True Nature Travels Blog

Gingerbread Smoothie











by Alana from Self Heal with Alana and Explorations of Self

Namaste True Nature Tribe!

Tis the season’ to be… healthy! We can still nourish our body amidst the holiday parties & oh so appetizing treats that seem to be thrown at you from ever corner shop. I am not saying to say NO to that awesome chocolate chip cookie, but I am asking you to say YES to more healthy options for the majority of your day because that, my friends, is self love!

A lot of my nutrition clients hit a wall around their health in November. They want to make the most out of the last couple of months until their New Year’s resolution. They are then upset with themselves and out of steam in a major way by New Years. They tell me stories of trying to get back on their health kick for a new resolution! They resolve by crash dieting and exercising only to hurt themselves and do the whole dance all over again. This, my friends, is a very common occurrence in our culture. Dieting is not something to be done. It IS whatever we chose to eat and consume on a day to day basis in our mind, body, and spirit. It is a way of life! We have thousands of cells that rely on us to choose LOVE in every possible way in every possible moment.image2-3

I love the 80/20 rule of thumb. If you chose to eat an awesomely delicious whole foods and ethical diet 80 percent of the time, allow yourself to have those treats 20 percent of the time! Sometimes I will have my clients do a 28 day sugar, dairy, and gluten detox before trying this. That way their bodies and minds are free from toxins, and it is a clear vessel to determine from there on forward!

This sweet and spicy gingerbread smoothie is such a treat for a post workout holiday rendition of a protein smoothie! Stacked with all sorts of gingerbread flavor, you’ll be sure to feel the season’s cozy feel while maintaining your energy!

This Gingerbread Smoothie is gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar FREE! How awesome is that? I LOVE discovering healthy options during the holiday season. Let’s face it, this time of year can be stressful. I don’t want to stress my body or mind out by emotionally eating my woes away. In fact, by choosing healthier options on a more consistent basis throughout these wintery months, my mood is MUCH better and way more capable of  handling any stress that may come my way.

Gingerbread Smoothie

Nutrition Information

•Serves: 3 cups

•Serving size: 1½ cups (2 servings)

photo by: Aaron Burden
photo by: Aaron Burden

Prep time:  5 mins

Total time:  5 mins

A creamy, smooth, healthy, vegan, gluten-free smoothie made with coconut milk, bananas and spices combined together to taste just like gingerbread cookies.


•1½ cups almond milk from carton or milk of choice

*1 scoop Vegan vanilla protein mix

•1 small banana, frozen

•¼ tsp. nutmeg

•½ tsp. cinnamon

•½ tsp. ginger, ground

•⅛ tsp. cloves, ground

•1tsp. vanilla extract

•1 tbsp. molasses

•¼ tsp. stevia or coconut sugar to taste

•1 cup ice

*option to garnish with GF Gingerbread Man (I love this recipe from Minimalist Baker)


1Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.


Calorie per 1½ cups: 117, Fat: 3.9, Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 15, Potassium: 330, Carbs: 20, Fiber: 1.3, Sugar: 12, Protein: 1.3

Be sure to also check out this Gluten Guide from Fitness Goat!

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

True Nature Travels Blog

This will be Shaktis 3rd year to partner with True Nature Education and lead a retreat in Costa Rica. We are thrilled beyond words to have such a dynamic and vibrant trio of ladies as a part of our family. We are constantly inspired by the community they build with their students! We asked them, what they thought made their yoga collective so strong and present, and their answer was simple, retreats. community1 Retreats are a fantastic opportunity to build bounds, break barriers, and form connections with your fellow yogis. Want to experience this magnetism first hand? Join their retreat today! Click here to learn more and sign-up. Explore more of Kelly, Jennifer, and Lauren’s Costa Rican retreat and how they foster this feeling of togetherness. Lauren was kind enough to share her thoughts and a little preview of the Pura Vida that is in store!

