Bartholomew Park Winery & 400 Acre Park Sonoma

We will be enjoying Bartholomew Park Winery situated in the heart of the 400-acre Bartholomew Memorial Park in Sonoma.

Our visit to the winery includes a sampling of Bartholomew Park’s premium wines, access to vineyard-view picnic grounds, hiking trails, and a museum chronicling the property’s illustrious history and current grape growing practices.

The picnic grounds at Bartholomew Park overlook the vineyards and a replica of Agoston Haraszthy’s Palladian Villa which was destroyed by fire around the turn of the century.

In the hills behind the winery are approximately three miles of marked hiking trails. A variety of indigenous California vegetation — oak groves, manzanita, madrone, redwood-shaded fern grottos, and fields of spring wildflowers — provides visitors with a generous sampling of the visual delights and natural beauty of Sonoma County. On a clear day, the view from Bartholomew Park’s trails extends to San Francisco.

What Kind of Yoga Do We Practice On Retreat?

While on retreat we get an opportunity to try out all sorts of different yoga. Some of the key areas we include:

Partner Yoga Practice
This is where two people practice poses together. A key yogic philosophy is that we are all one, so through partner yoga we establish this connection and support for one another. You will get to experience this in a number of ways including; vinyasa flow sequences with a partner, partner balance poses, some acro-yoga where one partner supports the other and some guided thai massage techniques. Partner yoga is suitable for all levels.

Inversion Practice
Often times in regular 60 minute classes there isn’t much time to really delve deep into the family of inversion poses. It is more than just going upside down. There are a number of physical benefits but even beyond that the psychological benefit if simply experiencing life from a different perspective pays forward forever. We will safely explore inversions such as headstand, handstand, forearm balance and shoulderstand. There will be modifications for everyone and we will work at our own pace.

Meditation Practice
We will explore various styles of meditation together.
• Silent meditation
• Guided meditations seated and in savasana
• Active Movement Meditations: yoga poses linked with breath.
• Kriya yoga: repeated movement as form of japa meditation
• Teaching stories: Readings from various eclectic traditions related to meditation.
• Student interactions and sharing.
• Breath Control: Techniques designed to enhance our ability to be alert, sensitive and observant
• Journaling

Journaling Your Yoga
You will receive a personal journal. We will offer guided journaling exercises and encourage you to journal on your own as well. You will be guided through chakra/journaling exercises as well to help you see your own answers.

Manifestation Yoga Practice
You create your reality. A simple concept, yet one that is difficult to remember.
While holding a difficult pose, we often create a story in our mind. Through the power of meditation, we calm our minds and harness the power of our ~60,000 thoughts per day. From this peaceful place, we can more clearly see the inner messages that reveal themselves about life’s direction. Meditation leads the way to the strength of manifestation.

In Manifestation Creation, we take this one step further: “To hold an image in our mind increases the possibility that it will materialize.” Think about that. Say it aloud, write it down, repeat it. If you see something in your mind, you will manifest it. But if you don’t know how to harness the power of your mind into that image and stay with it, then you water down the opportunity to tap into your greatest potential.

Year in Review Alchemy Tours Retreats

We couldn’t do this without you guys! Here is a quick look at our last year in pictures….!

Click here to view this photo book larger

You’ll love Shutterflys award-winning photo books. Try it today.

Yoga in Tuscany

Tuscany is a life-changing place for many and is the setting for this Yoga, Cycling and Cultural Adventure of a lifetime! Join Alchemy Tours to Tuscany Italy! Get inspired about your life while exploring the rich Italian culture by biking, hiking and walking tours supported by twice daily yoga. Jointly led by Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher Silvia Mordini and International Travel Guide Jacob Young, this spiritual and cultural gem is found in the heart of the Tuscan food and wine country, traveling to many famous art cities from there. Stay at a 10th century restored stone home peacefully nestled into the hills and experience a retreat like no other!

Day 1: Arrivals Florence, Deplane Yoga, Afternoon Hike, Welcome dinner
Day 2: Monteriggioni, Siena afternoon
Day 3: Radda in Chianti Wine Tasting and private walking tour, Rapolano Terme Hot Springs Spa afternoon
Day 4: Cycling to Casole d’Elsa morning, Volterra afternoon walking tour and wine tastings
Day 5: Cycling to San Gimignano and lunch, Loop Ride back to Tignano
Day 6: Morning drive to the Mediterranean relax on the beach, afternoon lunch and visit to Petriolo Natural Hot Springs, Tuscan Cooking Class evening dinner party
Day 7: Final Yoga, Breakfast and Departures

$500 deposit to hold your spot. Book now at Please email or call 872-228-9642 (2AT-YOGA)

$2,300 regular
*Single supplement available.

