Alarm rings and on autopilot, the hamster wheel of to-do’s begins to cycle through. Laundry, dishes from last night, dogs need exercise, baby needs another 4 oz of milk to make it through the day without me, car needs to get packed, need to print registration list. Big stretch, body muscles wake up, the day begins at dawn with the feeding, chirping chorus. The morning flies by completing what I can before I need to get out the door. Fill water bottle, find keys, glance at the clock... shoot, it's already 7:30a and I need to be in woods of Verona by 8:00a from the far east side. Slipping on shoes, "I can tie them in the parking lot."
Hitting stop light after stop light, I'm finally to the countryside, taking in music that helps me ground into the present moment. Oak savannas open into farm fields that are feeding grounds to a few sandhill cranes. A hawk is being chased out into the open sky by crows and circles back over the car. "Today will be just as it needs to be."
Pulling into the daylot, car is parked, boots meet the gravel, lungs inhale. Immediately I feel relieved and connected. This place feels sacred. Woods feel sacred to me. Its colors send a relaxing response to my body to calm down. The fresh air fills me up and I breathe deeper. My brain shifts from hamster wheel to gratitude. Mood is lifted, brain is centered and the creativity of the day can now download. I am in the present moment interacting with my landscape purposefully, questioning the flow of the day's retreat.
I write my intentions for my own purpose on a polyspot to share with the group when they arrive.
Arrival of Guests
Guest arrive mostly one by one, checking in, finishing last minute housekeeping procedures and then receiving the invitation to create their own intention with pieces of nature. The goal: no one needs to arrive and make small talk unless they want to. Take some moments to ground into the space, connect with the outer landscape and find alignment in intention-making. Press pause to remember why you are here, instead of being swept about by a quick beginning.
Why are you here? Why am I here? Why did our paths cross and stories weave together today? What might we get out of today? What are people looking forward to most? All of it? One specific modality? A few of them? What might surprise them after listening to their compelling why's this morning? Introductions are the roots beneath the soil to what makes a retreat successful. We need to know where you've been, where you are now and where you want to be so that our conversations are tailored to your own personal growth, and the growth of the group. Activities & invitations often change after this portion of the day unfolds.
Movement & Breath
Whether we begin with forest bathing, yoga, light stretching, a game, tai chi or qi gong practices- movement and breath always follow introductions. It's time to activate, play and feel alive in our bodies. It's time to breathe deeply & honor the source that lives within us - the life force energy that flows in and out of our lungs. Often this is when participants start to livin' up, joke around, offer more smiles and look relaxed.
Part of every retreat Hike and Heal Wellness programs, forest bathing is our core practice. Sometimes we begin here, sometimes we end here - depends on the group, weather and other parts of the agenda. The group learns about the history of forest bathing, it's benefits as well as the many health benefits we receive by just being outside in nature for 3-4 hours. Often I notice gratitude here in body language as well as curiosity, surprise and interest. When we begin the practice, we start with an opening of the senses - the more than five basic senses. By the time we are done and talking about how it all went, people are talking in slow motion. The pace has set in and people are ready for what's next. Invitations to move - invitations to be still - invitations to play - invitations to create - invitations to explore - invitations to go within & ponder - invitations to search on the outside and on the inside - a reflection of both. What happens next depends completely on the trails, people, conditions, weather and season. Forest bathing is a remembering of yourself - your basic sense of self and your connection to her/him/they. It's a continuation of relationship building with the land from when you last left off. It's a remembering of what the earth gives us without much effort - in any given moment. The winds, the waters, the low-lying plants, the wingeds, the invisible, the big and the small. We notice it all. We appreciate it all. We play with it all. By the end, the group is all ready for a nap - in the most serious sense - the body now needs to rest. So often, we follow forest bathing with some food and then Sound Healing.
A cellular detox nap of beautiful, relaxing sounds. Snoring is a compliment to the musicians. The science is real - sound healing relaligns our cells to a higher vibration and brings our brainwaves to the theta or delta state where we do our best healing. It's a short cut to meditation that can have profound impacts on people's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. We guide you into it and guide you out. It's the easiest part of the day - you just get to close your eyes and go where you need to go. Often people will say they saw colors and were not sure where they went. They also can't believe it's 45-60 minutes long because it feels like 15 minutes. There's a transformation in just resting and it's usually the part of the retreat that people are most pleasantly surprised with.
