Definition of Relaxing = Yoga Retreat!

From a quick click on something called, I’m led to believe that Americans spent more than $100 billion on summer vacations in 2017.[1]Why? Ostensibly, they were looking to recharge, de-stress, detach, expand their horizons, broaden their minds, rekindle romance, get some sleep, eat well, indulge themselves, or some medley of all of the above. In other words, they spent $100 billion in an effort to relax.

As I reflected on my last vacation and its attendant credit bill, I wondered how much of that $100 billion was well spent. My own small piece of the holiday economy went for a Spring Break girls’ cruise best left un-described. But, you can picture, overdone cafeteria food; over-loud dance music; overcrowded swimming pools; overexposed skin—these are the ingredients for too many overpriced getaways. They’re the opposite of relaxing.

That’s why I can’t wait for the retreat, next March, to Nosara, Costa Rica! Transformation in Nosara – Yoga, Sea, Surf and Soul. An HYL retreat in a tropical destination is the inverse of the vacation that requires a consequent vacation. It’s designed around the concept of “pura vida,” meaning “pure life” reconnecting body, spirit, and environment. It is a local mantra that you will hear throughout Costa Rica.

The nutrient-rich cuisine, the tranquil beaches, and the company of like-minded seekers of peace—these are the ingredients for serenity and life. Throughout my yoga career I’ve experienced dozens of destination retreats, and HYL’s tailored blend yoga, coaching, and ocean idyll is a beautifully balanced recipe for recharging, expanding horizons, and eating and sleeping well.

It is, in my opinion, the definition of relaxing.

Even if you are new to yoga or new to a retreat experience it is really for anyone! Don’t just go on vacation needing another vacation when you get home. Our retreat is a journey that gives back to you long after you leave the resort!

Just imagine yourself HERE and join us!  Our Costa Rica Yoga Retreats Sell OUT!

For all details and to register CLICK HERE

Treat Yourself! Urban Weekend Retreat!

In terms of getting back to balance, very little compares to taking time for yourself!  But we know it can sometimes feel impossible to carve time to getaway.  Health Yoga Life has created the Boston Urban Weekend Retreat just for you.  Join us this Memorial Day for a rejuvenation of mind, body and spirit.  You deserve to be good to yourself.

Take time focus on yourself and plant seeds for transformation.  Health Yoga Life’s founders are experts in the field of wellness and have created a dynamic weekend program to teach you the tools and tips they know work for people. Come learn, have fun and connect back with yourself! Just in time for summer!

Highlights of the weekend include:

  • Welcome Kit-including weekend nourishment and detox (optional) plan
  • 4 Yoga Classes
  • Meditation Sessions
  • Healthy Delicious Lunch Saturday
  • Emotional Wellbeing Strategy Session
  • Gong Sound Bath
  • Endless tips for optimal health to last a lifetime & awesome community!

The weekend will take place at the HYL Cambridge Yoga Studio at 181 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139

Schedule for the weekend:

May 25-27, 2018

Friday: 6PM-9:00PM

Saturday: 11AM-7:00PM

Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Save $50 for early bird registration! CLICK HERE

Fail.Fail.Fail. SAIL!

This past winter, I was super fortunate to be invited to tag along on a surf trip to Nosara, Costa Rica. I jumped at the chance, as Costa Rica and the Pura Vida vibe of the people and the way of life, captured my heart years back. And who doesn’t want to go to a warm place in the middle of a New England winter?!

My friends kept insisting I try surfing. Having grown up on the Cape, I always have loved the water but was really reluctant to try it. I thought to myself that looks so incredibly hard. I am going to suck at this. I am not a good swimmer. But my friends persisted, encouraging me to try it, and I kept my inner resistance fists UP!

Then one morning with the warm sun beating down on my cheeks, I woke up! What the heck Vyda? You are in a world renowned place for surfing, what are you doing sitting on the shore?!

And you know what it was FREAKING HARD!  HARD and AMAZING all at the same time.  And I LOVED IT!! 

Part of what I love about yoga practice is that it too is HARD and AMAZING at the same time. There were so many similar experiences of being on my mat, in my body, with my breath to being on the surfboard with my body and my breath.  Surfing is a very present moment experience.

I think part of what yoga (and surfing) teaches us is that there will always be failure in life, but there will also be triumph! Fail. Fail. Fail. SAIL!  These types of practices where we must keep noticing the present mind teaches us to see just how irrelevant the failure is.

This winter join us in Costa Rica!  And no you don’t have to surf (although you just might find you will want to try it)!  Come for the amazing yoga, great healthy food, beautiful beach walks, and that PURA VIDA vibe.   JOIN US!

Save $100 now through June 29th!

Read all about the Retreat CLICK HERE At the bottom of the retreat page you will find accommodation types. Select your desired room type and use promo code “summer” at check out to save!

Don’t miss this opportunity to save!

The Power of a Yoga Retreat!

I have been a fortunate soul when it comes to travel. I have been to beautiful places around the world and often through my work with yoga. This past week I was reminded about just how powerful a retreat can be for aligning with yourself and resetting your life. There is nothing like taking time for yourself in a healthy way to clear the debris from your mind and the stress from your shoulders.

On my recent journey, I tried surfing for the first time in my life. I signed up for a class thinking for sure I would hate it and ended up finding a new passion. As I thought about this experience, I realized this feeling I had was very similar to when I went away on my first yoga retreat at the age of 25. Before signing up for the retreat, I had a lot of trepidation-would I like it? would this be a waste of money? will I be the only one by myself? will I regret it?


