Category Archives: Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

Down Syndrome Fundraiser Coming Up

Kiki BannerI can’t believe we are coming into October yet again!

Last year, it seemed to creep up on us so fast!  Welcoming Joaquin into our family in late April, learning of his Down Syndrome condition at birth and coming to terms with what that all meant took its toll on us and by the time the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk date happened in October, we were barely able to put together a team to participate and rally behind Joaquin! Thanks to our friends, the Roses, we were able to have our newly formed “Walkin’ with Joaquin” team “piggy-back” on their stronger and more experienced “Ellie’s Elite”.  It was a fun time and we thought to ourselves, “Next year we’ll have a stronger showing…  ”

Well, “next year” is here, and all our hopes and dreams and lofty goals of being better prepared for the KC Step Up for Down Syndrome on October 19th seem, quite frankly, a little daunting.  Will we piggy-back again with the Roses?  Hmm!  Distinct possibility there… We’ll see.  But although the logistics of the actual event might still need a bit of work, we hope to raise more money and have a larger presence this year than last.

Invitation from JoaquinIn Kansas City:  To contribute directly to the Down Syndrome Guild and support Joaquin, join our team Walkin’ With Joaquin that will be participating in the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk at Arrowhead Stadium here in Kansas City on Sunday October 19th.  Note that if you sign up prior to September 19, you will receive your very own Walkin’ With Joaquin team T-shirt to sport that day for your generous donation!

2014-07-29_1514In the Bay Area:  For our Bay Area family and friends, on Sunday October 19th, we will be running our San Francisco Hiking Yoga class as a Down Syndrome Fundraiser and all proceeds will go towards the Down Syndrome Guild.  You will be “Walkin’ With Joaquin” remotely as we will be starting the walk here in KC at the same time as you will in San Francisco.   Simply go to the Online tab in the Mindbody Scheduler and select “Down Syndrome Fundraiser” from the Series drop-down menu.  You may designate how much you want to contribute to this cause (starting as low as $20 and going up to $100).  After making your donation, don’t forget to sign up for the actual Hiking Yoga class on Sunday, October 19th!

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If you can’t join either event, please donate to the cause.  They are a truly amazing organization.

I hope we have a great showing of support and look forward to sharing pictures and stories with you all!  Thanks for your time!

Eric, Carina, Quincy and Joaquin

E + C = Q + J

 

The Faces of Hiking Yoga – Meet Natalie Cummings

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We recently gave our website a face lift.  Hopefully you noticed and, more importantly, you liked it!  The changes were a reflection of our growing and ever-changing business.

Although our vision of bringing Hiking Yoga to more people around the world remains unchanged, our lives have evolved in many surprising and unexpected ways.  In the past three years, Eric and I got married, we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Kansas City, MO (where we now call home),  and of course, the highlight of it all, we welcomed two amazing additions to the family–each of whom came with their own set of surprises, challenges and blessings just 20 months apart!

We are grateful to be living an incredibly intensive, demanding and beautiful stage of life!  Although we often feel like we are juggling a lot of balls in the air and that we are constantly falling behind the ball, we are grateful for life’s many blessings.   As lifestyle entrepreneurs, we adapt our business model to our reality and move forward looking to do the best we can.

We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have come across (or maybe the word is attracted), amazingly talented and generous people that have become a part of our greater Hiking Yoga family.

Through the Faces of Hiking Yoga blog series, we wanted to introduce you to our greater Hiking Yoga Family and, more importantly, we wanted to say thank you!   We chose to introduce Natalie first because she has brought amazing energy and passion to our family and community.  She has a most generous heart, a giving smile and an easy laugh.  She has taken over the Dallas location and our Social Media.  I think you will love her.  Meet Natalie Cummings!

 

 

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Share with us when Hiking Yoga made its way into your heart?

When I had a vision for my Cardio Yoga Fusion offering, I was looking to teach yoga in an inclusive and non-intimidating way.  I also wanted to showcase how yoga could be fun! So as I ventured out on my first yoga hike, I was amazed that this offering was approachable and I was fascinated how everyone came together to be social and have great time! I absolutely loved the cohesiveness of what I was looking to bring to my community and what Hiking Yoga had established nationwide! The timing was just right as there was a need for a Hiking Yoga teacher. From the start, leading yoga hikes felt like coming home and I am ecstatic to have become a part of the Hiking Yoga family.

