Living Daily Health: A Talk about Fermented Foods with Health Coach Alana Bray Barrey

unnamed-6Where have all the fermented foods gone? What was once a staple in many traditional diets, is close to being extinct in our current food system. Here is Alana Bray, the Holistic Health Coach in our beLiving Well program, discussing the topic of Fermented Foods! And don’t forget to join us for our workshop where you will learn all the details of Fermented Foods, as well as make your own batch to take home!

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Living Daily Health: A Talk With Kristina Kuzmich Bengala


Studio Manager and Co-Founder of the beLiving Well Programs recently shared her 6 minute talk on where to start with Health & Wellness. This short talk offers three simple steps to begin on the path of mindfully living. She plans to keep sharing her insight and knowledge weekly. Look forward to more audio talks to fill your car rides with inspiration and insight!

Check out our next beLiving Well Program starting April 6!


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Our next Yoga Retreat is only two weeks away! This special trip offers two daily yoga practices led by two very well educated and talented instructors, Kristina Kuzmich and Alana Bray Barrey. One of these practices will be an active practice, discovering the mind body connection on a deeper level through guided pranaymana (breath-work) and alignment-based vinyasa, while the other practices will be mellow, delving into meditation, Yoga Therapy, restoration and even yogic philosophy. All too often we forget that the practice of yoga derives from an eight-limbed system, and yoga poses (asana) is just one of the limbs. This retreat will have you learning and understanding the other limbs through our daily interactions with one another, mindful hikes, allowing space for the Self to be seen, unwind and be heard as well as through our health and wellness.
Kristina and Alana are passionate about “living yoga” everyday. Sometimes when we live our yoga in modern day life it can be challenging and may even feel like we aren’t be authentic or true to our nature. Kristina finds joy and feels it is her purpose to help guide others on their mats and in meditation to de-mystify our own self-limiting thought patterns and behaviors. She has been working and guiding people in both fields of fine dining restaurant work and in healing therapies for over 18 years. Kristina is a certifed Masasge Therapist and 500hr E-RYT, as well as a certified SmartFLOW® Yoga Teacher; she holds over 2,000 hours of study in yoga and masasge. She uses the practices of somatic alignment in yoga not as a means to be perfect, but as a way to direct the mind to attention and to find ease and freedom in the body. Kristina says, “this in turn, deepens the mind-body union lending a clearer pathway to the heart – where all our truth derives”. Similar to Kristina, Alana has a passion for others and using the practices of Yoga Therapy, a more subtle and gentler way to access the “yoking” (yoga) of the mind and body. Alana is a Certified Yoga Therapist and Holistic Health Nutritionist. She has been in the field for many years coaching individuals and working with large groups in her yoga studio, as well as on the corporate level. Both of these women together are bundled into our amazing retreat – one not to be missed!
In addition to plethora of yoga activities, talk and love, there will be waterfall excursions, surfing and lessons, cooking classes, dancing and enjoyable afternoons taking in the sun, the breeze and one another.
There are two spots left and we would love to share this experience with you. I know Kristina and Alana are really looking forward to sharing their knowledge and light with you!
Contact alana@yogaboundforlife for booking information!
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My Experience of a Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

