The Neshama: Israel Summer Yoga Retreat – A Soulful Adventure
Puzzle Israel and Rachelle Tratt of The Neshama Project have partnered up to offer yoga fans from Israel and abroad a special and unconventional way to experience Israel. This coming June, Rachelle will be arriving in Israel to lead a ten-day soulful adventure in the country’s most beautiful locations.
We met Rachelle during her last visit in Israel and asked her to tell us about herself, The Neshama Project, and about her plans for the upcoming yoga retreat, she will be leading together with Puzzle Israel.
Rachelle currently lives in LA but has visited Israel numerous times over the past five years. Several of these visits were part of the Taglit – Birthright youth group trips, and others were to focus on developing and expanding her business — The Neshama Project — a socially conscious jewelry company that gives back to the community.
Rachelle began her yogic journey approximately eight years ago. Upon attending her first yoga class she felt at peace and at home. Intuitively, she knew that yoga was destined to be a prominent element in her life’s journey. Her personal triumphs over the adversities she experienced throughout her life enable her to teach yoga from a place of compassion and understanding.
Rachelle believes yoga to be all about creating peace in the mind, body, and heart.
“When we align our body physically, there is more room to be aligned mentally and emotionally. Yoga teaches us how to be more present with our bodies and our surroundings.”
Rachelle has a special connection to Israel. It started even before she was born, when her parents met on a kibbutz in 1973, and fell in love. As a little girl, Rachelle always knew that Israel would become a big part of her life, especially after her mom passed away when Rachelle was only nine years old. “My first trip here was in honor of her, with intentions of following her footsteps. Now, I have been able to create my own love story with the land, and create meaningful ways to share it with others.”
Rachelle’s personal connection to Israel has a tremendous influence on her business — The Neshama Project. “When I was given a special blue ‘hamsa’ from an Israeli yoga student over five years ago, I intuitively knew that one day I would share it with the world. Every day, someone would comment on the necklace, and it became a conversation starter for something greater. It became a way of sharing my story, my connection to Israel, my outlook on overcoming love and loss, and my desire to share principles of yoga and mindful living with others. I always knew that I wanted this to be more than just another product on the shelves, so I asked myself, ‘How can this special stone give back and inspire?’ Two summers ago I partnered with Innovation Africa, where 10% of your purchases go to support this special organization that brings Israeli technology to African villages.”
Rachelle has set out to lead a yoga retreat in Israel believing that Israel is the spiritual mecca for all walks of life. “Israel is rich with culture, politics, varying ideologies, and a contagious spirit that exists among its people. There are many yoga retreats around the world, but no one travels to Israel.” Rachelle added that the uniqueness of the Neshama: Israel yoga retreat model is the added value the retreat offers by volunteering and giving back while traveling. “This is what we call a ‘soulful adventure’ and I hope to continue to share this special place with people, and make Israel a meaningful destination to travel to.”
Rachelle strongly recommends that Israelis join the Neshama: Israel journey as well so that they can take a few meaningful days of vacation to practice yoga with people from all over the world. “Take this as an opportunity to re-open your eyes to the beautiful country that you live in. Sometimes, all it takes is taking a few days to step outside of your routine in order to find the magic of life again.”
Even though Rachelle has visited Israel many times, she always discovers something new. To conclude our conversation, we asked her to tell us about one new thing she experienced this time around, and one old comforting and familiar experience she picked up on her previous visits. “One new thing: I discovered that I can run a marathon!!!! At the last minute, I decided to take part in my first marathon ever, which took place in Jerusalem a week ago! And one old thing: That I am in love with hummus.”
Rachelle and Puzzle Israel invite you all to join us on a special soulful journey through Israel’s captivating sites.