How to Make Traveling Easier

When we travel we are able to put into practice this lesson below. The more strict your expectations the more you will create suffering. The more you learn to accept what is in front of you and stop the mental resistance of “it was supposed to be another way” the sooner you start enjoying your travels. This applies to timing of flights, whether your luggage arrives with you or not, the duration of meals or meal service in a restaurant, what size your hotel room is, unique food combinations, protocol and etiquette. Patience in traveling will serve you well and this comes from putting aside your heaviest expectations of other people and cultures. Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia


When I was in the corporate world I both loved and strongly disliked Performance Appraisals. I enjoy the feedback knowing that I exceeded expectations but at the same time it would make it harder for next time. The point came where the pressure just went up and up. We do that in our life. We start giving ourselves a grade on everything when the reality is that it is all just pass/fail. We are passing if we learn to balance positive expectations with acceptance. “Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer.” (Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth) This acceptance for sure brings about inner peace, joy and love. Otherwise we are in that state of fighting what life is offering and that is failing at life.

Yoga has without a doubt made me more patient. It helps me move from that state of having too heave of expectations and grading everything to allowing and accepting. Don’t get me wrong sometimes it’s still hard not to grade myself at life on any given day but for sure I’m better at seeing the whole thing as simply pass/fail. What’s changed? Well I don’t want to feel that TUG-O-WAR with myself or with anyone else. Impatience doesn’t feel good and yoga teaches the antidote to impatience is, yes you can guess, patience. Patience feels good. It feels like a return to center no matter the chaos or what other people do or don’t do. It feels like compassion, peacefulness and a constant return to balance. When I am patient I feel like I can attempt anything without attachment to the result. When Patient our minds stop playing the old games of pushing, pulling, creating anxiety, distrust, stress or simple heavy expectations.

It is a simply formula:

Over Expectations = Impatience
Accepting = Patience

Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth writes “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly.” Try it for a week or even a day where you try living in a way where you relieve the heavy expectations of yourself and others and live with less resistance to this isness of now. Instead follow the guidance of the Yoga Sutras which advise “enjoyment is the sweetness of noticing your life right now: smell, taste, feeling, sensation.” This type of enjoyment allows us to receive what life is offering regardless of whether it looks like what we expected.

In this pass/fail of life “You can’t run after contentment it has to find you, all you can do is try to create the space for it.” (Judith Lasater) We are through yoga really meeting ourselves with no further resistance or pre-qualifications. It is like what Derek Walcott writes about in his poem: So join me feast on your life! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

“The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the others welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.”

Earth my Body, Water my Blood, Air my Breath, and Fire my Spirit

Not a single day goes by without me asking myself “how do I maintain balance in order to live my best day ever?” I like you am easily thrown off balance. Balance itself is easy to find, but sustaining it well that’s the challenge mostly because it is up to us, no one else can do the work for us. Francis Braceland says, “We can be sure that the greatest hope for maintaining equilibrium in the face of any situation rests within ourselves.”

So where do we start? The Chakras offer us a benchmark where we can assess what our life balance is on any given day, week or moment. The chakras are the seven main energy centers in the body where we receive, absorb and distribute life energies. They are located along the spine, starting at the base and running upwards to the crown of the head. Each chakra radiates a specific color and energy. Each chakra relates to specific spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical issues. These can become blocked through and as a result a chakra can become either deficient or excessive and therefore imbalanced. Practicing yoga poses that correspond to each chakra can release these blocks and clear the path to more balanced living. Understanding your Chakras can help you balance out excessiveness or insufficiencies within them.

I started turning on to the chakras when I began to believe and appreciate the elements that exist in nature outside of us also exist within each of us. I knew this intuitively but it took me a while to intellectual accept it. In Spanish a little song I used to sing goes like this:

Tierra mi Cuerpo
Agua mi Sangre
Aire mi Viento
Y Fuego mi Espiritu.

This is translated as: Earth my Body, Water my Blood, Air my Breath, and Fire my Spirit. It was here in music and I went back and really opened up to these words to help me find balance.

The 5 Element Theory (earth, air, water, fire, sound) relates to the Chakras like this as well:
thumb = Fire Solar Plexus Chakra
first finger = Air Heart Chakra
middle finger = Ether Throat chakra
ring finger = Earth Root Chakra
pinky finger = Water Sacral Chakra

In English Om Namah Shivaya is my favorite chant, the Anusara Invocation embraces it. During and after singing this song I feel a quiet but energized sense of equilibrium. And I learned that the elements and chakras are the syllables of Na, Ma, Shi, Va, Ya. Om Namah Shivaya mantra uses the universal elements that govern each chakra: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. This song helps the chakras to better utilize the fundamental elements that predominate in the chakra. When we sing, hear or think this mantra we bring into balance all the chakras, all our energies. If you need a real time life balance exercise try saying or singing 108 rounds of this mantra, or even just a few.