unnamed-2By Alana Bray, Owner of Yoga Bound

The day before I went on my first Yoga retreat (of which I was a participant) I wrote in my journal: “Alone in a life I do not recognize”. My father had just suddenly passed away. I was in Costa Rica where he lived, and where he had passed to take care of his unfinished business. I was there grieving, confused, overwhelmed and heartbroken. Something in me made me drop everything and go on a Yoga retreat. My dear friend Colleen flew down to Costa Rica and joined me where we submerged ourselves in a week long Yoga and cleansing food retreat. I learned in this week how to nurture the space of myself through conscious choices toward personal evolution. This was a foreign subject to me. Yet, in that week, my brokenhearted soul learned first hand the healing powers of clean food, rest, yoga, relaxation and meditation. Miraculously, the day after the retreat was over I wrote “I dive deep in the vast ocean that is my independence, my freedom”. Clearly, the emotional, mental and physical experience of this week long Yoga retreat in Costa Rica changed my perspective on my situation. Where before I wrote “someone else chose this for me”, pointing blame and turning away from my grief. After, I was expressing the release and vastness I felt as I turned towards everything that was happening. This shift in perspective was a release ultimately leading me to sustained healing and freedom that came from a profound loss. This important pause in the most overwhelming time of my life was the turning point. I made many important decisions from the information I received on this retreat; decisions which lead me towards continuous growth and evolution to this day. My experience was extreme and I decided to go on a whim. I didn’t analyze how, who or why…I just did. I was drawn to this, and did it, and it was if someone opened my eyes and gave me the answers. Now I can see that it was my soul speaking. If you are magnetized to anything, make it happen. Follow your curiosity. This is for your soul, your bliss, and your heart. My intention is to provide a safe, healing space for renewal, growth, presence and self evolution. My experience in Costa Rica was a game changer, and yours can be too!

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Benefits of Sound Healing

What is Sound Healing?

Journey into the world of Sound Healing!


At long last, science and western allopathic medicine are validating what shamans have known for millennia. Long before history and the written word, music and healing have been inseparable in the practices of shamanic healing and ofmantra as a musical prayer for healing. Contemporary holistic healers, spiritual healers, Reiki masters, shamanic healers, practitioners who work with crystal healingand chakra healing, and with the myriad other aspects of the alternative medicine healing arts: all are increasingly aware that with the introduction of the healing energy of sound, energy healing is catalyzed to potentate their healing abilities and the miraculous touch of their healing hands. Sound healing is increasingly embraced as the oldest, most gentle and most profound method of healing there is.

Whether you call it the Word, om/AUM, or something else, creation stories around the world identify sound as the creative force by which the Divine Sourcemanifested first light, and then the material reality. It follows: that which created all that is can also transform all that is. The unique, deeply relaxing (and therefore healing) benefits of harmonic overtones, which induce the rare state of Thetabrain wave activity while still conscious; the pizo-electric stimulation of meridian linesacupressure and acupuncture points by the vibration of sound (enjoyed in the comfort of your home and without needles); and the alleviation of energy blockages in the chakras as the karma you are ready to release disappears quickly and with minimal effort: all are reported benefits of sound healing with a gifted channel of this energy (testimonials). While we do not recommend ceasing or failing to consult with traditional health care practitioners, we have continuous reports of the work providing relief and cessation of acute and chronic mental, emotional and physical issues (including stress, insomnia, ability to concentrate, various immune system issues, emotional disorders and many more) as well as initiation and/or heightened clarity in direct contact with spirit guides and angels, finding life purpose, spontaneous past-life recall, increased ability to manifest, and MORE.


Join us, Friday, January 30th for “Bronze and Branch” at 7p. Experience deep meditation and enlightenment that comes from the healing vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls, gongs, and didgeridoo. The sacred sounds, of these beautiful instruments, produce a powerful tool to clear, shift and attune our luminous energy body. These ancient musical instruments easily transport you to a place of peaceful awareness where you can become one with the sounds
and vibrations. Classes are held throughout Southern California.

Register here:

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2015: The Year of Living Mindfully


If there was one resolution that could be the umbrella change that shifts the course of 2015, it is learning to live a mindful life. Every New Years resolution has one common purpose; to enhance our life. The idea of being mindful, and living a mindful life has to do with being present and being more conscious as life happens. Just like anything, mindfulness is a habit that is cultivated over time. Why not dedicate this next year as the year of Living Mindfully, and watch all your scattered misfit habits slowly fade into the distance. In holistic nutrition, we have a “crowding out” theory. The principle of “crowding out” suggests that you add more to your diet, instead of taking away. By adding healthy, whole foods, you will crowd out the unhealthy foods. Similar with living a mindful life. Rather than swearing off cheese, sugar, carbs, reality TV, smoking, etc, committing to live a mindful life will evolve your consciousness to be attracted activities and foods that raise your energetic vibration. This attraction, while gradual, will become sustainable. You will see, that once committing to a mindful living practice, all you will have to sustain is showing up for that practice on a daily basis. Over time you will have developed an instinct to be present with life as it happens, and how you choose to respond to everything that is presented to you. Without even trying, your mindful practice will evolve into mindful living. Sarah Varcas says “we do this by honing our focus on how we interpret the events of our lives, the behavior of those around us and the complexities presented each day merely by being human”. Our mindful practices will teach us how to respond vs. react, leading us to a profound sense of self awareness. According to Sara Varcas, “Knowledge about ourselves draws the highest price right now”.

