Spa Girl Abroad: Kalani Oceanside Retreat

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Greetings from Kalani Oceanside Retreat

A hidden haven on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawai’i, Kalani Oceanside Retreat is nothing but a pure escape to the jungle at it’s finest. And your off-the-grid experience can be as luxury, or as rustic, as you’d like it to be .

From modern cottage to treehouse to big ole’ hale (Hawaiian for ‘house’) to glamping with wi-fi, Kalani has it all.

Indulging in massage, sauna, a full schedule of mind-body activities, plus wandering an endless jungle trail surrounding the property makes Kalani one of the rare places on earth I’ve never wanted to leave. What’s great about Kalani is you can be as social or introverted as you wish…the community feel is thriving, yet plenty of solo time can be found to write, reflect, meditate. It’s a writer’s paradise, quite literally.

The food you ask? Incredible. The kitchen caters to everyone from vegan to paleo to the kid who loves Lucky Charms (you’ll probably find the organic version here, though ;). Three times per day, a conch is blown which lures Kalani guests and their hundred or so volunteers head to the most beautiful buffet that rivals Whole Foods (get in line early or show up on the late end to avoid waiting long). Plus, you’ll undoubtedly graze on tropical delights such as guava and starfruit that fall from trees here.

I was first introduced to Kalani when I attended a 30-day intensive yoga teacher training at the retreat center. Kalani’s feels much like a second home to me, and has been my go-to getaway spot on the islands ever since. E como mai (welcome) to my one of my second homes 🙂

Would love to hear about your experience at Kalani, and/or retreat centers like it, fellow Spa Girls and Guys! I LOVE discovering new retreat spa centers. I’m heading to Bali next month…send me your tips!

Mahalo (thank you) and Coconut Kisses,

Beach Girl Abroad

Spa Girl Abroad: Sanctuary Thailand

DSC01093It’s not simply the fly-ferry-longtail boat journey to The Sanctuary
Thailand
that will leave you wanting to disappear into this lush jungle-beach ‘alternative’ resort forever (and ever…).

(Don’t worry, you can also arrive by speed boat…check out the spa’s website for further info 🙂

Longtail Taxi Boat

Longtail Taxi
Boat

I adore Sanctuary Thailand! In wintertime, I found myself dancing around a moonlit beach bonfire, rocking in the New Year alongside the most eccentric and varied group I’d ever met: de-toxers and re-toxers, jet-setters, yogis. During my summer visit, I loved the young, health conscious, and flashpacker (upscale backpacker)-solo-traveler vibe.

The Sanctuary Thailand boasts a full-service Spa and Wellness Center, a full-on yoga and meditation schedule with classes held in a gorgeous open-air shala over looking lush jungle, accommodation ranging from mat-on-floor dorms to luxury tree houses, a delicious restaurant, and a Wellness Center offering a comprehensive detox program.

spa time for a thai massage

Spa time!

Gorgeous houses and private rooms are scattered throughout the jungle-beach property. Several accommodation-spa-yoga packages are available.

I’ve stayed in the gorgeous dorm above the restaurant for 200 baht per night ($4!), and in the Wellness Center’s Detox Dorm during a week-long cleanse.My 5-day detox (3.5 days fasting) was a less than $500 and included dorm, cleanse, my “last meal”, plus yoga, spa treatments, and unlimited steams (the clove-spiced steam room before or after a thai massage is to-die-for!).

the dorm gets a clean up

Dorms at Sanctuary
Thailand

The Wellness Center not only offers 2-14+ day detoxes, but also sells Kombucha, wheatgrass shots, and hosts plenty of reading material which can be enjoyed from any hammock or cushy chair on the property.

The restaurant’s menu includes tasty and healthy food which would appeal to any Modern Day Wildwoman (or man). You can order anything
from Thai to Indian, vegetarian to meat-eating with salads, salmon,
and steak. I indulged plenty in the Raw food section which not only
caters to detoxers, but anyone! And trust me, raw food tastes
especially delish during the hot Southeast Asian summer. I sampled
raw treats like “Not yogurt” (blended raw papaya, full of good-for-you enzymes) to “Raw Pad Thai” (made with raw radish) and raw soups.

Raw Pad Thai

Raw Pad Thai

striking a pose<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
like the good ole days in LA LA la

Coconut kisses,

Beach
Girl

$436.50 Flight Credit to…

As result of totally switching gears last Fall, I have a flight credit with Hawaiian Airlines for $436.50. It expires on September 4 of this year.

Grounding myself in tadasana, mountain pose, during today’s early morning sandy stroll before a juicy-full day, I visually absorbed the pure beauty of a school of dolphins and wetsuit-clad dapper dudes alike surfing the morning glass waves.

