Our Mission

The mission of Awakened Heart Retreats is to facilitate life changing travel focused on yoga, sustainability, wellness, adventure, and connection. We combine our passion for travel and our skill in coordinating international journeys, with the regenerative qualities of pristine natural places and the expertise of experienced yoga and wellness instructors.


Our Story


Awakened Heart Retreats founder, Lily Russo, is a compassionate and experienced yoga and meditation teacher. “Awakened Hearts Retreats arose naturally out of the interweaving of my passion for travel, my love of yoga, and my years of experience in event planning and international travel coordination. I am here for you from the first contact and throughout your retreat so you can relax and fully enjoy the incredible destinations and experiences you find yourself in.”

Lily has been practicing yoga most of her life. It has been a tool of transformation, health, and empowerment since her teen years. Her initial practice of yoga asana lead her to study all the other facets including pranayama, meditation, and yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, as well as other influential wisdom traditions, primarily Buddhism, the Tao, and plant medicines. Through these experiences she has come to an understanding that all systems of life are intricately interconnected, and practices which lead us to recognize our relations to our higher selves and to all other beings as well as the natural world create a life of harmony.

“I have been passionate about meaningful travel for as long as I can remember. I began organizing group trips when I was 15. As president of the high school non-profit Circle of Friends, I coordinated groups of students to travel from Illinois to a Native American reservation in South Dakota to bring school and art supplies and run an art and music summer camp for the youth in the reservation. Since then I have had the blessing and privilege to have traveled in every continent except Antarctica. My experiences have given me great appreciation for travel as one of the most powerful ways to expand our world view and develop compassion, resilience, patience, and resourcefulness.”