To make it simple as well as sustainable, dedicate each month of 2015 to a different perception of mindfulness, while staying committed to the mindful practices of the month before. To give you some guidance, we have come up with 12 mindful practices for each month that build upon the next.

 January: Begin or commit to a Yoga practice. Yoga is a mindful based, mostly physical practice. Traditionally, Yoga postures were performed daily to prepare the body for a meditation practice. Today, Yoga is in almost every city and populated town. If you can’t find it in your town, there are a plethora of online videos for every level. January is the perfect time to start as many studios have amazing New Year specials, that give you long term packages for discounted rates. At Yoga Bound we are offering $360 for a 6 month unlimited Yoga package. Decide this January to commit to it at least 3x per week and watch your life change before your eyes. You will never understand how you were able to exist without it.

February: In February take up the mindful practice of doing less. Everyone is busy, yet, figure out what is really important and what is not, before you fill your day with numerous tasks. Pick 3 very important things to get done each day, and leave room between each task in your schedule.  If you do less, you can do things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. The quality of how you do things will improve, and you will see yourself connecting to each day in a more present, satisfying and clear way.

March: Commit this month to doing one thing at a time. Single-tasking vs. multi-tasking. The first few days this month you might dedicate to noticing your multi-tasking habits. For example, when you are eating, you notice yourself reading a magazine. Or when you are walking, you find yourself browsing on your phone. Learn this month to follow the zen proverb “When walking walk, when eating eat”.

April: Your mantra for this month is “do it slowly and deliberately”. Notice when you tend to rush through things to get each task over with. As the month begins, what task usually makes you want to rush through it? Whenever you find yourself rushing this month, pause, and take your time with it. Make your actions deliberate and present. This might turn into one of your favorite things to do!

May: Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing NOTHING. Make space in your day to just be. Maybe its sitting outside after your lunch and watching the clouds pass by, the birds fly, the trees blow. Possibly watching a sunset, laying on the earth with your eyes closed. Find time each day for space of being and the joy of nothing.

June: Piggybacking on the month of may, June is the month to pick up a meditation practice if you do not have one, or lengthening the current one you do have. As a ritual, try to pick the same time each day in the same place to sit and be with your quiet. Start gradual; 5 minutes the first week, and add 1 minute each day after that. A simple meditation is focusing on your breath. Every time you inhale say to yourself “SAT” and every time you exhale, say “NAM”. This means nothing more than “I AM”. Whenever you notice your mind elsewhere, bring it back to the simple meditation mantra.

July: Become aware of your thinking–are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you’re doing this, and practice bringing yourself back to the present with a long, slow, deep, calm, breath. Every time you are conscious of yourself worrying about the future, turn your attention to what you are doing right now and the deliberate actions and joy you are receiving from being alive in your body with what you are doing NOW.

August: This month is all about how you connect to others. When you are talking to someone, be present. Do you ever notice that when you are talking with someone, you are thinking about something else, worrying about the future or even worse, on your phone? Instead, make it a choice to be present with who you are with, listen to their words and find joy in their company.

 September: This month is all about eating. Be conscious, every meal to eat slowly and savor your food. Have a moment of blessing your food and all the abundance and nourishment it provides your life. Try not to eat in a rush or cram it down your throat. Savor each bite, notice the flavors and the texture to get the most out of your food. You will also eat less and digest your food better.

