I love to travel, I love yoga, and I love traveling with yogis — or yogi-like people even if they don’t do yoga. I started the Joyful Heart Yoga retreats ten years ago. I thought it would be a one-time thing, but people loved it so much that we just kept doing it, and now I’ve taken over 20 groups to beautiful places around the world. My retreats are a little different than the typical retreat. They tend to be higher-end vacations: We stay in comfortable, charming accommodations with local character … we get immersed with the local culture and learn a lot about where we are … we travel with local guides … we create a balance of activity and down-time … we eat in nice places … I don’t restrict your diet — you tell me if you have any food allergies or special diet needs so you can nourish yourself as you see fit … some drink, some don’t, but nobody gets drunk or obnoxious. Most of my trips include yoga twice a day, but my newest trip to Spain will not have any formal yoga classes, as there wasn’t appropriate space in most of our hotels, so we’ll try to fit in some yoga while we’re out hiking. It’s going to be a fantastic trip with great people, and I can’t wait.
Speaking of people, who usually goes on these trips? We’ve had people ranging in age from 11 – 84, but the majority seem to be people between 45 and 70. They tend to be active and fairly fit, and there’s usually a couple of people who are working with knee or shoulder issues. Most of the group does yoga, but we’ve had plenty of people join us who’ve never done yoga before. Interestingly, they often get hooked on it during these trips and decide to make it a regular part of their lives! Both men and women come on these trips. We usually have a combination of couples and single people, or married people traveling with friends instead of spouses. Many new friendships have been made on these trips. A lot of people come from my classes in Virginia, but some find me on the internet, and others heard about my trips through a friend. The people who’ve traveled with us are wonderful — they like to have fun, they are curious and open-minded, and they really enjoy everything. They’re nice! More than one hotel owner has complimented me on the wonderful people I’ve brought. There is usually a lot of laughter on these trips — the true sign of a Joyful Heart!