iSurf iYoga

Take a moment to meet Stacey Jones, the creative light and master mind behind the new project, iSurf iYoga (ISIY). We at Yoga Trade relate to and are truly inspired by the goals and passions of ISIY and are excited to share their efforts that encourage transformation, adventure, sustainability, and community consciousness.  

How did ISIY come into fruition? 

The initial seed was planted when my girlfriends and I formed a mastermind group to support one another in isiy2achieving personal goals, which for most of us was aligning passions with a career. Through that I honed in on the greatest sources of inspiration in my life: surfing, yoga, travel and nature. Initially I thought I would set up my own surf yoga retreat but after researching what was out there I discovered that my favorite female surfer, Holly Beck Obermeyer, had just started offering retreats in Nicaragua. Forgetting everything else, I decided to attend the retreat. I was hesitant to travel to Nica as I had experienced a scary robbery back in 2002 while passing through Managua on a solo surf trip to Costa Rica. Over the years though I heard positive stories from friends who went there, so I felt it was time to put the past behind me and travel to Nica.

The waves were awesome and the people of Nica were lovely. It was incredible watching Holly ripping it up in the waves up close and she was just as impressive on land. Holly is a true ecopreneur with side projects like http://hipehabitat.com/ where she and her husband find sustainable ways to build. Equally inspiring was meeting the owners of the eco-retreat centre, El Coco Loco and learning about their non-profit called Waves of Hope which supports local community projects. I knew this was the type of experience I wanted to talk about and be in a position to support such endeavors.

Additionally, it took a long time to sift through all the options online before I left for the retreat, so I had the idea at that point to create a website that would bring the surfing and yoga community together in one place isiy4where they could easily and confidently find their next adventure. After the retreat, I knew this is exactly what I wanted to spend my time doing. I could see support for the surf yoga connection – that surfing and yoga are the perfect match – through a growing number of people. Surfers and yogis I admired for a long time were becoming known for it like Holly, Eoin Finn and Rochelle Ballard.

Where does your heart lie in ISIY?

The ‘i’ in our name stands for inspiring, which is at the core of what I’m trying to do: it’s really about inspiring people to get in the flow in order to bring about transformation in their lives. ISIY’s mission is to bring a wave of positive energy, health and happiness to the planet by inspiring people to get in the flow. Humans need tools to help them find peace and come alive. I believe coming alive involves being fully present, surrendering yourself to the moment, getting out of your mind and in your body, connecting with the elements (feeling that energy) and tapping into your spirit. That’s what we are referring to when we say ‘in the flow’.

Surfing and yoga provide a direct link to this experience. Other ocean sports like kitesurfing, windsurfing, body-surfing, etc. get us in the flow too. There is something about riding a wave – which is basically just energy flowing across the planet and you connect with that energy each time you surf. Yoga is well-known for providing us the means of getting in the feeling of flow any time or in any place, all you need is your body.  Yoga is undoubtedly the biggest inner journey I’ve experienced (with a meditation practice). You reach new levels all the time, with unexpected ah-ha! moments and reaching new spaces in your body, making space in your mind… all of which in turn affects your state of flow.

I absolutely adore people, learning about other cultures and connecting people to each other. In addition, my isiy6heart lies in sustainability. It’s important we support retreat and course operators whose hearts are in it and whose offerings do not harm anyone or the environment. So I guess what’s driving me is really a combination of all these things. It gets me excited connecting people to these experiences that help them transform and come alive.

Though we don’t need to go very far to find transformation – only a quiet place to sit – I believe humans are inherently seekers and feel we need to explore in order to ‘find ourselves.’ And so, traveling away from home and outside of our comfort zones becomes an integral part of our journey. Also, there’s something to be said about taking time out of your schedule for personal development. It’s a powerful thing to intentionally carve out time and space with the goal of increasing your health and happiness!

Can you give us an example of a community conscience surf/yoga retreat/organization?

