Local yoga teacher Chelsea Winters hosting two-night Rancho del Rio retreat in June | VailDaily.com

Local yoga teacher Chelsea Winters hosting two-night Rancho del Rio retreat in June

‘There's no cell service out there, so it forces you to unplug’

Casey Russell
Special to the Daily
The Wilderness and Wellness retreat at Rancho del Rio includes two nights of camping, five meals, riverside yoga sessions, campfire discussions and more.
Special to the Daily

Eagle County residents know that there’s nothing a good retreat in nature can’t fix. Local yoga teacher Chelsea Winters hopes to offer just that this June. Her upcoming Wilderness and Wellness retreat at Rancho del Rio from Sunday, June 13, to Tuesday, June 15, hopes to offer participants a few days to connect with nature while also looking inward.

“It’s a nice opportunity to reconnect with yourself and it’s not as big of a commitment. Take two nights for yourself,” Winters said.

While Winters encourages solo participants to come — groups at her retreats are friendly and welcoming — she’s offering a 10% Mother’s Day discount for mother-daughter pairs that sign up before Sunday. Winters’ mother comes on all her retreats, including a recent retreat to Baja, Mexico, where she did her teacher trainings.

Winters offered this retreat last September, closing out a summer fraught with ever-changing COVID-19 protocols. Stress at that time was high, which is why she wanted to give locals an opportunity to reconnect with nature and release stagnant energy.

Lisa Woods attended the retreat last year. She and her friend car-camped at Rancho and spent an afternoon renting a duckie. Her pro-tips? If you’re tent-camping, make sure you can secure your tent for wind, because a few blew away last year. If you want to float, don’t worry about bringing your own gear and just rent.

But the most powerful aspect of her experience was being able to take time for herself without feeling guilty for putting her family responsibilities on hold. She was able to leave her husband with their two kids and enjoy some time for herself, because she knew that if they needed her, she was just a short drive away.

And while she took that time for herself, she was able to reconnect with what matters to her about yoga. She’s been practicing and teaching in the Eagle and Gypsum area for 13 years, “before there was so many yoga teachers,” she said.

“And the simplicity of the practice,” Winters said of her attraction to yoga. “Just remembering and reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be a workout. I can use it for self-care. I can use it to decompress. I don’t have to be perfect at it. My mat is always, always there, and as is the community.”

Chelsea Winters has been practicing and teaching yoga in Vail and Minturn for 13 years.
Special to the Daily

At the retreat itself, participants will have the option to connect with others and build a community or plan a hike or float. It’s totally up to the individual, and Winters will have a massage therapist on site to deliver treatments when the group isn’t practicing. Local Tracy Miller of Colorful Cooking will again provide meals.

Winters designed the retreat to be affordable, and the way she’s able to do that is by giving participants the option to either camp or upgrade to one of the cabins.

Practices are in the morning and the afternoon with Winters, who offers an all-levels style of teaching that encourages new yogis to do what’s comfortable while also giving more experienced practitioners the opportunity to challenge themselves.

“She just knows how to hold space,” Woods said. “It is just a really nice group of people that seems to gather at her events.”

But more than the retreat offerings themselves, Winters hopes to provide an opportunity to look inward.

“There’s no cell service out there, so it forces you to unplug,” she said. “But really, it’s a way to recharge ourselves. Working with this year has been a lot mentally for a lot of people and being near water is a really good way to reset yourself and come into a really positive energy. That’s really the focus: just to leave you feeling really good.”

For more information and to sign up, visit anahatayogaco.com. Cost is $355 per person.

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