Beach 8 “One thing I know for sure is we all three connect with the ocean and each other. Kelly, Jennifer and I are excited to travel to the beautiful Costa Rica and lead our first retreat all 3 together. The three of us have known each other for over 5 years and we have supported each other in the growth of family, being students, teachers, studio owners, and community leaders. Kelly and I founded Shakti Power Yoga in Nashville in 2012, and a year later Jen founded Glow Yoga in Gulf Shores and just recently opened one in  Mobile, AL. Jen  We all three thrive on creating community and sharing our love of yoga with all we meet. Yoga has shifted each of our lives and it opened us up to something bigger. We want to make a powerful impact in our communities and generate love, power, courage, and awareness. This will be Shaktis 3rd year to partner with True Nature Education and lead a retreat in Costa Rica. The time we spend there is absolutely magical, seriously each moment is special and we have fond memories of the joy and restoration it brings us. We thrive on creating community and partnerships and our yoga retreats allow people to step away and create space for new relationships, for rejuvenation, for fun! Let me share just a little taste of our wonderful experience.2 We stay at a beautiful resort in Santa Teresa Beach. The journey from San Jose is adventurous and a special time to connect with the everyone on the bus and boat. From The moment we arrive we are greeted by the kind staff and taken to our bungalow. The smell and breeze of the ocean is present right when you arrive and you know you are only a few hundred yards from the sand being in your toes, oh bliss. The bungalows have hammocks hanging just outside, perfect place to cozy up with a book or a nice afternoon nap. There is a calm about the place and feel of home. Oh and the practice space, it overlooks the ocean and the sound of the waves remind you to breath deep and free. The warmth on your skin adds the extra heat to the practice allowing you to dive in and let the residue fade away. You are a part of nature, free to play, grow, and explore. 3The Costa Rican fare speak to my heart and body. You can eat clean and fresh and feel nourished everyday. The resort has an amazing restaurant team that cares about the food they are serving and most of all are so kind and welcoming to each one of us. We have created friendships over the years and look forward to returning and connecting with the amazing staff. The community service project we commit to each trip is one of the most memorable experiences. We volunteer at a local school. We play soccer with t4he kids, sing, teach yoga, paint, garden, or anything we can do to be of service for the school. I know we get more out of it than the students. Our hearts are filled when we get to make a real connection with children and the feel of welcome and love from this is inspiring to see.  I feel we left more connected and stronger as a group after this project, we still talk about the amazing kids and look forward to returning next year. Kelly, Jennifer, and I have a strong connection and we do a great job of going with the flow and working together. I  think we all 3 could be sisters! We each have our own unique way to connect with people, how we teach, but we all three are committed to impact and build community and to live an INSPIRED life. We are excited to share our love of the practice in Costa Rica Retreat in 2016. We hope you will join us! Pura Vida! 5

True Nature Travels Blog

“Ma’ane’i no ke aloha,” is Hawaiin for , “For love is here and now.” Every day of this summer has been led by love. It has been a journey of heart expansion. Since my first retreat with True Nature Education this past January in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, I have learned that home truly is where the heart is. Living from the heart is a way of Be-in. It is not something that can be learned, rather it is something to be returned to. It is a home coming.

I have been undone by Costa Rica. I am being rebuilt with Love. Last year, I lived in Costa Rica for 6 months. I moved there thinking I would get married to my then boyfriend, buy a home there, have some kids, settle down, teach retreats, happily ever after, etc. Things do not always work out the way we SEE them working out but I know that we are all in good hands with the Universe. My plans didn’t pan out the way I thought they would. However, they have turned out to be better than I could have fathomed.

I left the boyfriend. I decided to move back to the States after my January Retreat. My heart is with yoga and showing others how to find compassion for themselves and the world by SEEING the world. This is a BIG piece of my Path. It is what lights me up from within. That is how I know. A great teacher once told me, “Listen closely to what the heart deeply desires and follow it with complete abandon.’ I knew I would continue to teach in Costa Rica . The retreat turned out to not only be a life changing experience for my students but for me as well. I was shedding my old snake skin to become an empty vessel for Spirit to use. All I knew from that moment on was I was meant to help others by using the faculties that God gave me. My inherent gifts and passions. I knew that I was meant to inspire others to do the same. I had no idea what the details between these points would be, but I trusted the Universal Spirit to take care of it… and so it is.

I made a vision board in early 2014. On it, visions of beautiful retreats and service work, a career and Path in yoga, yoga photography and modeling, singing kirtan and beyond, writing, having a beautiful home, paddle boarding and surfing, traveling the world and connecting with myself and nature in a way I hadn’t before. All of these have come to fruition in different stages since.