-7 days and 6 nights accommodations
-Breakfast, lunch and dinner
-Airport transfers
-All day trips and walking tours
-Private wine tours and tastings
-Traditional Tuscan cooking class
-Soaking in the healing crystal waters of the Rapolano hot springs
-Visits to the art cities of Italy
-Two Daily Yoga Classes and Evening Group Activities
-Trip to the Mediterranean for an amazing beach day
-A quality bicycle and an experienced cycling guide with knowledge of the greatest rides in the region
-Entrance fees to all group events and activities
-All transportation during the trip
-Comprehensive trip literature
-All gratuities for special events, lodging and restaurants

Airfare to and from the trip and gratuities for your guides.

We will be guests at a classic Tuscan farmhouse converted into a stylish yoga retreat, Gabriella’s Borgo which is located in Tignano, a recently renovated medieval village, close to Casole d’Elsa and Volterra, in the Tuscan countryside. The wonderful host, Gabriella, will charm and welcome you at arrival as if seeing an old friend again.

The actual Borgo used to be a rural residence dating back to the 16th century. Its original name, Borgo di Tignano, has Roman origins. It is the probable birth-place, in the 4th century, of Saint Attinia, a venerated saint from the Volterra area. Amongst its illustrious guests in the 1800’s, during the time the Borgo was a summer retreat from the ‘Scolopi‘ fathers, was Pope Pius the ninth. This Borgo is overall a place to enjoy with your heart, surrounded by a soft landscape and a peculiar light which brings back forgotten emotions of interior freedom. It’s also a place, where one can experience a genuine Tuscany, with its tradition and land culture.

In the local tradition, one says that the Berignone Forest, facing the Borgo, is the one that inspired Dante Alighieri to write about the “Selva Oscura” where his Divine Comedy story starts.

The gardens of the Borgo, with paths lined with aromatic herbs, juniper hedges, myrtle and evergreens, reproduce a Mediterranean environment. The characteristic ‘Osteria’, which used to be the old olive press, is the ideal place for a romantic candlelight dinner overlooking the amazing countryside, or a light lunch on the panoramic terrace.

The swimming pool is available during the warm months (May through September) and it is 16 x 8 meters large. There is a reading room that also has a wireless internet point. There is a golf course within 30 minutes drive from the Borgo.

Accommodation is in apartments with one, two or three bedrooms;

    all bedrooms have private bath.

All the apartments are independent, personalized and fully furnished, with ample garden and terrace areas for leisure. The perfume of flowers and plants surround the swimming pool, and a barbeque is at guests’ disposal.

Enter to WIN a 3-Day Wellness Retreat in Sonoma! Ends May 11th

Head on over to our Sonoma Sweepstakes and enter for a chance to win!


Prize Details:
This Springtime 3-day Wellness Retreat is the perfect short health break! Our Sonoma Yoga, Wine and Cycling Retreat is ideal if you need time away to rejuvenate and refresh. Enjoy 3 days of elegant wines, gourmet vegetarian cuisine, daily hikes, optional leisurely bicycle rides, private wine tastings, spa treatments, yoga classes, amazing picnic adventures, and the country comfort of Westerbeke Ranch redwood cabins. This is the perfect escape to savor the charm of the Sonoma wine country where everything tantalizes your senses and relaxes your mind. Your days begin and end with vinyasa yoga to energize and rejuvenate you on all levels, but there will be time to sit on your sun deck, take a dip in the pool and relax in the Jacuzzi. And enjoy an unforgettable excursion to the Calistoga Hot Springs.

Prize Eligibility
Only persons who are at least 18 years of age can enter.

Sweepstakes Starts
May 07, 2012 @ 09:00 am (PDT)

Sweepstakes Ends
May 11, 2012 @ 08:59 pm (PDT)

Top 10 Wine Books from Wine Country Getaways

There is so much great information on wine if you visit our friends at:

Here are 3 of their top 10 Wine Book Recommendations (for the rest you’ll have to visit their website 🙂 Cheers!

1. How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine
2. The Wine Bible
3. Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 25th Anniversary Edition

Photo courtesy of Tin Barn Winery, Sonoma, California where we’ll be leading a retreat May 25, 26, 27, 2012

Foodie Alert! Costa Rica Yoga Retreat The Sanctuary Food Diary Part 2

Check out just a couple of the delightful organic offerings we’ll enjoy while on retreat August 11-18, 2012 at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica!

Spiced Rica and Black Beans sauteed bell pepper and swiss chard succulent caramelized plantains sugar snap – avocado salsa

Orange Reduction Dressed Farmer’s Market Lettuces Seasonal Strawberries, Artisan Feta, Candied Walnuts, Red Onion and Dill

Crepes a la Florentine with Creamy Mushroom Wine SauceLocal Wild Sauteed Spinach, Caramelized Onions, Rosemary Cashew Cream

Stewed Spiced Garbanzos and Wild Spinach Turmeric and black pepper brown rice, avocado-ginger salsa

Organic Leafy Greens and Roasted Beet Salad cayenne caramelized walnuts, dill, and shaved apple a sweet reduced balsamic