I know many! There is the Chillhouse in Bali, Indonesia who have been operating for 8 years: they hire mainly locals, operate sustainably and give back to their local community. Another is Mind Body Soul Surf Bali – the only locally owned and operated surf yoga retreat in Bali who support local charities as well. El Coco Loco in Nicaragua (mentioned above) runs an eco-friendly resort – they’ve built a local high school amongst other on-going projects. What I admire is that they ask locals what the community needs and then go about providing, so it’s driven by the people living in the area. Most of the retreats we list on www.isurfiyoga.com operate sustainably. I say ‘sustainably’ as a broad sense of the term because we consider a retreat to be sustainable when it is giving back to the community in which it operates or protecting the health of the environment.

What do you see for the future of international surf and yoga adventures?

Surfer yogis are a liberated breed who naturally care about wellness and the health of our planet. So I see this as part of the adventure. It’s important to offer healthy food (superfoods & smoothies, hollah!) and a Sevaisiy5 component as an additional activity. I hope we see more specific ‘yoga for surfers’ sequences added to surf yoga retreats, instead of simply offering classes while you’re at the retreat. While we are on vacay surfers need deep, Yin-style yoga to balance our effort in the water. When at home and the surf is not up, then it’s important to keep your body surf fit with more power and ashtanga styles. However while you’re on a retreat, your yoga should be about deep stretching with restorative asanas to offer your body a chance to decompress and recover. Unless there is no surf that day – then you need to get your viny-ass-a up and stay warm because tomorrow there might be some waves to chomp at!

I see all sorts of passionate surfer yogis sharing their stories with us on our new website, iSurf iYoga, inspiring others to get in the flow.  There are so many of us doing rad things and going on amazing adventures. I’m just so stoked to share these stories and show off all the incredible retreats and trainings we are discovering!

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.      ~Joseph Campbell

Find more about iSurf iYoga here:

www.isurfiyoga.com

http://instagram.com/isurfiyoga

https://www.facebook.com/iSurfiYoga

https://twitter.com/isurfiyoga

After surfing and practicing yoga for over 13 years, Stacey wanted to create a site that would connect the surf yoga community and help them easily find their next adventure. Having previously worked as a isiy3teacher and then a marketing professional for a Fortune 500 company, Stacey decided to combine her passions with her business knowledge and hatched this dream called iSurf iYoga, which showcases inspiring surf yoga related retreats and camps around the world. After a transformational Yoga Teacher Training with the School Yoga Institute she decided to showcase reputable YTTs on the site as well. Other big loves are spending time with family and friends, traveling, outdoor sports, nature, writing, raw food cuisine, turtles and nerding out on Sci-fi movies.

Cultivate Prithvi

Cultivate Prithvi: our connection with earth, stability, and balance

Blessed with opportunities and accessibility, travel has become engrained in our culture. Possibilities are endless and exciting with transportation, communication and global communities expanding. Today we are able to freely explore the world, utilize technology to bring our jobs alongside us and network among like-minded poeple.

As a devotee of travel myself, movement is inherant to me on all levels…I naturally move quickly, adapt easily, take on too many projects at once and talk…a lot! While these qualities can be beneficial, it is onlyLauren-Sta-Tere_54 when I am well balanced and grounded that I feel nourished, which means I take the time to move with awareness: slowing down, speaking less, thinking clearly and breathing deeper.

The more I lead a life which rarely involves set structure and planned routine, I am understanding the importance of bringing simple but transformational routines into my lifestyle, on a daily basis.

When we travel our bodies and minds are stimulated with change in environments and energies. Our senses are often exposed to new sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch. Over stimulation can lead to imbalances. Our internal clocks that regulate (sleeping, eating, digesting) can be thrown off and exhaustion, stress and anxiety can overtake. Yes, our bodies naturally have amazing physical capacities to nourish, however it takes awareness and effort to stay grounded, healthy and balanced in both body and mind.

I have compiled simple and accessible practices that personally help keep me feeling vibrant on a daily basis, no matter where I am in the world!

• Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
I believe water is one of the most undervalued and simplest ways we can nourish ourselves. Water naturally cleanses, moisturizes, maintains and rejuvenates our entire body – organs, muscles, joints, skin. Reduce your caffeine intake (especially when on long distance travels!) and instead drink water or soothing herbal teas.

During Travel ~ carry a BPA free bottle by your side as a reminder to hydrate and refill when there is fresh water supply to save money and reduce wastes!

