We asked our Tuscany guests three questions:
1. What aspect of your life transformed the most (physically, mentally, emotionally)?
2. Why do you think a yoga retreat can inspire you?
3. How did your Yoga Retreat help you make positive changes in your life?
We are really humbled by the overwhelming response some of which we are sharing here. If you are considering going on an Italy Yoga Retreat, read this first and think about whether any of this resonates with where you are at in your life right now? We are dedicated to helping serve your journey to make that quantum leap to a happier, more focused life…a life of purpose, a life INSPIRED. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
Yogi 1: Going on retreat allows you to open your eyes to who you are other than what you do. Diving into the unknown, surrounded by and dependent on the kindness of strangers, means you have nothing to fall back on but who you are when you come to your mat. You can’t rest on your business card, your resume, your social circle, your partner, your history. And you aren’t framed by those facets either: meeting people and a place without the structure of pre-conceptions means that you come exactly as your own self. You may not know your own self particularly well; you may be unsure of who he or she is. But on retreat, that’s all you start with, what you build upon. Connections come from the space in between what we do and who we are on paper; retreat gives us time to explore and relish in those sometimes far too small spaces from where each breath arises.
Yogi 2: I went on a yoga retreat with Alchemy Tours in October of 2011. I was in a place where I was feeling like I needed to do something for myself to reconnect and gain clarity on my life. Do all this while practicing yoga and cycling in the hills of Tuscany? Sign me up! I didn’t know quite what I was searching for, but called it my “Eat, Pray, Love” trip. On the retreat I found myself laughing and feeling happier than I had in months; while also gaining the confidence through self reflection that I truly am in charge of how I want my life to unfold. Since returning, I have been making small changes that are the building blocks to creating a more satisfying/fulfilling professional and personal life. And most of all, I can’t wait to go on another retreat.
Yogi 3: How did your Yoga Retreat help you make positive changes in your life? I went to Tuscany by myself to explore everything that the Yoga Retreat through Alchemy Tours could and would offer. I discovered that I could travel alone, make great friends of all ages and backgrounds and could be my complete self. Silvia & Jake are more than friends, they are my inspirations to follow a life I love and make no excuses.
What aspect of your life transformed the most (physically, mentally, emotionally)? For me, the biggest changes were mentally. Waking up early to attend a morning yoga class, taking walks and choosing to participate in activities that were offered were all choices I made based on what I wanted to do. Doing yoga with Silvia is more like a life walk. She takes you through the beginning, building up your confidence, letting you shine in the peak poses and lets you feel okay with relaxing at the end.
Yogi 4: How did your Yoga Retreat help you make positive changes in your life? Before the yoga retreat, I was looking to reconnect with my wife and myself. The retreat helped in so many different ways with just those things, as well as opening up some amazing new friendships. I felt like a totally new person afterwards.
What aspect of your life transformed the most (physically, mentally, emotionally)? Before the trip, I was a bit run down from work life. While attending the retreat and afterwards, I became so much more aware of what I needed in order to deal with the mental and emotional stresses of work and gained a new level of respect for what laughter can do to enlighten my life and the lives of others.
Why do you think a yoga retreat can inspire you? If you are looking for a truly different type of vacation, a yoga retreat can open your eyes to not only the physical beauty surrounding you, but can fully awaken the soul within all of us through the love and laughter shared by the group. Put yourself out there and go!
Yogi 5: One of the best choices I ever made was going to Tuscany with Silvia and Jake. Not only is this part of Italy gorgeous, I learned so much about myself… not to mention the amazing food and yoga everyday. I highly suggest you go. It will be a trip you never forget.
Yogi 6: Silvia has asked us to share our thoughts on the Tuscany retreat, and I am happy to share some of my experiences with you. There are a few aspects that I would like to touch upon, first, the tour guides – Silvia and Jake are wonderful. I’m not sure if you are totally new to both of these people, but I believe you will really enjoy them. Silvia has been an inspiration in my life for about 6 years now and I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled upon her studio back then. She is an insightful and loving teacher who has lifted me up more times that I could ever keep track of. I met Jake on the retreat and found him to be a very fun and enjoyable person. He is really down to earth and kind as well.
