Yoga Scholarship Giveaway

***UPDATE, January 5, 2018***

Thank you ALL so much for participating and sharing your yoga and wellness trades around the world.

We have picked the winner at random today and the lucky human is…..

Chantal Ashley


Congratulations Chantal!!!

You have won a $1,200 Scholarship to continue your education at Yandara Yoga Institute!

Keep shining everyone. Be inspired, yearn to learn, dream big, and share your gift that is YOU! Much love from the Yoga Trade fam!


Yoga Trade is excited to announce our $1,200 Yoga Scholarship Giveaway!

One lucky member will receive a $1,200 Scholarship to put toward furthering yoga education at Yandara Yoga Institute (based out of Baja, Mexico).

This Scholarship can be applied to any of Yandara’s Teacher Trainings at any of their locations (they offer Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour trainings and 300 hour trainings). The Scholarship may also go toward any of their Continuing Education weeks which currently include; Life Coach Training, Meditation & Kundalini, Yin/Restorative & Bhakti, and Vision Quest. It is part of our mission to inspire yoga teachers and wellness professionals to continue to learn and become masters within their trade. We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to this community and for all the support from around the world.




(Please read directions carefully, it’s a 3 step process)

1. You must be a Yoga Trade member. (If you are not currently a member, you can sign up at

2. To enter, log into your Yoga Trade account and LEAVE A REPLY (post comment) below at the end of this blog post. In the comment, state how you feel being part of the Yoga Trade community is beneficial, or how the Scholarship will benefit you as well as other people. Within your comment, feel free to also link to one of your favorite Yoga Trade StoriesPhotos, or your own articles or videos about Yoga Trade Experiences.

3. Give us a like on our Facebook page (, and share about this GIVEAWAY on at least one social media platform of your choice (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).

That’s it. You’re Entered!

We are SUPER GRATEFUL for all of you. Thank you for contributing to this flourishing community. We also want to send a big HEART HUG and THANK YOU to the Yandara Family for sharing their wisdom and teachings through the years. Yandara is one of the seeds that grew to spark the creation of Yoga Trade!

The WINNER will be chosen at random ( and will be announced on January 5th, 2018.

*Only ONE entry allowed per person. You must be a real human to enter. The giveaway is only valid for persons age 18 and above. The Scholarship must be used within 2 years from when it is received. The Scholarship is transferable to another person if winner is unable to use. Scholarship is not redeemable for cash. 


Access Your Highest Potential!

Inspired by World-Renowned Life Coach Trainer, Anna Suil

p1030097Anna Suil is a true master of how to live a vibrant, joyful and balanced life. I began training with her for purposes of personal-development, but have since found great value in integrating the tools of Life Coaching into my work as a Yoga Teacher and Retreat Leader.

I’ll be the first to admit, that the idea of a Life Coach is one I shied away from at first, and certainly never a title I sought for myself. It was the inspiring story of my teacher Suil that gave me an entirely new perspective.

As a young adult, Suil committed herself to the path of yoga & meditation, studying under an impressive list of spiritual teachers including Baba Ram Das, Goenka, and Buddhist masters in India, Nepal, Japan and Korea. She continued her formal education with a degree in Psychology, which enabled her to effectively spread the teachings of the East to a Western audience. Among the many hats she has worn in her lifetime, Suil is now a Life Coaching Trainer with an expertise in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a technique which trains the brain to rewire itself towards positive thought patterns and behaviors in order to maximize our human potential.

In the last year, Suil’s audience has made a drastic shift from the leading corporate CEOs in Asia to a community of health and wellness practitioners at Yandara Yoga Institute, a humble training center in the desert of Mexico. Needless to say, she means it when she says that Life Coaching is a valuable tool for everyone. As Suil makes the shift into retirement, her teachings are being carried forth across a wide spectrum for personal and professional development.

So what is Life Coaching all about?

Here are a few FAQs boiled down specifically for the Yoga Trade community!


Life Coaching is a tool to access your highest potential – those hidden jewels within each and every one of us just waiting to be uncovered!

Who needs a Life Coach?

