SpiritWoods offers classes to the public, including mindful body movement, tap into your creativity, and encourage integration of daily mindful practices that improve the quality of your life.

Relief & Restoration: A Nature Immersion Retreat for Professionals

Saturday, September 17 (9 am – 2 pm) at SpiritWoods Wellness Center in Stillwater, MN

The demands of our world today have many healthcare and mental health professionals longing for respite from prolonged stress that leads to compassion fatigue, grief and loss, and sometimes even burnout. Irritability, disrupted sleep, feeling overwhelmed and loss of interest are all common responses to life’s incessant demands.

Many physicians are beginning to prescribe time outdoors as part of treatment for their patients. Canada has recently formed their first national nature-prescription program given nature’s proven health benefits. At SpiritWoods we will explore some practical ways to integrate more green time into our lives.

Beauty of the SpiritWoods gardens—a place where time slows down among tall trees, waterfall, woods and trails—will immerse us in nature. Trees reach toward the sky as we walk the labyrinth in quiet solitude. Here one’s thoughts roam freely as we experience forest bathing on the wooded trail. Here lies a place, with its tall trees and flowing brook, for you to rest, to reflect, to know that beauty can be found everywhere, especially in your heart.

This retreat will focus on relief and restoration as you immerse in the beauty of Nature. Mindful body movement and breathwork in Yoga and Tai Chi postures will also provide new practices to incorporate in daily living. As we come into community, we can undo the aloneness that has settled in after lengthy separations. Move through the distress of living, toward a life that brings peace and calm into your day.

The all-weather Nature Studio at SpiritWoods will provide us with a safe, comfortable space for connecting, as we learn about and incorporate the science of Right Brain Healing. Instructors are Dr. Mary Freitag (drmaryfreitag.com) and Jessie Cylkowski, MSW, LICSW (hopeandoutreach.com).

A light lunch is provided. Participants must be able to get up and down from the yoga mats (provided for your use). Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.

Fee: $93.75

*This retreat is being offered at a price reduction of 25% off the normal $120 fee. Registration is required, and attendance is limited to provide an optimal experience for participants.

Email info@spiritwoods.org for details and registration.


Programs Coming in Fall 2022…

Nature Journaling

Many mental health professionals recommend mindfulness and exercise, especially in the outdoors, to manage stress and improve health. But it took the COVID-19 pandemic and a global slowdown for many people around the world to discover nature journaling—writing, drawing, painting and chronicling their observations about the natural world—as a pathway to mindfulness.

There are many ways to do nature journaling and everyone’s journal will be different. In this course, you will improve your skills at writing, drawing, and seeing relationships and connections you may not have noticed before. Nature journalers report decreased stress and isolation, more focused attention, more curiosity, and a greater capacity for joy and wonder.

Course activities are drawn from the work of naturalist-authors John Muir Laws, Roseann Hanson, Melinda Nakagawa, and Amy Tan. Topics will include How to Get Started in Nature Journaling, Your Brain on Nature Journaling, How to Become a Master of Field Arts, Art Supplies, Nature Journaling Communities, and Resources.

The course instructors are Dr. Mary Freitag, an integrative psychologist who incorporates experiential mind-body therapies, mindfulness, and neuroscience insight into her compassionate clinical work, and Dr. Jenny Marsh, a nurse and psychologist, who reconnected with her childhood love of nature and art through online nature journaling during the pandemic.

Course supplies and tools (The Laws Sketchbook for Nature Journaling, colored pencils, etc.) can be purchased as a packet (at additional cost) and financial assistance is available as needed. The course leaders will also provide a list of suggested items you may already have at home.

To participate fully one must be able to sit, stand and walk without assistance. The physical exertion level is like walking. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to register.


Yoga for Resilience

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.

Challenges in our lives often require physical and emotional stamina that drain our ability to cope. Yet, physical and emotional stamina are the natural elements of resilience needed to manage setbacks, as well as to live life fully.

The seven classes of Yoga for Resilience will take you on a journey through the seven chakras. You will learn how to open, energize, and balance these major energy centers in your body. Through the practice of specific yoga poses with corresponding breath techniques, you will more readily address daily stressors, restore resilience, and create a more harmonious state between your mind, body, and spirit. Each session will close with a brief grounding meditation to carry with you throughout the week.

