Halli here. I am 28 years old. I spent my first 17 years growing up in Santa Rosa, Ca (the northern part of Cali). Just after graduating highschool, I moved down to the sunny beaches of Santa Barbara, CA, just 2 hours north of Los Angeles. First time out on my own, having to make decisions for myself. I remember the first time a friend invited me to go to a Yoga class with her, the childish curiosity flooded over me. “Yoga? Hm…why not?” I immediately accepted this opportunity. 

Next thing I knew, I was popping around yoga studio to yoga studio searching for where I felt most comfortable and challenged at the same time. Most of all of these studios offered faster paced, strength building yoga styles such as Vinyasa Flow, Fit Flow, Core Power, Bikram, Kundalini etc. This was exactly what I was looking for; a way to awaken my body that actually felt good. Running was not good on my joints. Road biking with the Santa Barbara traffic made me nervous. Kayaking and hiking just wasn’t satisfying the need for full body activation. Then the asana practice of Yoga arrived in my life. I ended up becoming a consistent student of a studio that offered Heated Vinyasa Flow style classes with a variety of levels and instructors. Yoga at this point in my life was and always will be what started me on a path to physical awareness and health. I was obsessed. 

About 4 Years down the line, I acquired a lower back problem due to an injury to my L2 and L3. My physical therapy taught me alot about counter muscle groups in the body and the ones that had been receiving less attention. After my injury I decided to start doing my own asana practice at home. I could no longer do what my instructors were asking of me in class, so I figured out a way to still practice without pushing myself too far in one direction. I felt with my own instruction, I could achieve a healthier balance of what my body needed at that time. 

I went on for another 4 years practicing solo, until I arrived at OM at Cashew Hill for a volunteer position in the organic gardens. My attention was grabbed when I saw unfamiliar styles of yoga on the class schedule. My first class was restorative and sound healing. 

“I am just now being introduced to this? After the 8 years I have been on this journey… how healing this is for my mind and body” I thought to myself. 

That is when the spark went off. “I must dive deeper. I must know more about the mystery behind Yoga. I must know more about my body and why I have chosen this path!” Over the next month I was taking 5 classes a week while volunteering in the garden sanctuary at OM at Cashew Hill. The Yoga Teacher Training course posters around the property caught my attention daily. I was planting seeds while also nurturing the ones that had already begun to sprout within me. 

Frightened more than ever to commit and to make a plan, I let my faith take control. I decided not to take the path I had come to Costa Rica in my mind with: a Permaculture Design Course.  Instead, I signed up for the 250 hour YTT Course with Avani and the Caribe Yoga Academy hosted by OM at Cashew Hill. I was not fully certain what my Sankalpas (intentions) were for starting this journey but I knew it felt right and I was inspired and ready to learn. Three days later the course began.