Kalani Honua Blog

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ali Slous

"Yoga is the study of balance, and balance is the aim of all living creatures. It is our home" - Rolf Gates

How do you find balance?
The autumnal equinox marks a powerful shift in the cycles of time, heralding the transition from summer to fall in the Northern Hemisphere and winter to spring in the Southern Hemisphere. No matter where you live on the planet, day and night are experienced as equal. This energy reminds us: everything in nature returns to balance.

In our yoga practice, we can honor this turning point by attempting a balancing pose, such as Vrksasana (Tree Pose). As we emulate the tree, growing our roots down into the earth, strengthening our trunk, and reaching our branches up to the sky, we proclaim our place in this universe. Part cosmic being and part earthly mammal; our existence is at once both a mystery and a miracle.

The tree also reminds us that for everything there is a time and a season. In spring, the tree flowers, and in fall, she lets her leaves go and prepares for the winter season ahead. Likewise, everything we experience in life has a natural beginning, middle, and end. The more we approach life's natural transitions with equanimity and even joy, the easier we grow.

Ka Lā Hiki Ola - The Dawning of a New Day 

Ka lā hiki ola is a Hawaiian phrase that translates as "the dawning of a new day." As explained in Rosa Say's 19 Values of Aloha, ka lā hiki ola invokes a sense of hope and optimism for the future. The word hiki itself means "can do" - a powerful affirmation that a positive outlook generates positive results. According to Say, ka lā hiki ola is often coupled with kēia manawa - meaning here and now. Together, these concepts imply that the promise of a bright and abundant tomorrow can only be harnessed today. 

Our lives are set against a backdrop of constant change. Each day, we are given another opportunity to practice creating balance with hopeful anticipation for a bright and fruitful future. 

- Ha'wina Hawai'i is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -


Monday, September 28, 2015

Tiki DeGenaro

Aloha, ‘Ohana,

For those of you I haven’t met yet my name is Tiki and I serve as Kalani’s General Manager. I came as a volunteer 9.5 years ago and my anniversary as Gen Mgr is coming up on seven years in a couple weeks. Welcome and a big “e komo mai !” to the new members of this community. We are so pleased to share our community and retreat center with you. My advice is usually “This place is awesome, be sure to try everything!” But I’d like to add to this: I’d like to invite you to enjoy yourself, make the most of it, really get into it, make it count, and experience the gift of service which will support any path you seek. To me, it’s a blessing to live in this jungle paradise as the back-drop for the opportunity to grow, to learn, to share, and to increase your relationship to yourself and to nature, which for me is a great teacher. Living in community is a vibrant, dynamic setting and it brings both challenges and growth as we have learned, we are all reflections of each other.

Tiki in 2009

On Friday, September 18th - all Kalani Board members voted to have me play the role of interim Executive Director for one month as we re-group to continue to serve our community, ourselves, and retreat center. I am honored to play this interim role, I will give it my heart and soul, but I have no intentions to apply for this position. Along with the Board, I will soon plan the process for filling this position. A favorite quote by CS Lewis applies to this time - “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis Those words: “IMUA” -- move forward, it’s always been my favorite Hawaiian word. One of the projects in the future is to have a new meeting space, not only for classes and events but for performing arts and its name will be “The IMUA Center”. To me, it’s an affirmation of life, it’s an affirmation of the gratitude for life that we are given with the gift of each breath, each heartbeat, to move forward. But how do we move forward with gratitude for this life? To move forward is to move forward in aloha, with compassion, faith, hope, and trust. I believe that our community is all committed and are re-committed to being one ‘ohana and supporting each other and doing our best to move forward.

Tiki this last September, 2015 celebrating her birthday

I once asked someone who was here for many years: “If for whatever reason you left Kalani, what would be the ONE – just the one thing you’d miss the most?” His answer surprised me but when I thought about it I realized it was true and it was wonderful. He said “The one thing I’d miss most is watching the tremendous experience, the tremendous change a person experiences here at Kalani in just one week.” In just one week. We are so fortunate, we have more than just one week, we have many weeks or many months or many years to bask in Kalani Honua, this heaven-on-earth. I’m reminding myself and all of you to enjoy, to give, to share, to be the best you can be, and to live and experience aloha, a way of living a love-filled life. So, my dear community - mahalo for letting me share, let’s help each other remember, and let’s IMUA, move forward in aloha.