Contemplating the thought of an upcoming trip to the islands, an unfamiliar thought crossed my typically gypsy-footed mind:

I don’t need to go anywhere right now.

I’m pretty darn content. My life is bursting with the simple pleasures that keep Beach Girl Abroad happy: family, friends, community, sharing my passions with the world through teaching yoga and writing, enough space when I need it, intellectual stimulation, daily communion with nature and it’s expansive ocean only a block away. I’d say I’m on a good path towards santoshacontentment as described in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras.

A warm, strong Santa Ana wind kicked up during my block-long walk home, gusts not unlike the warm Fall tradewinds that’d breezed along my skin in on Oahu, Maui, and Big Island. Ah, the perfection of a California morning like today’s. On a day like today, I don’t particularly feel like going anywhere.

…hmmmm.

The wheels are turning.

One last island, Kauai, that I’d left unexplored.

Oh, and my birthday is coming up during the first week of June 😉

Unexplored Territory: Kaua’i

What a nice way to feel.

Just the possibility of taking a trip.

Getting quiet and listening to my intuition on how to proceed from here…

Aloha.

xoxo

Beach Girl Abroad

Be. Here. Now.

“This is the reason I’m back here. Now, I get it.”

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I’d left so much of myself here. I’m tied here. My past is here,

the happiness and the pain.

And I’d irresponsibly left it in a storeroom.

I’d traveled here and there, and everywhere, all the while

out of sight, didn’t necessarily mean out of mind.

Sifting through the storage unit, I was dutifully listening to the wonderful Hay House Radio App (download it, it’s free!), when opening a random box stopped me in my tracks. Opening this box was like opening a box of treasure.

I kid you not, gold light seemed to spill out upon opening my cardboard box of treasure…

It seemed I’d stumbled on a box of “me”.

Who I was before all of ‘this’, before the gypsy travelling, the yoga trainings and teachings (when I packed this box, most likely in a hurry before hopping a plane to Seoul, I’d recently become a devotee of Bikram, but didn’t even know what a Sutra was, knew I loved the chanting music played at Bryan Kest Power Yoga but no idea this devotional chanting is named ‘Kirtan’, and thought Ayurveda was some kind of mystical shampoo)…

The energy of the box encompassed “me” before travelling, just an early twenty something from California who loved collecting bikinis and laying out on the beach, exploring the Santa Monica and Channel Islands Farmer’s Markets, spending a day wine tasting in Downtown Ventura or Paso Robles, refurbishing furniture from thrift stores into Beach and Shabby Chic and listening to Classic Rock, dayhiking in Malibu…a young and somewhat naiive me… a ‘me’ before a massive love and heartbreak which would rock me to the core. The aforementioned which was the very impetus to make me question who I am, my reactions, how I relate to the world, get back to my roots and what makes me tick, and most importantly, teach me how it feels to be human and love. Love and the sheer pain of losing it–and I would never take this feeling back for the world. Anyways…I digress…the treasure box…

Although none of my friends would remotely call me a simple person, I have to say, this box encompassed a simpler time. Even my signature vanilla perfume was at the top of the box, along with a framed tear out from an inspiring book which quoted, “Every Day is a Good Day“.

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Treasure Box.

I had to revisit. Remember who I was. Remember how present, or not present, I was in each chapter of my life. This “letting go” couldn’t have happened in Hawaii, Asia, or elsewhere. I realize that now, it’s time to fully be here and live my life. The message is loud and clear. It’s come from so many sources all along. I’m heeding the advice now.

Live my life. Be here now. Be fully present where I am now.

And today, it’s letting go of my past by clearing out what’s mine in the store room. Old photographs, knick knacks, clothing, stuff. Most things are neutral, others bring joy, and some hold painful memories. Especially satisfying is getting rid of these things that leave even an inkling of an ‘ick’ feeling; keeping little scraps of things that give a ‘good’ feeling and select photos worth adding to the scrapbook reminds me how connection and love make the world go ’round (even when I feel like disconnecting for a bit to go in introvert mode).

Oh, and definitely keeping a few bikinis 😉

Hosting a yard sale this weekend, wish me luck!

Remember, out of sight does not necessarily mean out of mind, whether subconsiously or conciously.

What have you not let go of, and how may it be affecting you? I want hear all about it! Leave comments below.

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Kidney Detox Smoothie

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Lanikai Community Garden Bounty

Bottoms up to clean kidneys and no undereye circles!

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Parsley, Lemon, Ginger for kidneys, Lilikoi for fun, Kale for protein, enzymes, and it’s phyto-greengoodness, papaya seeds for digestion, H2O, ice

Be Beautiful, Naturally: Crushed Papaya Seed Facial

Nothing wrong with taking a day off to stay at home all day, refuse to feel guilty about forgoing the Hawaiian beach in order to nibble on fruit, sip tea, and give myself a facial. Yes, today’s been an at-home spa day!