• Eat more color! Fresh, unprocessed foods and remember, less can be more
Almost anyone who has an interest in their health (and tastebuds!) is aware that a balanced diet is imperative to our health. Ayurveda believes that each meal should incorporate the six tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent) as each taste produces a different effect on our body-mind physiology. A variety in diet will represent all food groups, nutrients and will leave you feeling more satisfied.I believe each person’s diet will vary depending on their body type (it’s okay if you cannot survive solely on a vegan/vegetarian diet) however it is key for everyone’s health to eat a diet that consists of as much fresh, local and unprocessed foods as possible.

We all have the choice to bring more awareness to our diets, noting what makes us feel good and what doesn’t…and it is an incredible freedom that should be utilized! In many ancient philosophies it is believed that our health begins with a healthy ‘hara’ or ‘agni’ which are our internal fires and digestive system. Simply put, when the body has a healthy digestive ‘flow’ it releases toxins and is then able to absorb much more nutrients.

Know that the most important thing you can change in your diet is to simply eliminate and reduce processed foods and unhealthy substances for more wholesome foods – you may surprise yourself at how quickly the cravings subside and your body begins to ask for healthier options!

During Travel ~ bring a small emergency stash of nuts, seeds, goji berries & dried fruits which won’t expire and are nutritionally rich snacks when on the road.

• Indulge in juices
A delicious way to boost our immune systems and longevity is through juicing, especially when you don’t have time to prepare or can’t fresh foods. By drinking your veggies and fruits in liquid form, you offer your DSC01069digestive system a break from eating solid foods. This allows a natural cleanse to occur, releasing excess toxins and re-energizing your organs. Look for cold pressed juice (keeps all nutrients in tact!) or juices which have no additives (sneaky sugars) or preservatives (dangerous chemicals) and are un-pasteurised so you get the added benefits of living enzymes from your juice. Soak up Mother Nature’s vitamins and super foods to stay energized, mentally alert, and vibrant!

During Travel ~ treat yourself to juice when its available, even if it is a fresh squeezed orange juice – a healthy dose of Vitamin C is always great for immunity!

• Touch the Earth
Get grounded physically. Immerse yourself in nature with a swim in the sea, by walking barefoot, or sitting in a garden. Get as connected directly to the earth as possible for it least 20 minutes a day by spending time outdoors, breathing in fresh air and enjoying the sunshine for an immunity boost of Vitamin D. Nature has incredible healing properties which can help us to slow down, reconnect and relax.

During Travel ~ find sunny places to sit, breathe deep and take off your shoes to release your feet and toes.

• Let your body move
Envision your body as a beautiful map full of highways, roads, trails, rivers, lakes, streams – visualize these as communication pathways of your body and mind. These pathways need to stay clear and unblocked in order to transport nutrients and circulate blood, fluid, oxygen and energy. Pathways that easily become blocked are ones that do not have continual movement, often joints (especially when traveling and sitting on an airplane!) and other areas in the body where we store tension from lack of movement, or adversely, repetitive movement and strain.

Movement is one of the simplest ways to keep the circulation of healthy bodily fluids and energy flowing. Anything which connects breath and movement, enhances flexibility (lengthening of muscles and spine) and restores the body is beneficial. Yoga, T’ai Chi and Chi-gong are all practices which promote health in both the body and mind. It is vital to begin or sustain a practice such as these (alongside any other exercise or sport you love) as these forms of movement include meditation and offer complete body-mind-spirit benefits.

Most important, create a self-practice which is accessible and enjoyable.

Your self-practice is yours – it doesn’t need to ‘look a certain way’ or even include ‘postures or forms’. You can be as playful, creative and open minded with your body as feels good. Choose a time daily (morning or evening) which you can dedicate to your practice, even if it is 10 minutes a day. When you practice around the same time daily, you mentally create this space within your schedule and over time it will naturally become part of your routine and lifestyle.

During Travel ~ opt for the stairways instead of escalators, walk rather than take a taxi, rotate joints (neck, wrists, elbows, ankles) and stand up every hour while on long journeys.

