Natasha and Luca are originally from Australia. They first met at primary school, age 10. Although Natasha was more than happy to copy Luca’s math homework, she said he was too tall to be her boyfriend! Many years later they married and set up their home in inner-city Melbourne. They spent the first 4 years of their marriage ticking society's boxes … Natasha worked as a radio journalist and eventually moved into corporate communications and event management, whilst Luca worked as a business banking manager for one of Australia’s largest banks. Overworked, stressed, unhealthy and unhappy, they continued a lifestyle focused on wealth creation, consumerism and toxicity. After a long stressful work week, Friday nights were spent on the couch eating hotdogs in white buns with fries, a bottle of scotch and coke, watching brain numbing television until the early hours of the morning! Weekday evenings after work were often spent in the doctor’s waiting room followed by the pharmacy next door - they were always sick. They also each had unresolved personal issues that were seriously impeding their relationship, mental, emotional, and physical health. Their life lacked passion and fun, they were boring and contributing very little to humanity.
Together, they were quickly spiraling down a dark hole and were on the brink of divorce. In their darkest hour they found comfort in the words “Leap and the net will appear” … they had to regain control of their lives and make changes. They sort help from a wonderful hypnotherapist who was able to get to the root of their individual problems. They had awakened and the healing process had begun.
They decided to ‘un-plug’, leave their jobs, pack up the house and take 1 year off to travel and heal. What started as an extended holiday (coined the “Live the Dream” journey by their family) developed into a year of deep self enquiry, soul therapy, daily journaling, remembering and reconnecting. The year began with a bungy jump in Northern France … a therapeutic and symbolic way to release a whole lot of mental tension and emotional pain. Their travels took them around the world, experiencing so many wonderful things, meeting endless people, it was their “bucket list”. For the last 3 months of that year away, they ended up living at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala, India (http://www.sivananda.org/neyyardam/). Although the entire year had been a journey of soul discovery and heart opening, the Ashram is where their personal and spiritual growth blossomed. It was here that they discovered the peace of Yoga, their heartfelt joy for chanting, their spirits ignite whilst giving to others in selfless service (Karma Yoga), and the need to change their lives on all levels - including what they ate! After a lifetime of heavy meat and alcohol consumption, they converted to a Vegetarian diet after watching the video “Diet for a New America” (http://www.johnrobbins.info/other-books-by-john/diet-for-a-new-america/)
When they left the Ashram and returned to Australia, they were completely different people and no longer fit into the narrow minded heartless box they once lived in. Luca replaced his black suit and cufflink shirts with Ali Baba Yoga pants and Natasha switched her high heels for flip flops. With their marriage back on track, health improving and a new spark for life, they longed for more self creation.
After only 4 months in Melbourne, they sold their belongings on eBay, re-packed their bags and headed off for another adventure. They spent the next 2.5 years living in Thailand and traveling through Asia and South Africa. One of the most life changing experiences of this journey was their continuing of Karma Yoga as volunteers, which included working with abused and abandoned children, street kids, disabled adults and blind children at the Father Ray Foundation in Pattaya, Thailand (http://www.fr-ray.org/en/get-involved/volunteer-programs/) … caring for orphaned babies at The Pattaya Orphanage (www.thepattayaorphanage.org) … teaching English at a secondary school for underprivileged children in rural Thailand …. and volunteering in Durban, South Africa with abandoned HIV/AIDS babies (www.shepherdskeep.org.za/).
The call to teach Yoga was strong, and they completed their Yoga Teacher Training course in 2010 in Thailand. They went on to work at renowned Yoga retreat centers in Thailand, India and Spain as Yoga teachers, meditation guides, Reiki practitioners, Detox Consultants (colon cleansing), Vegan, Raw and nutritional educators, guest liaisons, and kitchen hands.
During this period, one of the most significant changes they made in terms of their physical health, spiritual growth and service to all beings, was their transition from Vegetarian to Vegan. After watching a life changing speech by an animal rights activist (http://www.adaptt.org/), they realised the connection between all beings and between Yoga and Veganism. They use this profound realisation to educate others about the connection and create a world of compassion.
Their passion for food has led them to become quite handy in the kitchen and they enjoy educating their students about nutritious and practical Vegan and Raw food.
They are now based in Ecuador where they commune with nature, volunteer at an organic farm, enjoy making a mess in the kitchen as they experiment with their love for Vegan and Raw food, teach Yoga and try to learn Spanish. They start each day with a chlorella and coconut water drink and serve their dinner singing “Hare Krishna” so as to infuse their food with loving energy and gratitude. Their abundant new life has brought them Love Truth Joy … this is now their humble gift to you.