We recently sat down with our friends from Reve en Vert, an online store that only features designers who operate their businesses with respect for people and the planet. All their collections are highly curated to deliver long-lasting fashion you can feel good about. 

Tell us a little something about how you began YFBP and what your unique retreat formula looks like.

We began YFBP in 2012. Our company sprung from our desire to take some time out of our everyday lives in a tropical beach destination somewhat off the beaten path, where it’s possible to break your routine to focus on deep practice. This kind of practice isn’t confined to a regularly scheduled back-to-back day where you are rushing to class and then rushing to your next appointment after.  

We could see that not only did we as teachers need this time to reset, but our students could also benefit from the same. We realized that although daily practice was extremely beneficial, there were certain aspects of learning meditation or headstands or proper alignment that weren’t landing for our students in regular classes in studios. People were stressed and tired, and needed more time to take in the instructions. They also needed a good old fashioned vacation. Since time is precious, we decided to combine the two. 

We came up with a formula that allowed time for a disciplined practice, inherently supporting relaxation, as well as ample time to daydream on the beach, read a book, and maybe have a little lighthearted fun in between. We think of it as the perfect combo of structure and spontaneity. We call this formula YOGA FOR BAD PEOPLE


What are some tips you have learned from traveling, and how has it affected your relationship and interest in working with brands that honor sustainable practices?

When we first started these trips, we overpacked. And when we say overpacked, we mean OVER packed. Sitting on suitcases to zip them closed, stacking up on scented wipes and extra shoes and sarongs and all sorts of other things that we never ended up using. We were unfamiliar with the territory and wanted to make sure that we had everything we could possibly need, not only for ourselves but also for our students. Eventually, we learned that you don’t need as much as you think. That under packing is the best feeling as a traveler. Show up light. Leave feeling lighter.

We are facing a time on our planet where recognizing that you need less to lead an abundant and happy life has become a key to living harmoniously on the earth. We are seeing the impact of our production of things, many of which we simply do not need, affecting the health of our oceans, rivers, forests and overall air quality. There are some amazing companies making the necessary changes to reduce our waste and finding creative ways to reuse what we throw out so it no longer becomes trash, and we want to find a way to support these companies. 

Our resources are precious but we as a species have not been treating them as such. Since we are not a culture of making our own food, our own clothes, or our own products with our own hands, we have become disconnected from honoring our “stuff” as anything but disposable. Even the concept of trash in some indigenous communities does not exist. Can you imagine seeing every single aspect of the world as useful instead of as trash or disposable?


Some may argue that traveling, and encouraging others to travel, leaves a major impact on the earth, and would counter a true environmentalist’s beliefs - can you speak to this?

We don’t deny that traveling leaves a major impact on our earth or that getting on a plane contributes to the current dependency on oil and to air pollution. Not to mention the airport mentality is generally “eat whatever is there, even if you normally wouldn’t eat it; throw things you can’t carry out; buy unnecessary items since you are bored; and wrap everything in plastic and paper because its an unsanitary environment”. The disposable mentality thrives in airports. 

But what we have learned from traveling, from engaging with new cultures and perspectives and seeing how people interact with the land in other societies, is that there are many ways to engage with the world’s resources. We have been inspired by the sheer happiness of those who live simple lives surrounded by the most untouched beauty you can think of. We have developed an even greater sense of respect for this planet from exploring it, and from experiencing firsthand what it is to exist with less of our normal creature comforts. 


Some people feel that living in harmony with the environment means that you have to give up living abundantly - do you feel like paring down and limiting your purchases to sustainably-sourced products takes away a sense of luxury?

We believe that we can all lead adventurous, abundant, even luxurious lives, without leaving a harmful mark on the planet. And we are interested in supporting the companies that are aligned with this mentality. This is one of the reasons we are so thrilled to learn about companies like Reve en Vert. 

Our retreats have helped us redefine the meaning of luxury: luxury has more to do with the richness of experience, and the simplicity of movement – between countries and across oceans, within your clothes and your body – than it does with the amount of things you have. Travel has taught us much of what yoga has taught us: we don’t need more to be content. 

Luxury is when you have things that you actually use and feel good about, that connect you and remind you of your highest values. Think about your favorite sweatshirt - you have worn it hundreds of times and it doesn’t feel like a waste of a purchase. This is what it means to feel luxurious - to be in a state of great comfort and to live extravagantly because you know you aren’t taking more than you need.  You feel extravagant when you feel light, not when you feel you have overbought, overpacked or overeaten. 


Through the necessity of packing light, we have learned that we can be satisfied with less than we thought. We have learned to have a sense of pride and appreciation for the few pieces that we actually love and wear, and we feel even better when those pieces come from transparent production that we can feel proud of. 

It feels good to show up as Americans in other countries with small suitcases filled with environmentally conscious clothing and products. It shows those we meet that we care, not only about ourselves but about the world as a whole. It has the potential to break down the borders between societies, just like traveling does. If we like to immerse ourselves in beautiful places practicing yoga and meditation, which is the art of living in alignment with nature and your surrounding community, then it makes sense to do it in clothes and with products that match those sentiments. Pack light. Show up Open. Leave lighter.

If you want to feel good about the gifts you give this holiday season, we have an exclusive offer for all YFBP and earth lovers: use the code REVExYFBP for all orders with Reve en Vert between now and Jan. 1st 2016, and get 30% off your purchase. Enjoy!



Heather Lilleston