Nature as Ritual: A Sacred Women's Retreat
July 14-16, 2017
Women’s rhythms are tied to cycles of nature and of the planet. On this deeply nurturing and inspiring retreat, we will honor nature’s archetypal energies and wisdom, which are also reflected in divine feminine archetypes from around the globe.
During the weekend, ritual and ceremony will help pay tribute to progress on our personal and spiritual journeys, to cleanse and release what is ready to be let go, and to awaken our awareness of our true selves, and to cultivate powerful energetic tools and techniques to support us on our paths.
Come prepared for intentional time with nature – cloud watching, fire ceremony, moon bathing, earthing, river floating. We will also practice yoga asana, transformational breathing, deep relaxation, awakened art, guided meditations, chanting, sound healing, shamanic drumming, soothing self-care practices, and sacred listening and speech.
You will come away from the weekend rejuvenated, balanced and renewed through:
- greater connection to the sacred feminine and the elements of nature
- heightened awareness of the wisdom and grace present in your daily life
- participation in a community of awakened women
- practical knowledge of how to access the power and support of the divine feminine
- secret insights from ancient yogic and shamanic traditions to support you on your journey
Lakshmi is a Yoga Therapist, Awakened Heart Meditation Teacher, and E-RYT200/RYT500 Yoga Teacher. Her first tranformative spiritual experiences occurred while adventuring, playing, and sitting quietly surrounded by the awesomeness of the natural world, during eight years as a camper and counselor at Quaker hiking and canoeing camps in Virginia.
Lakshmi has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching yoga since 2009. She is a certified meditation teacher through Sally Kempton and the Dharana institute, and by Jnani Chapman in Yoga Therapy for Cancer and Chronic Illness (YCat). Lakshmi has also completed Sacred Journey: Being Present with Aging, Illness and Dying, a nine-month contemplative course offered by Insight Meditation Community of Washington.
Yoga and meditation have transformed Lakshmi both energetically and physically, helping her heal from physical injuries, from the loss of her mother to breast cancer in 1999, and from a painful separation and divorce. Her Sri Lankan mother often spoke about the incredible healing power of our own breath, and Lakshmi now understands the truth and profundity of that insight.
Lakshmi has guided women's circles since 2015 and wrote award winning contemplative audio tours for The Phillips Collection's modern art exhibitions. She has led yoga for stress relief at the NBC4 Health Fair and the Green Festival and has taught yoga classes and retreats for people with cancer through INOVA Alexandria Hospitalís Life With Cancer program, Washington Cancer Institute, and Yogaville. She has worked with the Cancer Help Program at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, taught trauma survivors and human trafficking survivors, and assisted retreats at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Lakshmi also teaches at studios, nonprofits, museums, community events, corporations, conferences, festivals, and for private clients.
Lakshmi’s awareness, breath and movement have accompanied her throughout an ever evoloving and travel-filled career in documentary science television production, science communications, and urban education. She holds a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and studied Photography at California College of the Arts.
Gabrielle Fouche Williams
Sound Healer and Shamanic Drummer
Whit has over 20 years experience of promoting the arts through various national, state and local level realms. She currently teaches at the University of Maryland in the Dept of Ed, primarily working with students in their residencies as aspiring teachers. Prior to that she taught at the University of Hawaii teaching arts-integration & ethic courses.
Stone Song Center, 23 acres of luscious wildness – woodlands, meadows and streams – is located in Flintstone Maryland, amidst the Allegany Mountains. Just 2 hours northwest of Washington DC, the retreat center has a deep commitment to nature and participates in the state’s Forest Stewardship Plan. Green Ridge State Forest and Rocky Gap State Park are literally next door.
- Camping: You are free to bring your own tent and camp out on the beautiful land.
- Barn: The renovated barn is a rustic but very charming structure. Accommodations are dormitory style with a variety of queen, double, twin and bunk beds.
- Farmhouse: The farmhouse is a beautiful house with all modern amenities: central air, indoor Jacuzzi.
- A hot tub is on site.
- All lodging includes shared bathrooms. Bedrooms are typically shared. If you have special requests for a private room, please let us know as early as possible and we may be able to accommodate your wish at an extra cost.
Our nourishment will be fresh, seasonal and balancing, from Friday nights dinner through Sunday lunch. Options can include gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or considerations when you register.
- Granola or Oatmeal
- Dry fruit/raisins, mixed nuts
- Fruit juice, coffee, tea
- Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad
- Steamed Broccoli with Lemon & Olive oil
- Chilled Beets & Onion Salad
- Quinoa and Mung Bean Kitchari
- Kale salad
- Sautéed Zucchini/Yellow squash
- Chia Seed Pudding
EARLY BIRD OPTION: Payment due in full before May 22
50% DEPOSIT TO HOLD YOUR SPOT: Remainder due by June 30
Accommodations, meals, and all activities are included in the cost. Massage sessions with a professional massage therapist may be booked separately for an additional fee.
Medical Clearance and Contact Form
Please bring a journal, comfortable clothes for yoga and outdoor activities, warm clothes for cooler evenings, a swimsuit, a sarong for lying on the ground, a yoga mat, a meditation cushion or equivalent (chairs will be available onsite), your favorite yoga props (1 strap, 1 blanket and 1-2 blocks recommended), good walking shoes and creek shoes if you have them, slippers for indoor activities, bug spray, sunscreen, a flashlight, reusable water bottle, and a contribution/offering for our communal altar.
Arrive, register, settle in, explore Stone Song property
Gentle Movement & Sound Healing
Sky & Moon bathing
Yoga, Breathing, Chanting, Meditation
Earthing / Forest Immersion
Saturday Mid Day:
River hike, Mud cleansing, & Play
Fire ceremony with Shamanic Drumming
Yoga & Meditation