After Costa Rica, I moved to Boulder, CO to settle down and come back to after teaching retreats. What happened the following month after the move was totally unexpected. Boulder was highly competitive and my saving was dwindling. I know from experience that my Creator does not want me to struggle.. I prayed and meditated on what was I to do next. I had the inspired thought to call a new studio that had opened up just before my Costa Rica adventure. I asked the owner if there was space for me at the studio to teach full time… her response was that and beyond. I would fly back a week later to become a manager and lead teacher of the studio. This studio is founded in love. I absolutely LOVE Ruah. Through teaching at Ruah I met this wonderful lady who owns a stand up paddle board yoga company called SunriseSUP. She knew I was in love with surfing from my time in Costa Rica and thought of me for teaching with her in the Annapolis area.

I have been teaching all summer and while I don’t have the West Coast swell here, SUP keeps me connected to the water and ultimately keeps me grounded and humbled. I am a beginner at yoga all over again, both teaching and as a student. I am re-learning basic postures like Warrior 1. I absolutely LOVE it. It is ultimately making my earth practice much stronger.

My retreat for Jan 2016 is full and we are now checking into overflow options for guest! I am incredible grateful. I am preparing to launch a second retreat in Peru with True Nature Education (Stay tuned!). The more I TRUST in the Universe, the more I am miraculously taken care of in ways hadn’t even dreamed. The gift of it all is I can be PRESENT for these gifts today because of my continuous practice and desire to experience life fully. Join me for love, laughter, adventure, and yoga abroad.



“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” Marissa Mayer

Interested in checking out a Costa Rican yoga retreat?  Check out all of our retreats here!

True Nature Travels Blog

Set Intentions (It is never too late!)

Mindfulness is based on awareness in the present moment. This presence can also be utilized as a catalyst to set your trajectory into the future by focusing on mindfulness in the new year. From a space of stillness and clarity we often receive visions, ideas, and realizations. Invite your own intentions to sprout forth naturally until the next time you practice or find yourself in space of mindfulness.
Write down your intentions, and revisit them as frequently as you find helpful. Return back to the intentions again at the beginning of next year and reevaluate your path in life.

Gather and Support your Friends and Community

The Sangha “Spiritual Community” can be one of our greatest gifts in life. Following the holidays, which are filled with a wide-range of emotions, and going into the winter, it is a good time to surround yourself with people that nurture, support, and inspire you. As the New Year begins maybe it is time to cultivate some new relationships and take account of your energy and who you share it with. Use your friends and family as a support system to help you follow through with your intentions for the New Year.

Remember Every Day is a New Day…and a New Year

From a Mindfulness perspective every moment is an opportunity to start again. The New Year is the clear beginning of a new cycle of the calendar and for many of us. The freshness of a new chapter can be inspiring and a reminder of hope. We also can remember that just as the seasons change, the sun rises each morning, and as we take each breath we also have the opportunity to start anew.

“No” is the New “Yes” ?

In a time where options are seemingly unlimited, it is a good time to truly contemplate and discern your choices. When options are presented to you, take your time and be mindful in making your next decision. Use a 24 hour period to “meditate” on the situation and seek clarity on this next step, which might be small or large. Realize that saying “no” (and maybe “thank you”) can be just as empowering and rewarding as saying “yes”.

Create More Space

The New Year is a great time to let go and release that which does not serve anymore.
A time to reevaluate what has taken up the space in your full life and make a purge, opening up more room to breathe and be. This might come in the form of letting go of material items (I have a 3 year old and we are donating unused toys this month), reevaluating your daily routine, taking some space from people that might not be nurturing and uplifting you anymore, and carving out time for “you”!

Be of Service

I believe we can never remind ourselves and one another too often of the opportunity to be of service. When we take time to serve others, and put our agendas aside, the rewards are priceless. In a time on the planet where we have so much, we also have more and more people in need. Being of service is a duty in community, and it is also a gift we can offer to ourselves and others. If we all set the intention this year to serve more together w can help support the well-being and happiness of our planet in this coming year.

