Join Michelle one Saturday a month at her home in Chesterfield, Mass for a retreat reconnecting and immersing yourself in Nature.
Each retreat day will begin around 9am with sitting practice or chanting, followed by a guided 90 minute yoga class and pranayama in the Ashtanga vinyasa tradition outdoors (weather permitting.) The class will be accessible to all AYN students, and to anyone who can walk at least a couple of miles - you don't need to have yoga experience to participate!
You'll have a chance after to rest and refresh, be still in nature, or engage with fellow students. Then we'll enjoy a simple but delicious vegetarian/vegan meal, sourced from seasonal and local ingredients. After lunch you'll follow Michelle for a moderate hike into a variety of natural places, within and beyond the hundreds of wild acres of land and forest that surround her home.
Afterwards, we'll return to Michelle's home for a half hour break to refresh, then finish our day with satsang in the "Sacred Grove," which will vary every month - Yoga Nidra, Pranayama and Meditation, Storytelling, or Chanting.
Generally, the retreats will fall on the third Saturday of the Month. No rain dates! We will practice asana indoors if the weather is inclement, but take a hike even if it rains.
There will be options for camping for the intrepid, and soon, details on renting a small cottage on our property, too, if you'd like to stay for longer than the day. Stay tuned!
SAVE THE DATES:
Depending on the time of year, and if we are lucky, we might see signs of or even glimpse some of the many creatures living within the Western Mass ecosystem. We'll mindfully observe the native tree and flora species of the forests of Western Mass, along with some of the invasive species that are currently threatening our ecosystem - and some of the species that have been lost to our region, too.
We will hike and wade along the West Branch/Bronson Brook, a tributary of the Westfield River, crisscrossing the brook and bushwhacking to find pristine, clear swimming holes along the way. We'll have a chance to swim, or just observe the cool water pooling and spilling amongst moss covered rocks and boulders.
We'll walk along the tops of ridge lines to giant beaver ponds, and bushwhack along spectacular cliffs overlooking old growth trees and vernal glens. If the day's too hot for hiking, we'll drive a mile away to the Chesterfield Bend on the Westfield River, to simply swim and and chill.
And in the Fall, when the leaves are their most glorious, we'll hike to a glorious hill, close to the Worthington border with spectacular, colorful open views of Worthington, Cummington and beyond.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir