Do you want to travel? Trust your choice.

Yeah, we know the “not all who wander are lost” concept. To me the best expression of trust in action is traveling. This is where I have grown the most in embracing the unknown. The hardest part is starting, just making a confident decision that you know where you want to go and then doing it. You have to trust your choice.

Then each moment of a travel adventure is trusting which way to go. It is like reading a book. You don’t know what the next page has in store for you, but you have to trust it’s even better than what you just read. So you turn the page. St Augustine said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” I agree. traveling is trust in motion, opening page after page and allowing for the unfolding to occur. Join us on an adventure, trust your travel choice and just book it today! Love and peace, Silvia (PS the writing below is more about trust as spiritual maturity, enjoy!)

face falling hip hop yoga arm balance

face falling hip hop yoga arm balance

May 23, 2011. Trust is an expression of Spiritual Maturity. And as none of us mature equally in all areas of our life I can honestly say my Trust evolution has always lagged behind other aspects of my maturity. As a result I have been meditating on these two questions:

  • If you knew what was going to happen to your life would you trust it to be the right thing for you?
    If you know what’s good for you do you take that action or avoid it?
  • If someone told you this is exactly what will take place in your life would you have so much trust in the goodness of life and the desire of the universe to work on your behalf that you would stop resisting? Are you at a place where you can engage this mantra with authenticity? “Through my inner trust for my life I choose to embrace the unfolding of my future.”

    What I struggle with the most is that Trust is about the future and those things we don’t know are going to happen in the way we want them to happen. I want proof it’s going to work out before I make the effort. We’ve all been in that love relationship where we say to ourselves, “will they always love me”? And there is no guarantee all one can do is trust the love one feels right now. And ultimately trust is about LOVE. Dr Joyce Brothers says “the best proof of Love is trust.” Life wants us to love more but loving more means first we must trust more.

    So if you take the second question, if you know what’s good for your life why do we so often avoid doing what’s best for ourselves? Why do we avoid the TRUTH? Every day we get opportunities to do the best thing for us and we know what that is and yet we ignore it or choose even the worst thing. I believe trust begins with believing in ourselves first and foremost. Shakespeare said, “Learning to trust ourselves is a worthy practice, the practice of authenticity. This is the work of aligning the standards we have for ourselves with our deepest passions and dreams.” Starting now do not give up your dreams, trust your intentions and stay the course.

    No matter what you relationship with trust today, lets strengthen our effort to try to trust more situations, people and things. And trust the unfolding of the rest of our lives. Let the door of life open to you.

    The door of happiness does not open away from us:
    We cannot rush at it to push it open.
    It opens toward us and,
    Therefore, nothing is required of us.
    (Soren Kierkegaard)

    Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

    Your Life GPS Where are you going this year?

    Just a year ago I used GPS for the first time. I get the idea. You plug in where you want to go and it helps guide you there. The key point being you KNOW where you want to go. Yoga to me has been that which helps us ask the question “who am I” and eventually we get to the “why am I here” and even further down the path “WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING?” So this concept of GPS is pretty vibrant.

    If you can get to the point that you know where you want to go then you know your spiritual maturity is evolving in the right direction. Until I finally decide to go to Tuscany on a Yoga Retreat one year I just played at entering a real GPS for my life. Then from that point forward I got clear. I want that for you. Get on the mat, do the practice, get your destination in gear and watch what happens. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

    PS Make part of where you’re going this year a trip with us!  Here below is our schedule book now space limited to no more than 12 clients per trip.


    Feb 26-March 5, 2011 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Yoga at Xinalani Eco-chic-spa Resort

    April 16, -19, 2011 Moab, Utah – Arches National Park Yoga and Mountain Biking

    August 19-21, 2011 Seattle/Pac NW, TBA

    Sept 2-5, 2011 Sonoma, California – Yoga, Wine & Cycling

    Sept 16-19, 2011 Moab, Utah – Canyonland National Park Yoga and Mountain Biking

    Oct 16-22, 2011 Tuscany, Italy – Yoga, Cycling and Cultural Adventure

    Nov 26-Dec 1, 2011 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Yoga at Xinalani Eco-chic-spa Resort with Hot Yoga

    Dec 18-23, 2011 Hawaii, Yoga, Kayaking and Cycling


    February 5-12, 2012 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Yoga at Xinalani Eco-chic-spa Resort

    June 23-30, 2012 Tuscany, Italy – Yoga, Cycling and Cultural Adventure

    July 7-14, 2011 Dolomites, Italy – Yoga, Hiking and Cycling











    Alchemy Tours Interview with Jacob Young and Silvia Mordini

    Silvia Mordini and Jacob Young, owners of Alchemy Tours, are always getting ready to conduct spiritual multi-sport adventure retreats worldwide. In between planning workshops, classes, and music play-lists, we were able to conduct a cyber-interview with them so you can learn more about this world traveling couple and the amazing upcoming retreat they have planned. (Courtesy of Xinalani Retreat, visit them at

    Xinalani: Where did the idea and name for Alchemy Tours come from?