Tiki Degenaro


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stephanie Juris

So you’ve "found yourself here." Here meaning - Kalani, one of the ten best yoga retreats in the United States. Congratulations – Kalani’s expansive campus provides an inspiring environment to educate, grow, and learn while exploring one of the world’s most exotic tropical islands. 

Hawai‘i Island – known to some as “the healing island” - will transform your life by revitalizing your appreciation for history, culture, and nature. Take some time to experience Hawai‘i Island’s most breathtaking destinations, while renewing your mind, body and soul. Here's a few of our favorite destinations to explore:

• Love floating amongst tropical fish in stunning turquoise bodies of water? You'll love it even more when you discover that the Kapoho Tide Pools are a 20-minute ride down the Red Road from Kalani. There's a myriad of bright fish hiding in the coral, so you'll want to rent some snorkel equipment ($5) from Guest Services. The area is open to the public and you'll want to spend at least a couple hours exploring the ocean. The Hawaiian name, 'Kapoho', means 'the depression' referring to the many salt-water filled depressions (tidal pools). The inviting, clear waters are floored with lava rock, so watch your step! 14-5134 Alapai Point Road Kapoho, HI 96778

• Dance to the beat of your own drum at Ecstatic Dance. E-dance is an amazing opportunity to give gratitude through movement. You'll be invited to open your heart and mind as you move your body to the transformational beats of Kalani’s spectacular guest DJs. The community dances together every Sunday from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. Kalani, 12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho Beach Road Pahoa, HI 96778

• You'll hear the phrase, "E Ho Mai" pretty often, which is the local way of saying: "Let it come, let it flow." Visit Uncle Robert's Awa Bar in Kalapana on a Wednesday night and learn how Pele's lava flow created a remarkable shift from fear to gratitude, for the locals. In 1990, Kalapana was devastated by lava flow, destroying over 180 homes. Remarkably, the land on which Uncle Robert's stands was left untouched. Uncle Robert and his family decided to open up the property to visitors as an offering of appreciation to local farmers, merchants, and guests. See the powerful black lava fields and walk out to Coconut Beach by day – then, return on Wednesday nights for dancing, live Hawai‘ian music, and celebration! Come hungry and sample brick-oven pizza or local BBQ, followed by  a relaxing kava to slow down to island pace. There is plenty of ono kine (good food) to be enjoyed! End of Hwy 137, South End of Kalapana-Kapoho Road, Kalapana, HI 96778

The abundant offering of fresh, local food and handmade crafts at Hawai‘i's farmers markets will have you feeling like you've won the lottery. Hawai‘i's markets are often referred to as the "gems of the island," where you'll get an opportunity to support farmers, mingle with the locals, and taste some of the local fare. Lucky for you, the Big Island has a different market nearly every day of the week! A few highlights include:

Hilo Farmer's Market, Wednesdays and Saturdays 6:00 am - 4:00 pm

Come out and support the community! Market favorite? The Thai food! Make sure to grab a dish for lunch; the green papaya salad with toasted peanuts is a local favorite. Corner of Kamehameha Avenue and Mamo Street

Maku‘u Farmers Market, Sundays 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Try the "Raw Vegan Cashew Shake." Seriously. Prepare to be amazed at how delectable something so healthy can be. You'll be energized with super food nutrients for hours; it's the perfect post yoga treat! Keaau-Pahoa Bypass Road Pahoa, HI 96778

Outer Space Farmer's Market at Uncle Robert's Awa Club, Saturdays 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

Roberts, there are plenty of vendors selling artwork, clothing, delicious kombucha on-tap, handmade jewelry, and ono food. End of Hwy 137, South End of Kalapana-Kapoho Road, Kalapana, HI 96778