This is a new addition to wellness modalities, as I am still learning from mentor Vince Aiello. People usually think forest bathing will include foraging and learning about plants, but forest bathing is not about that at all. There may be a little learning about some specific medicinal benefits from ingesting certain plants I gather in the background during the forest bathing walk, but other than that I leave it to relationship building and sensory exploration. Foraging is a separate practice all on its own, as it should be. Foraging is fun, relaxing and exciting all at the same time. On the October 16th retreat, Vince will be the guide, and he is as witty as he is intelligent. You will learn more plants in an hour than you can remember. He will ignite your passion for plants, their healing properties and encourage you to continue to learn.
On most of the Hike and Heal Retreats I offer or sponsor, you'll find a yoga class or two. I normally hire other yoga instructors to collaborate on this portion of the retreat because I feel like I don't practice yoga enough in my daily life to teach others. I am capable and certified, but it's not my passion. If I do teach a class, it's often community-based and playful as I am a K-2 teacher at heart & by trade. Whoever the teacher is - I make sure they teach to any body. Whether you're a novice, expert or somewhere in the middle - it's important to me that your body feel good after practicing yoga. These classes offered on retreats are not power flows requiring a significant amount of upper arm strength, balance or coordination - the classes offered are grounded, restorative & possible for any person to do. In fact, surveying the group before the retreat about their yoga experience is always part of the behind the scenes work. That way we know how to tailor the class to all.
Smiles. Laughter. Gratitude. Storytelling. It's all there an more. What is next? We spend some time talking about what stood out to each person most and where they may go with some of these practices next. What shift was made, and what did you learn about yourself? What surprised you? What grabbed your attention? Who did you bond with? What did your intuition convey to you today? Closing circle is organic and never fully planned. This is a spontaneous coming together of minds based on the amount of time we have left. I find it hard to end a retreat on time. No one wants to leave, unless they have a prior arrangement already scheduled. People linger and continue to tell stories and ask questions. They exchange numbers and hope to meet up with fellow retreat guests in the future. It's a bittersweet moment knowing you just shared such a vulnerable part of yourself with strangers who really feel like a chosen type of family - to say goodbye or see you again soon. Eventually, things get packed up and people head to their cars carrying their own belongings and offering to help with some of ours.
Gitty. Tired. Relaxed. Me and whomever I am working with debrief the day as we pack up and share our favorite moments with one another. We pack and haul, pack and haul until everything is back into our vehicles like it was when we began the day and had first arrived. Huge, long hugs of thankfulness. It is such an honor to create these experiences, and even more so when I can share them with another person to see it all. With all of the coordination, organization and prep leading up to the retreat, setting up the day of, programming and then packing up to once again follow up with the group - it always feels like a big chapter being completed in a book. Gratitude and exhaustion frolic together as I take a few last deep breaths in the familiar, sacred woods to travel home to family whom I miss dearly. I always feel excited to go home because I also feel restored and ready to give back to them. Driving, music on, snacks and water on hand, smiles abound. It's time to move beyond what was and live in the present moment.
A weekend focused on learning the art of forest bathing for life-long benefits with a combination of restorative practices to aid in the alignment of the body, mind and spirit. Sound healing, foraging, forest bathing, yoga & gourmet meals! Camping is optional, as is a day 2 experience. Three immersion choices available to accommodate time, budgets and interest. Click the register now button above to learn more!
#wisconsinretreats #wisconsinwellnessretreats #womenswellnessretreats #wisconsinyogaretreats #forestbathing #foresttherapy #wisconsinforestbathing #forestbathingretreats #soundhealing #soundhealingretreats #wisconsinsoundhealing #holisticwellnessretreats #natureretreats #wisconsinnatureretreats #restorativehealingpractices #restorativehealingretreats #wisconsin #madison #healing #retreat #yoga #natureconnection
Many camps are cancelled, including ours. That doesn't mean we can't offer programming options to families and children. It just means that normal camp, running for several weeks at a time with larger camper numbers cannot happen for our small business this summer. Don't worry, we'll be back next year in some form or another with a better plan to support the community.
We won't, however, be sitting back and twiddling our thumbs wishing we were rockin' out at camp. We are proud to announce that we will be providing parents with the opportunity to receive some reprieve, and a well-deserved back seat to "being in charge." We will educate parents, giving them helpful tools to use in and out of the home, to promote healthy living. Digital parent & kid-friendly handouts will be provided when registering for multiple Family Wellness Day's. Parents will be guided to foster their child's skills in self-regulation through mindfulness & sensory-based play that is essential for healthy child development.
