On this episode, we meet Anna Egleston, the Chief Zen Officer, of Above Yoga. She leads Yoga Retreats for adults. She has combined her love for yoga, travel, adventure, and professional background in corporate travel to cultivate a community of adults. Anna has lead international retreats to places like Ireland, Cambodia, and the South of France to name a few. She has trips booked for Croatia and Morocco this year and is looking to add domestic destinations in the near future.
Anna compares her retreats to “adult summer camp” because of the mix of yoga, culture, food, adventure as a way for people to meet and cultivate relationships in adulthood which can be challenging.
“We don’t get those kind of interpersonal experiences as adults.”
Anna has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training and is currently involved in her 300-hour training as well as finishing up her Master’s Business Administration. She loves having guests on her retreats who are new to yoga as well as experienced. It excites her to have people who are maybe new to international travel, group travel, or yoga and assimilate quickly and grow during the retreat. A differing factor of Above Yoga retreats are that Anna scouts the area at least a year in advance, develops relationships with the vendors, and familiarizes herself with the area to help her guests feel comfortable with it and her as the leader. While her retreats offer yoga, culture, and physical activity such as hiking or biking, Anna leaves it up to each guest to determine how they want their vacation to go.
Anna has been inspired by The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz after a friend gave it to her during a challenging time in her own life. She reminds herself of each agreement daily and as a way to feel confident in the service she is providing to others.
She discusses how a yoga retreat can help someone grow by the relationships and community formed on the trip. She speculates that it could take years of day-to-day life interaction to form the connections that someone can make during a week-long retreat.
Anna has been inspired by Jillian Longsworth of Noda Yoga. Jillian’s influence has been woven throughout Anna’s yoga journey. She attended her first yoga retreat with Jillian to Italy, completed her 200-hour teacher training, and has invited her to co-teach at one of her own retreats. She loves the inclusivity of her studio and the broad range of styles of yoga that she offers.