The Vault: An Interview with Brooke Roberts, CEO at Yoga Travel Tree

Hello Travel Addicts! As someone in her 30’s (how did that happen?) I am starting to think more and more about my health, happiness and purpose in life. I found my purpose (Longing to Travel + my work in international higher education). I found my happness (do I really need to say it?….Travel and life abroad with my husband). And now I’m focusing on health, which is why this week’s interview is with my friend, and yoga expert, Brooke Roberts. 

Brooke is a Kansas City native currently traveling the world while running two companies, Yoga Travel Tree and Inside Study Abroad. As CEO and Founder of Yoga Travel Tree, Brooke has created yoga adventure retreats and teacher trainings all over the world! Check out what she has to say about yoga, travel and her secrets of the trade!

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What is yoga?

Yoga means yoke or unite or integrate. It has taken on a lot of meanings, but at the end of the day, all the bendy/pretzel like poses, all the breathing, all the philosophy…all of it comes together to help us sit in quiet meditation. Yep. The purpose of the yoga practice is to help us achieve a serene state of meditation and focus so that we can know ourselves, the world, and the universe with clarity and ease. But ironically, it take a lot of crazy hard work to achieve that level of clarity and calm. When was the last time you sat completely still – you didn’t move a muscle, in complete silence, without distraction, for 15 minutes? I bet it’s been awhile. Give it a try! It’s challenging at first…but feels amazing after it’s over. Yoga is also fun! It can be fun to do funky poses and go to all different styles of classes. Shake it up! Try something new. Yoga – in all it’s glorious forms – will find you when you’re ready to receive it. 

What’s the most common misconception about yoga?

A lot of people think they need to be flexible in order to do yoga. Which always baffles me! Yoga is for anyone at any fitness or flexibility level. Yoga helps you gain agility, mobility, and flexibility in the body. If you’re NOT flexible, that’s precisely why you should give yoga a shot. 🙂

What are some common questions people have and could you answer some for us?

Is yoga religion? Nope. It’s not a religion as most westerners think of religion. It’s more of a way of looking at the world, best practices, a philosophy.

Is yoga just stretching? Nope. Yoga definitely involves stretching for sure. But it also helps you build strength through subtle movements and body weight postures. Luckily, there’s no one size fits all yoga. We have styles to serve whatever you need – very physically challenging to the most calming and restorative. Yoga can be whatever you need it to be.

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Why should people who desire a life of travel think about incorporating yoga into their daily life?

Yoga has a lot of modalities. It teaches us how to be calm, focused, and strong even in the most stressful or difficult situation. No matter if you’re sitting in meditation or holding a challenging asana (yoga pose), the goal is to be able to breathe deeply and evenly, even if you’re stressed, even if your muscles are shaking like crazy. The moment you can’t breathe is the moment you’ve take it too far. This is an amazing skill to take with you when you travel. Through all the missed connections, tense situations, and scary scenarios, yoga can help you keep calm and breathe deep. And cool looking yoga poses make for great pictures too! (Who says yoga can’t be fun and silly sometimes?)

I’m convinced! So how can one incorporate yoga into their travels?

The great thing about yoga is that you really only need to things: Your body and just a little bit of space. If you can lay down flat, you’ve got everything you need to have a practice. After that it’s just about getting familiar with different styles of yoga and sequencing. If you have access to youtube you now have access to hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours of free yoga. When you want a physical workout, but lack space or lots of equipment when you travel, yoga can almost always give you what you need.

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What are some resources you’d recommend to our readers to help them with yoga?

– Start with a YouTube Search of the word “yoga”…and happy browsing!

– Try an online yoga studio like Yoga Download

– Meditation Minis Podcast to introduce you to guided meditation

– Pick up some malas when traveling through India and Asia – they are great for helping you focus during meditation

And remember there’s no one right way to do yoga – it’s all inclusive all the time. 🙂


MORE ABOUT BROOKE

Longing to Travel - Brooke Interview 6Brooke Roberts has captured attention with her audacious personality, get sh*t done attitude, and no-nonsense approach to career, entrepreneurship, travel, and life. After building a successful career in international education, Brooke became one of the youngest female executives in the youth travel industry dramatically growing the Go Abroad team, reach, and revenue in just three years. Throughout her career, Brooke has slowly nurtured her own blog Inside Study Abroad to become a leading resource for aspiring and current professionals in international education and youth travel. In 2013, Brooke launched her own company Yoga Travel Tree creating international yoga adventure retreats and yoga teacher trainings with a worldwide audience of over 300,000 travel-loving yogis across the web.

In addition to her work in travel and yoga, Brooke has also been the keynote speaker at numerous events including delivering a TEDx Talk at Kenyon College. Over on her blog, The New Dorothy, Brooke chronicles her multi-passionate obsession with entrepreneurship, yoga, travel, and building a kickass life on your own terms. Connect with Brooke as @thenewdorothy on Twitter and Instagram.


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