Tag Archives: hiking yoga

Faces of Hiking Yoga – Meet Laurie Sleep

Keep close to Nature's heart... and

I am walking in the clouds these days feeling grateful for all of life’s blessings.  We just got back from Colorado where I met up with 9 other girl-friends, 8 of which flew in from the Bay Area specifically for this weekend together with girl-friends! We hiked and visited Red Rock (first time for me) and I was marveled by the beauty of the place.  I want to come back and see a concert there!

Then we were off to visit another good friend of mine in Boulder and catch up.  We stayed up late one night to share stories, laugh, make future plans, share and dream and enjoy some excellent wine.

10402377_10203726517256814_7151587778056659156_nAfter that, it was off to the Yoga Journal LIVE event at Estes Park where we offered, for the first time in that awe inspiring location, an all day intensive and several 2 hour Hiking Yoga classes.  We were thrilled to have Karen, my sister in law join us for the conference and we could not have done it all without her. The kids had a blast!  Well, Joaquin I think felt the effects of the altitude but Quincy had an especially good time, participating in crafts, swimming at the pool and going on her first pony ride atop “Strawberry.”  Now that we are back home, imagine my joy in knowing that I have so much to look forward to in the coming weeks…

  • my dear and accomplished friend Laura Esculcas, will be visiting us in Kansas City from Lisbon, Portugal the first week in October and partnering with us to deliver an amazing workshop that combines Hiking Yoga and the Labyrinth–easily accessible tools to help manage everyday stresses.
  • my brother Ariel and his wife Ale will be coming all the way from Montevideo, Uruguay in South America to join our “Walkin’ with Joaquin” team in the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk in Kansas City on October 19th!  (Ok… so they will also swing by Chicago on the way in and make time to visit New Orleans on the way out but hey!  I am thrilled that the timing works to have my family present for this event!)
  • and, our very own Laurie Sleep has agreed to lead the fundraising parallel event in San Francisco on the same day we will be Walkin’ with Joaquin in Kansas City!

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Talk about support, fun and love from all corners of the world!

Specifically today, I wanted to highlight Laurie Sleep and her awesomeness!  She is a generous soul who consistently “shows up” when it counts!   Not only will she be supporting the fundraiser on Oct 19th, she will also be leading a Hiking Yoga workshop in partnership with Ahnu on Sep 28th for Ahnu Ambassadors–please make sure you let yoga teachers in your network know about this so that they may benefit from their awesome program.

Meet Laurie and get to know this wonderful yoga teacher and overall fabulous and fun person!

Smiling, Carina

What styles of yoga influence your teaching?

Hiking Yoga, Iyengar, Vinyasa

Share with us when Hiking Yoga made its way into your heart?
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I became part of the Hiking Yoga family in the spring of 2012, when Hiking Yoga launched in New York. I was living and teaching yoga in NYC and couldn’t believe it when I saw a Craigslist posting looking for yoga teachers who also loved hiking and the outdoors. As an avid hiker and backpacker, it was the perfect fit! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring yoga out on the trail, combining my two loves. In Fall 2012, I moved back to San Francisco and now have the privilege of sharing this beautiful city with hikers every Sunday morning.
How has becoming a part of the Hiking Yoga teaching family impacted your yoga career?
I love being outdoors, and Hiking Yoga has allowed me to take my yoga teaching out of the studio and onto the trail, giving me the opportunity to share my passion for nature and hiking, as well as yoga. Through leading yoga hikes I have met so many interesting people, both from the Bay Area and from out of town. I have also found Hiking Yoga to be a great way to introduce people to yoga, because it is such a fun and friendly setting.
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Laurie and the Hiking Yoga team at Yoga Journal LIVE! 2014 Carina Miguez, Natalie Cummings, Eric Kipp & Laurie Sleep
I am also thrilled to be leading yoga hikes at Yoga Journal LIVE!  San Francisco for the second year in a row! I am extremely grateful to Hiking Yoga for this amazing professional opportunity.
Share your vision for your yoga career.
 My goal is to make yoga accessible to everyone. Through a down-to-earth approach, clear instruction, and intelligent sequencing, I strive to create a warm and encouraging, but appropriately challenging, environment for all of my students.
Do you have any particular service organizations or non-profit affiliations you care to share with us?
I support a variety of causes–not one in particular.   On October 19th, for example, I am leading a Hiking Yoga class benefiting the Kansas City.  The idea is to bring support across the nation to this cause speimagescifically rallying around Joaquin, Eric and Carina’s youngest son.  They will be Down Syndrome Guild of greater Walkin’ with Joaquin” at the same time in their home city of Kansas City.
 Where do you turn for inspiration?
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Nature, especially backpacking in the mountains, watching the ocean, or simply sitting in the sun. My amazing husband, and my smart, creative (and adorable) nephews.
Share something fun or silly about yourself that your community might not be aware of?
 I love reading young adult fiction, especially anything set in a dystopian future.
What quote inspires you?
“There is no spoon.” – Neo (quoting Spoon Boy), from The Matrix
Our readers may want to find out more or stay in touch. Please share your website with us.

