Yoga Adventure Retreat – Travel Consciously

 

Do you want to travel to exotic places, but feeling a little nervous about traveling on your own?

Do you love yoga and want to start traveling for the first time, but don’t know where to start?

Do you just want to travel and do yoga ’cause both are awesome?

Do you want to travel with totally  fun, kind and experienced leaders and a welcoming and diverse community? (I can wholeheartedly vouch for them!)

SOUTH EAST ASIA ADVENTURE TOUR
Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
with Tyler & Annie Langdale

DEC 28, 2013 – JAN 12, 2014

Experience the beauty of Southeast Asia. This region is rich in culture and religion and is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The countries on this tour have it all: a tropical climate, warm (or hot!) all year around, rich culture, gorgeous beaches, wonderful food and last but not least, low prices. While its history and modern-day politics are complex, most of it is also quite safe for the traveler and easy to travel around in. Join Annie and Tyler Langdale as they return to this region for a two week adventure. Their knowledge and experience in this region make this a wonderful opportunity to travel and learn.

Activities Include:

• 3 yoga classes
• New Years Eve celebration
• Temple tours in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia (Angkor Wat)
• Thai cooking class
• Elephant rescue park day
• 2 day cruise down the Mekong River
• Hikes to see caves & in Laos Waterfalls
• Museums

The Itinerary:

December 28 – January 1, Chiang Mai

• Hotel: Tamarind Village
• Meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 dinners
• Relax & explore Chiang Mai, yoga class w/ Jonas + Thai massage w/ Jonas
• Cooking class
• Sunday Market
• Elephant Rescue

January 1 – January 3, Travel to Luang Prabang

• 2 group dinners
• 2 night, 3 days  to Luang Prabang
• Bus to Hauy Xia (border of Laos 5hrs), stay overnight
Mekong River slow boat to Phac Being, stay overnight
• Mekong River Slow boat to Luang Prabang

January 3 – January 7, 4 nights in Luang Prabang

• Laos Hotel: Vialla Chittadara, Woodhouse Villa, Sok Dee Residence
• Meals: 4 breakfasts, 1 dinner
• Arrival at Luang Prabang
• Free morning/bike tour
• Free evening, free morning
• Waterfall adventure, yoga
• Departure to Siem Reap

January 7 – January 12, 4 nights Siem Reap, Cambodia

• Hotel: TBA
• Meals: 4 breakfast, 3 dinners
• Arrival, free eve
• Orphanage, land mine museum & national museum
• Angkor Wat, group dinner
• Departure day

* Includes commitment for fundraising for the organizations that we will be supporting

* Includes double occupancy in 3 & 4 star hotels. All Breakfasts & 6 group dinners. Transportation within the tour dates & locations: bus, boat, plane.

Retreat Leader:

Tyler  Langdale, Co-Owner of Yoga Shala Sacramento & Founder of Radical Retreats

Tyler has been teaching, leading, and coaching for the past 15 years. His passion for holistic health and spiritual wisdom has led him to yoga as a profession and way of life. He views his teaching as “platform for possibility”, and in addition to weekly classes, he facilitates experiential trainings and leads retreats all over the world. He believes in collaboration and community, and has worked with many world renowned teachers and artist. He co-owns Yoga Shala Sacramento and is the co-founder of The California Spirit Festival. He is committed to bringing the world to Sacramento and getting Sacramento out into the world through conscious community and positive connection.

Cost:

$3200 per person (Not including airfare to and from your destination. DOES include transportation within the tour dates & locations via bus, boat, plane.)

Registration/Deposit Info:

Deposit: $700
50% of the total cost due by Sept 15
Pay in Full By: November 1, 2013

Sign up online with Radical Retreats
brought to you by Yoga Shala >

Oh and hey…tell them The Wandering Yogi sent you, cause that would be a pretty nice thing to do! Thanx!

 

P.S. Speaking other languanges in foreign countries is super fun! You might want to check out Southeast Asia: Lonely Planet Phrasebook

 

 

Community Spirit & The Power of Group Practice

“Community is the new currency” – Steve Gold

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So I just got back from the California Spirit Festival.

This inagural event in the beautiful Masonic Temple in dowtown Sacramento was full of the most amazing people.

I danced  along side 5Rhythms teachers Douglas Drummond from San Francisco, and the most fabulous Bella Dreizler from Sacramento, while being led through the waves by 5 Rhythms teacher Amber Ryan  from Costa Rica.

