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  • Writer's pictureSam Fortunas

Hawaii Round 2: Into the Known and Unknown

Maui, Hawaii. October 2019

What a trip my friends! I was more determined than ever to pursue the highest level of yoga certification from day one... But often times you get busy living and well that's exactly what happened for me. After I finished my first 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Maui in 2013 I knew in my heart I would be back. In the meantime, I have taught my signature Beach Yoga class on St. George Island for the last 6 years. Somewhere in there, I also went to Santorini to complete a Yin Yoga Certification. Then as the story goes, I fell in love, got engaged, and became pregnant with my sweet baby, Rush.

Travel and training seemed a little out of the question as I began to navigate life as a new mom and business owner. But in the back of my mind Hawaii was always there. The training from my first time on Maui changed my life. It changed my perspective as I grew into a better version of myself and was able to share the transformation that yoga brings with my clients. I was ready for that growth again and to pursue being the very best teacher I could be to enhance my practice and my business. Then the Universe came knocking on my door and I knew it was now or never. The baby could fly free under 2 years old. My friend Joiner, was willing to come help and be a nanny for a couple weeks. It was off-season and Roger could come too to bond and care for his son. I didn't know how long any of them would end up staying or if Rush would transition okay, but leaving him on the mainland was not an option... The 500 hour intensive program I was attending would be from 7 am in the morning to 7 pm in the evening and I would have only Sunday's off for a little over 5 weeks.

Even with Rush joining me in Hawaii, it would be the most time I spent away from him ever! (He is undoubtedly a mama's boy.) There was a lot of risk and a lot of investment bringing my little island tribe over to Maui but I am ever so thankful that we did it. Our apartment was a quaint little bungalow in the heart of Paia town. The morning meditation, sanskrit and philosophy class was held on a the beach within walking distance. I would leave for class before the boys were awake and see them during breaks. The days were filled with yoga asana (practice), pranyama (breath-work), body alignment, meditation, and of course teaching! I attended multi-day workshops on fascia, Ayurveda, yoga for back care, and pre-natal yoga. I worked intensively with a highly accredited Iyengar instructor almost daily in addition to the mandatory hatha and flow classes at the shala. The yoga was phenomenal. The instructors were phenomenal. In my opinion they are the best and most knowledgeable in the world. I consider Paia town a little mecca of amazing yoga for that reason!

On my days off we were surfing, fishing, exploring the island in all of her beauty. We hiked to the waterfalls and drove to the top of the volcano. Rush's all time favorite was the local aquarium. We ate fresh poke' and enjoyed the always seasonal fruit. We went to comi-con, first responder, arbor day events and festivals. Our little family unit became pretty dang comfortable out there on the big island and for a moment we considered staying.

But alas, graduation day came and it was bittersweet. The trip and the training was hard work but in the best kind of way. It was the work that makes you feel accomplished and confident and ready to give the world what it so desperately needs... and through my practice I can truly give back. I can help you raise your vibration. I can help you find peace. I can help you transform physically, mentally and spiritually. I am just so grateful to my teachers, and to my journey and to Maui... I already feel it. I'll be back!

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