Tamara’s review (New York):
“Dear Dina and Denis, thank you so much for this amazing tour. We didn’t just see new interesting places, we got an opportunity to learn a lot of things spiritually as well. We got a chance to escape the daily commotion and witness a beautiful world, full of untainted thoughts and possibilities. The morning yoga session under Denise’s guidance has opened a new great potential of the body and spirit deep within us. The mineral hot springs that we got to enjoy both in the morning after yoga sessions and at night after hiking the mountains all day have allowed us to keep our minds and bodies powerful, yet relaxed. Out expectations for this trip were high, but the reality has surpassed all expectations. A big thank you to Katya and Lena. We have learned a lot from them. A big thank thank you to all the young participants of this tour. They amazed us all with their imagination and bravery…”
Dina Ostrovsky’s review:
“The Thanksgiving tour (November 23rd-28th, 2012) was very unusual for me — out group consisted of 5 adults and 5 teenagers. I was slightly afraid of this tour: my daughter left the teenager stage 10 years ago, my memories of that time were not all too pleasant, and I simply had no clue on how to negotiate with the younger generation. And then there’s the tour’s program, with all kinds of «esoteric» activities — yoga, qigong, shamanic rituals. How will this gang of teenagers react? Everything turned out to be simple and fun — mostly due to my partner on this tour, Danesh. He became fast friends with the children and everything went perfect — both teenagers and adults were very happy.
I was amazed at how interesting and fun working with teenagers turned out to be. They are so lively and open. I’ve decided that yogis are like eternal teenagers — we are always in a state of transformation, a bit imbalanced and always hoping that enlightenment will come and everything will fall into place. And we are always looking for the perfect love :) Also, we are somewhat a little afraid of the «normal people» world, but still hope that sooner or later we’ll get to play an important part in it :)
After the moms and kids left (school was back in session), the remaining adults set out towards Sedona.
Sedona, the dearly beloved, a place where the surrounding beauty takes your breath away. A town softly integrated into the red cliffs, a blue sky, great weather every day — Sedona is a microclimate with its own unique and graceful vegetation. Probably the only place where “vortexes” (places with a high concentration of healing energy) are marked right on the official city map. First time I came here was 10 years ago, and since that time Sedona became one of my main teachers — I learn from the harmony, balance and beauty of this place, it’s ability to connect nature and people. This town has also gifted us with a great friend and a team member: Mario Blackwolf, a Native American shaman.”
“I’m not afraid to say, this trip has left one of the strongest impressions I’ve ever had. I am deeply grateful to Dina, and all the adventurers from the East Coast that decided to visit a unique place that is not a part of the California’s «standard tourist package». Perhaps the little known status is for the better — laying in a pool of hot mineral water every morning and night, I always thought: “it feels so amazing to lay under this starry sky and in this invigorating, lively water alone with myself, or with close friends.”
And speaking about the surrounding atmosphere — it was truly invigorating and healing. For example, I got completely healed from an ear infection that wasn’t letting me hear properly and has been causing a lot of troubles for over a month.
Working with teenagers turned out to be a real joy. When I saw with my own eyes the transformation of these “children” into young warriors, and how they escaped the confines of ordinary consciousness to find themselves completely captivated by the magic of nature, my guide’s heart was smiling a big 33-tooth smile.
As if by chance, without tension, we all got into ball games, breathing exercises and Kung Fu practices. The latter was learned so quickly and with such enthusiasm that they started sparring with me and eventually «took me down» at the bottom of «Bobby Crater» canyon. Fortunately, I was brought back to life afterwards and charged with exuberant, youthful energy.
In the same manner, through playing and with zero pressure, we lucked out and got the kids into healthy eating: they showed great interest in learning to make nori rolls, kind of like sushi, but stuffed with fresh salad, avocado, kimchi, cucumbers and bell peppers. The only thing missing was goat cheese — the finishing touch in this recipe of Hawaiian hippies. But even without cheese, the new snack was so popular that the kids started asking their parents to feed them healthy food. The parents agreed with great delight.
I’ll never forget the morning Kundalini Yoga sessions with Lucy and Tamara, which, with tenacity comparable to that of the desert-dwelling bedouins, showed up for meditation and yoga at 6am on the dot each morning.
And that oasis with date palms that we visited, swimming in a wonderful river mysteriously flowing through the desert…dinner at a French restaurant, such an uncommon fixture for these parts…an extreme trip into a mystical valley of moving rocks — several hours on a road that seemed to be made for tank drivers and chess players.
All of these memories will forever remain a part of me. But the things that I remember the most are the feeling of mutual interest, trading of life experiences and hours spent captivated, in the company of new friends. This trip really became a personal transformation experience, just like our “merry wizard” Dina, may she be healthy and happy, has promised.
I hope the adventure will be continued!”