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Aug. 4, 2017 — Aug. 6, 2017

Yaksha Yoga & Wellness
A weekend of mountain-top yoga, wellness, community, farm-to-table meals, music and mountain adventure awaits!
Movement and meditation
Jennilee Toner,Jo Kirsch, Justin Wolfer, Lisa O'Brien, Kate Logan, John Smrtic, Bethany Boulger,Katie Collins & Kait Zwagerman.

Universal Sounds - Ubuntu
We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. - John Muir

Weekend Program

Enjoy an escape to the Green Mountains for a weekend of yoga and wellness. Seize the opportunity to practice with renowned leaders in the yoga world while surrounded by the beauty of southern Vermont. This idyllic weekend of growth, movement and self-study includes expansive activities to nourish the mind, body and soul. Limited spaces available.

The Weekend Program includes:

Weary Traveler Yoga, Essential Oil Workshop, Gong Bath
Tea, Sunrise Yoga at the Summit*, Brunch, (2) 1.5 hour workshops, Yaksha Group Fire.
Tea, Sunrise Summit Yoga with live music*, Brunch at Summit*

Classes only
You may sign up for classes only at the Black Bear Lodge on the day of the class.

Plus don't miss the opportunity to see Greensky Bluegrass perform at the base of Stratton Mountain.

*Weather permitting, rain location will be utilized in case of inclement weather.
** Rates based on double occupancy, plus taxes and fees.

  • Time

    Aug. 4, 2017 — Aug. 6, 2017

  • Location

    Stratton Mountain Resort
    5 Village Lodge Rd. Stratton Mountain, Vermont 05155

Farm to Table Dinner
Executive Chef Jan Giejda and his team of chefs invite you to enjoy a dinner created exclusively for our Yaksha Yoga + Wellness Retreat guests. By incorporating healthy locally sourced ingredients inspired by the wellness lifestyle, and highlighting healthy gluten free/ soy free and vegan options like jack fruit, Yaksha guests will savor this special dining experience on the mountain!


Lisa O'Brien
Settle, stretch, and unwind from your travels. Soften your gaze and your mind with this sequence of relaxing poses designed to release any lingering stress from your week. A perfect precursor to the healing gong bath!

Kate Logan
Nourish and anoint yourself with an array of beautiful essential oils. Learn how to safely and effectively apply oils to support vibrant health and well- being. We will weave the oils into some gentle breathing practices, energy medicine exercises, and meditation to induce deep relaxation and a state of heightened presence. Oils will be provided. Guaranteed to leave you smelling and feeling great.


Let the Sun Shine In – Sunrise Summit Vinyasa
Jennilee Toner
Greet the sun, the festival and your fellow yogis with 27 Sun Salutations with Mantras.
Learn the classical 12 asanas that honor the twelve aspects of the sun in the sky from dawn to dusk as well as the 12 mantras that describe twelve characteristics of the Sun. Assisted by Teddie Jones.

Bethany Boulger
Flow is the essence of our being. Breath is a force that both brings us home to ourself and connects us to universal energies. When flow and breath come together we have a recipe for BLISS! Join Bethany for a fluid, dynamic and joy filled Blissology inspired yoga class, where we celebrate our connection to our bodies, our community and the planet. We will create a Nature appreciation mandala to honor the nature spirits of the land. Feel free to bring your own piece of nature (flower, feather, rock, etc.) to add to the alter. Come enjoy and be blessed. Multi-level, with lots of modifications offered. Assited by Tyler Jeffries.

Katie Collins
Join Katie in this heartfelt speakeasy of how she recently saved her own life by listening to her intuition, admitting something was wrong and how she fought back to become an advocate for herself and others. This conversation will also include an invitation for others to share their own stories of intuition, time for others to begin the process of intuition, and end with a meditation of loving kindness. Assisted by Sabrina Bonaiuto.

Just as you are
Lisa O'Brien
Explore what lights you up with poses that enhance creativity, calm, and joy. Steadiness, ease and curiosity are the guideposts. Includes guided visualization as well as a culminating luxurious relaxation into your true nature. Assisted by Mary Hawkins.

