5 Things to Know About Outdoor Yoga

I would love to have you join me for some outdoor yoga. Let’s go on retreat together with Alchemy Tours (www.alchemytours.com)

And so the first question you might ask is, what’s the difference in practicing outside? I remember the first international yoga retreat I attended as a student where we were outside the entire time and the surprises I encountered. Granted I was no stranger to outdoor yoga but that only meant on my deck or front porch not on a grassy hill. So in preparation for coming with me on one of our amazing yoga retreats here’s the inside scoop about outdoor practice.


1. Pick Your Yoga Outfit Carefully: If it’s sunny and you want to get your tan on then dress in your favorite shorts or capris (my favorites are lululemon boogie shorts) and be mindful of strap marks. This is not the time to wear the funkiest yoga top or tan lines will be an issue. Don’t forget always tan safely by using SPF. And if its more on the cool side then be sure to wear layers and bring something to cover up in final relaxation (Savasana). And don’t forget your eye pillow or something to cover your eyes to help lessen the distractions or sun in your eyes when on your back.

2. Choose your Mat Real Estate Space Wisely: If you’re in a park or on a grassy mountain the ground will be more uneven in some places than others. So put your landscape view on and pick out your best real estate for your mat. If you have a tough time hearing your teacher then for sure find a place closer to the middle front and nearest your teacher. Being outdoors sound doesn’t travel as far as it does in a contained studio environment.

3. Bring your Second Favorite Yoga Mat: The mat you use outside will keep small remnants of your outdoor yoga adventure so be sure to pick one that won’t easily get grass stains (or one you don’t care if it stains or gets dirt on it). My first Italy Yoga Retreat yoga mat was light pink and still carries the grass stains of Tuscany on it. And some mats (brands will remain nameless) will break down in the sun and heat of the outdoors resulting in such drying out that you won’t feel like you can get a grip when you take them back in doors. Try lululemon mats and you’ll be safe. I’d be bummed if you ruined a mat from practicing outside. And if you have sensitive knees bring a little blanket to use as padding for poses like low lunge.

4. Expect Visitors: When outside all of the little creatures you don’t normally see will join you on your mat. Little guys like ants or bugs. The less you feel bothered by them the better. And if so inclined then be prepared and use bug spray (something kind to the earth, healthy for you). Also if outside in a public place be ready to expect people to stop and look at you, take photos of you, sometimes even come over and talk to you. This is your chance to practice compassion and community. Don’t get mad, be kind and inspire them by demonstrating the joy yoga brings you in practice.

5. Allow Yourself to Open Up to Something Greater: Being outside in contact with mother earth and father sky connects you to your ancestors who made it possible for you to be on the mat today and at the same time breath out your legacy for all those that come after you. Your breath will be bigger, your gazing point (drishti) will feel more limitless by looking up at the sky, and you can easily be moved towards a more inward place. Don’t be surprised as you move into the koshas, layers of yourself, that you cry, laugh, feel the largeness of you when outdoors.

I love being outside, it reminds me to remember why I practice yoga and always gives me greater cause to celebrate the performance of living in the moment. I know it will do that for you too. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

Our Alchemy Tours Schedule 2011-2012

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 http://www.alchemytours.com 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

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

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

Dec 11-17, 2011 Big Island Hawaii Ultimate Blissful Yoga Retreat


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

April 19-22, 2012 Moab, Utah – Yoga & Mountain Biking Adventure

May 25-27, 2012 Sonoma, California – YOGA & WINE Retreat

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

July 5-14, 2012 Paris & Provence Yoga Retreat

September 21-23, 2012 San Juan Islands Lakedale Lodge Yoga Retreat

Our Dedication to How Water Changes Everything

We donate a portion of all Alchemy Tours trips to Charity Water. We encourage our clients to continue making donations long beyond their time with us comes to an end. Everything we do is influenced by our appreciation of the water element. Jacob and I met after crossing the Atlantic ocean and today we choose to live on purpose by the Pacific ocean in Seattle. Our astrology also unites us as Jacob’s sign is Pisces (The Two Fish) and my sign is Cancer (The Crab). A great day for us means time spent near the water whether we are riding our bikes, enjoying the beach or kayaking. I also credit Jacob for inspiring me to stay hydrated more than ever. And every time I take an easy drink of water I am reminded of what a blessing it is. A blessing that a BILLION people don’t have.

Our friends at Charity Water have educated us to know that “Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.

90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are of children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation. The great news is that we can all make a difference.” Every $1 invested in improved water access and sanitation yields an average of $12 in economic returns. Even just $20 can provide water for a person. To learn more take a few minutes to watch this video.

Water Changes Everything

And please support me in my year as a lululemon ambassador (see the manifesto below, water is #1 on their list too) as the events I offer for FREE as my karma yoga will always be an opportunity to donate to Charity Water. Help us collect $5,000 for a well that can change the lives of many children and leave a lasting legacy. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia (PS: Donations always welcomed at https://mycharitywater.org/p/donate/?campaign_id=18406)

the lululemon manifesto
Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
Do one thing a day that scares you.
Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
Friends are more important than money.
Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
Dance, sing, floss and travel.
Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
Successful people replace the words ‘wish’, ‘should’ and ‘try’, with ‘I will’.
Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.
Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.

