Walking TheMiddle Path
Passion foir yoga inspires woman
to start travel business.
glance is Gail Mondry's guiding
principle, something she continu-
ally strives to achieve in her work
"It's human nature to work too hard or
eat too much or rest too little or play too
hard:' Mondry says. "When we do things
to excess it leads to imbalances in our
bodies and puts us in unnecessary strain."
Mondry, a yoga instructor and owner of
Yoga Vacations, has a basic motto she uses to
inspire herself and her students: "Walk the
middle path." It describes her philosophy
toward life, business and yoga, and helps her
maintain that elusive balance.
Over the years, Mondry was involved in
the aerobic community. But years of dance
followed by aerobic instruction — she was
a self-described "cardio junky" — left her
body in rough shape. Then she discovered
yoga and its curative qualities, and wanted to
spread her newfound knowledge.
"I believe that yoga has become so huge in
the U.S. because people of my generation are
pretty beat up. Those of us that are athletic
want the endorphins of sport without the
impact on our joints," she said.
It didn't take long for Mondry to devote
herself full-time to this newfound passion.
"I saw the healing properties, both emo-
tionally and physically, in only my second
class. I never looked back."
Still busy at 58 with no signs of slowing
down, her mantra of the "middle path"
ensures that no one aspect dominates her
life. It's an essential reminder given her
She has a private yoga practice, owns
a hotel in Coconut Grove, Fla., with her
husband, Ira, and raised three boys ages
20 to 26. In addition to being on the board
of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Society,
she devotes a lot of her time to causes
within the Jewish community. She is a
member of the advisory committee for the
Weitzman Institute of Science, a member
of the Jewish Women's Foundation and
was a co-chair of Jewish Federation's
Stretch for Help in 2010 and 2011.
Even with this full schedule, four years
ago she embarked on the most ambitious
project of her life: the founding of her own
company. Yoga Vacations is the culmina-
tion of her professional experience. She
saw a shortage in the luxury travel market,
and, as she says, "the combination of yoga,
travel and leisure is just right.
"The beauty of the yoga vacation is
that you have a daily asana practice in
a beautiful, relaxing environment. Then
your mind is open and ready to receive
maximum enjoyment from the cultural
and natural wonders of the locale."
Destinations include Telluride, Colo.,
La Paz, Mexico, and the Mondrys' hotel in
Without yoga and its stress-relieving
benefits, all the obligations stemming
from her work might have proved too
daunting. But there's another aspect to
yoga, one that fosters drive, that many
non-yoga practitioners don't recognize.
"When you have a daily yoga practice
Mondry says, "it creates a level of awareness,
a bar or reference point for personal growth:
Mondry will be leading a Yoga Vacation
in April with fellow teacher Justin
Barnes in Miami, Fla. Other scheduled
Yoga Vacations include Thai Massage
Certification with Michael McCarthy in
July in Miami as well Yoga Vacations in
2013 in La Paz and South Miami.
To learn more, visit the website www.
YogaVacations.net or call (248) 905-1378. ❑
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