• At the base of some rocky cliffs, and behind a hedge of coconut trees lies Kehena Beach. About a mile and a half from Kalani, Kehena is known for its black sand beach, welcoming community and fabulous Sunday drum circles. Kehena was voted one of Island Magazine's, "Top 10 Secluded Beaches". If you're looking for a magical setting for yoga, come early for sun salutations. Ditch your mat and feel the black sand beach beneath your feet. Make sure to keep eye out for dolphins and whales! Mile Marker 19, Hwy 137 Pahoa, HI 96778

• Body surfing anyone? Head to Pohoiki Bay! Pohoiki’s black sand beach is perfect for soaking up some sun, snorkeling, and testing the surf. Soothe any sore yoga muscles with the healing waters. The current may be strong, so use your best judgment before diving in. 13-101 Kalapana Kapoho Beach Road, Pahoa, HI 96778

• Many say the diversity of scenery during Kilauea Iki's 3-mile hike is "otherworldly." The trek takes you through an ancient rainforest and across a newly paved lava-crater then back through the rainforest. Stop along the trail for some crater meditation that will have you feeling grounded and rooted. Take a picnic lunch and a group of friends, this is an experience to not be missed! Kilauea Iki Crater Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i 96778

• Hawai‘i is home to some of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls, and Akaka Falls is definitely one of them. Enjoy a self-guided 0.4-mile hike (though it's more like a moving meditation) through lush, tropical vegetation. You'll come face to face with bamboo groves, ferns, and wild orchids within the rainforest before you get to the 442-foot Akaka Falls. The only cost is the $1 parking fee, which goes toward maintaining the pristineness of the park. Take a journal; once you see the falls you'll be overcome with inspiration. Akaka Falls State Park Honomu, HI 96728

Hawai‘i and yoga go hand-in-hand, and you'll be amazed at the diversity both offer. Let nature be your guide as you discover what lies in the island’s abundant gardens, cultural sites, delicious food, and community. Deepen your practice as you discover more about yourself through the magic of Hawai‘i.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Ali Slous

"We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released." - Jean Houston 

Do you practice self-care? 

Rather than attend to our individual needs, we often deplete our energy reserves fulfilling others' demands to gain approval. When we go into approval-seeking mode - completing an action in order to receive praise or reward - we reinforce to the universe that we are somehow incomplete; that we need something outside of ourselves to feel good. The effects of this pattern are cumulative over time, creating a well-being "deficit" and holding a pattern of lack in place.

Thankfully, this deficit can be addressed with a simple yet profound solution: self-care. Self-care requires us to know ourselves deeply and to identify our own needs. This can be challenging for those of us who are natural caregivers. We may inquire: What are my needs? How can I ensure that the wells of my mind, body, and spirit are filled?

We can (re)embark upon our self-care journey by asking these questions and then paying attention to the answers that follow - in inspired thoughts, conversations, and in nature - all part of a living mirror that reflects the information we seek. We may also gain clarity around the very patterns that prevent us from feeling our best; but do not be deterred. Consciously recognizing these detrimental patterns is the first step to dissolving them. 
Ultimately, we must shift into a space of abundance to magnetize what we want, including radiant health and well-being. This begins when we realize: only when we are nourished on our deepest internal levels, are we able to serve others to our highest ability. 

Ha'awina Hawai'i • Ninau - To Ask Questions

Ninau is a Hawaiian word that means to inquire or ask questions. In La'au Lapa'au - Hawaiian Healing - ninau is considered one of several methods that apply to the healing process, including akaku(intuition) and nana (observation). According to local healer and plant medicine expert, Kumu Dane Kaohelani Silva, ninau is one of the seven Hawaiian ways of knowing. 

As we contemplate self-care, we can invoke ninau, asking questions with an inquiring mind and a curious spirit. Try harnessing your innate healing ability by closing your eyes, visualing a triangle and seeing your radiantly healthy and happy self at the center. 

- Ha'wina Hawai'i is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stephanie Juris

Even as I sit down to write this blog piece, my inner-critic is already having a field day -

"You're writing an article telling people to be vulnerable? What gives you the right? Who made you an expert at giving people advice when you can't even take care of yourself?"

