Marla’s portrait in Hanalei, Kauai
This post features Marla’s portrait photographed in Kauai around Hanalei Organic. Marla is a wellness coach and will be teaching a yoga retreat here again this coming May. I followed her around the farm and photographed her practicing various yoga poses.
Let’s here about Kauai, Hanalei Organic and her wellness coaching directly from Marla:
My sisters and I were lucky enough to grow up in the verdant valley of Hanalei on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. We grew up in a community where nature was more important than anything. Before organic food became popular and mainstream, my community lived it.
Fifteen years ago our family bought 20 acres of land on the Hanalei River. The land was formerly owned by the king of Hawaii and was later a major rice producing area, which ended at the beginning of the 1900s. This organic fertile river front land remained unused and neglected since the days of rice. After years of hard work, this unique property was transformed from a wetland pasture to a productive one– filled with lotus and fish ponds, endangered birds and superfoods. We named our farm Hanalei Organic. On our farm we grow and process acai, banana, chocolate, guava and many more Hawaiian delicacies. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that can grow cacao trees. We have developed exceptional varieties that grow in our microclimate. The response has been so great that demand exceeds supply. After growing up loving Nutella we wanted to make a healthy Hawaiian version that we could enjoy without feeling guilty. We named our product “Pure Mana” which in Hawaiian means pure energy. It is made with three simple ingredients that give you energy for hours– chocolate, honey and macadamia nuts.
I have been practicing yoga for a decade. I teach “Hatha” style yoga with an emphasis on breath work to support physical and emotional healing. Seasonally, we hold a yoga retreat where we share our farm with friends. I always loved cooking. After I became a nutritional consultant I started hosting cooking and yoga seminars on the farm. We start the day off with smoothies and fresh fruit. After breakfast we head out on stand up paddle boards on the river and explore either the river or Hanalei Bay. When we return we have a wholesome lunch and snack on our dried bananas and guava fruit leather. We later work in the garden and do yoga amongst the lotus ponds. When the sun sets we head inside and do a cooking lesson using produce collected from the farm. We end the day with yin yoga which soothes our muscles and calms our minds.
If you are planning a trip to Kauai come visit us. We have provided a park and a few picnic tables on Hanalei Plantation Rd with a gorgeous view of Hanalei bay. We have a webcam on our website so you can see Hanalei on any day of the year. If you would like to taste some of our world famous chocolate and dried fruit, or get information about retreats visit our website at hanaleiorganic.com