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Yoga Adventure or Yoga Retreat?

If we asked you to describe your idea of yoga paradise, which of the below would you choose?

10356273_780864851960822_5120060925841588446_nScenario A:

A relaxing week filled with a blend of vinyasa and restorative yoga practice, paired with plenty of time spent lounging by the pool or the ocean with a book and a beverage in hand. You’ll happily add a spa treatment or night out at a quiet restaurant, but you prefer to stay somewhat grounded during your trip. When you travel, your ideal vacation ends with you relaxed and refreshed as you return home ready to conquer whatever is next.

10308878_497310107037188_5286427300861567846_nScenario B:

An itinerary packed week of yoga with a full schedule of adventure and exploring added to the mix! When you travel, there’s more to your trip than resting and you want to see and experience as much as you can. If there are neighboring cities, you want to be sure to check out attractions and culture and you’ve likely done your research in advance so that you are sure you can pack all of your adventures in to one trip. Adventure itself leaves you refreshed and renewed, although your vacation may not include much time for extra zzzzzz’s!

So, which one did you choose? Or maybe you’re right in the middle – or would choose differently depending on what you need as you book your trip?

We are often asked about the differences between our yoga adventures and yoga retreats, and find that the answer is simple and in the name! Many of our retreats fall somewhere in the middle, so if you crave the perfect balance of both, you can tailor your experience to include some optional excursions and some lay low and rest days.

As far as yoga adventures, the Galapagos yoga retreat is most definitely the most fully packed retreat on our map! With days filled with boat trips, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, spelunking, and more this is the ultimate exploration of everything you can imagine on the islands! There are still a few moments of down time, but by the end of this retreat you’ll understand and appreciate the culture and community of the islands and have loads of photos to share with your friends back home (and there are some awesome spots to capture a yoga pose or two, as evidenced in the photo above!). There are plenty of optional excursions during many of our other yoga retreats, but this one takes care of all the planning for you so that you can simply show up ready to explore!

Another great option for a week of adventure is our Iceland yoga retreat. Besides the obvious quest for elves, the long days encourage never ending adventure in and around the city of Reykjavik. With the Blue Lagoon, the Northern Lights, puffins to see and elves to hunt you’ll be thankful for extra daylight so that your fun can extend in to the night.

If your idea of a yoga retreat includes a little more retreating than exploring, one of our favorite options is Baja. A yoga retreat in Baja is the perfect place to spend some time completely off the grid if that’s your goal, but also allows you to schedule optional excursions and adventures as it feels right.

Besides Baja, Panama and Bali are both excellent yoga retreat destinations if you crave a bit of restoration. Aruba will leave you dining on the beach and practicing with the ocean breeze to cool you. Bali takes you to the healing waters and, well, it’s Bali – it’s known for yoga magic and soul soothing.

So, whether yoga like your yoga on the retreat side, or the adventure side, we can help you find just the right spot on the map to indulge in your next vacation. The only question left for you to answer is: where will yoga take you?

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2014 Yoga Retreat Year in Review

The year that was 2014 took us on amazing yoga retreats to Iceland, Panama, Vermont, California, Aruba, Roatan, Baja, the Mayan Riviera, Galapagos, and Baliwhoohooooo!  It was an awe-inspring year of yoga, Galapagos selfies with the incredible wildlife found on the islands, sneaky marriage proposals(!) in Aruba, and so many mind-blowing adventures all over the world.

We’re incredibly grateful to each of our teachers and our yogis with their courage, intrepid nature and sense of humor as they yoga retreat around the world.

We’ve compiled a little video year-in-review dedication to our 2014 crew while we look forward to 2015’s new yogis, teachers and destination.  Join us for a quick trip to paradise…

2014 Yoga Retreat Year In Review:

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Fall Travel Roundup

With school starting and our calendar pages now turned to September, there’s no ignoring that fall is fully upon us. As much as we love the routine that comes along with summer ending, the idea of fall travel is what keeps us going as the mornings get a little colder and the days start to get a little shorter!

With that in mind, we are giving you a preview of all of our fall yoga retreats in one place. Why experience fading-summertime sadness when you can spend a fall week in the sunshine exploring the Mexican Riviera, Galapagos or Bali with some of our amazing yoga teachers? Why indeed…


 Costa Rica | Jenniferlyn Chiemingo

 

Jenniferlyn Chiemingo Yoga Costa Rica Yoga Retreat The Travel YogiCosta Rica Eco-Escape Yoga Retreat: October 11-18, 2014 

Coming to Costa Rica means experiencing the beach, the jungle, yoga and relaxing. All this in an ultimate, eco-friendly location called the Blue Osa. Farm to table meals, strong power vinyasa in the mornings and restorative, relaxing yoga in the evenings make this a dream escape.