How has becoming a part of the Hiking Yoga teaching family impacted your yoga career?           

Hiking Yoga has launched my yoga career! I have gained profound knowledge as an entrepreneur from becoming a part of the Hiking Yoga Training Network. I had the vision, and the drive, I just needed structure and guidance. I, like many yoga teachers, wanted to turn my offering into a lucrative career, but was lost on exactly “HOW” to do this! Once in the HYT small group training, the answers became clear. I was able to ignite my unique Cardio Yoga Fusion offering and now can proudly call Hiking Yoga in the Dallas area my own.

 

photo 1This impact has affected my confidence as an entrepreneur, as I am a part of the established Hiking Yoga brand that is loved and respected in the greater yoga community. I have aligned this brand identity with my ‘up and coming’ Cardio Yoga Fusion offering!

The business end of the Hiking Yoga Training inspired my online outreach to yoga entrepreneurs struggling with Social Media. I was able to create a unique, hands-on training for yogis through my Yoga Business Empowerment Workshops. I also teach ‘Sincere Networking’ which aligns yoga principles with business aspirations making a deeper impact in our communities in an organic way.

It has been an honor and joy to become the Social Media Marketing Specialist for Hiking Yoga. I now bring my social media marketing talents to enhance Hiking Yoga Training  and am a Co-presenter with Eric Kipp at the Yoga Journal Events in San Francisco.  These accomplishments have already made many of my dreams a reality, and I am just beginning.

So launched indeed, that is the impact Hiking Yoga has had on my career!

What can we expect to experience when participating in one of your classes?        

10297612_664075386993861_7048692120069905604_nPersonality! Energy and spunk.  I feel that we can experience all that wellness has to offer together, so expect an adventure.  The kind of an adventure that brings you to a place of excitement, empowerment and finally into the calm that is so hard for many of us find. My teachings are fun yet grounding.  We will utilize our time together to improve perspective and cultivate joy.

I created Cardio Yoga Fusion for those of us with not enough time in the day. This revolutionary fusion of balance, strength, flexibility and heart health is the all one yoga practice that we all have been waiting for! I take my non-intimidating style of yoga and incorporate unique yoga inspired cardio intervals that boost the metabolism! This experience leaves students in a cleansed and totally relaxed state of mind/body bliss! I also feature Hiking Yoga, again a fusion of cardio and yoga, practiced in nature…enough said!

 Where do you share your offering?     

Dallas 5The entire Dallas area! I lead Hiking Yoga on the Dallas Katy Trail. I am partnered with Athleta in Dallas offering no-cost Cardio Yoga Fusion classes.  I am also partnered with Yoga Rocks the Park for a Hiking Yoga Kids Camp, teaching yoga to little ones to inspire a life-time of wellness. I am excited to bring Hiking Yoga to friends with like minded aspirations through the DFW Free Day of Yoga.

I volunteer my yoga teaching and business services to many non-profit organizations in my community and beyond. I am proud to be involved with the Elisa Project, Winning The Fight (WTF), Yoga Bridge and Embody Love Movement.

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I found my start at the Coppell Family YMCA, soon expanding to Cross Timbers YMCA, I love being a part of the YMCA’s because of the diversity of students. I am always offering modifications so every student feels comfortable and included.  I also teach yoga for active recovery at CrossFit Coppell Central.

I love my yoga studio home, Blue Anjou Yoga and Meditation Center, I offer a variety of workshops here. I teach a fun Vinyasa Flow on Sunday mornings and I guide a meditation by donation for all to enjoy in my community.

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It is a privilege to teach entrepreneurs with my Hiking Yoga Family as a featured presenter for the social media marketing in the Hiking Yoga Training, and to present my Yoga Business Connection Workshops in my community.

