Meet Our Ambassadors: Cindy Mergen

Name: Cindy Mergen


Social Media Account of Choice: @cindy_loohuuimage1


Your Home base: Fort Collins, CO (mountains, craft breweries, and bicycles, oh my!)

Where does your yoga story begin?In a basement yoga studio in downtown Springfield, MO when I was 12 years old. My mom took me to yoga class with her (thanks, Mom!).

What got you hooked?
Lavender-scented eye pillows during savasana. I was 12, okay?! Also, like so many teenagers, I was awkward and uncomfortable in my own skin, and yoga encouraged that connection to my body, self-acceptance, and sense of belonging that I so needed and craved.


Tell us one weird/interesting fact about yourself:
My latest obsession is Buti yoga. It combines yoga, plyometrics, tribal dance, and lots of booty shaking! Sure, it's not the most traditional yoga, but it connects me to the divine feminine within and makes me glow. Every woman (and man, for that matter!) deserves to feel that connection.


What do you love the most about traveling?

FREEEEDOOOOMMM!!! Exploring, indulging curiosity, connecting to humanity. Where would you most love to travel and why?IMG_6593

I would love to travel to Thailand. All of my adventures thus far (16 countries and counting!) have been to either Latin America or Europe. I want to experience a side of the world that is completely foreign to me. Plus, I wouldn't mind living on coconut water and pad Thai for a few months...I would balance out my all-noodle diet with plenty of yoga!


If you were stuck on an island with only one thing, what would it be?

My adventure partner for life--my boyfriend Josh! He's damn good at building fires and bringing me joy, and that sounds to me like more than enough for us to thrive and live it up! I'm imaging that life would be like the movie "The Beach" before Leo goes insane. ;)


What’s your number one piece of advice for someone just getting into yoga?

Just keep practicing! It doesn't matter what kind of yoga you're doing, or if you go to the most popular studio in town or practice in your living room. Everyone has different needs, so if it feels therapeutic to your mind, body, and spirit, then you're doing it right. Keep practicing.


Anything else?
Yeah--Yoga Travel Tree is the epitome of AWESOME! I'm so grateful to be part of this community of yoga-loving adventure addicts. <3

Meet Our Ambassadors: Dana Day

Name:  Dana Day Social Media Account of Choice: Instagram, @_dday_

Your Home base:  Dahlonega, Georgia

Where does your yoga story begin?

I have been interested in learning yoga for as long as I can remember.  As a child, I always sat in lotus position because my ankles would painfully press into the ground in “Indian style”.  I also taught myself to do a tripod headstand, and then combined the two for shock value.  This became my childhood party trick.

I bought a yoga mat along with a box set of cards with yoga poses on them.  For 7 years, I kept thinking “one day I will learn to do yoga and use these”.

After reading “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, I started evolving into a bit of a nutrition health nut. My Aunt and my Grandmother were battling breast cancer, recovering from double mastectomies and going through chemo treatments. Could nutrition be the key for me to avoid this? I would rather lean the odds in my favor just in case.unnamed  Through researching nutrition, overall wellness and general healthy lifestyle practices, yoga seemed to be a repeating theme.  Yoga embodied physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual wellbeing. Yes! This is what I needed! I bought a yoga book.  It sat on the shelf next to those asana cards for 3 years.

One day this past summer, I was browsing on Instagram and came across a photo of a headstand. I clicked around and discovered that there were people sharing their yoga journeys. Something clicked and I finally pulled my mat out of the closet and knocked the dust off my book.  I posted a photo of myself doing a headstand and was amazed at the response on IG from fellow yogis.  I began reading and learning asanas and have practiced yoga every single day since then.  That was 5 months ago.


What got you hooked?

The way my body and mind felt after my first real home practice was unbelievable.  I could not wait to practice again!  Plus, the positive encouragement from the IG yoga community was so unreal.  I felt like I had found “my people”.  I joined my first IG yoga challenge and learned so much! The hosts of the #ShiftYourPractice challenge were basically my first yoga teachers. Their insight into each asana and the way they gave individual positive feedback really showed that they were truly passionate about yoga and sharing their knowledge.  I am honestly amazed and in awe every single day when I look at my IG newsfeed. The yogis I have connected with, new students and seasoned teachers are all so inspiring.


Tell us one weird/interesting fact about yourself:

unnamed-1If I have to drive an hour or more, I wear a knee brace on my right knee.  I had knee surgery on my left knee and did not notice much improvement and the rehabilitation was excruciating, so I never had the surgery on my right knee. They take turns aching or giving me problems, so one day you may see a knee brace on the right knee and a few weeks later, a knee brace on the left.


What do you love the most about traveling?

I see beauty and art in everything so when I visit a new place I am in serious sensory overload.  The best is the sense of change and heightened awareness I feel upon leaving and returning home.  Every trip leaves its mark.


Where would you most love to travel and why?

A few places that immediately come to mind are the Red Wood Forrest, the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Machu Picchu and anywhere where I can see the amazing Aurora Borealis.  However, as much as I would love to visit all those places, the number one place I want to visit is the Ancient Egyptian pyramids. The Ancient Egyptian civilization has fascinated me since I was a child and still does. I cannot even imagine the connection I would feel to the spiritual energy surrounding the Egyptian pyramids.


If you were stuck on an island with only one thing, what would it be?

Easy!  My fiancé. He is a fearless survivalist outdoorsman.  We make a good team so I am confident we could not only survive, but actually thrive.  In a literal sense, some sort of machete or large knife.


What’s your number one piece of advice for someone just getting into yoga?

Please do not give up or delay starting because you feel like “I can’t do that” for whatever reason. It is just an excuse and you CAN do it.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  Yoga is for everyone. No matter your age, your size, or your flexibility level, you can practice yoga.   There are preparatory poses you can practice before moving into more advanced asanas.  There are also modifications and variations of poses for each comfort level.  You should be smiling, having fun, and listening to the limitations of your body to avoid injury. Please do not compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20. Just focus on your journey and before you know it, you will blow your own mind! The main thing is to start and keep going!


Anything else?

Never let anyone or anything steal your joy.  The choice is yours.