    Jacob: It really branched from two things. 1) One of our favorite books is The Alchemist. With that as the somewhat obvious backdrop, it made sense that the alchemy of Silvia’s and my background would blend to create a sort of super trip for people unlike others out there. The yoga and active travel vacation being the alchemy that turns to gold.

    Xinalani: How did the two of you meet?

    Jacob: We met on a train in Italy…yes, it was one of those romantic things you read about in books, and yes, we get asked every trip about it. Perhaps that is one of the incentives for coming on one of our trips?
    Silvia: The way Jacob tells the story makes everyone cry every single time. It was exactly as Rumi writes, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” In that moment of meeting I was returning from a Yoga Retreat in Tuscany where I had found much healing and growth. I had ever more fully let go of the barriers to loving myself. I was truly awake and more openhearted than ever before. And that is when Jacob found me.

    Xinalani: What came first your love of travel or movement (yoga, cycling, hiking)?

    Jacob: Certainly, for me, it was the movement that came first. Growing up in small-town New Hampshire was not confining to me, because it was all I knew. But from the moment I learned to ride on two wheels, I was gone. I stretched my boundaries constantly, and when I moved across the country my senior year of High School, I became aware of a bigger place around me. Living in Europe the past 8 years (Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain) and guiding in those regions really expanded upon that.

    Silvia: For me it would be travel although from an early age my parents tell me I could ski before I could walk, I danced formally and for the pleasure of it, and I was always doing something active Tennis, Swimteam, Biking, Hiking, Running. But even so travel was my greater influence and first love. My Father, Enrico, was at heart a pure adventurer and my Mother’s parents were serious spiritual seekers.

    I grew up traveling all over the world with my brother and parents from the time I was an infant. I guess the fact that I love to show other people the beauty of the world through Yoga Retreats and Active Vacations shouldn’t surprise anyone since I was born in Ecuador, South America and my Father is from Northern Italy near Modena, and English was my third language.

    One could say being a citizen of the world is in my blood. And I learned from my Father, this spirit of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, to dream the impossible. I saw with my own eyes, touched and tasted new flavors, experienced new landscapes and as a result I learned about myself. Every time I traveled somewhere I came back different, I was changed and knew that anything was possible.

    Xinalani: What is your favorite part about going on retreat?

    Jacob: Getting past the small talk and really getting to know people. Then, sharing with them the best parts of this new region they are visiting is fulfilling in a very unique way.
    Silvia: I am always humbled by the ways our small tribes of Alchemy Tours grow fond of one another and unconditionally supportive of each others growth. In the corporate world we used to talk about teaming together, but you wouldn’t often really see it. Experiencing the loving group dynamic gives me great hope that little by little all people everywhere will one day be able to share this same yoga, or union of spirit and respect.

    Xinalani: Describe one of the funniest adventures you’ve had on one of your trips?

    Silvia: You will find us always laughing on our trips. When people feel safe and nurtured they are their funniest selves!

    Xinalani: How do you see people changed by going on retreat?

    Jacob: Without fail, people change after our retreats. Mark Twain sums it up when he says, “The enemy of prejudice is travel.” People learn more about themselves, and the yoga that Silvia teaches while on retreat is her to the max. If you have never experienced a Silvia class, you are in for a treat.

    Xinalani: Describe a perfect day at home and then on retreat?

    Jacob: A perfect day at home is waking up and enjoying a neighborhood run or a group ride. Coming home to relish in a relaxing brunch. Heading down to the farmer’s market to dream up an elaborate dinner, then going home to cook and enjoy quality time with those I love. On retreat, my perfect day is showing a group of people my favorite place in a given region…I am blessed to do this regularly.

    Xinalani: When did you last have the most fun?

    Silvia: Today. Without a doubt, I wake up and say to myself and all those around me “this is the best day ever”. And it is. I can make fun out of anything and anywhere, even chair pose or going up a crazy steep climb on two wheels.

    Xinalani: What do you do when not guiding or leading a retreat?

    Silvia: I own a successful yoga studio in Chicagoland Total Body Yoga, named the best Yoga Studio of 2010. We have over 50 weekly classes and a team of 15 teachers in 3,900 square feet of wellness space and have happily welcomed over 8,000 students in 8 years. And as a studio owner I have always been a full-time yoga teacher as well. And most of all, when not on retreat I dive deep into being the best student of yoga. I take daily classes and live by the words of Michelangelo when he was in his nineties, “Ancora Imparo” (I am still learning.) However my greatest joy when not guiding others comes from being a good friend, partner, lover, daughter, sister and one day a mom too.

    Xinalani: How important is music in your life? What music do you play in yoga class?

    Jacob: Music for me is life. I love music because it can not only infuse emotion to a situation but can also be a very powerful tool and motivator.
    Silvia: My life is constantly flowing with a soundtrack. My yoga has a soundtrack too. I take great pride in putting together a gourmet experience of sound in creating a new and unique play-list for every class to complement the mood, the time of year, day, bhava (feeling) of the experience. And I love receiving and sharing new music with friends!

