yoga retreat

Okanagan Kelowna Yoga Retreats

Just released!  2015's line up of Vino & Vinyasa Yoga Retreats are here!  Please join me this year in a sumptuous Okanagan getaway in the heart of wine country!  Retreats are being held at Predator Ridge in Vernon, and Summerland Waterfront Resort.  Prices range from $649-$679 based on double occupancy, and an additional $200 if you would like single occupancy.  All retreats include 2 nights' accommodation, 5 meals, a chauffeured wine tour, and 3 All Levels yoga classes with Laura Martini.  Please check the gallery to view pictures of past retreats!

A Yoga Retreat Sale. Say what???

Hola Amigos!  For the month of June I am offering a special discount on all my international retreats!  This includes the...

 Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat MEXICO

Feb. 7-14, 2015

Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat COSTA RICA 

Feb. 21-27, 2015

Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 

May 3-10, 2015

Receive $75 off your retreat if you book before the end of June.  This can not be combined with any other offer however "repeat offenders" will be given $75 off instead of their usual $50 discount.  Retreat availability is first come, first serve, and the multiple occupancy spots are always the first to go so please book ASAP!  Now, if you're not already convinced that you will need a yoga retreat by 2015, here are some 2014 retreat photos to drool over...

Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat MEXICO

Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat COSTA RICA

Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI


The official launch of Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreats!

When I started running yoga retreats 4 years ago, I never imagined how passionate and close to my heart they would become.  Only recently have I been able to pinpoint what my subconscious has been drawn to as the international retreats have developed and evolved; they are all in divinely lush and naturally spiritual locations.  

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat, Nosara, February 2013.

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat, Nosara, February 2013.

Growing up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, I never realized the peace and exhilaration that comes from being surrounded by nature.  After moving into the city, it became clear to me on visits back to the farm that simply being in nature renewed a sense child-like wonder and relaxation within my body and soul.  Now, I've learned to take an hour each day to get out of the city and walk my dog on trails in the nearest park.  If I miss one of these days for whatever reason, I have come to find that my happiness level decreases and I feel uneasy and anxious.  

View from The Costa Rica Yoga Spa (where the Costa Rica Retreat is being held in February, 2015)

View from The Costa Rica Yoga Spa (where the Costa Rica Retreat is being held in February, 2015)

There is this moment, when you turn a corner on a trail at my local park, where you can see the incredible length of the lake and the rolling grey curves of the mountains in the distance.  Always at this moment do I feel a sense of spiritual awakening; a sense of connection and oneness.  For many years, I strived to achieve this spiritual connection by reading books on different religions and cultures (I even studied religion when I majored in cultural anthropology in University).  It wasn't until I took the time to pause and observe my mind's reaction to this particular landscape that it became clear how prevalent God (replace that word with whatever you need to) is in nature.

So from now on, I am devoted to running my international retreats only in places which offer spectacular immersion in nature.  I'm talking about thick jungle, sweeping natural park views, audible crashing ocean waves, and don't forget about nourishing farm to table meals!

Beach at the Mexico Yoga Retreat February 2014 and 2015 (just released)

Beach at the Mexico Yoga Retreat February 2014 and 2015 (just released)

When you attend a Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat, I guarantee that you will be getting out of the city and into the primal wild.  These retreats are about finding your connection to nature; however that may manifest in your body/mind.  They are about re-discovering who you are and nourishing the animal spirit which lies within you.  Through these retreats I promise to do my best to rekindle your sense of child-like wonder and provide you with an immense sense of peace and contentment through the sacred vehicle that is mother nature.

So with that, I officially announce my latest Jungle Spirit Retreat: Costa Rica February 2015.  I've done my research and can promise you that this place is spectacular.  No fancy resorts, no commercial developments, just nature in it's purest form.  I'm already imagining the fresh salty air blowing off the ocean and through the palm trees.  Absolute paradise.  And you're invited. 

The view from the yoga palapa at the next Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica!

The view from the yoga palapa at the next Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica!

Rock On,

l.e. martini

3 things you need to know about yoga!

The following is an excerpt from an article I guest wrote for a friend and colleague's blog on   Castanet.net

Today I feature one of the many inspirational fitness leaders with whom has played a huge role in many people's journey of finding fitness, health and balance, including mine!  Meet Laura Martini of Martini Yoga. I have asked Laura what she feels everyone should know and understand about yoga!
 

  • Saying that I'm too tight/stiff to go to yoga is like saying that you are too hungry to eat.

