True Nature Travels Blog

Latin American Playlist

The First Time I Heard Spanish

Her happy voice caught my ear as I passed by the house. She was laughing and sweetly teasing her children from her chair on the porch. I had no idea what she was saying, but in her natural speaking voice, she practically sang the most vibrant, expressive string of words I’d ever heard. In that moment, I realized I should have studied Spanish in high school, not French.

After that first trip to Honduras, I knew speaking Spanish would somehow become part of my life path.

Learning the Music of Spanish

Latin American Playlist
Dancing salsa with my love in Cali, Colombia.

Over the years, I studied Spanish in fits and spurts, but in the last 7 years, or so, I’ve really picked it up. It helped to move to Colombia for a year and half, and it helps that my partner is Mexican. It also helps that I dance salsa… because the salsa tradition delivers Spanish with high-quality music I love to hear.

Once you develop an ear for it, you may notice how beautifully Spanish lends itself to music. Spanish words are full of vowels, so they sing exquisitely, with airy, mantra-like ohs, ees, ehs, and ahs.

Listening to the Music

When I first started listening to music in Spanish, I could barely understand anything. Then one day, something clicked. Now, if I have my headphones in, I can understand almost every lyric I hear… just like in English! Point being: If you’re learning Spanish, keep listening to the music! It will come!

For those of you still training your ear, I know it’s easy to fall for songs with great melodies and rhythms only to discover later that they’re full of crude lyrics. That’s why I’ve compiled a playlist of popular latin songs, with lyrics in Spanish, that are not only safe for mixed company*, but also inspire the spirit and heal the soul.

Latin Music Culture

In the “Levanta el Espíritu” playlist you’ll find some of the great classic artists like Celia Cruz and Oscar de León, as well as modern stars Marc Anthony and Daddy Yankee. I’ve included latin dance styles like salsa, merengue, bolero, cumbia, pacifico, tropical, and bachata, as well as folk, rock, rap, hip hop, and pop.

All of the music has something uplifting going on in the lyrics, and some of it is downright profound. Jorge Drexler sings poetically about interconnectedness and non-duality. Celia Cruz reveals her deep bodhisattva nature. Residente rocks out on the power in the shadow side of life. All that mixes in with great latin music anthems that call us to dance to overcome our suffering, celebrate the beauty of life, and pay homage to our roots.

Latin American Playlist
Cerro de las Tres Cruces, Cali, Colombia

Get Ready for Your Next Trip

Hearing music in Spanish will help you learn vocabulary and turns of phrase. Singing along will teach your mouth the awkward acrobatics of inflection and pronunciation. Grooving to the beat feels like taking a mini-vacation to Latin America!

I hope you hear some of these songs on your next trip (or remember them from the last one). I hope you find a new artist you love. (psst… Orishas! Herencia de Timbiquí! Maná! ChocQuibTown!) Most of all, I hope the world of latin music, culture, and Spanish language opens a little wider for you. Happy listening!


Also find the playlist here.

La Vida (Respira el Momento) by Calle 13 is about opening to the vastness of life. The words “sexo, orgasmo” appear briefly in that context.


About the Author

Delana Thompson helps spiritually-inclined entrepreneurs express their hearts and expand their influence with authentic copywriting, project management,delana thompson and professional delivery of their online content. Her clients include teachers and practitioners of meditation, yoga, ayurveda, shamanic healing, astrology, and fine art. When she’s not writing marketing emails or designing landing pages, you’ll find Delana salsa dancing, practicing meditation, planning a trip, listening to a podcast, speaking Spanish, or missing all her faraway friends. Visit Delana on LinkedIn to learn more about her business.

True Nature Travels Blog

Travel bloggers appear to be taking over the internet. Everyone is talking about global travel and it seems that #wanderlust has been trending for years. Instagram and Facebook are flooded with pictures of tanned travelers sipping cocktails in bikinis while lounging on white sand beaches with captions like, “Just another Monday afternoon!” But is it really all sunshine and daiquiris? Or is there another side to global travel? Read on to learn what no one tells you about global travel.

It can be the hardest thing you will ever do

global travel truths 1

If you think deciding how many shoes to pack is hard, just wait until you get off the plane. Global travel is full of unexpected challenges. You are going to be farther from home than you’ve ever been surrounded by people who don’t speak your language and don’t share your cultural practice. You learn so much from adapting to this change, but when you are thrown into a foreign world, it can take a while to find your feet.