    Here are two play-lists I just created for our Xinalani Retreat.
    Om Shreem Shriyei, Steve Gold
    Count Your Blessings, Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
    The Ave, Blue Scholars
    POWER, Kanye West
    Miss Teardrops, Felix Laband
    Govinda Fly, Sharon Gannon (Mixed By Mike D)
    Alors On Danse, Stromae
    Trapped In My Mind, Kid Cudi
    Motion Movement, Blue Scholars
    What a Feeling, Collie Buddz
    Meditate, (feat. Gabriel Teodros & Khingz) Suntonio Bandanaz
    Hey Baby, Stephen Marley featuring Mos Def
    Afterlife, Glorybox

    Flip Ya Lid, Nightmares On Wax
    Under Pressure, Queen & David Bowie
    Diarabi, Issa Bagayogo
    Mamacita, Collie Buddz
    Clothes Drop, Shaggy
    Breathe, Stretch, Shake, Mase
    Breathe, Alexi Murdoch
    Twist, Xavier Rudd
    Jamaican In New York, Shinehead
    The End, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
    Drive, Ziggy Marley
    Enchantment, Corinne Bailey Rae
    Something So Right, Paul Simon
    Purnamadah, Shantala
    Shavasana/Deep Relaxation, Shiva Rea

    Xinalani: How did you first hear about Xinalani Retreat in Mexico, and why did you choose Xinalani for your retreat?

    Silvia: I have been traveling to Puerto Vallarta with my parents and brother since I was a little girl. I love it there! I find the energy of the people and the place so deeply generous that when Yoga Journal named Xinalani one of the top 10 yoga retreat centers in the world I knew I had to bring folks there. I saw myself doing something like this in Puerto Vallarta in a dream many years ago. And now the dream is coming true!

    Xinalani: Where do you go next? What comes next for Alchemy Tours?

    Silvia: We have 11 retreats planned for this year. Our schedule is:
    April 2-5, 2011 Pagosa Springs, Colorado – Yoga, Skiing and Snowboarding
    April 16, -19, 2011 Moab, Utah – Arches National Park Yoga and Mountain Biking
    June 19-25, 2011 Tuscany, Italy – Yoga, Cycling and Cultural Adventure
    July 2-9, 2011 Dolomites, Italy (Sellaronda Bike Day is 7/3/2011) Yoga, Hiking and Cycling
    August 4-7, 2011 Seattle, Washington Wallace Lodge – Yoga, Beers and Bikes
    Oct 16-22, 2011 Tuscany, Italy – Yoga, Cycling and Cultural Adventure
    Oct 28-31, 2011 Moab, Utah – Canyonland National Park Yoga and Mountain Biking
    Sept 2-5, 2011 Sonoma, California – Yoga, Wine & Cycling
    Nov 24-28, 2011 Sayulita, Mexico Yoga & Surfing Retreat at Haramara Resort
    Dec 18-23, 2011 Big Island, Hawaii, Yoga, Kayaking and Cycling

    We hope to meet new friends at one of our upcoming retreats!

    Join us on Facebook at

    Why I Walk Slowly in Tuscany

    The grounding energy of Tuscany is so strong that unlike any where else in the world one has to try very little to slow down. There is an energy in the air, the realness of the earth, the energy in the slow cooking of the food one eats and the long process of wine making that all contribute to this slowing down. In yogaspeak we call this Shani. And of course the light! The gorgeous light that changes into a new brilliance every moment whereby you don’t want to miss it and in an effort not to miss a thing, one slows the pace of life. In Tuscany you breathe slower, you want each moment to be prolonged. Everything is pregnant with possibility but perfect as it is happening. I walk slowly in Tuscany. I hope you can join us and experience this for yourself! Our next opportunity is October 16-22, 2011. Inhale, Exhale…Shani in all ways, Silvia

    Walk Slowly by Donna Faulds

    “It only takes a moment to breathe,
    A moment to be still, and just like that,
    Something in me settles, softens, makes space for imperfection. The harsh voice of judgement drops to a whisper and I remember again that life isn’t a relay race; that we will all cross the finish line; that waking up to life is what we were born for. As many times as I forget, I catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I’m going, that many times I can make the choice to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk slowly into the mystery of life.”

    Top 10 Reasons to Try Yoga

    A central premise in yoga is “everything is connected.” That’s clear when looking at the health and fitness benefits of yoga that have long been reported by practitioners and are now being confirmed by scientific research.

    STRESS RELIEF. Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.

    PAIN RELIEF. Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic conditions. Some practitioners report that even emotional pain can be eased through the practice of yoga.

    BETTER BREATHING. Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function, trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.

    FLEXIBILITY. Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains. Many people can’t touch their toes during their first yoga class. Practitioners begin to use the correct muscles to make the movement and, over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles gradually lengthen and elasticity is increased. These gradual changes can mean that more and more poses are possible.

    INCREASED STRENGTH. Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. And, while the postures practiced in yoga strengthen the body, they also provide an additional benefit of helping to relieve muscular tension.

    WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. Yoga (even less vigorous styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self esteem.

    IMPROVED CIRCULATION. Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

    CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING. Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.

    BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT. Yoga helps to improve body alignment, resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.

    FOCUS ON THE PRESENT. Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body health. It opens the way to improved coordination, reaction time and memory. For more information on studies about the health benefits of yoga visit