• Let your body be still
As important as movement is, so is stillness.prithvi
Generally a minimum of 6-8 hours of restful sleep is necessary to feel alert and energized each day. Restful sleep means that you’re not using substances to sleep and you are sleeping soundly through the night. If you feel energetic and vibrant when you wake up, you have had a night of restful sleep. The best way to ensure restful sleep is to follow a pattern which is accessible for your schedule. The most nourishing sleep is one that follows the natural rhythms of nature: rising within an hour of the sun and sleeping before midnight when the hours are most rejuvenating.

Awaken your inner wisdom and listen to what your body is craving – there is time for movement and time for stillness, the key is being able to know when to nourish yourself with each.

If you are feeling tired and need to take a nap during the day, do so. It is more important to give yourself rest then to over extend and reduce your immunity.

And as important as physical sleep is for our bodies, peace and quiet is vital for our minds. The best way to still your mind, enhance your focus and energize is through simple meditation. It can be done anywhere, anytime and for any length. Meditation is proven to have higher results when practiced daily. Begin to incorporate a short meditation each morning/night of 5 minutes. Slowly you can begin to increase the time you sit as you become more comfortable.

During Travel ~ place a cushion or a pair of jeans (evenly folded) under your hips to encourage a lengthened spine for your meditation. Before travel download a relaxation app or sound healing songs on your phone so you can plug in and tune out, even when you do not have your own personal quiet space.

• Create sacred spaces
Begin to create spaces which are comforting and inspiring. It can be as simple as putting something you love in the space you are inhabiting, such as a fresh flowers, herbs, deities, photos of loved ones or an inspiration board for work/travel/play. It can be as easy as opening windows for natural light and fresh air or making a cozy chill out on the floor with oversized pillows.

Lauren-Sta-Tere_38Keeping spaces physically clean, organized and nurturing will help keep your mind clear, and most important allow you to love and enjoy your time within the space.

During Travel ~ organize your belongings and unpack as much as you can, make your bed and light your favorite inscent, candle or wear a soothing essential oil when you spend time in this space.

The key to balance is a finding a healthy and sustainable routine. Start with small changes for great transformation…enjoy these simple tips as inspiration and find what personally works best for you!

Lauren is passionate about holistic health, exploring the world and empowering others to live vibrant and happy lives. Follow her teachings, travels and journey through www.raiseyourbeat.com

Moments of Yoga Adventure

The trip to the retreat was a five hour journey, after rushing from the airport and taking the train to the bus stop; I arrived at a calm space of nature surrounded by the ocean and mountain hills. I laid my luggage down in my yogi cottage and had the rest of the day off as the retreat only started the next day.

After all the hustle and bustle and all the organizing, I took a 15 minute walk to reach the ocean. Here, I was all alone watching the waves roll by. Houses were far away and out of sight, there was just the big blue ocean in front of me. After a short, but deep yoga session on the beach, I took a few deep breaths in and out and sat in the sand while the sun set and the color spectrum in the sky changed from golden bright rays to orange pink shades. The last flocks of pink feathered flamingos flew by, to reach their home at their current time of migration. As it was getting darker, a feeling of folding up, of disappearing emerged from inside me. Only the sound of the rolling waves let me know the ocean was still in constant rhythmical movement.

In the morning we had our yoga class, a wave of feeling completely at peace hit us. As the wave came and went we listened to a native yoga teacher telling us to “ride on the wave when it hits and to actually stay on the wave, to be fully immersed by it”. As when you were a child engulfed by the magic around you, seeing everything for the first time and discovering everything new. The feeling of everything is fluid and can transform its shape, color and particle any time. Many search for this in yoga and travel. And, yes even then on the wave one can stumble and forget the hard work it was, to get on it.

Later during the day we went for a hike, watching the seagulls and the sand pipers fly by and seeing how everything is looking out to exist. Reaching crystal caves where the crystals took eons to form into its shape and finely reaching to a point it had looked for.

On the way back and at our dinner table which was around the camp site fire, we had our discussion about why joining the retreat; some said realizing that through yoga I am trying to get more honest to myself, by doing things that feel right to me, at that time. Others were saying to reveal myself fully to myself. And, so the night went by and as the winds blew more wildly and the fire slowly distinguished, the night ended with completeness.

These experiences and the period spent at the retreats teaching yoga, set me away from the usual life dramas; andreait made me aware that this moment is all that we really have. Out of these experiences I felt a deep urge to create a yoga practice in a way where one really gets aligned with oneself and be fully connected to oneself.

