A Softer Side of Yoga: A MIMSY® Retreat
- Feathered Pipe Ranch
- Helena, MT, United States
- Sep 1 - 8, 2018 (8 days)
Lanita Varshell and Diane Ambrosini believe that anyone, any size, facing almost any challenge—illness, aging, pain—can greatly benefit from yoga taught with skill and gentleness. “When I started yoga, I was very large and very sick,” says Lanita, who founded A Gentle Way in San Diego in 1996. “By the time I opened my studio, I knew that many other people needed a much gentler, safer, softer approach—just as I had. Plus-sized women came to me first. Then they brought their friends and sisters, and husbands and brothers. Those people loved being with a teacher who didn’t intimidate them.”
Lanita’s Meditation in Movement Style Yoga (MIMSY) blends asana, breath, mantra, yoga nidra and meditation. Her experience with large students, people experiencing or recovering from illness, and brand-new yogis informs all of her work. She loves sharing her approach with other teachers who can bring it to the work they do with their own students.
Diane began her practice engaging in more rigorous and physically active styles of hatha yoga. Today she cultivates a deeper focus on relaxation and peacefulness. Her active students can slow down a bit and appreciate an inner and outer calm, while others lovingly explore how movement taps into inner and outer strength. “Each style of yoga, from the most strenuous to the most restorative, offers the opportunity to tap into the deepest core of your being, where you will find peace, again and again,” says Diane.
The combination of teaching styles make this workshop ideal for virtually any yogi looking to add ease to their practice.
Students can pick and choose a variety of classes and workshops each day, from chair yoga to restorative or thoughtful classical classes. They do not have to do it all.
Teachers in Training take six hours of training each day, and can qualify for a 40-hour certificate of completion. “I love mixing all ages, sizes, experience levels, seeing the resistance that arises at first, and watching it melt down as the week progresses and people find such joy together,” says Lanita.
Classes with Lanita and Diane are held in the Ranch’s stunning main lodge with its breathtaking view of grass, water, trees and mountains, all shimmering under the big Montana sky. “I knew this was a sacred space from the moment I set foot on the ranch for the first time,” says Lanita. “It’s truly a bucket list destination.”
RETREAT TIP! Extend your time in peace and beauty while savoring Western hospitality by spending some time exploring the great West’s National Park treasures either before or after your retreat with Lanita at the Ranch. Glacier National Park is a glorious and scenic 3.5-hour drive north and west of Feathered Pipe, while Yellowstone is just a 4.5 hour drive south and east of the Ranch through some of the prettiest Western territory you’ll ever see.
“I just finished a weekend with Lanita, and all I can say is that I believe that Lanita’s training should be mandatory training for every yoga teacher. Her ability to work with all ages, levels and abilities, and to be able to customize each class for the needs of those who walk in is amazing to watch. Her knowledge and intuition guide her, and her beautiful spirit, and not so perfect or thin body help us all realize that yoga is much much more than just pose.”~ Sheila S.“What you do is so yoga, yet so different than the way I have been taught to teach it. You start the class in a very relaxed way, almost playfully, releasing tension out of our body, and then we just seem to go deeper and deeper, with poses held longer and longer. It feels as though it is music, and you are this powerful conductor. We get swept away by the music, the slow healing rhythm we are discovering in our very own body.”~ Judy H.
- Lanita Varshell and Diane Ambrosini believe that anyone, any size, facing almost any challenge—illness, aging, pain—can greatly benefit from yoga taught with skill and gentleness. Lanita Varshell’s Meditation in Movement Style Yoga blends asana, breath, mantra, yoga nidra and meditation to create a powerful and comforting practice for people who otherwise might never find their way into a type of yoga that works for them.
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 email@example.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!