Our COVID response to summer camp is to call on all Madison families who have found peace in narrowing their kids contact circles with other like-minded friends and family members. Do you let your kids play with a few others in your neighborhood? Do you have friends with similar aged kids who you get together with? Do your kids play with their siblings or cousins? Whoever the group is - if you're already meeting, let's gather! In unity, we will learn about mindfulness and nature connection, play games, have load of fun and spend meaningful time together enhancing the family's well-being.
After a few sessions of getting to know your group, we may give you the option to drop off your kids without you. We'll learn each family's comfort level with COVID, your goals of being in the program and the whole group will get on the same page regarding a customized safety plan tailored to you. Once we are all at a good place, kids may be offered to attend on their own. Parents will get to benefit from time a part while their kids get to be kids again - developing holistically in a safe environment. This win-win-win will benefit the entire family unit.
It is of no surprise that many humans of all races are sitting with heavy feelings of discomfort, loss, confusion, sadness and anger. Black Lives Matter (BLM) - period. As the 2020 BLM movement meets the era of COVID-19, it is being demonstrated worldwide that human rights are more important to most than social distancing, and as such, the need for action often outweighs the fear associated with COVID-19. Though the virus is undoubtably concerning, we will need to learn to live alongside it in order to maintain mental, emotional and social stability. However, I refuse to live alongside the virus of racism that has plagued this country for far too long. We can refuse to be victims of the disease that we, white people of this nation, have created. After reading, listening and watching black people talk about what white people can do for the past few weeks (have you seen Oprah's "What's Next" Series? If not... watch both parts and educate yourself) - the one trend has been clear - start with me, myself and I. Black people don't want to and shouldn't have to tell white people what to do or help them feel better about this - they are exhausted. Would someone who has been abused over and over again want to make the abuser feel better for acting inhumane? The answer is no. Including myself in this, we as white people need to stop asking for help in understanding our own white history and the racism we have been complicit to. Instead, we need to start taking ownership for our own whiteness and dig into the raw emotions that exist within ourselves. We need to ask questions like how do I feel about what has happened to black people in our country for over 400 years? What do I know about that history? What do I know about how that history has affected black people's everyday lives in my own communities? What don't I know about all of this? What do I need to know more about? Are there things I can do to support our marginalized black brothers and sisters? How's my ignorance? Where am I at with my own implicit biases? Am I reacting out of shame, guilt & embarrassment? Am I reacting because there is an overwhelming feeling of 'I need to do something?' Or am I reacting because I truly care about humanity? We need to reflect about all of it. We need to reflect on how we've handled different situations in our lives where our white privilege got into the way of us acknowledging human rights.
This work is life-long and it directly relates to the well-being of ourselves, black community members & the entire nation. No business should be moving forward without bringing attention how important our current times are, and we all need to be responding. The BLM cannot be "dealt with" or "handled" in a day, a week or even a year. Centuries of enslavement cannot be eradicated.
Spending time reflecting and offering space for your body, mind and spirit to connect to all of these layers is vitally important to any restoration process. Having healthy conversations with people about deep rooted topics relating to BLM is what is necessary for change. Raising anti-racist children needs to be part of our future.
As I am writing this, I would be remiss for not addressing who I am, and what that means for me. My name is Moira and I am a white privileged female sharing these heavy feelings with you. I was raised Catholic, am bi-sexual and married a woman. I work with children of all races, teaching wellness in public schools. I am raising a one year old daughter, running this small business and trying to process all of this just like you are. While you are navigating these issues, feelings and everything that comes along with them, Hike and Heal Wellness would like to offer all humans looking for support shared and meaningful experiences to help find steps forward.
Now more than ever, we need to focus on our health - and that includes mental, emotional, social, physical and spiritual. Humans are social beings (some may prefer animals and plants, but we all still thrive on connection!) whose nervous systems depend on sensory input to maintain health, grow and evolve. Sensory inputs are physical. Not virtual. This pandemic is forcing us to go against our natural way of being, staying 6 feet apart, socially distant & in front of screens more than we likely have ever imagined. And now people are coming together to protest basic human rights. The heavy stressors afflicting all of us right now, especially black people, takes a toll on our bodies and brains.
So, what does Hike and Heal have to offer?
We have half-day, full-day and multi-day experiences that can support you on this journey. Groups of people who already know each other can customize their own wellness programming.
100% of profits from the Mindfulness in Nature Retreat will be donated to the Madison chapter of NAACP.
