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Inspiring Change: Misadventures

The Yoga Trade community has been talking a lot lately about living yoga, taking action, and inspiring change. There is a lot of exciting stuff going on in the world today and we take pride in celebrating people who follow their purpose by leading something worth changing. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Zoe Balaconis, one of the trailblazing women who created Misadventures; an outdoor adventure magazine for women. They are igniting a print revival by sharing refreshing photography, illustrations, and stories by adventurous women. Movers and shakers they are, and here Zoe’s words inspirit us on how to follow our gut, share our passion, and be the change…

How was Misadventures Mag born?

Back in 2013 we realized that there was a real dearth of women being represented in outdoors, adventure, and travel media (or being misrepresented). Not only that, but there was a lack of women writers and photographers in outdoor magazine mastheads. At first, we thought maybe it was a fluke or an exaggeration on our parts, but after some research we found that there was a glaring gap in the publishing landscape between traditional women’s magazines and outdoors and adventure magazines. We thought we’d try and do something about that. We figured that if we’re feeling this way surely other people are, too.
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Why do you think so many adventurous women practice yoga?

I think part of it is that yoga goes everywhere with you. No matter where you are, or in what situation, you can find an opportunity to practice, even just by focusing on your breathing. Yoga also provides an opportunity to slow down and reflect, which is a rare thing — and all while engaging your body. It’s meditative in the way it challenges your whole self. That body-mind confluence is something I definitely aspire to.

How do you balance your time between exploring outdoors and creating inspiring stories indoors?

That’s a tough one. I try to be very strict about my hours. I get right to work in the morning and stop when it’s time for dinner. I also try to stay away from computers on the weekends. Away!

What makes a good story?

Good characters make good stories (but, of course, a landscape can be a kind of character). There has to be some sort of relationship and movement toward something. Humor is always good. It reveals an author’s sophistication and voice; it elevates the level of narrative in a way that introspection and gravity rarely can for me.
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How can we use our creativity for social change?

Any way we’re able to! Working on a creative project is, in itself, a kind of socio/political statement. And social change is a broad term. It can mean spreading awareness about something, telling a new kind of story, bringing people together, creating a bond that wasn’t there before, exciting a community, challenging a belief or image, asking a question, proposing a solution, protesting the status quo, and so many other things. I think creative thinking is absolutely necessary to inspire change, big and small. It’s all a matter of applying yourself, believing in yourself, starting small, and thinking bigger. Inequality is rampant in this country, and all over the world; some voices are heard so much more than others. The arts have the ability to amplify voices.

 

Why do you think community is important and how have you created community?

Community, in all its forms, provides support. It’s nice to know that you’re not alone, especially when it comes to taking risks. It can also be incredibly motivating to know that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. You’ve got people to work for; you’ve got things to do. I think we’ve created community by carving out this space for women who have chosen a less well-trod path to share their stories, inspire others, and connect, wherever in the world they may be. So many stories of women pioneers get glossed over or left out — we’ve created a place for them to get their due.
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Any thoughts on the phrase, ‘follow your heart’?

For me it’s always been more ‘follow your stomach.’ I make a lot of decisions based on intuition, and I’m fairly certain that is located somewhere in my guts. At any rate, it’s served me well so far. But, whether you’re following your heart or your gut, I think it’s always good to plumb your feelings now and again. Being in-tune with what gives you malaise or bliss or contentment provides a kind of wisdom…and freedom.

What is your definition of adventure?

The word adventure, for me, recalls something of chance, fortune, happenstance, and a voyage. It means welcoming the unknown and the unexpected, come what may, by taking a risk, taking a journey (of any sort), keeping yourself open to feeling wonder, or just keeping your eyes open.

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Zoe Balaconis is one of the co-founders of Misadventures, the adventure magazine for women, online and in print. Visit their site here and subscribe to get print issues straight to your door here. Their Summer 2016 issue will be out in mid-June and available in Barnes&Noble stores all over the country starting mid-July. Find a copy near you

5 Amazing Destinations for Yoga Surf Adventures

Through out our life travels we all meet people that have that “spark”. We also make pilgrimages to places that really make us feel “alive”. Here are 5 places to enjoy the yoga surf lifestyle while also really tapping into connection.  The magic of these destinations does not solely come from the great waves, awe-inspiring yoga spaces, and culinary delights. What makes these places so amazing is the passion, love, hard work, and commitment you can feel from the people who have started and built these havens. Also, these spots all provide the ability to deeply connect with nature, rich cultures, and Earth’s rhythms. These special places and the sustainability-minded people who created them definitely make the world a better place! Take a personal adventure, make time for a group getaway, or lead a memorable retreat at one of these outstanding and heart-expanding locations:

Wheel pose on the beach beside a red longboard surfboard.