All levels of fitness and experience are welcome. Please wear comfortable clothing.


Meditation in Movement

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.

 


 

Exploring Ourselves and Our Relationship Through the Enneagram

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.


Advanced Mindfulness for Couples Class – Level II

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.

Mary Freitag

Prerequisite: Mindfulness for Couples Level I

As you gain greater unity and understanding in your relationship through engaging in Wise Mind practices you learned in Level I, you can move toward establishing a deeper connection with one another in Level II.

Advance your skills to allow you to manage distress in a healthy way, maintain your connection with one another while asking for what you need. Build self-respect while giving to your partner what he or she needs, and manage your feelings to cope with situations through acceptance strategies of things you cannot change.

We’ll use education, role play and class discussion to:

  • Revisit skills to manage feelings and to better cope with situational stress;
  • Learn how to manage distress in a healthy way when you are not able to control a situation; and
  • Implement three interpersonal skills to help you be more effective in how you respond and more aware of how your behavior affects others so that positive change can happen.

We keep the groups small – a maximum of four couples per class – so that there is plenty of time and space for all to engage in the process. We currently have room for 2 more couples. Sign up now to ensure your place in the class. We look forward to working with you in creating the closeness and connection you desire and deserve!


Finding Life Balance With Mindfulness and T’ai Chi

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.

Tai ChiThis course uniquely combines specific Mindfulness practices with traditional T’ai Chi movements. Using a gentle Sun-style form that is safe, easy to learn, and suitable for most every fitness level, Finding Life Balance With Mindfulness and T’ai Chi highlights the mind-body connection.

Integrating therapeutic mindfulness practices with physical movement has been shown to reduce stress, the pain associated with many chronic illnesses, and protect against cognitive decline and even dementia.

Mindfulness As you learn and incorporate the practices of mindfulness, you can experience the benefits of staying mindfully in the moment while engaging your “Wise Mind” that still, small voice within or gut feeling. As a result, you may increase your ability to:

  • participate fully in what is going on around you;
  • avoid being hijacked by thoughts or emotions that block your happiness;
  • maintain connection with your body to help identify your true feelings;
  • maintain healthy relationships; and
  • accept the things that are simply yours to let go of.

T’ai Chi Mindfulness will be integrated with t’ai chi movements – a mind/body/spirit exercise that has been described as “meditation in motion”. T’ai chi consists of a series of whole-body movements performed in a slow, focused manner accompanied by deep breathing. When performed regularly, t’ai chi allows us to cultivate the qi or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body. The resulting benefits of ta’i chi include:

  • increased energy and stamina;
  • improved flexibility, balance, strength and agility;
  • enhanced sleep quality;
  • strengthened immune system and lower blood pressure;
  • decreased stress, anxiety and depression; and
  • reduced risk of falls in older adults.

To participate fully one must be able to stand and walk without assistance. The physical exertion level is similar to walking.


Just Between You and Me

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.

Just Between You and Me will offer specific mindfulness practices in the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of ourselves and in a relationship with our partner. Through movement, education, class discussion and the sharing of what you are experiencing, you will learn the benefits of staying mindfullly in the moment and engaging your Wise Mind.


Healing Through Contemplative Consciousness:
A Sharing Of The Heart

Future classes will be scheduled. Please email info@spiritwoods.org to join this class.

Dr Mary leads an evening class.

 


Winter Solstice 2022: We Are Both Darkness and Light

Join us at SpiritWoods for a celebration of transitioning from the darkest of days to a Light of rebirth.


A Winter Evening at SpiritWoods Labyrinth – by Evan Frost, Photojournalist

As we reach the apex of the year’s longest night, we have a profound opportunity to prepare ourselves for the light that is coming.

Set your intentions for new realms of thinking and being. Join us this solstice for letting go of that which no longer serves you to move toward Essence – your highest Self.


Selected Past Programs…

The Minnesota Labyrinth Network 2022

Members of the Minnesota Labyrinth Network again gathered at SpiritWoods to meet in the new Nature Studio, walk the labyrinth, and share their latest thoughts about how to enrich the experience for themselves and others.

        

The Minnesota Labyrinth Network 2020

Labyrinth enthusiasts and professionals gathered at SpiritWoods to share ideas and exchange best practices on how to enrich the labyrinth experience for others.