I'll end with some personal questions I've been asking myself in all of this -
1) white people stole the love and connection to the land from black and brown people alike. We literally stole people from their homes, from their families, from their lands, from their trees, from their animals and plants, from their neighbors. Trees are living and breathing beings just the same, working hard for the health of our earth. Why did white people think they could take away such an important thread of life from another race of people? Why did white people think trees would want to be an accomplice to mass hatred, suffering and murder? Where do I begin to process that grief?
2) black people have marginalized access to wellness in all of its aspects because of systemic racism that's engraved in our country. How didn't I fully realize this sooner? Why did I allow myself to be complicit for this long to racism? How did I? In what ways did I just ignore it? What kind of person does that make me? If I were to go back 10 years from now, would I have done anything differently as it relates to building positive relationships with all humans?
Read, learn, reflect. Repeat.
Change is possible.
We get it - self care doesn't always seem attainable. After you overcome the obstacle of limited time, you encounter the budget hurdle. We are hoping that learning more about how we do business and when you can save the most money on our programs helps you in the long run.
Hike and Heal Wellness was founded by and is owned / operated by one person... me! Moira Farrell. I teach full time at Midvale Elementary School, am a mom of one human and two canines, wife and am still able to adventure on the side to do all things Hike and Heal. All of you participating in my programming are the ones shaping how this looks. Thank YOU for your encouragement, feedback and support in these the last three years. What a blessing it is to be able to serve you, my family and my own self-care needs through nature-based, mindfulness programming.
What it takes to pull off a Hike & Heal retreat:
I rent spaces and collaborate with like-minded instructors to put on events. Each space rented has its perks that come at different expenses. While some are monetary, others are labor intensive. The 2020 spring and fall retreats, for example, utilize the MMSD School Forest Campground. What a delightfully tranquil area! I love it because most people don't know about it, it is incredibly beautiful at any time of year and there isn't the steady traffic drone you hear most places in and near Madison. For these retreats, the team I put together and I shop for locally grown, organic food, prep the meals, haul equipment down a 1/4 mile trail in wagons and set-up everything at an open air shelter to deliver a serene, yet rustic retreat experience. It takes about 4 trips in and 4 trips out for three of us to haul the gear when it is all said and done. Driving out there, cooking, schlepping the supplies, setting up, prepping for each instructor's role in addition to leading the retreats, taking down and clean up is a huge time commitment. Each of these particular retreats is truly a labor of love... and I try my best to 1) honor my instructors for their time and expertise while 2) giving all guests the option to keep the retreat cost under $200/person.
How you can save $ on Hike & Heal self-care:
All Hike & Heal retreats and programs over the price of $100 are on sale at $20-50 off until 1-2 months before the event date. Why? Because I need to encourage you to register early. The earlier you register, the faster my minimum numbers are met, so bills can be paid and I know I can afford to move forward with the final details. If my minimum number isn't met (typically 6-8 people), I can't afford to run the retreat and it gets cancelled. Luckily, I have only had to do that two times in three years! Many small business start-ups like mine have to cancel a few every year. So... if you're willing to work with me to plan ahead, then I reward you with a lower price. But... if you wait until the month of, you'll have to pay full price. It is still worth that price for certain, as most 2-day retreats offering lodging, meals, and activities such as yoga, sound healing, Reiki and forest therapy are in the $350-600 range. When I rent fancy lodging my price reflects that higher end price range. Camping, however, allows us to heal more while being kind to the pocket book. It is important to me that the self-care I offer is affordable to help the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health of the community. I know a healthy community is a compassionate one.... and together we can create a more mindful world.
What's better? Holiday giveaways of course. On Small Business Saturday only, 11/30/19, I am giving away $25 digital gift cards to anyone who registers for a 2020 program that costs over $100. Gift cards never expire and can be used however you like! Give it to a friend to join you on the experience, save on a different Hike and Heal program or use it towards the one you register for by checking out with the 50% deposit coupon code: "50off."
The cliff notes:
Register for programs at least 2 months in advance to save $20-50 on programs that are $100 or more, use the "50off" code to keep more money in your bank each month and benefit from the 11/30/19 $25 gift card deal by registering for a 2020 event.