Depending where you travel to, you might not have hot water or you might be served unidentifiable foods. If you are doing a global service project, you will be exposed to ways of life you probably never even considered before. By the end of your global travel you will have a wealth of new experiences and you will be a stronger, more worldly person. But first you have to go through the hard part: adapting, learning, and letting yourself change. For most of us change doesn’t come easy, but once we allow it, it’s the best thing we could ever ask for.

You will never quite recover from it

global travel truths 2

When you come home from global travel, things don’t go back to the way they were. You see everything with a new perspective and consider everything in respect to what you witnessed abroad. Whether it’s a six-month solo adventure or a one-week wellness retreat, you are going to come home changed. And before long, you are going to want to leave again.

There’s a reason ‘wanderlust’ became a trending term. The travel bug is a real infliction that you are bound to bring home with you. If you are expecting your global travel to be a one-time thing, don’t. But that’s what makes it so great. You get through the challenges and it makes you appreciate the things you have at home, but it also makes you realize how capable you are. It teaches you things. And before long you are addicted to places you’ve never seen.

It is also more spectacular than you ever imagined

global travel truths 3

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but global travel is worth a million. And there’s no number of blogs you can read or Instagram accounts you can follow that will express just how incredible global travel really is. For that, you need to go for yourself. Because beyond the challenges, beyond the cocktails on the beach, and beyond the travel bug, there’s a certain something that waits for you on the other side of the world.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you travel to, but when you enter the world of global travel you learn something about yourself. You learn about the world and your place in it. And you come home with a fuller heart and a more complete soul. So if the challenges of global travel scare you, just remember this: it is always worth it.

True Nature Travels Blog

We have all seen the pictures. You know, the ones of smiling men and women in front of stunning international backdrops. The ones that make you think, “I should go there”. But when all we have is a pretty picture and some vague idea that it would be nice to travel, it is hard to justify the cost of the plane ticket and the effort that goes into planning global travel. On the other hand, once you weigh all the benefits it is impossible to justify staying at home! Looking for an excuse to get your own wow-worthy photos? Here are seven reasons why global travel is totally worth it.

1. You will get a new perspective on things

reasons for global travel 1

Whether you climb up mountain peaks or stick your toes in the sand along the ocean shore, global travel is guaranteed to change the way you look at some things. We spend most of our lives in a relatively small area, be it within one town, one state, or one country. We see the same things. We eat the same food. Regardless of how we feel about it, we generally know one way of life.

That’s not the case when you start traveling. Maybe you will find yourself adopting a pura vida lifestyle in Costa Rica or dining on guinea pig in Peru. Wherever you go, you are bound to be exposed to ways of life that you never knew existed. From solo travel to global service to group retreats, all types of global travel are guaranteed to send you home with new eyes.

2. You will meet people who will change your life

reasons for global travel 2

It is human nature to surround ourselves with people that share our values and beliefs. That is especially easy to do when you live in one place where most people share similar backgrounds and life experience. It is not so easy to do when you embrace global travel.

When we travel, we are suddenly exposed to people of vastly different backgrounds from our own. Be it the locals or your fellow travelers, you are bound to meet plenty of people who challenge the way you think and encourage you to open yourself to new ideas. Their ways of thinking and interacting with the world can change your life. Some of them might make you reconsider ideas of your own, others might make you realize how important your beliefs are to you. Either way, you are bound to learn something from the people you meet during global travel.

3. And you will make friends to last a lifetime

reasons for global travel 3

Most of the people you meet when traveling are fleeting. You know them for a couple days while you are in the same country and though the bonds you form are real and powerful, they only last as long as your trip. Once you leave you go back to your friends and family and they go back to theirs.

But the rare few stick with you. Every once in a while you meet a travel friend that is going to be in it for the long run. And they are some of the most valuable things you get out of global travel. Because no matter where you go or what you do, they will always be there to remind you never to forget the things you experienced and learned while you were traveling with them. Plus, if they live abroad, you have free housing for your next global adventure. And who doesn’t want that?

4. But it is yourself that you will get to know the best

reasons for global travel 4

The fleeting interactions and the lasting relationships are what you will remember most from your travel experience, but it is the bond you form with yourself that is the most powerful. When we step outside of our comfort zones (and global travel is outside most of our comfort zones) we are faced with obstacle after obstacle. Everything is new and different, which only makes it more challenging.

