About David & Alana
Alana first discovered the practice of yoga while a college student at The College of Santa Fe (Santa Fe, New Mexico) in 1997. It was then and there at the age of twenty-one that yoga quickly became an integral practice “for life” for her. Having been diagnosed with a very serious disease as an adolescent and relapsing in her early twenties, a practice “for life” was exactly what she needed.
Alana is continually amazed by and grateful for all of the many ways yoga sustains and supports her life on a daily basis. She begins each day with an asana practice (practice of the physical poses) on her mat and creates space each day for her chanting practice as well.
After years of growing her own yoga practice, it became clear to Alana that the time had come for her to teach. She completed her first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in the summer of 2010 with Tias and Surya Little, Linda Spackman, and Nicholai Bachman at Prajna Yoga in Santa Fe, NM. Upon completion of her first yoga teacher training, she began another and completed that second 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga on High (based in Columbus, Ohio) in the summer of 2011. She also assisted two 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings at The Yoga Place in North Canton.
Alana has found great joy in the continuance of her yogic studies. She has participated in hundreds of hours of workshops and additional trainings since completing her two initial 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings. Alana has treasured the opportunity to continue her studies with such brilliant teachers as Tias and Surya Little, Max Strom, Glenn Black, Matthew Sanford, Mike Curtis, and Margot Milicetich.
Just a few years after discovering the practice of yoga, Alana became curious about the practice of meditation as well. She took her first meditation class in State College, Pennsylvania in 2000 and the practice has been a part of her life ever since.
Her very first meditation teacher, Char Brighton, planted a seed in Alana’s life for which she will always be grateful.
Since those early days of practice, Alana’s meditation practice has grown in many beautiful ways.
Her practice grew very deeply and in many transformative ways under the guidance of Ji Hyang Padma during the summer of 2006 at the OMEGA Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.
Her participation in a 10 day Vipassana Retreat in Michigan in December 2013 brought an even greater depth to her practice.
In addition to her asana and meditation practices, the practice of Vedic Chant has become very dear to Alana’s heart. She treasures her relationship with her chanting teacher Linda Spackman with whom she has been studying privately since 2016. She also cherishes each opportunity that has come her way to study Vedic Chant with Sonia Nelson and Deborah Kuryan.
Alana views all of her travels to study and practice with such gifted and sincerely devoted teachers as stepping stones on the path of deepening her awareness and expanding her capacity to embrace life with an open heart.
She feels so blessed to be both teacher and student.
Alana has been teaching yoga at True Nature since 2010. She is also an adjunct faculty member at The College of Wooster where she has been teaching Introduction to Yoga courses since 2011.
Alana lives at True Nature with her husband Dave, their son Oliver, and a variety of furry family members as well.
Alana (Generson) Pratt, B.A., E.- R.Y.T.
David Pratt, B.A., L.M.T.
"I have two main wishes.
The first is twofold and it is: To support our guests to experience the balance, healing and harmony that is our birthright and to help them learn how to cultivate that for themselves. This is a beautiful process to witness!
My second wish is to celebrate the beauty of living on Earth. I do that with a variety of arts including painting, photography and many other visual arts (), creative writing, organic gardening, and bread-baking in the outdoor earthen oven we built here at True Nature! In all of those activities I am supported by the Teaching of Breema: The Art of Being Present, which is the greatest aid I have found for opening the heart, inviting the instinctive wisdom of the body and balancing the mind." - David Pratt
David was introduced to meditation as a child in 1980, and he has remained a student ever since. After years of studying and practicing a variety of meditative disciplines, David settled into the Soto Zen tradition for about a decade of regular and sometimes intensive practice. It was late 1998 when he went on his first retreat, and the effect was life-changing. Soon afterwards, he was licensed as a massage therapist and began organizing retreats for Tim McCarthy, a teacher in the lineage of Kobun Chino Otagawa, Roshi.
