Up next in our Inspiration Series we are on the other side of the desk, answering our own questions ourselves, so that you guys can get to know us better, and also so that we can share some of our sources of inspiration with you.
First up is our little Canadian ray of sunshine Natasha…
So, Natasha! Take us through your average morning routine.
For me, the best part of every new day is that it is welcomed without an alarm! I spend the first hours of my morning practicing yoga in silence (preferably in a beautiful space in nature, but occasionally in a dingy corridor or stairwell). On my most ideal days, I spend far too long bathing in a hot shower. If I’m feeling energetic I may add another coat of mascara on top of my crusty layer from the day before (haha). I love tropical fruit, muesli, and a strong coffee with coconut milk for breakfast.
What’s your beverage of choice?
I could be a big, fat pretender and write something other than vino, but anyone who knows me, would know I’m totally fibbing! To be fair, coconut water runs a close second.
What are your non-negotiables? ie. the things that are absolutely key to your happiness in life.
Fresh coconuts. The Ocean. Sunshine. Clean laundry. My yoga practice. Whole and Happy. Hot showers. Live music. Good company.
What/who/where is your go-to when you’re in need of some inspiration or uplifting energy?
The girl is a consistent ray of sunshine in my life. I literally am inspired by everything about this human; from her denim onesies to her loving embraces and hilarious Instagram stories. I am in complete awe as to how she unknowingly makes everybody feel like a somebody, and feel so blessed to call this angel my best friend and business partner.
I discovered this special piece of peace (and the inspiring family of do-gooders who bring it to life) last month when I spent some weeks teaching yoga, learning about permaculture, and nourishing my body with the most delicious vegan food this side of the Pacific Ocean. It’s has since become my home away from home, and the best place for me to refill my cup in order to give all that spills over.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire my mom. The woman is a total superhero. She takes care of everyone in her life without ever asking for anything in return; always sacrificing so much for the happiness of others.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
I guess I lived a relatively sheltered life in Canada, because most days I spend abroad I’m gifted with the opportunity to try something for the first time. Recently I (unknowingly) tasted Russian bear meat, got a tattoo from a talented artist in the south of Thailand, and watched in horror as my friend got his big toenail ripped off under the kickstand of our rental motorbike. None of which seem overly glamorous, but all firsts nonetheless.
Was there a catalyst or turning point that made you decide to follow your heart and build your business?
From the moment I experienced the transformative power of yoga for myself, I knew I wanted to share this feeling with everyone I knew and loved. It took years of working on other people’s retreats, meeting Rosie, and having guests reinforce time and time again how unique we are (both as people and as yoga teachers) that I really began to believe in creating something. Whole & Happy was born from a place of complete love for the practice, and the notion that a yoga retreat can help every human of every background to discover their personal happy place in the complete absence of rigidity and pretentiousness.
What has been the most challenging part?
Oh my goodness! Where to begin. Every day building a business has its growing pains. Some days I feel like I’m totally winning at this adulting thing; allowing a feeling of awe wash over me for everything that I’ve accomplished in my short 31 years on this planet. And, on the contrary, there are other days when I’m sleeping in a caravan in the middle of a barren field, hitchhiking to my next destination, feeling pangs of loneliness with my family being thousands of miles away, and spending far too much of my precious time on social media marketing future retreats. Lucky for me, I have a kick ass business partner to ride the wave of highs and lows alongside.
What has been the most rewarding part?
By far the most rewarding part of Whole & Happy is seeing the transformation in each guest throughout the duration of retreat. Watching them soften; their thoughts, speech, even appearance begins to change as they settle into a healthier rhythm of life and way of being. Rosie and I always say, we never know why a group of people come together for a retreat week, but eventually it all becomes clear. I will never tire of seeing strangers become family in just a few short days.
What are you most grateful for today?
Today, and every day, I am grateful for the painful goodbye that led me here… to the blissful place I now reside.
What does Whole & Happy mean to you?
To me, Whole & Happy means to authentically be; free of expectation, judgement, and fear. To enjoy everything, but need nothing. To openly love with all that you have.
What does balance mean to you?
Having tipped scales for the majority of my twenties, balance has become the new (and much more sustainable) mantra for my thirties. To me, this is the process of trusting the intuitive feeling deep within my gut, and never denying myself anything that feels good. Celebrating even the tiniest of life’s presents, and yet having the discipline to move confidently towards anything and everything that has the potential to better myself, those around me, and the planet.
Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for our followers?
I will leave you with one of the most inspiring quotes I’ve ever read from the book, “Conversations with God: Book Two” written by Donald Walsch.
“Every person who has ever come to you has come to receive a gift from you. In doing so, he/she gives you a gift. The gift of you experiencing and fulfilling Who You Are. When you see this simple truth, when you understand it, you see the greatest truth of all. . . you have been sent nothing but Angels”.
How can people find out more about you and your work?