My inner-critic and I have a really close relationship, we thrive on two things; insecurities and poor self-worth. I've realized that I want to change all this and I'm desperate to find a way how. Even over the last few years I've become closed-off and guarded. Even my close friends I keep at a distance; I seldomly break down and if I do, I feel exposed and uncomfortable.

I recently returned to Kalani, my happy place, my island in the sun. I figured that maybe it was my East Coast life that was hardening my spirit. A trip back to the space I love so much would open my heart. And it has. In ways that I could not foresee.

I became sick shortly after arriving. My usually-healthy self played host to a slew of different (and scary) bacterias; soon I was taking more wellness days then I had, collectively, in previous years. I broke down in meetings with leadership, cried in my tent, cried to my mom, cried to anyone who would watch me cry. I felt confused, hopeless, and lost.

Taking antibiotics, having to stay in seperate housing, not being able to swim, all had a direct impact on my mood. I felt like maybe I've made a wrong choice in coming back, that maybe these sicknesses are a sign that I'm not meant to be here.

Timing couldn't have been more perfect. I joined a workshop faciliated by our Personal Development Manager focusing on Brene Brown's TED talk on vulnerability (now, as I'm typing this, I have goosebumps, I'm realizing the sychronicities are a little crazy). I started receving support from acquaintences within the community, asking how I'm feeling, if I need anything, holding space for me to just breathe. Over the past few weeks, as my health has come back, I'm noticing that my spark I've been searching for is still a bit dull. I write this post today to trigger that exposed and uncomfortable feeling I spoke of earlier. I'm continuing my, shall we say, personal lesson in vulnerability? 

I've noticed this is a raw time for many - for those who are interested in astrology, we're in a challenging cycle. The Venus Retrograde mirrors our environments to let us see what is going on internally. Really reflect on that one for a second - if you're not happy with what's going on around you, look within yourself. This is a huge opportunity to get to know yourself better. And how do you do that, you may ask? Be vulnerable.

When taking a plunge - don't forget your birthday suit. (Collage by Stephanie Juris)

Have body issues? Get a journal. Write down one thing you love about yourself every day for one week.

In our vulnerability group, one of my issues centered around my discomfort in my physical body - my weight, appearance - the whole package. I have an underlying feeling that I could be better. Instead of sticking to the same rountine of promising to go to a fitness class everyday or to FOR-GOODNESS-SAKE stop eating sugar/gluten/dairy/etc. I decided that I needed to heal inside first. To love myself from the inside out. Writing something that I loved about myself really allowed me to step back and stop dwelling on the negative. What did I write about? The fact that I love the color of my eyes, the way I catch up with people through a hand-written letter, the way I write. After a few days of apprehension, I began to look forward to this process.

Cry. Laugh. Scream. It feels really good.

Feel your emotions and don't hide from them. So often I hear people taking about avoiding negative emotions - anger, fear, anxiety -  and why wouldn't we want to? Avoiding these difficult emotions seems like a great idea, right? They don't feel good, they tend to trigger bad memories that we want to forget or get rid of. However, long term avoidance of emotions does more harm than good - when you avoid being vulnerable to your emotions, you pay the price in the long term by creating unhealthy behavior patterns. I'll put myself in this example:

When I feel stressed, I eat. Almond butter, usually - though any sort of nut butter will do just fine. It's a comfort for me and I can justify it by 'it's a healthy snack,' but it's really just filling an internal void. This pattern does nothing but harm me, it becomes an addiction, and I do it time and time again.

I'm learning to change the pattern. Instead of running to the lanai to grab a mug of almond butter, I'll go for a walk. I'll sing a song on the way to the Point. I'll call a friend and talk. I'm getting out the emotions and replacing the old habits with healthy new behaviors.

Have tangible goals for yourself.

My favorite word lately is 'sustainable.' Allow me to use it in a few sentences -

"Is this sustainable for me?"

"Is this sustainable for my environment?"

"Is this sustainable for the community?"

My goals include:

1. Build a housing structure for myself in the next 10 years.
2. Learn fermentation.
3. Create my own body care products.
4. Live a life that is sustainable.

