needs, like age or a different body type, is important. This not only welcomes people with disabilities, but if a retreat center is accessible, it increases your opportunity to bring in revenue. Because you are welcoming not only the guests you welcomed in before, but you are extending the invitation to another population, a population that may have previously been exempt by your center. 

As the accessible yoga movement grows into the business of accessible yoga travel and/ or accessible yoga retreating. People with disabilities are able to experience the power of retreat. It allows people with disabilities to easefully explore new countries, through hotels and activities that are accessible. Shouldn’t people with disabilities be able to choose a yoga retreat in a new country and just be able to go? To be able to attend a retreat in a new country, just because they want to, without having to be restricted? To see a sunrise over the ocean, a sunset over a mountain, to experience the rainforest and view the wildlife?

I am not an expert on which countries offer truly accessible locations. But I do know this, to go on a yoga retreat, with a teacher you love, is a gift. It is physically and mentally rejuvenating. Retreats offer the opportunity for the much needed self care that every person should be entitled to. The opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can be life changing. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if a person in a wheelchair was able to experience those gifts of retreat without having to ask dozens of questions and/or encounter barriers at every corner? To be able to go on retreat, move around without obstacles, participate in activities, and just be another member of the group?

Ryan McGraw approaches every class with the belief that everyone can do yoga. As a person with cerebral palsy who has been practicing yoga for 15 years, Ryan is well aware that yoga poses can be adapted to meet the needs of the student, no matter their level of ability.

Ryan earned his 200-hour yoga teaching certificate from Prairie Yoga in 2011 and completed two adaptive yoga teacher trainings with Matthew Sanford. He received a Master’s degree in Disability and Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013 and created an adapted yoga manual for people with disabilities for his master’s thesis. He continues his studies in accessible yoga with Gabriel Halpern in Chicago. 

True Nature Travels Blog

From the stunning Andean landscapes of Peru to the rich cultural heritage of Guatemala, Latin America offers a treasure trove of experiences that make it an exceptional destination for leading a yoga retreat. But what if you could combine this spiritual journey with a service project? Here’s why you should consider it for your next retreat.

Cultivating Empathy and Cultural Understanding

Service projects, such as teaching English, building schools, or contributing to sustainable agriculture, offer a direct, tangible way to give back to the local communities. These experiences foster empathy and cultural understanding, adding a layer of depth to your retreat that goes beyond the yoga mat.

Fostering Mind-Body Integration

Yoga practices encourage the integration of mind, body, and spirit while enhancing physical well-being and emotional balance. Pairing this introspective practice with an outward-focused service project creates a unique synergy, fostering a holistic sense of well-being and purpose among participants.

Immersive Cultural Experiences

Latin America abounds in vibrant cultural experiences—from traditional workshops and culinary journeys to ancient rituals and festivals—that can deeply enrich your retreat. Imagine your participants learning traditional Quechuan weaving techniques in Peru or tasting the national dish of Guatemala, “Pepian”.

Inspirational and Resilient Communities

The spirit of resilience and community in Latin America can be an inspirational source of motivation and can motivate your participants to stay committed to the service work they do.

Leading a yoga retreat combined with a service project in Latin America provides a valuable opportunity for personal growth, cultural exchange, and global connection. It’s an experience that offers both spiritual nourishment and meaningful engagement with the local communities—one that is sure to leave a lasting impact on both you and your participants.

The next time you plan for a yoga retreat, consider making it one with a service project in Latin America. It’s sure to be an unforgettable journey!

True Nature Travels Blog

Daphne Larkin Yoga TeacherDaphne Larkin is an inspired vinyasa yoga teacher and industry leader based in Nashville, Tennessee.  Known as a teacher’s teacher, she has spent her life studying movement, music and the creative arts.   In 2004, she co-founded Sanctuary for Yoga in Nashville where she directs Sanctuary’s Teacher Training programs and has been training teachers since 2008.  Over her 20-year teaching career, Daphne has created 2 popular instructional yoga DVDs, an online studio featuring 21 Days of Yoga and most recently released her new book A Curated Life: Creating Space for the Life You Crave.