JL merges popular music, creative flows, lots of love and genuine connection on her retreats. Her motto: Love Big, Love More is felt throughout the week, as you learn to love yourself more and connect with a new family of like-minded people. From Sayulita, Mexico to the Galapagos Islands to Baja, Mexico and now Costa Rica – once you come along with JL, you will want to come every time she journeys somewhere new.

JL has been featured at Wanderlust California, as a lululemon and YogaEarth Ambassador, on MindBodyGreen, and Grow Soul Beautiful. This is not just a yoga retreat (though there is plenty of yoga). This is a yoga adventure getaway to Central America that will change your life. Great Yoga, New Friends, Amazing Food, Jungle Exploration, Ocean Experiences and so much more.

 


Mexican Riviera | Angel Lucia

 

Dip Into Bliss Yoga & Meditation Mexico Retreat: Oct 26 – Nov 1, 2014Angel Lucia Yoga Mexico Yoga Retreat The Travel Yogi

Coming from an innate desire to discover and explore, Angel embarks on this retreat to guide her yogis through a blissful flow and healing meditation. Angel currently has been teaching and running her studio for over 15 years. She encourages everyone to focus on their own journey and have fun on their mat.

Accompanied by her friend and musician, Petro Bass, classes will be filled with live music to enhance the vibe of that class’s theme. Petro plays a wide variety of instruments and is admired for his talent of creating soundscapes within class.

Days will begin with an organic flow to energize you for the day. Evenings will unwind with a yin/restorative class, which will settle you into the tranquillo night vibes after playing on the white sandy beaches. When you’re not flowing on your mat, you will be indulging in fresh vegetarian foods, swimming in the crystal blue ocean and exploring the adorable shops in town.

Angel will lead you through practice to find grounding in your life and connect with what inspires you both on and off of the mat.


Galapagos | Rocky Heron

Gravity of Gratitude Galapagos Yoga Retreat:  Nov 1-8, 2014Rocky Heron The Travel Yogi Rooftop Yoga

An opportunity for yoga is always a gift I value and am grateful for. Daily practice provides a ‘retreat’ of sorts; a space where we can explore, learn, and participate in our own continual, blissful expansion. An immersive week spent retreating in paradise, however, provides the potential for radical alignment and transformation that can re-invigorate our practice and powerfully reveal the bliss that resides in the core of human experience. I have had the pleasure of leading more than10 yoga & meditation retreats, and am always amazed by the joy and clarity these experiences facilitate. Our Galapagos adventure will include yoga sessions of asana and pranayama to awaken and charge your body and mind as well as restorative practices to soothe and cleanse your nervous system. We will also spend our time together re-defining our goals and values through a simple and fun process designed to bring you up to speed with the frequencies of your heart’s desires.

Through the potency practice, the wonder of our exploration, and the satisfaction of good company, this retreat will provide you the ideal opportunity to tap into the gravity of your gratitude. I am honored to share in this
spectacular journey with you. See you in paradise!


Bali | Liz Arch

Liz Arch Yoga Bali Yoga Retreat The Travel YogiGrateful Heart Thanksgiving Bali Yoga Retreat:  Nov 22-29, 2014

Join Liz Arch for a gratitude-filled Thanksgiving Retreat to Bali.  Take your practice to new heights while creating joy and connection in this sacred setting. Enjoy luxury eco-accommodations, healthy and delicious meals, and daily yoga sessions in an open-air yoga studio with spectacular views of the greenest jungle in the world. Our morning practices will be creative and intelligently sequenced Vinyasa classes focusing on a specific daily theme.  Afternoon sessions are taught in a workshop-style format designed to deepen your practice and build on the morning’s theme.

During the day, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the culturally rich city of Ubud, go on excursions through rice paddies and monkey forests, bathe in healing temple waters, or simply relax and breathe in gratitude for the magic of Bali.

 

 


Mexican Riviera | Rebecca Butler

 

Mexico Yoga Retreat Rebecca Butler Yoga The Travel YogiChoose Joy Mexico Yoga Retreat: Nov 30 – Dec 6, 2014

As I’ve begun leading retreats, I’ve realized one thing: I’m really good at this. I love yoga. I love travel. I love meeting new people. I love nurturing existing relationships. And I love ushering a group of like minded souls through a transformative physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experience, all in the heart of paradise.

This particular location looks incredible to me… the sun, the sea, the joy! How perfect is that? What an incredible place to lead a group of yogis through my Choose Joy curriculum that I have created from the fiber of my soul. It is my honor to offer this retreat to you.

