THRIVE! : Engage, Expand and Evolve with Real Evolution Yoga | By Kim Fuller

Last Updated: December 6, 2023By

Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2018 issue

It’s a challenge for me to set aside the hustle of life sometimes. I resist restorative practices, skim the surface of conversations, keep my gaze on a narrow line of focus, and emphasize completing tasks as if all fulfillment can be found by crossing off obligations.

We arrived at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in San Luis Obispo last October, a beautiful time to be on California’s Central Coast. The air carried a whisper of autumn but was mostly still holding on to the heat of summer, and although I felt overwhelmed with deadlines for what was the upcoming issue of this magazine, I was excited to settle into this new place for a week; to dive into the transformative and inspiring programming that I had once experienced through Real Evolution Yoga.

My yoga certification is through REY, but I had not yet spent an immersion with co-founders Elizabeth and Tom Lutes. I already knew that REY dives deep into a variety of practices, from Kundalini chanting, meditation and energetic Vinyasa, to hours of engaging, confronting and enlightening group conversations.

The Thrive! retreat delivers an integrated methodology and holistic experience for developing real vitality in all four domains of being human. This involves building a set of habits and practices which strengthen the nervous system, create dynamic supple strength in the physical body, refresh the emotional body, and generate an enlivening worldview.

Real Evolution Yoga reminds students how “each moment is an opportunity to choose – to engage, to be at cause, to learn, to evolve, to connect deeply with others, to cultivate joy, build vitality, and to contribute. With this awareness, we generate and live into our vision for ourselves, our community, and our world.”

For me, the seven-day retreat was an opportunity to be with every aspect of myself, from the resistance to the release, and right into the heart of community, love and connection. The nagging pull of deadlines and to-dos that often seem to highjack my consciousness began to soften and fade, creating space for my mind and my heart that I so desperately needed.

REY’s programming is built on the pillars of full expression, real community and conscious evolution, and the experience left me feeling open and expansive. My light felt brighter than ever, with new practices I could now bring home and integrate into my life.

Another past Thrive! participant, Karen Buxel, shared this testimonial with REY: “For me, the most powerful part of Thrive! was the opportunity to press pause on my life for a short while to really explore myself on levels that are accessed only by coming together so intentionally to do this work.”

One of the practices at Thrive! is the development of an “I AM” statement. This resonated with me deeply as a reflection of how I know myself most authentically, and how I want to continue to evolve. I feel compelled to share it here, and really, everywhere:

”I am vibrant. I am bright and I am whole. I am a one with nature — a spark of inspiration; a flow of love; a solid ground; a breath of creativity. I am a compass for community. I am me and I am free.

What is your “I AM”? Your light is a gift to this world. Thrive! is a beautiful reminder to let it all shine — to illuminate your life and to inspire others to radiate their gifts as well.

Your light is a gift to this world.

Thrive! with Real Evolution Yoga is October 21-28, 2018 in San Luis Obispo, California. Learn more and register at

Photos courtesy of Real Evolution Yoga.

Kim FullerBased in Vail, Colorado, Kim Fuller is a freelance writer, editor and photojournalist, as well as a yoga teacher, legacy ambassador for Lululemon Athletica Vail, and co-founder of In Your Element, a yoga and outdoor adventure company. When Kim is not diligently writing and editing in her mountain nook, teaching yoga around town or finding a new adventure, find Kim at a local cafe or craft brewery, where she enjoys the more indulgent side of inspiration.

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