But when your entire foundation is challenged and nothing around you is the same, it forces you to find your center where everything is true and nothing changes. It is a small place inside of us, but it is inside of us—all of us. Most of us have never had a reason to dig it out, but the shock of travel brings it up. You stop identifying yourself with who your friends are and what you do while because none of that matters when you are traveling. Instead, your identity becomes who you are when all the other stuff is removed. That is the only thing that is left when you travel.

5. You will start looking at home differently

reasons for global travel 5

Eventually the time will come when you have to go home again. You will probably shed some tears and wonder when you can get back to global travel, but fear not. Some of the best lessons come when you return. Some of it is little stuff, like realizing how luxurious it is to have a hot shower and the ability to flush toilet paper instead of throwing it away.

Some of the lessons are bigger. A travel friend once told me that at least 50% of what you learn from travel you learn when you get home, and I couldn’t agree more. You start to see everything that was familiar for so many years as different. You start to compare it and reconsider it with the fresh eyes that only global travel can give you.

6. And you realize that ‘across the world’ is not so far away

reasons for global travel 6

Sure, the airfare and mileage doesn’t change after you travel abroad, but something else does; your view of it all. Once you’ve taken the plunge, global travel doesn’t seem so scary anymore and the idea of putting everything on hold to travel the globe starts to make perfect sense.

You also realize that even though on the surface everything is different, the countries and cultures of the world aren’t as diverse as we think. Everywhere you go you will realize that deep down, people are people, and that doesn’t change no matter what corner of the map you land in.

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

Have you ever wanted to “get something more” out of your family vacations? Do you want your vacations to feel more like a transformational journey, not only for you but for your whole clan? Do you want to have an experience that will create lasting positive change for you and those you love the most? Have you ever considered taking a service adventure trip?

1) Take a break from the “Normal” Vacation

Zipline experience

The normal vacation to each family might look slightly different, but it usually consists of going to hotel, usually the same type of hotel you have visited before, sitting by the pool, going shopping, eating at the usual restaurants, etc. When you take a break from the normal vacation and take part in a service/adventure trip you realize the possibilities that are available when traveling together. Your horizons are expanded and fresh memories are etched in your families journal of time, that in the end you remember much more than the “normal” vacation and inspires you to have a new outlook on a new type of vacation

2) Create a deeper appreciation for what you have

There is nothing like returning home, especially when you have visited a place that is dramatically different than where you live. I remember returning back from a trip to the mountains of India where I had no hot water, still to this day, I have a sense of gratitude when that hot water comes out of my shower at home. On a service and adventure trip you visit places that represent simplicity, quaint beauty, at at times poverty. Sharing in the opportunity to visit places like this bring a sense of perspective on the world and also a sense of deep appreciation often when we come home.

3) There is nothing like being of service as a family

We do a lot as families, work hard, play hard, laugh hard…But when we take a break from the fun and intimacy of our family unit and participate together in being of service something very meaningful often arises. I remember the feeling of humbleness and appreciation I had when I was young and watched my father serve a homeless person Thanksgiving dinner. When we are service we have a sense of aliveness. When we work to give back as a family we come together for a greater purpose which helps strengthen our family unit and sets a precedent to continue to be of service.

4) Realize a new calling

When we take a break from our normal lives and delve into a journey abroad new doorways are opened that don’t necessarily close when you return home. We have heard numerous stories of family that have traveled with us, and when returning home have changed the trajectory of their lives. Kids who decided to start service projects at home, teens who decided to shift the college they want to attend, and even adults who decide they want to make a change in their career. When we take a leap, do something new and fresh, and give back to others we often feel a spark within that sheds a new light on life and possibly a new path for us to walk upon.

5) Create a deeper sense of connection of Love in your family

As humans our greatest need is connection. When we are present with one another we feel connected and often loved. When taking part in a service/adventure trip you will be engaged together as a family, present with new experiences, and most of all connected with one another. Most of the time your technology will be put away or won’t work, the TV won’t be there, your work or school won’t be calling, and you will be immersed in the True Nature of your environment while also nurturing the True Nature of everyone in your family. When leading these trips, after a few days, I begin to see the essence of our guests begin to come forth, the walls and defenses that we often have at home begin to fall away, and their true colors begin to shine. Sometimes these are parts of ourselves our families have not seen in sometime or maybe have never seen. In this space of authentic experience and being we learn to appreciate and love one another in a new way.

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.

