The Serenity of Full Awareness: Asana, Philosophy, Science, and the Breath
Why is cultivating serenity such a challenge? Evolutionary pressures have shaped our bodies and minds over millions of years to favor survival rather than happiness, but recent investigations in neuroscience confirm that we have an innate predisposition toward serenity. This retreat is designed to teach you how to nurture serenity even under difficult circumstances through mindfulness, awareness, and specific stress-disrupting techniques.
Feathered Pipe is deeply privileged to host, for the second year running, accomplished international yoga teacher Gernot Huber for a weeklong exploration of the qualities of serenity and the movement and thought patterns that foster it. The intention of this retreat is eminently practical: to shape your yoga practice to be as beneficial as possible, using a scientific understanding of body and mind alongside Buddhist and yogic philosophy where it aids our understanding. With clarity, sensitivity, and humor, Gernot seamlessly integrates asana, philosophy, and physiology to expand your knowledge of each as well as the interconnections between all three. As a result, you will come to a more profound and accurate understanding of your true nature, characterized by a greater capacity for serenity.
Gernot skillfully integrates meditative concepts into his asana instruction, enabling students at every level to enhance the mental as well as the physical benefits of their practice. His emphasis on how you practice—rather than what you practice—makes his methods accessible to anyone, regardless of physical condition, but the emphasis on the mental dimension means that the practices are plenty challenging especially for people with a rigorously athletic practice. Gernot’s techniques not only clear the effects of chronic stress, but teach you how to disrupt the stress response before it is fully triggered, adding a new and potent stress-fighting tool to your toolbox. He uses creative, fun, and innovative techniques to help students incorporate his serenity-supporting adjustments — like using real-time iPad photos and videos in class to reveal detrimental movement patterns and to help you make dramatic changes on the spot. If you are convinced that you are not tensing your neck, for example, you cannot begin to relax it, and seeing your neck tension in a photo convinces you like nothing else!
Whether you’re brand new to yoga or an experienced practitioner or yoga teacher, this opportunity to study in our intimate, nature-soaked Ranch setting with a masterful teacher who conveys the concepts of yoga with equal parts playfulness and precision will leave you with a rich array of strategies and practices to nurture awareness and serenity in your yoga practice and your life.
Daily Schedule: The retreat format is 2.5 hours of asana practice in the mornings, with an emphasis on exploring how to maximize the mental benefits of your physical practice. The aim is to make your asana practice smarter than your habits, fostering awareness and serenity by learning to recognize and disrupt the movement patterns that sabotage inner peace. We will augment the asana practice with two hours of meditation, pranayama, and dharma talks in the late afternoons. There’s ample time in between for fabulous meals, a leisurely stroll, an exhilarating hike, a paddle on the lake, a delicious nap, or lazing in the shade of an aspen grove in a cozy hammock with a great book.
Summer Vacation Tip! Extend your time in peace and beauty while savoring Western hospitality by exploring the great West’s national park treasures either before or after your Feathered Pipe experience with Gernot. Glacier National Park is a scenic 3.5 hour drive north and west of the Ranch, while Yellowstone is just a 4.5 hours drive south and east of the Ranch through some of the prettiest Western territory you’ll ever see.
“After teaching yoga for close to 15 years — and having had the privilege of studying with scores of master teachers — this week at the Ranch with Gernot was by far the single most potent, information packed, and insight
- Feathered Pipe is deeply privileged to host, for the second year running, accomplished international yoga teacher Gernot Huber for a weeklong exploration of the qualities of serenity and the movement and thought patterns that foster it. The intention of this retreat is eminently practical: to shape your yoga practice to be as beneficial as possible, using a scientific understanding of body and mind alongside Buddhist and yogic philosophy where it aids our understanding.
Venue HighlightsThe 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.
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
- Tour Assistance
- Hot Tub
- Fitness Center
- Yoga Studio
ScheduleThe 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.
- Includes Meat
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Menu/CuisineIf 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!
AccommodationsOur 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.
DirectionsTo 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!