Upcoming Special Events:
Guided Shinrin-yoku: Winter After Dark Series
Thursday, Jan 11, Feb 8, March 14, 6-7:45pm
Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids, MI
Join IYE’s Katie Venechuk, for the return of this special winter wellness series at Blandford Nature Center – now expanded with a longer timeframe! Deeply focused on natural relaxation and nature connection, this program is a wonderful way to embrace the beauty of the season while enjoying a little fresh air and community connection. Our series will begin with a brief introduction to the background and research of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), how it differs from a hike in the forest, and how it can help enhance our well-being in the darkest months of winter. From there, you’ll be guided in three separate shinrin-yoku experiences over the months of January, February, and March to help you relax, tend to your relationship with winter, and explore the cold weather world in new ways. Program includes hot stone handwarmers, a luminary lit breathwork circle in the winter forest, wild foraged tea and more. We suggest attending the full series if you can – or join us for a taste of the experience at a single session. Come see what nature has to share with you as you slow down, find presence and enjoy winter after dark at BNC!
Winter Nature Connection & Cacao Meditation
Wednesday, January 24, Shenanigan’s Retreat Center, Alto, MI
Join our guide Katie as she teams up with cacao enthusiast + somatic therapist, Ryan Deluca, to offer a unique fusion of yoga, winter forest bathing, heart-warming cacao and meditation in this special winter wellness workshop. Hosted on the eve of January’s full moon at a private and wooded retreat location (just 25-minutes from Grand Rapids), this indoor/outdoor experience is designed to help you embrace the season from within as you tune into your body, ignite your heart-space, and connect to the beauty of the winter world around you. In the first half of this experience, you’ll be offered a mug of rich cacao, sustainably sourced from Honduras and skillfully roasted by Ryan, and guided in a deep meditation to help you tap into the heart-opening benefits of cacao. From there, we’ll enjoy a half hour of time outdoors among the soft light of winter luminaries and the full moon as you are led by Katie in a winter Shinrin-yoku experience. Complete with grounding candlelit yoga led by Katie at the beginning of the workshop and a community circle for connection at the end, we hope you’ll join us as we connect to ourselves, connect to nature and connect to each other in this new winter offering. Space is limited, sign up early to save your spot!
Program Registration: $49
Register BEFORE Jan 3 and receive a special early bird gift, which will help you continue to explore the benefits of Cacao and Shinrin-yoku on your own!
$5 Monthly Community Sit Spot Gathering
Hosted at diverse times & locations!
Join us for our community sit spot gatherings, which will be hosted on a pop-up basis throughout 2023! These experiences focus on coming together and enjoying the peace of the forest by our powers of observation, and include: an opening circle to introduce ourselves, a brief sensory opening meditation led by our guide Katie, 20-30 minutes to enjoy a solo “sit spot” invitation in the forest, which is a core forest bathing invitation for reducing stress and reconnecting to nature, and a closing community circle with an opportunity to share what we each noticed in our unique morning experiences. These $5 offerings will be hosted during diverse timeframes and at changing locations each month, as we explore accessibility and making our nature-based wellness experiences available to more people.
Check out the pop-up calendar for upcoming opportunities. Just $5 to join!
Stay tuned for upcoming retreat opportunities, with our next anticipated offering in the winter of 2024!
Stay tuned for summer 2024 festival opportunities, to be announced in spring!
Learn more about our frequently offered events and workshops below and check out our Calendar & Events page to register for upcoming events!
Forest Therapy Walks
If you are interested in a deeper immersion into the world of forest therapy, a forest therapy walk (also known as “Guided Shinrin-yoku“) is for you. During these events, you will be offered a sequence of forest bathing invitations to help you relax and connect to the natural world. Events also include hot tea and time among community.
Journaling in Nature: Writing Workshops
Grab your journal and join us in the forest during these special 1.5-hr workshops, which blend journaling prompts and forest bathing techniques for relaxation, reflection, and connection to yourself and the world around you.
Stay tuned for more opportunities, to be announced soon!
Forest Therapy & Henna Workshops
Join us as we team up with professional henna artist, Danielle Nienhouse from Henna By Design MI, for these 2.5-hr workshops, which include a guided forest therapy experience and henna workshop among the trees.
Stay tuned for more opportunities be announced soon!
Forest Yoga: 4-Week Series
This series is structured to introduce you to the practice of forest bathing and feature one of the beautiful parks in Grand Rapids, hosted once yearly with the City of Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation.
Join us for this series again in 2023!