True Nature Travels Blog

1001291_182300528606161_1146230267_nGet to know Crystal Gray, TNE Faculty and hosting a “Surrender to the Flow” retreat in Costa Rica next winter. Embrace your own inner weirdness along with Crystal and her retreat partner, Carrie Williamson while you chill in a tropical paradise.

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

Being something more in my yoga practice means connecting more to my body, mind, or spirit than I did the day, week, or year before. Being more in my teaching is being able to translate more knowledge, having to do with the mind, body, or spirit as it relates to yoga than I did the day, week, or year before. To be something more in regards to our intentions for our retreat, we want to offer the students a chance to set their own intentions, whatever that may be, that will help them to find ways to be something more in their yoga practice or daily life.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?

My mother. She is one of the strongest people I know and also one of the nicest! She’s always been a great role model and let me embrace my “weirdness”.

CrystalG3. If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

Visualization practice. You create your world by your thoughts and emotions. 

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

Music (listening and playing), kirtan, cooking for my friends and family, and helping my daughter explore the world around her.

5. What is on your “Costa Rica Bucket List?”


View our entire 2015 Schedule of retreat here!

True Nature Travels Blog


Veteran TNE faculty member, Andrea Dyer has her 4th Annual Mind | Body | Fitness Yoga Retreat coming up in early 2015.  Andrea has a great community behind here that is on board for a little fun in the sun – and there is always room for one more!  She has definitely found her “Costa Rica Legs” as she puts it and would be an amazing guide and teacher for anyone who is looking to experience “the happiest place on earth.”

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

Being something more (to me) is about breaking out of the daily routine and taking the practice to a place with none of the excuses we make for ourselves that detract us from knowing where our “work” is. In my practice, I find it easier to venture into new things when I am “away” and it is my intention to lead folks on my retreats to an expanded world of their practice and experience and maybe help them push the edges out in a good way. For instance, I like to check in with those on my retreat to find out the direction their practice is going in and see what I can do to assist in getting them there – helping them with physical asana, making them more comfortable with meditation, with practices like Yin and the essential Flow practices (Ashtanga) that may open new perspectives for them – especially since meditation and Ashtanga have connotations that can be off putting and false. So my intention on our retreat is to offer avenues into a deeper practice with connected instruction and encouragement to “work and play” in an expansive way.

2. Who has been your greatest influence and why?

David Williams and Erich Schiffmann are my teachers and my guides on the yoga path. They both promote staying connected to the simplicity that is the path to comfort, happiness, bliss, longevity and being the best person you can be. They have their own ways of cutting through the fluffy, non-essential stuff and getting connected to what is real and real useful. They have helped me teach from an authentic place and to ignore the pressure to be concerned about the outward appearance of it all.
3. If there was a yoga pose or mediation practice that described you – what would it be and why?

Headstand – many years ago, I was told by a teacher that I wasn’t getting into my headstand because I wasn’t trying hard enough. I pushed and grunted and worked, but to no avail and ended up with neck pain that sent me to a neurologist. I was told to never do headstand again. I couldn’t accept that and found a compassionate teacher that showed me how to eliminate the risk to my neck and to work differently. It didn’t happen overnight, because I was so scared and hurt that I was told I wasn’t trying hard enough. I had to work on those deep inner things to let my core be strong and then I did it. Yoga happens on the inside, not the outside so much. Now I love to share how to get into a SAFE headstand and help people find empowerment and patience in their practice. If I had to choose a meditation, it would be the Lovingkindness Mettas. Same reasoning – we have to love ourselves and send love to others to be free of suffering.

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

I am totally in love with Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. It all started on my 2nd trip to Costa Rica on Lake Arenal. I love being in nature doing my practice, but on the water is so interesting – tests balance constantly – so many lessons in easing up and using strength in balance. After practicing yoga for so long, it has refreshed my outlook on poses. Having a busy schedule that keeps my inside teaching or running my studio, I look forward to getting on my board when ever I can. And lucky me, I get to teach SUP Yoga and share my love.

5. What is on your “Costa Rica Bucket List?”

I want to spend more time in the Pacific Ocean for sure – more SUP, snorkeling, MAYBE surf lessons. I spent a lot of my life intimidated by the sea and open water, so it is great to face that and have fun at the same time.

I plan of exploring more waterfalls and doing some more sloth meditations. Unlike many of my friends that have retreated with me, I plan on a nap in a shaded hammock by the sea.

Andrea Dyer ‘s retreat registration is OPEN if you want to jump on board!  Check out our whole 2015 Retreat Program Schedule here.