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I am still discovering/feeling the reverberations of Exhale and Become the Sky.  Processing all that I experienced has truly opened up the Sky and the Universe for me.

And finally, I felt the retreat was well-organized, thoughtful in activities, and very caring.  Thank you both for making it such a beautiful experience.  And did I mention how much i loved the group?  I think we've bonded for a lifetime.  Again, thank you!

Cindy O'Brien, Exhale & Become the Sky participant, 2019


Without any doubt, practicing with Yoganand leading and being in that amazing space {were the highlights of my experience.]

Maureen Raffaldini, Exhale & Become the Sky participant, 2019


I [thoroughly] enjoyed my experience with our group in Mexico ... I give it 5 stars!!!

Denise Goodman, Exhale & Become the Sky participant, 2019


One of the highlights of my experience was the opportunity to practice with Yoganand.  The warm temperatures of Sayulita along with the beautiful open air setting of our yoga practice space at the hotel was the perfect place to expand and become the sky.  Thank you Yoganand for a magical opportunity.  

The second highlight was meeting Alena.  She took us on a spiritual hike into sacred jungles .... she treated us to an evening with a local shaman where we experienced a healing and purification [sweat lodge] ceremony... She was present every moment to tend to our needs and enrich our experience. Thank you Alena, our journey guide.

Sue Kagan Carson, Exhale & Become the Sky participant, 2019


The highlight of my Desert Feminine experience was the beauty of the desert and sleeping outside by the campfire and the love with which {Alena} and Bella gently led and held the group.

Sally Cooke, Desert Feminine participant, 2018


The silence of the Desert inside and outside is what I most appreciated. One morning after yoga I was again sitting in stillness as the whole herd of goats passed in front of me, two small ones made to come and check me out ... I loved those goats and could watch them endlessly seek out a rather dangerous drop down the mountain each morning. 

[Our journey] was a profoundly transformative experience which I enjoyed and appreciated immensely. 

I [made] great life long connections and feel hughly blessed by how richly [Alena] and Bella held the space for all of us ... the yoga nidra under the stars on the mountain in Petra has penetrated my being. 

Yes transforming is the word to describe my experience in Jordan. 

Deepest thanks and love and respect to you both for all the thought and richness you gave us. 

Betty O Toole, Desert Feminine participant, 2018


The yoga, the cultural activities, transport and especially Alena’s knowledge of Jordan and the fabulous experiences it has to offer all contributed to making the “Desert Feminine Experience’ one I will treasure forever.

If I need peace whilst queuing in our busy supermarket I just close my eyes and see the wonderful wadis of Jordan. Such a lovely time. Thank you.

Julie Williams, Desert Feminine participant, 2018


All those moments when we looked across at each other with no words, just a look of ... this is breathtaking, there is no where else we're meant to be right now other than right here in this moment.

Alena, there is absolutely nothing I would change from my time with you in Jordan.  The country, landscapes, experiences and people we met along the way were incredibly captivating.  It's a trip which is still vivid for me ... I'm grateful for everything that you and your [team] shared with me.  It definitely didn't all go according to plan and there were some intense moments but this is all part of the life that I am after and why I now have a connection with Jordan.


Pam Thompson, Private Retreat Client, 2018



Alena’s knowledge of the dynamics, landscapes, peoples, and cultures of southern Jordan is comprehensive and invaluable. I had consulted her before embarking on a university research project in Bedouin medicine and healthcare choices, and she was immediately able to identity the relevant powers that I needed to contact, and where best to conduct my field research. In a matter of minutes, my adventure had a map and compass and the approach for the study was streamlined into a tangible, focused, and feasible action plan. It also turned out to be a much richer and welcoming experience than I had ever imagined. She knows the people on a local level who care for such endeavors, and knows where the information is. And when it was time for me to take a break from collecting data and take off to another city for a weekend of entertainment, she was able to set that up from across the world and book the best diving and safari experience ever, which somehow also catered to my research thesis. I've been to Jordan a number of times, but I highly recommend Alena for the researcher, and the traveller looking for something deeper.

Hamza Jilani, UCLA Researcher, 2018



Since the retreat, I have been inspired to listen to myself more deeply and honestly. I feel like the retreat gave me the tools to create space for deep listening. For that I am very thankful to Alena and the time we had together in Feynan.

Andrea Heidar, Group Journey, 2017


My yoga weekend in Feynan was a wonderful escape from the bustle of [the city] and gave me a chance to reflect and find some peace. From meditation by the fire to sunset yoga and walks through the desert, I enjoyed sharing my time with a great group of like-minded people.