True Nature Travels Blog


At first glance the holidays exude a joyful and spirited time of year. Parties and merriment abound while ’tis-ing the season to give warms and fills our hearts. While this may be true for some, for others the holidays can bring up challenging and negative feelings and emotions around the excessive commercialism of our society, grief and sadness over the loss of loved ones can be especially hard during this time of year and even the anxiety over the pressure of “new beginnings” with the New Year knocking on our door can remind us of our failed attempts at resolutions and intentions in the past. How do we find a balance? How can we cut straight to the real meaning of the season which truly centers around hope and possibility? Here are three ways to check in and reconnect with discovering your own “reason for the season.”

Make a list of what you love about the holidays

Make a list of three (or more) things that you love about this time of year. Is it listening to Christmas music or making cookies with your loved ones? Is it making homemade gifts or volunteering at the local shelter. Let’s be honest – they do not say “the hustle and bustle” of the holidays for no reason. It is so easy to get caught up in what might be not important to you at all during this time of year. By keeping your list close by and when things come up that you may not feel so comfortable with, looking to your list and touching in with one of those, you can stay close to what is important to you.

Create a space to reflect on the last year

We can get so caught up in looking to the New Year to see what “we can change” about ourselves that we often forget to stop and reflect on our accomplishments, our challenges, our ups and downs and what we have learned over the past year. It’s important to look back with thoughtful reflection and perhaps with a little more of that, you will find it a bit easier to look ahead with optimism and excitement.

Find time to give back

Regardless of whether we love or hate the holiday season, making time to give is not just something we should do once a year – BUT if that is the case, being of service to others is a straight shot of love right to the heart and truly has the potential to bring an abiding peace to your soul. Perhaps it is volunteering at a shelter by cooking a holiday meal or maybe it is choosing to make donations in your families names instead of buying gifts. It is ALWAYS the season of giving around here at True Nature and we love the holidays especially because of that.

True Nature Travels Blog

You can incorporate mindfulness into just about anything these days. Eating, walking, working, yoga, communicating. One of the most powerful places I have integrated mindfulness into my own life is in my relationships. My wife and I have embraced mindfulness practices into our partnership and marriage pretty much from the very start. But, it doesn’t end there! Now that we are a family of three – my three year-old daughter and I are finding our own rhythm with how we will share mindfulness together as well. I have found these following five tips helpful in all sorts of different relationships. You can apply the fundamentals of them into any relationship in your life.

1) Practice Mindful Listening and Speaking

Now that we are a family of three – mindful communication with one another is more important than ever!

It has become a norm in our culture to speak a lot, speak fast, and to interrupt. The practice of Mindful Communication can be simple and also quite powerful. It is easiest to begin to practice with someone in an intentional setting, where you are carving out a certain amount of time to try the exercise. Choose who will speak first and who will listen. The person who is speaking has “the floor”and can share whatever they would like. A possible theme can be “How are you feeling now? What is alive in you? How was your day?.” The person that is listening, does just that, listen as fully as possible. The listener might find his or her attention wandering, (that is completely normal), when you realize you have drifted simply come back to your parters voice and words. When they are complete, offer a simple acknowledgment (ie. Thank you.) and switch.

2) Share a Mindful Meal

One of our many retreat centers in Costa Rica serving up delicious, wholesome, organic and fresh food. It’s easy to eat mindfully here!

I know one of my tendencies is to eat fast. There are numerous studies that show the value of slowing down how fast we eat. When sharing a mindful meal with someone you have the opportunity to slow down and appreciate your meal and your company. You can begin your meal by offering a word of gratitude. Together you can appreciate what you are eating, observing the smell of the food, the presentation, and then together sharing in the taste of the food. To add another piece to this practice you could try to weave in some Mindful Sharing or even try out a silent meal where you don’t talk, but simply enjoy your food and your company in a new and fresh way.

3) Take a Mindful Walk

My daughter, Jaya reminding me to stop and smell… the mushrooms!

Walking meditation is one of the most common forms of Mindfulness practice. Taking a walk can be a wonderful way to slow down, get outside, and share in the present moment with another. It is said that the slow and constant pace of walking can have greater benefits on the physical than many intensive exercises. When walking together we also have an opportunity to share mindfully. Practice mindful observation, where you see through the eyes of a child. Point out the beauty that surrounds. Thich Nhat Hanh calls this practice “Kissing the Earth together with every step.

