For more than forty years, Feathered Pipe Foundation, a small non-profit organization with a big heart, has been committed to bringing awareness to our greater society of under-served communities that deserve and need our support. These ‘good works’ as we like to call them, not only have the objective of raising much needed financial assistance, but more importantly turn the spotlight towards valued members of our human family that have rich cultural treasures and life experiences to share with us.
Past and present good work projects have focused our humanitarian efforts towards Native American communities, Tibetan refugee children and their families, Montanans living with HIV+/AIDS, and our returning veteran community. Please take a few minutes to read our most recent update and heartfelt appeal. Your support makes a huge difference!
If you read online discussions, social media comment threads, or listen to podcasts about the state of yoga, you’re aware of the fiery debates about what “real yoga” is. They can be intense, healthy, and disconcerting all at the same time.
Informed and civilized conversation about how householder yoga has evolved can shed light on the timelessness of this ancient practice. It can help those new to yoga appreciate that there’s a lot more to the practice than the photographable pretzel poses they see on magazine covers or Instagram feeds.
The emergence of a multi-billion-dollar yoga “industry” — and the spiritual supermarket that’s emerged alongside it — can be disheartening and leave one wondering if yoga’s deeper meaning is getting lost or at least diluted. It can be tempting to spend our spirit and time trying to fix what’s outside of ourselves. It doesn’t feel influence-able and so we become exhausted.
Whenever I find myself pulled in that direction, my teacher reminds me of the value of turning inward: of listening with even more commitment to my own inner teacher, of taking the time to let truth register, and then doing my best to live yoga in my own unpredictable, wobbly, messy-marvelous life.
At the Feathered Pipe, we do our best to embody this wisdom and accentuate instead what is right within yoga’s ever-expanding tree, offering space for sharing the finest of it.
For those of us fortunate enough to take part in Feathered Pipe programs for years or decades, the revived discussion about, and interest in, yoga’s origins magnifies our appreciation for the care with which yoga’s North American roots were first planted at the Ranch. We’re steadfast in our commitment to tend to the branches and blossoms that have grown wide and tall for 44 years.
Our Big Tent
We recognize that yoga and other contemplative practices are anything but one-size-fits-all. Over and over during our retreat programs, we see and hear how the transformative “aha!” moments are personal, sacred, and almost never arrived at from a predictable direction.
For some, that first unforgettable “aha!” moment happens when someone feels the welcome relief from a surge of life moving into long-contracted spaces in their body during movement or postures. The discovery of the breath as an organizing principal and practice focus marks, for many, the opening salvo of a lifelong inquiry into self. For others, it’s the experience of settling into stillness during meditation that sparks a curiosity about the power that our thoughts can hold over us — and our capacity to move beyond thinking to knowing.
Over time, the distinctions begin to blur. We sense the connective tissue between what we’re doing with our bodies, our breath, our minds, and our hearts.
Pigeonholes are perfect for birds to nest in.
They’re not so great for yogis.
We don’t know which door each person will enter through to arrive at their own inspired experience of capital-y Yoga. But we do know that the door you come through is the one you are probably most ready to enter. It’s waiting for you — all you need is a bit of courage to take the first step through it.
Our job is to hold the door open.
So please, consider yourself invited to come as you are and through whatever entry inspires you. Bhakti? Freedom Yoga? Mindfulness and sensory awakening? Iyengar Yoga? Restorative yoga? Ayurveda? Breath-centered and therapeutic yoga? Chakra-focused energy medicine? It’s all good, it’s all valued, and it’s all just plain beautiful.
And it’s all happening this summer.
With deep affection and love,
President, Feathered Pipe Foundation
P.S.The ‘tent’ doesn’t have to be metaphorical — we have beautiful ones to stay in among our many outdoor and indoor lodging choices!
You can also help the Feathered Pipe by designating Feathered Pipe Foundation as the recipient of automatic Amazon donations when you shop through Smile.Amazon.com or purchase items at over 3,000 online stores through Giving Assistant. Finally, we maintain a WishList on Amazon for those who like to help the Feathered Pipe by purchasing supplies we need for the Ranch.
*Special thanks to Melina Meza for use of her incredible images!