Always inspired by the creative process, Daphne’s life has included extensive work as a performing artist and a vibrant 12-year music industry career.  She has completed trainings in both the Iyengar and Vinyasa traditions and is certified at the E-RYT 500 level.  Committed to fully immersing herself into her studies, she dedicated a decade-plus to traveling and studying yoga, finding inspiration in many teachers. Her most profound influence has been Shiva Rea, with whom she spent more than 10 years studying and assisting around the world.

As a teacher, she is known for the fluid grace of her practice and her skillful balance of alignment and flow.  Her teaching is clear and authentic –  fueled by her passionate curiosity about both the shapes and alignment of poses, but also transitions and the powerful potential of the space between.  Her classes are fluid journeys through an intentional sequence of poses that lead us deeper into ourselves.  The effect is grounding, spacious and balanced.

Daphne teaches weekly classes in Nashville, leads trainings and retreats internationally and continues to find new perspective both on and off the mat.


Join Daphne for A Curated Life: Creating Space for the Life you Crave September 17-21st in Italy!  is dedicated to opening to new perspectives and creating space for the life you crave.  Daphne will guide you through daily yoga practices and meditations that reflect your life’s beautiful story.  Days will be spacious – with yoga, walks on the property, relaxing poolside, and exploring nearby towns.  Every detail of the week has been intentionally selected just for you.

True Nature Travels Blog

Yoga Teacher Stephen KirschStephen Kirsch (He/Him)

Stephen fell in love with yoga many years ago when he was looking for a way to balance an active athletic lifestyle and work on his feet with a complementary practice. He quickly pursued training and began teaching at some of the biggest yoga studios in Boston. Stephen is passionate about guiding his students through a practice that encourages them to listen and be present and challenges them physically while offering them ease and release. His classes are thoughtfully sequenced for all levels of practitioners and offer clear alignment and postural cueing.

Yoga Teacher Stephen Kirsh

Stephen teaches Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, and Barre classes and currently resides in Portland, Maine with his rascally Rottweiler Ruby. Stephen is an RYT-200 hour graduate of the Boston Yoga School and has been teaching yoga classes for over 8 years. He has led international yoga retreats to Tuscany, Morocco, Spain, and numerous other incredible locations. When he’s not in the studio, Stephen can be found reading, traveling, out for a run around town, or working on his margarita recipe.

Join Stephen for a 7-day, 6-night yoga retreat September 1-7, 2023 at a gorgeous 5-star resort in Greece! Begin each day with a morning yoga practice followed by a healthy, authentic Greek breakfast. Spend your days on the beach, exploring the local town, or embarking on any number of exciting cultural excursions. Take your time to discover the beautiful, scenic island of Amorgos.



True Nature Travels Blog

Cyndi Bulka Powers is a Health & Wellness coach and has been a Yoga teacher for nearly 30 years. She owned a successful yoga studio for 15 years where her yoga classes, workshops, and retreats touched thousands of lives all around the world. Her teaching philosophy is kind and clear so she can meet students where they’re at, regardless of experience, age or physical condition.

Cyndi encourages a non-competitive & welcoming atmosphere where everyone can thrive. With a strong background in anatomy, therapeutic Yoga and Thai bodywork, she’s keen on offering adaptations for whatever limitations you may have.

She is a mom to two wonderful adults, Nana to four beautiful grandkids, and partner to a wonderful man who is her best support. Three fur babies, an 1100-pound horse named Dak, an 11 pound dog named Lucie and a tamed feral cat named Stumpy are regular companions. When she’s not at the barn or on the end of Lucie’s leash, you can find her hiking the local greenways and trails, piddling in her organic garden or cooking up something fresh and healthy in the kitchen.

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Find your Flow with Cyndi in Panama

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a tropical island surrounded by blue sea, where time evaporates & the rhythm of nature paces your days. Bastimentos invites you to immerse yourself in its tranquil, healing blue waters & delight in the freedom and playfulness it offers.

Water is healing & connects us to a sense of inner fluidity that we can use to deeply restore. This is our theme for the week. 

Imagine swaying on an hammock with a soothing island breeze, walking white sand beaches, napping in the shade, playing in the clear blue waters as you snorkel, kayak or paddle board.  Join Cyndi this May 2023 to find your flow in our newest retreat location, Panama!!


True Nature Travels Blog

Angel’s Aspirational Account

A past retreat participant shares her experience on a Costa Rican getaway with Jen Brewer.