4) Mindful Intimacy

Having a little one, running a business and also supporting my wife who has a very successful career as a musician (and travels a lot!) requires conscious and mindful effort at times for us to stay and feel connected. Sometimes, we just need to remember to have fun together. I snapped this picture of us recently on our bowling “date night.” When you both know how much time and energy it takes to be together, you appreciate one another that much more. We had a blast!

Yes, of course, one of our favorite and most familiar places of authentically being mindful is when we share in intimacy with a loved one. When sharing in intimacy you have one of your greatest opportunities to be mindful. The best part of this practice is that it normally happens naturally. When we are being intimate with another, we are drawn into the moment and our mind normally settles into the comfort, nurturing, and love that is shared in a space of intimacy. Nothing to do, nowhere to go. Some tips to enhance your experience can be to sit silently for a few minutes before you begin, look into each others eyes, and try breathing together.

5) Create a Regular Mindfulness Practice Together

From the moment we said, “I do,” we have made mindfulness one of the core values in our marriage and family.

Weaving awareness into our regular day life is true goal of mindfulness. But one of the most beneficial ways of practicing is to create a regular formal meditation practice, and to practice with someone else. Try to create a routine, where you meet at the same time, ideally in a place that is special to both of you. Be as intentional and reverent as possible, and use the presence of one another to support the practice. There can be something so sweet, simple, and intimate about sitting with someone in the space of silent practice.

Do you have any mindfulness tips that have worked or helped your relationships? I would love to hear them!

39523_165335256815075_7746876_nJoshua Canter is the Founder and Director of True Nature Education.  He holds a MA in Contemplative Psychology with an Emphasis on Mindfulness. Joshua is a meditation teacher, trained facilitator, retreat leader trainer, and  yoga instructor.  Since 2002, Joshua has been living part time in Costa Rica and in Asheville, North Carolina, teaching courses and workshops, leading retreats, and accompanying his wife, Luna Ray, musically she travels throughout the United States. Joshua is also a father to his daughter Jaya Arielle.


True Nature Travels Blog

The title of this recent article on by Dorie Clark caught out eye:

Why Mindfulness Is The Next Revolution In Marketing


Mindfulness is one of our CORE VALUES here at TNE. You bet we were all nodding in approval to see this article! One of the leaders in the Fortune 500 Community sharing how incorporating mindfulness practices into your workaday (and life) helps marketers to “center themselves, pause, prioritize, and find their wisdom.” Um. COOL! #MindfulnessNOW #EverydayMindfulness

Mainstream mindfulness is not necessarily a new concept in the workplace.  Everyone from Google to General Mills, Target, LinkedIn, 15Five, and Green Mountain Coffee are “doing it.”

Doing what? What are these companies doing, why and is it making difference? Lisa Nirell, author of The Mindful Marketer: How to Stay Present and Profitable in a Data-Driven World shares that marketers have to step back and “stay in the present moment to deal with the complex tasks in front of us.” She says that Marketers are being asked to do more now than ever, with higher expectations and limited resources. Her training in yoga, meditation and Buddhism has helped her to “train her mind to focus,” and that can give one a competitive edge in the business world.

“To gain increased clarity, she suggests trying out techniques including nature walks, silent meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and many others. Those who ignore these learning opportunities will remain stressed, overworked.” 

Wondering if you are practicing mindfulness while at your job? Take Nirells nifty Mindful Marketing Meter Assessment.

Check out the full article for more tips on marketing and mindfulness!





True Nature Travels Blog

Please join us from October 1-14 for our very first Instagram Challenge! (btw – we are @truenatureeducation on insta) Yes, we are finally jumping on the instagram challenge train – and when our team here at True Nature thought, “What sort of challenge would reflect what is important to us,” MINDFULNESS came up right away and how we look to bring presence and mindfulness into our work for the company and also into our everyday lives.

A little bit about mindfulness (from our point of view)…

Mindfulness is a VERB. It is a word created to be put into action and not just talked about during a yoga class or thought about while meditating or read about only in books. In fact, mindfulness is one of the most important tools you can invite into your heart to bring your practice off the mat and the cushion and into your day to day life. In short, mindfulness is pretty freaking awesome.