Crushed Papaya Seed Facial

*CAUTION: this does burn. It’s the Alpha Hydroxy Acids munching dead skins cells. Take good care to stay in the shade for a couple days after this one, you have exposed fresh baby skin! Hat and SPF! You’ve been warned.

Papaya for sale

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Eat papaya. Save seeds.

2. Crush papaya seeds in blender until seeds look like rough sand.

3. Apply to face, neck, chest. Leave on 1-10 minutes, or however long you can stand the burning sensation. If you like, use the seeds as a scrub, as well.

4. Rinse.

5. Follow up with a nourishing mask, preferably a cooling one, such as rejuva-blue mask by ecrin (my friend Erin McGowan’s line).

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6. Rinse mask after 15 mins, apply lotion, and lots of SPF!

Peace, love, Aloha

Crazy? Who, me?

Trusting the unknown.

The Feeling is now familiar, almost comforting…Not knowing what’s next (or having a rough idea as in a Permaculture internship, home to California for the holidays, then an opportunity in SE Asia, perhaps grad school, or perhaps back to California for a while…we’ll see how it all flows…)

but knowing what is “right now” is coming to a close.  A dear Seoul Sister put it perfectly: listening to the heart and adapting accordingly.

It’s a bit of a natural high. With a bit of anxiety, second guessing, and resisting giving in to fear. And the hardest part is this Waiting-for-it-to-actually-begin phase. (for you are just joining me and would like the backstory leading up to this leg of the journey, check out Beach Girl Abroad @ Blogspot)

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Selling the car, giving away heaps of clothing and books, catching up with everyone before going, and I’m down to a backpack and some essentials (NOT taking 2 huge suitcases this time–I’ve learned over the past two and a half years that less is truly more–aparigraha (that’s non-hoarding in yoga)…

Am I crazy? Maybe a little. Am I trusting God and the universe? Absolutely. Am I grateful? Yes yes and yes. Thank you, yes, and more please. Keep it coming.

Would love to hear about how you “let go” and trusted things to work out…please share in the “comment” form below!

A Little Bit of Inspiration Lately, says the Universe

photo @ Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Pahoa, Hawaii.

..you know when you just know…

you’re no longer where the universe wants you to be?

“Okay, your work here is done, 

the lessons you needed to learn are learned.

you met who you need to meet.

that little part of your soul is healed.

yes, I did hear you pray.

and here is the next step”

 

An itch in the bones, 

a sudden burst of energy, 

a sudden desire to start downsizing, 

clean out the closet, give things away…

it’s been brewing about a month now…

no longer feeling like hermitting in Lanikai…

suddenly thrown into limbo 

just when I thought things were settling into a nice little routine…

feeling like going out into the world and doing something.  

something.

something sustainable.  something fresh.  

something where you don’t need much but some good people, 

knowledgable people to learn from,

nature, 

and ono grindz (that’s Hawaiian for “good food”).  

  yes yes.  that’s where we’re headed… 

 Amid the limbo, I randomly hopped on a plane for a week of feeding the spirit at Kalani Oceanside Retreat, 

an intentional community off-the-grid on Big Island,

where one year ago participated in a one month intensive training that I’m sure has changed my life, 

yoga practice, and course to the most positive…

 Surprising a dear friend from last year’s training, Winnie, 

who I found out just a couple days before was visiting Kalani from far far away on the mainland,

 I just knew I had to go…again, in my bones…

and with a synchronistic week off work, originally intended for Kauai,

I rerouted straight to off-the-grid Pahoa.

(we proceeded to camp in the Kalani jungle together in a tent with wi-fi, giggles, 

and of course very serious discussion us yogis tend to have), 

photo @ Yoga Sutras Philosophy Discussion

Sadhana Pada (2nd Chapter)

“Action Plan” for breezing through life as a yogini

(go ahead, read it!)


…hung out and participated as a fly on the wall for six days of asana and philosophy with my teachers 

and their new class of 20 amazing souls (mahalo Alicia and Oliver!),

 Painted, swam, and just talked story with our teachers’ daughter, the coolest 4 year old ever and def the lil’ sis I always wanted…

learned a bit about the aina (land), plants
permaculture, and aquaponics from Horticulture specialist, Barcus, @ Kalani
leaf from the Autograph Tree

As this shift is happening, a wonderful gift from my little Bro 

–who’s not so little at 6’4 and built like a linebacker 

and will indeed kick your ass if you mess with his sis 😉 —

popped up on my Facebook wall.  

It indeed came at just the right time, a reminder of where we come from 

and to risk following your heart, your dreams, speaking your mind

to communicate authentically

to persevere

to dream

to not just try, but do

no matter what adversity…

and 

that everything always works out…