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Monday, May 26, 2014


Wilderness Adventures -- gorgeous Craig County, VA
I love yoga retreats.  I love even "retreating" to another town just to practice yoga; at least a couple times a year my beloved and I slip away to another town for a few days of yoga classes, good eating and time alone together.  We always return a little more ready to tackle our reality and responsibilities.

I've also attended amazing yoga retreats where you can just totally immerse in yoga and meditation with like-minded people.  Incredible expereiences; an amazing sound healing retreat with my Kriya Yoga sister Camella Nair! and also a great detox retreat with my darling Katie Silcox  Even made it to India this year with the awesome Lisa Bergley and Uschi Gibson

So whether it's 48 hours or longer if you can swing it, it is really important to get out of your own little patterns for even a couple days; to not just ignore the laundry, the dishes, the chores -- because even if you decide to defer those mundane duties they always seem to mock you just a little.  But to truly set aside time for yourself; to eat well, get rest, read, journal, whatever.  Add in yoga, meditation, nature and sangha, retreat can nourish the spirit in ways a regular vacation just cannot.

It takes effort to make space; to shut down the computer and walk away from the tv; to let go of driving the same streets to the same places and all the familiarities.  By definition a "retreat" is a movement back; a retracing of steps in order to regroup

Our Cabin!
You have to choose to treat yourself to "retreat."

Kimberly Vest and I are leading a yoga retreat next month at Wilderness Adventures in Craig County, Virginia.  A gorgeous little spot that is about an hour from Roanoke, even less if you're out Salem/Botetourt way.  Would you like to join us? 

We're keeping it pretty simple; we've got an entire building all to ourselves; it's rustic, in that it's a wooden cabin and rooms are shared -- but it's very modern and very sweet.  There's outdoor space for practicing yoga in the grass, as well as a large covered pavilion with ceiling fans if it's too hot or if it rains.  There's also indoor space for yoga if the weather requires us to be indoors, and loads of outdoor activities and places to wander.  There's beautiful pond, a rushing river and hiking trails.  Check out the website if you want more pictures and info.

Dining Hall
We're planning lots of yoga and meditation options; but remember, these are OPTIONS.  I have many times attended a yoga retreat and decided that what I really needed to do was sit in a rocking chair and write in my journal instead of attend the scheduled class.  Or that I needed to dig a little deeper into conversation with a new and interesting person I have met instead of doing another scheduled activity.  The meal times are pretty set, but otherwise everything is optional; following your heart and your head and create your own retreat.

Very auspiciously the actual Summer Solstice is that Saturday -- so of course there will be a fire ritual and intention setting -- oh, and s'mores!  Also keep in mind that you'll pass Carvins Cove, McAfee's Knob and Dragon's Tooth on the way to and from the retreat -- so maybe tke Friday off and go hike on your way; or Sunday as you depart you can add on a little outdoor adventure.
One of the Rooms
The food will be vegetarian and all freshly prepared and served in the main lodge -- though the cabin we are renting has a full kitchen that you have access to if you have dietary restrictions or any concerns about properly feeding yourself.

Here are the details and a rough outline of our schedule; space is limited and there is a discount if you pre-register/pre-pay by June 1.

Let's go!!

Friday, June 20, 2014, 5:30 pm check-in
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 12 Noon check-out

Summer Solstice Yoga Retreat with Jill Loftis & Kimberly Vest
The solstice is an essential point in the year where we can honor the flow of life on earth. It is a time for us to come back into balance and harmony. As the Earth moves through its cycles of darkness into light and back again, we also share a parallel journey. With the Sun at its highest point in the sky, we can be reminded our own light.

Now is the time to reconnect to the light within ourselves, the light of our highest self. Immersed in nature, you will experience yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, kirtan and satsang as well as home cooked meals prepared with fresh ingredients.

Immerse yourself in nature and practice asana, pranayama, meditation, deep relaxation and chanting. This retreat is appropriate for all levels, including beginners.