Diana Vitantonio guided us with a gentle heart through a powerful Vinyasa class, accompanied by the live music of Girish and his band.

Then I danced and jumped the evening away to Mc Yogi.

This is just 3 of the 45 different classes that were available during the weekend.

My favorite part of the experience was deeply personal. Everywhere I looked were friends, many design clients & colleagues I have worked with throughout the years, past yoga students, incredible teachers in the fields of yoga, music, meditation and dance, and a ton of new, friendly faces. Every single one of them joyously connecting together. One moment I would walk into a room and run into Les Leventhal who I finally got a chance to thank for his recommendation that I get a scooter for the month I was in Bali when I ran into him at Michael Franti’s Soulshine Retreat Center back in September of 2011. The next moment I would turn a corner and run into Dr. Yogi and Sat Rattan Kaur, my Kundalini Yoga teacher trainers.

Among all this excitement was something else very interesting going on: Sacramento area yoga studios setting aside any idea of competition and integrating together into a united whole for the betterment of the  yoga community at large.

I also happen to know very intimately how much work it took by the team of people laboring out of love to make this festival a reality.

The energy around this group manifestation seeped right into my being. I realized how important it is for me to stay connected to community. I spend a lot of time working from home and practicing yoga in my living room, which is great, but there is a greater power in the energy of groups reaching towards a goal.

Working with the California Spirit Festival team to support them in producing the event led to a ton of growth in communication and time management. There were many people relying on me and many people I was relying on. In the same way, the dynamic of a group yoga class can give you that extra energy and focus to be fully present.

I worked. I played. I practiced yoga. I danced completely. I hugged A LOT of people. I even got some new design clients! For me, California Spirit Festival was a huge success, and I look forward to connecting even more at the event next year…and everyday!

What is even more amazing to me is all the incoming remarks from the participants and how transformative the experience was for them. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to help others create a space that supported so many people in their growth and wellness!

Get out there and connect with your people! Amazing things can happen!

P.S. You can find me all in black just behind Diana at the start of this video!

Just Start

I get your emails on a regular basis. Very long emails. You generously tell me about your life, and what you want to be doing compared to what you are doing now. You tell me there is something you read on this blog that inspired you. You want to know how you can do what it is you want to do.

I have the same answer for everyone. It is the same answer I give myself every day. Sometimes multiple times a day.

Just open the file.

At this point in my career I am a thriving freelance graphic/web designer and online marketer (though you wouldn’t know it by the shape of this blog…and we can define “thriving” at a later date.). I have many regular clients.  I have a fabulous  home office. And….I have freedom to choose when, where and how I work.

Freedom is a lot of responsibility.

The fact is, though I love my work, I would rather not have to do it on a daily basis….or even at all, really. But I still enjoy it for what it is. It is what I do for my energy exchange in the universe, and it has many perks.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and all I want to do is dance in my living room, listen to music, read, play outside, daydream, and talk with friends.

But sometimes shit’s really gotta be done. (You can quote me on that…)

I have two driving forces:

1. Deadlines

2. Inspiration

(not necessarily accomplished in that order)

Inspiration sometimes comes, and I sit down with no blockages, and work flows through me with ease…and if I am lucky every now and again it comes out with brilliance.

Most of the time, I am on deadline and things just have to be done no matter what.

Even when I would rather…not.

So when I find myself dreading the prospect of sitting down to work I tell myself:

Just open the file.

I don’t have to do ANYTHING but open the file. Once I get to that, then I am fine, and deadlines are met. The work gets done.

It doesn’t matter what it is you want or have to do.

Just open the file.

It’s good to see the big picture. It good to see the end goal.

See that. Then just start. Somewhere. Anywhere. In anyway possible.

It doesn’t matter where you start, but you can only get to the finish line if you start.

You can only get to the finish line if you START.

California Spirit Festival

California Spirit Festival

I am very honored to be a part of the behind the scenes efforts of the California Spirit Festival coming to Sacramento in April. I know so many of the amazing people involved and they are working around the clock to produce an amazing and uplifting event.

Sukhbir Kaur of It’s Time to Live and Tyler Langdale of Yoga Shala, the co-founder’s of California Spirit Festival, are true leaders in the yoga industry and they will be teaching, and offering up their spirit, side by side with Les Leventhal, MC, Yogi, Steve Gold, Girish, Jai Jagdessh and SO many other amazing teachers and conscious artists.

We hope you will join us in this opportunity to raise our consciousness in community!

