KEEP IN TOUCH
experienced certified yoga teacher and outdoor adventure guide
Here's a little story about why I love adventure, but the gist is that my parents always took us on camping road trips as kids, and my little brother and I spent our childhood outside climbing trees, riding bikes, hunting rocks, and digging up deer skeletons when things got really exciting. My dad instilled the idea that everyone has a story to tell and he truly wants to hear it, always making sure to learn a few words in everyone's language he meets. I inherited his reverence for animals and creatures, fascination with languages, and thirst for travel. I remember him and my mom hiding gemstones in the riverbed for us kids to "discover." My mom offered us her deep reverence for the earth and human nature, lovingly infusing so many of our activities with wonder. She was the one who took me to my first yoga class when I was a teenager, which quietly affirmed the premise she raised us on, that we, ourselves, are sacred and amazing. As a college Spanish major I lived abroad in Spain and backpacked around southwestern Europe where I got my first taste of exploring new landscapes and living out of a pack. After college I was charmed by yoga and I spent my twenties digging in deep, working through multiple certifications in alignment-based yoga, meditation, and many beautiful accompanying philosophies and practices.
Our treks are warm, funny, slightly irreverent, and always welcoming and inclusive. I really want you to feel safe and comfortable while you have a blast exploring yourself and the world. I'll explain the lay of the land, trace our routes out on maps for you, hike you through some of the most beautiful landscapes our little region has to offer, tell you stories of fascinating mythology, guide you through a safe, anatomically sound yoga practice, cook you s'mores on overnights and relate it all to your experience on the trail.
I was lucky to train intensely for the past ten years with masters in anatomy, alignment, therapeutics, philosophy, and meditation. Specific attention to injuries and therapeutics are some of my specialties. I'm also certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. I've worked as a volunteer on S.W.E.A.T. Crew, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's most elite wilderness maintenance crew, which took me to some of the most remote places in the legendary Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I decided to start leading treks after (following a childhood as a total weenie -- I was so scared of everything, especially being alone/in the dark), my dog, Paco, and I hiked 130 miles along the TN/NC border on the Appalachian Trail all by ourselves and felt like total superheroes as a result! I like the idea of more people feeling amazed and awesome about themselves and so Twisted Treks was born.
In 2010 I opened Bright Heart Yoga, a cute little yoga studio I owned and directed for five years in northern New Jersey. In 2015 I sold the studio to satisfy my nomadic soul, but I still teach classes and Teacher Training there. Off the mat, I love human-powered adventure travels, great food, great music, and shenanigans with my favorite partner in crime, Nick, and our pups, Archie and Paco. I’m always grateful to my wise and wonderful teachers, my dad, Jay, and my mom, Gigi, who first taught me to honor the goodness within myself and in all things.
I've never been hiking/camping/done yoga before but this sounds cool. Can I still try it?
Of course! Our Woodland Treks are designed specifically for beginners and folks who are newer to this stuff or slower hikers with a more relaxed pace. If you're pretty active you'll be fine on the other treks, too.
But I want to go on an overnight or a multi-day retreat ... can I try that?
Absolutely - we'd love to have you along. Our crews are often mixed level so we'll make sure to accommodate you. Give us a holler (973 715 6529) if you'd like to discuss beforehand.
I want to do this but I'm not really into yoga.
No problem. These adventures are admittedly hiking-heavy and the yoga aspect is optional. We'd love to walk you through your first try, but you can always decide whether or not you'd like to join in on the twisties with no pressure either way.
Can I bring my mom/dad/brother/girlfriend/friend?
Of course! Twisted Treks are open to all willing and able adults (and mature teens) who can hack an adventure like this. Have them fill out an Adventure Application and register for whichever trek they'd like.
Can I bring my kids?
If they're adults or mature teens, of course! Sorry, right now the Twisted Treks on the schedule are not appropriate for small children, although we may offer family yoga hikes and camping retreats in the future. Let us know if this is something you'd be interested in.
Can I bring my dog?
Heck yeah! Willing and capable dogs are always welcome, but please be sure you think your dog would LOVE this and be physically capable of keeping up safely. We have a checklist on our Adventure Application to give you an idea of what to consider.
I don't have any camping gear ... what do I do?
We've got your back. We have some extra gear that you can borrow on a first come, first served basis. Fill out our Adventure Application to let us know what you need.
I'm hooked and I think I'd like to purchase my own gear. Where's the best place to shop?
We love great gear and we're always on the hunt for a good bargain. Our favorite best bangs for your buck are the REI garage sale and Bearfoot's Hiking Gear Flea Market on Facebook.
I want to do this but I'm broke, can I just tag along if I bring my own food/gear?
Get outta here! We love that you're pickin' up what we're puttin' down, but it sounds like you don't need us to have a good time.
Where are we going?
Right now, all our "local" Day Treks and Overnight Treks take place in northern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York state. Our current Trail Stompin' Backpacking Adventure Retreat takes place in Tennessee and North Carolina. We pay for permits for all our adventures, so we only send out directions once you've signed up to keep our wild spots as wild as possible and to protect our groups from unsolicited lurkers. We're adding more adventure locations, too!
Do you have permits for this stuff?
Of course! Kessiah once threw up after forging her mom's signature on a 5th grade permission slip for shop class (sorry, Mr. Damato) which means we are rule-followers and have obtained permits and permission from the appropriate channels for all our adventures.
Uh, do you just do indoor yoga, like a regular class?
Sure! Check out our sister site, Real, Good Yoga, for everything about Kessiah's indoor yoga schedule.
I have another question.
We'd love to hear it. Shoot us an email or give us a call (973 715 6529) to talk it out.
Okay I'm ready! How do I sign up!
Awesome! We're excited to trek with you. Visit our Adventures page to fill out an Adventure Application and click the button below your chosen trek to register with payment. Can't wait to hit the trails with you!