Sustainable means: is this healthy for me? Is this going to wear and tear on my body/outlook/life/etc.? Is this going to affect how I am able to be of service to those in need? Ask yourself these questions and don't be afraid to start speaking up and building boundaries for yourself. Saying no is the hardest but most rewarding thing sometimes - which leads me to my next point -

Say no.

Being vulnerable means speaking up for yourself and reclaiming your power. Saying "no" can be difficult, but, on the other hand,  saying "yes" when your guidance says "no" leads to resentment and anger. This causes discomfort, drains energy, and is not sustainable in the long run - for all parties involved. This one is short and sweet - just like those two letters. NO.

Ask for help.
We are not mind readers, superheroes, or robots. We are human beings who need help at times. The way we receive this help is by asking, by being vulnerable. There's fear that comes with this:

"What if my request is met with a refusal*?"
"What if I'm ignored?"
"Will I appear weak if I ask for help?

Move through the fear; we are all connected and in need of each other’s support whether we want to admit it or not.

*Remember that people may say no and it's nothing personal.

So my friends, these next few weeks will be about vulnerability whether we like it or not. I implore you to be vulnerable and see what happens. It may feel messy and painful, but I've learned that healing isn't always pretty and sometimes it hurts like hell. I ask you to reach out to others and share space, give a smile, a hug, share a meal with someone new. Branch out of your comfort zone and dive deeper within those scary parts of yourself that have been untapped. The results will be worth it.




Thursday, July 23, 2015

Stephanie Juris

It’s beginning to drizzle as the couple behind Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato, Ashley and Sean, and their friends, Zoe and Phil, pull into Kalani to pick me up for an afternoon of lychee picking. On Hawai‘i Island, we know the rain may only last mere moments; plus it’s a hot day, so I welcome a light shower. Either way, I know that whatever the weather does is unimportant because I’m about to go lychee picking with a car full of new friends. Ashley and Sean moved out to Hawai‘i almost 10 years ago in search of a place that embraced a healthy, local, sustainable way of life. The couple had both been vegan - favoring a plant-based diet - for quite some time, and the tropical abundance of Hawai‘i was becoming more appealing to their discerning palates.

I first met Ashley and Sean in 2013 after spotting the incredibly friendly, tattooed duo at SPACE Market, a weekly farmer’s market at the end of the Red Road in Kalapana. At the time, they were selling soap for local Puna company - Filthy Farm GirlSoon after, Ashley and Sean decided to try selling four flavors of their handcrafted gelato at that same Saturday market (Mint Chocolate Chip, Ginger Turmeric, Chocolate, and Turkish Coffee). A consciously prepared and unique offering, the gelato sold out at a surprisingly quick pace. They returned to the market the following weekend and sold out once again. This continued for a number of weeks until they decided to buy a few more ice cream machines and transition their beloved hobby into a business. Fast-forward to 2015, and the duo has found a market for their signature products all over Hawai‘i Island. And, you can expect big things from them in the coming months - hence Phil and Zoe's presence on our lychee-picking adventure. Another power couple, local filmmakers Phil and Zoe are creating Nicoco’s Kickstarter campaign, scheduled to launch late Summer (don’t worry, we’ll help spread the word as soon as it’s posted!).

Buying, foraging, and supporting local farmers to get Hawaii-local ingredients has always been a part of Nicoco’s mission. Whether it’s sourcing turmeric from a farmer down the road or picking lychee’s off the tree at a friend’s house - you can trust that what’s inside each gelato is not only delicious, but locally sourced.

In the last couple of years, Ashley and Sean have made almost 200 different flavors. The lychees that we’re picking today from their friend, Helio’s farm are going into a batch for tomorrow at Uncle Robert’s night market.

When I visit Uncle's the following night, I can hardly wait to sample the gelato. While I wait in the long line of people waiting to get a scoop, I marvel in how attentive Ashley is to her customers, letting them sample each flavor, never tiring of saying “It’s vegan! We make our gelato with coconut milk!” with a huge smile on her face.