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

It’s been over a week since I woke to an alarm clock of howler monkeys, toucans and other tropical birds. It’s hard to believe a trip that you spend an entire year anticipating, in the midst of a global pandemic–when things are so weird–is finally here. Then seven quick days go by, and it’s over. The realization that I’ve already been home and back to work a week, time moves so fast!

I wanted to take a little time and reflect on my trip. I don’t want to forget any of it.

If you’ve been in my circle for any amount of time, you are not surprised that although a slight reservation about money I had my bag packed, so to speak, and was on board for a trip to Costa Rica early on. To be quite honest, I didn’t even know where we were going exactly. A friend’s dad had spent some time in CR and when she asked me where I would be staying, I couldn’t answer her. In fact, on the flight from Charlotte to San Jose, a sweet lady sitting next to me asked the same question and the only answer I could give her was the name of the resort. When she asked, “but what town”? I had no clue. I am certain she thought I was crazy or irresponsible, maybe both! But you see…when you trust your people, it doesn’t matter what town you are going to be visiting. I knew without a doubt that all I had to do was get to the San Jose airport and Jennifer would have the rest of the details wrapped up with a bow. She was my fearless leader for the week and I never had any concerns.

This trip was a yoga retreat. I mean, just read the description, how could I not sign up for this? The Lord knows I need to work on “practicing joyful living”.

“Reset, refocus, and learn to access the joy that lies within. In our everyday lives it is easy to fill the calendar to the max and stretch our limits. When life gets stressful it is easy to forget how to create our own self-care rituals. This retreat has been designed to bring awareness to the quality of thoughts, habits in body movement and posture, and the overflowing of our calendars. During your seven day stay you will be encouraged to slow down, breath deep, connect with nature and move mindfully.”

I get it…a yoga retreat seems so bougie. I was a little apprehensive at times to say that was what I was going for. I didn’t talk much about it before I left. People probably wondered why I would go on a yoga retreat – I mean, I do yoga, occasionally, but I’m certainly not a yogi – YET. But as we all know, I keep a bag packed and am ready to go whenever and to wherever the offer is made. But that description?? Yes, please!

So, with the balance paid for the trip I made my passport application, booked my flight and waited. I was a nervous wreck. Not nervous about Costa Rica  per se, or the virus; but nervous I wouldn’t have all my paperwork in order and I’d end up having to spend the week at the airport because I couldn’t get through customs. Or that I would have forgotten something significant and there wouldn’t be a Target to run to.



My husband and I needed to leave for the airport about 3:30am, and we finally got on the road just a little after 4 – SO TYPICAL. It was Daylight Savings Day – bad idea, lol, for a flight that leaves THAT early in the morning. Thankfully, our airport is a small airport and most of the staff and crew forgot it was DST also. I made it through security and on the plane with no issues. It was pitch black and COLD when we took off and the plane even had to be de-iced. It’s a quick flight from WV to Charlotte, thankfully, and a nice reward for being up that early was I managed to be up high enough and early enough to see the sun rise from above, what a sight! I love the sunshine, and it was fun to welcome her to work that day.

The Charlotte airport was PACKED out. I haven’t been around that many people in one place in – well, in over a year! CLT was the place that all my “covid related travel requirements” would first be checked. Score for me, my Costa Rican health questionnaire was completed properly and I was cleared to board the plane. Flying in to San Jose, all I could see were the mountains and I kind of felt like we took a wrong turn and I was back home. But, once I stepped foot off that plane, I felt the difference in the air and knew we had not in fact taken a wrong turn – but this also meant I had to ditch my sweatshirt, pronto!

The San Jose airport isn’t huge, and I managed to make my way to baggage claim to look for the travel rep that would be meeting us. This is where I met two of the sweetest women, who would become some of my favorite people during the week. Jennifer had mentioned to me that there would likely be two women from HHI on my flight, but I had no clue who they were…until I saw them. I have a steel trap mind for faces and I immediately recognized sweet Barbara from last summer when she and I were doing some virtual yoga classes with Jennifer, during the pandemic. If you know me, you know I’ve never met a stranger so I walked right up to she and Frances and asked if they were there for Jennifer’s yoga retreat. I think I may have scared them a little…I get it, it does seem kind of stalkerish, but it’s who I am. Lol

