I always love looking back at the year as inspiration for moving forward. While I didn’t do a Year in Review post in 2016 (I didn’t want to look back at that year, it was a tough one for me), it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come since 2015. And it was cool to look back at the intentions I’d set for 2017 at the beginning of the year, and realizing that I stuck with all of them (with the exception of the App expansion plan, but as I explained yesterday on Instagram Stories, the App is no longer due to our being in a legal battle with the developer). In looking back, this year was filled with travel and lots of triumphs. I thought I’d share them here, and I’d love to hear what this year was all about for you, if you’d like to share down in the comments section below.
I was mildly dreading my birthday because I was still in a bit of a depression coming off 2016. But despite feeling somewhat down, the day ended up being really pleasant. I celebrated quietly, with homemade cake and some family time. I remember feeling really hopeful for the New Year.
While I travel often, 2017 was a year particularly jam-packed with with work trips. I went to Costa Rica in February to scout locations to hold a yoga retreat. I wound up getting food poisoning the first night, and the business trip was a dud, as I couldn't really leave my room. I did get one day in the sun, though, and I came up feeling weak, but with a solid tan, so there's that...
In April, it was time to pack up again. I was off to Italy to lead a yoga retreat in Bolzano, one of my favorite yoga retreat locales. We're actually going again this April, if you'd like to come! After that, I cruised down to Florence with only one or two work commitments and the rest of the time was a proper vacation (here's part 1 and part 2 of my trip). Now, I realize that the travel portion of my job looks like a lot of fun (and it most definitely is), but when I do retreats, they aren't vacations for me because I feel like I need to be "on". I am always very concerned with making sure everyone is enjoying themselves and happy, and I'm busy planning the workshops and classes so I don't get too much down time so those few days in Florence after Bolzano were so special.
In May I was commissioned to do some work for a hotel down to Key West. It was a really quick trip, but it was such a fun adventure. I'd never had Key Lime pie before, and I was a fan!
Carley and I held our first Yoga and Gut Health Retreat this year in Maine. The Yoga and Gut Health combo was something I'd been wanting to do for ages, so I was really thrilled to work with her and make it happen. It was an interesting experience for me because it meant challenging myself to switch up my typical yoga retreat program and design yoga workshops that would complement healing, digestion and gut health. So I did a lot of yin, gentle yoga, and learned so much about aromatherapy that I was then able to incorporate into my classes. It was a great learning experience for me in terms of yoga class design, and it was such a wonderful feeling to see others take control of their health and leave feeling empowered.
In late June I partnered up with Hotel Marlowe in Boston for International Yoga Day, where we held three different workshops during the day. For the evening practice, I wanted to do something really unique, so I reached out to my friend Janos "The Arcitype" Fulop, a music producer in Boston, to see if he wanted to create some sort of live music event. He was on board, and brought in drummer Jonathan Ulman, and we had such a cool event! Janos and I have known each other since fourth grade, so it was so cool to partner up with our work in our thirties.
July and August were nuts. I went to London to teach a workshop and have a meeting. Then I went to Greece to lead a yoga retreat. (We're going again this summer, if you'd like to join!) Then I went to Dubai for some work obligations, and then I went to Kenya to lead another yoga retreat. Whew! It was an insane trip-of-a-lifetime! I was exhausted by the end of it, but deliriously happy. And, bonus, Emirates upgraded me on the way home (I am never that lucky!) and I got to fly first class, where they had a shower spa. A shower spa. On the plane. #normal
In September, I was invited to teach at the prestigious Pure Yoga studio in New York. It was a strength building workshop that ended with some deep stretching, and we had a lot of fun. Even more fun? I saw familiar faces from past retreats, and met a woman who had already signed up for our Italy retreat the following spring!
In October, Carley and I teamed up again to run another Yoga and Gut Healing Retreat, but this time we held it in Colorado. Lauren, YBC's Marketing Director, lives a few hours away, so she was instrumental in making this retreat a smashing success by helping to deliver swag and food items. We had a small group of incredible women, and the setting was just gorgeous.
From Colorado, I went to LA with Lauren, to Los Angeles, where we held a small yoga workshop and did some work with Four Seasons and the California Health and Longevity Institute. The fun thing about the workshop is that we had a little meet and greet afterwards with rosé and cookies, so I got to chat with everyone, and they had the best vibes.
Staying true to my 2017 intention to have more fun, I made childhood dreams come true by buying tickets to see Mariah Carey's show at the Beacon Theater in New York this month. She did such a great job. And then later that week, I saw Jerry Seinfeld at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. He was hysterical.
This month, we also did a soft launch of Namaslay with YogaByCandace®, our podcast. It's currently available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play, so be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! Fun fact, the awesome podcast music is produced by my aforementioned friend, The Arcitype! #fullcirclemoment We'll be publishing regular episodes every Monday starting in January. Currently, there are four pre-season episodes up on the roster, so be sure to check it out!
And that brings us to the present (see what I did there?!). I'm so looking forward to the holidays with my family and friends, and of course my sweet little pup Buckles. I'll be posting tomorrow, but then will be taking the rest of the month off to recharge and relax and begin creating new content for you guys to start the year off with a bang. Speaking of content, if you have a minute, I'd love your feedback with regards to content on YBC. As always, thanks so much for sticking it out with me this past year. I am so excited for what's to come.