Together…  We will work hard. And we will play hard; We will meet your edge and compassionately negotiate it; We will open up a world of new possibilities and heal anything that’s left to be soothed from prior life experiences; We will rest, relax and restore.

You will come home stronger, exhilarated, fulfilled, stoked and in a powerful state of simultaneous peace and bliss. And the next time life throws you a curve ball, you will have the skill of choosing joy.

 

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Getting to Know: Jenniferlyn Chiemingo

Joy. Love. Yoga. If you’ve ever met her or taken one of her classes, you know there couldn’t be three better words to describe our travel yogi Jenniferlyn Chiemingo (JL).

She’ll soon share her joyful, loving spirit with a new group of yoga retreat goers during her Costa Rica Eco-Escape Yoga Retreat this October, but we wanted to give her the opportunity to more formally introduce herself to The Travel Yogi community via our blog!

So, read on and get to know our girl JL…and if a Costa Rica yoga retreat has been calling your name, there’s no better time to go than now.

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What is your inspiration as a yoga teacher/travel yogi?

Love and Connection. I want more people to love themselves and connect with others in a loving way. I really do adore the yoga asanas, but the love is bigger for me in yoga. With travel – I want people to connect to the world beyond them, that’s bigger than them. And when you put the two together – it is magic!

Where has yoga taken you?

Goodness, where hasn’t yoga taken me! Let’s see: Sayulita and Baja Mexico yoga retreats, Idaho, California, the Galapagos Islands, and I cannot wait for this fall’s Costa Rica yoga retreat, my upcoming Galapagos yoga retreat (AGAIN) and my Bali yoga retreat coming in the fall of 2015!

What is your current favorite travel destination? Why?

Gosh, for me personally, Northern California. I lived there for several years before Seattle. Our closest ‘couple’ friends live there still. They have amazing houses in Tahoe and Sonoma. I love to go and connect to my foundation of family and friends. I love to relax, drink wine, laugh and swim in their pool! We are planning a getaway for this summer.

For The Travel Yogi – it has to be my Galapagos yoga retreat. It is like nowhere else you’ve ever been. I keep saying ‘You cannot oversell this place; it is as incredible as people say!’ Animals, scenery, people, yoga, activities… boom!!! It is a dream come true. Honestly.

What is your dream travel destination? Why?

It’s sort of silly, but I really want to go to London. Cannot believe I haven’t been there yet! I would love to do a yoga retreat in London with a pub tour, a visit to Big Ben and the Parliament, etc. (hint hint Travel Yogi)    ….ha, ha…we hear you girl! 🙂

What is your intention for your upcoming retreat?

Love and Connection. Connect with people. Connect with Nature. Connect with Yourself. <3

What are you most excited about in Costa Rica?

The morning paddle boarding, the Jungle Trek, meeting Aaron (the owner of our retreat location in Costa Rica), the food, the animals… even the wine (we can get wine right?!)  <– yes ma’am!

Anything else we should know?

Just this: yes, we do yoga and yes it is challenging sometimes. But you don’t HAVE to do yoga every day, all the time. It is your vacation! I cannot wait to connect! (and love too) <3

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Yoga Retreats: How to Choose and What to Expect

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By: Jenniferlyn Chiemingo

Nowadays you can travel almost anywhere on a yoga retreat; Bali, Galapagos, Mexico and so on. Each one is so unique but there are qualities that exist in all of them.  With so many options of where to go and who is teaching – how do you know what to expect or what is right for you? Here are some tips:

On most yoga retreats you will experience:

1)     Connection. By traveling with like-minded people and experiencing yoga (union) 1794767_10152284582471940_1622680185_nthere is a natural energy that brings you together on a deep level. Each retreat I have led has brought me life-long friends.  And more importantly – the students connect to each other and become soul-friends.

2)     Deeper practice.  It is difficult in a regular schedule to practice yoga every day, even twice a day. A retreat creates the space and time to dedicate to your physical practice so naturally you see some obvious growth.  It also allows more time with the teacher to ask questions about certain poses or to even work one on one with the teacher on specific items.

3)     New Experiences – Most retreats offer excursions and adventures to try things like paddle boarding, snorkeling, hiking, seeing whales or other sea animals.  You get to do all this in an exotic location that you might otherwise not traveled to.  You can even take a yoga retreat alone because you aren’t really alone.  New activities, in a new location, with new people. It is all new!

4)     New Perspective – Sometimes just being out of your regular every day and away from your usual crowd can bring you a new way of looking at things. But when you do all of this AND practice yoga, you cultivate an awareness and an understanding that you can bring back with you.

