Nathania, on her vision:
Hi, welcome and thanks for reading! I’m Nathania (pronounced Na-Tanya, cuz I know you were wondering!).
I founded SoulPlay Retreats 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 I decided to deepen my 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 an abusive relationship of 5 years 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 (toxic 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 to do.
Fast forward two years and a lot of work and sweat later, I’ve completed additional trainings in yoga and Animal Flow, and partnered with amazing movement professionals to lead several successful retreats around the world with over 90 Tribe members from 4 continents. I am honored and grateful to have had our retreats featured in Yoga Journal, Forbes, Self Magazine, and others as affordable, not-to-miss wellness adventures. In January, 2018 Chill'Asana Retreats became SoulPlay Retreats. Because that's what these are designed to do - make your soul play in every sense of the word.
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 in towards something that excites you, 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 true (and cool) is that!?
My vision for these retreats is more of 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 real, raw moments with people 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!