Ashlee Chapman, Group Journey, 2017


The best part of my yoga weekend in Feynan was arriving after dark to the magical candlelit desert beauty, and being shown to my candlit room, and sitting by the fire in meditation under the full moon vastness desert sky.. the stillness and beauty and feeling so well looked after. Food was great, Yoga was great, It was actually a blissful experience, all of it. I also loved practicing Yoga in the magical spot under the trees, that we walked to.

I am very grateful. :) I also liked the rhythym of the weekend, and the fact that it was all very relaxed and easy-going.

​Bella Hancock, Yoga & Movement Instructor,  Group Journey, 2017


The highlight of my time in Rum:  There were two main highlights: 1. The yoga experience at sunset and sunrise added this unique feeling of being in this special desert place; 2.  The camel ride helped me visualize Wadi Rum and its place in history as well as its special place today.  

There were so many highlights, Alena.  The camp felt so comfortable and organized.  Ahmed's leadership style led me to believe he cared about our experience. The lunch in the home of your friends and the tour into the depths of Wadi Rum helped enrich my understanding of the people, their culture and their land.  And of course, you, Alena, were a key factor.  Your attention to detail gave me such confidence that I was in good hands.


Nancy & Hana, Individual Journey, 2017


We're so happy to have met you, Ahmed, and Mohammed. The past two days were magical. We have so many fond memories ... Thank you so much for this experience and for all the knowledge shared.


Josi & Stephen, Individual Journey, 2016


Just leaving Little Petra and heading to Wadi Rum. A huge thank you to Alena and Awad for their kindness and hospitality over the past two days. Missing dinner in caves and in the middle of the desert already! I came here feeling stressed, sad and a little lost and I am leaving with perspective, being able to see the bigger picture, with a sense of adventure and some of my confidence back.

Sharan Sunner, Individual Journey, 2016


All the weekend was great ... I loved every part of it ... sunrise, sunset sessions and the outdoor theory session ... it was an amazing experience with you, Alena and I would like for sure to join you again!  

Israa Kurdi, Group Journey, 2016



The best part of my yoga weekend in Feynan was holding a pose, nestled under trees, while watching the sun set over a beautiful desert landscape.

Naysan Adlparvar, Group Journey, 2016


The yoga retreat in Sinai was beautiful, enriching, and perhaps most importantly, relaxing. Alena's classes on asana and yoga philosophy were interspersed with free time to enjoy the landscape. This was perfect for me, as I had the time to reflect on what I had learned, to feel the yoga in my body, and to connect to the beautiful environment. I came out of the experience with a deeper understanding of myself, and tools to slow down, connect, and align. thanks Alena!

Zoe Katzen, Group Journey, 2015


Alena has a wonderful way of holding a group's energy and very gently guiding them through a process of grounding and inner transformation. She does all of this in her serene way with the serenity of the desert to enhance the experience.

​Deemah Dee, Yoga & Embodiment Instructor, Group Journey, 2015



Alena knows her way around Jordan. Our project had many unique demands and complications, and through every step Alena was able to make our lives infinitely easier. Her relationships with locals are invaluable. More than a guide, Alena is able to assess the needs of her clients and effectively tailor their experience to meet their needs. That is something very hard to find, especially in Jordan, and is what makes her invaluable for any project or trip happening in this strange and beautiful country."

​Matthew Epler, Lecturer in Cinematic Studies, 2011


Alena has been an immense gift to me and is an invaluable resource. She has been the perfect insider-outsider gatekeeper into Disi and into the lives of the people within the local community. Her cultural knowledge and sensitivity to the area has given me the footholds to enter into research within this vibrant community. As I study the effects of tourism upon local bedouin communities, it is good to see someone who is introducing tourists to a new experience of tourism--one where the local people and culture are more than a mere collectable item to put in a traveler's pocket. Instead, the local culture and community become alive to visitors as a moving, changing entity that is in constant motion and yet remembers their past.

Nadia Hashimi, Fulbright Researcher, 2011


I can't tell you how much we all enjoyed our outing at Petra yesterday. It was such a great adventure from start to finish, the finish especially providing extra surprises. I can't imagine a more unique or fabulous experience. We'll all be singing your praises and making many recommendations. Thank you for a truly memorable experience, which I for one will always treasure.

Sandra Hamilton, Group Journey, 2010


Desert Feminine
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