Short answer: everyone. Because of its holistic approach to well-being, the tools can be applied uniquely to each individual encompassing work, leisure time, romantic relationships, family & friends, and so forth. Having someone shed light on areas that may have been hiding in the subconscious can lead to a better understanding of how to maximize fulfillment in every moment.

How does it work?

A coach supports a client in achieving their goals by first identifying what they are and then exploring options unique to their situation in order to set a clear path moving forward. Rather than offering direct advice, clients are challenged to find solutions within themselves, thus gaining the skills to be more efficient in reaching future goals.

Why does it work?

We are multi-dimensional beings, and as our lives become more and more fragmented between work, play and relationships, the perspective of a skilled coach helps keep clients on track and most importantly, stay accountable!

Where to begin?

Coaching can take place in person, online or even involve travel experiences and retreats which facilitate the process by taking clients outside of their normal surroundings to help spark creative solutions.


If you are interested in learning more, reach out to Mary Tilson at
Instagram: @marytilson


“I had never thought of consulting a life coach before but was presented the opportunity at a training program I was attending and feel very lucky to have had the chance. Mary helped me realize that there are tangible steps we can take in order to live the life we want. She helped coach me into identifying what these steps were for me in a way that made me feel very comfortable as I had a big part in identifying what I was comfortable with and what I thought was possible. I loved the fact that I left the meeting with an actual list of things to do daily to help me reach my goals. It wasn’t just talking fluff. It was actually creating a realistic plan to help me achieve what I want. Mary was professional, nonjudgmental and understanding. I would recommend her life coaching services with the highest praises.”

-Erika, Yoga Teacher, USA




Mary Tilson is a world traveling Yoga Teacher, Retreat Leader, and one of Anna Suil’s certified Life Coaches. She is currently the Yoga & Wellness Director of Nihiwatu, Travel+Leisure’s “No1 Hotel in the World” on Sumba Island, Indonesia.

Living Yoga Alchemy

I met Nicolina Sandstedt in March 2016 when I was a student of hers in the Living Yoga Alchemy 3oo hour core module at Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja, Mexico. During the weeks of the program I was inspired and intrigued by her strength and softness, her extensive knowledge of mystical stories, her beautiful story telling, her wisdom of the physical body, and her balanced radiance. I fell in love with the Yandara community after my first time visiting and participating in a training in 2010. I am grateful to be a witness to their evolution as they develop and offer more trainings, and excited to continue learning from the teachers and community at this very special place. Here we catch up with Nicolina as she talks a bit about the magic of life and the development of the Living Yoga Alchemy program that she co-leads with her partner, Christopher Perkins.


How did you originally connect with the Yandara community and what made you stay?

My first yoga teacher training was with Hatha Yoga teacher Corrin Adams at Yandara Yoga Institute in 2006. I immediately felt at home with the loving community and the desert-meets-ocean magic that surrounds the center. After about 6 months I got an offer to come back, which led me to put my university plans on hold and pack my bags. I worked with administration and attended as many of the inspiring classes and workshops as I could. After about a year of learning and growing, I returned to Sweden to complete my university degree in Physical Therapy. Apart from being a full-time student, I taught lots of yoga, attended trainings, and eventually opened a studio. Everything was flowing well for me in Gothenburg but in the end what made me pack my bags and return to Yandara a third time was love…After spending a few years in Sweden, Christopher, a kindred spirit and one of the co-owners of Yandara, came for a visit, and…the rest is history. Christopher and I recently built our dream home next to the Yandara center in Baja, Mexico. We work side-by-side and I am grateful every day for me life and wonderful community at Yandara; both the permanent year-round community and the new community of yogis that join us every month for their teacher trainings.

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Tell us about the vision behind the Living Yoga Alchemy program…

The vision behind the Living Yoga Alchemy program is to create an experience with just the right heart and mind opening ingredients to inspire true personal and spiritual evolution. When putting together the program, I spent a lot of time thinking about the teachings that have inspired me to grow. With Living Yoga Alchemy we aspire to present the wisdom that has stuck with us and that continues to inspire us daily. We wish to reflect back to some of the most inspiring teachings we have collected. We also asked ourselves: What is it that makes a great Yoga Teacher? The answer that kept coming back to us is that the students come to yoga to have an experience of themselves, and a great teacher is not always the one with the most advanced asana practice; great teachers guide their students toward their inner Self. And so, the Living Yoga Alchemy program is truly designed to illuminate each practitioners personal path.

