Tales of the Traveling Yogi is a series of short blog interviews with yoga teachers about their experiences planning and leading yoga retreats. We hope these interviews will encourage and inspire other yoga teachers plan their own yoga retreats.
In our second interview, we invited Brent Honnerlaw to share his story about leading his retreat in Machu Picchu, Peru, a place spiritually enchanted by the ancient Inca culture.
But first, little about Brent...
Brent began practicing yoga at the age of 19 while attending The Ohio State University. After graduation, he went to Honduras, Central America where he lived for 2 years serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Since there are not many yoga studios in Honduras, Brent began to focus on strengthening his personal practice. Throughout his time in the Peace Corps, he began to know intuitively that his dharma is to practice and teach yoga.
Brent moved to Ocean Beach, San Diego (CA) in 2013 where he received his first teaching certificate in Hatha Yoga. Later, he became certified in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as well. Brent plays a symphonic gong that he regularly incorporates into his classes. He currently teaches studio and private classes, workshops and retreats, is a guest lecturer for teacher training's and is a teacher of Yoga Philosophy, Anatomy and Yoga and Sound Exploration at a local Holistic Studies College.
Ok, now let's dig in!
Brent, what do you love about leading yoga retreats?
I love leading yoga retreats because I enjoy connecting more deeply with my students and encouraging them to dive into their yoga practice. It is a great way to visit new places and create new lifelong memories!
Where was your last retreat?
The last yoga retreat I lead was in Machu Picchu, Peru.
What was your retreat about? Did you have theme?
The retreat I led in Machu Picchu was based largely on the intention of exploring the history, culture and mythology of the Inca and modern day Quechua people. Yoga classes incorporated Inca Mythology and guided meditations using local folklore.
How has leading yoga retreats impacted your life as a yoga teacher?
Leading Yoga retreats has impacted my life by giving me the chance to combine my two favorite things: yoga and travel! It has helped me expand my offerings as a teacher and increase my student base.
How do you think your retreats have impacted your student’s lives?
Students who have attended my retreats in the past have had the opportunity to travel somewhere they have never been, do yoga in some of the most beautiful natural environments in the world and strengthen their connection with Self and Mother Earth.
Are you planning another retreat? If so, what’s your vision?
I plan to continue offering yoga retreats in the future. I have many destinations in mind including Mexico, Central/ South America, the Pacific Islands and India. In 2018, I would like to lead a retreat in India.
What's the one thing you would do different in your next retreat? Or what would you like to add/incorporate in your next retreat?
In my next retreat, I would like to expand and diversify my offerings. So, instead of just yoga, be on the lookout for extras like massage, acupuncture and Ayurveda inspired meals.
What advice would give to a yoga teacher who has never lead a yoga retreat but is thinking about it?
Good advice for a teacher thinking of leading a retreat is to just do it! Maybe you could do a small "practice" retreat close by and build from there or you could be like me and dive right into a foreign country. It is fun, worthwhile and life changing for the participants and teacher.