If you are wondering if yoga retreats are for you or even how to choose WHICH one to go on – think of these items:

1)     Adventure or Relaxation – There are yoga retreats focused on relaxation with lots of sitting on a beach or by a pool, getting spa treatments and doing more restorative yoga.  There are also retreats focused on adventure with lots of activities and excursions and very little ‘down’ time.  You have to decide what you want out of a yoga retreat and choose wisely.

2)     Teacher – Make sure you feel comfortable and safe with the teacher leading retreat. It is a lot of time taking classes and connecting to the leader who sets the tone for the whole experience.  If you feel comfortable; the transformation can be amazing!

3)     Style of Asana – With many teachers comes many different styles of the physical practice of yoga. Again, since typically retreats include one to two classes a day, make sure you know the style of yoga being taught and that it resonates with you.  Vinyasa, Yin, Hatha, Restorative, Ashtanga  – the list is endless and know that you have options.

4)     What is Included? – Check out the included and not included list. Assess that with the cost to make sure you are getting value and more importantly that  you are not getting in over your head financially.  Are meals included? Yoga? Excursions? Flights? Each retreat is different and prices are varied.

Most of all, know you have options. There are so many teachers, an infinite number of locations and even visions for yoga retreats. Do your research to find the best option for you.  You will not be sorry. Retreats offer an opportunity to get away, grow and transform and come back ready to take on your life in a whole new way.


happy picTravel Yogi: Jenniferlyn (JL) Chiemengo

To energize, renew and free are words that describe Jenniferlyn’s (known to her 100s of students as “JL”) method of yoga practice. When you step away from JL’s Vinyasa class, you will always feel that you are entering into a better world. You will find her classes both challenging and spiritual.

In 2002, overcome by the power and benefits of yoga, JL decided to move her career from the newsroom to the yoga mat. After completing more than 200 hours of training, JL started her career guiding new moms through pre and postnatal yoga and helping cancer patients heal through yoga, meditation and pranayama.

Continuing her training with Shiva Rea in 2005 and 2007, JL embraced Vinyasa yoga. Through Vinyasa, she learned linking the breath with movement is powerful, energizing and cleansing. JL’s own Vinyasa style has evolved from amazing teachers like Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Ana Forrest and Dharma Mittra.

With more than 10 years of teaching JL has a devoted following in Seattle and through her writing. Connect with JL on Facebook, Twitter or via her website.

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Miracles Happen When You Go With the Flow

What can happen when you stop worrying and go with the flow? One of our frequently traveling travel yogis answers the question for us from her experience at Jen Pastiloff’s Manifestation Retreat in Bali

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I received a text, smiled, responded and held my breath. My husband said “What did you do?” I said “I just agreed to go to Bali.” And that’s how I ended up at a Manifestation Yoga Retreat in Bali.

I am a married, working mother, (personal trainer) with 2 children and a household to run. The very idea of me flying off to Bali, was insane. Who would take care of my children? Who would get them to their activities, who would food shop, make sure dinner was ready and get the homework done. Who would train my clients and cover my classes? Who would walk the dog? To make it a bit more interesting, the trip fell on Thanksgiving week, perfect. But, I had silently committed to myself that I would go with the flow. So I went with the flow.

When I responded to that text I was in a place in my life where I needed something. At the time I wasn’t sure what it was that I needed, but I knew something was missing, so did my husband. I wasn’t unhappy, I just felt like I was not in touch with me anymore. My life was about my family and my job, not that I didn’t love both, I just had no idea who I was anymore. I felt like everything was moving so fast I didn’t have a moment to breathe. I was losing me. I knew when I responded to that text that I would go to Bali. And I knew that I would make sure it would be ok with everyone in my life, they would be taken care of, we would all benefit from this trip.

The process of getting ready to go in and of itself was a transformative experience. In preparing to leave my family and go to the other side of the planet, I was doing what any guilt-ridden, control freak mom would do; I was trying to plan for and create plans and contingency plans for every possible, albeit unlikely, scenario that might occur in my absence.

I always knew I was a control freak and that mommy-guilt was my achilles heel. But isn’t “knowing” our stuff really the “booby prize”? It’s when we can actually observe our stuff holding us back and in the moment and consciously choose to make the change – that’s when we get the real prize. Having this experience in front of me allowed the space for me to observe where guilt and control stop me, make the change and go with the flow.

We were booked for the Manifestation Retreat with Jennifer Pastiloff. We would be staying at the Soulshine Retreat in Ubud, Bali.