The farm house – we stayed at was awesome. It was very charming and beautiful. The atmosphere is so relaxing and comfortable. Tuscany, Sienna and surrounding areas – all of the day trips that we did were wonderful. There are so many intersting and amazingly beautiful places. The culture is so enjoyable as well. In addition to the retreat trips, I was able to add a few days on both in front of the retreat and on the end of the retreat to enjoy even more of Italy. Everything was amazing, so depending upon your tastes and desires you may wish to add on a few days if possible and see more as well. Lastly, but definitely not least, the yoga two times a day was a wonderful way to begin and end each day. If only I could manage to do that at home! Someday…
Yogi 7: I wanted to be sure to tell you I had an absolutely marvelous time. You and Jacob did an excellent job planning and executing a wonderful experience for us all. You are one of the best and most inspiring yoga teachers that I have met and practiced with, and I have done workshops and retreats with many very good ones, some quite ‘famous’! I regret that I can’t practice with you at your studio on a regular basis. You have such a gift for teaching and such of depth of knowledge and training, in both the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga. And you clearly embody all that you teach, I admire your sense of peace, calm, and thoughtfulness – you are beautiful inside and out – I want to bring more of these attributes into my life.
It was a wonderful group of people, and a big part of the fun. I just loved the country and the Italian people. I love these types of vacations, it reinforced my preference to limit all the museums and cathedrals, etc. – they are good in small doses, but I would much rather explore the culture of an area by doing the types of things we did. I definitely want to go on another trip with Silvia and Jacob. Thank you again for a wonderful experience and I look forward to future trips.
How did your Yoga Retreat help you make positive changes in your life?
I went into the retreat with intentions to re-connect with myself and my husband, which I definitely accomplished, and as a bonus I built many new connections and developed lasting friendships.
What aspect of your life transformed the most (physically, mentally, emotionally)?
Physically, mentally and emotionally I felt transformed. The physical components were great, as was the extremely healthy diet, and although I ate like I was on vacation, I came back feeling healthier and few pounds lighter from all of the yoga and cycling. Mentally, I was in a state of bliss from the amazing surroundings, stress free environment, and wonderful people I was able to share the experience with. Emotionally, I felt like I gained a greater understanding about what is really important and a greater sense of my life’s purpose.
Why do you think a yoga retreat can inspire you? Exploring a new environment through yoga and seeing the “yoga” in everything was very inspiring, as was all the love, laughter, and living life!
Yogi 9: I hope you are considering the Alchemy Tours trip to Tuscany! I went July 2010 and it was truly amazing. I travel quite a bit, so I tend to have high expectations. I can honestly say this trip was beyond my expectations! I’m not sure how anyone couldn’t enjoy staying on a Tuscan farm, touring Tuscan cities, village and vineyards, wine testing, eating amazing food, shopping, biking, yoga and swimming in the Mediterranean!
If you’re looking for an authentic Tuscan experience, you really can’t beat staying at an organic family farm in the heart of Tuscany. The food was out of this world – fresh, delicious and abundant! I still have dreams about the gnocchi.
I had never been on a group tour before, so I was a little nervous going in. I only knew a couple people from yoga class, and I just recently met them, so it was a big decision for me to go basically on my own. Everyone on the tour was friendly, easy-going and interesting. I realized that you really can’t go wrong traveling with people who do yoga, even if you don’t know them going in. We had an absolute blast together! By the end of the trip, I considered everyone a good friend.
I also liked that I had the freedom to do (or not do) anything the group was doing. If you wanted to do yoga, great. If you wanted to sleep in or take a walk around the farm, no one made you feel bad about doing whatever you needed/wanted to do at the moment.
Jake and Silvia took care of everything too, so it was never stressful. They had everything meticulously planned, but they weren’t rigid about it. They were flexible, accommodating and made adjustments so everyone was able to get the most out of the trip. I felt that they truly cared about us, were tuned into what we needed and did everything they could to make it an experience of a lifetime for everyone.