From lowering stress, improving health, shifting relationship dynamics, increasing focus in students (of all ages) there are a plethora of studies and research out there that basically talks mindfulness up to being a key element to invite into your life, if you want to live with a sense of connection, freedom and happiness to the life you are living. Mindfulness helps us to notice the presence, peace and beauty that is always available to us, in each and every moment.

The Challenge!

OK! So, here is what we are asking you to do. Post an image everyday (or as many days as you can) and share how you chose to mindful in that moment. Maybe it was going for a walk, doing the dishes, changing a diaper, sending emails, having a conversation – truly, while we may not really have the opportunity to practice headstand in every moment of our lives, we DO in fact have the chance to practice mindfulness – so get creative and go for it!

We hope you will join us all through the month of October using the hashtag #everydaymindfulness and posting an image of where you found an opportunity to practice mindfulness in your day. Maybe it was sitting in traffic or walking the dog, washing the dishes or simply connecting with a friend. We look forward to seeing you during this journey. Let’s set an intention together that by taking five minutes a day for mindfulness, that it transforms us to notice the life that is right here, in front of us, always unfolding.

Our Sponsors!


Samara Zelniker – Follow her on instagram @mindfulnessmatters

Samara Zelniker is the founder and president of Mindfulness Matters. She began her company after several years in the corporate workplace. She often came home feeling depleted, unfulfilled and with limited time and energy to focus on extracurricular activities. She thought that if she were feeling this way, others probably were too. A shift in focus from stress and sluggishness to health and action was a must. Samara received her 200 hour teacher training through Power Yoga Canada.
She recently went on a life changing trip to Nairobi, Kenya where she helped train 150 people from all over Africa to become yoga teachers. Through this, she received an additional 100 hours of teacher training through Africa Yoga Project. She was deeply touched by the people that she met and inspired by how yoga shaped their daily lives.



Alana Roach – Follow her on Instagram @alanaroachyoga

Alana is a 2015 True Nature Faculty Member and is hosting her first retreat in Costa Rica January 17th-24th 2015. Alana’s love for yoga came from firsthand experience with just how powerful the practice is.

“In 2009, Yoga found me. I felt as though I was at true peace. I finally knew what the word meant. Until that moment, I had just understood it cerebrally. There is something profound to be said about Peace dropping into the heart. I realize now that I have been training to practice and teach yoga my whole life”

In 2012, her journey took her to India for 3 months where she trained with incredible locals near the Himalayas and fell into a rhythm of practice that felt sustaining. She has been teaching ever since all over the world and is currently in Costa Rica to spread the light of yoga there. CYT and E-RYT certified in Vinyasa with a focus in Ashtanga Yoga and her personal studies of energy work, yoga theory, and style ranging from restorative to power and everything in between. With over 1,000 hours of teaching experience, Alana teaches all levels and all ages.


Dana Phillips – Follow her on Instagram @tulaajewelry

Dana Phillips is a Reiki Master, Meditation Teacher, Mom to two-legged and four legged beings and founder of Tulaa Jewelry where she designs and creates each piece using healing stones. Dana reiki’s each piece to activate the natural healing qualities of the stones. She loves custom orders and feels that she can then connect directly with her customers by creating special pieces specifically for their needs.

Prizes from the Instagram challenge are from Dana and Tulaa Jewelry!

Jessica-Durivage-Mantra-2Jessica Durivage-Kerridge – follow her on Instagram @whereismyguru

Jessica Durivage-Kerridge is the Global Relations Coordinator right here at True Nature! Her first true love affair was with travel and seeing the world. She’s a mystic mama who wears the badge “seeker of truth” on her heart (and who wears her heart on her sleeve). Since 2001 Jessica has been an passionate and purposeful traveler with several trips around the globe sharing her gifts and talents to the communities she meets.

Jessica now resides in Myrtle Beach, SC with her husband Carl, son Ellis, dog Julia Olive and two cats, Suki and Spooky. You can find more about Jessica, her writing and teaching at and

Get started NOW and promote the challenge!

Use this copy (or edit for you!) and grab one of the photos below to let your community know that you are down with #everydaymindfulness and we will see you on October 1st!

