Nathania, on her vision:
Hi, welcome and thanks for reading! I’m Nathania (pronounced Na-Tanya, cuz I know you were wondering!).
I founded SoulTribe Adventures at the end of 2015 – only then it was called Chill’Asana Retreats. The story of how these retreats started informs much of what they're about, so I'll begin with a little background.
For the first half of my 20s, I thought yoga was "just stretching" or "not for me" because who has time to slow down and stretch for an hour? I was into fitness, competed a couple of times and explored all kinds of circuit training and boot camp workouts. In 2009, I begrudgingly stumbled into yoga, and what was at first just a great sweat and stretch quickly became a lot more than that. For years yoga was my sanity and my escape from a stressful desk job that had been making me miserable for a decade. It became the place I learned to breathe and listen to my intuition instead of thinking I knew better than my gut.
In 2015 after completing a Master's Degree in Psychology (and deciding that being a Therapist wasn't my calling),
I decided to deepen my yoga practice with a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, which caused the explosion of my life as I knew it. The teachings of yoga ignited me - I suddenly found the guts to leave a 5-year toxic relationship and quit my
10-year career as a Marketing Director to become a full time yoga teacher in Los Angeles, with no plan beyond that -
I'd figure the rest out later. Baaaasically all of my biggest fears; "losing" my (destructive but secure) relationship and my (suuuuper cush but infuriating af) career at the same time. Pull the rug out, why don't you? So I did. Within 3 months, I was teaching full time and pinching myself that this was actually happening. But then I started asking...what's next?
As a teenager, I spent summers in adventure camps hiking, white water rafting, rock climbing and doing things that I never made time to do as an adult. Most of my spare time in high school & college was spent being at the helm of a group: a'capella group conductor, musical theatre director, captain of the hockey team. I was basically a bossy theater geek who liked to play outside and get dirty. To this day when I think about what lights me up, this is it: Movement, travel, adventure, leadership and community. Retreats were the answer to my question, and how I was going to combine all the things I love while helping others improve their lives.
Fast forward two years and a lot of work and sweat later, I’ve completed hundreds of hours of additional trainings in yoga and Animal Flow, and partnered with amazing movement professionals to lead several successful retreats around the world with over 180 Tribe members from 4 continents. In 2017, I met Gary, and we decided to combine our loves and areas of expertise to craft unique Yoga & Fitness Adventures with a ton of heart, and SoulTribe Adventures was born in 2018. We are honored and grateful to have had our retreats featured in Yoga Journal, Forbes, Self Magazine, and others as affordable, not-to-miss wellness adventure, and are excited for many more.
I now believe more than ever in the power of listening to your gut - to that little voice that knows what is best for you, and to do what you need to do to make your life happen. We stay stuck for too long. When you follow your gut and hustle towards something that lights you up, anything is possible. I learn that lesson over and over on my yoga mat. Everything I think is impossible eventually becomes possible if I keep showing up and doing the work. How cool is that!? And it's true for all of us.
My vision for these retreats is more of a values statement:
I believe in the power of movement to show us what we’re capable of. To help us zone in, re-learn to play, build strength and mobility and remember how to get lost in the moment.
I believe in the power of yoga to help us make peace with who we are. To teach us to breathe and be still, to lean into instead of away from challenging moments. To judge ourselves less. To accept what is but to relish in the process of working for what we want. To cheer ourselves the hell on.
I believe in the power of surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are committed to living an authentic, active, purposeful life and learning from each other, uplifting each other, getting real with each other.
Some of the my most transformative experiences have stemmed from creating opportunities for real, human moments in environments that support growth, play and community. Our retreats are designed to do just that. To connect you. To move you - physically, mentally, emotionally, and inspire you to stand tall in all of your power.
I can't wait until our paths cross and I get to adventure with you.
PS - I now also own and operate a yoga studio - SoulPlay Yoga in Culver City, CA. So my life is basically all yoga all the time. And marketing. And accounting. And sweeping the studio. And buying toilet paper. So yea, not all yoga. BUT, if you're in the Los Angeles area, come take a class with me and say hi!
Gary, on his vision
My story starts right after college when I took my first plane trip to Denver, CO for a job interview. I can still remember the feeling as the engines powered forward and I felt the force push me back in my seat, the corners of my mouth drawn into an ever widening smile and the slightly sweaty palms I was hiding grasping the seat. Loving every minute of it. That’s how I knew I needed to travel, but that’s not what society and family say you “should” do. They like it when you don’t color outside of the lines as it were and for a while I tried that. Get a job, get a girlfriend, get a pet, buy a house, get married (didn’t happen), but the cycle was rinse and repeat until you die it seemed.
That was NOT for me and I just felt stuck!
During this time I discovered my passion for improv theater. I was in my early 30’s working contract computer gigs at all the banks in Charlotte, NC and still in my rinse and repeat cycle. I signed up for the initial 8 week course, on the recommendation of an acupuncturist of all people, simply as a way to do something “unscripted”. All of our daily routines, while good for measuring progress and keeping us on task, do little for expanding our creativity. Over the course of the next several years I learned so much about play and “yes, and-ing” from my experiences directing and performing in shows and teaching others the art that I feel that it’s one of my reasons for being. To spread that to others… Kind of like a disease.
In the meantime I was working on the side with my best friends on a company that would bring weight loss, fitness, and natural health to the masses. Metabolic Effect was the brainchild of Dr. Jade Teta and I was the technical expertise behind bringing that all to fruition. My experience as a National Champion Bodybuilder and the thousands of hours of gym time over the years, along with my experience training the public in technology in a classroom setting (odd skills, I know) came heavily into play because I was uniquely suited to develop the training curriculum to begin certifying professionals in our methodology of “do what works for you” nutrition and “rest-based” interval training along with the psychological aspects that go into training. We’ve since certified and helped thousands of people educate and find their “fat loss formula” as we call it.
Fast forward several years…
When I met Nathania she told me about a trip she had planned to go to Mexico and live in the jungle for a week… in July. She told me how the place had great pescatarian food, but was lacking air conditioning, electricity in the rooms, WiFi and if you were (un)lucky you may be able to get a phone signal at the top of the mountain.
I told her this place kind of sounded like the west side of hell to me!
But I had never been to Mexico and over the course of a few months she convinced me to come along as her guest.
Now let me be clear, at this point I had ”practiced” yoga about 10 times in my life. I still have a problem with saying things like “your practice”. (I guess I’m just not yoga enough yet, and that’s ok.) So let it be known that I was not your typical yoga retreat participant. I will let you in on another secret, I was somewhat intimidated because I didn’t know what I was doing and afraid of looking daft. You see I had built this experience up in my mind that there would be “insta yogis” everywhere standing on one hand and contorting themselves into all manner of shapes, while I struggled to find mountain pose. I saw my own shadow and how I was showing up and needed to get out of my own head.
What I found however was not that at all. I saw people who didn’t know each other on Monday behave as long-time friends on Tuesday. I saw people challenging themselves to overcome blocks and fears that they would not have tried in any other setting. I saw all levels of yoga experience EXCEPT the insta-yogis that I was so worried about. And most importantly I saw a person in Nathania who seemed to light up when she was teaching the yoga and someone who really cared about delivering a great experience to everyone on her retreat.
Then I started thinking.
What if we made this into something bigger?
What if we combined her yoga and my fitness?
What if we paired our adventure with play?
And what if we travelled to some of the most desirable locations while bringing people together from around the world?
And thus SoulTribe Adventures was born!
I’m excited you’re here and hope you will join us on one of our signature retreats soon. Trust me when I tell you that we put our heart into making everything about the retreats special.