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 Lisa Gaillant

““Be like the sun for grace and mercy.I am amazed at the level of engagement the “ice water bucket challenge” has produced in people through out the Facebook community.   Although I personally don’t have any interest in documenting myself getting drenched in cold water and I fail to see the connection with donating time or money to a charity close to my heart, I can appreciate people who have fun with it!   Most of all, I am thrilled that the ALS foundation has reported a huge increase in donations and many more people are participating and giving to causes they believe in thanks to the “ice water bucket challenge.”  A one-time highly visible and fun event of giving can turn into a practice and I believe there are many people who make volunteering and giving a natural part of their every day life (as a good friend of mine, Pamela Hawley, says.)

One of the people we know and love, who make giving and volunteering a natural part of their life is Lisa Gaillant.  We interviewed Lisa for this edition of The Faces of Hiking Yoga and we hope you enjoy getting to know her a little bit more.  Maybe you will even feel inspired to contribute to Lisa’s cause or to any cause you feel a strong connection to.    Every little bit we can do helps!

Lisa GLisa joined Hiking Yoga leading classes in our Los Gatos and Woodside locations.  She is a really fun and dynamic person with many fun and diverse interests.   She impressed me with her level of support of Cancer CAREpoint through the Pose 4 a Purpose event scheduled for September 13th in Vasona Park in Los Gatos, CA.  Not only will she be donating her time in teaching a Hiking Yoga class, but she will also donate her time in leading a Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Yoga class!  Get to know this fabulous person that we are fortunate to count as part of our Hiking Yoga Family and attend one of her classes while supporting a good cause!

What styles of yoga influence your teaching?

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Definitely Power Yoga and Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Yoga.  I actually had visions of teaching  yoga on the water instead of in a studio.  Like all things, it was a process.  Before I attained my SUP Yoga certification (this past June)  I had to get my 200-hour yoga TT and I continue to learn and grow my practice each and every day.

Share with us when Hiking Yoga made it’s way into your heart?

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I was asked if I was interested in taking over the Hiking Yoga schedule for my fellow friend/yoga teacher, Emily Galvin in Woodside.  Since I love hiking among the trees, I thought it would be fun to meet new people and introduce  them to yoga in an outdoor setting instead of in a yoga studio.  Teaching Hiking Yoga seemed like a natural fit!

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

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My involvement with Hiking Yoga has allowed me to have more fun and be relaxed in my teaching.  I bring more lightness and fun to the practice.  It has broadened my reach and my ability to bring yoga to other mediums besides the studio.  I have fun in the outdoors teaching yoga in the forest as well on the water.  Through Hiking Yoga I learned of the Pose 4 a Purpose and connected with the organizers to support this worthy cause.

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

logoAs I mentioned, I am looking forward to volunteering my time to Pose 4 a Purpose: An Outdoor Yoga Festival benefiting  Cancer CAREpoint on September 13, 2014 in Los Gatos, CA.  There are many ways to participate and I hope to have lots of people come out and have some fun supporting a great cause.

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Cancer CAREpoint is an organization dedicated to transforming support for cancer patients, families and caregivers in Silicon Valley through personalized, one-on-one Counseling, Assistance, Resources and Education.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to meet people in the holistic community and give the gift of love, yoga and fun back to people who need more support and compassion during their time of healing. 

Where do you turn for inspiration?

I love watching all the video clips of my yoga friends on Instagram. Elephant journal also has great articles and my favorite inspiration of all is The Daily Love by Mastin Kipp.

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

My other passions are massage along with aromatherapy with the help of doTerra oils.

Dolterra Oils

 

For ideas on how to contribute your resources (either time and energy or money) you might enjoy checking out Universal Giving. 100% of your donations go towards previously vetted causes.

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.