As a traveler
When I was 20 years old, with a trunk full of belongings I drove north nonstop for 7 days. I arrived in Alaska, and knew I had made it home. I fell in love. Soon I found myself living off-the-grid, hauling water, chopping firewood and gathering my own food. This lifestyle taught me a lot about sustainability and conservation, but it taught me even more about life.
It is hard to sum up 15 working summers into one paragraph, but I will try. In the summers, I worked all over Alaska, in remote the native villages to the national forests. Most recently I earned my travel funds as a trained wilderness guide and a licensed boat captain.
I fell in love with guiding. Showing travelers this corner of the world that I wholeheartedly love is a special thing to me. As summer seasons came to an end, often times I would venture out into busier and more developed parts of the world. With a tiny backpack and a heart full of exploration, I never looked back.
For the past 15 years, I have travelled. I hitchhiked and bused my way through Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras Costa Rica and Panama. I lived like an African, popping on and off public transportation through Kenya,Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. I have repeatedly traveled through China, Tibet, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Europe and Japan.
The more I travel, the more I learn; the more I learn, the more I want to see; the more I see, the more grateful I become for the life I am lucky enough to live.
I found a spiritual life in India where I bounced and bumped my way by rail south saluting the sun and meditating along the way. Eventually I ended up in Sri Lanka, where this dream was born. I wholeheartedly love this life on the road. I am a gypsy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a yogini
I am a Yoga Alliance Certified yoga instructor and Government of India certified Ayurvedic massage therapist. My two greatest loves are travel and yoga which have taken me worldwide throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. With a hungry heart for exploration and a curious mind for wellness approaches and philosophies, I consider myself a “student” for life. I am passionate about Ayurveda, herbalism, naturopathy as well as global theology. My dedication to Ashtanga and Yin Yoga have given me a balanced approach to strengthening and healing the body.
I believe it is through meditation that the mind becomes more flexible. My retreats are designed to share my knowledge in a way that gives my students a sense of autonomy in their paths, immersing them in an ocean of wellbeing to take back to their everyday lives.
My self-study includes 10 years as an Ashtanga practitioner, 5 years practicing Hatha, and most recently 4 years practicing Yin yoga. I am grateful for the time I have spent with so many amazing renowned yoga teachers and their experience and knowledge passed down to me. Teachers I have studied extensively with are Dena Kingsberg (Byron Bay), Guy Donahue (NYC), Nancy Gilgoff (Maui, Hawaii), Cathy Louise Broda (Honolulu, HI), Pepe Mas (Mallorca, Spain), Mark Robberds (traveling teacher) Tina Nance (Bali, Indonesia) among many others.
With over 500 hours of trainings, I am a 300 hour Certified Yoga teacher in Ashtanga/Vinyasa and Yin Yoga (through Yoga Alliance registered yoga schools, Sampoorna Yoga in Goa, India and the School of Sacred Arts based in Bali).
My most recently training in yin yoga was taught as an approach to healing the body based on the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tibetan Meditation. I have taken an Ashtanga Primary Series Adjustment Clinic with Nancy GIlgoff in Makawao, Hawaii, a Yin Yoga Level 1 Workshop with Mona Abter (Sunshine Yoga), and a Hormone Balancing Workshop with yoga therapist Tina Nance. While pregnant (or what Pattabhi Jois calls the 7th series of Ashtanga Yoga), I intensively studied the deep relaxation practices of Yoga Nidra, Bali Usada Healing Meditation, and Hypnotherapy. I am a certified iRest teacher (Richard Miller’s Integrated Restoration Yoga Nidra Method) and Balinese Healing Meditation Teacher (certified in “Tata Brada 1”).
My meditation experiences include two 10-day silent Vipassana meditation intensives under the guidance of Goenka (India, USA) and a 10 day Tibetan Buddhist meditation in Dharamasala, India. I have completed Theravada Buddhist Meditation Intensives at the International Meditation Center in Bodgaya, India and Wat Umong Meditation Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most recently, I attended a Vipassana Intensive in Kintimani, Bali, Indonesia and a Bali Usada week-long silent meditation in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
After nearly 20 years of study, I founded Santosha Society as a community gathering place to share all of our knowledge and experience together.
“Practice, practice, practice and then teach” ~ the words passed from Pattabhi Jois to Nancy Gilgoff to me.
That is why I feel confident to organize these boutique yoga trips around the world sharing the tools that enrich my life.