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The Dream Life of a Traveling Yogi

by Kortney Campbell on March 21, 2012

Have you ever met someone that is just so inspiring that you want to share their story with the world? That’s how I feel about Brittany Trubridge of B-Tru Yoga. I briefly met her my freshman year in college,  then years later, found her blog and was immediately inspired by her life & amazing story. We’re fortunate enough to have Brittany here on the blog today sharing her amazing journey & giving tips on how to will your way to your dream life.

Q:  Tell us a little about yourself!  Where can we find you on the weekends, what’s your favorite food, yoga pose or guilty pleasure?

A:  I’m pretty chill these days…I live on a relatively remote island in the Bahamas with my husband (who is a competitive freediver) half of the year and spend the other half traveling and teaching throughout Europe.  While we are on the island we are more or less in “training mode” so we stick to a pretty strict training schedule & diet regime. We train three days on and one day off so I consider my “weekends” to be these days off and you’ll likely find me butt naked on a random beach sunnin my buns! haha

My favorite food is definitely marinara pizza (w/out any cheese of course) or veggie curry with tofu, and my guilty pleasure (food wise) is probably my morning coffee and toast with coconut oil and salt! I also LOVE coconut chocolate! As for my favorite asana, I guess I would have to say that right now I am really digging the back bends. I’m really stiff in my back and am just now learning how to really create space in my spine. I find them to be so emotional and challenging but at the same time so rewarding.

Q:  When did you become a yogi & what made you decide this was your calling?

A:  I think I kind of always was a yogi.  I used to beg my mom to let me move to tibet and live with the monks. I was 11 and I think she thought I was just being a dramatic preteen, but I was dead serious! I started playing around with meditation around that same time and then got more serious with it by 15. As I learned more about the philosophy I naturally found my way into the asana and foundational practices. You can read more about that journey here on Elephant Journal.

Q:  What made you decide to take on a vegan lifestyle? Have you found it necessary or beneficial in your practice?

A:  I read the book, “The China Study” and thought, hmm let me just give it a shot, I’ll try it  for 2 weeks. After than two weeks I felt so much lighter and more flexible, it was incredible. Ayurvedically speaking I have a lot of kapha in my body and so this really helped to expel some of that and balance me out. I was able to go more deeply into my back bends and had so much more energy that I decided to just stick with it.

Q:  You are honestly one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met! How did you get to where you are today? Does the zen come naturally or is it constant work?

A:  Wow, thank you! Zen does not come naturally to me at all! I had a really tough time growing up. I suffered from serious depression, low self esteem and eating disorders for over ten years and at a certain point (well ok after a build of many “certain points”) my mental state was so painful that I realized I had no choice but to do something, now.  I absolutely could not tolerate it anymore. I went in lock down mode and started to really dedicate myself to seeking out any and everything that worked to help me maintain a sense of balance and peace. These practices, combined with the mental choice to “just let go” saved my life, and it’s these experiences that make me to want to share my practices with others.  I want more than anything to connect with those experiencing deep overwhelming pain and teach them to forgive those who hurt them, and to also forgive and love themselves. I believe in this so fiercely. It is what drives me.

Q:  What is one thing we wouldn’t know about you without asking?

A:  I’m a total poet at heart. I want to be a rapper like I’ve never wanted anything before. A good rapper though you know, like with good rhymes and actual meaning behind what I say. I just have no idea where to even begin with something like that.

Q:  You live what most of us would consider a dream life. Some people are terrified of dropping the 9-5 and doing what they love. Any advice on following your dreams?

A:  I was terrified to drop my 9-5 too. But after a lot of meditation and contemplation it came down to this: this is your life, you have one life, you are going to die, you are dying right now. When you are lying on your death bed is it going to matter if you did everything right, worked like a good girl, saved your money, bought a house, lived the American dream? Hell no. What does matter then? What’s going to fill your heart? And my answer to that was simply giving. Giving everything I have to give, loving the Earth, trekking her lands, getting as drunk off of love as possible. Maybe it was fueled by the depths of depression but at a certain point something happened and it just clicked. I trusted, I believed that because my intentions were in the right place that I would be taken care of. I wasn’t afraid of having to come home with my tail between my legs and starting over..I was more afraid of not making that move and dying unfulfilled. I just went for it. I dived right in! I encourage everyone to dive right into life. But make sure you know what it is that you really want out of it first -meditate on that. And once you are sure of it, let everything go and be blown away.

Q:  Have you had any bad experiences in your business or practice?  If so, what are some of the “what not to-do’s” in following your dreams?

A:  I wasted SO much time that I could have been enjoying this lifestyle by simply feeling I wasn’t good enough for it. When I first stepped into this life it was like I was paralyzed. I forgot everything that brought me here and resorted back to my negative thought patterns. I didn’t know what to do, what to eat, and was still working to shed a lifetime of past pain. I began to sabotage myself thinking I was not worthy of this dream, not worthy of my husband. I got lazy with my practice, stopped meditating, stopped eating well and started to treat my body poorly. I also started taking my frustrations out on my husband, which made me feel even worse about myself. It was terrible and totally unnecessary. I wish I had known better or had the clarity and strength to just keep my head up and carry on. My words of wisdom are to never stray from what you know keeps your mind right, be it meditation, art, surfing, running, whatever. And never think that you are in over your head or that you aren’t worthy of something great.  Always remember that you are worthy of an incredible life. You are here and you deserve it.

Q:  We hear you & the hubby have quite the exciting schedule (aren’t they precious?)! Can we get an idea of what the lives of a happily-married traveling yogi & freediving champion of the world look like?