Imagine a world where families boycott the Black Friday craze & stay present with one another. Notifications get turned off, phones & other devices are tucked away & the TV becomes covered with a tablecloth as a reminder to press pause. The family spends the day getting lost in page turning books or excited over putting together a big puzzle. Instead of getting frazzled by the flocks of people shopping for deals for things the family likely doesn't need, everyone plays a board game, hide n’ seek (no one is too old to play hide n' seek...) or cooks together. Maybe you decorate the house, go outside to hang lights, hike, do yard work or make art! Maybe you do it all. But without a device telling you to purchase something. You experience the day together as one and remain present.
Just writing it feels like a big deep breath. In between & amongst those experiences are smiles, big and small feelings, sensory awareness, problem solving, exercise, hard work, benefits of nature, creativity & more. Days like these are memories for families to cherish forever. Do we need to dare you? Okay... we dare you to have a day like this with the fam, even if they groan, and not post about it. Just live it! See what happens. How does everyone feel afterwards? Seems like a fun thing to plan over a yummy thanksgiving meal after an outpouring of family love and a gratitude blessing.
This season, amidst all of the materialism madness & overloading ads - Hike & Heal Wellness will be chillin' in the corner by our mascot Grandmother Oak grinning, waiting to listen & ready to provide comfort when you need us. We are here if you’d like to give something different this year. Instead of worrying if you purchased the right "thing," give a family member a weekend to focus on themselves for once. Give your mom or daughter a bonding experience where health, new experiences & growing your relationship is at the forefront. Give a friend a day to develop something they are truly interested in - their intuition. Give your family of teens & tweens an overnight camping experience around Earth Day to celebrate your love for nature & each other. Give an adult in your life a weekend to de-stress, recalibrate, ramp up the healing and bury the anxiety in the great outdoors. Give experiences. It can be affordable and life changing.
The 2020 program schedule is up & running. Registration is open for everything but summer camp (it opens the start of our fiscal year- Jan 1), prices are at their lowest between now & Dec 31 so really, there’s no pressure. We are just here if you need us. We’d love to practice self-care with you, connect deeply with our outer landscape & continue to build a mindful community of great humans with you as a part of our family.
Breathe deeply, grow together.
Team Hike and Heal
A year from now, you will wish you had started today. -Karen Lamb
Spring into Nature Retreat
Sunday June 6, 2021 | Self-care, self-care, self-care! Peel away layers of stress as this holistic wellness retreat helps unravel the best version you. Benefit from a full-day experience at the beautiful Magnolia Bluff County Park in Evansville, WI. The experience will invigorate, inspire and leave you feeling whole. Get grounded & give your immune system a major boost on guided forest bath. Set intentions that align with your highest vibration and clear any blocks you may be having through Theta Healing. Continue unraveling the Covid + regular life layers of stress from the past year via Yoga Nidra & Sound Healing Meditation. Do it all outside surrounded by spring birdsong & a cool breeze through the trees. See more details below. Your registration will help support Rock County Parks.
Fall into a Day of Mindfulness
A full day retreat that will help you reconnect with your truest self is just around the corner! See below for details. No 2021 date is currently scheduled for this retreat. Please check back periodically, or email Moira to tell her you want one to be hosted. The more people interested, the more likely it is to run. You will then be contacted if one is scheduled. Thank you!
Hike, Heal & Hum
July 10 or 11 from 9am - 12pm | Benefit from time in nature and stress reduction. Connect with like minded people and experience many different ways to live well. Begin with a guided Forest Therapy Walk and end with a Sound Healing practice. Spend a Sunday morning (our preferred day) feeling grounded, grateful & playful. Find joy and take care of yourself in a new, yet familiar way.
Wild Plant & Foraging Nature Series
Vince will be leading this series on his own in 2022. Read here for the description & details. Fill out the registration form at the bottom of the page and upon submitting you'll be taken to Vince's paypal.me account to finish registration. Please disregard the sold-out notice at the top! I loved his work and wish to continue passing on plant wisdom to all! Happy Trails... - Moira, Owner of Hike and Heal Wellness
See details below.
Find Balance, Find You: A Nature Immersion Retreat
October 16-17, 2021 | Kate Bast of Shinrin-Yoku Madison, Krista Pfohl of The Awakened Center, Marci Speich of Backyard Yoga and foraging expert Vince Aiello are all teaming up with Moira of Hike and Heal Wellness for a weekend of deep nature connection, healing and wonderment. Immerse yourself in the sensory experience of forest therapy, while learning how to integrate it into your everyday life for optimal well-being. Peel away the layers of stress and experience alignment to your highest vibration through Yoga & sound healing meditation. Learn about local plants & fungi for safe foraging in Autumn to receive the phytonutritional benefits of wild flora. Your guides will help open the door, while nature does the healing. Location is at Rooted Soul Farm Retreats in Columbus, WI. Price starts at $295 with longer immersions as optional add-ons. Email Moira for a group rates and/or educator discounts. Scroll down for more details on the event.