Join me and @truenatureeducation @mindfulnessmatters @alanaroachyoga @tulaajewelry and @whereismyguru all month long this October for their #everydaymindfulness instagram challenge! We will be sharing moments of #mindfulness during our busy days to find more peace and presence in our lives!

EverydayMindfulness Trailer


be here now

True Nature Travels Blog

Beautiful beaches, peaceful serenity, daily yoga; that and much more sums up the experience that is waiting for you with Devon Schmidt and the Day Yoga Studio Yoga Retreat.  We caught up with Devon and she filled us in on her Costa Rica bucket list and what “being something more” means to her.


What does it mean for you to “be something more” as part of your yoga practice, teaching, and your intentions for your retreat?
I am always trying to stay connected with my own inner wisdom in my personal practice and sometimes that means stepping out of my usual boundaries and comfort zones on and off my mat while facing new challenges Sometimes I find that being something more is as simple as letting go of things that aren’t working. When I can explore this through my practice it helps me to come back to why I am a yoga teacher and I can better serve my students, my family and the community. In my teachings I enjoy weaving in spiritual principles while encouraging students to challenge themselves but to also be compassionate with themselves when it’s needed. My intentions for this retreat are to have an amazing time sharing it with others who enjoy this practice of yoga in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Who has been your greatest influence and why?

So many people that have influenced me in positive ways and I don’t think I can narrow it down to one. I am grateful to have trained with many wonderful national and local yoga teachers and am inspired by each and every one of them. In addition the people that I have contact with on a daily basis, my husband, kids, friends, the teachers and students at Day Yoga are the ones that inspire me the most because they remind me to live up to my fullest potential and to be of service to others.

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

Half Moon- I love the combination of strength, flexibility and balance that is required in that pose and I strive to incorporate these important qualities in every situation in my life!

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

I enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, spending time with family & friends and trying anything new and fun!

What is on your “Costa Rica Bucket List?”

On this retreat I plan to visit Arenal Volcano, swim in hot springs, spend time at the beach swimming and relaxing, hiking, go to the Cloud forest, eat amazing local food, and practice lots of yoga of course!

Read more about Devon and her upcoming 2015 Retreat.

True Nature Travels Blog

38364_1464762812287_6895362_nIt is not everyday that you have the chance to meet a Shaman.  We are deeply honored to introduce you to Jeff Firewalker.  He and his wife are leading a Yoga and Shamanic Healing Retreat in March/April 2015.

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

For me, ‘being something more’ has always been a rich theme for reflection. So many of us connect this statement to the trappings of an I-centered culture … more power, more money, more sex, more pleasure, etc. But when I think about this in the context of the collective awakening that is occurring all around us, these thoughts and aspirations arise: being something more means: increasing your capacity for service, awakening spiritual warriorship, facing the shadow and the woundings of the past, gratitude, feeling your connection to the sacred web of life and finally — somewhat paradoxically — being something more ultimately means being something less. Less individuated, woven deeply into direct experience, the drop of water in the sea, the hollow bone thru which the great mystery can speak.

Who has been your greatest influence and why?

I really don’t have a single greatest influence. I have been deeply inspired by so many teachers and guides.

Beatrice Bruteau – encouraged me to become a bridge builder, uniting my understanding of science and spirituality.
Richard Feynman – demonstrated to me that being a great scientist doesn’t mean diminishing awe and wonder and adventure.
Cat Matlock (my beloved) – for teaching me the importance of Faith
His Holiness the Dalai Lama – for showing us the path of balancing compassion, personal power, humility and humor
Wade Davis – for his passionate and powerful articulation of the need to protect cultural/ethnic diversity

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

The channeling of the Medicine Song and spoken prayer. For me the Spiritual path is a Verb; it is about showing up with clear intention and it is about surrendering yourself to be a channel for the Great Work.

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

Sacred music, indigenous and sacred healing practice, the nature of consciousness, internal martial arts, parenting.

What is on your “Costa Rica Bucket List?”

I would like to fully experience the people, the spirits of the land, the jungle, the coast and the waters.

For more information about Jeff’s retreat, click here.

Check out our entire 2015 Program Schedule.