The 3 of us gathered our belongings and off we went. Once outside we were greeted by the sweetest travel representative, she was there to take us to the hotel. She told us her name was Jenni – without the –fer. Our hotel was only minutes from the airport so it wasn’t long before we were checked in and settled, heading off to the pool…get me to some sunshine, STAT! I had also met Pam by this point, another student of Jennifer’s from HHI, and the 3 of us headed to a lounge chair to chill in the warmth of the sun. It did not disappoint. We had a nice dinner at the hotel that night, went over our Monday morning game plan for breakfast and catching the shuttle to the coast and then we all retired to our rooms. Jen and I shared a room that night…I think we may have talked until we fell asleep, and I’m not sure who was asleep first. What a long day it had been.

Up and at ‘em early…the shuttle was set to meet us at 7:45 am for the three-four hour trip to the coast. Along the way, we stopped at a roadside fruit stand and bought local plantain chips, mangoes and a papaya, lol. We also made a pit-stop at the Crocodile Bridge and saw what must have been very old crocodiles under the bridge, they were massive! I had just watched the movie The Penguin Bloom on Netflix and all I could think about was “don’t lean on the rail – it might break and you’ll be eaten by a crocodile” (that’s what happens to the mom in the movie, except she isn’t eaten by a crocodile – she’s paralyzed).


Costa Rica Yoga RetreatFinally, we arrive at the resort, La Cusinga Lodge and Spa, walk up the jungle lined walkway and are greeted by a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean AND a HUMPBACK whale showing off. WHAT??? What a treat! We were served fresh pineapple juice with spearmint upon arrival and we stood in awe of the view before us. I don’t exactly know how everyone else felt, but this girl from little ol’ West Virginia felt incredibly fortunate. Okay, Okay…you’re right, there were tears. We journeyed over to the restaurant and had the best meal – so far – of the day. Lol. We would quickly learn that each meal we would be served would be THE BEST MEAL. Fresh, local, much of it farm to table…it was ALL so good. The manager took us on a tour of the property – showed us to our rooms, the path to the swimming hole, the pool and how to get to the yoga studio – also breathtaking! Jennifer and I had a room with a great view for the week! Shocking to no one…our door remained open most of the time, just like our college dorm room.

The next 6 days would be spent waking up to the sound of howler monkeys, jungle birds and rain forest bugs. We were up with the sunshine, errrrr, monkey howling, and the day was underway. We meditated and had breakfast, did yoga and ate lunch. Spent several hours lounging at the pool or hiking to the ocean and exploring caves, reading in hammocks or getting a massage (everyone but me!). Evenings would be filled with dinner and then restorative yoga. We went from daylight to dark and I wouldn’t have had it any other way – it was fabulous, much less stressful than when I’m daylight to dark at home. Most of the week, it felt as though we slept for 2 days at a time and then lived life for 4 days worth of time.

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat


In addition to good food and a lot of yoga, a few special things we participated in were: a visit to the Whale’s Tail one afternoon and had a picnic lunch. It was beautiful and can best be appreciated by googling it so you can see some drone pics. We walked the beach when the tide was low, and it would soon be swallowed up by the ocean again. It definitely makes you appreciate the way nature does its thing and doesn’t need any of us to remind it how to be perfect. Another thing we did was participate in a traditional cacao ceremony. This event was quite spiritual and personal for me, so I won’t write much about it here. Just know that it was deeply impactful and I’ll never forget it. The least fun excursion we had was getting tested for Covid. The guy was very kind and gentle – thank goodness. We eagerly awaited our results…half joking that maybe we’d be positive and have to stay.

This trip was one I’ll never forget. I got so much out of this week: time with an old friend, met three new friends, experienced the culture of another country and was well cared for by the staff at La Cusinga – I mean, seriously, they could not have been any better!!  Every single second of this trip was better than I could have ever imagined.


So much thanks to offer up:

*New friends – you guys were warned that I’m a lifer, you’ll never get rid of me! Thank you for being a part of my safe zone that week, and making me feel like I’m part of the HHI pack! I’ll see you for dinner the next time I’m there, count on it!yoga retreat

**Jennifer – thank you for organizing a trip that allowed me to practice joyful living – something that I had forgotten how to do. Thank you for letting me see I’m capable. That I can take up space. That I have the strength to hold Mountain Pose (my least favorite pose – I always feel SO vulnerable) as the one I wanted a picture of, to capture the growth I had; I’m now ready to face whatever comes at me! Thanks for helping me find it in me. I hope this won’t be my last Jen Brewer Yoga trip.

