Together with many friends, I’ve been making annual summer pilgrimages to Montana’s Feathered Pipe Ranch for 15 years and counting. So it’s no surprise that the place #1 in my heart. It’s where I met the first batch of “yoga friends” that I would cherish for a lifetime and who would hold me up in dark times and celebrate with during the easy times. The bond of “shared experience” is a powerful one.
It’s the place where I spent many important weeks studying and practicing with Erich Schiffmann, the teacher who would influence my learning and my life like no other. The bond of “shared inquiry” is also powerful. Finally it’s where I would come to experience the profound internal reset that only happens when I’m surrounded by the wildness and unspoiled nature. For me — and for many others — Feathered Pipe is the place to go for a reset back to the place of peace inside that can seem like it’s fled to an undisclosed location in these crazy, unnerving times.
Imagine the surprise for those of us who have long embraced this hidden Rocky Mountain gem when we opened up Yoga Journal’s most recent travel issue and learned that it’s been named #1 out of 37 retreat centers.
Those who have known and cherished this place for decades, including some who have been coming since it opened its doors in 1974, were tickled to learn Yoga Journal recognized the treasure that is this magical, quirky, and sacred place. A few of my local pals and I had a good smile about it last week: “We didn’t know anyone else had noticed what a gem this place is. This is cool!”
Feathered Pipe is not a big campus running multiple programs at a time. It’s a big open place surrounded by millions of acres of wilderness hosting only one program at a time. Even at a sold-out retreat, there’s nothing remotely crowded about it. And it’s about the least commercialized place I know of on the yoga retreat scene.
It’s not a place that is open year-round, because there’s only a brief window of time in the luscious and brief gift that is a Montana summer when the weather is hospitable and perfectly divine for guests. For a brief and so-precious slice of time each year, this magical place opens its doors and hosts extraordinary programs.
The brief and precious slice of time when Feathered Pipe can open its arms to receive and care for guests is on us.From 13-20 July, the small group of us that co-guide the weeklong Mindful Unplug Experience program will launch our fourth running of a week of mindful living practices.
This year there is mindful movement, yoga, sensory awareness practices, restorative yoga, dharma talks, and even an introduction to West African hand drumming with Matthew Marsolek of the Drum Brothers. In between all of this sweetness, there’s lots of time for doing nothing except being.
We have just a handful of spots left. Consider this your open invitation to join us this summer. The folks already signed up are some of the kindest, most fun, eclectic, and dear group of souls imaginable. You’ll be in good company. If you’re sensing that spending time in a place that’s quiet and precious and sacred this summer might do you some good, consider joining us. Let’s meet under the aspens and savor life together with other good souls.
Contact me with questions.