Goals are the essence of success. Share with us some personal and professional goals for 2014 (and beyond)

I have always been a trailblazer, I love teaching others how to find their way through life without having to follow a specific path. My vision is to bring Cardio Yoga Fusion featuring Hiking Yoga to the world, so everyone can experience yoga in an attainable and fun way. My goal is to empower others to find personal and professional success through giving of themselves in a sincere way and making a positive impact in their communities.

It is a dream of mine to foster a celebration showcasing the healing aspects of yoga and the people who are teaching the benefits of yoga to special populations.  There is so much more to yoga that our nation cannot see because we are usually represented through the physical practice that many are rightfully intimidated by!

Share your vision for your yoga career.

She turned her Can'ts into Cans & her Dreams into Plans

My vision is to offer yoga without limitations! For many years there were financial or physical or emotional barriers that stood between myself and my practice. I am bringing yoga to my community in a unique way, breaking down these barriers so anyone who is drawn to yoga can enjoy the benefits. From Dallas and beyond, Cardio Yoga Fusion featuring Hiking Yoga will be a practice that everyone can come to, to find complete acceptance, peace in nature and a whole lot of fun!           

Do you have any particular service organizations or non-profit affiliations you care to share with us?       

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I have found a more fulfilled life since I started giving back, in small ways and most recently in a big way!  I shaved my head in support of Kids Cancer through One Mission.

I have worked with The Down Syndrome Guild

I have taught recovery yoga for – The Elisa Project & NEDA and for Winning The Fight (WTF!)

I have volunteered my business talents for Yoga Bridge for Cancer Recovery & Pose 4 A Purpose.

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My heart belongs to empowering women to let go of fictional standards of health and beauty and I am living this by representing yoga in a realistic light.  Flexibility and being thin are not prerequisites to practicing yoga.  Yoga is for all, I teach this every hour of every day and I am in love with empowering others to find confidence in themselves and their yoga practice.

Where do you turn for inspiration?      

Family

 

My support system, my husband and children, they are the reason I have found my strength and make for a fantastically fun family life, they keep me smiling every day!

 

 

My fellow yoga teachers who are breaking down barriers and teaching from a place of ease and acceptance.
My students, as they find that place where they completely let go of the pressure of day to day life. It is the most fulfilling experience to help others find peace within their hearts.

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My Hiking Yoga family, I have gained much confidence and knowledge from each and every one of them. Learning from their example how to have a great time along with being goal driven.

 

What quote(s) inspire you?        

Favorite QuoteShare something fun or silly about yourself that your community might not be aware of? 

I am a huge Project Runway fan! I love watching the creative process unfold and think that the talent of clothing designers is an art form that is an exciting and a unique gift.

Our readers may want to find out more or stay in touch. Please share your website with us (if applicable)

http://cardioyogafusion.com

The Leap of Faith – Gratitude and Becoming a Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Gratitude Carina Míguez, First Lady of Hiking Yoga on gratitude and taking the leap of faith that fills her heart with gratitude everyday…

I never in a million years envisioned myself as a Lifestyle Entrepreneur!

I followed the traditional route of attending college, studying something marketable and working in a corporate environment building my career. Even as a child I was drawn to math and science, and being fluent in two languages I set a goal for a “portable” degree that I could transfer to any situation/geographical location.  My decided path was to go for an Engineering degree.  I obtained a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and discovered I had a real passion for how things are produced in mass… how systems work… and I wanted to make the processes better by eliminating waste and being more efficient.

My path was no different than many others who chose to make a career in engineering.  I worked at Intel making chips for over 10 years.  I learned a ton and benefitted from working alongside an amazing group of highly focused and talented people.  Yet over time, I felt something was missing.  I wanted to infuse more creativity into my professional life.  I craved more flexibility and control over my time.  I was not feeling as fulfilled by my career and the direction it was taking me in.  I was missing my family and I wanted to be able to spend more time with them–not just 2 out of 52 weeks a year!

So I took the leap of faith!

I quit my job and decided to make a change to pursue other interests.  

It was a bold move at the time, especially when I was not quite sure of exactly what I was going to do or how.  To make matters more complicated, the whole world economy quickly had gone to the waste-basket!  We were in the middle of a world recession in 2008-9 when I was trying to make these changes in my life.