I sample the White Chocolate Pomegranate and the Honey-Peanut Butter. Both flavors are so rich with goodness that they seem more like a thick, healthy smoothie than a gelato. I know that what I’m eating is filled with love and true aloha-spirit, and, of course, names of ingredients I can pronounce! I end up getting the Lychee and Honey-Peanut Butter. It gives me such a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the lychee was made with ingredients that were picked only yesterday from a friend's orchard.

As I bring the gelato back to my friends to sample, they all ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the deliciousness. Luckily, I won't have to wait until Wednesday to get my next gelato fix, because it's available at Kalani's Hale Aloha the future site of fall’s Market at Kalani opening.

Ready for your sample?

Indulge in Nicoco at the following locations:

Big Island Booch, Conscious Culture Cafe, Hilo

Hilo Farmers Market, Saturday

Kalapana Smoothie Shack

The Locavore Store, Hilo

Lucy’s Taqueria, Hilo

Uncle Robert’s Night Market, Wednesday


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ali Slous & Stephanie Juris

Do you dream of a world with access to fresh, local produce and groceries within walking or biking distance? 

The Market at Kalani, a non-profit natural food market slated to open in Fall 2015, will make this dream a reality for Puna residents, many of whom must travel as many as 50 miles round-trip for food and other basic essentials.

2014 was wrought with challenges for the residents of Puna. Although nearly a year has passed since Pele and Iselle delivered two unpredictable natural events to Hawai'i Island - lava that threatened to isolate the region, along with the first hurricane landfall on the island in recorded history - the area is still recovering and initiating new practices to prepare more effectively for the future. 

The Market at Kalani emerged as an idea to help further this effort and continue building Puna as a model for a thriving planet. Upon launch, The Market at Kalani will represent a collective leap forward for the area, currently considered a 'food desert' by the US Department of Agriculture.

Food deserts are defined by limited access to grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers. While Puna is blessed with an abundance of fresh produce due to the proximity of local farms, residents often find themselves behind delivery vehicles en route to farmer’s markets and grocery stores at considerable distances. Currently, the closest full-service supermarkets and wholesalers are located in Hilo, an average of 15-25 miles each way.

“We have taken the charge of leading the effort to open the non-profit market, so that people will have the access to the basic staples that they need to maintain their families right here in Lower Puna." L.J. Bates III, Kalani’s Executive Director shares.

In addition to providing an accessible, affordable, and bountiful food oasis, The Market at Kalani will support Puna resident’s sustainable living practices, delivering food from farm-to-fork at a significantly reduced environmental impact. The availability of fresh food and other essentials within walking or biking distance will be a huge improvement to residents’ quality of life as well as to area visitors and guests.

Utilizing a membership-based model, The Market at Kalani will provide an abundance of locally favored goods and services, contributing to a thriving local economy. Customers of The Market will be treated to farm-fresh organic produce, juices, smoothies, Big Island Coffee Roasters espresso, Tin Shack baked goods, grocery, bulk, hot and cold prepared foods, and frozen items such as Nicoco Gelato. The Market will also create new job opportunities for Puna residents.

Because The Market is a non-profit venture, all proceeds will facilitate the creation of even more enlightening free classes, events, and services at Kalani, many of which are open to the community.

To help bring The Market at Kalani to fruition, local residents and global supporters of the organization are being asked to contribute.

Visit Kalani.com/TheMarket to find out how to support this significant development for Puna and beyond!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Stephanie Juris

Since 2013, Kalani has hosted Troy McPeak's group, "Peak Beings Hawaii Yoga Teacher Trainings, a 200-Hour Registered Yoga School (RYS) Immersion." In each of his seven visits, throngs of aspiring yogis have descended on Kalani’s campus to expand their knowledge of this ancient healing practice. In 2015, Troy will lead his eighth teacher training here at Kalani.

Yoga came knocking on Troy's door while he was working 80-hour weeks as a project manager and engineer on multi-million dollar bridge and highway projects throughout the United States. Upon observing the effect that the stress of his job was having on him, a work colleague suggested trying yoga.

