Written by Rolf Gordon

Rolf Godon Ph.D. has been a student and instructor of Ki Gong for some 15 years. He is a psychotherapist by training with a lifelong interest in inner (spiritual) development. Ki Gong has provided a wonderful fit for these interests. Learning to enhance, access and direct inner energy has made a profound and positive difference in his life as a professional, an athlete and a human being. Additionally, the group energy in a Ki Gong class empowers personal energy; hence his passion for teaching this form. He likes to call Ki Gong his inner exercise, a moving meditation a focus on the inner smile and laughter. Overall it has been a huge asset in his own life journey.

 

Ki GongWhat is Ki Gong?

Ki Gong came into existence in China more than 4,000 years ago. It was practiced in the villages
as preventative medicine. A spiritual form was practiced in the monasteries and remained secret until
more recent times. There was also martial arts form. The body was seen as an energy system. Illness
came from blockages in the flow of energy. Series of movements coordinated with deep meditative
breathing were developed to open up blockages and balance energies and enhance Qi (Ki) function.
The mind directs the energy from a space of intentionality. As body/mind become balanced spirit is
enhanced.

 

Research

There is a growing body of western research as to the efficacy of Ki gong. There is evidence
that the practice strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, increases bone
health/density, improves balance and reduces falling, helps sleep, reduces anxiety, depression and
overall enhances mood. And, practitioners report an overall improvement in their perceived quality of
life.

The Practice

In general the movement sequences are gentle in nature and can be undertaken by people
regardless of their physical state. It is usually done standing and is also frequently done from a sitting
position. While some movement sequences are more rapid in nature; usually the ones designed to
warm up and stimulate Ki movement; most are accomplished using slow movement coordinated with
very deep breathing. There are sequences incorporating healing sounds. The practice is always
accompanied by the smile which is incredibly empowering. The mere act of smiling immediately
raises and lightens one's energy and creates an openness and relatedness. Participants report an overall
sense of energized easefullness at the end of a class. They also report an easing of physical issues and
increased range of motion.

Practice Ki Gong with Rolf:Ki Gong

Rolf Godon teaches two classes per week. One class meets each Tuesday from 9am to
10:15am. During the summer this class meets in Truckee at the Regional Park BBQ riverfront area. In
the winter this class meets at the Recreation Center. The second class meets each Thursday from 10am
to 11am at the Truckee Senior Services dining room. Drop ins are very welcome. For information; call
or text Rolf at 530-587-2557 or email at rgodon@pacbell.net

Book the Lake Tahoe Wellness Weekend Today to get 10% Off Event Registration

Wellness WeekendThe sixth annual Wellness Weekend has experienced a makeover. This year, Granlibakken's Wellness Weekend is open to everyone, not just women as it has been in years past. A new and improved schedule features yoga classes, energy work, and educational seminars. When you book before August 15, 2017, the full weekend of events is just $120.

Let's start with the activity classes. Last year, we received feedback that more active/movement/meditation classes would be appreciated, and we listened. Wellness Weekend 2017 features a movement or meditation class in every time slot, perfect for stretching and rejuvenating between seminars. Enjoy a centering Yoga Nidra meditation practice with Lauri Glenn, or focus your energy with a Tai Chi flow in the afternoon. Each morning begins with a sunrise yoga class, perfect for welcoming the day of learning ahead. You won't want to miss the Drum Circle led by Liz Broscoe, the last class of Wellness Weekend and one that will be sure to inspire, heal, and prepare you for whatever lies ahead.

The educational seminars at Wellness Weekend are also not to be missed. Learn about GMO foods and their impact on your health with Stephenie Riley, ND at her seminar. Gain a greater understanding of how your mental and physical projections impact the relationships that you have with others from Karin Sable, LMFT. Continuing education credits are available to nurses at this event as well, a great excuse to attend with some friends and learn something new.

We are looking forward to seeing you at Wellness Weekend 2017, and don't forget to book before August 15 to get the best rate available!

Learn more about Sierra Soul and book your wellness getaway today.

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Fireworks Tahoe City

Commons Beach-4th of July 2016

4th of July in Tahoe is a truly incredible experience. The small towns bustle with activity, the weather is gorgeous, and of course, there are firework shows all around the lake.

 

HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE PLACES TO WATCH THE FIREWORKS AT LAKE TAHOE:

 

JULY 1-2: NORTHSTAR BEERFEST AND BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL, TRUCKEE, CA

Head up to the Northstar Village for craft brew tasting, pairing, and live music on 4th of July Weekend. Kid-friendly activities are available, and the Brewmaster’s Dinner on July 2nd offers craft beer pairings and a 5-course meal.