ImageIt was around that time that I met Eric.  He was fun, energetic and had an approach to life that inspired me.  Why couldn’t life be ALL that I wanted it to be?  Life is abundant and it conspires to give us as much as we put into it.  This is why I was drawn to Hiking Yoga, supporting Eric’s vision of “getting more people into their bodies” and “building the life he loved”, on his terms.  I could get behind that idea and I tasted those words in my tongue: building the life that I loved… It sounded and still sounds fabulous!

Eventually this idea morphed into an even bigger and more compelling one: “building the life we loved” and we became lifestyle entrepreneurs.  We joined our toothbrushes and moved into a small and very expensive one bedroom apartment in San Francisco.  I was working for Google at the time and within less than a year, we both decided to devote all our time and energy into growing our vision!  Much has changed since then and we have adapted to many “wrenches” thrown our way.  We now live in Kansas City, MO with our beautiful children and we hope to teach them about lifestyle entrepreneurship and what it can do for them.

I feel blessed to have had the courage and faith to make changes in my life that I, like many, find terribly frightening.

I want to inspire others to make those changes.  I think Hiking Yoga Training is an amazing avenue to get people in the world of yoga and fitness to building the life they love–whatever it means for each and every one of them.  Embracing change, believing in one’s power, getting into one’s body and building the life one loves is what Hiking Yoga Training brings to people and I am grateful to share that vision with you.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie

Refine Your Niche – Become the Yoga Entrepreneur

Imagine the excitement in sharing your work at an international venue like the Yoga Journal Conferences! Many of the most recognizable teachers in the world participate. The level of energy the teachers and students bring ignites the training and reconnects us with our passion for yoga. In sharing the joy of Hiking Yoga on all different levels, I wanted to help so many of the yoga teachers that have their own amazing niche, but expressed a need for a map to refine it and become the Yoga Entrepreneur they envision!  Hiking Yoga has a unique niche and as a family business, we put our hearts into it as Lifestyle Entrepreneurs. We celebrate being present outdoors by encouraging others to take their practice to a multidimensional level. These building blocks are the stairs that lead us to the Yoga Journal Conferences year after year.

This time around I am leading Yoga Hikes on the beach in Miami at the prestigious Westin Diplomat  with its swanky palm trees and fabulous pools adjacent to the beach.

As I arrive with my family, I have only one day to design a course that integrates the best of the resort, ocean views and all other images people may have of bliss filled yoga on the beach. It is exhilarating and challenging to show off the best aspects of new locations on the fly. I am a map nerd and love studying the possibilities to deliver the most exhilarating experience.

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It can be intimidating making your offering next to some of the top teachers in the world. Yoga lovers pay for entrance to the conference and can pick from whomever sounds most appealing. We initially offered two 2-hour Yoga Hikes per day and to our delight they sold out right away!

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Why is it that I have much less name recognition than some of these renown yoga teachers but still have a rush of yogis signing up to participate in a Yoga Hike?

It is the power of offering something compelling and unique that makes all the difference.  

This represents the heart of finding your niche and offering your best work whatever that may be. I feel so blessed to have found mine and have created an opportunity to share that experience with you. Through Hiking Yoga Training I want to teach you to grow your niche so one day you too will work with some of the most exciting teachers and have your offering be recognized in conferences around the world!

To the students at the conference, Hiking Yoga offers an eye opening and gratifying yoga practice. We will hike and enjoy the quintessential thrills of Florida and practice yoga in nature with the waves flowing in harmony with the breathe.

Leading Yoga Hikes around the world in unique and breathtaking landscapes inspired me to share my established brand with others. I know the hard work and passion it takes to bring a niche to life. I want to share my unique offering by combining your passion and working together to refine your niche to help YOU thrive as a Yoga Entrepreneur for a lifetime!