Yin and Yoga Nidra
Jo Kirsch
Join Jo Kirsch for an hour of Yin Yoga followed by a guided Yoga Nidra experience. Yin Yogauses gentle long held postures practiced with an attitude of compassionate acceptance to awaken the more Yin parts of our physical, emotional and spiritual selves. Holding poses for 3-5 minutes allows for a deep release of tension through the muscles and connective tissue. All poses will be practiced sitting or lying on the floor and will target the hips and front body.

Yoga Nidra, which means yoga sleep, is a technique for entering into a deeply relaxed state that swiftly heals and repairs the physical, mental, and emotional body. Minutes of Yoga Nidra are equivalent in their regenerative power to hours of deep sleep. Once settled into Savasana (relaxation pose) you will be asked to privately create a sankalpa, an expression of your heart’s deepest desire, stated as though it's already happening in the present moment. You will then be led through body scanning, rotation of consciousness, breathing, and guided imagery techniques, inducing a deep state of relaxation and healing. It could be said that the main purpose of yoga nidra is to realize one's sankalpa. Throughout yoga nidra class, students remain lying down in Savasana. Unlike more athletic forms of yoga, yoga nidra does not require familiarity with additional yoga poses and is intended purely as a meditative, restorative class where deep healing takes place. Open to all levels.No experience necessary. Assisted by Barbara Lowes.

Bhakti Groove: Devotion in Motion
John Smrtic
In this sublime exploration of bhakti yoga, the path of re-membering our soul identity and the eternal connection to the Most High through love and devotion, ancient yoga scriptures and chants will serve as the launching pad to deep spiritual discovery on our mats. An always uplifting and skillfully sequenced Jivamukti Yoga vinyasa-based practice will flow fluidly with the equally inspiring and slickly assembled Bhakti Groove music mix, creating the ideal space and conditions for the bhav, the enlightened divine mood or sentiment, to spontaneously awaken and arise. Assisted by Kristin Beavor.
Justin Wolfer

2:30-4:00pmMy mission is to show you that you are capable of ANYthing you put your mind too. How often have you been in a yoga class where the teacher said: "if you have an inversion practice you can do one now." There is very little instruction given and students often feel they are either born inverting or they'll never be able to try one. This workshop will debunk this with a clear and precise examination of what skills are needed for balance and how to develop them QUICKLY. Start practicing in the middle of the room with confidence. This workshop is for ALL LEVELS. Bring pen and paper and an open mind. Assisted by Camacha Wolfer.


Justin Wolfer
"You are as young as your spine." Chinese Proverb: A strong supple spine is the key to a long lasting playful life with your body. Get ready to move and explore the grace, intelligence and fluidity within you when moving from your center. You’ll learn to connect to each posture through articulating the spine in unique ways. We’ll breakdown fundamental movements and show you how they progress into more complex, dynamic movements. Unlock movement patterns and possibilities through sharpening your awareness in-between poses. This class is fun, energetic and informative! Suitable for all levels, all students are encouraged to attend. Assisted by Camacha Wolfer.

Instructor Bios
Bethany Boulger is a bodyworker, yogini, life coach, world traveler and all around lover of life. She feels blessed to have grown up in the Green Mountains of Vermont and to call the New England town of Bennington, VT home. Bethany's dynamic classes are held in light hearted presence, rooted in a celebration of embodiment, and aim to empower, inspire and connect. She is grateful to have had the pleasure to teach in many glorious places around the globe; from New England to Alaska, Baja to Bali, she walks gently through life as a self proclaimed Spirit Gypsy.

Bethany has been a practicing bodyworker since 2001 and this background shines through with her juicy hands on assists. She specializes in Hawaiian Lomilomi massage and offers trainings in Lomilomi all over the world.

“It is a great honor to be a light carrier of ancient healing traditions. Through both Yogic and Hawaiian lineages I have experienced profound transformation and healing in my life. Both traditions have empowered me to fall more deeply in love with myself, our human family, the Earth and life itself. This love translates into a joy of service, offering the blessings of Aloha to each person I meet.”

Albany New York native Katie Collins’ journey of yoga began when she volunteered at one of the very first yoga festivals ever created in Vermont. It was here that she was called to witness the impact of cultivating connections with like-minded people, learning about body awareness, intuition and living yoga, not just performing. Katie’s RN degree with focus on anatomy has allowed her to work privately with many bodies, injuries, division one and professional athletes. Part time mermaid, Katie teaches her SUP liquid yoga across the country and has her own home floating studio in Saratoga Springs.

