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Wellness in the Wild Retreat to Bring Yoga, Meditation and More to Local State Park

This story originally appeared in The Centre County Gazette.

Many people like to travel to places like Mexico and Costa Rica for retreats centered on yoga, spirituality, fitness and health in beautiful outdoor settings. This August, such a retreat will be held much closer to home when Wellness in the Wild takes place at the Penn Roosevelt Lodge, located just above Penn Roosevelt State Park in Rothrock State Forest.

Inspired by retreats and festivals she has attended in the past, event organizer Jenn Dashem has planned a weekend full of yoga, meditation, hiking, campfires and even hula hooping in the great outdoors.

“You know, our kids get to go to summer camps all the time and as adults we don’t really get to do that,” she said. “When I was at a retreat in Mexico last year, that’s kind of what it felt like, and I thought, ‘I want to do this closer to home where more people can enjoy it who can’t take a full week to go to another country.’”

A wide range of presenters will present a variety of yoga to sample, mindfulness training, plant and herbal education, cacao circles, sound meditation sessions and a Saturday night dance party featuring the music of Anchor & Arrow — the popular local music duo made up of Dashem and her husband, Matt.

“There is such a huge variety of different presenters that it’s going to be very soul nourishing. You’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and will maybe change your perspective on some things,” Dashem said.

The retreat is scheduled from noon on Friday, Aug. 16, through noon on Sunday, Aug. 18. Attendees will have the option to camp in tents, share a bunkhouse (females only) or rent a private cabin. All meals will be included, prepared by vegan chef Elaine Meder-Wilgus. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

“You just need to be a little bit curious about yoga, the outdoors or any sort of natural wellness modalities,” Dashem shared when explaining that attendees do not have to be experienced yogis to enjoy the retreat.

While the schedule has been carefully planned, all sessions are optional for participants, Dashem noted. Most of all, she just wants people to come and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

“If anyone wants to come and just chill in their tent the whole time, or wade in the creek or just go off on their own and do some hikes or mountain biking — anything goes,” she said.

The deadline to register is Monday, Aug. 5, and space is limited to 50 attendees. Pricing varies from $375 per person for tent camping to $475 per person in the bunkhouse, or $2,500 for a private cabin that sleeps five. Single-day passes are also available for $250 per person. Pets and children under the age of 18 are not permitted to attend.

For more information or to register, visit jennydyoga.com/wellness-in-the-wild-retreat, or contact Dashem at [email protected].