Happy 2019 everyone! Today I'd like to share an interview I conducted with one of our former retreaters as part of our Yoga Unites Us series. She is an incredibly inspirational woman named Luanne Rullestad, who came on retreat together with her daughter, Emile, and who is so bravely sharing her story of personal transformation and growth as inspiration for us all.
Going on retreat is often the catalyst for a major life change, or an ideal way to celebrate life together with a loved one and with a like-minded community in a positively empowering, life-affirming way. In Luanne's case it was both.
Tell us more about you? Who are you, what do you do for a living, where are you from?
My name is Luanne, I am the mother of two extraordinary daughters and co-author of the book titled "Mom as of July." A true story of a mother's journey through addiction, homelessness, faith and love.
How would you describe your life and lifestyle?
My life today is filled with blessings. I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. I live within 30 minutes of both of my daughters, in the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas. I spend time working to promote our story in recovery centers, helping families bridge the gap of hope in restoring families burdened by addiction. I also enjoy playing, swimming and laughing with my 7 year old grandson.
If you could change anything about your present lifestyle, what would that be and why?
One thing I would change about my present lifestyle is getting up earlier so in order to enjoy a fuller day.
Can you share with us more about your yoga journey / background… What got you started, with who, and how has that experience been progressing for you?
I started with yoga 3 months after spending 40 days in Mercy Hospital, dying from liver failure.
Both of my daughters arranged a private yoga class for us. After one class I joined the studio and went to 1 1/2 hours of hot yoga 3 times a week. I know with out any doubt, this is what healed my internal organs and of course renewed my mind.
I love yoga to this day. Medically, mentally and spiritually this practice saved my life.
If you met someone who had never tried yoga before, how would you describe it to them? In other words, what is yoga to you?
Yoga to me restores life, joy, peace, balance, health. A true and powerful connection to my inner self. I highly recommend yoga to everyone.
What was the reason you wanted to go on a retreat?
Coming to the retreat was a dream come true and a very gracious gift from my daughter Emily. I was sick for many years and she kept a dream and a vision alive in her heart that she and I would go to a yoga retreat together one day. An impossible dream it seemed due to the condition of my daily deteriorating health.
So, the retreat to Croatia was a miracle for us and an extraordinary experience.
Have you been on a retreat before; if so where and what was it like for you?
This was the first yoga retreat I had ever been on. My experience was more than invigorating and amazingly blissful at the same time.
I plan to go on more yoga retreats in the future. This experience will be a hard one to top.
How did you choose to retreat at Suncokret and what inspired you most while here?
Emily did all the research and through website information and asking people questions about Croatia she found this most magical and enlightening place on earth.
What was your favorite spot on the island and why?
My favorite spot on the island was the home style retreat.
I loved the comfort of the stone home, the beauty of the nature and scenery surrounding it, I loved the birds and the animals freely roaming, the history and the incredible all natural homemade meals from the surrounding gardens and farms and the precious, intimate time I spent there with my daughter, Emily.
If you had one message that you could share with the rest of our readers, what would that be?
Today we are sharing our story with the world. Bringing radical hope that every lost loved one can find their way home.