Vegan Banana-Coconut Pancake flax seeds-pecans-toasted almond maple syrup

Local Farmers’ Market Organic Basil and Rosemary Pesto ground nut melange with pecorino romano cheese

Foodie Alert! Costa Rica Yoga Retreat The Sanctuary Food Diary Part 1

Check out just a couple of the delightful organic offerings we’ll enjoy while on retreat August 11-18, 2012 at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup Broiled blue cheese and apple toast floats Basil Oil

Vegan Rice Noodle Pad Thai with Tofu

Red cabbage and haricot vert salad almond – ginger dressing mango & cilantro

The Sanctuary Shakti Bowl Caramelized onion and ginger seared tofu …

Local Farmers’ Market Organic Basil and Rosemary Pesto ground nut melange with pecorino romano cheese

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Organic Valrhona Chocolate, Avocado, Strawberry Coulis

What Does The Press Have to Say about Costa Rica Retreat Center?

Hey you guys it is not everyday where you fine a special place founded in love and sincerity like the hosts of our Costa Rica Summer Yoga Retreat August 11-18, 2012. The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is a unique find and we are deeply honored to be one of the first one’s to bring a group of 12 select yogis for an intimate retreat. Here is what the Press has to say about them and some Testimonials. See more at

“…this Jewel of the Jungle.” ~ Dr. Robert Svoboda

“…it gives me great pleasure to recommend and support Jeff in his future endeavors.” ~ Shiva Rea

“…The stay was transformative… There is no need to go elsewhere.” ~ Terra Green Gold

“…Jeff displayed a truly unique and compassionate approach to the business side of Yoga.” ~ Erich Schiffmann

“…The luxurious guest houses, yoga pagoda and swimming pool are nestled deep in the natural beauty of the Costa Rican jungle..” ~ Ryan Scott Seaman

“…The Sanctuary is a profound place for healing.” ~ Jaycee Gossett

“…Had an extraordinary, life-changing week at the Sanctuary. Truly. This place is magical…” ~ Peter Paige

“…A week at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers refreshed my heart, mind and body straight from my arrival…” ~ Sunnie Brook Jones

A Favorite Testimonial:
The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is verily a place of refuge, a haven of rest, a secure port in a stormy world, an oasis of fecundity. I have been fortunate to have visited the property on numerous occasions during the past seven years of her gestation, watching the process of her conception, development, and birth, and have personally witnessed the dedication that Perrey and Jeff have shown in their determination to develop The Sanctuary into a retreat that is worthy of the name. They, as sincere stewards of this Jewel of the Jungle, offer a warm welcome to any sincere seeker who wishes to enjoy The Sanctuary’s unique charms; and I, as a repeatedly satisfied guest, can recommend this Pearl of the Nicoya Peninsula to anyone who has a heartfelt wish to experience the true bounty of the earth, to experience life as Nature intended us to live it. ”

Dr. Robert Svoboda
Ayurvedic Doctor, Author, Lecturer, Teacher on the subjects of
ayurveda, jyotish, Tantra, and Eastern religion

$316 OFF – Alchemy Tours SUPERMOON Special

“Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there.”
~Bo Jackson, Bo Knows Bo

Last week, we were honored to support sports icon Bo Jackson and an incredible team of people in Bo Bikes Bama, a 300 mile ride across Alabama to raise $1 million for the Governor’s Relief Fund, with over $1 billion still needed. It was a real example of “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” – Goethe. Bo knows Commitment in the form of setting an intention and just doing it, as our Nike friends on the team say. Bo’s faith in the power of manifestation is clear when you are around him.

He dreamed of a way to help his fellow Alabamians, recruited friends, and then boldly put it into action. He lives the words of the Buddha, “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.” For photos of the week please visit us on Facebook.

Last month, in our list of “How we Choose to Be Happy in 2012,” we suggested that you Make a Full Commitment: Set your intention/sankalpa and stay with it. With the SUPERMOON on May 5th approaching (and the moon being 16% brighter), what are you doing to commit to your best life ever? Can you dream bigger than ever before? Of course you can. Bo Knows and so can you. Take to heart the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

To make it easier to set aside time to set your intention while having fun on two wheels, hiking, tasting wine and doing some yoga, we are offering a very special deal.

    To the first 4 people who contact us, we want to offer a whopping $316 OFF our upcoming Sonoma Wine & Wellness Weekend May 25, 26, 27!

Mention the SUPERMOON to claim this deal. Check out details on our website and Facebook. And please feel free to help us keep spreading the word and tell your friends to “Like Us” on Facebook. Join us and take that first step!

Grazie, Gracias, Mahalo in Peace,

Jake & Silvia
Founders & Guides, Alchemy Tours

P.S. On Facebook, we will continue to offer free Alchemy Tours Gift Certificates for winners of trivia contests. Another great way to earn Alchemy $$ is by referring a friend. And feel free to FORWARD our newsletter to anyone who you think may be interested in Inspired Travel with Alchemy Tours.