Our Green Commitment

At Alchemy Tours Jacob and I work hard to support sustainable tourism practices and eco conscious vacations. Does this make it harder sometimes to organize and plan trips? Yeah, it does. Is it worth it? Yes! Without a doubt. And the way we run our trips with these values in mind is an extension of how we live our lives. This is such an important aspect of Alchemy Tours we want you to know our commitment:

  • We have a maximum of 16 guests per trip and an average 10 people.
  • We actively communicate our values to our clients and the local operators educating them in sustainable tourism practices.
  • As a unique multi-sport tour leader we design trips that are primarily “self-propelled adventures” which means there is minimal time spent in carbon dioxide emitting vehicles (cars, buses) and more time having a great time outdoors.
  • We strive to reduce our environmental footprint by working with socially responsible suppliers and partners who care about the impact of their operations.
  • We donate a portion of all Alchemy Tours trips to Charity Water. We encourage our clients to continue making donations long beyond their time with us at Charity Water
  • We respect and care about local cultures by operating with sensitivity towards local communities.
  • ITALY "I trust and love you"

    I didn’t speak English as a first language so even today colloquialisms are difficult for me. One of my best friends even bought me a book called “Heaven’s to Betsy” to try to help me. Not understanding how to use American colloquialisms doesn’t stop me from trying so in yoga class you’ll often hear me make my best attempt (although you might be scratching your head about the timing of how I used it).

    Wikipedia defines a colloquialism “as a word or phrase that is common in everyday, unconstrained conversation rather than in formal speech, academic writing, or paralinguistics.” So the only way I can get better is to keep trying to use them every day.

    I’m equally baffled by internet slang. If you text me and I don’t respond back right away it’s likely that I’m trying to figure out what you’re saying. BTW did you know that in internet slang ITALY means “I trust and love you”? This actually makes sense to me. Italy is the land of love. I myself fell in love there while returning from a yoga retreat in Tuscany.

    I almost missed my train to bring me back to Rome for my flight home to the U.S. And on this sweaty June summer’s day I met the most incredible man. In that instance my heart was so open after having been in Italy for the last week that I saw him and he saw me and the distance between us became nothing at all, almost as if we’d known each other forever. And if you believe the ecstatic love writings of Rumi, we had been holding each other in our hearts already.

    Many come to Italy to seek out something. I have, and not just once or twice but so many times I’ve lost track over my life time. I keep going back to learn more. About what? Well, always about love and also art, beauty, culture, food, history, and fashion. I feel inspired there. And I spent many family holiday’s with my family in Italy so I know my parents found themselves more deeply in love there too. I could always feel their ease reestablished on our visits.

    For this and many other reasons I want to introduce you to the power of love Italy offers and the earth element of trust it helps to foster in each of us. We have all been challenged in our faith or in our relationships. Italy offers that time of healing to once again be strong in our trust for life and to fall in love with ourselves (and maybe others) all over again. I hope you give me the chance to share all that Italy has to offer October 16-22, 2011 and June 23-30, 2012. Tell me what I can do to help you take this step. Love yourself, love your day, love your life!
    Silvia Mordini,
    lululemon ambasaddor, ERYT, Love Anthropologist, and Happiness Coach

    Sameness and Difference: Going Beyond the Ordinary

    “After living in the dark for so long, a glimpse of the light can make you giddy.” Jennifer Aniston, The Good Girl

    I am a long time Jennifer Aniston fan, especially because she loves yoga. I like that we share this sameness. And to be honest I was drawn to this movie originally because of the title. I felt the impact of being a “good girl” and doing everything right. I also love ritual. I really loved going to church and experiencing the sameness there each Sunday. But yoga teaches that habit (mental, emotional, physical) is not the healthiest state of being. We need some sameness, like a sun salutation or half salutation but we also need Difference. It reminds us of what is possible.

    The problem about sameness is that we can easily convince ourselves that if we do everything “right” if we are good girls and boys then life will always remain stable. This gives us a false sense of security. And quite frankly forcing ourselves to do things the same everyday, even our yoga, is exhausting! It consumes our energy.

    Going on a personal retreat is for me the easiest way to go beyond the ordinary routine. We break free of repeating the way we lived yesterday, last week, last month. On retreat you are in a different ecology, your connectivity to technology is usually not the same as at home, what you eat and do is extraordinary. The conversations you have with others are not a repetition of the same language you use at home with your local tribe. There is a newness even in the ordinariness of your personal beauty routine.

    Retreat allows you to do your best yoga. The yoga that teaches it is possible to break the bonds of suffering in this lifetime and choose happiness and peace in every day. Physicist Max Planck, said “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” That is what a yoga retreat offers you. You change the ordinary habits and all of sudden you see yourself, your potential, your life in a whole new way.

    Join us and celebrate the differences, diversity and possibilities the world has to offer you. It is remarkable what changes you can make when you allow yourself to find the courage to go beyond the ordinary! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia