Thank you for joining us at Wellness Weekend 2017. We had an amazing weekend with you all. We hope that you enjoy these photos from Wellness Weekend 2017. Click here to learn more about Sierra Soul Wellness Events.

Written by Roger Gabriel

Roger Gabriel first began his wellness journey in the 1970s, training to be a meditation teacher under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. His extensive training and engaging approach has brought Roger to teach meditation, Ayurveda and yoga in seminars and workshops all over the world.  Roger is closely connected to Deepak Chopra and has assisted Deepak with numerous programs.  He has taught thousands of people around the world the power of self-transformation through meditation. Roger will be lending key insights from his many years of experience to attendees of Wellness Weekend 2017 at Granlibakken Tahoe.

 

Yoga Lake TahoeThe good news is that we are all already Enlightened, all perfect in every way - perfectly happy, perfectly healthy and all our desires are instantly fulfilled.  Unfortunately, the bad news is that we’ve forgotten it and so live these less than perfect lives, where we get sick, depressed and frustrated by unfulfilled desires.  Our spiritual journey to Higher States of Consciousness, isn’t about learning anything new, it’s about remembering what’s already here, remembering who we really are. 

Everything in the Universe has awareness.  We can choose to live in constricted, limited awareness or in totally expanded awareness.  The only difference between the average person and an enlightened sage is awareness.  Most of us live in self-imposed limitations, whereas the sage lives in the unbounded freedom of fully expanded awareness.  We say, “I’ll believe it when I see it”, the sage believes it and it becomes. 

The Vedas describe four different time periods or Yugas called Sat, Treta, Dwapara and Kali, each lasting for many thousands of years.   

Sat Yuga is the Golden or Enlightened Age.  A time of joy and peace, a time without crime or violence, sickness or suffering.  People had yogic powers and lived in higher consciousness, a state of Oneness. 

Over time, people allowed themselves to become tired and stressed, they became distracted and allowed the purity to slip away.  This led to the beginning of moral decay, dualism and the time of Treta Yuga where only half the people lived in higher consciousness. 

Lake Tahoe Wellness WeekendAs the ego awakened, trickery and fraud emerged, the true purpose of life became lost.  The world entered Dwapara Yuga where very few remembered higher consciousness. 

The collective consciousness continued its decline and the world entered a time of chaos and confusion.  Thinking became turned upside down, conflict and suffering became accepted as the norm.  Materialism dominated and the world descended into Kali Yuga. This is where we find ourselves today, where only a few shining lights live in higher consciousness. 

This obviously could be a very depressing story unless we remember that, at the Cosmic level, time doesn’t exist.  Sat Yuga never really ended, except in our minds, as a result of being distracted and seduced by the external world.  By simply turning our awareness inwards, away from distractions, we can, once again locate the field of Pure Awareness within and begin to restore the memory of Wholeness in our lives.  This is the journey of meditation, from chaos and confusion to peace and harmony.  A journey from ordinary consciousness to Higher Consciousness and its re-integration as our everyday reality. 

When God created the Universe, She wondered where to place the Essence of Life, the Light of Awareness.  Some angels suggested hiding it in the distant stars, others suggested the deepest oceans.  But God said, “We’ll place it deep in the hearts of every human being, only the wisest of seekers and the true lovers of life will think of looking for it there”. 

This Light has and will, always be with us, hidden deep within.  All we need do is turn our awareness inwards, away from the noise and into the Silence.  This Light is the Light of our Soul and, when we nourish it, it will grow brighter.  It will illumine our journey out of the darkness of Kali Yuga, back to the sunshine of Sat Yuga and Higher Consciousness.  As the poet Rumi said, “Why do you stay in prison, when the door is wide open?” 

Deepak Chopra

Roger Gabriel with Deepak Chopra

The Vedic texts describe seven states of consciousness.  Each of them has its own biology, emotions, and the way in which we experience the world.  We are all familiar with the first three.  These are the states we experience every day – the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states of consciousness.  Collectively, we have accepted these as our “normal” states of consciousness but, as we will see, so much more awaits us. 

We all have thoughts and one thought leads us to the next.  However, between any two thoughts, there is a space or what Deepak likes to call the gap.  If this wasn’t there, all our thoughts would be happening at the same time.  This gap also has two very important qualities – it’s silent and a field of infinite possibilities.  If it wasn’t silent, it would be the next thought and between any two thoughts is the possibility for any other thought.  However, we are not our thoughts, we are the one who thinks them so, the only place where the “thinker of the thoughts”, our Essential Self or our Enlightened Self can be, is also in the gap between thoughts. 

All the creativity, insight and inspiration, joy and peace in our lives comes from this gap.  Unfortunately, because of the chaos and confusion that surrounds our lives, we have almost squeezed the gap out of existence.  The key to regaining Higher States of Consciousness therefore, is to slow everything down so we can spend more time in the silence of the gap and less in the noise, so we can enjoy its blessing every day in our lives. 

Roger Gabriel

 

Transcendental Consciousness          

The simplest way to spend more time in the gap is through meditation and particularly mantra meditation such as Primordial Sound Meditation.  Mantra meditation is a systematic process to take our awareness from activity to the field of Silence and Infinite Possibilities.  Our awareness moves to subtler and subtler levels of thought until we slip beyond (transcend) thought and into the gap between them.  This can also be called Soul Consciousness, where we aren’t aware of anything in particular but everything in general.  A state of Pure Awareness or Pure Consciousness.  A non-local state of Being, which we can call a fourth state of consciousness.  Awareness becomes aware of itself, intentions come from Being not from ego.  This is your true birth place, your country of origin from where you temporarily travel to the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states. 

By regularly alternating between meditation and normal activity, Transcendental Consciousness begins to be established within Waking, Dreaming and Deep Sleep Consciousness.  The non-local field of Silence and Infinite Possibilities becomes available in the midst of your everyday localized experiences.  Higher States of Consciousness begin to unfold. 

Cosmic Consciousness 

Now a fifth state of consciousness dawns, where we experience the local and non-local at the same time.  The silent, unbounded, unlimited Self witnessing the small, limited self, performing its activities of waking, dreaming and deep sleep.  Past, present and future are experienced as the Eternal Now.  You realize that you are not the mind and body you are the role-player in the multitude of roles you play.  Now you can fully enjoy the roles without being overshadowed by the good or bad scenes.  The mind is fully awake.  The fear of death disappears as you realize that death happens to an experience, not to You. You experience the Divinity within yourself. 

Divine Consciousness 

As we continue our spiritual journey, our awareness continues to expand.  The non-local value you recognized in yourself, is now seen in everyone and everything else.  You recognize that you live in a celestial world filled with the Divine.  You begin to see everything at its most refined level.  The heart fully expands bringing a state of deep unconditional love. 

Unity Consciousness 

Finally, we reach the end of our journey.  Separation dissolves and everything is seen as an expression of one’s own Self.  You still function in the localized world but recognize that you also have a universal body.  Everything is your Self in different disguises. The whole Universe is your body, your projection.  You are in the world but not of the world. 

In Cosmic Consciousness we experience miracles, in Divine Consciousness we create miracles and Unity Consciousness everything is the miraculous. 

Higher Consciousness is with us right now, we can have glimpses of it at any time.  It’s in the spaces between thoughts, the spaces between breath and the spaces between objects.  Slow down, take time out from the events and objects and become aware of the spaces.  One day, the glory of Enlightenment will fully dawn in your life. 

Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend

 

Click here to learn more about the Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend and to see the full schedule of events.

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Sustainable Earth YogaAshley Aarti Cooper is a storyteller, Yoga instructor, nature guide, and nonprofit unicorn. She resides in Truckee, CA, leads international yoga retreats, and co-hosts the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival at Granlibakken Tahoe in Tahoe City, CA. She can be reached at www.sustainableearthyoga.com or on Instagram at @ashley_aarti.

The holidays are a special time, filled with family, friends, and loved ones, good food and good cheer. But often during the holidays, we don’t take time for ourselves. It is important over the holidays to not only give to others, but also to indulge in self-care—whether that be taking a few moments in the morning for yoga, spending some time outdoors, or meditating to focus and refresh your mind, body, and spirit.

We have all heard the benefits of meditation: decreased stress, Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekendanxiety and tension accompanied with feelings of well-being, patience, concentration and compassion.  These benefits are easy to grasp conceptually and many of us make ourselves grand promises to start integrating meditation into our daily lives.  With the best of intentions, we sit down in a silent room and get to “shutting our brain off.”  It is not long before our knees start hurting, our to-do lists start screaming and our shut off brain is running on overdrive.

The problem is not you or meditation.  It is all in the approach.  To begin, be easy on yourself.  Choose a technique from below or elsewhere that suits you personally, and just challenge yourself to five minutes a few times a week.  Meditate in a truly comfortable position-whether you are sitting cross legged, in a comfortable chair, or lying down with pillows supporting you.  You can practice at home or, if you do better with group activities, attend a class.

Yoga Lake TahoeWhen many of us think about meditation, we think of sitting down in silence with our legs crossed and our mind blissfully blank.  This is the Zen Buddhist practice of zazen, and it may be this simple for some of us.  Many more types of meditation exist, however, and for every learning style there is an approach to meditating.

Guided meditations are extremely useful in anchoring you to the present moment by providing structure and sound.  If you don’t want to attend a class, there are many excellent free guided meditations on the internet.  Visualizations are also extremely useful anchors and can be guided or learned ahead of time.  Some people use a mantra (a word, sound, or statement) that is silently repeated or murmured. When using mantras, you can also hold japa mala beads which resemble the Christian rosary: each bead is a single repetition of your mantra.

For whichever approach you choose, remember a few things:

  • First, the purpose of meditation is not to attain anything, we meditate to become present.
  • Second, the brain will not simply shut off; the trick is to allow thoughts, ideas, images, etc. to come without holding on or judging.
  • Third, meditation is a practice. The progression of this practice will reflect the amount of time and effort put into it.

 

Click here to book your Wellness retreat today!


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Sustainable Earth Yoga

Ashley Aarti Cooper is a storyteller, Yoga instructor, nature guide, and nonprofit unicorn. She resides in Truckee, CA, leads international yoga retreats, and co-hosts the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival at Granlibakken Tahoe in Tahoe City, CA. She can be reached at www.sustainableearthyoga.com or on Instagram at @ashley_aarti.

I came back to the woods four and a half years ago after spending my

Tahoe Retreat

Photo courtesy of Ashley Aarti Coope 

early adulthood amidst the rich, chaotic hum of big cities and the sweet, salty sunsets of easy beaches. I should have anticipated where I would eventually settle, for each visit home to Massachusetts would send me out to the woods of my childhood. And there I would stay for hours.

Sometimes I chased my dogs along the trails and swam in cold, refreshing reservoirs, pulling myself out to dry on sun-warmed boulders. Other times I slowly meandered along those peaceful forest floors that are alternatively spongy and resistant, blanketed in grass or the brilliant mosaics of autumn leaves. There, like all deciduous forests, each season pulses with its own distinct life, intoxicates you with the smell of muddy creek beds or spring flowers, chills the tip of your nose, or sits sticky on your skin. The woods welcomed me back with open arms upon each return. In my relationship with the wilderness I found a mutual respect and understanding that was more difficult to come by elsewhere.

I started Sustainable Earth Yoga Retreats (SEYR) in 2011 after moving from the madness of life in Buenos Aires to the peace of a jungle ecological project in Northern Argentina. SEYR is a yoga project built on passing forward the practices and healing of life attuned to nature, and living on this planet with more give and less take. I co-hosted my first retreat on that red-clay land to help participants connect with themselves and nature through Yoga, jungle immersion, and workshops on natural remedies and sustainability practices.

Forest Bathing Tahoe

I brought SEYR with me when I returned to the United States in 2012. Soon, I discovered Truckee and Lake Tahoe, California, and I’ve been here ever since.

As a wilderness and mindfulness guide, someone drew my attention to shinrin-yoku, the Japanese practice of “Forest Bathing.” Developed in the early 1980s, shinrin-yoku means to “take in the forest atmosphere,” and since its inception, substantial resources have been invested in researching its psychological and physiological benefits.

From 2004 - 2012, Japanese officials and researchers did a deep-dive into the potential healing effects of shinrin-yoku. The benefits include:
• Boosted immune system functioning
• Reduced blood pressure
• Reduced stress
• Improved mood
• Increased ability to focus
• Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
• Increased energy level
• Improved sleep

Shinrin-Yoku Lake TahoeThe research echoes what we already know intuitively: nature speaks to us, and we respond. Trees emit essential oils called phytoncides that protect them from germs and insects, and they extend this immune-boosting magic to humans. Breathing in forest air increases the activity of Natural Killer cells, white blood cells that play a major role in the body’s rejection of tumors and virally infected cells. These effects can be measured for a month after exposure.

Studies, like those performed at Japan’s Chiba University, have also found that just thirty minutes in the forest lowers salivary cortisol levels. Cortisol is involved in blood pressure maintenance, anti-inflammatory function, and immune function, among many other regulatory processes. Researchers also found that forest visits lower blood pressure, increase heart rate variability, and have a a profound effect on the nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the fight-flight-freeze stress response, is typically in over-drive in modern life. Shinrin-yoku puts the sympathetic nervous system at ease, and turns on the parasympathetic nervous system to regulate our rest-and-digest response and restore the body to a state of calm and balance.

All of this has implications for our chronically stressed populace as well as those who experience acute stress such as people recovering from surgery, disease, or traumatic experiences. Shinrin-yoku inspired me to bring more structure and directed intention into my meditative nature walks.

I saw the effects most clearly when working with combat veterans. Simply being in Tahoe was healing for my clients who often suffered from post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. As part of five day retreats, my co-guides and I led Sensory Hikes which combined principles of shinrin-yoku, Yoga, and sensory experiences. On top of the medicine the forest was already delivering, tuning into the present through our senses, breath work, and mindful awareness taught our clients how to begin controlling their minds’ fluctuations. After each retreat, clients consistently reported they would bring these tools home. They were also eager to return to the forest with their families.Shinrin-Yoku Tahoe

To practice shinrin-yoku, or to truly immerse ourselves in a forest environment, we must approach the practice with intention. We draw our attention to the way the Earth feels beneath our feet, and may even sit, dig, or crawl in the dirt. We watch the subtle and drastic play of the wind in the grasses. We close our eyes to smell the sweet sap of a pine tree, and begin to decipher the subtle differences between a bird’s greeting and a cry of alarm. We may taste wild mint, or stick our bare feet into the shock of a spring creek. As a Yoga student and teacher, I often incorporate meditations on the five elements of Ayurveda and Yoga that are constantly at play in our external and internal landscapes: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether.

This deepening presence helps us recognize we are not merely passing through natural environments, nature recognizes us as one of her own. All the while, she whispers songs of ease and health to the cells of our body, the hormones in our saliva, and the chemistry in our brain. In our response to these songs, a mutual respect and reciprocity is discovered, and we begin to care more deeply for nature and her well-being as well. We begin to live with less take and more give.

Of course, like so many of our spiritual practices, none of this is any new secret discovered, only ancient wisdom remembered.

“May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.” - Apache Blessing

Click here to book your Wellness retreat today!


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Written by Roger Gabriel

Roger Gabriel first began his wellness journey in the 1970s, training to be a meditation teacher under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. His extensive training and engaging approach has brought Roger to teach meditation, Ayurveda and yoga in seminars and workshops all over the world.  Roger is closely connected to Deepak Chopra and has assisted Deepak with numerous programs.  He has taught thousands of people around the world the power of self-transformation through meditation. Roger will be lending key insights from his many years of experience to attendees of Wellness Weekend 2017 at Granlibakken Tahoe.

The word ashram comes from the Sanskrit word, "srama," which means "religious exertion." However, in more recent times the term "ashram" is used to describe any facility used by a spiritual community. They can vary in size from a small hermitage housing just a few people to multiple building complexes which are home to hundreds, including whole families.

Roger Gabriel

Roger Gabriel at the Satuwa Baba Ashram School in Varanasi, India, which he helps to sponsor.

Ashrams have existed in India for thousands of years and, more recently, many ashrams have been established in other parts of the world. Whereas once, ashrams would traditionally be located away from the mainstream of human population, nowadays ashrams can be found in most parts of India and range from cheap accommodations for westerners to closed communities with strict rules and codes of conduct. Most ashrams are either headed by a living spiritual teacher or follow the path laid out by a particular lineage. Ashrams tend to have a set schedule, followed by the permanent residents, which visitors are invited or sometimes expected to join. Some ashrams also served as gurukulas or residential schools for children, adhering to a particular tradition.

Meditation Lake TahoeWesterners often have the impression that most Indians practice silent meditation and yoga asanas on a regular basis. While this may be true for some, the average Indian’s spiritual practices are more of a devotional nature. Most Indians will have a small shrine in their home, dedicated to the family deity and will visit their local temple to participate in prayers and rituals. Pilgrimages to sacred sites is also very much a part of an Indian’s spiritual duties and here, ashrams play an important role by offering food, housing and support to the thousands of pilgrims constantly on the move in India.

In general, an ashram is a sacred place and very different from a hotel. It represents an opportunity to step away from worldly affairs and return to a simpler way of living. A place to nourish your soul, to deepen your spiritual practice and awaken to your true Self. An ashram is a place for inner freedom.

The Ashram community I have been connected with for almost 14 years is the Shree Satuwa Baba Ashram in India’s sacred city of Varanasi. During this time, I have visited it 2-3 times each year spending from a few weeks to several months there each visit. The Ashram dates back 300 years and, although touched by the modern world, still functions in accordance with ancient Vedic traditions. It is home to a residential school for boys training to become Vedic priests and provides temporary accommodations for several thousand pilgrims a year, all on a donation basis. Because of its traditional nature and fairly basic facilities, it receives few western visitors. Fortunately, even though I am something of an anomaly, I was quickly accepted into their family.

Roger Gabriel

Roger with his late guru Shri Satuwa Baba Maharaji

The former head of the Ashram, Maharaji, who left us physically four years ago aged ninety-nine, was the purest, most highly evolved human I have been blessed to meet. He became my Guru and gave me my spiritual name Raghavanand. Although it was clear he had a great depth of profound knowledge, our language limitations restricted our conversations to simple subjects. At first, this created a bit of a dilemma for me, as I had spent the previous thirty years listening to spiritual discourses, reading sacred texts and questioning everyone.

Nothing happens in an ashram without the Grace of the Guru and I was soon to receive that blessing. Sensing my confusion, Maharaji invited me to just be with him, to watch, listen and breathe in his divinity. And so, this is what I did at every opportunity. After spending years in Himalayan caves and returning to become Guru of the Ashram, Maharaji lived very simply. He slept on a mat on the floor in the same room where he spent much of the day meeting the many visitors who came for his advice or blessing. I would rise early in the morning, bathe and them quietly enter his room, where he would have already begun his morning prayers and pujas. Sitting as unobtrusively as possible, I would meditate or simply observe his devotion. During the day, with me in tow, he might visit a neighboring ashram, take a boat ride on the Ganges or cross the River to visit the Ashram farm and cows. Maharaji loved his cows! During all of this, Maharaji would always make sure I was taken care of. He ate very basic meals but made sure I was properly fed and insisted on me drinking a cup of warm milk with him every evening before bed.

Looking back, I realize that the time I spent with Maharaji, though mostly in silence, was as important to my spiritual growth as anything I have read in a book or heard from a discourse.

Lake Tahoe Wellness WeekendAcceptance

I learned to accept that the moment is perfect as it is. Indian clocks seem to move at an entirely different speed than those in the rest of the world and this is particularly evident in ashrams. Some mornings Maharaji would announce that he wanted to visit somewhere. In my usual westerner eagerness to be ready on time, I would inquire when we would be leaving. The answer was always the same, “When Lord Krishna decides”. I soon learned that this could mean five minutes, several hours or even days.

Humility

From watching Maharaji, I have begun to learn the gift of humility. Even though he was respected in spiritual communities throughout India, his door was open to everyone who came. Whether a poor village farmer, a pilgrim or important politician, everyone was welcomed with the same degree of respect.

SimplicityYoga Retreat

As I’ve mentioned, Maharaji lived simply and being with him encouraged me to do the same. Over the years, the luggage that I thought necessary to take with me to the Ashram, grew less. Sleeping on a wooden bed, having no heat in the winter, bathing from a bucket of cold water and sitting on the floor to eat my meals without utensils has now become my ashram norm.

Selfless Service

Seva and the practice of Karma Yoga is very much a part of ashram life. Everyone is invited to pitch in with whatever needs doing. However, I soon learned that Indians who had grown up chopping vegetables on the floor, serving food to long rows of hungry people from a bucket or sweeping the floor with a broom made of twigs, were much more efficient than I was. After frustrating everyone with my slowness, I finally asked Maharaji what job could I do. Without hesitating he replied, “Official Ashram photographer” and to this day, that’s what I am!

Patience

I’ve always enjoyed my quiet time. Whether it was my meditation, reading or walking in nature, this has always been a regular part of my daily routine. This however, doesn’t always work out in an ashram with 70 young boys. The main focus of their education at the Ashram is learning Sanskrit, learning the Vedic chants and the performance of sacred rituals. Recently a daily English class has been added so now my quiet time is invaded by little boys eager to practice what they know. I remind myself that the reward of patience is patience!

Let the Universe Handle the DetailsYoga Lake Tahoe

Although the Ashram had a school, the actual school building had fallen down years ago and the boys slept and studied scattered throughout the Ashram. One day Maharaji called me into his room and said he wanted to rebuild the school but needed my help. My first fear was that he expected me to start mixing cement and laying bricks but he told me that my role was to raise the money. I mentally debated whether laying bricks would be easier. When I expressed my hesitation, he said, “Don’t worry, Lord Krishna sent you to help us”, definitely no pressure! I had no experience in raising large sums of money but I told him I would do my best. A week later I returned to the US and received a phone call from a good friend who I had traveled with in India and who was also a successful businessman. During the conversation, it occurred to me to ask his advice on raising the money. When I explained how much was needed, he said that it was no problem and that he would pay for everything. Wow! I immediately phoned the Ashram to tell Maharaji the great news. When I told him I had all the money, he matter of factly replied, “Of course, I knew you would, we’ve already begun the construction”.

If you haven’t already, I hope you all have the opportunity to visit an ashram one day. In the meantime, bring the energies of an ashram into your home. Create a special space where you can enjoy your spiritual practices. Set aside regular times each day for your practice. See if you can be more accepting, humble and patient in your life. Can you be more selfless when helping others. Ultimately your personal ashram is that place of pure love you always carry with you in your heart.

Click here to learn more about the Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend and to see the full schedule of events.

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By Stephenie Riley

Stephenie RileyStephenie Riley began her medical career in the conventional approach to healing, graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Engineering and spending nearly a decade designing medical devices. Yet her pursuit of optimal health led her back to graduate school in 1999 to become a Naturopathic Doctor. It was a combination of her experience in the classical medical industry combined with a desire to understand the healing powers of alternative medicine that inspired her to explore healthcare from a different perspective.

Many people view genetics as a fixed variable in our lives. While our genetics are inherited, because we have certain genes does not mean that they will be expressed. This is important in looking at genetic information as empowering you, not just looking at your vulnerabilities.

Environment (epigenetic) influences can affect our genetic expression. Genetics information is valuable beyond determining the susceptibility to disease, it can also be used for determining critical supplements or lifestyle changes for an individual.  We have control over diet, lifestyle, and nutrients, all which play an important role in overall health and wellbeing.

Lake Tahoe Wellness WeekendFor instance, using the commonly talked about MTHFR mutation, a (+) indicates someone doesn’t convert folic acid well to folate. Folate and folic acid are water-soluble B vitamins that are necessary to prevent illness and maintain homeostasis. They have been shown to prevent a variety of ailments, from anemia to memory loss. Folate is found naturally in many foods, including leafy greens and some fruits. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, added to many foods regularly consumed by the average American, including flour, cereals, and bakery items.

Individuals with the (+) MTHFR gene have a difficult time processing folic acid into folate, which can lead to lethargy, sleep issues, and other complications. One way to mitigate this genetic influence is to change lifestyle and dietary habits. Reducing alcohol intake and some pharmaceutical medications may help, as will increasing vegetable intake, especially dark leafy greens.

The (+)MTHFR mutation is just an example of the many ways that individuals can tailor their dietary and lifestyle choices to better serve their overall health. At Wellness Weekend 2017, we will discuss other pertinent topics relating to genetic health and our overall wellbeing.

Click here to learn more about the Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend and to see the full schedule of events.

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Retreat to be held November 11 & 12 as part of the Sierra Soul series of wellness events

 

Wellness Weekend 2017 is designed to rejuvenate, teach, and inspire in the Sierra Nevada, November 11 & 12, 2017. Hosted by Granlibakken Tahoe, a family-owned resort located in a peaceful 74-acre valley near the shores of North Lake Tahoe, this event features a unique fusion of Eastern and Western philosophies, medicine, and practices.

“Wellness Weekend is among the best events in Tahoe,” says Shawna West, one of the event organizers. “It offers a full weekend of learning, exploration, fun, and camaraderie. Health information is offered on a physical, spiritual, and emotional level, leaving participants with a fresh excitement as they return to their daily lives.”

A unique fusion of education and movement make Wellness Weekend one of a kind, delivering informational seminars as well as meditation, yoga, and energy-work classes in a peaceful mountain atmosphere.

 

 

About Wellness Weekend:

What’s New:

Now in its sixth year, Granlibakken Tahoe has made some changes to Wellness Weekend. Formerly Women’s Wellness Weekend, this event now is open to everyone who wishes to come, regardless of gender. An additional meditation, movement, and yoga class track has been added for 2017. Attendees can enjoy a refreshing Yoga Nidra meditation between seminars, or align their energies with Tai Chi. An entirely revamped speaker schedule will feature fresh content from experts in their fields-ranging from topics like how foods can impact mental health to using DNA sequencing for self-empowerment.

Headlining the weekend this year is Roger Gabriel, Master Educator at The Chopra Center, delivering his keynote speech entitled “Release the Karmic Secret.” Gabriel is closely connected to Deepak Chopra and has assisted Chopra with numerous programs. He has taught thousands of people around the world the power of self-transformation through meditation. Regardless of philosophy and/or faith, Gabriel’s keynote will offer insights and observations about the different types of karma and how it affects life. He will offer training tools for effective meditation and mindfulness. This keynote speech is included for all Wellness Weekend attendees, or the speech and preceding cocktail hour can be purchased à la carte.

It wouldn’t be Wellness Weekend without some movement. Attendees are welcome to take a break from the seminars and enjoy a hike through the forest surrounding Granlibakken Tahoe with a shinrin-yoku outdoor meditation led by Ashley Aarti Cooper. There is the opportunity to work on balance and mindfulness with a rejuvenating ki gong practice with Rolf Godon. Each day of Wellness Weekend starts with sunrise yoga, perfect for welcoming and setting intentions for the day ahead. The weekend closes on Sunday with a drum circle. Attendees will partake in this ancient practice that has been proven to have beneficial effects on the mind and body.

Wellness Weekend

The Local Artisan Marketplace on Saturday is a great chance to shop for locally made jewelry, crafts, and goods. Various local wellness services also will be represented; shoppers can enjoy a quick massage after a day of wellness, or experience an aromatherapy demonstration.

Cocktail hours and meals are available on site. Attendees can sample locally made brews and wines as well as non-alcoholic cocktails. Granlibakken’s award-winning executive chef will prepare a variety of meals, featuring organic, vegan, and locally sourced options.

Continuing education credits are available to health professionals at Wellness Weekend.*

Lodging is available at a special weekend package rate of $116 per night for double-occupancy or $179 per night for single-occupancy, not including tax and service charges.Lodging Lake Tahoe

Granlibakken, a premier venue for health and wellness events, offers an exceptional setting for this inspirational retreat. Reservations for Wellness Weekend, to be held November 11 & 12, 2017, can be made online here using Group ID: LTWW17 and Password: LTWW17.

*Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 1198 for 6.0 contact hours

 

About Granlibakken Tahoe

Granlibakken Tahoe is a family-owned and operated resort located in a peaceful 74 acre forested valley just steps from the shores of Lake Tahoe. With a variety of accommodations onsite, from standard bedrooms to three-bedroom townhouses, Granlibakken comfortably accommodates groups, conferences, and weddings. The resort’s 24,500 square feet of flexible year-round meeting space can host groups of 4 to 400 with ease. Hot buffet breakfast is included in all stays, as well as resort-wide high-speed wireless Internet access, parking, and access to onsite amenities. Granlibakken’s unique location and mountain hospitality provides the perfect place to reconnect and unplug. For more information, please visit: www.granlibakken.com.

 

 

 

 

Packages:

The Leaves are Falling and Tahoe is Calling: 25% Off All-Inclusive Conference Rates

friends by campfire in eveningGranlibakken Tahoe offers an all-inclusive meeting experience like none other. A peaceful location in a private 74 acre wooded valley offers the perfect space to make any meeting or retreat productive and memorable. Granlibakken’s new Soul Shelter meditation and yoga room is the perfect space for attendees to rejuvenate between sessions, and is also well-equipped to host group yoga sessions. Meeting facilities accommodate groups from 4-400, and improvements made to the conference center has earned Granlibakken national recognition as a leader for its efforts to reduce energy consumption. By investing in more efficient heating and cooling systems, updating appliances, and implementing a Green Purchasing Policy, Granlibakken has reduced energy consumption by approximately 43 percent since 2015.