After discovering the rehabilitative potential of yoga, Troy decided to take a break from his career to travel and to deepen his practice. This decision eventually led Troy to thousands of hours teaching and training all around the world. Troy's passion for empowering students and helping them to find a yoga practice that works for them is what he strives to create for each student. When our friend Troy grows up, he says he wants to become a rock star. In our eyes, he already is one.

"Through the (Peak Beings) teacher trainings I am able to help develop and nurture future yoga teachers to go out and change even more students than I ever dreamed of helping. Seeing the graduates from the Unified Yoga Teacher Trainings go out and teach in their community or around the world helps me to fulfill a personal dream of mine. Yoga has helped me so much along my life path to gain physical, mental and emotional strength during my own personal struggles that I can only hope that in some way I can help others to discover the gift of yoga. I am passionate about creating and helping to develop future yoga teachers that are knowledgeable, safe and compassionate with their students and willing to meet them where they are at in their practice."

Many of Troy's students who have come out of the Hatha Vinyasa-style training often refer to Troy as: "The graceful yoga guide who truly emphasizes owning your own practice...Troy models his yoga practice both on and off the mat, an inspiration to us all!"

Are you looking to deepen and explore your own yoga practice? Join Troy for "Peak Beings' 200 Hour Unified Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Alliance RYS)", June 13–July 7, 2015. Troy will also offer trainings in October/November 2015 and January/February 2016.

“Hawaii and the Big Island provide the perfect natural environment to be with oneself. Nature has so much to teach us, if we give ourselves the time to slow down and be with it.”


Monday, May 18, 2015

Ali Slous

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." ~ Socrates

Where are you on your path?

As human beings, we share a common desire to create the best life possible. And because we are so diversely different from one another - lovingly endowed with unique gifts, talents, and abilities - each individual path looks completely different from the next.

When we envision our personal path's unfolding, we may visualize something outside of ourselves - a winding yellow-brick road leading to the promise of an emerald city. We experience periods of positive momentum, when everything is going well and the things we want are falling neatly and miraculously into place. We seem to be on track.

Then, we experience life's "pitfalls"; moments when it seems like everything has gone awry. At these times, it's easy to feel like we have stagnated, backtracked, or even failed, and that we will never achieve our desired outcome. We begin to believe the negative self-talk that bubbles up into our conscious minds, telling us that we have lost our way.

During these experiences, remember: losing your way is simply not possible. In reality, the path cannot exist outside of yourself, because you are the path. Every challenge has been carefully and meticulously designed by you to elevate you to your full potential.

When you fully open to, experience, and, ultimately, transcend your unique challenges, you are freed from past limitation. In this space of surrender, you can invite in the overflowing source of love and abundance that is already yours.

May Ha‘awina Hawai‘i | He'e nalu - Ride the Waves

He'e nalu is a Hawaiian phrase that means "to ride the waves." A natural seafaring people, the Polynesians were among the first to "surf" ocean waves on olos (surfboards), as depicted in ancient petroglyphs carved into stone and lava rock. Surfing was considered not only a recreational practice, but a spiritual art, requiring courage and trust to glide along powerful ocean peaks.

In ancient Hawaiian culture, all kinds of people - including royals and commoners, men and women - took part in this leisurely, pleasurable activity. Surfing was less regarded as a reward for a hard day's work, but as an everyday activity. This reverence for surfing culminated in an annual beachfront celebration, a festival known as Makahiki.

Ancient Hawaiians perceived surfing - a form of play - as an integral aspect of life in the islands. Enjoying the daily pleasures of the Hawaiian Islands' natural gifts was a privilege afforded to all - and it was not contingent upon hard work, suffering, or sacrifice.

As we consciously ride the ups and downs of our life's unfolding, we can embrace the concept of he'e nalu. A nod from our Ancient Hawaiian ancestors, he'e nalu suggests that relaxation, leisure time, and play are essential to our vitality and well-being. And, if nothing else, he'e nalu reminds us, above all else, to enjoy the ride.