October: Find time every day to walk as a meditation. 15 minutes each day, without your phone, notice the sensation of walking and all the lovely things you notice as you walk outside. Thich Nhat Hanh says “walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet”. Each step you take on your daily walks this month, your footsteps are like a healing prayer of gratitude for the generosity of the earth. There are so many more beautiful, and stabilizing images and walking practices in the book Walk Yourself Well by Sherry Brourman.

 November: Live Slowly and Savor your Life. Just as you are learning about the practices of eating mindfully and walking meditations, this month is dedicated to savoring the experience of everything you do. Allow cleaning, cooking, walking, eating, driving, listening, paying bills, be a slower experience and notice what it feels like to savor each and every moment. What happens when you really tune in to even the most mundane errand? This month, tune into the sights and sounds and awaken your senses to the world around you.

 December: This month, everything that you speak is kindness, and serves to uplift, support, and move forward. You might have to take time being aware of the lower vibration words that come out of your mouth for the first week. Once you notice what you tend to say, you are able to create space for responding instead with loving kindness. Eventually you will see it in your thoughts and your actions as well.

This is the year of transformation! There is nothing more powerful and healing as committing to your mindful life.

 Happy New Year! 

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Travel with Purpose


“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” -
Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

We are at the cusp of a new year: 2015, a new chapter, and another perfect time to inspire the new you! At Yoga Bound, our purpose is to serve your highest self. To be a resource for wellness in all the different layers of you; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. While we offer daily classes, workshops, and beLiving Well 12 day clean eating programs, nothing is as meaningful and resetting as a Yoga Retreat. So much more than a retreat, it is an investment into yourself.

For our Yoga Retreat, we have chosen Costa Rica, voted by the travel channel as one of the happiest places with the happiest people on earth. In our week long retreat, we combine all of our multifaceted Yoga and Wellness programs into a week-long experience for you. You will understand how good it feels to be living mindfully, w(holy), and naturally.

Picture the most beautiful long stretch of beach you have ever seen. The lush green jungle rinses and kissing the sand. The sand is smooth and golden, and the deep blue pacific ocean is warm. The waves are hypnotic; perfect for surfing or enjoying the roll of the swell from your beachside villa hammock. You won’t have to travel far for anything you need. Beach, hammock, yoga, massage, food, nap, shade, sun; its all available to you within the hospitality of the retreat.

All Yoga is taught by either Kristina Bengala or Alana Bray Barrey. Both highly skilled teachers in the art of mindful movement through Yoga practice. The retreat is small enough so that we can address your individual Yoga goals, questions and evolution of Your practice. Kristina Bengala is also highly versed in meditation, which will be a foundational piece to the retreat. If this is a focus that you are craving, we can attune that to your needs. Alana Bray Barrey is a holistic nutritionist and makes sure that every meal is succinct with the food perameters of the beLiving Well program. The wellness and healing properties of food will be incorporated in the menu of the retreat, and Alana will be there to answer questions and help you on the path to health through food.

Aside from high quality Yoga, meditation and nutrition guidance, the retreat is an investment in You and how you want to start the next chapter of your life. You don’t just go away. You come back with a new idea of the way you want to live. You understand what nurtures your soul and learn how to replicate that into every day life. During our retreat, you learn to quiet everything, and you realize that what your soul and the chaos of the planet is craving is your peace. You will come home from Costa Rica with a priority of peace and well being in your heart with all the tools to make this a reality in everyday life.

There are only a few spots left in our retreat:

  • The Jungle Suite which is $3,900 for single occupancy or $2,900 per person for double occupancy
  • The Las Olas Suite which is $3,900 for single occupancy or $2,900 per person for double occupancy

Remember, all Yoga Bound members (12/6 month unlimited autopay) get $250 off the retreat price. All prices include everything but flight (transportation to and from airport, planned adventure excursions, all meals, beverages, accomodations, yoga, meditation, holistic nutrition and cooking classes).

To book there is a $500 deposit required with balance due six weeks prior to departure. Please email to book the retreat of a lifetime!!

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Yoga Therapy: Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

Our Costa Rica retreat hosts Paraiso Adventures highlighted our Yoga Therapy neck and shoulder release sequence! Check it out:) Join us in Costa Rica, March 12-18 for a full dose of love and intelligence in your practice from Alana and Kristina!