Can you tell us about your passion for story sharing while teaching?

Ancient myths and stories have fed our souls and our imagination for thousands of years, long before Netflix, TV, or even books. Told around campfires, they would bring the community together and inspire us to be brave, compassionate, truthful, self-less, generous, and other admirable attributes. The stories from the yogic mythology carry within them the teachings of yoga in a captive and relatable way. Each character, the dark as well as the light, exists within our own mind and heart. They are archetypes of our own psychological energies. Energies that we feel, but may never have the courage to invoke or express. They are representations of aspects of our inner selves and their stories represent the countless inner struggles we do through in our daily lives. To me, the stories are simply another way of studying the teachings of yoga. It makes it fun, creative, and adds just the right amount of magic.

“To me the ancient teachings of Yoga are an invitation to be deeply curious about the flow of Life, and to cultivate it on all levels of our being. It is a practice of moving through any stagnation or blockage so that awareness can permeate our entire being.”


Does Yandara have other advanced studies and offerings in the works?

Apart from our core module, Living Yoga Alchemy, we offer the elective modules: Ayurveda, Life Coaching, and Yin and Bhakti Yoga. A new offering is a 10 day module called “Yoga in Community“. This module takes place in Hawaii and is focused around the idea of living a yogic lifestyle in a yogic community. Apart from practicing yoga and meditation together, this module will take you to some amazing farmers markets and teach you how to cook delicious vegetarian meals. Other offering that will take place int he future are: Yoga for Pregnancy, Qi Gong & Vision Quest, and a Meditation and Energy Work module. We like to keep the advanced trainings alive and flexible, we have many inspiring ideas and also want to make sure that the quality stays high.

What inspires you most right now?

Living far from any big city, which is where most yoga events happen, inspires me to take a lot of online courses. Lately I have been inspired by the Life Coaching methods of the Handel Group that teaches how to craft dreams for different areas of our lives, as well as the Art of Attention work by Elena Brower. I am also inspired by my daily yoga and meditation practice which often includes a Kundalini Yoga Kriya.


Who have been some of your greatest teachers?

There are so many! But if I have to choose a few that have inspired me a lot along my student and teaching path, it would be: Angela Farmer for encouraging me to always stay curious; Shiva Rea for showing me how to tend my inner fire; and of course my rock ‘n’ roll guru Patti Smith for inspiring me to stay authentic in all areas of life. Most of all, my students are my greatest teachers.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself continuing to spend part of the year in Baja and part of the year in Sweden together with Christopher. I stay close with my friends and family and I continue to love being a student and teacher of yoga. The roles of the student and the teacher inspire each other in a way that guides me to evolve breath-by-breath, day-by-day, year-by-year. Being a student inspires me to be a better teacher as much as being a teacher inspires me to be a better student. When I think back to 10 years ago, I realize how much I have evolved and how my practice has evolved with me. I am very curious to see where I will be in 10 years from now. I welcome further evolution!





After living a nomadic lifestyle for several years, Nicolina spends most of her year teaching with Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja California Sur. Nicolina’s inspiring presence and teaching style, is organic and intuitive. Through centering, up-lifting and challenging yoga practices, she guides her students to awaken and explore their own sense of flow. Nicolina is in awe of the magic that is everywhere. When she’s not teaching yoga, you may find her surrounded by the elements of nature, admiring the cactus forest, exploring the arid desert hillsides, doing tarot spreads, making delicious raw treats for community potlucks, and sipping endless cups of tea with her beloved.