Granlibakken’s strong commitment to the environment, combined with its convenient west shore Tahoe location, makes it a desirable venue for events, retreats, conferences, and weddings. Downtown Tahoe City, on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, is less than a five minute drive from Granlibakken and offers an array of shopping and dining options, along with access to Commons Beach. In close proximity to Reno-Tahoe International Airport with airport shuttles available and an easy drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, only a few hours, traveling to Granlibakken is simple.

For a limited time, Granlibakken is offering 25% off all-inclusive conferences. This package includes three meals daily prepared by Granlibakken’s award-winning kitchen staff, 24,500 sq. ft. of flexible indoor/outdoor meeting space, resort-wide wireless access, and of course, Granlibakken’s many amenities-including tennis courts, an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, and onsite hiking trails.

Book your fall conference here. 


Granlibakken’s 95th Celebration:Tahoe Ski History

Granlibakken was first used as a winter recreation hill in 1922 by Tahoe City locals. In 1926, the Tahoe Tavern, a grand resort just outside of Tahoe City, stayed open for its first winter season. The Tahoe Tavern used Granlibakken, which was then called “Ski Canyon,” as their winter recreation hill—hosting jumping exhibitions, dog sledding races, and entertaining guests with a toboggan slide built by lumber and mining magnate D.L. Bliss. In 1947, Kjell “Rusty” Rustad built a 450 ft. rope tow to the top of the hill and christened the area “Granlibakken,” which means “hill sheltered by fir trees” in Norwegian.

To celebrate 95 years of operation, Granlibakken Tahoe is offering 25% off room rates and 5 months of giveaways-from Granlibakken Day Spa treatments to sledding parties. Granlibakken will also celebrate its status as one of California’s oldest continuously operated ski resorts with a 95th anniversary party at the ski and sled hill. Click here for more information.

Book your Tahoe getaway here.


20% Off Treetop Adventure Park Sessions:

Add some zip to your trip. Guests of Granlibakken Tahoe get 20% off Tahoe City Treetop Adventure Park sessions through December.

Book your trip here. 


Tahoe holiday

Holiday Celebrations:

Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings is included in all lodging packages. Enjoy a turkey carved table-side, as well as sides, dessert, and vegetarian options. You get to keep the leftovers from the feast! Thanksgiving dinner is available to non-lodging guests for any additional fee.

Click here to book your stay.


Christmas Eve GranlibakkenChristmas Eve Torchlight Parade:

Follow the tracks of athletes of yesteryear with this Granlibakken tradition. Ski down the slopes after the ski hill closes, holding your torch to commemorate Granlibakken’s role as the host of the 1932 Olympic Ski Jumping Trials. The parade is followed by gifts with Santa, snacks, hot chocolate, and mulled wine.

Click here to book your stay.


Christmas Dinner:

Christmas dinner is included in all lodging reservations at Granlibakken Tahoe. Enjoy a Christmas feast prepared by Granlibakken’s award-winning kitchen staff. Christmas dinner is available to non-lodging guests for an additional fee.

Click here to book your stay.


New Year’s Eve Party:

Ring in the new year at Granlibakken Tahoe. Dinner followed by music, dancing, and kid-friendly activities is included for all lodging guests, with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. New Year’s Eve festivities are available to non-lodging guests for an additional fee.

Click here to book your stay.


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In an effort to become one of the leading wellness centers in the Tahoe region, Granlibakken has been working to improve its current wellness offerings, and has been adding some new features to the property. We hope that you will enjoy these added amenities on your next visit.

 

The Soul Shelter

The Soul Shelter is designed to be a space for meditation, relaxation, and rejuvenation in the heart of Granlibakken's property. With warm wood floors, neutral wall colors and recessed lighting, this space has been totally revitalized to complement its natural surroundings. The Soul Shelter boasts 1,056 sq. ft. of space that can be divided in two, great for groups that wish to host a yoga or meditation class as a part of their retreat. This space is also available to individual visitors who wish to take some time to unplug and reconnect mentally or spiritually during their visit. Yoga mats, blocks, and blankets are provided for guests to use.

Lake Tahoe Wellness  Wellness Center  

 

The Fitness Center

We listened to your feedback about our fitness center, which was in need of some revitalization. We have renovated the gym, replacing the floors with durable wood floors and purchasing an entire new fleet of exercise equipment. Although we are working with a limited space, the new fitness center boasts a variety of exercise machines for all fitness levels. New cardio equipment includes a new treadmill, spin bike, and elliptical, and new weight-lifting equipment includes new benches, Olympic and curl bars, and medicine balls. Granlibakken wants you to stay on track with your fitness goals, whether you are visiting with your family or with a group.

    

The Meditation and Reflection Garden

The Meditation and Reflection Garden is designed to be a space to gather and reconnect with nature. Due to be completed next spring, this area features a meditation labyrinth, seating areas, gardens with native plants, and water features. The garden is located next to the main lodge, and we are looking forward to it becoming a central gathering place on the property as well as a place for guests to go to enjoy the natural beauty of Granlibakken's setting.

