November 14, 2013

Two (& a Half) Traveling Yogis: An Interview with Yoga Teachers Kevin & Hali McQuillan.

Kevin and Hali McQuillan, yoga teachers and owners of Peace Retreat Costa Rica, have recently returned from a seasonal yoga tour in the United States and Canada.

Journalist Kim Fuller asks the couple what it’s like to travel as a family and teach on the road for an extended period.

What has been the inspiration behind your summers spent traveling and teaching?

Kevin: Our original intention for touring was to generate awareness of our Peace Retreat facility in Costa Rica and to share our passion and love of yoga, delivering classes and workshops abroad. We have been traveling primarily in September and October, two of the wettest months in Costa Rica—a perfect time to leave and generate excitement and curiosity to join us in paradise.

On the road, we are sharing both of our passions, our center and our yoga programs. We are passionate about sharing our vision through Real Evolution Yoga, as well as having people join us in a remarkably peaceful, healing and inspiring space in Costa Rica—all the while creating flexibility and strength in their practice.

Hali: I love teaching. I feel I was born to teach. My inspiration is to touch as many hearts as possible and to inspire them to follow their dreams and evolve into their most powerful selves.

What is different about teaching on the road, rather than at your home at Peace Retreat Costa Rica?

Kevin: The main difference of teaching on the road is environment. We have the opportunity to teach at our open-air studio in Costa Rica where we experience gentle warm sea breezes and the sounds of monkeys, birds and wildlife all around us.

Although the environment is different, we are fortunate to experience amazing spaces created by tremendous visionaries that have shown great courage, building spaces to share their love of yoga while building community. We have had the great pleasure to be with truly inspiring people along the way.

Hali: Wow! Everything! Living out of a carry-on suitcase, no schedule, different food, dirty clothes, carrying a sleeping now 5-year-old through airports, train stations, off the bus, onto boats! One thing that is not different is that we are surrounded by beautiful and welcoming souls.

How do you alleviate any imbalance or exhaustion you experience when you are away from home for extended periods?

Kevin: Great question! The main challenge of being on the road is remaining healthy physically, balanced emotionally and clear cognitively. We have developed practices to support us in remaining flexible and aligned to our commitments, to be connected to ourselves and each other in a holistic way. Sometimes it even works!

Communication, movement and nature help keep us balanced. We have become masters of hotel yoga and impromptu energy movements (chair and bed yoga and dance parties too.)

As much as we move, teach and travel, imbalance and bouts of exhaustion are parts of the game.

Hali: I go back home to Peace Retreat. Also, we try to eat healthy and try to have as much fun as possible visiting, dancing, playing with our daughter, doing yoga, singing, meditating and creating.

Please share your thoughts about family life on the road. What are the benefits and challenges, especially since you bring along your daughter?

Kevin: The challenges are being crammed and jammed as we travel on almost all modes of transportation to get to the various locations of our tour. This particular tour we have experienced planes, trains, cars, buses, boats and roller coasters too!

We focus on creating time for our work, and also play with our daughter, Bili Be. We spend time with her being active and creative and showing her first hand the value and awe of exploration and adventure. We also have an agreement with her when she feels like she is not getting enough attention, she asks for some snuggle time —so far this is working out great.

Usually the first two weeks on the road feel contracted as we are working to integrate and create flow as we go. A phrase often used is, “I need space”.

The benefits of being on the road as a family is shared experiences, adventures and connection. We consider ourselves a close and supportive family, qualities we, in large part, developed being on the road together. We are grateful to have the opportunity to be with wonderfully generous people, explore amazing places and share our passion of yoga as we travel. We give a lot and receive a lot—grateful.

Hali: Benefits: we get to share travel and adventure as a family. To me, this is very special. Some people think we are crazy—I like it. Who can say they have traveled the world with their family year after year? I consider myself very blessed to be doing this. Challenges: keeping track of stuff! I left Bili Be’s suitcase on the bus, never to be recovered. She is adorable—when I apologized for doing so, she said “It’s ok mommy, it was moldy anyway.” I think she knew we were on our way to Old Navy to replenish her wardrobe!

What’s the word you hope to spread to the world?

Kevin: The programs we lead provide a unique and powerful blend of technical training, experiential learning and personal development that propel participants to new levels of self-expression, contribution and leadership and provide them with a deep experience of healing and inspiration.

We share our experience and knowledge freely, with deep respect and compassion for what it is to be a human being. We are committed to building a community in which each participant experiences being valued, supported, powerfully contributed to and a sense of belonging.

Hali: I have two: 1. Peace. and 2. yolo (You Only Live Once). Life is short, go for it—whatever it is for you!


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Assist Editor: Sanja Cloete-Jones/Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Image: Flickr}


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