JULY 1-3: RED WHITE AND TAHOE BLUE CELEBRATION, INCLINE VILLAGE, NV

Free music, a street marketplace and fair, and plenty of activities for families–Incline Village goes all out with their 4th of July celebration! Watch the fireworks with a special finale accompanied by the Air National Guard Band of the West. See the full schedule of events here

JULY 1-4: FREEDOM FEST AT SQUAW VALLEY, SQUAW VALLEY, CA

Ski on 4th of July weekend? Who wouldn’t want to do that?! Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows will be hosting Freedom Fest, with free live music, skiing, and fireworks on Monday night. Stop by to ski or just to enjoy some live music in the sunshine at the nation’s summer skiing capital.

JULY 3: KINGS BEACH FIREWORKS, KINGS BEACH RECREATION AREA, CA

You don’t have to wait until the 4th to start celebrating! Kings Beach hosts its annual 3rd of July fireworks and beach party, complete with eating contests, giveaways, and live music. Enjoy the show from the beach, or alternatively book a 4th of July cruise on the Tahoe Gal to view the show from the water.

JULY 4TH: TAHOE CITY FIREWORKS, TAHOE CITY, CA

The 72nd annual Tahoe City Fireworks show will be one to remember! Enjoy dinner or drinks at one of the many lakeside restaurants and bars, and then head down to the beach to pick a spot to watch the show. Tahoe City Kayak will be offering a 4th of July kayak tour, offering the unique experience of watching the fireworks from the lake. Can’t beat that!

Fireworks Lake Tahoe

JULY 4TH: DONNER LAKE FIREWORKS, TRUCKEE, CA

Enjoy the 4th of July at another beautiful lake in the region, Donner Lake, located just 30 minutes from The Franciscan. Enjoy historic Truckee’s annual 4th of July parade and street fair, followed by a fireworks celebration. View a stunning fireworks show in the Sierras from one of Donner Lake’s public docks, or from the West End Beach.

JULY 4TH: LIGHTS ON THE LAKE, SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

Recognized as one of the premier fireworks shows in the nation, South Lake Tahoe comes alive for the annual fireworks show. View the show from the water with a cruise on the Tahoe Queen or the M.S. Dixie, or get to one of the beaches early to secure a spot.

 

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The Leaves Will Be Falling and Tahoe Is Calling-Get 25% Off Your Next All-Inclusive Lake Tahoe Conference

Lake Tahoe ConferencesHost an unforgettable conference, event, or retreat in the middle of 74 peaceful acres of National Forest land at Granlibakken Tahoe. Granlibakken's location just one mile from Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City is the perfect destination for both relaxing and productive Lake Tahoe conferences and retreats. During select dates this fall, Granlibakken Tahoe is offering 25% off all-inclusive conference rates.

Granlibakken can easily host groups of 4-400 in the conference facility. With flexible meeting space and comfortable accommodations onsite, your next meeting at Granlibakken is sure to be a hit. Granlibakken's property is flanked by miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, perfect for enjoying the natural beauty of the Sierras. The Treetop Adventure Course is also located onsite, and they offer team-building activities and hours of fun on their aerial trekking course. Granlibakken also has an onsite Day Spa, a year-round heated pool, hot tub, and sauna, 5 tennis courts, and free parking and WiFi.

Granlibakken Tahoe's all-inclusive Lake Tahoe conference packages include all meals, accommodations and meeting space, cocktail hours*, coffee breaks, and audio-visual services. Our meeting planners are experienced professionals, and will work with our banquets and kitchen staff to ensure that your event goes smoothly. We pride ourselves on offering exceptional customer service, and our staff will work with you and your attendees to guarantee that the event goes flawlessly.

Host your next meeting, event, or retreat in our peaceful 74 acre valley and see how to make your Lake Tahoe conference memorable. Click here to see how you can get 25% off your next conference.

 

*Complimentary for 2 nights booked

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Places to stay Tahoe City

Chamber’s Landing on Tahoe’s magical west shore is the perfect place to soak up some sun and enjoy Tahoe views.

We had an absolutely huge winter here by any standards at Lake Tahoe. Many storms were measured in feet, coating the roads, mountains, and beaches with more snow than we knew what to do with. But now that winter is over, we are dealing with all of that snow melt. We are here to ponder the question-how does that affect recreation on the lake?

Well, for one, since Lake Tahoe is much more full than it has been in quite some time, the beaches are smaller. When planning a beach day, perhaps leave the huge volleyball net at home (depending on where you are headed) and plan to stake out a spot early.

The rising water level is great news for boaters. Many of the boat launches and piers were inaccessible by boat  the last couple of years due to low water levels. Most docks, boat launches, and piers are now easily accessible and open to boats. Be sure to take advantage of this by exploring the lake by boat, kayak, or paddleboard!

Lake Tahoe is currently reported to be more than 5 feet above its natural rim, and is predicted to rise by more than 2 feet between May and August of 2017. With 63 streams, rivers and creeks running into Lake Tahoe and only one outlet, The Truckee River, this puts a lot of pressure on the professionals who manage the dam and the amount of output each day. With the lake levels expected to rise significantly as more snow melts off of the mountains, the dam will be releasing much more water into the Truckee River than it has in years past, and potentially for a much longer period. This means increased currents and volume of the Truckee River.

Places to stay in Tahoe Vista

The Lake Tahoe Dam, where water flows from Lake Tahoe into the Truckee River

Already, the bike path that runs along the Truckee River has been impacted by flooding. Although bicyclists and walkers can simply detour onto route 89 for the short segments that are flooded, it is certainly something to be aware of when using that stretch of trail. Another way that the Truckee River will be impacting river recreation is rafting. The water level is currently so high that many bridges are impassable by rafters, and the currents are strong enough that floating, rafting, or swimming in the Truckee River is extremely dangerous right now. Rafting and floating is expected to open in mid-July or August, once the flow of the river is diminished enough that it is safe.

All in all, we here at Granlibakken are extremely grateful for the increased volume of water in Lake Tahoe this year. We are excited for a beautiful summer exploring new beaches, boating, and generally enjoying the lake and the river. It is such a welcome site to see Lake Tahoe full and flourishing again. We hope that everyone also has a safe and fun summer, and enjoys the beauty of Lake Tahoe this year.

Read more about Lake Tahoe’s capacity here.

Book your stay! Click here to book your Tahoe getaway today.

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Restorative Arts and YogaWe had an amazing time at the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival that took place at Granlibakken May 19-21,2017. We had such a great time that we decided to host it again, in 2018! The 2018 Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival will be June 1-3, here at Granlibakken Tahoe.

The Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival in 2017 featured Tahoe and Truckee based healers, yogis, and energy workers. It was a great opportunity for these professionals to showcase their talents, and to introduce the attendees to their areas of expertise. From a heartfelt kirtan ceremony to invigorating Vinyasa classes, there was something for everyone of all abilities and expertise at RAY 2017.

In 2018, we are going to work in the same format, with 3 days of classes and multiple workshops offered per day. We listened to the feedback from the 2017 attendees, and will be offering more morning and afternoon sessions, and will be making a couple of other changes to the schedule–hopefully with more outdoor classes (weather permitting).

Keep an eye out for more details on RAY 2018, we will publish more information on the instructors, classes, and promotions as everything is firmed up. Right now, we are offering blind-faith early bird tickets, if you purchase your weekend pass before September 1, it is just $260 for the full weekend of events and all meals.

Learn more about Sierra Soul and book your wellness getaway today.

See what feedback about RAY 2017.

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Tahoe Conference CenterWhen planning an event, conference, or retreat, you need to look for a space that will complement your meeting seamlessly. When choosing a Lake Tahoe conference center, there are many aspects to consider. The location needs to be well suited for your event and accessible to your attendees. The space also needs to foster productivity or relaxation, depending on the purpose of the event. Granlibakken Tahoe has all of the tools to make your next retreat or conference a success.

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. Our 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.

Tahoe Conference

Onsite amenities, including 5 newly refinished tennis courts, will keep everyone active and entertained.

Granlibakken Tahoe is the only full-service conference center in Tahoe City, and it has been recognized as a regional leader for its efforts to reduce energy consumption. By investing in more efficient heating and cooling systems in the conference center, updating appliances, and implementing a Green Purchasing Policy, Granlibakken has reduced energy consumption by approximately 43 percent. Granlibakken Tahoe has also earned a number of awards and recognition for their environmental efforts, including recognition from the US Department of Energy. Granlibakken recently became a part of the Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal's composting pilot program, and is currently working with TTSD to compost all food waste generated onsite.