As a yoga teacher, I understand that you are embarrassed by your tight hamstrings and don't think you'll be "good" at yoga; I've heard it all.  But it is the people like you who need yoga the most.  If you feel as though your muscles are tight, chances are they will continue to get tighter unless you take the time to stretch them.  It is as simple as that! A consistent yoga practice will not only stretch your muscles, it will help you build strength, it will increase your coordination and balance, and it will help to calm your mind.  

  • Yoga is the practice of compassion. Please understand that yoga was not designed to be a "workout", it is a system of self-love.

In a world where we are constantly being told that we are never enough, yoga teaches us to be gentle with our bodies and minds.  Through yoga we learn to recognize that we already have everything we need.  The physical practice of yoga gives us the opportunity to go deeper into our bodies and really take the time to understand where we should be placing our attention.  The ancient system of yoga recognized that when we take the time to love ourselves, only then will our love be able to translate to others.

  • Yoga is accepting of all.

It doesn't matter if you are Christian or Buddhist, small or large, bendy like Gumby or stiff as a board, yoga can work for you.  Yoga teachers are surprisingly skilled at modifying classes to ensure they work for everyone in the room.  That being said, please ensure you read the class description before entering the class.  You will never be judged in a yoga class so know that so long as you are mindful in how you feel in each posture, you can get a lot out of any yoga practice, no matter the teacher or style.
 

Namaste,

l.e. martini

 

Why everyone should go on a yoga retreat.

Hola!

After spending the last 15 days in Costa Rica leading 2 yoga retreats, I am now back in the great white north.  Thinking about these past two weeks has made me uncharacteristically emotional.  I feel as though a transformation has truly occurred and I attribute this transformation to what the Tico people call "Pura Vida".  Pura Vida roughly translates to "pure life" and it is a common answer to the question "How are you?" in Costa Rica.

The 15 of us who had the opportunity to practice in the eco paradise that is Nosara, Costa Rica, experienced a glimpse of our true selves; what life would be like if we disconnected from our technology, cities, and judgements, and instead connected with our bodies, the natural wonders around us, and our hearts.  

What is "pure life" anyways?  It is the privilege of allowing ourselves the time to leave our chores and routines behind so we can gain fresh perspective.  It is the recognition that we are all indeed connected on a spiritual level that is inherent in our humanity, no matter what language we speak.  It is the awe of a spectacular sunset that can draw an entire town away from what they are doing to focus on the beauty of nature at exactly 5:30pm every day.  Can you imagine a life where we put down our duties/phones/computers and watched the amber sun fall below the shimmering sea EVERY DAY?   This is Pura Vida. 

Sunset at Playa Guiones.

Sunset at Playa Guiones.

So with the memories of the Martini Yoga Costa Rica Yoga Retreat fresh in my mind, here are the reasons why everyone, at some point in their life, should go on a yoga retreat.

  • To really ensure you are practicing yoga safely and effectively.  A yoga retreat allows you the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with your instructor; this gives he or she the ability to get to know your body better and ensure that you are doing the postures safely and accurately.  This is much more difficult in a yoga class setting as there are likely more people in class and an instructor can only convey so much information in an hour.  Yoga retreats are great for experienced yogis looking to deepen their practice as well as beginners looking to ensure they are getting the basics accurately.
  • To gain fresh perspective on what is important to you.  When you take a public yoga class, chances are it is difficult to find stillness of mind when you have to remember what groceries to get after class, when to pick up the kids, what to make for dinner, and how to close today's business deal.  When you are on a retreat; you can really focus on your practice because someone is cleaning your sheets for you, someone is lovingly making your meals, and your job is on hold hundreds of miles away.  All you need to do is relax because there really is nothing more important than the present moment when you are on a yoga retreat.
  • To create life-long relationships with like-minded people.  When you go on a yoga retreat, it is guaranteed that you will meet other people who are interested in health and wellness.  By befriending fellow retreaters you have the opportunity to create a network of support and love, as well as memories that will keep you connected forever.
  • To allow your mind and body a break from stress.  The Western lifestyle is not exactly the healthiest way to live.  The busy-ness of our lives can be taxing on both body and mind.  It is important to our health that we take consistent breaks from the daily grind to ensure our physical health allows us to grow old with grace.

Here are some other blogs I found on the same topic:

Elephant Journal

MInd Body Green

And in case you're curious, here are some pics from our recent Costa Rica Yoga Retreat:

Pura Vida and Rock On,

l.e. martini