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Creativity isn’t one of those things you can turn on and off like a light. But you can open up your mind to be in the best possible position to promote creativity. For Jana Toepfer, founder of Ocean and Yoga, a series of yoga retreat programs held on the beaches of Portugal, a great way to do it is catching a wave on these breathtaking shores (we don’t really need any arm-twisting to get behind that). After all, a day in salt water has the tendency to be humbling, quieting, and undeniably soul-cleansing.
Ocean and Yoga offers a handful of different retreats, from Panchakarma detoxes (October 2019) to family-friendly yoga getaways for parents and children (July 20–26, 2019). To foster leadership, Toepfer has created a holistic retreat that blends play and purpose. “The aim is to lead a life of creativity, inner connection, and freedom. To drop the unnecessary stories that we’ve written about ourselves at some point,” she says.
The retreat combines leadership coaching workshops with pranayama, asana, meditation, homemade organic meals, and time in sand and sun for the full mind-body experience. Toepfer’s transformative yoga practice primes the mind to open up to learning more about who you are, and in turn, about the inner leader that the program will help empower. Plus, Toepfer is a firm believer in the idea that meditating in nature—such as by an ocean cliffside or on secluded beaches—is twice as easy and twice as effective.
And the surfing? That’s a leadership exercise in itself. The childlike joy you’ll feel among the breakers is meant to reinforce the lessons you’ll learn, and surfing will act as a challenge in courage and stepping outside your comfort zone. Once you tackle a wave and find your inner, fully connected leader, tackling challenges at home or in the office will seem like no big deal at all.
Where: Algarve, Portugal
About the Author
Loren Savini is a writer and editor living in Queens, New York, with her large housecat, Rio. Find her at lorensavini.com.