Summer Women's Kayaking Retreat
August 19 - 22, 2021 | Bring the flow back into your life! Be a weekend warrior and become empowered with like-minded women in the Northwoods on the Three Lakes Chain! This is a trip for active women who would like additional support in their journey towards self-care. This is a great adventure for women who love the outdoors, want to experience something new and need a tribe to connect with. See below for more information.
$50.00 - $200.00
Surprise someone special with the gift of experience! Hike and Heal gift cards are delivered to the recipient by email and include instructions on how to redeem them at checkout. Our Gift Cards have no additional processing fees and never expire. Giving the gift of experience is environmentally friendly, leaves lasting memories and honors their health and wellness. A win-win-win... hooray!
Tap into Your Intuition! Practice self-care, get outside, play in the snow, connect to your childlike state of mind and open yourself up to new possibilities in life by learning how to trust your inner wisdom.
In collaboration with Luna Frequency, Hike & Heal Wellness is thrilled to announce a unique opportunity to “retreat” into your own internal wisdom. On March 16 & 17 we will be facilitating a 10 hour (day and a half) workshop on developing one’s intuition & inner knowing.
Forest Therapy, commonly referred to as, ‘Forest Bathing,’ is a relatively new practice in that it has been formally created in the last several decades by Amos Clifford to be a way of self-care, restorative healing & deep connection to the more-than-human world. It is heavily influenced by the Japanese nationally recognized form of wellness called Shinyin-Yoku. The Japanese people practice Forest Bathing regularly to keep stress-levels down and inhabit some of the world's leaders in scientific research on the health benefits of the time spent in nature.
Saturday morning of the “Tap into Your Intuition” retreat, we will engage in a guided Forest Therapy walk with Hike & Heal Owner & nature guide, Moira Farrell. We will engage all of our main 5 senses, while beginning to tap into clair-senses that help provide insight into our everyday lives. Forest Bathing is a grounding & protective form of self-care that is instinctual, easy & deeply rewarding to the mind, body & spirit. At the same time, it creates opportunities for participants to play, imagine & explore their intuition which will lend well in this experience.
After the forest walk, we will warm up by a fire and debrief our learning before nourishing the body & breaking for lunch on your own at neighboring restaurants or by bringing a packed lunch to enjoy at The Awakened Center.
Sunday morning will again take place at The Awakened Center and begin with another form of self-care, sound healing meditation (led by Moira & Krista). Both Forest Therapy & sound healing allow the body to quickly & effortlessly drop into the parasympathetic nervous system for cellular repair & rejuvenation. They also allow our brains to enter that theta or delta state, which are the brain waves we experience during deep meditation. After sound, we will have time for more intuitive play and conversations around how to continue growing our abilities.
Please consider joining us for an enlightened weekend that will leave you feeling physically restored, mentally stimulated & spiritually full.
A year of new beginnings, a time for reflection & growth, a lot of fun for adults and kids, new wellness practices, new connections, and new life - these are things that come to mind when sitting with gratitude for 2018 coming to a close.
Summer Camp Updates
2018's summer camp, called Camp Beginnings, had a refined twist that did nothing but help all involved. Year one (2017) Hike and Heal hosted summer camp for four weeks at Glenwood Moravian Church for 4-14 year olds. Yes- all age groups at the same time with 30 kids per week, learning together. Surprisingly, it worked! But it wasn't easy and staff left feeling like we didn't tap into the potential of our amazing little ones as much as we could the older population. After a little reflection, we decided to create two different camps divided by age group the following year. In 2018, 4-7 year olds embarked on a week-long, 1/2 day Jedi Training adventure, learning how to master skills in mindfulness while exploring in nature. It was such a hit, that we're adding a second week in 2019. Our 8-15 year old crowd worked together for two weeks, learning about personal leadership through outdoor adventure, mindfulness, yoga, cooking, art and music. Even though everything we did worked wonderfully, the two week Mindful Beginnings camp will be taking a pause in 2019 so that Founder/Owner/Camp Director Moira can focus on her new adventure: parenthood. To celebrate that new beginning, we are offering a Family Camp for 8-15 year olds and their parents. It will be a 3 day, 2 night camping trip at Lake Kegonsa State Park where families get to play together AND allow time for individual self-care. Space will be limited to 20 people, so registering in January and February is highly recommended. The two-week Mindful Beginnings 8-15 year old camp offering will continue again in 2020 - maybe with the addition of Family Camp - who knows!