Then on the retreat, when I had the opportunity to connect deeply with myself, it set my life in motion in a way I never would have predicted. I found courage to honor myself and started to trust that if I honored my authentic self, I would be happy (even if life wasn’t perfect all the time). I came back and started to take real steps toward more health and professional satisfaction, which I knew did not have to be mutually exclusive.

There are so many barriers, real or perceived, that keep us from doing something we want to do -too much work, too little money, too many family responsibilities, this isn’t for me, I’ll be the only one by myself, I’ll be the only guy, I will regret it, someone will be mad at me if I do this, and on and on and on. What I invite you to see is that these barriers are illusions that keep us stuck right where we are. If I listened to the lie I was telling myself, “you aren’t a good enough swimmer, don’t try surfing”, I would have never discovered this new passion.

If you want something to change, if you want more happiness, health, freedom, success you need to do something to honor your spirit. You need to make the time to get to know the real you, the one without the stopping energy. This is the power a retreat can have! A retreat is one of the best ways to do that-to take the time to actually be with yourself, so you begin to peel off the stuck and step into the flow!

Join us for our yoga retreat to Tulum, Mexico March 30th to April 5, 2017.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

The Perfect Yoga Retreat is Waiting for You-by Vyda Bielkus

Health Yoga Life and Life Source Retreats

As a business owner in the yoga and wellness arena, I practice what I teach.  Through meditation, yoga and Health Yoga Life coaching I find a quicker connection to self, can eradicate limiting beliefs and move forward with choice and action confidently. And still we live in world (perhaps cosmically and consciously designed) to take us far from center almost on a daily basis.  Recently, I was given the gift from a dear friend to attend a retreat.  As I am usually the one leading the retreats these days, I must confess, the first day or so I was continuously nagged by a feeling that I needed to do something. Whether that was to check-in with my sisters about our yoga studio back home in Boston or teach a yoga class to my peers at the program, my mind was like a ping pong ball, back and forth back and forth “what can I do now to distract myself from being present”.  As I observed this in my mind and body, I noticed a rushing feeling of thoughts and sensation.  It was a slow-leak of my own energy, and it was time I stopped the drain.

Retreats are a wonderful opportunity to slow down and see what is really going on behind the scenes of our own life; what gives us energy what takes it away. If we never pause we simply do not have the time to be with ourselves long enough to know what makes our hearts come alive or what hinders or grows our light.  Retreats like our “Ultimate Liberation: Free the Mind, Empower the Body, Awaken the Soul” retreat in Tulum allow for self-exploration at the deepest level.  As the resort is right on the beach the ocean waves provide the melody for the week.  The water moves in the water moves out. The breath moves in the breath moves out. The perfect reminder that there is an easeful flow to life and if we feel like we are constantly swimming upstream it’s a calling to change direction.

As my time went on at the retreat, I paid full attention to what I needed to do that week to receive the most from my experience.  As my life outside the retreat is spent surrounded by people and in constant communication with others, I knew I desperately needed alone time.  So I gave myself permission that week to be with me and created lots of moments of being quiet with myself. Through this, pain and grief that I was carrying that was blocking my freedom of being was released and healed.

I didn’t think I needed a retreat when my friend gave me this gift.  Of course I was excited to spend a week in a beautiful place, but I didn’t have any intentions for the week.  However, as retreats will do, this time away gave me so much more than I ever expected to receive.  I am refreshed, more present, and have more energy for the things that are important to me.   Join us this winter Jan 21-Feb 5 and be transformed by the journey! Learn More Click Here

My First Yoga Retreat: Part I – By Liz Swenton

In five days, I will be embarking on a new adventure – my very first yoga retreat!

1006168_10100104827616592_1732821509_nA yogi for just about ten years, a retreat has always been on my bucket list. Two years ago, I was signed up for HYL’s retreat in Tulum, Mexico, but got really sick and was unable to fly. Thankfully, Amansala Resort was kind enough to offer me a credit to stay at their resort and I traveled there with my fiance last December. I did a few drop-in yoga classes, but it was definitely not a legit retreat.

On Friday, I will be headed to Earthdance in the Berkshires with one of HYL’s most amazing instructors, Allison Jones. A few weeks ago, she sent around a weekend agenda as well as a “what-to-pack” list, which included linens, bug spray and of course, yoga attire. I cannot be more excited to check this off of my life list.

I instantly put together a mental list of the three things I’m hoping to get out of this retreat, which is very similar to what is achieved after every class I’ve taken so far at HYL.

  1. Relaxation – As someone with a stressful job, it’s difficult to find relaxation after-hours. With emails always coming in, I find it hard to turn off the chatter. I am hoping to return to work on Monday, August 18th with a clear mind and well-rested body.
  2. Prioritization – There is so much more to life than work emails and deadlines. I am hoping that this three day retreat will remind me the importance of family, friends and of course, the self.
  3. Saying YES to Challenges – It’s OK to try that difficult yoga pose and fall flat on your face. Nobody is watching and nobody cares. During this retreat, I’m willing to take my body past my comfort zone and try any and every pose thrown at me. What I love about HYL instructors is the non-judgement environment they’ve created.

If you recently attended a yoga retreat, I’d love to get your views on what you experienced and how you felt when you returned home.

If you happen to see me around the studio this week, introduce yourself and say hello!

Stay tuned next week for “My First Yoga Retreat – Part II” where I’ll share more about my experience and if these goals were achieved!