Join Autumn Feldmeier For A Retreat In Cuba This Fall
By SF Yoga
We had the incredible opportunity to meet up with one of SF Yoga’s writer's Autumn Feldmeier about her retreat coming up this fall in Cuba.
Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose Cuba for a retreat location?
Cuba has been on my radar for quite a while because of my love for samba, classic cars and architecture. I traveled there in July 2016 with a friend and fell in love with the people and their passion for life! However, I knew it would be difficult to orchestrate a retreat there compared to other destinations. Luckily, a dear friend referred me to an amazing tour guide who led him on a yoga retreat for an Escape to Shape trip. I met him at the end of my first visit and knew that I could pull it off with his guidance. Even now, with the current travel changes in Cuba (our tour guide is licensed with the government and falls under one of the 12 allowed categories of authorized travel- (5) Educational activities (see §515.565), traveling to Cuba requires proper planning and execution. Fortunately, for me, I've made a rare connection which allows me to bring people to Cuba legally, safely and with a local's access.
Why do you love yoga?
My goodness! Where should I start? In short, I was a hard core marathoner who had a rather toxic relationship with my body. I believed in the more is more philosophy, eventually getting injured in the process. Throughout my healing process and the duration of my injury, I found the yoga practice. Yoga healed my soul many times and continues to do so. Whenever I doubt myself or my divinity, yoga reminds me. Even in the difficulties that plague our modern era, it's my saving grace.
We love that there is a SEVA project happening during the retreat? Can you tell us the inspiration behind this project as well as what the SEVA project is all about?
Before I went to Cuba, I connected with Robert Sturman, who is a renowned photographer. He connected me with 'The Godfather of Yoga' in Cuba, known infamously as Eduardo Pimentel. It turns out Eduardo's ex-wife Elsa Hermida works with the Pediatric Ward at Havana Oncology Hospital and currently teaches yoga for both kids and nurses in the hospital. Our SEVA is bringing both art and yoga supplies to her cause.
What would you say are the top 3 reasons to head to Cuba with you this fall?
1. Cuba is a unique place that's changing rapidly and there is no better time than the present to go.
2. Our tour guide is a guaranteed safe and legal way to travel to Cuba (under our current administration)
3. The Cuban people are the sweetest, sexiest, and most gracious people you will ever meet!
What is your hope for people attending this retreat with you?
My hope is that the attendees will unplug (very limited wifi in Cuba) and reconnect with a more grounded, sensual part of themselves. They will rediscover their love for food and movement (one will negate the other!) Also, judging from my last group in May, they will look and feel 10 years younger because their spirit and passion will be revived.
Autumn Feldmeier has spent 12 years as a medical salesperson-working in hospitals, surgery centers even chemotherapy clinics. She has personally seen both the successes and the failures of our medical system. Then, as the result of a bad knee injury that included surgery, she found yoga. Through the yoga practice, Autumn has not only healed her body, but she has found calm through mindfulness practices. Autumn has 400 RYT hours with Bhakti flow yoga teacher Rusty Wells, she has also studied Mysore Style Ashtanga with world-renowned teacher Louise Ellis. her continued study includes greats like Janet Stone, Martin Scott, Mark Morford and most importantly-her 4 1/2 year old nephew. Now Autumn teaches yoga around the world through her retreat business, you can learn more here.