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About California Spirit Festival

The California Spirit Festival is home to a collaboration of yoga, dance, meditation, kirtan, and COMMUNITY! Held in Sacramento, its mission is to cultivate a STATE of consciousness that helps to elevate one another towards peace through health, wellness, and awareness.

California Spirit Festival brings together top teachers in California for weekend full of heart opening backbends, movement as medicine, sound to heal the soul, and connection with community that has never been seen before!

Start your day with long held yin postures, balancing your nervous system with Kundalini Yoga or setting your spirit free with 5 Rhythms dance. Then get your sweat on as you vinyasa your way into a deepened sense of flexibility in you spine and in your mind!

Feeling hungry now? Visit our Organic Kitchen! Committed to farm-fresh food and vegetarian cuisine, this kitchen has something for everyone. Enough goodness to keep you nourished through the day as well as lightness to keep you moving with ease.

Feeling like you want to chill? Visit our mediation room or stop in at panel discussion on community activities and topics that are designed to raise action and awareness. As the day winds down let the heart fill up in the Grand Ballroom with the healing vibration of kirtan and chanting.

Know your spirit, be your spirit, and let the California Spirit Fest set your soul free!

Our Mission

The California Spirit Festival’s mission is to create opportunity for people to raise their level of connection to the planet and one another. Our goal is to provide an environment where people stretch their bodies and their minds by deepening their practice of yoga, dance, music, mantra, and mindful eating.

Our Vision

To highlight Sacramento as a city that embodies the spirit of health, wellness and social & environmental responsibility as a means to healing us as individuals, as a city, as a state and as a planet.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

Pilgrimage – The Latest Album by MC Yogi, California Spirit Festival Teacher and Performer

 

 

 

 

The Practice Is Not About NOT Falling

There is no magical spiritual pill that eliminates thoughts, emotions and suffering. Thoughts come and go. Emotions come and go. We grow old, we get sick, relationships change, people die. When we try to seperate these things out out from our spiritual-human condition and lable them as bad, we are turning our back to the waves only to be smashed against the shore. That too is fine. Simply stand up from the shore. Then turn around and face the waves and watch them come and go. And when they smash you to the shore again, simply stand up from the shore. Only when we are fully aware of this process does compassion arise. Does grace arise. Does truth arise. Then we can stand up from the sky.

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This post was inspired by a Dharma talk given by Steve Weintraub on Sunday, November 25,  2012 Check it out! 

The San Francisco Zen Center post all of their amazing collection of Dharma talks here. What a gift!

The Karma of Guilt and Pride

ALL THINGS arise from emptiness, meaning NO THING has it’s own inherent nature. You do not exist without everything else that has ever materialized in shape, action, word, thought and feeling up until this point. AND every now and again, with practice, we can choose to wake up from our sleepwalking and see the truth of both the separate and not-separate existence, and rest as the observer, as consciousness, in that duality which is also non-duality. Of course the only reason we are able to do that is because of everything else that has ever materialized in shape, action, word, thought and feeling up until this point. Consciouses arises from the void of emptiness just the same as all things. It does not dwell somewhere beyond it. We arise together and with everything else. Compassion for oneself and others can not occur with out seeing the co-arising existence we and all things share. So remember this in your suffering and in your joy: If you are feeling guilty for your causations, effects and states of being affected – it’s not just your doing. And if you are feeling prideful for your causations, effects and states of being affected – it’s not just your doing. You can relax now.

The Divine Wisdom of Travelling With Your Baggage

Divine wisdom is the understanding and acceptance that all flows from the same source which brings you all the teachers you label as positive and negative people who influence your life, all your past experiences clouded by an inconsistent memory. All sensations. All perceptions. Your bio checmical make up, evolution, the environment, culture and society, you clear meditative still points and your wild passions and aversions. Your moments of pure joy and heated anger. You addictions and liberations. Judgments and love. The ego and the observer.

Divine wisdom is like going on retreat with all your baggage and leaving retreat with all your baggage. It’s resting with your baggage.

Wake Up!

The sound of the Han opens the period of meditation in a zendo.

Often inscibed on a Han: “Great is the matter of Birth and death; Life slips quickly by; Time waits for no one; Wake up, wake up; Don’t waste a moment!”

or

“Completely freed from yes and no;  great emptiness charged within;  no questions, no answers;  like a fish, like a fool.”

3

WWSJD – What Would Steve Jobs Do?

I recently read the Steve Jobs biography. One of the most inspiring books I have ever read. I just want to share a little story with you about being persistent against the seemingly impossible.