    

We hope that you will have the opportunity to enjoy one (or all!) of these new wellness features the next time that you visit Granlibakken. Our setting naturally inspires well-being, and we are excited to complement that setting with some new wellness amenities.

 

Click here to learn more about meetings at Granlibakken Tahoe.

Click here to book your stay.

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How do you get inspired? Do you spend time with family, friends, and like-minded people? Do you head out into nature, finding inspiration in the beauty that surrounds us? Do you educate yourself — learn something new to keep your mind fresh and active?

Wellness Weekend 2017 is designed to rejuvenate, teach, and inspire you in the Sierra Nevada this November 11 & 12. Hosted by Granlibakken Tahoe, a family-owned resort located in a peaceful 74-acre valley near the shores of North Lake Tahoe, this event features a unique fusion of Eastern and Western philosophies, medicine, and practices.

“Wellness Weekend is among the best events in Tahoe,” says Shawna West, one of the event organizers. “It offers a full weekend of learning, exploration, fun, and camaraderie. Health information is offered on a physical, spiritual, and emotional level, leaving participants with a fresh excitement as they return to their daily lives.”

A unique fusion of education and movement make Wellness Weekend one of a kind, delivering informational seminars as well as meditation, yoga, and energy-work classes in a peaceful mountain atmosphere.

Wellness Weekend

What’s New

Now in its sixth year, Granlibakken Tahoe has revamped Wellness Weekend. Formerly Women’s Wellness Weekend, this event now is open to everyone who wishes to come, regardless of gender. An additional meditation, movement, and yoga class track has been added for 2017. Enjoy a refreshing Yoga Nidra meditation between seminars, or align your energies with tai chi. Granlibakken also has changed up the speaker schedule, with new speakers and fresh content.

Two incredible days of events will feature seminars on a wide range of topics — from the impact of GMO foods on our physical well-being to the use of humor as a psychological coping mechanism. Engage with experts in their fields to learn how to optimize your physical and mental health. Get a crash course in empowerment through knowledge of your DNA sequencing, or learn about the role that neurophysiology and perception play in pain management. If these topics seem over your head, do not fear! Wellness Weekend speakers tailor their seminars for all levels of understanding. It is a comfortable, low-pressure opportunity to learn about a subject that has piqued your interest, or to discover something new entirely.

Roger Gabriel Chopra CenterYou won’t want to miss Roger Gabriel, Master Educator at The Chopra Center, delivering his keynote speech entitled Release the Karmic Secret. Roger first began his wellness journey in the 1970s, training to be a meditation teacher under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. His extensive training and engaging approach has brought Gabriel to teach meditation, Ayurveda, and yoga in seminars and workshops all over the world. Gabriel is closely connected to Deepak Chopra and has assisted Chopra with numerous programs. He has taught thousands of people around the world the power of self-transformation through meditation.

Gabriel’s speech will offer valuable insight into karma and its effects on our relationships, goals, and achievements. Karma determines how we are treated in a next existence based on our actions of this existence. Regardless of philosophy and/or faith, Gabriel’s keynote will offer insights and observations about the different types of karma and how it affects life. He will offer training tools for effective meditation and mindfulness. This keynote speech is included for all Wellness Weekend attendees, or the speech and preceding cocktail hour can be purchased à la carte.

It wouldn’t be Wellness Weekend without some movement. Take a break from the seminars and enjoy a hike through the forest surrounding Granlibakken Tahoe with a shinrin-yoku outdoor meditation. Work on balance and mindfulness with a rejuvenating ki gong practice. Each day of Wellness Weekend starts with sunrise yoga, perfect for welcoming and setting intentions for the day ahead. The weekend closes on Sunday with a drum circle. Partake in this ancient practice that has been proven to have beneficial effects on the mind and body.

Exciting extras

A local artisan marketplace on Saturday is a great chance to shop forLake Tahoe Wellness Weekend locally made jewelry, crafts, and goods. Various local wellness services also will be represented; enjoy a quick massage after a day of wellness, or experience an aromatherapy demonstration.

Cocktail hours and meals are available on site. Sample locally made brews from Alibi Ale Works and wine from the Truckee River Winery. Kombucha samples will be available from Folk Brewing. Granlibakken’s award-winning executive chef will prepare a variety of meals, featuring organic, vegan, and locally sourced options.

Lodging also is available on site, with a wide variety of options to accommodate all of your needs.

Continuing education credits are available to health professionals at Wellness Weekend.* This is the perfect opportunity to advance your career and expand your knowledge, all while making new friends and indulging yourself in a weekend of meditation, yoga, and learning. It is the best of all worlds — you will leave with tangible takeaways to further your career, all while indulging yourself in some self care in the Sierra. It is bleisure at its best.

We hope to see you at Wellness Weekend 2017, a weekend designed to inspire, teach, and rejuvenate. Click here for more details and to see the full schedule.

*Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 1198 for 6.0 contact hours

Keep in touch! Click here to sign up for our email list, and be the first to know about deals, events, and more!