The Yoga Travel Tree team is lowering the veil and profiling the yogi's behind the company. No more "pay no attention to the yogi behind the curtain" on our end! We're real people with real experiences, passions, and drive - just like you! Meet Brooke Roberts, world traveler, business vixen, smartypants, yogi, and the woman who conceptualized and launched Yoga Travel Tree.
How did you get into yoga?
My first foray into yoga was for a 1 credit class in college. I showed up to the first session at the beginning of the semester…and an hour later I was determined in my hatred for yoga. It felt like a huge waste of time to me then! (But this supports my belief that things, ideas, people, and experiences come into your life when you are ready to receive them with an open heart and mind.)
Anyway, fast forward about five years, when I found myself working on a ship leading 700 college students around the world for five months. One of my friends/colleagues on the ship was leading daily yoga classes on the deck of the ship as we crossed the Atlantic ocean. She finally convinced me to come to one of the classes (after me constantly saying "I hate yoga.") And all of a sudden, during the opening "om" of the class, on the deck of this ship at sunset, somewhere between Brazil and Namibia…yoga became a part of me and I've loved it ever since. It's hard to explain how all of a sudden something clicked in my brain or my heart or my soul or all three… but when you know something and feel it with every ounce of your being, well, that's something you just don't ignore.
Yoga has been part of my daily life since that day.
What's your favorite style of yoga and why?
I love an invigorating heated power vinyasa class. There's something inspiring about feeling the strength of your own body and challenging it in unique ways, seeing the growth, feeling the focus, feeling the power over your thoughts.
But these days, my meditation practice (another form or style of yoga) has taken a front seat to physical asana (though I still love it!). Becoming an entrepreneur and launching my own company as challenged me beyond what I ever thought possible. The amount of self-doubt, worry, financial pressure, frustration, and general overwhelm that comes from a to-do list that never ends is more than I could have ever imagined when I first started working on Yoga Travel Tree last May. My morning meditation practice and daily mantras/intentions have been my saving grace these past 10 months. With just a few minutes every morning, I'm able to breathe and focus on dismissing the thoughts and feelings that do not support my goals and opening my mind to positive thinking and the belief that I CAN DO THIS.
And I must be doing something right if some of the most successful people in the world meditate daily, people like Richard Branson, and Oprah.
Whats your favorite way to travel?
I've always loved to travel via train - and most of that has been in Europe. There's nothing like hours of conversation with friends or fellow random travelers to learn so much about people, places, and ideas. And I've always been really inspired by travel - the process of being in between, of traversing the space between two ends, two beginnings. I always have my most inspired brainstorming, business planning, and thoughtful ideas when I'm traveling - planes, trains, and even long car rides always get my creative genius flowing.
We learn from yoga that the process, the journey, is often more important than the destination. I'm currently working on my own "path to pincha" challenge which involves asanas to strengthen my core, my shoulders, increase my flexibility in my spine, shoulders, and my focus. The "path to pincha" is teaching me so much more than that peak pose likely will. But only time will tell.
If you could travel anywhere on Earth, where would you like to go and why?
I've been all over the world and spent 8 months living in China! Yet, I've never made it to Thailand. So my next trip is likely going to be to Southeast Asia exploring Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.
What's a personal goal you've accomplished in the last year?
Wow. When I started reflecting on this question, I realized that I've accomplished a ton in the past 12 months. The biggest thing would be resigning from my corporate job to start my own company (YogaTravelTree.com). Yep. We're only about 10 months old and still growing and molding exactly what we will be and offer to the yoga community.
But one other accomplishment that most people don't know is that I also lost about 20 pounds from upping my yoga practice, running, and trying to clean up my diet to include less lattes and more green smoothies. And as a result of this, I ran my first (yep, first. I plan to run several more!) half marathon in October. It was amazing to cross that finish line after dedicating to months of training and committing to a goal and seeing it through.
What is one of the most inspiring places you've traveled? Why?
Like I said, it's really hard to narrow down the most inspiring place I've been. Whether it's been amazing food and people in Spain, deep learning when I studied abroad in England, or the service work I've done in Brazil, each place has taught me so much about the world and about my self. But I think the most inspiriting place I've ever visited is Cape Town, South Africa. I was able to do a lot of the touristy things there, but I was also able to do a bit of volunteer work at a school in a local township. While the work we did there was likely just a drop in the bucket of what they need there, I was mostly inspired by the local volunteers and community for the efforts they are putting toward improving the overall nutrition and education of the children. Local efforts are typically the most impactful, and it reminds me of how much I can and should give back to my own local community.
If you want to find your own inspiration, check out our retreats in some of the most beautiful and inspiring places around the world!