This mantra also reminds us of our innate Perfection. That we are born perfect (siddha) and whole. And our only job in this lifetime is to remember how AMAZING WE ARE! The thing is, you have always been perfect and what you are experiencing through your journey is a return to balance where our energies are neither excessive or deficient but even.

So if you are a beach lover, sun worshiper, or soul rider interested in learning more about the chakras join me, lululemon ambassador, Dec 11-17, 2011 on the Big Island Hawaii at Kalani Resort. Early birds until Aug 30 get $150 OFF. Lodging at all price points. This is the Ultimate Blissful Yoga Retreat!!! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

The Five Element Theory to Optimal Health & Why I Love the Big Island, Hawaii

In Ayurveda, the science of life and optimal longevity one of the main things we focus upon is the 5 element theory. If there is too much or too little of any one element, an imbalance occurs (disease). Fundamentally when our bodies and minds are in balance, we can make sound, nourishing choices that allow us to achieve the health and lifestyle changes we are seeking. And with clear thinking we can identify and create our best life ever!

It’s so simple. But not easy. Maintaining interest in our own balance requires paying attention on a daily basis and making the corresponding sensitive adjustments necessary to return to a state of balance. An easy reminder of the 5 basic principals or elements is to take your right hand turn it towards you and align the elements like this:
thumb = Fire
first finger = Air
middle finger = Ether
ring finger = Earth
pinky finger = Water

The first time I fell in love with the Big Island Hawaii I arrived stressed out and in a state of utter imbalance. I was in dire need of healing. I credit that 2 weeks in December 2009 for saving my life, again. It’s pretty amazing but if you didn’t already know it the island of Hawaii, or Hawaii’s Big Island, is vast enough to hold 11 of the world’s 13 climactic zones—from sandy beaches to snowcapped mountains. Seewaterfalls, rainforests and botanical gardens in Hilo, explore the calm and clear water off of Kona, or view Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This is the home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea), the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet (Maunakea), the most massive mountain in the world (Maunaloa) and the largest park in the state (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park). All but two of the world’s climate zones generate everything from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts, snow-capped mountaintops to beautiful black sand beaches.

<img src="×465.jpg" alt="" title="IMG_2585" width="620" height="465" class="alignleft size-medium wAll 5 elements exist in full force here in one place. I found the healing I needed with the grounding of the earth element, the power to recreate my life through the fire of the volcanoes, the newness of the air element all around me and of course the cleansing of the water element. I needed it all. I had to cry, to feel safe, to breath and stoke the creative power within me to rebuild my life. If you too are seeking an amazing opportunity to come back into your own best balance come with me to the Big Island. Our focus will be on the 5 element theory and its practical application to your life along with how they align to the Chakras. (More on that to come later this week so stay tuned!) Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

PS To see more about where we are staying Kalani Oceanside Resort visit

You are not a Rock

Jake had the privilege of working at the Vancouver Olympics where Matisahu performed. We are both longtime fans. In his blog of July 3rd he writes, “You can never tell yourself “I know who I am.” You are never the “object” in its frozen, finished form. You are not a rock, a “thing.” You are a breath at the fleeting moment of it touching the earth.
You are in the process of becoming.”

This is why I love to travel and explore the world. It is a reminder that as we move from place to place in that one breath, that one moment we are most fully alive. We are still evolving and growing. It reminds me of a meditation I would often say to myself: I breath, I am here, I am becoming. This reminder to keep on the path, to not get stuck mentally or physically but instead to continue to explore the uncharted lands, to revolutionize my mind with new flavors and experiences. I hope you will join us and allow us to guide you on your own new adventure. Remember you are NOT a rock. You are BECOMING! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia

Sept 2-5, 2011 Sonoma, California – YOGA & WINE, Cycling Retreat
Sept 16-19, 2011 Moab, Utah – Yoga & Mountain Biking Adventure
Oct 16-22, 2011 Tuscany, Italy – YOGA & WINE, Culture, Cycling Retreat
Nov 26-Dec 1, 2011 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Xinalani Eco-chic-spa Yoga Retreat
Dec 18-23, 2011 Hawaii, Yoga, Kayaking and Cycling
February 5-12, 2012 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Xinalani Eco-chic-spa Yoga Retreat
June 23-30, 2012 Tuscany, Italy – YOGA & WINE, Culture, Cycling Retreat
July 7-14, 2011 Dolomites, Italy – Yoga, Hiking and Cycling

Why Go with Alchemy Tours on a Yoga Retreat

We stand apart by helping clients have fun and regain balance in their lives. Our retreats give the coaching, time and support to design the next chapter in your life. Alchemy Tours are specialized, small group adventures in destinations that will revitalize you. We choose where we stay based on charm, design and location. Our itineraries include the best food, the best activities and we strive to gain a “locals” status everywhere we go. Register today at and make your trip of a lifetime come true!

