Divine play

Divine play

6 July, 2012
The sustainable way
Yoga entrepreneurs revolutionize travel

If ever there was a pretext for the word 'yoga', it was not 'entrepreneurial'. Let's face it, the general public does not traditionally view yoga as an area thriving with innovative entrepreneurs or as a field associated with booming business, in general. There is a reason why we have formed such perceptions – yogis, themselves, have not historically ventured into the world of business or much less started their own. But, just like most things these days, that's rapidly changing. All over the world, yogis are integrating the basic premise of yoga – unity of body and mind – into successful business ideas that are quickly securing their place within the vast and rapidly expanding wellness and eco-tourism industries. Leela Travel is one such business idea that is taking the basic principles of yoga – mutual respect, loving, kindness and acceptance - and applying them to the relationship between human beings and their environment. On the inspiration behind the idea of Leela Travel, its founder and yogi, Whitney Littlewood, explains: “I firmly believe that yoga, nature and travel have healing capacity for the human body, mind and soul, and I wanted to set up a company that helped people get more in touch with their true selves while also supporting and nurturing the natural environments and communities we travel to.”
Based out of Pacifica, CA, Leela Travel organizes group tours for ecologically sound yoga retreats. The tours feature internationally recognized yoga teachers and incorporate volunteer programs – such as health education workshops, beach cleanups and turtle conservation - that allow the participants to give back to communities in paradise-like places such as Mexico, Thailand and India. The volunteering programs, designed to help local communities facing social, economic and ecological conservation challenges, are meant to honour Karma Yoga, which is centred on the concept of selfless service, one without attachment to a reward. Leela, or “divine play” in ancient Sanskrit, offers its participants a relaxing, fun in the sun, and heart-opening adventure. “Our 2010 and 2011 retreats include many different types of Hatha yoga including Vinayasa Flow, Ashtanga, Anusara and Therapeutic Hatha. All the programs share a focus on the link between yoga and environmental consciousness or what has come to be called 'green yoga'”, says Whitney. Green yoga is a relatively new concept that arose from the need to address the rapid environmental degradation of the last century by strengthening the body-mind relationship and encouraging connectedness with nature. “By expounding on the concept of green yoga I'm hoping people will leave our trips with a greater knowledge and motivation to live a green yogic lifestyle by respecting the Earth the same way they respect their bodies”, explained Whitney. A relatively new concept, Leela Travel is the perfect example of what 21st century travel should embody because, let's face it, we can no longer afford the luxury of unsustainable luxury.
For more information on Leela Travel's current trip offers please visit www.leelatravel.com

By: Ecozine Staff


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