Opening to Joy: Freedom Yoga under the Big Sky

About us

Join Alie under the Big Sky of Helena, Montana, for this special retreat at the renowned Feathered Pipe Ranch.  Cultivate a healthy balance between grounding and enlightening, doing and undoing, relaxing and energizing, and centering and expanding. Freedom Yoga practice takes on a uniquely sweet twist while you’re surrounded by fresh Rocky mountain air and held safely in the naturally grounding space of aromatic pines and warm welcoming earth. Because we host only one group in residence at a time, this is a unique and powerful opportunity to connect more intimately with your fellow yogis and foster a loving, trusting community as you practice together.

Alie’s morning and afternoon classes offer a thoughtful blend of restorative and active postures, essential breath work, and a variety of simple meditation practices, all of which will help you to come home to yourself and develop the skills you need to thrive while maintaining equanimity. Inspired by years of study with beloved master teacher Erich Schiffmann — who, for 20 years before beginning his teaching sabbatical in 2016 led his enormously popular Freedom Yoga retreats at Feathered Pipe — each daily yoga session with Alie will include space for you to explore Freedom Yoga’s signature “freeform” practice: it’s about tuning into, and being gently guided by, your own innate intelligence and inspiration. Freeform practice often fosters a flow of profound insight — which might translate into a unique asana sequence or a moment of spiritual or psychological clarity: it’s often helpful to memorialize this channeled wisdom in writing, so please bring a journal to record the teachings emanating from within!

Ample free time between classes offers opportunity for deep reflection during hikes in the forested mountains, while paddling a canoe on the tranquil lake, or taking advantage of the gifted body workers available during your stay. You may want to simply relax in a hammock and do absolutely nothing!  It’s tempting at the Ranch to put all your digital devices away and take a break from the barrage of digital responsibilities and ever-present media. You’ll dine three times a day on nourishing meals that our guests consistently rate “excellent” (and for good reason!)

The symbol of the Native American feathered pipe aligns seamlessly to the practice of “Freedom Yoga”: legend holds that when the tribe needed Spirit’s guidance on what direction to take, a feathered pipe was hung from a tripod. Once the pipe came to stillness it pointed the way towards the right path. Join Alie as she nurtures the beautiful practice that is Freedom Yoga and find your way back to the truth of who you really are.

"Fortunately, there are such things as miracles, crazy wisdom, and the greatness that comes from not realizing you are trying to do the impossible." ~ India Supera

Event Highlights

  • Join us in welcoming ebullient, big-hearted Freedom Yoga teacher Alie McManus as she shares the liberating gifts of a balanced, freeing practice at her very first Ranch retreat. An experienced and joyful retreat leader, Alie helps students cultivate a healthy balance between grounding and enlightening, doing and undoing, relaxing and energizing, and centering and expanding.

Venue Highlights

The pristine nature and supportive community of the Ranch offers an ideal setting for yoga and conscious living retreats and educational programs that cultivate meaningful personal growth.

Year after year, guests tell us that they love to return to their beloved ‘Pipe’ over and over — not just because they appreciate the transformative power of our innovative programs, but also because they long to experience the enchanting healing power they feel pulsing from the land itself.

Nearly a million acres of national forestland surround the Ranch and offer opportunities nurturing self-care and rejuvenation in the natural world. Ambling brooks fed by pure mountain springs, aspen groves, pine forests, and a sparkling lake, and well-marked nature trails.

— Many of today’s foremost voices on yoga, meditation, wellness and health have come through our doors, with many of them getting their start as a student through our scholarship fund. Joseph Campbell, K. Pattabhi Jois, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. Andrew Weil, Lilias Folan, Angela Farmer, Mary Dunn, Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, Erich Schiffmann, Judith Hanson Lasater, Seane Corn, and world-renowned Native American flutists, Carlos Nakai – to name just a handful – are honored alumni of the Feathered Pipe.

— The Feathered Pipe has always been relevant to the times we’re in. Today, we are actively cultivating innovative, thoughtful voices and conversations that contribute to the global inquiry into conscious living. In recent years, we’ve welcomed a new generation of yoga teachers like Gernot Huber, J. Brown, Marla Apt, Lizzie Lasater, and others. We also incubated our own homegrown program to explore the relationship between humanity, technology, and contemplative practices.

We look forward to welcoming you to your home away from home in Montana at our beautiful mountain setting.

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Spa
  • Sauna
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Kitchen
  • Tour Assistance
  • Hot Tub
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Fitness Center
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Schedule

The daily schedule for individual workshops is customized by the teacher(s), but a typical day often looks like this:

7:30-8:30 am – Breakfast
9:00-12:00 noon – Morning class
12:30-1:30 pm – Lunch
1:30-4:00 pm – Leisure time
4:00-6:00 pm – Afternoon class
6:30 pm – Dinner and optional evening program, time to soak in the hot tub, indulge in a sauna, and relax as you gaze at our spectacular Rocky Mountain sunsets.

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Includes Meat
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

If the spirit of the ranch is captured anywhere, it’s most definitely in the kitchen that’s attached to the Main Lodge. Our specialty is wholesome, natural food using recipes from all over the globe. We strive to use whole, organic ingredients prepared with a commitment to health and well-being. Whenever possible, we use locally grown and raised organic food sources to support a sustainable, healthy community.

The Feathered Pipe staff pours great love and care into the preparation of every one of our guest meals. If you have any special dietary needs or restrictions, simply let us know when you fill out the guest information form before your arrival. We’ll make sure you have all the healthy, delicious fare you need for every meal.

The food at the Ranch is the stuff of legend. Our recipes are so popular and so often requested that we went ahead and created our very own cookbook – you can pick it up at the Shanti Boutique.

Our talented cooks are continually creating and updating dishes, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources from around the world.

More than a few of our guests over the years tell us, just before departing, that perhaps they’ll miss the exquisite Feathered Pipe meals most of all. If you ever tasted our chocolate chip cookies, you know what they mean!

Accommodations

Our lodging options offer the finest in rustic comfort. Indoor and outdoor choices include a variety of private or shared accommodations ranging from chalet-style rooms to tents, tipis and yurts nestled in the forest.

After retreat registration, Feathered Pipe office staff will contact you to confirm your lodging preference. Accommodations include all meals and use of all amenities – our bathhouse, sauna, hot tub, as well as all the Feathered Pipe Ranch facilities and grounds.

Your stay at the Feathered Pipe Ranch includes access to our extensive grounds, our fully-equipped bath house with showers, sauna, and a beautiful new hot tub.

While you’re at the Ranch, you’ll also have access to extraordinary hiking on and surrounding our beautiful grounds. A spring-fed lake sits at the heart of the property and lots of guests love to spend time lounging, boating, or swimming in the fresh mountain water.

Massage and Bodywork are offered for an extra fee.

Directions

To which airport should I fly?

We recommend the Helena Regional Airport for those coming to retreats and programs at the Feathered Pipe Ranch. Direct flights into Helena currently originate in Salt Lake City, UT (Delta Airlines), Denver, CO (United Airlines) and Great Falls, MT (Alaska Airlines).

We strongly suggest that you book your flight to arrive on Friday (a day early) and enjoy a night in beautiful downtown Helena, as unfortunately it is not uncommon for the major airlines, particularly out of Salt Lake City and Denver to overbook flights to Helena. That being said, travel insurance is recommended.

Airlines fly in from all parts of the country on a regular basis, with Delta serving those flying from the East Coast, Midwest, Mountain and West Coast via their Minneapolis and Salt Lake City hub, United Airlines serving passengers from all over via the Denver hub, and Alaskan Airlines serving West Coast flyers via their Seattle hub.

Missoula International Airport and Bozeman International Airport are also feasible points of arrival but will require a two hour commute via bus or auto that you will need to arrange yourself. For those interested in art and cultural events, Missoula might be the place to spend a few extra days. If you are planning to go to Glacier National Park consider Great Falls, and Bozeman if you wish to spend some extra time in Yellowstone National Park.

If you are coming for a Blacktail Ranch retreat, we suggest that you arrive either at the Helena Regional Airport or Great Falls International Airport as the Blacktail is about an hour’s drive from either airport. Note: Shuttle service only available from Great Falls for Blacktail Ranch retreats.

How do I get from the airport to the Ranch?

For those coming for a Feathered Pipe Ranch retreat, we meet flights at the Helena Regional Airport, offering shuttle service for $65 roundtrip. For those coming to a Blacktail Ranch Retreat, we offer roundtrip shuttle service from Great Falls International Airports for an additional charge of $100.

Our driver will meet you at baggage claim wearing a Feathered Pipe t-shirt. We are now grouping some pick-ups, so you may have a 30 minute wait. Please contact the office at info@featheredpipe.com or call (406) 442-8196 to arrange and confirm pick-up.

If you prefer to arrive early and stay in Helena, we will contact you at your hotel to arrange your pick-up. There is plenty to do and see in Helena. Contact our local Chamber of Commerce at (800) 743-5362 or www.helenachamber.com. Helena is half way between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks (3 hours by car in either direction), so you might consider coming a few days early or staying a few days after your retreat to take in one or both of the country and world’s true natural treasures!

Tags: freedom freedom yoga joy love meditation wellness yoga

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To be more present and engaged in the world, to be of benefit to others. Vincent
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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