Retreats Created with LoveEmbrace all that you ARE
- wishing you could fully embody and speak your truth?
- a driven, career & family focused woman?
- wanting to reconnect deeply to yourself?
- a free-spirited woman who wants to explore your true calling.
- wanting to be seen and heard?
You want to be seen and heard. You want to belong.
You are worthy of all that you desire.
The world needs you!
Take the leap, I’ll be there to guide you and support you.
Ci vediamo in Italia! (See you in Italy)
“Travel Light, Live Light, Spread the Light, Be the Light” – Yogi Bhajan
My name is Katie Portanova. I was raised in an Italian-American family.
My grandma was born in Emilia Romagna and grew up in Italy during World War II. Even though my Nana never spoke Italian or taught us any phrases, I always wanted to experience Italy and the culture.
From a young age I went against the grain. I followed my own path. I knew to trust my gut over outside opinion. And this is why I created this business.
What is Katie all about…
I LOVE flowers and animals.
I’m a certified mindfulness meditation teacher, yoga and fitness instructor
I’ve been teaching Les Mills Bodyflow for 12 years
A student of spiritual teachings, an empath and empowerment coach.
A hopeful, caring and supportive teacher who wants to show you exactly how powerful you are and how you can change your life for the better.
Learning about people, culture and language
Lover of Italy for over 20 years
Lived in Italy on and off from 2002-2013
Italian State of Mind
When I first arrived in Italy I thrived on my own motivation. All I wanted to do was get lost. Get lost in the streets, in people’s words, in the views.
I found myself exploring a city where I didn’t speak the language, listening to the church bells, dodging cyclists and tourists, I physically and mentally wanted to be lost.
I left my map at home on purpose so I had to find my way back home.
My passion was and still is wandering through the narrow cobblestone streets of Florence. It was the only way I got to know the city.
When I got lost, I found myself exactly where I needed to be; in the present moment. I always found the right street at the right time.
Honestly, I was never really lost. I always found my way to a big piazza or saw the Duomo peak out around the corner from behind a palazzo. I had faith.
Getting lost was my life lesson. Keep going because you never know what’s around the next corner.
Looking back those first months in Italy in 2002 was exactly how I spent the next stage of my life.
Like Robert Frost famously wrote (my most favorite words!):
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
So what do you think?
Do you want to dive deeper?
Do you want to explore hidden parts of yourself while redefining what well-being looks like for you?
“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.”
-The Course of Miracles
Italy, my Love
Have you ever dreamt of visiting Italy?
Well of course you have, you are at my website aren’t ya?
Did you not know where to start?
I know it is very overwhelming researching the right place to stay, eat and visit. Especially if this is going to be your first visit. I got your back!
There are many gorgeous places in Italy, Tuscany especially.
I speak Italian fluently. I’ve been living in Italy on and off since 2002.
I know many amazing places to stay, eat and visit. I love the culture, language, food and wine. Oh, and I love to talk about ’em.
Did I mention I used to be the Local Expert of Florence?
My goal in creating these amazing yoga retreats is to show you authentic Italy which means the small borghi where the tour buses don’t go.
Because when you see the real thing, you’ll cherish it even more. There’ll be no tourist buses, no waiting in lines and no tourist menu while you are with me. Guarantee it.
Since 2002, I’ve been traveling to Italy. Living in 9 different apartments in 11 years when I was a resident of Florence, I had the pleasure of living in almost every neighborhood there.
Fast forward, I met my husband in 2011 and by 2013 we’d decided to leave my (his) beloved country.
Times got hard and we couldn’t make ends meet any longer. And like myself, my husband loves a challenge.
America was calling us and we made the leap over the big blue ocean.
One of the hardest decisions for me was leaving. My heart still dreams I am walking the streets of Florence.
I miss it every.
My idea was born from the love of a country that became my home.
Italy had to become a (big) part of my life.
What do I love to do?
What’s my favorite place in the world?
Join me in my adopted home!
Click on the button below to read about my experiences in Italy on my blog.
“I think life’s like a game of tennis.You have no choice over how that ball comes to you but it’s how you hit it back that counts.”
-Margaret Gipsy Moth, Photojournalist
Your Spiritual Practice
Creating spiritual retreats was always in the back of mind. Knowing that, I’ve been researching the best places to host a retreat since I left Italy.
I wanted to create a space where people are safe when practicing yoga, meditation, and being your true self. Safe meaning free to be their authentic self, no judgment.
Needless to say, my yoga training was not a safe space. The educational activities I did in training did not come from a place of love nor empowerment. Being treated less than yourself and told you’re doing something wrong takes a toll on you. Especially when you are putting yourself out there.
It’s hard to be vulnerable. But we can do hard things.
Finally, I’ve found peace in knowing that one person’s opinion does not make mine wrong.
I place my focus on how I want people to feel when they are showing up. I focus on making people feel good.
Teaching awareness of the body has become my goal. I’m conscious of the pose and check-in to see how each pose is either helping or hurting my students bodies.
I’m happy that I am able to share what I know with my students.
I love to see how they thrive with the help of positive words, motivation, and support.
“I think the royal road to achieving genuine satisfaction in life is going the Bloody hard way.”
– J. Poling