Local Business Spotlight
Hike & Heal Wellness
Every month we choose a local business that not only excels in positively impacting our community but offers an experience or product that can make a difference in our clients' lives. This month we have chosen to highlight Hike & Heal Wellness, LLC, a collaborative group of educators who are enthusiastic about maintaining health through social, emotional & mental well-being.
Our Assistant Director and Director of Digital Marketing, Christina, attended one of their retreats in June. Read her review below.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a restorative Hike & Heal Wellness full day retreat in the Madison School Forest. The morning started with a peaceful 1/4 walk to the shelter. During the walk, we were asked to take the time to discover our intention for the day and pick up materials from the forest floor as objects of our intention.
I had been feeling burnt out from a busy week and wanted to focus on finding serenity and calm during my retreat experience. Walking the trail, I picked up a few twigs and leaves to spell out the word ‘calm’ and made my way into the shelter.
The shelter was set up beautifully with mats laid out in a circle, surrounding crystals and candles. In the corner laid a food station featuring infused waters and light snacks, including grapes, oranges and granola bars. After grabbing a bite from the food station, everyone sat down and used the materials they had picked from the forest floor to spell out or represent their intention.
Once seated, Moira led us all in a discussion to share our intentions and inform us of the day's schedule. After our conversation, Niomi led us in a yoga session. I have only had one yoga class before, but Niomi was an incredible instructor, and I never felt out of my depth. Whenever she saw me struggling she would walk over and give me tips and guidance that genuinely helped. Throughout the entire session, her positive energy was contagious, and everyone completed the course with smiles on their faces.
Afterward, everyone lay down on their mats and were given blankets to keep warm as we closed our eyes for the sound meditation and reiki session led by Krista. Once Krista began, lavender eye pillows were placed over our eyes, helping us relax. If I had to pick my favorite part of the retreat, I would have to choose the sound meditation. The sound of the singing bowls was surreal, and I could feel the vibration in my muscles.
During the sound meditation, heavy rain began to fall outside painting a magical ambiance that I won't soon forget.
We then sat down in a circle to drink tea and discuss our experience. Our circle became a safe place for individuals to share their troubles and revelations (a few tears were definitely shed) it was incredible to witness a group of strangers become a warm and welcoming place to overcome obstacles and share aspirations. Once we had finished our tea the group began to chat amongst each other, and we even had the chance to play some of the singing bowls that had been used for the meditation.
Soon, it was onto a delicious lunch. Before the retreat Hike & Heal Wellness had reached out to all attendants so they could accommodate our food restrictions. I'm vegan with a tree nut and avocado allergy, so I am used to having to bring my own food to any events I venture too. I am ecstatic to say that this was not the case for this retreat. They had a full spread of food to cater to everyone's dietary restrictions. I was left pleasantly full before we completed a group bonding exercise and went into the woods to begin our hike with Moira.
During the hike, we took multiple pauses to complete invitations. Where Moira would guide us to focus on something, whether it be the sounds of the forest, rain collecting on the leaves or the animals surrounding us. These invitations throughout the hike left me feeling calm.
Photos from our hike
Click the image below to switch to the next picture
Once our hike was complete, we met once more in the shelter for an array of tree nuts, chocolate, fruit, and sunflower seeds. For tea, we had blackberry mint and spruce tea harvested by Moira from the forest itself. Drinking our tea, we reflected on our experiences throughout the day and then once we were done said our goodbyes.
This retreat was everything I could have hoped for, and more, Hike & Heal Wellness designed the perfect getaway to allow a reprieve from the stress of everyday living and the tools to focus on personal growth and wellbeing.