 

ENCANTA LA VIDA – Costa Rica

encantalavida.com

If you have ever wanted to visit the rainforest, surf, all while enjoying modern comforts, this is the place! Encanta La Vida is a unique jungle lodge situated on the tip of the Osaencanta2 peninsula in southern Costa Rica. The lodge was started over 20 years ago by the adventurous Brian Daily who started coming to Costa Rica in his high school years and grew up exploring and diving at the Channel Islands off the California coast. This place is a bird and animal lovers paradise as seeing monkeys, toucans, and scarlet macaws can be an everyday occurrence. The lodge can accommodate groups of up to 30, and the dreamy yoga deck is an open air studio situated ocean front over looking the bay of Pan Dulce. There are several surf breaks for all levels within walking distance. Other activities include waterfall hikes, horseback riding, or indulging at the lodge’s natural spa. This part of Costa Rica is truly one of the most amazing places on Earth. Experience the Pura Vida!

 

MATANIVUSI RESORT  –  Fiji

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Brian and Donna McDonald from the Gold Coast, Australia founded this boutique eco fijiyogaresort 11 years ago. It is situated on the “coral coast”, the south side of the main island of Fiji. It is a picturesque setting and how one may dream of island life. The hotel is ocean front facing turquoise lagoon waters. They have just finished building a brand new yoga facility which boasts an indoor yoga space and an outdoor yoga deck underneath an amazing banyan tree. They have been involved with the surf industry their entire lives and are passionate about low impact surf tourism. There is boat only access to the reef breaks, which makes the surfing more appealing to intermediate and advanced surfers. When conditions are right, they take day trips to surf the world class break “Frigates”. Other activities include interacting with local Fijian culture such as kava ceremonies, snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or lounging by their pool. They have 12 “bures” and can comfortably accommodate groups of up to 24 people.

 

TOGAT NUSA – Mentawai Islands

togatnusaretreat.com

Looking to really go deep and off the grid? Check out this private tropical island sanctuary in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Surfers John and Ainsley Ocean togat2handcrafted this intimate masterpiece mostly by articles found on the island. The retreat is small and takes up to 8 guests at a time, to really give it that feeling of being “shipwrecked”. The entire island can be circumnavigated by foot in about a half an hour. The white sand beaches and crystal clear water make this place heaven on Earth! The Mentawais are renowned by surfers as being a top notch and consistent wave zone. Most of the waves are reached to by boat and best suited for intermediate to advanced surfers. John and Ainsley are true examples of “living yogis”. Their kindness, compassion, and sustainable living practices, inspire everyone they meet to rise up!

 

SURF MAROC – Morocco

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Surf Maroc was founded by two British friends, Ben O’Hara and Ollie Boswell, in 2003. maroc2They built this place on their passion for surf. They have a variety of accommodation options, a hip rooftop yoga pavilion, and numerous world class surf breaks to explore for all levels. The famous “Anchor Point” is very close by. There are several breaks within walking distance, and too many breaks to explore by car. But the main attraction for many that are interested in traveling to Morocco is the CULTURE! Taghazout is a gem on the Moroccan coast. It is a laid back village, with an international vibe, funky cafes, and local Berber crafts. Nearby excursions include wandering the souks (open air marketplaces), visiting a hamman (turkish bath), driving to an inland oasis, or checking out tree climbing goats.

 

NIRVANA SURF YOGA – Panama

nirvanasurfyoga.com

Join Captain Bryan Blaze for a surf and yoga adventure like no other. Sail among the San Blas Islands and Boacs Del Toro in the Caribbean aboard a 52 foot catamaran. Practicenirvana yoga onboard or at one of the remote island stops. Bryan is a third generation sailor who has been captaining for over 12 years. He is super tuned in to this region and can take you to surf, kite surf, SUP, or snorkel at numerous secluded spots. There can be surfing found for all levels. He is available to accommodate 4-12 guests with one or two boats. Visit the island populated by the Kuna people, the indigenous inhabitants of the San Blas Islands. Enjoy the consistent trade winds, the wind in your hair, and adventure at sea!

 

 

See your life as a fabulous adventure and live YOUR best life!

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Erica Hartnick grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, and enjoys all things wild and free. She teaches nature inspired yoga and leads mindful adventures in California and Costa Rica. She gets excited about; LEARNING, intense weather, glassy ocean peaks, pillows of fresh powder snow, crystal clear water, positive people, cultural travel, thriving vegetable gardens, fresh mint chip ice cream, nature’s glory, LIVING YOGA, and connecting with others. She is passionate about the collaboration with friends that led to the creation of Yoga Trade, and is devoted to connecting the yoga community with infinite opportunities!