Hello everyone! We hope your winter is off to a lovely start and your holidays have been full of love. We decided this year would be a great time to start our first ever gift guide for the holiday season! While retreats are great, our ultimate goal is to provide tools that might bring mindfulness and presence to your everyday lives. So we have compiled a list of things that really continue the theme of finding focus and calm in the chaos of life, whether it's using yoga, rituals, meditation, art or manifesting your goals. There are even some ways to bring the smells and textures of world travels into your home. Now is a great time to start looking toward the new year and cultivating habits that help you ground yourself and bring possibility. We hope you enjoy it!
We are back with our Traveler Testimony series, where we talk to past guests about their experiences on retreat! This time, we talked to Deborah, who is based in Southern California. She is a PR professional who has worked in entertainment, book publishing and tech. Deborah has not only joined us on three retreats (Marrakesh, Bali and Spain), but she has lived all over the US, including New York and Seattle. We wanted to know more about what led her to join us for her travels.
As many of you know, our Give Back partner for our Croatia retreats is the Croatian Scholarship Fund. We were lucky to sponsor a student named Erika, and we never fail to be delighted by her joy and energy for life. She recently sent us an update, so we wanted to share what she’s been up to and what it looks like to give back to someone who is doing good in the world. Erika embodies what we at EPM believe creates a full life: her love of travel, movement, relationships, time in nature, meaningful work and giving to others always inspire us.
We want to be able to offer something to our guests when they aren’t on retreat, so we are committed to bringing you offerings from our retreat leaders to bring you some extra sources of grounding, creativity, energy, and more. First up, we have Jen Carter, who often leads our Mindful Movement retreats with yoga and meditation.
You may remember from our past posts, one of our past guests and collaborators is Rupi Sood, the curator of international arts and culture publication J’AIPUR Journal, an international arts and culture publication telling East-meets-West stories about people and places that inspire. They have a mission to observe, listen and contemplate, an idea that we fully support here at EPM.
We are so happy to share this article from The New York Times profiling Maryam Montague, owner of Peacock Pavilions and founder of Project Soar, a non-profit that offers girls academic support, empowerment coaching, health education, sports and arts classes. Project Soar has been our Give Back partner for Marrakesh for years now, and we are so happy to see it getting this coverage.
At EAT.PRAY.MOVE, we have all had the common experience that travel is not just vacation and frivolity—travel in its nature is an act of mindfulness. Many dismiss travel as a selfish or frivolous act, a yin and mindless activity in our lives. We couldn’t disagree more—travel is an active experience for the mind, one that challenges and changes people. While many people join our retreats because they know yoga to be a tool for presence, energy, meditation and expansion, what we hope they go away with is the knowledge that travel, too, can be a conduit for all of these things.
We are so thrilled to finally introduce our newest team member, Sarah Scarborough!
At EAT.PRAY.MOVE, we have been so lucky to cross paths with some incredible teachers in multiple fields of study, and Sarah is no exception. Not only is she a certified yoga teacher, but she is an expert in all things tea related: she is the creator and tea buyer for Firepot Nomadic Teas, a Nashville based company serving the highest quality organic and ethically sourced tea from around the world.
We were lucky to return to Bali for two retreats this year, and we were fortunate to go back to visit our Give Back partner for Indonesia, Threads of Life. Threads of Life is a fair trade business that works with culture and conservation to alleviate poverty in rural Indonesia. In addition to education us on the artists and foundations they work with, Our guests took a natural dye batik class, which offers a unique insight into the botany, dye processes and practice of Indonesia’s textile traditions.
We were so excited to get to revisit our beloved Project Soar while we were in Marrakesh and catch up on the amazing things they are doing. Plus we were able to work on some projects!
We have been working with Project Soar for years now, and it's an incredibly powerful organization, working to empower Moroccan girls, giving them an open space to study and be, as well as educational tools, health resources, empowering affirmations, the chance to play sports and take art classes, and so much more. They strive to give these young women a voice and a chance to complete their education.