Midwest Yoga Retreats

There was a time when we all lived a little closer to the earth. We planted, tended and harvested. We moved our bodies and ate nourishing food produced right where we lived. The weather influenced our activities, and we were sensitive to the signs in nature that indicated change. We gazed up at the stars and down at the earth. We shared our supper at a big table with friends and family, sharing all we experienced that day.

Midwest Yoga brings us back to our roots. The separation we are experiencing from our immediate environment is a separation from ourselves. A Midwest Yoga retreat at
Soul Farm takes advantage of a natural, rural, midwest farm environment to help us reconnect to our ecosystem, both outside of us and within; it’s really all the same.

We practice yoga outside, we meditate in the woods. We enjoy food grown by our local farmer friends. We share adventures and experiences. These adventures vary by retreat and may involve connection with a horse, or a meditation in the woods, or creating a piece of art. We might learn about ways of using and putting up the herbs and produce we find or grow, or creating our own natural lotions and potions. We may share ceremonies or sound healings in harmony with the natural elements that abound at Soul Farm; air, water, earth and fire. And we gather around a table for our supper, and share again.

Each retreat at Soul Farm is a little different. Different friends and neighbors will share their passions and skills. But the vibrational hum of this 80-acre property will always be in the background, guiding us through an experience of growth, and empowerment.

SAMPLE SCHEDULE
FOR A MIDWEST YOGA RETREAT

Friday

Leave your home or work in the city. Soul Farm is 2 hours west of the Chicago city limits, but as you exit the highway and continue down country roads, passing wide open fields and small, rural towns, you’ll feel the congestion and busyness of the city fade away.

4:00 – 6:00pm

Follow the little gravel road to our grass lane. Mary Anne and Judi are waiting at the end.  A cool drink, snacks, farm tour and new friends also await. Relax for a bit.

6:00pm

Yoga will be either under the big, blue sky near the ponds, or in our Yoga Barn. This first class will work out the kinks from the drive, and release tension from a busy work week

7:30pm

Farm-to-table deliciousness. Mary Anne sets a picture perfect table with retro linens and a mix of vintage china. If the weather cooperates, we’ll dine outside under the trees, by candlelight and lanterns. Our menu features fresh local produce, cheeses, and breads, including salads with fresh homemade dressings and seasonal soups, such as Mary Anne’s delicious, Apple-Butternut Squash Soup. 

8:30pm

Relax on the bunkhouse porch, or by our open campfire, with a drink and a friend. Stargazing is supreme. Soon you’ll head to your bed. Is it in the sweet little Soul Farm cottage? A quick drive down the road to the farmstead? Or, will you be closer to nature bedded down in our bunkhouse or walled tents, with soft sheets and comforters? 

Saturday
7:00am

Wake up, surprisingly refreshed. Come on into the Soul Farm cottage, because there are little smoothies waiting for you, along with coffee and teas (some mixed by local herbalists). 

8:00am
Midwest Yoga. The ground is still a little dewy, so we’ll meet in the yoga barn and enjoy a wake-up practice. Maybe there’s a theme this weekend.  If so, you can be sure Judi will reference it here. 
9:30am

A Hearty Breakfast. It might be a vegetable frittata, with a little fresh greens and homemade muffins. 

11am – 6:00pm

This time of your day will vary, depending on retreat themes, featured teachers, and other opportunities. See your retreat package for your core activities during this part of your day. Depending on your package, you may also have time to choose from these additional activities:

  • A forest bathing meditation walk, led by Judi. 
  • A massage or private trail ride (Must be booked ahead of time, for additional cost).
  • A sound healing, led by a guest instructor. Enjoy crystal bowls, or gongs.
  • Group field trips. Potential field trips include, a trip to Waterman to visit a local winery for a tasting, or into town to visit some of the small shops. 

Always, for those craving alone time,  a nap in the hammock, a meditation by the ponds or in the woods, journaling, or reading allow you to retreat your way.

12:00pm

A Joyous Lunch. Mary Anne makes a delicious soup. Watermelon gazpacho has been a favorite. Healthy salads, and sandwiches with locally baked bread have shown up on the lunch table. 

6:00pm

Regroup for yoga and guided meditation. 

7:30pm

If the weather is fine, we’ll be eating al fresco again. Mary Anne makes a wonderful vegetable lasagna, with locally crafted cheese. Maybe we’ll enjoy that, and guests are welcome to enjoy a glass of wine, BYOB.

8:30pm

A bonfire sets the stage for ceremony or dharma talks for themed retreats. Fire ceremonies are a way to create release, or transformation. Yoga philosophy, especially for retreats that include a theme, is discussed by the fire. Learning and sharing ideas happens here. Depending on the retreat, evening might lead us to a labyrinth ceremony, or a crystal bowl healing meditation in the woods. If there is a concurrent riding clinic, we may enjoy a discussion on communication, the herd mentality, and how it relates to us humans. See your particular retreat package for specific details.

10:00pm
Retire
Sunday
7:00am
Smoothies, coffee and tea.
8:00am
Our final practice in the yoga barn. 
10:00am

A Festive Brunch.  Our brunch menus vary from week to week. A favorite has been our savory vegetable and bean casserole topped with a cornbread crust, greens and sweet zucchini muffins. 

Noon
Packing up, hugs and goodbyes. Plans for another trip out to Soul Farm, because it really isn’t so far away.