Upon arriving in Hong Kong, where we had a 19 hour layover, I realized, for first time in my life, I am in a country where I know exactly one person; my friend who is sitting across the table from me. That’s it. One person. I’ve never felt so isolated and empowered at the same time. I knew anything that would happen would be left for us to handle. I decided then that I would flow like water throughout this trip. I wasn’t going to try to be in control, nor would I feel guilty if I did or didn’t want to do something. I didn’t want either my friend or me to feel obligated to have to do (or not do) something just because the other one wanted it.

We met some of our fellow retreat-goers upon arriving at the Bali airport. We got to know each other along the drive to the Soulshine Villa, where we would be spending the next week together. I don’t want to sound all woo woo, but from the moment I met the people I would living with for the next week, I felt a connection to them. Each of the 19 people attending this retreat had their reasons for being there some shared with the group and some were private. But all 19 of these people touched my life in such a way that I think about them every day.

1170706_676305489064763_365743121_nUpon arriving at the Soulshine, you walk up a long walk way to an open air reception area. It’s a peaceful, serene inviting area with large comfy couches. We met the staff, introduced ourselves to each other, took photos and enjoyed fresh juice.

From the very first day we were a cohesive group. Due to the time change, we all woke up very early (between 4 and 5am), we would gather in the reception area for tea, some would watch the sun rise, some would be catching up with relatives at home, some would be chatting. We got to know each other in these early morning hours.

Jen would lead us in morning yoga at 7am. I should point out that yoga with Jen is not your average yoga. There are the traditional asanas (poses), meditation and music (I can’t listen to Elton John or the Notorious B.I.G. without thinking of Jen). What Jen brings to the table is unique in that she creates a theme for her class, forgiveness, gratitude, love… she reads relevant poetry, then invites class participants to journal about their thoughts on the theme for the class – in between the poses. Somehow the mix of the outdoor yoga studio overlooking rice patties, the monks chanting in the distance, the thought that I was doing yoga in the same place that Michael Franti does yoga (he owns Soulshine and I am, by far, his BIGGEST fan), she creates a space of safe, self-reflective discovery.

It quickly became very easy to flow.

Throughout the retreat we practiced yoga twice a day, we ate breakfast and dinner together and explored the artist’s town of Ubud during the day. The space at the Soulshine seemed to become part of our group as well. (In full disclosure I have to admit that I loved the Soulshine before I arrived simply because of who owns it.) But, in truth, I believe that space provided the opportunity to transform 19 strangers in to a family. The staff is a living example of the culture of Bali. This culture is one of gratitude, community, spirituality and genuine love. This culture and the space we lived in infused itself with our family of 19. Throughout our time in Bali we shared, expressed gratitude and loved one another. We celebrated Thanksgiving, we rode elephants, we saw monkeys and we spoke with Michael Franti on the phone, (I am truly not sure which of these is my favorite.)

I am grateful for every moment I spent in Bali, at the Soulshine, with my family of 19. I am grateful for what it took for me to get there and for everything I’ve learned since my return. I continue to go with the flow and am excited to learn where yoga will take me next.


Lockey MFrom her own experiences of processing the pain and anguish of childhood sexual abuse and breast cancer, Lockey Maisonneuve learned the importance of finding balance and peace. Lockey believes balance and peace are the cornerstones of healing.  She has used yoga, breathing techniques and journaling to advance her own healing.  Lockey gives herself permission to balance the good and the bad and the peace to make mistakes and try again. She is certified as a personal trainer, cancer exercise specialist and yoga instructor. Monthly contributor to Positively Positive.

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Where Yoga Has Taken Us in 2013

Where has yoga taken us in 2013? It might be easier to ask where we haven’t been!

We kicked the new year off with our Travel Yogi Kathryn Budig in Tulum and then moved full speed ahead with yoga retreats everywhere from the Galapagos to Santorini, Bali and Stowe, VT. Our travel yogis captured themselves in lizard pose with iguanas on the beach and got cozy in Kurmasana in empty turtle shells in the Galapagos (see Annie Carpenter below!). They practiced in open air with beautiful views in Santorini, experienced the healing waters in Bali and took their yoga to horseback in Stowe. From retreats by the beach in Maui and Aruba to our scouting trips in Costa Rica, Roatan and Turks & Caicos it was a big year for all of us here at The Travel Yogi!

Check out our photo collage below for a review of all of our teachers and retreat locations this year. You can also check out individual retreats in our photo gallery or head over to Instagram and search #wherewillyogatakeyou to see everything our Travel Yogi community has been up to!

Big thanks to all who were part of making our 2013 so much fun…here’s to 2014 and many, many adventures ahead!

Yoga Year In Review

 

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