Granlibakken’s strong commitment to the environment, combined with its convenient west shore Tahoe location, makes it a desirable venue for conferences and events.  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 and an easy drive from the San Francisco Bay Area, only a few hours, traveling to Granlibakken is simple.

Granlibakken also has a variety of amenities onsite to accommodate any meeting. Enjoy a team-building session at the Treetop Adventure Park aerial trekking and ziplining course, or relax at the Day Spa. Find some solace in the miles of hiking and biking trails that are accessed from the property, or enjoy productive break-out sessions at Granlibakken's flexible conference center.

Whatever you hope to achieve with your next event, choose the Tahoe conference center that will fit your needs, Granlibakken Tahoe. Click here for more information.

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By Ashley Aarti Cooper

Ashley Aarti Cooper is a storyteller and yogi. She is one of the organizers of the Restorative Arts and Yoga event at Granlibakken Tahoe. You can contact her at aacooper18@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at @ashley_aarti. Learn more about Ashley and her practice here.

Yoga overlooking Lake TahoeWhy do we go on retreat? If you are reading this, you might not. Yet. Those of us who do retreat from our every day lives do so with eager hearts, practically running from our duties and tasks and diving heart first into the moment of surreal reprieve.

When you retreat, you will find that all of your duties and tasks will be waiting for you upon your return. Some of you may even find that the world has continued its orbit without you, perhaps giving others in your life an opportunity to rise to an occasion not often left for them to try out.

The reasons we retreat can be many: to make new friends, to try new things, to explore within the safety of a nurturing environment.

The reason you will continue to retreat time and time again will become apparent shortly after your arrival. It is because by retreating from our every day life, we feed our soul, our bodies, our hearts. Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it homing. It is our right as humans who give so much of ourselves to replenish our stores of energy and inspiration. It is necessary if we are to continue on with the full force of our potential, strength, and creativity. And all of these things are necessary if we are to continue to serve our individual dharma, or life purpose.

“It is right and proper that we eke out, liberate, take, make, connive to get, assert our right to go home. Home is a sustained mood or sense that allows us to experience feelings not necessarily sustained in the mundane world: wonder, vision, peace, freedom from worry, freedom from demands, freedom from constant clacking.

Whatever revives balance is what is essential. That is home.

There is not only time to contemplate, but also to learn, and uncover the forgotten, the disused, and the buried. There we can imagine the future and also pore over the scar maps of the psyche, learning what led to what, and where we will go next.”

You know home, and it is not any single physical place. It is that peaceful, soulful, mindless moment in your asana or meditation practice. It is that feeling of relaxing into your car seat as you take a drive with the windows down and no pressing destination. It is the flow of painting, dancing, writing, or singing. It is in the noticing of the sun or a warm breeze on your skin, the gentle give of earth beneath your feet or between your fingers. It is the laughter you share with a special friend when you have nowhere else to go.

Sometimes it is total peace and joy. Other times going home is an opportunity to reflect, revisit our intentions, remap our next steps. We may be licking our wounds or strengthening ourselves for a march ahead. We may simply need rest.

The reasons to retreat are many, but one thing is certain: stepping away from our every day lives in order to settle once again in the seat of our power is the only way to live a life with integrity, grace, and creativity.

hanging hammock

Click here to learn more and to register for one of Granlibakken's Sierra Soul retreats.

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Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe Rim Trail intersects with Granlibakken property.

The snow is melting, and hiking and biking season is nearly here! The Tahoe Rim Trail is a well-developed trail that circumvents Lake Tahoe, a total of 165 miles. Granlibakken Tahoe is the only hotel property that intersects with the Rim Trail. That means that whether you are just planning a few day hikes, or if you are planning on completing the full trail, Granlibakken offers a great stopping point.

For backpackers planning on doing the full trail, Granlibakken offers a variety of amenities and services to give you some respite during your adventure. You can mail non-perishable food and supplies to our address (please contact us before doing so!), and book a night so that you can get some rest in a real bed and enjoy a hot shower. Our pool, hot tub, and sauna offer a great place to relax and unwind for an evening. Refresh your tired legs with a rejuvenating massage at our onsite Day Spa. Most lodging packages include a hot buffet breakfast, perfect for fueling up for your journey. You won't find a breakfast like this out on the trail! Everything from eggs and bacon to yogurt and fresh fruit, not to mention delicious hot coffee roasted by Peerless Coffee Roasters.