***My husband – THANK YOU for loving me enough that you are okay giving me room to be me. Thank you for supporting my need to be with my friends, while knowing I miss you much. I appreciate your trust and that you encourage me to go – to live – to do. Next time, you’re getting on the plane too…you have to see this place.

COSTA RICA – thank you – you were so kind to me ❤️

True Nature Travels Blog

Retreat. Recharge. Reset.

If you’re craving an antidote to the increasing amounts of stress the past few years, we have a full calendar of retreats in 2022 and 2023 that you can safely escape to and have a much-needed retreat! Starting 11/24, save $200 off all retreats! Combine with Early Bird offers for up to $500 off with promo code FALL200.

Ask us about our risk-free flexible booking policies. We’ve made a number of updates to our safety guidelines, flexible booking conditions, and trip departures. The safety and wellbeing of our travelers and leaders remain our top priority. Save now and travel later.

We look forward to safely giving you a much-needed retreat to find your true nature!

Save now:

Retreat Yourself

True Nature Travels Blog

Spring Yoga Reset

Get inspiration to declutter, detoxify, and make space for your intentions and dreams. Learn simple tips to declutter your house, declutter your mind and declutter your life! Learn how to detoxify your body with the cleansing power of green foods and join me in the kitchen with a workshop on mason jar magic. Finally, explore how to plant seeds of intention to revitalize the body, re-energize the mind, and re-invigorate our lives for our dreams to grow and blossom.




The Spring Yoga Reset Retreat is all about shaking off the winter slumber so we can reset our physical body and re-energize our lives.


Friday April 2 – Rest and RestoreSpring Yoga Reset

Inspirational Podcast
Opening Circle 4-6:00pm PST
Restorative Yoga Class

Saturday April 3 – Declutter and Detoxify

Morning Yoga Video
Inspirational podcast
Spring Re-set Workshop 1-3:00pm PST

Sunday April 4 – Renew and Energize

Spring Yoga ResetMorning yoga video
Inspirational podcast
Mason Jar Magic Kitchen Workshop
and Closing Circle 4:30-6:30pm PST

Spring Yoga Reset


Friday, April 2 – Sunday, April 4, 2021

Learn more and register!


Farah is an inspirational yoga teacher, podcast host, and advocate of yogic practices that support health, happiness, and harmony. She is the founder of Drishti Point Yoga Podcasts and is currently the podcast host of In Conversation: The Podcast of Banyen Books and Sound. She has interviewed hundreds of spiritual teachers, Masters, and renowned authors and seamlessly integrates this wisdom into her teaching.

Farah specializes in teaching Workshops, Retreats, and Training locally and worldwide. She has a deep love for all things yoga and is profoundly inspired by the sacred texts of yoga, the teachings of Buddhism, and wisdom traditions that lead us to love, truth, and being of service.

Farah Nazarali



“Farah is a rare combination of spirit, intelligence, wisdom, and grace.” – Lisa H., Hollyhock participant

“The Retreat totally exceeded my expectations. WOW!” – Hollyhock participant

“Farah is the most relatable, wise teacher, I have ever had the pleasure of sharing time with. What I learned has helped deepen the connection to my spirit.” – Corrinne M., Hollyhock participant

“Farah is an inspiring and gifted facilitator who demonstrated her insightfulness and groundedness and shared her inner joy with us.” – Hollyhock participant

“Thank you for such a meaningful and memorable Retreat. I am so grateful for your gifts of devotion, clarity, and discernment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” – Debbie M., Sacred Passages, Bowen Island 2019

“Thank you for creating such a wonderful and loving environment for everyone.” Andrea T., Sacred Passages, Bowen Island 2019 

“Thank you for an amazing jumpstart for a more focussed practice.” – Andrea M., Sacred Passages, Bowen Island 2019

“Farah, thank you for the insight I’ve been needing on my journey to manifest a new identity, purpose, and career.” – Linelle Mogado, Sacred Passages, Bowen Island 2019