Lifestyle Design & Your Vision of the Ideal Yoga Life

hyt blog 4The term “Lifestyle Design” was made famous by Tim Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Workweek where he conjures all sorts of images of twenty-something’s running with the bulls in Pamplona, spearfishing in the south pacific, or sipping cocktails at a beach in the Caribbean. Even while nursing a shoulder injury from repeatedly patting himself on the back, the money rolls in by the thousand’s every week. The underlying sentiment is that you were not smart enough to figure out how to escape hustling away at a 9-5 job or series of side gigs trying to keep your vision alive.  Pay him and he may give you a glimpse of what skills & ideas you are missing to achieve that vision.

hyt blog 5The yoga version of this ideal would be floating around the globe from conference to workshop to retreat on your whim with crowds of adoring students waiting for you. Some hybrid of Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, & Rodney Yee. You have videos selling around the clock online, you grace the cover of Yoga Journal occasionally, your DVD’s fill entertainment centers everywhere, and you have your own line of yoga pants. Money has not gotten in the way of your true teaching because you found the secret and operate on another plane free of worldly concerns. You have struck a perfect balance of your physical practice, service to community, and non-stop bliss in the world you have created.

hyt blogThe reality for most is that you have to hustle to make a living (even partial) from teaching yoga. You teach regularly in 3 studios and are on the sub list for a few more. You have a good group of steady students on your Saturday morning and Tuesday night classes.  You just passed 1,500 likes on Facebook. You blog and seem to have a nice following. You make 50% of your modest, monthly income in the yoga realm but you still have to hustle a second job (wait tables, nanny or help manage a yoga studio…). You have tightened your belt and learned to live with less.

What if you could make your reality closer to that ideal and make incremental hyt blog 2movements towards a vision of a life you love?  That was what motivated me when I started pouring myself wholeheartedly into Hiking Yoga.  Unlike Tim, I can’t say that I work a 4-hour work week, but then again, since I love what I do I am not counting the hours.  My focus is not to get rich, but to live richly.  I spend time with my family that I love and I get people in their bodies outdoors doing yoga.  I love how stoked people are after a yoga hike and how they gush from the experience.

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Over time I trained hundreds of teachers to lead yoga hikes for my company.  I noticed that many teachers even with their 200 to 500 hour training, struggled to reach their goals.  There is very little guidance out there for yoga teachers in the realm of business ownership and marketing.  That is what inspired me to create Hiking Yoga Training.  I found balance within my entrepreneurial dream, my yoga practice and my family.  I want to share that experience because I believe that we all can live a fulfilled life and still stay true to our dreams. You can live the life that you love!

Family, Growth and Embracing Life’s Blessings

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Carina Míguez, First Lady of Hiking Yoga, on family, growth & embracing life’s blessings…

Eric and I have a wonderful family and we love love love spending time together.  In fact, most people are surprised at the amount of time we spend together period.  We have been married for a relatively short amount of time. We have been partners in a business since only a bit longer.  For some time now, we work from home on our business, share almost every meal, go on daily walks together without seeming to get tired of each other’s presence–quite the opposite.

Our walks now include two little ones… Our oldest, 2 year old daughter Quincy, is such a joyful and graceful little person.  She has been a model for me from the very start.  She has taught me about grace, strength and courage.  Since before I actually felt her kicking in my tummy, I knew I had an incredible being inside and I was excited to welcome her into our world.  Relatively early on in the pregnancy, around week 17, we learned that she had a congenital defect that would require her to be in the hospital for some time after she was born.  Doctors would not give us an estimate because each case was so different and they warned us that although mortality was generally not a concern, the road to health would be a rocky one.

photo (1)It certainly was.  Within the first weeks after birth Quincy underwent 4 surgeries and she spent almost 3 months in the neonatal intensive care unit in northern CA.  It was a difficult time for us all and today, we are so blessed to see her completely recovered thanks to many people who touched our lives.  Those not so distant memories of hospital visits (the smells, the sounds), of worries and of celebration of small triumphs (i.e the first time I was able to hold her in my arms, the first time we took her outside hooked up to all her tubes) seem foreign and almost unreal when contrasted with the joy of witnessing her little wonderful self blossom every single day.

So, when we learned that we were pregnant again with our youngest Joaquín, now almost 6 months old, we were ready to experience a “normal” pregnancy–devoid of worry and extra monitoring.  I did the regular tests most of us pregnant women over the age of 35 do and was told “there is nothing to worry about”.  Eric and I embraced the news and proceeded to do just that… not worry. Actually, we were more than worry free. We focused on planning for the arrival of Joaquín and enjoyed every minute of the ride!