For those just interested in day hikes or mountain biking, Granlibakken is a great choice. The Tahoe Rim trail portion from Tahoe City to Paige Meadows intersects with Granlibakken property. It is a 3 mile hike to Paige Meadows, a 6 mile round trip. This is also a popular mountain biking trail, with some technical parts but mostly a fun single-track, great for all abilities. Paige Meadows is a gorgeous destination, especially in early summer, when the wildflowers are in bloom. Enjoy a hike or bike through the series of connected meadows surrounded by the Sierras, where you can enjoy not only the plant life, but also an abundance of wildlife.

Granlibakken Tahoe is also close to many other popular trails and destinations. Located just about 5 miles from the Pacific Crest Trail, Granlibakken is a great place for thru-hikers to stop for a rest. Granlibakken Tahoe is also located close to Desolation Wilderness on Lake Tahoe's West Shore, offering miles of hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities. Check out some of our favorite hiking trails nearby here.

No matter how you want to experience the outdoors in Lake Tahoe this spring, summer and fall, Granlibakken has the accommodations, amenities, and resources to make your journey a memorable one.

Desolation Wilderness

Desolation Wilderness offers great backpacking and day-hiking

 

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This is the last installment of a 3 part series introducing Yoga Nidra. Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. Join Lauri at the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival, May 19-21 at Granlibakken Tahoe.

Now that you have a good idea of what Yoga Nidra is and how to create a powerful and potent Sankalpa/Intention for you practice, we can talk about prep and expectations!

First off, how to prepare.

This is an "in general" guide for Yoga Nidra during any class or listening to a recording at home and not just specific to the upcoming event.

1.  Dress comfortably!  Yoga pants and a tank are great, just make sure to bring some socks and a sweatshirt or cover-up to keep you warm.  Body temp drops as we get deeply relaxed during practice.

 

2.  Build a Nest!  This might be the most important.  If you aren't comfortable while lying down, you will just end up meditating on being uncomfortable and that's not fun!  Here's the setup:  Yoga mat, blanket over the yoga mat lengthwise, blanket width-wise at mid-torso, small blanket or soft item under your head (not too big), extra blanket to cover up with, and a bolster under your knees.  Get cozy and comfy but supported.

 

Yoga Nidra experience

3.  Have a Sankalpa/Intention ready to go!  Once the meditation gets going, you don't want to be scrambling in your mind for a meaningful intention to work with.  We will take some time at the workshop to develop one, but if you practice at home or in class, make sure you've got one committed to memory and ready to manifest! Learn about creating your own Sankalpa here.

 

Second, What to Expect.

 

1.  You will be lying down for approximately 45 minutes.  There are shorter versions absolutely, but I would advise a minimum of 30 minutes.  The shorties are relaxing but just a teaser and can be challenging to truly drop into the Theta brainwaves and parasympathetic response that make Yoga Nidra so powerful.  Give yourself the time.  You deserve it!

Relax while practicing Yoga Nidra

2.  You will be guided the entire time by the instructor.  No need to worry about what to do.  Just follow the sound of your yoga instructors voice and if you find yourself lost in thought, come back to the guided instructions.

 

3.  At the forefront, those practicing Yoga Nidra experience a deep sense of peace, calm and connection to something greater than themselves.  People express finding a deep stillness inside them, an equanimity.  Deep relaxation is most common (and yes, sometimes you may even fall asleep.  No harm done!).

Other experiences are "revelations or epiphanies";  you may find the answer to a problem, or a tough decision or action you need to make is revealed to you clearly in the practice.  You may have emotions of all variety rise up, sometimes unexpected.  They are welcome guests.  They are just energy and will arise and dissolve on their own......the key is to witness rather than engage in them.

You may see colors or shapes or have profound visions or memories arise.  A common experience is a deep sense of release and letting go.  All of these experiences are part of the profound Healing power of Yoga Nidra.

Group practicing Yoga Nidra sessions

Well, that is all for now.  I hope to see you at the upcoming Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival so you can experience this practice first hand.  And if you are interested in learning more or in private Yoga Nidra sessions, I am available at my office in Truckee and in the comfort of your own home.  You can learn more and contact me at www.LauriGlenn.com

Watch Lauri Glenn's Introduction to Yoga Nidra: Part 3 here:

Lauri Glenn  is a yoga instructor and massage therapist as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast in the Tahoe region. She will be one of our workshop leaders at the upcoming Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival this May. Learn more about Lauri and her practice here.
Click here to learn more about the Restorative Arts and Yoga Festival.

 

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