Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Upcoming Retreat with Jennifer Galardi

Jennifer Galardi will be holding a yoga retreat at Jicaro Island Ecolodge from December 26 , 2011 - January 2, 2012.  Nationally recognized star of six best-selling dance/fitness DVD's, Jennifer is a popular figure among top media, held in high esteem throughout the fitness industry, and adored by fans. Her goal is to help others experience the freedom she has found. She invites everyone to join her in creating habits and routines to live a balanced life in a beautiful, healthy and exuberant body!

What first brought you to the mat? 
At the time of my first yoga class, I was really into fitness and dance with a curious eye towards anything new and exiting. I was living in LA and yoga was all around me. So I decided to try a class at CRUNCH with a woman named Randi. I’ll never forget that class because it was my first introduction to the practice. And while yoga may not always have been the driving force that it currently is in my life, it has always been a steady, present flame. Now, it just shines more brightly.
Have you had other career paths in the past?
Oh boy, have I ever. I’ve done it all . . . waitress, hostess, marketing, sales, promotion management, casting assistant… you name it, I’ve tried it.  It took me a while to transition fully into a career of health and wellness, but as I educated myself, gained experience, and became more confident in my skills, the Universe has seemed to support me in my decision. Until I am guided in a different direction, this is my calling.

What is your style of yoga instruction?
Whether I am teaching a fitness class or yoga, I’m very particular about awareness and being present. Be aware of where your feet, arms, body, etc. are positioned. And be present enough to listen to your body, and give it what it needs. Once that awareness and attention to alignment is present, the student can become stronger and then flow with strength as opposed to just letting gravity fling the body around. 

Why did you choose to focus your practice and teaching in this style?
Growing up with a dance background, I’ve always had a keen sense of body awareness. Once I began practicing yoga, I noticed how I could relieve muscle tension, correct imbalances, or find relief through adjusting asanas. I love that. It’s like a constant experiment! And as a dancer, the way I expressed myself best is through my body. Yoga allows me another outlet to fully express myself. I really see it as a beautiful, graceful dance between the physical, mental and spiritual.

This is your second retreat at Jicaro…what is bringing you back to our Ecolodge and Nicaragua?
I don’t think anyone who has visited Jicaro and the island will deny that there is something very special about that place. The energy, the people, the environment. It’s all just so perfect for a retreat. Oh, and the food. The food is amazing! J

This is a special retreat…returning to light being held over New Year’s.  What experiences can your retreatants expect this time?
While I think people coming to the retreat will definitely learn things about yoga, health and overall wellness, I want there to be a focus on FUN! It’s a celebratory time of year. We will be celebrating our practice, a time for renewal, good food, new friends, and life!

What are you most looking forward to during your retreat at Jicaro?
I always love meeting and connecting with new people that bring a completely new experience. I learn so much from my students and enjoy working with new people. It often challenges me to think or communicate in a different way. And of course, I can’t wait to visit the children of the Costa Sur community. These children were the inspiration for our new charity, karmaNICA (http://www.karmanica.org). Nicaragua will always have a special place in my heart and this organization offers me the opportunity to give back to a community and population that has given me so much!
Visit BigWorldSmallPlanet to register and for information on other upcoming retreats at Jicaro.

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