Hi Linda and Larry! We're so excited to host your first ever Croatia and Suncokret retreat weeks this May! Tell us a little more about who you are and what you do... what else do you do besides teach yoga, mindfulness, tai chi, and qigong?
Linda Cammarata, RN, RYT: In addition to teaching yoga, qigong, and mindfulness skills, I have a long-standing professional background as a registered nurse, with extensive experience in healthcare management and in preventive medicine education, with a specialty in natural sleep recovery. Several years ago, with my husband Larry, I co-founded Mindfulness Travels, an educational organization that hosts mindfulness-oriented retreats in beautiful, inspiring places around the world. I’m the director of the company, which keeps me focused on choosing retreat locations that offer our participants a wonderful space for learning and practicing mindful movement skills, cultural immersion, adventures in nature, time for personal restoration, and of course…great food! I’m also a professional singer-songwriter.
Larry Cammarata, Ph.D.: In addition to teaching qigong, tai chi, and mindfulness, I’ve been a practicing licensed psychologist for over 30 years, specializing in mindfulness-based psychotherapy and mind-body medicine. In addition to my psychology practice, I write about topics related to mindful movement, sleep health, communication, and mindfulness; my writings on mindful movement have been published in magazines, a fitness journal, and a book. I’m passionate about mindful movement, and have made presentations to national and international conferences on this topic. I also have a background as a professional musician and performance artist, and always enjoy musically collaborating with Linda.
We both enjoy exploring nature, art, music, film, and new cultures. When we’re not travelling, we can often be found hiking around the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding our home in Asheville, North Carolina. We enjoy bringing supportive communities of open-hearted people together.
Wow, I love the diversity of your backgrounds and how they blend so beautifully together through your combined retreat work! What do you most hope retreat attendants will gain by attending your event at Suncokret this May?
We hope that our guests will gain knowledge and skills that will support them in feeling an uplifting sense of what it means to be alive and free from self-imposed limitations. We often refer to this sense as “vitality” and “joy”, although words are not enough to convey the meaning of these qualities. That’s why we focus on mindfulness of the body as a vehicle for creating peace, ease, and joy in relation to self and others.
Why would attending your particular event be beneficial to the participants who join?
Participants at our retreats come away with greater self-acceptance and compassion, an appreciation for the beauty of nature, an enthusiasm for the practices of mindfulness, qigong, and yoga, an expansion of their understanding about what it means to be truly—and realistically—mindful, and ways to integrate mindfulness into their lives to advance their professional and personal development as it applies to health, wellness, and rewarding relationships.
Is there any ideal way retreat participants can better prepare themselves for their retreat time with you?
Yes…we recommend that participants contemplate upon an intention for their time with us. It can be as simple as learning ways to relax or more existentially complex as in, “what do I want to do with my life?” or “what’s holding me back from…?” Ideally, participants will “let go” of preconceived ideas about the retreat and show up with a “beginner’s mind”; that sort of mindset most always contributes to the many blessings that are received when the mind and heart are open.
At the end of the event week, what is the one thing you hope retreat participants will walk away feeling?
The word that comes to mind is “connected”. Our retreats facilitate an experience of appreciation for your life, a sense of joy about being alive in the present moment, and a willingness to compassionately care for your self, others, and the planet
“I have had the opportunity to join Larry and Linda for more than one of their Mindfulness Retreats with and without a third facilitator. Each retreat has been remarkable. Facilitators are at the top of their fields. There are opportunities to expand one’s inner work and/or clinical practices, relish a spirit of adventure, and enjoy cultural immersion and appreciation. Lovely accommodations are chosen thoughtfully to support the overall intentions of the retreat. Culturally inspired gourmet meals are served. Because retreatants typically share some common values, a supportive sense of community emerges. You will be graciously welcomed whether you are traveling alone or in the company of companion(s). I travel alone and have roomed with kind and thoughtful people.” - Solo Female Traveler
We're very excited to be welcoming you to Suncokret this May! Thanks again for taking the time to shed light on your backgrounds and retreat intentions with our readers. Namaste!