I had the pleasure recently of spending time with Heather in Belize. She is an inspiring, passionate person who is committed to living by her motto LOVE, SERVE, INSPIRE. I am thrilled to be working with her on the Well Xplored Spring Retreat to Belize. Read on to learn more about Heather and her upcoming retreat. - DAWN OLIVER
How did you begin your Journey of Teaching & Living a Conscious Lifestyle?
In 2001, I stepped into my first yoga class at a local gym. I was faithful at working out to stay in shape, and to relieve stress from my social work career, but something about the dim lit yoga room drew me. I was feeling a shift at 30 years old. Priorities were changing as we thought about starting a family. I longed to try something new. The yoga class was powerful, sweaty, and challenging. I totally felt at home! I was in tune with my breath, focused inward, and all the unnecessary layers of the outside world vanished. During the final resting pose I felt so alive, calm, clear, and balanced—the true me—unmasked and unbound. It was love at first savasana! Yoga continues to be my moving meditation as I connect daily on the mat—body, mind, and spirit. I have been training, teaching, and sharing the yoga love since 2012. I am beyond blessed to LOVE, SERVE and INSPIRE the community as a Yoga Teacher RYT® 500, Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki® Master, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and contributing author.
What are your Personal Wellness Rituals or Routines?
I try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to replenish and recharge. My yoga nidra practice helps to supplement when deep rest is needed. Fresh, nourishing foods, and eating/drinking intuitively and mindfully, keeps my energy smooth and steady. Daily meditation and quiet time encourages me to find the pause — embracing every moment of connection, presence, and peace. Getting outside in nature with loved ones, and my dog, fills my soul with joy and inspiration!
Is there a particular place in the World that inspires you most?
I believe every region and country has potential to inspire one's soul! I truly have enjoyed all my worldly travels, and intend to explore someplace new every year.
What are your essential items to Pack for a Wellness Retreat?
My retreat essentials: travel purse or backpack, re-useable water bottle, Yoloha Cork Yoga Mat, reading material, writing journal, nourishing snacks, lavender oil, bug repellent, mineral based sunscreen, yoga clothes, swimsuit, pretty dresses, Keen footwear, Columbia windbreaker, and ESPECIALLY an open heart and mind—releasing expectations and going with the natural flow of life!
If there is one thing you hope for people to take away from your Retreat what would it be?
I hope our retreats facilitate CONNECTION. Yoga is a beautiful practice of connecting to our body, breath, mind, and spirit. From this place of presence and awareness, we can connect deeper with God, our purpose, and with others.
How has your Yoga & Spiritual practice changed your life?
Yoga has been healing for me in every way — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has helped smooth all my rough edges and daily encourages me to connect deeper with God and to the divine purposes for me in this world.
ABOUT HEATHER: Heather Wiest — MSW, LCSW, RYT® 500 — is beyond blessed to LOVE, SERVE and INSPIRE the community as a Yoga Teacher, Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki® Master, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and contributing author. Her holistic yoga sessions are engaging and rejuvenating, leaving one feeling balanced and inspired. Heather’s busy life as a wife, mother, and guide, encourages her to find the pause — embracing every moment of connection, presence, and peace. A passionate, yet simple girl at heart, you can find Heather breathing in another radiant Arizona sunrise or sunset. Heather took her first yoga class in 2001 and instantly fell in love! She quickly discovered the healing aspects of a consistent yoga practice to one’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
As a mental health professional, Heather was drawn to complete her Yoga Nidra/Guided Relaxation Technique facilitator certification with Jane Gleason, and additional Restorative Yoga training with Mary Bruce in 2012. In 2013, Heather added Pre and Post Natal Yoga training with Desi Bartlett, and Yin Yoga training with Joe Barnett. Her exploration continued in 2014 with the completion of Second Degree Reiki with the International Center for Reiki Training, Mini Yogis® Yoga for Kids Certification with Shana Meyerson, and SmartFLOW® Yoga Teacher Training with Annie Carpenter. Furthermore, Advanced Reiki Training/Reiki Master Certification was awarded in 2015, and Holy Fire II Usui Reiki Master/Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki® Master Registration added in 2016. Heather completed Chair Yoga Certification with Donna Schnoor in 2017, and Yoga Wall Training with Rasoul Sobhani in 2018. As a certified Connection Coalition Instructor and LoveYourBrain Yoga Teacher, Heather combines her social work and yoga training to participate in community outreach programs.