- Haʻwina Hawaiʻi is our monthly celebration of Hawaiian culture and language -


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stephanie Juris and Ali Slous

Amid a trifecta of auspicious celestial events - Spring Equinox, supermoon and solar eclipse – a group of world-renowned astrologers descended upon Kalani for The River of Stars Conference to contemplate our place in the cosmos. Among this group of spiritual thought-leaders – such as Maurice Fernandez, Linda Tucker, and Rick Levine (who submitted his widely syndicated horoscopes from Kalani’s Communications Office) – was also Kaypacha, a rising star in a new paradigm of educators, who share information freely through YouTube.

Kaypacha, who has utilized astrology as a healing art for over 35 years, publishes a weekly astrological forecast entitled: “The Pele Report.” Kaypacha’s Pele Report began with a webcam as a playful means of sharing insight with friends and colleagues; it has rapidly grown to captivate a niche audience of individuals seeking inspired guidance to navigate the ongoing global shift in consciousness, as well as budding astrologers. As of now, each forecast garners as many as 50,000 views. Even with the exponential growth of Kaypacha’s following, he still edits and uploads each video himself from wherever his travels take him.
Each video, created outside in nature, includes a breakdown of the week’s astrological aspects along with an authentic sharing of what the energy that week will feel like, and how we can adapt to it. Watching Kaypacha’s videos has become a weekly ritual for his viewers, as they offer a sense of comfort and release, steeped in ancient wisdom. He closes each report with a relatable mantra and signature sign off: “Namaste. Aloha. So. Much. Love.”
We held an intention to synch up with Kaypacha during his visit to Kalani. We were thrilled that the stars aligned for an opportunity to sit down with him in between a packed calendar of event presentations – such as “Painting Your Horoscope” and “Rites of Passage” - personal chart readings, and private workshops. We discovered that this celebrated astrologer’s experience on The Big Island mirrors many of our own experiences of transformation and self-discovery.

Kaypacha’s powerful moniker – an Inca word translated as puma – came through Mother Giamvati - a Brazilian shaman - during an ayahuasca ceremony in Brazil. This rebirth came after an abrupt departure from his then home on The Big Island and set off a sequence of life-changing events that catapulted him into a new identity and role.
In the Inca teachings, the Puma was known as the guardian between worlds and the guide between this world and the next. Preferring to be called Kaypacha rather than his given name, Mother Giamvati  told Kaypacha that practicing his new name would activate its meaning and vibration: mastery of the sensory world.

In his own words - on recieving his spiritual name:

Following his unfolding spiritual path, Kaypacha’s adventure led him to Costa Rica, where he found love and invested in land as part of a burgeoning permaculture community. There, Kaypacha lives his message of sharing resources and encouraging collective consciousness. With representation from 26 different countries, 43 lots, shared community kitchen, pool, yoga space, and gardens, Kaypacha is not only talking about the new paradigm, but fully embodying it.
Kaypacha took a moment to reflect on his returning to The Big Island for the first time since 2012:
In his own words - on returning to Hawai‘i:

Beginning another new personal chapter, Kaypacha shared that where he used to feel like an outsider, he can now be recognized going to get a cup of coffee or traveling through airports en route to workshops and appearances around the world. When we asked him how does he keep up with the demand for the content he creates each week, he replied:

"All I can say is that spirit is definitely behind me, through me, helping me. I live a magical life...When I'm on track, I feel so supported, and I am so blessed, and I am so grateful."

In his own words - on spirit:

With regard to being back at Kalani, Kaypacha adds:
“This place is changing now; it has turned more into a community. That’s very exciting…there’s a lot going on here. This is the leading edge.”
Kaypacha’s teachings remind us on a weekly basis that the new paradigm is no longer created by talking about ideas and information. Rather, we welcome the new paradigm by living it, modeling it, embodying it, leading by example, and, most importantly - sharing our knowledge and wisdom with others. 
And, as for integrating self-care into his globetrotting, content-sharing lifestyle, Kaypacha remarks: “You gotta do your yoga. If you’re not doing your yoga in the morning, something’s wrong.”
To learn more about Kaypacha and to watch “The Pele Report,” visit his YouTube channel or explore The New Paradigm Astrology Cooperative.