Accommodations are rustic yet modern, with separate double/twin beds, bunk bed style in each room of the lodge. The lodge has its own kitchen if you have specific dietary needs. All linens: sheets, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, towels, etc. is provided.

Free outdoor activities: canoeing & swimming on pond, hiking the 500 mile property, horseshoes, sand volleyball, Frisbee gold course, field game equipment for soccer, football, Frisbee, etc.

Note: Please bring appropriate shoes, clothing, rain gear, yoga mat, water bottle and insect repellent.

Retreat Schedule

3:00 - 5:30 pm: Arrival and settling in
5:15 pm: Friday night unwind – gentle yoga/yoga nidra
6:00 pm: Gather at Sly Lodge to meet the group.
6:30 pm: Dinner at Main Lodge
8:00 pm: [talk/gathering/informal tarot readings with Jill]
10:00 pm: lights out

7:00 am: optional meditation
8:00 am: optional yoga
9:00 am: breakfast
10:00 am: Free time
Noon: Lunch
1:00 pm: [lecture]
2:00 pm: Free time
5:00 pm: optional yoga
6:30 pm: Dinner
7:30 pm: Ritual/Fire/Chanting Social time bring smores bring instruments

7:00 am: optional meditation
8:00 am: optional yoga
9:00 am: breakfast
10:00 am: walking meditation
10:30 am: optional yoga
Noon Closing Ritual; goodbye!

Founded Uttara Yoga Studio in Roanoke, Virginia in 2008. Her ecletic style weaves together the knowledge of Kriya Yoga with her studies under many gifted teachers She leades classes and workshops regionally on a variety of topics including astrology, stress reduction, and group breathwork.

Kimberly has been teaching and practicing yoga for over 20 years. Her foundational training was in the Integral yoga tradtion and trained and studied in the Viniyoga and Anusara traditions. Kimberly is skillful at adaptng classes to the needs of her students.

$250.00 before June 1 / $275.00 after June 1
To register, please contact Uttara Yoga Studio at (540) 309-0071 or via email:


Friday, May 2, 2014

Ummmmm . . . . aaaHHHAAaaaa . . .

April was quite a month, eh?

Make time to meditate.
Oh – you didn’t notice?  Everything easy-peasy-breezy?  Oh good!  Such excellent karma for you; go celebrate; the rest of us are gonna chat for a moment.

Holy crap, two super-strong eclipses sandwiching the Uranus-Pluto square; if your life was stress-free and awesome, that’s great; but did you read the news?  See the weather?  Have you been extra tired?  Lots of crazy dreams?  Big choices to make?  Endings?  (Which are actually beginnings . . . )
We are all connected and the fabric of our existence is under siege.  Many of us are at a crossroads of existence; what/who do we keep?  What/who do we let go of?

Rishikesh, sacred space.
If you figure it all out-got-the-answers-sure-no-worries-mate . . . then please text me at 540-309-0071 and let me know what to do. 

Cause it’s hard for me; really hard.

But I will tell you what has helped me; no, SAVED me during the past few weeks.  I have been meditating every day. 

Well, of COURSE Jill meditates everyday  – you say – she’s a yoga teacher, spiritual healer, all that stuff . . . yeah, but that doesn’t mean I have always made the time to do what I know works.  We usually all know in our heart what is right, what works.  It’s choosing it – that’s the sticky bit. 

For me this past month, it has been SO easy to meditate; to make time, to understand how important it is; my soul knows I am keeping myself sane.  I am literally sucked onto the cushion; and even then I usually have a little routine;  invocation, pranayama, mantra, etc.  But that has dropped away these past few weeks into just sitting; just BEING, sitting, shifting, listening, breathing, living, dying, birthing, receiving, giving, nothing.  It’s been awesome; and so hard not to be attached to that experience.
There is a window of opportunity open for us all right now; it is a time of making hard choices; of reaching for light and removing darkness; of letting go to make space for opportunity and also receiving great gifts of Earthly and Heavenly joys.  Of finding other spiritual seekers on the path; of finding great love or letting go to create space FOR great love to unfold.

My dear ones; be brave; be strong; hold to the light.


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