Practice ~ Teach ~ Shine in Tulum, Mexico A personal account of a special yoga retreat by: Sarah Krawiec, Aparna Ravichander, and Brittany Zick, ILYS Class of 2013 Three amazing graduates from ILYS class of 2013 decided to venture out and create their own yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico. Sarah Krawiec, Aparna Ravichander, and Brittany Zick traveled to the Amansala Resort in January of 2014 for four days of yoga, meditation, and relaxation. They decided to make the retreat part of their continued Yoga journey in the spirit of ILYS’s motto – Practice – Teach – Shine. From their experience, they crafted a three-part blog post (stay tuned for parts two and three) to share their exciting and trasformative experiences! PRACTICE – teach – shine (from Brittany) PART ONE: I could NOT WAIT for this trip. Between my full time job, teaching several yoga classes every week, and my volunteer jobs that take up the rest of my time, I was really looking forward to taking a little mental breather where my phone wouldn’t work and I could not multitask. I began teaching right after my yoga teacher training was complete in October of 2013, and I was starting to have trouble making time for my own practice. As I’m sure is a struggle for lots of yoga teachers, maintaining a home practice, or at least a practice that they are not personally leading is vital to staying fresh and in touch with what is best for you and your students. On this trip, Sarah, Aparna, and I had planned to teach each other different styles of yoga that we had been wanting to try in front of a safe, nonjudgmental, audience. I (selfishly) was mostly looking forward to taking their classes! I just wanted some time to really dedicate to myself… since I had been neglecting my own practice since I started teaching. All of my time had been dedicated to making myself a better teacher, but in the process I forgot that being a good student reminds you what you need to do as the teacher! On this trip, in those four days, I practiced yoga. Not just asana, but mindful awareness of the present moment. When you’re on a warm sunny beach in Mexico, if you’re not present in the moment, you’re missing out. This has got to be one of the easiest places in the world to live mindfully. We meditated on the beach, under the sun. We even did a sweet walking meditation coordinating breathing pranayama with steps – although I’ll admit it was hard to concentrate on counting my breath while such beauty was all around me! Practicing with these ladies and having them teach me was both a pleasure and an honor. They have styles completely different from mine and it was just lovely. I came back refreshed and ready to be a better teacher for my students. It was exactly what I needed! By: Brittany Zick Check back soon for part two and hear Aparna talk about how she thrived in the teaching role in Mexico!