Joaquín Felix arrived one morning in April this year, a couple of weeks earlier than anticipated after almost 18hrs of “labour”.  My parents, who had traveled from Uruguay especially for the happy occasion, almost missed the whole event but fortunately made it just in time heading from the airport straight to the hospital.

If Quincy taught me a thing or two about grace, strength and courage, Joaquín is teaching me about joy and love.  His smile is truly a force to be reckoned with.  It takes over his whole body.  When he smiles, he raises his little shoulders up to his ears, reaches down with his hands outstretched towards his feet and lifts his knees up with heels clicking below.  He is truly “a happy dude”!

JoaquinTurns out that Joaquín did come with a little extra.

Shortly after birth, we found out Joaquín had several markers for Down Syndrome. This was later confirmed by a blood test. We were relieved to hear from the cardiologist that his heart was sound and required no special procedures as 60% of kids with Down Syndrome require open heart surgery in the 1st year of life.  We have much to learn and, fortunately, great support in family and friends and the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City.

A poem we read from a parent described the situation best for us.  She compared the hopes for the pregnancy to planning a trip to Italy. For 9 months she read the guidebooks, imagined the taste of the delicious Italian food, pictured herself riding on the gondolas in Venice, walking through the streets of Florence and visiting the sites in Rome.  Then she got on the plane and arrived to destination. Only that, when she landed she was welcomed to Holland–not Italy.  “What?! Holland? But I wanted to go to Italy!” she said.  She had a choice to make: be upset about not being in Italy, or embrace the fact that she was in Holland.

Well, we have been learning much of the tulips, wind mills and Van Gogh masterpieces. There are many amazing things about Holland that we are just beginning to discover. October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and on Saturday October 26th our little Hiking Yoga family will be “Walkin’ with Joaquín” (our team) for the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk in Kansas City.  We hope you can join us in person or in spirit and look forward to you visiting Holland with us soon!

With Love,

E+C=Q+J

Eric + Carina = Quincy + Joaquín

Namaste – My soul recognizes your soul. I honor the love, light, beauty, truth and kindness within you because it is also within me. In sharing these things there is no distance between us. We are the same. We are one.

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This picture of Quincy and Joaquín is very telling about their relationship.  From the beginning, and to this day, Quincy will often kiss Joaquín’s feet.  She will greet him regularly with such love and tenderness that I am constantly reminded of how fortunate we are in having these two lovely souls grace our family lives with their presence.

From Iceland to Peru to Japan: Inspiring the Yoga Entrepreneur

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I am always amazed at the vast range of ideas from people all across the globe interested in how Hiking Yoga could thrive in their communities.  Each week inquiries come in from teachers wanting to train to make their own business out of Hiking Yoga.

– There is the idea of a Yoga Hike that would be integrated into the sacred trails of Machu Picchu.

– There have been offers to blend cross country skiing and Hiking Yoga in Alaska and Colorado.

– Some want to start their Hiking Yoga business utilizing the Appalachian Trail in the Smoky Mountains.

– Christian churches are interested in offering a spiritual experience on their Yoga Hikes.

– There are also endless landscape options for Hiking Yoga in Iceland due to their rapidly growing yoga tourism business.

This list is just a small snapshot of the ideas I have been approached with in the past couple of months!

People hear the idea of combining their yoga practice into their time in nature and they see no limit to climate, terrain, belief, or culture. They see the amazing advantage of the mind/body/nature connection and they want to know more!

I know that inspiration can be an elusive thing…you have to find the right moment to catch the spark and nurture it.  I get to support others in growing their vision to help it become the content of their daily lives.  Taking a vision and bringing it to fruition is not an easy task, but it is possible.

Being an entrepreneur is one of the most electrifying experiences especially when your vision turns the corner and takes a life of its own. It takes cultivating your spark and building your habits and practices around making a consistent offering.  It becomes a practice that will challenge, humble and inspire you. With this combination of determination and vision, even making a living from your aspirations is possible!

I consider it such a blessing to play a role in helping others turn their dreams into a reality through Hiking Yoga Training.