Photo Credit: Yandara Photography

Ayurveda: The Knowledge of Daily Living

A Story Share with Ayurveda Teacher, Sumitra Peterson

I recently completed a 300 hour yoga training at Yandara, a wonderful community center in Baja, Mexico. Part of the training included choosing a 100 hour elective module, and I chose ‘Ayurveda’. I knew some basics about Ayurveda but had never fully delved in to the teachings. I wasn’t sure why I chose it as the elective, primarily went off gut feel. It spoke to me in ways that are unexplainable, it just felt like the right fit. At first I was a bit skeptical (as I am with many things) to this ancient approach to life: “Isn’t this just common sense?” I found myself repeatedly asking. Although much of Ayurveda is ‘common sense’, it is interesting how much of this sense we actually embrace in our modern daily lives. It is one thing to ‘know things’, and another to practice them. It is really about fully committing to LIVING the practice. The highlight of the training was being in the presence of the teacher, Sumitra Peterson. This radiant woman is truly amazing! Her devotion to living yoga and Ayurveda inspires me to be my best self everyday. May the wonders of her story and Ayurveda spark curiosity and make space for cultivating gratitude for this precious life…Thank you Sumitra!

When did you become fully committed to living an Ayurvedic lifestyle and why?

In my early 20’s I became a seeker of health practices when a friend inspired me by gifting me my first nutrition book. At the age of 40, I entered Mount Madonna’s Yoga Teacher training program. The program offered each student a consultation with Dr. Vasant Lad. Dr. Lad did a short examination checking my pulse, tongue and eyes. I was shocked when he told me many things about my health history that no one else knew. I felt that I had finally found the mother of all the health sciences, Ayurveda. After completion of the yoga teacher training program, I studied Ayurveda with Dr. Ladd and began applying some of the Ayurvedic principles of diet and panchakarma to my life. Old patterns are sometimes slow to change so I found that I wasn’t ready to make a complete shift to living the Ayurvedic lifestyle until 2005 when I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. I was told by my western medical doctor that I would need to ‘kill’ my thyroid gland with radioactive iodine or take drugs for the rest of my life. I was then inspired to fully apply everything I had learned about my recommended Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle. When I underwent an Ayurvedic cleansing diet and Ayurvedic therapies know as the panchakarmas, my symptoms disappeared and have never returned.



If you could recommend one Ayurvedic tip everyone could start bringing to their daily lives, what would it be?


Ayurveda is practical and intuitive and easy to start applying to your daily life. The underlying principle is that health depends on the effectiveness of digestion. If you cook, you know not to add uncooked rice to a pot of rice that has been cooking for awhile, neither will be cooked correctly. If I can only recommend one Ayurvedic tip, I recommend time between meals, so a meal will be completely ‘cooked’ before adding more food. After eating your meal, allow at least 2 hours for Vata digestion, 4-6 hours for Pitta digestion, and at least 6 hours between meals with only 2 meals a day for Kapha digestion. If your appetite demands an in-between meal snack, have a piece of fruit or a cup of tea. Time between meals is a great way to strengthen digestion which strengthens immunity. Strong immunity is a product of strong digestion.



How did you become involved with the Yandara community?


I came to the Yandara community because of my desire to live close to Mother nature and among kindred tribe members. Friends from my years in Santa Cruz were part of the Yandara community. Even though I had briefly been to lower Baja in 1988, my inner direction motivated me to bring completion to my 22 years in the Santa Cruz area and make the move to Baja. Ten years of living in the intentional community of Mount Madonna Center created another attraction to the community of Yandara. The support of Satsang (being in the company of the truth or the good, by sitting together with a guru or a group of spiritual students) is invaluable on the spiritual path.


Can you tell us about the programs you teach there?

I taught a course that covered the Ayurveda fundamentals. The Sanskrit word Veda means knowledge and Ayur means daily living. Ayurveda is the knowledge of daily living, of how to keep ourselves healthy on a day-to-day basis. We look at how to integrate Ayurvedic wisdom into daily life, and create balance by cultivating harmony between the inner and outer environments.

Ayurveda curriculum:

  • Vedic & Samkhya Philosophy (Physiology of Creation)
  • Discover you Dosha/Constitution & Imbalances
  • Constitutional diets
  • Five Great Elements, Three Doshas, The Six Tastes
  • Digestive Health (Agni/Ama)
  • Cleanses & Balancing
  • Daily & Seasonal Routine for Healthy Living
  • Preparation of traditional Indian Chai Tea, Kitcheree, Ghee and fermented whole grain flat breads


Do you suggest any other resources for people that are interested in learning more about Ayurveda?