Retreats & Adult Programming Updates
The most exciting part of Hike and Heal Wellness in 2018 was adding more programming for adults! We kicked it off in spring when subscribers connected with Moira searching for retreat opportunities in the Madison area. Ask and you shall receive! We led a day-long mindfulness retreat at the Madison School Forest that was unforgettable. It was a warm spring day in early June that was full of tremendous growth outside. Ferns were unfurling, vibrant green was shooting up from all angles, and the soil was lucious, smelling fresh. We embarked on Hike and Heal's first guided mini-Forest Therapy Walk, followed by lunch, hatha yoga and sound healing. The sequence of programming just worked. People left feeling rejuvenated, balanced and grateful for a unique experience in the great outdoors. It affirmed our work and motivated us to continue creating day-long events.
We created a shorter version of the day-long retreat, entitled "Hike, Heal & Hum," leading these events for bachelorette parties and the public alike. We walked the Pheasant Prairie Branch Trail (before it was sadly destroyed by the flood), participated in yoga at Parisi Park and utilized our 20m yurt for sound healing.
We stayed busy in fall leading our more forest therapy walks, our first multi-day retreat specifically for women, and another mindfulness day retreat like the one we did in spring. The multi-day retreat was equally as unforgettable as our first day retreat. Weather wasn't ideal, but it made it extra fun. We enjoyed a luxurious cabin stay in Eagle River, WI while participants were treated with healthy home-cooked meals, yoga classes, a mindfulness workshop, kayaking instruction and a day tour of the Chain-of-Lakes, a mini-Forest Therapy Walk, 30-minute Reiki appointments and more. This was a one-of-a-kind event full of opportunities for self-care and personal growth.
In 2019, we aim to put a year-long calendar together with retreats in all seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. Due to the parenthood journey, summer might be the last to add in 2020 but anything is possible! If you don't see retreats scheduled in a season, you'll most definitely see sound healing events, yoga events or forest therapy events with often a combo of a few of those modalities. If you're ever looking for something specific, chances are, others are too. Please reach out with wants/needs/desires- we are here to help create a more compassionate community.
Cheers to a great year of child and adult fun, thank you to all of the Hike and Heal supporters out there for your enthusiasm and referrals and we look forward to growing with you in 2019! Our mission to inspire personal growth through nature connection and mindful play has been a blast to explore and we will continue that mission for years to come.
Imagine an entire weekend focused on your own personal growth and well-being. Arrive Friday evening around 6pm for a healthy meal followed by a late night yoga practice. The next day there will be yoga in the AM, continental breakfast and a series of workshops that will leave you energized, curious and wanting more. There will be an introductory kayaking workshop to learn how to more easily maneuver your boat, prevent injury and become efficient in your paddle stroke. We will also focus on how to bring our yogic breathwork to the water to help in high wind and wave or for a more meditative paddling experience. We will play some games, keep it lighthearted and walk away feeling more confident. Then you'll have a choice of workshop to either strengthen your yoga practice as we break down poses for injury prevention and understanding, or delve into various forms of mindfulness and meditation. There will be lunch in between to re-energize and free time afterwards to reflect and rest. After dinner we will welcome the group to a sound healing meditation concert with over 14 different instruments combined with hands off Reiki. Throughout the entire weekend, you will have the option of signing up for an individual hour-long Reiki session on a massage table for stress-reduction. On Sunday, we will all paddle to an island, eat lunch and practice a forest therapy walk (think slow walking, mindful moments in nature). If time, there's a beautiful channel to paddle to learn about Eagle River history while looking at some historic waterfront mansions.
It will truly be a weekend to connect, unwind, build confidence and have fun with other like-minded women in a beautiful location.
As a token of our gratitude to all of the great teachers in our lives, educators receive a $50 discount off of the full price! Use code "Educate2Kayak" at checkout to save big on a weekend full of over 3 yoga classes, 2 workshops, a full 45 minute Reiki treatment, luxurious cabin lodging, 6 organic meals, a sound healing concert, forest therapy and a paddling day tour of Cranberry Lake on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes during peak fall colors.
Are you ready to commit to your own personal well-being for an entire weekend yet?