A:  As I mentioned before, in the Bahamas it’s a three day on one day off training schedule. We wake up, eat, digest, do yoga then head to the Blue Hole. He does his deep dive and I safety him there, then I do my pranayama/meditation while he finishes up in the water. After returning home and having lunch we do yoga again then it’s dinner time. It’s literally eat train eat train eat!!  When we are in Europe we do our best to maintain a normality but our training times are often replaced with teaching instead. We cultivate our harvest here in the Bahamas, then share our fruits in Europe!

Q:  We must know- How did you & the hubby meet & when did you know he was the right one?

A:  He was here on the island training and had just broken his first world record. My grandfather was one of his safety divers so they had become good buddies. I came along one summer in college to visit my grandparents and they brought him along to a family dinner. There was an instant attraction but I thought he was going to be a jerk since he was the world champion and traveled the world so I was set on not giving him any attention.  My grandparents kept inviting him along to do things and eventually we ended up spending some time together talking about yoga, philosophy and life. We were so much alike that it was kind of surreal and one evening, after he had taught me some pranayama techniques he kissed me. It was a full moon and the most beautiful and perfect night I had ever experienced…it was so beyond anything physical, so surreal, that I was almost afraid to believe in it. Uur souls touched that night and though we didn’t know it yet we were forever going to be in each other’s lives. He continued to pursue me that summer even though we were apart and when he came to visit me on his way back from Europe to the Bahamas I began to realize that he meant business!

Q:  What types of yoga do you practice & do you have a favorite?

A:  I started with practicing Ashtanga. I love it and I think it’s probably my favorite, but I don’t have an instructor here on the island so it is hard for me to progress in that particular practice. I am classically trained in Hatha so I mix them up and just do what I feel my body needs. Of course I balance this lackadaisical approach with consistency and challenge. I just finished my 500h training at the Sivananda Ashram and am on the lookout for my next opportunity to train…it is so important to always have someone helping you, even if you are a teacher already, there are always going to be better teachers out there for your to learn from.

Q:  Any suggestions for beginners?

A:  Just get into it. Try to establish a deeper connection with it than just the physical level. View it as your friend, your go-to get your groove on stress relieving soul-sista! Cultivating a loving, safe and healthy relationship with the practice and your body is the way to long term success. {Let it do} what it’s made to do – relax and release your body.

Q:  I’ve heard yoga works wonders during pregnancy & plan on getting back to Ashtanga as soon as the morning sickness subsides! Any recommendations or do’s & don’ts?

A:  I’ve heard it works wonders during pregnancy too but I have yet to experience pregnancy myself and so unfortunately I can’t give you any personal advice! And to be perfectly honest, I would suggest looking for someone who has first hand experience in it, as they will be most competent in properly articulating everything. I can tell you this though -don’t do any inversions, twists, backbends, or strenuous pranayama!!

Q:  We hear you may be featured in Origins Magazine in the near future! Can you tell us a little bit about your underwater yoga (pictured above) & can our readers still vote?

A:  Voting ended March 15 and I can’t believe but I won!! I just found out today and I’m so excited I’ve been doing little jigs all around my apartment, haha. So I don’t actually practice yoga asanas underwater and I don’t think asanas are meant to be done like that, as it was very difficult to do those photos without weights or a mask. However, freediving in itself IS yoga underwater. The movements of the arms strokes are like sun salutations and the breath retention (kumbhaka) really brings upon pratyahara full force leaving you face to face with nothing but your ego and those voices in your head. You have to overcome those voices (and the desire to breathe) to carry on in a dive. It’s really a crazy intense mental practice and it can be translate over into so many other aspects of our lives -it’s one of the most transformative practices I have ever done. (I’ve also entered a Yoga Journal contest that starts in April, so by all means please help a sista out!)

Q:  You are currently based out of the Bahamas part time, then a world traveler the rest, but do you instruct outside of your area?

A:  Skype baby! Because I’m traveling so much, Skype has become an invaluable tool for me to stay connected with my students and also to take on new students that I otherwise would never have the opportunity to work with. I’m also open to traveling and offering instruction any and everywhere that there is a demand!

A:  Do you have any events, workshops or retreats coming up?

A:  Yes! I will be traveling alongside my husband this summer teaching the yoga counterpart to his freediving courses. Our schedule can be found HERE. I will also be offering a more yoga oriented workshop in Tenerife. More information about this can be found HERE!

Want to contact Brittany?

Website // Facebook // Twitter // BTruYoga@gmail.com

So, are you ready to sell your belongings, hop a plane to an island & start doing yoga? So are we! Told you she was great! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter to stay up-to-date on all she has going on!

Do you practice yoga? If so, what types?

Photo Sources: All photos courtesy of B-Tru Yoga. Underwater Yoga Photo by Daan Verhoeven. Yogasna ad photo by Acres to Sea & Mat found HERE.

About Kortney Campbell

I'm Kortney; a wife, natural mama and vegan in love with life, food and all things vintage! I've been vegan since December 2007, but have loved to cook & create pretty things since before I can remember. I started Vegan Housewives because I don't think you have to give up the joys of food when going vegan! I have a fondness for re-creating non-vegan recipes (especially my grandma's), making a healthier & animal friendly version so be sure to send me your favorite concoctions by clicking our "share a recipe" button - I would LOVE to veg-i-fy them!

  • { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Barbie March 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Wow, that was fantastically inspiring. Thanks!

    Reply

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