Adventure to Connection retreat offers guests a chance to hike a 14er, practice yoga twice daily and connect with others and themselves
The Adventure to Connection retreat, offered from Aug. 1-4, will allow up to 20 people to venture into the woods, connect with the mind and body and hopefully leave with a greater understanding of who they are. Held at the Red Mountain Lodge, the retreat is still open to sign-ups.
“We really see this as a space for folks that maybe are looking for anything from, maybe you’ve been through a tough time and you’re needing just to get away and make sense of it, to you’re just wanting to experience something new,” founder Jessica Heaney said.
Organized by longtime area yoga teacher Kim Fuller and founder of the Vail Relationship Institute Heaney, the retreat will feature daily yoga practice, mindfulness sessions, climbing a 14er, group meals and plenty of free time to allow participants to connect with others or take time for themselves.
Fuller and Heaney, who’ve been friends for a few years, have started to build their collaboration with each other recently. At the beginning of January of this year, Heaney floated the idea to organize a retreat together past Fuller, who was in from the get go.
“It was really natural and organic of us both saying ‘yes,’ and cultivating the details from there,” she said.
From there, the organization process went smoothly and quickly. By March 1, they were able to launch the retreat and get the word out.
Red Mountain Lodge also owns a guide company, so the highlight of Saturday at the retreat will be the Mt. Sneffels 14er climb. At 6 miles round-trip, Heaney and Fuller specifically chose Sneffels because it’s fairly accessible and doesn’t require any special gear beyond a good pair of boots. The main thing needed to summit the mountain, they say, is determination.
A typical day will start with coffee – Heaney knows she’ll need it, and probably some guests will as well – and a gentle, inspiring yoga practice. Then, they’ll head into an insight workshop, where they’ll work on mindfulness and understanding what thoughts might be blocking progress in life. After lunch, guests will have some free time to hike, read or do what they need to do before dinner and an evening yoga practice. There will also be evening campfires.
“But really, the core thing Kim and I talk about is cultivating deep meaningful connection,” Heaney said.
The main goal of the workshop, as they’ve envisioned it, is about connecting with others and sharing experiences, both past and present. It’s not meant to be a solitary journey, and while they hope that everyone leaves with a deeper love for the mind and body, they want to build a community of sharing and acceptance on the retreat.
“Walking away, having a personal clarity, walking away feeling connected and cared for,” Heaney summed up the goals of the retreat.
There are about five more slots for guests to join the retreat, and a maximum of 20 people will be able to participate. Adventure to Connection is offering a local’s discount to save $100 on registration with the code VAIL. Registration is at the Vail Relationship Institute website, vailrelationshipinstitute.com.
Front Range duo Shovelin Stone, made up of Makenzie Willox and Eagle Valley High School graduate Zak Thrall, performed the final ShowDown Town concert in Eagle this summer. While in town, they stopped by the Vail Daily to perform a Newsroom Jam.