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

Sept 2-5, 2011 Sonoma, California – YOGA & WINE, Cycling Retreat

Sept 16-19, 2011 Moab, Utah – Yoga & Mountain Biking Adventure

Oct 16-22, 2011 Tuscany, Italy – YOGA & WINE, Culture, Cycling Retreat

Nov 26-Dec 1, 2011 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Xinalani Eco-chic-spa Yoga Retreat

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


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

June 23-30, 2012 Tuscany, Italy – YOGA & WINE, Culture, Cycling Retreat

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

We love making new friends and offer a steady stream of promotions and discounts including:

Bring a Friend. Earn $50 in Alchemy Tours Gift Certificates every time you refer a friend that signs up for one of our trips.

Sonoma September 2-5, 2011 Early Birds by July 1st get $200 OFF!
Xinalani Puerto Vallarta Nov 26-Dec 1 Early Birds by July 15th get $150 OFF!
Tuscany Yoga & WIne Oct 16-22, 2011 Early Birds by July 15th get $150 OFF!
Moab September 16-19, 2011 Early Birds by July 30th get $100 OFF!
Xinalani Puerto Vallarta February 4-11, 2012 Early Birds by October 1st get $150 OFF!
Tuscany June 23-30, 2012 Early Birds by Feb 1st 2012 get $150 OFF!

Like us on Alchemy Tours facebook and stay up to date to win contests for Alchemy Tours Gift Certificates

Quiet Courage: Patriots of Celebration

July 4, 2011. We are all patriots today. It is a day where we celebrate our own courage. Not the kind that gets written about in newspapers but the Quiet Courage it takes to believe in the innate goodness in the universe where we are all willing to stand up for our right to practice a joyful way of life. On the mat the poses and breath teach us to embrace this universe and engage the best parts of ourselves. We are patriots of celebration.

Winston Churchhill said of courage, “Courage is the first of the human qualities because it is a quality which guarantees all others.”

Quiet courage is powerful in that it is the action of being ourselves. An unknown author writes, “Each human is unique. When we seek to be like the next person we lose our autonomy.” The poses we practice although done in a group setting are always performed on our own. It takes an uplifted perspective and vitality as part of the alchemy of quiet courage to be the person in the pose. This demonstrates our capacity to balance flexibility, strength and courage. From there all the other best of being human qualities rise up: love, kindness, empathy, honesty.

For me my favorite pose of quiet courage is Half Moon B (Ardha chandrasana B). In its most basic form it is what we do when we pick up something we dropped on the floor.

Details: Stand in Mountain, fold forward, lift one leg up behind you no higher than your hip while rotating the hip open to stack on the standing leg, open your chest while you go into the pose feeling how mentally and physically powerful you are. Feel how you can remain open in the midst of challenge with quiet confidence. Be aware of the courage in your standing leg without overwhelming your breath. Your breath stays balanced, quietly even with full awareness as you celebrate your poise and bravery!

So today July 4th in the U.S.A practice being a Patriot of Celebration. Take time to quietly celebrate opening your heart to how great life is and is yet to be. Or as Rumi writes, “Open the window in the center of your chest and let spirit move in and out.” Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia

Who is Hindering Your Growth? 3rd Chakra

June 30, 2011. I can’t recall exactly when I started using teaching stories to share yoga on the mat but I do know that these moments of sharing something personal to highlight a key learning point changed the impact of my teaching on my students. From my own insights about how I defined myself and offering these to illustrate a point, students would tell me how profound it was for them to hear how long it took or hard it was for me to embrace who I am. My third chakra work has been an epic struggle.

And the work of the 3rd chakra for all us is about self-definition, acknowledging who we really are. This is a shift away from allowing ourselves to be defined by everyone else (society, our friends, our family). If you think of a candle we become the fire rather than the reflection of the light. We are no longer living life as a photo copy but as the original. The mat is a mirror for where we are at in the process of self-definition. It always tells the truth. And when we engage the abdominal lock (uddiyana bandha) we help forward our spiritual progression.

This is simple but not easy. The mat is this mirror where you see if YOU are the one that is hindering your growth the most. And that realization that you have the right to act and make your life what you want it to be is revolutionary. Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your partner changes, when your company changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs, when you realize that you are the only one responsible for your life.

You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. You are the only person who can help yourself.

The majority of the work we do on Retreats with Alchemy Tours is 3rd chakra related. We have time and support to look in the mirror and decide what can I do to get out of my own way. And time and again as a result of dedicating this time to yourself while on a spiritual adventure real progress is made. You change. And when you return home your life changes because YOU have changed. Let us know if you’d like to learn more, join us this year. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

One day not too long ago the employees of a large company in St. Louis, Missouri returned from their lunch break and were greeted with a sign on the front door. The sign said: “Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym.”

At first everyone was sad to hear that one of their colleagues had died, but after a while they started getting curious about who this person might be.

The excitement grew as the employees arrived at the gym to pay their last respects. Everyone wondered: “Who is this person who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he’s no longer here!”

One by one the employees got closer to the coffin and when they looked inside it they suddenly became speechless. They stood over the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul.
There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said: “There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: it is YOU.

PS If you’d like to read more about how to practice the Abdominal Lock visit