We hope to be able to spend time with you and your practice in gorgeous Costa Rica!!

Kristina + Alana

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“Loving Within”: Self Hypnosis for the Co-Creation of Your Life

selfloveOn Saturday, November 8 2014, Yoga Bound will be offering a Hypnotherapy workshop available to the public called “Loving Within” taught by Nancy Epstein. In this class, you will experience how your thoughts and beliefs affect your energy, health and wellbeing.  Hypnosis is a safe and powerful tool you can use to increase the flow of energy through your entire body. With a few easy hypnotic techniques you can learn to attract what you truly desire while quieting your mind, strengthening your body and encouraging your spirit. Nancy Epstein is a certified Hypnotherapist with a prospering private practice in Ventura and Manhattan Beach, Ca.  She has a deep sense of compassion and understanding of others and a strong commitment to assisting her clients in developing, defining and attaining their goal.  She does this with humor, care and an inspiring manner.  Join us for this enjoyable Workshop that includes finding your personal balance with Yoga and Hypnosis.  This empowering and dynamic balance of mind, body and spirit is the very foundation of loving from within.  Please follow the link below to register for the event under “Workshops”: 

The deep internal connection to a heightened state of consciousness, relaxation, steadiness and ease can describe both Yoga and Hypnosis. The natural state that comes from hypnosis, where both physical, mental and emotional bodies are calm, is very similar to the ancient traditional Yoga practices. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, an ancient text describing and detailing the steps to achieve meditative bliss,  it is said that your thoughts and mind stuff have the potential to create suffering. According to Patanjali “self-realization (enlightenment/moksha) can only be achieved when the mind is quiet and the activity of the mind is  relaxed, and that only when there is a cessation of identification with the outside objective world, the mind is able to see things as they are.”

In hypnosis and Yoga, there is the belief that we can co-create any situation we desire based on our intention when approaching it. Like in Yoga, according to Chiara Marripodi with, ”Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation.  It is a natural state where the physical and emotional bodies are calm.  Through this process individuals are able to access deeper parts of themselves whilst still maintaining a heightened state of awareness.”

A beautiful article written by the Natural News talks about quantum physics as a way to medically accredit the use of Hypnotherapy to create healing and profound change.

As Yogis, we can understand that energy and intention are real, and we can use hypnotherapy “as the gateway to find our authentic selves”. Please join us at Yoga Bound for this amazing, and rare experience that will teach you hypnotherapy tools to co-create your amazing life!

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TBT: Yoga Bound in Costa Rica

Paraiso Adventures

October 23, 2014 / 0 Comments

TBT: Yoga Bound in Costa Rica

By paraisoadventures

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Everything in the universe has rhythm. Everything dances. -Maya Angelou

We’re throwing it back to last March for the Yoga Bound retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Alana and her Carlsbad crew really brought the fun on their last retreat. Everyone came with an open heart and ready to have some serious fun!! Over the course of seven days in pure paradise, this group bonded over life stories, wellness tips and sunset swims.

Paraiso Adventures

Yoga Therapy is Alana’s specialty. Alana was able to dissect the most basic of postures and transform them into challenging poses. Nina was hosting that retreat and reflected on the Yoga Therapy saying that, “Learning to work from the ground up, more, from the core out, really had profound results on my practice. I was able to gain control of very specific muscles. This really took my alignment to the next level! Nina and Alana both agree that this program offers something for every mind, body and spirit.

Paraiso Adventures

There was some extra spice added to this trip as well, this group wanted to shake it Costa Rica style, so we set out to Mal Pais for an Afro-Caribbean dance class. Complete with a live drummer, this teacher had us hopping, jumping, stomping, twerking, you know…the usual. The instructor led us through this sweaty, primal dance and everyone let down their barriers and danced their hearts out. This trip really revealed the importance of sweating it out, shaking it out and letting everything go so there’s room in life to learn new things and meet new people!

For more information about the retreat, pricing or to sign up, visit

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