 

Andrea studied sports and movement including anatomy, sports medicine, sports psychology and nutrition. After feeling the need to have a more holistic approach to life she did her Yoga teacher training 500h RYT at a Sivananda Yoga center.

alignyoga.wix.com/align-yoga

Kshama

Kshama.

Be here. Be now. Be present. Be patient.

Release time from your thoughts, this moment only exists now. Have patience when you eat, talk and most of all, listen. Be patient and tolerant towards others. Be tolerant with yourself and your body. Don’t expect the entire world to adjust to your ideas; every person has a different character and habits, corresponding to the ways they were influenced in childhood and in life. Let others behave according to their nature, without adjusting to you. Be still and breathe. Don’t control but be aware. Listen.

dsc_17901It is important to be compassionate and patient with everyone you meet on the way. Who knows how we come across to them and what influence they may have in your life? Try to understand others, even if you don’t share their opinion, put yourself into their skin. Be patient with the family and children, with the neighbors and co-workers. With the elderly and unknown.

 

Danae Borsani a German/ Italian Yogi, lives on Mallorca and is a passionate blogger (soulseekergirl.com) about what she does best; The Art of Food, Fashion, Travel, and Health. She inspires her readers towards a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.

I Believe In Mermaids

I took this picture quite a while ago, at the beach where I grew up. When I was a little girl, my mom always took my sister and me to the beach and we would see this mermaid engraved in a rock, right at the water. It has something beautifully mysterious, peaceful and a sense of freedom to me. Especially because my sister and I would pretend to be a mermaid and swim through the ocean with our feet crossed over, pretending to have a tail and thinking one day we will be able to breathe under the water.

I still believe in mermaids. I was convinced one day I will meet one and she will teach me how to be a mermaid and then I will be able to live in the ocean with her….When we are young, we believed in everything that our mind told us but when we grow up, reality checks in on us and we get to realize that the truth is rarely pure and never simple.We stop believing in mermaids, unicorns, fairies and that there is a treasure at the end of the rainbow. We get older and realize that parents don’t know every answer to our questions (although they still try) and that some people can be mean, unfair, use you and will hurt you at some point. This is the moment in our lifes, we stop believing. We get distrustful, build up doubts and fears and once in a while lose hope in ourselves and our goals. We stop believing in good things happening to us.

Why? Why do we get so fragile and insecure when all that the universe wants for us is to be happy? You can’t blame anyone for your mindset but yourself. Your brain is a such powerful tool and we never stop comparing us towards others. We always want more until enough is never enough. Stop this. Stop it right now. Why would you not have the right to live a happy, successful life, full of possibilities and positivity? Why? There is no reason! Don’t stop thinking big. Do think BIG! Have dreams, be creative, let your mind go crazy with them and let your brain be unlimited into believing you can go further. Trust your instinct and only because the success isn’t spoon fed to you by a teacher or exam, it doesn’t mean you won’t get there because once you actually, with all your heart, start believing in yourself and your abilities, step by step you will get there and you will look back onto your path and realized how easily society can brainwash you into thinking your not worth it.

Yes, you will get hurt and yes, someone will probably break your heart at least once and yes, maybe someone will try and pull you down or stop you from doing what your instinct told you and be so mean that you reallydsc_1790 start doubting yourself again all over, but don’t ever, ever, ever stop believing in mermaids, unicorns, fairies and treasures at the end of rainbows.

Danae Borsani a German/ Italian Yogi, lives on Mallorca and is a passionate blogger (soulseekergirl.com) about what she does best; The Art of Food, Fashion, Travel, and Health. She inspires her readers towards a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.

#NatureInspiredYogi Winner

For the last two weeks in July, @yogatrade ran a #natureinspiredyogi photo contest on Instagram. We received over 750 entries! Thank you to everyone who entered, we were truly amazed with all the great photos. The winner was announced on August 1st as @tayeg (Taylor Godber), for her beautiful shot overlooking rugged, raw, glacier wilderness in a simple meditative seat. Congratulations Taylor! Below is another awesome photo by @tayeg:

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There were so many vibrant entries that we couldn’t help but pick some runner ups! Check out and follow the IG profiles below for more awe inspiring nature yoga photography. Keep connecting with the elements, practicing, and following what makes you feel alive. Thanks for sharing the stoke! Yea!