My love of Ayurveda recently took me on a five month pilgrimage to India. The state of Kerala in Southern India is the home of this 5,000 year old Vedic science. India is a great place to experience Ayurveda therapies, especially if you are on a budget. The tradition of Mother India was that the son/daughter of an Ayurveda doctor started apprenticeship at the age of seven. In India it is easy to find an Ayurveda doctor that is 3rd or 4th generation. In the US, Europe or Australia, an Ayurvedic doctor can be found in most of the larger metropolitan areas. When you find a local Ayurveda doctor, do some research and find out where they were trained and how long they have been practicing. Like Yoga, the long practicing will have the wisdom of their experience.

My first teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad started The Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The institute offers courses as well as treatment and therapies.

Among my favorite Ayurveda authors are Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Robert Svoboda and Dr. David Frawley. Ayurvedic Beauty Care by Melanie Sachs explains some of the Ayurvedic therapies that can be practiced at home.


What are you most passionate about right now?


I just completed a children’s book, Balancing The Elements, Ayurveda Fun. I had the idea for this book five years ago. I also do photography and design, and with the book in mind, I started photographing my best dog friend, Inka, who is the superhero of the book. Inka is Master of The Elements. I am now in the process of finding the right publisher.



Who have been your most inspiring teachers?


It is the nature of a good teacher to inspire their students and I have been blessed with many great teachers. I am grateful for them all. My life’s gratitude is for my spiritual teacher, Baba Hari Das. His teachings and Presence have had a positive impact upon my life in so many ways. He teaches that the outer Guru is just a reflection of finding the inner Guru. Babaji’s teachings have been a Light that shines upon the path I walk. For me his greatest teaching is to seek the silent voice within for guidance and direction. I Am forever grateful to Baba Hari Das. Jai Jai Babaji!


Anything else you would like to share?

The path that Western medicine has taken is technical, using expensive methods and machinery to treat the symptoms of a disease, looking at the body as it’s parts rather than as a whole. The average person feels dis-empowered with it comes to their own health maintenance, sometimes dependent upon their doctor or long term use of drugs with adverse side effects. Ayurveda is a natural healing science that treats the body as a whole, offering preventative principles that are intuitive and can be applied to every day living. Applying the principles of Ayurveda requires awareness of one’s self, relationships, and environment. This cultivation of awareness, of Self awareness, gives the power to create a life for  your self that is healthy, happy and holy. Ayurveda gives you the tools to live a life in balance, creating balance in your body, in your relationships, and balance in your environment. For me, this is a great service that I can contribute to the world. Living a balanced life.


Sumitra Peterson’s love of and background in dance & movement lead her in 1990  to study yoga at Mount Madonna Center in Santa Cruz, California. Her teacher, Baba sumitra2Hari Das initiated her into the classical teachings of Ashtanga/Raja Yoga. For more than 10 years, Sumitra was a resident, teacher, workshop leader, and choreographer at Mount Madonna Center and teacher and choreographer at Mount Madonna School. While at the yoga center she earned their Yoga Teacher Training Certificate and studied Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad. She was trained in Ayurveda Swedana for the Kaya Kalpa Wellness Center and worked at the Ayurvedic Laboratory and Store. From 2000- 2008 she taught the Ayurveda Fundamentals  course offered by Avalon Yoga’s biannual, six week teacher training program in Palo Alto, CA as well as teaching Yoga Asana at three other studios in the area. For the last few years she has initiated Yandara Yoga’s (Baja, Sur Mexico) Ayurveda course as part of their 300 hr. training. Sumitra is wholeheartedly dedicated to the continuing study, practice and teaching of Yoga and Ayurveda. The methods of these ancient sciences are integrated into her life and continues to inspire her daily.

“It is a great blessing to have the knowledge of Ayurveda. My health is in my hands, thanks to applying the principles of this ancient healing science.”

CONNECT with her book HERE