In the last year Katie has been traveling extensively- first to India with one of her beloved teachers realizing many things but most of all how yoga can truly change and ultimately save your life. Just a few short months after India, Katie found herself in an ICU after being diagnosed with a serious injury that almost took her life. Katie now credits the path of yoga for saving her, teaching her intuition and body awareness. Today Katie remains humble of this gift and is learning how to share with others to help them on their own path as well. Katie is ecstatic to be joining the Yaksha family for her second year. Join her in class to learn more about your own body, its gifts and potential!

Jo Kirsch, ERYT-500, is the Owner/Director of Heart of the Village Yoga located in Manchester, Vermont. Jo’s been practicing yoga for 26 years and teaching for 16. She is certified to teach yoga at the 500 Hour level through the Yoga Teacher’s Alliance and the Hard & the Soft Yoga Institute.
Jo’s Initial yoga teacher training was in Ashtanga yoga with Beryl Bender Birch. Since that time, Jo has been certifies to teach Adaptive Yoga by Matthew Sanford, Trauma Sensitive Yoga by David Emerson, Yoga Nidra by Jennifer Reis, Yoga of 12 Step Recovery by Nikki Myers and Yin Yoga by Biff Mithoefer. Jo has a deepening love and appreciation for Bhakti Yoga and finds her heart cracking wide open as she studies and practices with Manoj Chlam, and Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band. Her studies also include Iyengar and Anusara Yoga, with many amazing, inspiring, loving teachers.

Jo’s personal experience with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) inspired her to work with individuals with PTS, to help them manage their stress and heal. Jo’s practice informs her teaching. She’s found that everyone benefits from learning and practicing coping skills to help manage personal stress She greatly values and teaches stress reduction techniques including posture practice, meditation, focused breathing, and yoga nidra in her yoga classes. Jo is also a certified professional ski instructor who loves to ski and share her passion for the sport with others. A lifelong learner who subscribes to experiential education, Jo finds that a balanced combination of physical activity, being in nature, practicing the different limbs of yoga, and eating well, leads to a spiritual, mental and physical life of health and happiness. She loves to share these practices with friends, family, and individuals who are in search of healing and happiness.

Kate Logan is a native Vermonter, Mama of two and dedicated yoga practitioner since 1997 and teaching since 2002. She completed teacher trainings with Godfrey Deveroux and Shiva Rea and continues to study with master teachers. Kate's thoughtful and elegantly designed classes are heartfelt, nourishing and supportive for mind, body, and spirit. Kate is also a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Cookery in NYC, completed an intensive training course with The International Academy of Ayurveda in Pune, India, and most recently became a doTerra essential oil wellness advocate. Kate is grateful and honored to share her love of yoga and wellness and how their practices can make positive shifts in our everyday lives, gently guiding us towards our highest dreams and possibilities.
Lisa O’Brien, Lifeyum Founder. Feel good, do good is Lisa’s motto. Her work has helped both leaders and seekers come back to their center so they can be more present, proactive, and profitable. From working at the White House and advising non-profits to yoga instructor and health coach, this mom of six helps us reboot and revitalize without angst, anxiety or doing something drastic.
John Smrtic, JD, E-RYT, is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Teacher based in Albany, New York. He has spent over 1,000 hours studying directly with his teachers and Jivamukti Yoga creators, Sharon Gannon and David Life, in addition to diving deep into the bhakti (devotional yoga) tradition with living masters. Utilizing these teachings and traditional yogic scripture as a foundation, John blends wit, groovy music and challenging, intelligently sequenced asana from a vinyasa format to make each class a lively opportunity for deep spiritual investigation and transformation. His approach supports his belief that a single yoga class holds the potential to be more than a workout, but an actual, unique experience, where devotion, compassion, expansion and revolution can naturally unfold. John is at the cutting edge of incorporating live music into ecstatic class experiences, working intimately with some of the best musicians, kirtan artists and beat makers in the world. He has crafted a unique series of Jivamukti-based extended format classes and workshops which are road tested and in demand. He is a mentor at the acclaimed Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training program and teaches globally, including leading annual international yoga retreats and pilgrimages with more exciting plans for the future. John graduated magna cum laude from the Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University with a dual BA in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School in 2004.
Jennilee Toner, author of The Perfect Chaturanga: A Comprehensive Guide to the Human Body Through the Practice of Vinyasa Yoga, has been practicing Hatha and Vinyasa yoga since 1996, teaching Hatha and Vinyasa yoga since 2003, teaching experiential anatomy to yoga teachers in training since 2010 and teaching her own Hot Warrior Yoga teacher trainings since 2012. In 2014 Jennilee joined as an anatomy bloggist and online yoga teacher.
UBUNTU music is based on the African idea of the connection between all things. "I am who I am because of who we all are" is simply the understanding that wherever we are, we are in it together. The vibrational energy from this band comes from acoustic guitars, various world drums and the human voice. Creative and often changing arrangements of a diverse array wonderfully written classic rock, folk and blues, tunes highlight the set list. Imagine Grateful Dead tunes churning to rhythms performed on Djembes, Cajon and Kpanlogo. Jess Marcotte provides vocals reminiscent of the finest female rockers. Her sense of finding the nuance in a song is matched only by her wonderful energy. Jerry Silverman's tasty stream of consciousness lead guitar playing, glides effortlessly and moves both band and audience to higher levels of ecstasy. The percussion handled by both Al and Sue Wolfer is quite distinctive. It is often powerful, yet always remains foundational to the performance. The rhythms which connect us all are well served. All humanity, regardless of ideology, costume or culture share a beating heartdrum that is enlivened with the sound of music. Sue harmonizes to texture the arrangements and lift them into a special place. Come dance, sway, entrain and celebrate this time we get to spend with each other. Always Grateful! Peace!
Universal Sounds are two friends who have come together to celebrate the love and joy of experiencing and sharing sound meditation.