Invitation: the opportunity to try something new, an offering, a chance to explore, space to make a decision for your self. Sounds empowering doesn't it? It should. Invitations are optional, meaning they aren't required. So when you decide to go for it - you feel better about it. It was your idea to do whatever it is you are invited to do - you get to take ownership for it. And that is the empowering part.
The invitation Hike and Heal Wellness is offering you is purposefully convenient. You don't need an overnight babysitter, you don't have to figure out lodging, you don't need to bring food, you don't have to be able to do crazy awesome yoga poses or be super fit and you don't need a wad of cash to make it happen. We created this opportunity for local people living near Madison who just need a day to settle. To be still. To let everything else go and pay attention to YOU. Not the kids, not work, not the pets, not the news, not anyone or anything else - just you. Give your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical needs a lift. Stay at home parents? Are you out there? Busy bodies - can we press pause?
On June 2nd, 2018 - yes, two weekends from now - you are invited to open up your senses... all EIGHT (stay tuned!), and walk in the woods with us. You will be guided through at least four different forms of mindfulness and meditation in just five hours. We will bath in the forest, eat a light lunch, practice Hatha Yoga and head right into sound healing from Savasana. During the sound healing, you will receive hands on Reiki. Afterwards we will have a conversation about how we can bring more peace and compassion into the communities we serve. You may have already tried several of these practices before, but have you experienced them back-to-back? The best part of all of these forms of mindfulness and meditation, is that they should be practiced regularly. So let's learn how to make it regular. You are invited to let us guide you.
Hike, Heal & Hum | A Summer Wellness Series
Regularly guided Forest Therapy walks are coming to Madison, WI very soon. June 9th starts the first of a three part series called "Hike, Heal & Hum." The idea - experience a morning of sensory friendly awareness that provides space to drop into a Saturday slow, mindfully and compassionately. Experience something brand new with a group of like-minded humans who seek deep nature connection and restorative healing. The entire two-hour event will be done outdoors, rain or shine. Yoga in the rain? Sound healing in the rain? Well... we do have a very large tent, soothing to the eyes and a place to stay dry. We also have an indoor space secured if it's needed. But... we're envisioning sunshine, soft greenery, animal sightings, smells of conifers, sounds of baseline bird chirps and tuts, feelings of childlike wonder, total relaxation, tastes of a fresh pot of herbal tea, and a rewarding conversation amongst new-found friends. We'll meet at Common Ground in Middleton, hit the Pheasant Branch Conservancy Trail and walk up to Parisi Park for the rest. June 9, July 14 & August 4 from 10am - 12pm. $45/class or $120 for the series. Couples receive a $20 discount as well.
This will be a brief introduction to Forest Bathing, or Shinrin-yoku, a form of Japanese preventative medicine. The reason it is brief is because a true forest bath is 2-4 hours long. Hike, Heal & Hum is a snippet of three different modalities of holistic wellness guided by three different individuals who have become great friends through their Sound Healing & Reiki events. Moira, Krista & Niomi come together on this summer series to play, find joy, ground into Mother Earth and provide the Madison area with something completely unique. It is also a path to spread the good news about their own, individual, work in the broad field of wellness. In Fall of 2018, Moira will be a trained Forest Therapy Guide through AFNT and will be offering regular guided walks in Dane County and other parts of Wisconsin on retreats. Krista is a Reiki Master and energy worker that owns her own business called Luna Frequency. She does attunements, individual Reiki sessions combined with acupressure, as well as standalone energy sessions and psychic readings. She is a gifted lightworker who seeks opportunities to connect with people looking for new ways to be well. Niomi is a massage therapist, fellow energy healer, nature lover and certified yoga instructor. She recently launched a business called Be Mind with Holly Likos that provides on-site stress reduction programming to businesses of all kinds. Their mission to bring the benefits of mindfulness into the corporate culture. All three women bring different experiences and expertise while finding common ground in the need to take care of the earth (hence our meeting place!).
So join in on the fun this summer and register today. A mini forest bath, restorative yoga, sound healing and Reiki... all in two hours. Imagine how the rest of your day would go. Our guess: delightful, grateful and present. Come play with us! June 9, July 14, August 4th, 2018 | Middleton, WI | 10-12pm @ Common Ground
Hi, Moira here. When I'm not playing with my dogs, listening to music, enjoying nature or being with my friends/family, I'm probably writing. Read these blogs for wellness opportunities we offer at Hike & Heal, ones I know that are awesome or just some tidbits about living a healthier life.