#natureinspiredyogi runner ups:

1. @anjali_energy

2. @blayered

3. @duncanyoga

4. @beauk

5. @allliiibaba

6. @christyprior

7. @ania_75

8. @ceciledohertybigara

9. @wandertosea

10. @domestikatie_

11. @kaceyyoga

12. @momentswithmitch

13. @lamise

14. @outdoor_discovery_school

15. @ruelgalinato

16. @northshoreyogagirl

17. @dyuzbick

A Day at the Yuba River

At Yoga Trade our philosophy is that yoga is life. And there is a whole world of greatness to experience out there. We like to inspire people to follow their bliss, and to embrace adventure, exploration, and wellness, into all aspects of life. We are not saying to ditch your regimented personal home practice or to stop going to local yoga studios. Just that balance is key! We can only hope to encourage the value of spending more time outdoors, learning from nature, meeting new people in new places, and getting out of the stagnant comfort zone.  (All photography by Alan Hartnick)

yuba1Summer is here in Northern California. I always feel blessed to be able to return to my hometown of Nevada City in times of transition. A visit to the Yuba River is always on the top of the list. It allows me to feel grounded and find deeper clarity. The Yuba River is amazing any time of the year, but it is summertime that many of us look forward to, the long days of light when we can fully immerse ourselves underwater in the emerald pools and worship the sun on the smooth granite rocks.

Today I cruised down to the South Yuba River for a solo trek and was graced by an inspiring occurrence. On my hike upstream I met a fellow explorer, Aaron who said he worked for Mother Lode River Center and was experimenting with some additions he was coming up with for his Alpacka Raft. He is a devoted river explorer, teacher, guide, and inventor. It was his first time to this section of the river so I walked with him up to one of my favorite swimming holes. He let me paddle around in his pack light inflatable raft and talked about his expeditions before he took off to float downstream to experience the canyon and test out some of his new product riggings. He was SO enthusiastic and passionate about the river and life that just talking with him left me with an ultra-positive feeling about the world. It is a delight to see people that are so in their element and radiate contagious uplifting energy. He helped remind me that we can find all the knowledge we ever need at the river.

I thank the river for teaching me well. Here are some powerful lessons we can remind ourselves of by spending a day at the river while becoming in tune with the natural rhythms of life:

Sometimes softer things can overcome harder things. The power of soft, flowing water is magnificent. Find the confidence and success in softening.  

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Find Flow. It’s about finding the balance of surrender and control.

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Form a good relationship with the river and everything in life! The more you give the more you will receive.

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See the river and all of nature as a symbol of where new life begins. Life changes year-to-year and moment-to-moment. It is all about cycles.

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Look for the infinite possibilities. Don’t focus on the obstacles. If you focus on the rocks, while floating downstream you will hit them! Focus on the creative energy of the water and look where you want to go.

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Enjoy the rapids and the calm. During the “rapids of life” it can be good to be focused and single minded. But we must be sure to appreciate the beauty and wonder in the calm, peaceful, and sometime long stretches.

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Before modern times, people would learn how to navigate rivers by watching its signs and listening to its voice. Take time to listen to nature and listen within.

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In the book Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, it is the river that teaches the ultimate lesson. Siddhartha realizes that the river symbolically represents life itself as shown through the emerging sounds from the river, representing the sound of all creation. His epiphany is that all of creation is absorbed into one harmonious whole:

“From that hour Siddhartha ceased to fight against his destiny. There shone in his face the serenity of knowledge, of one who is no longer confronted with the conflict of desires, who has found salvation, who is in harmony with the stream of events, with the stream of life, full of sympathy and compassion, surrendering himself to the stream, belonging to the unity of all things. “

Enjoy a summer day at the river and incorporate some of nature’s teachings into your yoga practice and everyday life!

yuba2Thank you Yuba River for always soothing the soul.

Big thanks to Alan Hartnick for all of the awesome photography. Contact him for beautiful Yuba River photos! alanhartnick@gmail.com

Share or explore a yoga opportunity today and become part of the wonderful yogi community at Yoga Trade. www.yogatrade.com