The following decade was a rich learning experience in the art of retreating. Back then, (in the pre-email era) David typed, printed and snail-mailed invitations to retreats at The Hermitage at Beaver Run, a non-profit center at the home of Ted and Martyne Kempel in Stillwell, Ohio. Ted, a clinical psychologist, and Martyne, a long-time social worker, had been moved by the benefits of retreating years before and took it upon themselves to create a place for healing, contemplation and reflection at their 60 acre haven in Ohio woodlands. In addition to making all the invitations, David planned meals, bought food, did all correspondence with participants, put together the weekend schedules, rang the bell during meditation periods and on and on. At some point, he recognized the need to delegate and let go of the reins as more people joined in. This shift freed him up to increase the number of retreats he was putting together for massage therapists and bodyworkers. This was a key turning point, as the transition led him to organizing a Breema retreat in 2001, led by instructors from the Breema Center in Oakland, Ca. This was his first experience of what has become the Teaching which he looks to for guidance in all areas of life and which he is honored to share with others as a Certified Breema Instructor and Practitioner.
In 2007, David struck up an agreement with the owner of The Inn at Honey Run, to create a holistic spa at the inn. David used the new center as a middle-ground place to take the depths of the retreat work he had been honing into a mainstream setting. He moved his regular massage and bodywork practice to the space where he was able to interweave the two offerings. The results were profound, and guest-after-guest left the spa making comments like, “That is the deepest experience I’ve ever had in this kind of setting!” Hardly a solo effort, David staffed The Spa at Honey Run with seasoned massage therapists and bodyworkers, most of whom had been an integral part of the retreats at the Hermitage at Beaver Run.
After four years as Spa Director, David left that position and he and Alana more fully put their energy into True Nature Holistic Retreats.
Envisioned as a home-based retreat center where they could "practice what they preached," the couple solidified a mission to both nourish and replenish guests and to prepare them to practice what they had learned when they returned home.
Today, David and Alana continue to refine what they offer, yet this is still the core of their mission:
~ To offer a safe and sacred space in nature where guests can experience nurturance and replenishment.
~ To teach practical tools that guests can take home to create their own daily practices.
In doing this, they aim to empower people to take an active role in creating balance and harmony in their lives. As of this writing, David and Alana have also begun to increase retreat work outside of True Nature in a variety of settings and invite your inquiries for setting up a retreat near you.
At True Nature, David provides massage therapy and Breema bodywork treatments, teaches meditation and Breema: The Art of Being Present and develops the offerings with Alana. He is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a Certified Breema Instructor, and also maintains the property, manages the website and practices the other arts mentioned here. David has traveled extensively teaching Breema classes, and he welcomes inquiries from those who wish to experience a Breema workshop in their hometowns. Currently, he and Alana are planning to increase travel retreats that they co-lead. David is also a licensed celebrant/officiant and can perform wedding ceremonies infused with the aliveness of sacred poetry and the life experience he brings.
He lives at True Nature with Alana and their son, Oliver, and has two adult children, Hannah and Max.
You can read more about Breema and .
Most of the people who come here are over-worked, over-stressed, and often talk about wishing to have a quieter mind or time to simply slow down. They are tired of the busy-ness of life and don't know how to find their centers in the midst of hurried days filled with endless "to dos."
The beauty of what we offer (we feel) is that it comes from our own practices, years of retreat work and what we have learned from our own teachers over many decades. We don't suggest anyone do anything that we have not verified and worked with ourselves, and what we present is down-to-earth and simple, yet has potential to transform anyone's life.
We hope to meet you here,
David Pratt and Alana Generson Pratt
We are Alana and David, co-creators and stewards of this beautiful place that we call True Nature Holistic Retreats. We lead our first retreat here in the winter of 2009 and a small number of group events in 2010. By 2011, we were booking retreats year-round. Since then, we have welcomed hundreds of individuals and groups, and we have continued to develop our emphasis on helping our guests cultivate their own home practices.