There’s an awesome hot yoga retreat coming up at Casa Om June 8-14, featuring Bikram yoga teacher/multiple Yoga Asana Champion Afton Carraway. Blogger Kathryn E. Livingston talked to Christiane Mueller of Hot Bikram Retreats (www.hotbikramretreats.com) to find out more about this yoga retreat.
Q: What will be the focus of your retreat at Casa Om?
A: Yoga, fun, relaxation, gourmet food – meeting great people from all around the world. This is the focus of all of our Retreats.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about Afton Carraway’s yoga journey?
A: Afton began practicing Bikram Yoga in 2004 and became a certified instructor in 2007. Two weeks upon graduating from teacher training in Hawaii, she was convinced to compete in the Florida Asana Championships and won 2nd place in the state.
From then on, her love for yoga snowballed into an abundant career. Afton currently teaches full-time in Austin, Texas, and still participates in yoga events, competitions and retreats around the world.
Afton has placed 1st in the Bishnu Ghosh National Asana Championships two years in a row, 2011 and 2012. In addition to this honor, she was the reigning Florida champion four years in a row, awarded the bronze medal in the 2010 National Championships, and is the current 2nd place title in Texas. Her practice has done so much for her health – both physically and mentally – and she continues to grow and learn every day. Her favorite thing about being among the Bikram Yoga community is seeing significant change in individuals doing a sequence of postures that never changes – this gives the self so much more opportunity to create change! She believes the possibilities of the human being are literally endless and thrives on sharing the knowledge she has collected and continues to learn with other students of any yoga background.
Afton wants to see yoga spread around the world, not only as a form of exercise for physical health, but also as a commitment and responsibility to one’s self to be the best person they can possibly be.
Q: What a wonderful concept! Have you been to Casa Om before, Christiane?
A: No, but we’re very much looking forward to it. As Retreat organizers with an average of six Retreats a year around the world we are always on the lookout for fantastic locations and venues. Although we’ve held Retreats in Mexico before and have travelled there many times we’ve decided to come to Casa Om because of its stunning location and heated yoga room as well as our own private chef. Food is very important to us at all of our Retreats and having a private chef who caters for different dietary requirements is another bonus.
Q: What will an “average” day of the retreat include?
A: A typical day starts with coffee/tea followed by our first Bikram Yoga Class in the morning. Afterwards we’ll get together for a healthy brunch and then there will be some free time to relax or explore the town or chill out at the beach. We get together again in the afternoon for another Bikram Yoga Class or Posture Clinic with teacher Afton, followed by dinner. This is a typical day, however a half-day excursion is included as well and a cocktail night too.
Q: What do you hope the students will take away from the experience?
A: From past Retreats we’ve held, I can predict that they’ll make new friends from around the world and improve their yoga while recharging, relaxing and enjoying amazing food in a stunning setting. Sometimes they do get a bit sunburned, too!
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: All our Retreats are open to all levels, no matter how many years you have been practicing Bikram Yoga or how often you go to class. We have people attending previous Retreats who have been to one class before as well as Yoga Champions. Our concept is very much “Do as much or as little as you like.” If you don’t feel like coming to a class or joining us for dinner that’s fine; no one will look at you in a weird way or say something. All our Retreats are holidays foremost; the yoga is part of it but not the only thing we do. Come and see for yourself and experience the Hot Bikram Retreat experience.You can check out pictures of past Retreats and testimonials at www.facebook.com/HotBikramRetreats