Meditations blend the rich tradition of kirtan as well as the love of relaxation.

It is believed in many ancient cultures throughout the world that all of life and all of matter is made of sound and vibration. It is within the space of spontaneous creation of Sound, through the use of our voices, Tibetan singing bowls, and planetary Gongs that we can encounter and reveal the very nature of our Divinity, letting go of all the outdated belief systems and self limiting ideas that prevent us from embracing the unique and sacred nature of our Being.Without relaxation, there is no meditation~

Last summer, Kait and her friend Kristin started Yaksha Yoga + Wellness Retreat Weekend at Stratton Mountain Resort. Their hard work paid off and Kait is thrilled to be captaining this special weekend for a second year.

Kait started serving the Southern Vermont community in 2013; sharing the belief that life should be lived with joy, gratitude, and a dedication to being present in the moment. These feelings inform and guide her teachings, which are rooted in helping students better connect to themselves, their communities, and to the rest of the world. Her focus is on tuning students into the sensations of their bodies with an emphasis on realizing, embracing and working with limitations.

In 2015 Kait started a sweet little yoga inspired jewelry company, Wandering Sparks, Ltd. Co. This has allowed her to share her love of yoga, mindfulness and connection in a creative new way. In 2016, she began sharing mala making workshops in Manchester, Vermont- encouraging the power of intention, prayer and breath when meeting challenges. You can find some of Kait’s ‘om-made’ essential oil diffuser necklaces here at the resort in the Stratton Lolë store!

Kait received her 200 hour certification with Jennilee Toner in 2013. She is currently enrolled in the 500 hour Heart of the Village advanced teacher training program under the guidance of Jo Kirsch, Bob Speck and Laurae Coburn. Kait also holds her Reiki I certification and has completed 20 hours toward her 50 hour Yin Yoga certification under the guidance of Biff Mithoefer. She has been fortunate to study with Elena Brower at Kripalu and is a Wellness Advocate on Elena’s doTERRA team. She is infinitely grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities that have become available through learning, teaching and sharing her love for yoga and mindful living. Kait teaches weekly classes at Heart of the Village Yoga Studio in Manchester, Vermont and her signature ‘Fireside Flow’ apres ski classes at Stratton Resort in the winter.

Justin Wolfer is a dedicated student, practitioner and teacher of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. He and his wife own and operate Rise Yoga & Movement Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. Justin walked into his first yoga class in hopes of healing several old sports injuries and left knowing he had found something that he would dedicate his life to exploring. Essentially what the practice offers is insight into our present condition and our true nature as we learn to see our tendencies to cling to old patterns of seeing ourselves and the world. Justin's aims to offer practices are that are impactful moving students to a strong fluid mind and body capable moving harmoniously with life's many surprises.