Shortly after finishing the book I found myself in Reno at a craps table (I am not into gambling, but it was fun to experience something different). My travelling companion handed me a $500 chip from another casino to try and cash in at the cage since the croupier wouldn’t cash it in at the table. I went up to the cage with a big smile and asked if I could cash it in. The woman looked at it, made a call and then told me, “No.”

As I started to walk away I stopped abruptly and thought to myself. “What would Steve Jobs do?” Would he have just accepted that “no” and walked away?

Hell no.

So I turned around and went back. I asked her (nicely) if there was an actual written policy and if I could talk to a supervisor. She directed me over to the main cage in the next building very close by. I spoke with the manager there and she also gave me the same answer. “No.”

Now I was determined. I was not going to leave until I cashed that chip in. I knew that there must be a way, so I pressed on and asked the manager the same question, “Was there an actual written policy and could I talk to a supervisor?”

She made a call to the pit boss. He came over, looked at me, looked at the chip and said “No problem.”

 Score.

 I was so proud of myself.

Ultimately, between my travelling companion and I, we received 3 “No” answers before finally getting a “Yes.”

The main thing that I learned from reading the Steve Jobs biography is to not put a cap on what we think is possible. Being persistent against the seemingly impossible may not get you everywhere, but it can certainly get you further – in your yoga practice, in your business, in your MISSION.

Don’t take lazy “No’s” as a final answer from other people and especially from yourself! You have to be willing to keep taking that next step right past the nay sayers and your own negative self talk!

1

You Are Perfect Just As You Are

I went camping for two days with one of my design clients in the middle of the week (’cause I can – being a location independent entrepreneur and all). Some may find that strange, but rest assured my client relations are all fairly abnormal. At any rate, we spent a lot of time talking about who we are, what we want in life and basically…how we roll. I have been realizing more and more that I am slightly..ummm…eccentric and this conversation really helped solidify for me that I am kind of an odd duck. I have no desire to be like anyone else. NO desire. This has become apparent to me even more so recently, than ever before, when I decided to take a break from teaching yoga for awhile. My path of being a yoga teacher, as it has been, was the last bit of me trying to be like others which simply did not mesh with who I actually was. I am not a golden light of health and earthly transcendence. I like the earth. I like the struggle. I like the raw and the brash and the wild. The irreverent and the novel. 

I practice yoga to keep from being in pain on a daily basis, to push the boundaries of my body and mind and to become more aware of the ways in which I limit myself. I sit in meditation for the sole purpose of watching thoughts arise so I can create space from them in order to choose how I think instead of being on the auto pilot program prescribed by my past, society, media,  people around me, etc. 

I do these things so I can be more me. Not to be more graceful. Not to be softer. Not to be kinder. Not even to be healthier. 

Frankly I would rather sit around at any given moment and drink coffee or beer, smoke a cigarette and talk to another human being about our experiences on this planet while throwing out a few f-bombs every once and awhile (often). 

And that is a-o-k with me. 

For a long time I used to think that the Buddhist concept of releasing the illusion of duality meant that I had to change myself in such a way that my actions were all more in line with each other. That if I was going to be a yoga teacher, I had to stop eating meat, be a size 2, and speak the half-truth of positivity at all times, and if I couldn’t do those things and fit myself into the idea of the mold that I had in mind, then I was somehow less-than and lacking. What a messed up ego trip! By the way, life is not all positive. It is yin and yang baby – all the time. 

Now, I realize that releasing the illusion of duality means just that – releasing the illusion of duality. 

I am embracing myself with a giant hug and a pinch on the butt. 

All the things that I do and say and think and feel ARE me. I am one, whole, fucking human being. 

Perfect.

So for now I am giving up the idea of “bettering” myself. I am just going to do what I do – work, play, travel, practice yoga and meditation, swear , smoke, drink, laugh, talk, dance, sing, write, eat this bacon and egg breakfast burrito sitting here next to me  (yum!) and explore what it means to rest in my wholeness, imperfections and all. Who knows where being comfortable with myself at this moment might lead to. 

My life is awesome and I live it on my terms. I enjoy my own company and no one seems to think I am an asshole (that I know of…or care about). 

What greater success is there? I am not talking about saving the world here.

How would you feel and what would your life look like if you stopped trying to be something that you’re not?

P.S. Here are some pictures from my super awesome, mid-week, trip to the Carrizo Plain National Monument … I give it 5 stars for SPACIOUSNESS.

Funny enough, it just so happens that I stopped at the James Dean memorial site on the way to the Carrizo Plain.