The Story of a Renewal


Something magical began in Florence...

In October 2017, seven Riverflow yogis departed for Italy, a bit frazzled around the edges.

We had all been feeling a bit overwhelmed in our lives. Our jobs, our families, our aging parents, our aching bodies... we arrived on this journey with heavier hearts than we wanted.

But we had made a promise to travel light.

We were seven acquaintances who shared a love of hot yoga. Some of us had practiced together. Some had never met.

But something called us together, something that felt more real than our "real" lives.  Call it the seduction of travel. Call it the power of yoga. Call it a last attempt to find balance.

In a very short time, we would share something intimate  -  as friends,  confidantes, and fellow adventurers ...

 Life.... is... Blissful

23376133_10212080083970511_259263936442610344_nThe Tuscan hills, the art, the fountains, the churches, the River,  the food, the wine.

Italy is a celebration for the soul.

We were ready to taste it all:  wild boar,  tripe,  rooster; endless flavors of gelato,  nutella, pizza. No calories counted here.

Coffee espresso, latte,  macchiato, shakkerado, freddo,  Pocket Coffee

No limits. No guilt.

We were ready to experience it all, without a To Do List.

Nothing was expected of us here and so we agreed to welcome the unexpected.

In Florence, there is so much to see and do, and yet time seems to expand to allow it all. Time to explore. Time to turn inward. Time to be yourself. Time to share revelations.

The journey begins...

23319038_10212086874060259_3861040291282760058_nFrom our arrival at Malpensa Airport, our first stop was the little restaurant La Columbrina where the locals eat.

Consuela, Owner and Chef, sat us at a large table in a private room and brought freshly-baked croissants filled with fig, nutella, apricot and wild berries. Freshly baked bread accompanied by olive oil for dipping (it is olive picking season in Italy, she explained, and this oil was pressed just this morning).

With every bite, we felt more grounded by wild arugula and raw mozzarella, prosciutto, soft eggs, and ripe olives.

The more we ate the lighter we felt.

The train ride to Florence rocked us into an afternoon nap, and we arrived at Palazzo San Niccolo well rested and eased into our palatial  home/yoga studio/garden/ lounge. We were greeted at the door by our new Italian family -  Elisa, Angel, Grazia, Francesca, Annalisa and Federico - and an Italian family dinner:  pasta Carbonara,  venison,  chocolate-dusted tiramisu.

This is what richness tastes like.

 What is prepaving?

When I plan a Renewal,  I don't prepare as much as I prepave.

You prepave by imagining how you want your journey to feel. You don't sweat every detail  because you know everything that shows up is equally important to the plot of your story; even the obstacles are perfectly designed to take you exactly where you said you wanted to go, in the most fun ways. You trust all of it.

Prepaving requires unpacking your mental baggage.

Letting go of control and taking the ride for the fun of it

Giving up ideas that you "shouldn't eat pasta"  and "must see all the museums" and "can't speak Italian." Turning away from every thought that feels unsatisfying and deliberately choosing to feel good.

And turning the clock face-down.

You start with yoga and meditation .

You expand into self acceptance and curiosity

You awaken your dreams and change your life

And you begin remember what you once knew: you matter

The journey home to yourself begins with a Renewal... and it can begin now.

Because you're invited...