FOR-EST - 1 week wellbeing retreat
July 24-30th, 2023 Labanoras national park, Lithuania
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It's simple,” they say, “
and you too have come into the world to do this,
to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.”
when i am among the trees
about retreat location
“This is a land for one who loves nature and believes in its healing power. A place to rest from urban world, to feel the healing power of silence and the forest, to rediscover thyself.“
Your home away from home is located on the private peninsula in the national park of Labanoras in Lithuania.
Šiaurys resort is surrounded by lakes, deep in the forest (3 ha of private land). Imagine starry night sky (no light pollution!), fresh air and tranquil nature sounds.
Fairytale like, dreamy and inspiring environment to be, to move, to breathe, to recharge, to connect.
Lithuania- a land of forests
Historically a forest country, Lithuania has much to offer for travellers looking for sustainable outdoor adventure. Under-the-radar wonders of nature draw into new experiences. Visitors may try herb picking, dragonfly watching or forest bathing.
For those seeking sustainable under-the-radar experiences, Lithuania is a destination of peaceful respite. Its natural forests offer aesthetic pleasure of color and sound.
For hundreds of years, locals have been into wild herbs, berry and mushroom picking.
In pagan times – a religion that worships the deities of nature – Lithuanians didn’t have temples, but glorified their gods in forests and groves
FORest retreat has been created for those who already appreciate nature and are willing to dive deeper into its healing powers.
Forest bathing at different times of the day, eco-nidra, yoga, plant forging, natural mindfulness, forest trekking, swimming & rowing in the lake topped up with local sauna rituals. In a place where the only thing you see is nature. Its time to Rest!
Yoga & meditation sessions have been designed to ignite experiences in nature and dwell deeper into your inner world.
All those experiences will be nourished by local, alive and natural food- vegetarian & vegan, cooked by Lithuanian woman, an exceptional retreat chef who radiates love for cooking, nature & life.
Forest Bathing at different times of the day
Experiential workshop: local life & forest- folklore & pagan traditions
Wild Forest Foraging & Hike
Sauna Ritual - meditative and including local traditions
Yoga ( Yin & Hatha) and Movement sessions
Community gathering & fire ritual
Water sports: rowing, swimming, SUP
Free time for personal reflection, cocooning, time at the lake
Massage (optional and to be booked upon request)
In Lithuania sauna has been much more when just a place to wash the body. Our ancestors used it as ritual to clean the body and soul. We will offer you a silent sauna ritual during which meditation will take part.
This ritual allows to let go of the thoughts, relax and come back to inner peace.
Stages of the sauna ritual:
First warm up in sauna – meditation
Salt ritual - meditation outside
Tree branches – washing - meditation
Honey ritual - final cirlce
During silent sauna ritual the conversation is inner one, you wont need your voice, neither your mobile phone.
The entire sauna ritual will take for 3-4 hours. We will have Ugnius- a special guest who will lead this ritual for us.
Forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, using your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health.
It is also known as Shinrin-yoku.
Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴) is a Japanese term that translates to “Forest Bathing” in English and involves spending free time wandering in nature.
This holistic method was developed in the 1980s in Japan, and it was designed to enhance wellbeing, health, and joy.
What an opportunity to experience it in the forests of Lithuania! During this retreat we will practice Shinrin Yoku at different times of the day to experience nature and ourselves from various angles.
It‘s an early summer morning. Warm and misty. You‘re in the middle of the forest with no one else around. The air is filled with the melodious songs of birds and the sweet smell of conifers. Your feet are bare against wet, warm moss.
You relax so much that you forget everything about this world, even where you are.
You‘re sipping delicious tea brewed with local herbs at the end of the session.
You open your eyes once again and see this world as if you are seeing it for the first time.
forest trekking & plant forging
For hundred years Lithuanians have been living close to the forests, including getting food from there - mushrooms, berries, medicinal plants and routes. You will get a chance to discover those goodies and much more! Hearing the stories from the locals is priceless.
We will also take intentional time to hike in the forest for a few hours- attention, you may get a headache because of the fresh air and intensiveness of the forest.
Eat nature, be nature- food during retreat
donata - retreat chef inspired by nature
Donata creates food with love & passion. She is a nature lover and gets her main inspiration to cook from the nature - using natural products. Aesthetics of food is part of her style and spoils multiple senses of the one who tastes her food. Lithuania is her home country and her initial inspiration to cook came from her mothers vegetable & fruit garden.
You will eat healthy & natural food prepared by Donata. Allow your body to energize with seasonal & local goodness. Find joy in eating the rainbow on your plate and feel yourself becoming more grounded and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
In this very special accommodation normally 27 people can sleep. In order to ensure intimacy and privacy, we will limit the retreat to 12-14 participants.
The 2 houses where you will sleep are well hidden in the forest. Most probably you will not stay much in your room due to the beauty around and all the activities.
Logistical details,PRice And Conditions
Retreat will start on Monday 24th at 3pm and will finish on Sunday at 3pm. Detailed program and list of things to take will be shared once registered. All genders and couples welcome to join!
You can stay 1 extra night ( until Monday 2pm) for an extra fee of 50-70 EUR depending on your accommodation. No activities will be provided during this extra time.
Please note- all bathrooms are shared in the retreat location. You will share max with 3 same persons.
Price & accommodation options- all prices are per person:
Superior Double Room for a single use: 1,775 EUR/CHF
Standard double room for 2 people when you sleep in a double bed: 1,400 EUR/CHF
Standard double room for 2 people when you sleep in a comfortable sofa: 1,275 EUR/CHF
Standard triple room for 3 people sleeping in a twin bed: 1,175 EUR/CHF
To secure booking: 50% deposit. The rest to be paid before 1st of June. Payment options are available upon request.
Cancellation policy: 2 months before 50% refundable, 1 month before the retreat- non-refundable.
IMPORTANT: Retreat will start On 24th 4pm, retreat will end on the 30th at 4pm. Please plan your flights accordingly.
All activities during retreat ( as listed above)
Pick-up in Vilnius and transportation to the retreat location both ways
Carefully selected forest routes in the local area and local guide
6-night accommodation in an exclusive and natural place
Food: 3 meals/ day and snacks
Drinks during meals: water, coffee, tea
All the equipment for water sports: boats, SUP
Tips about further travels in Lithuania and best place to stay and eat in Vilnius
Travelling from abroad to Lithuania
Insurance: travel, cancellation, liability and health…
Alcoholic drinks ( not recommended anyway)
Possible extra nights before or after the retreat
retreat Creators and Leaders
Ruta, mountain leader, nature therapy guide & coach and Mila, the first forest therapy guide in Lithuania, combine their unique experience and energies. They invite you to explore the infinite beauty of nature and reconnect with your true self.
Ruta did her first hike back in 2013- she then realized that the real life is not happening in the indoor- office environment but rather outside.
This made her realize that she was missing something important in her life- connection with Nature. Since then, most of her time she spends outside- climbing, hiking, wild camping, walking in the forests, parks and other natural places. She has become hiking ‚guru‘ and is now passionate to share the most beautiful places in the Swiss Alps with the others. Retreat participants often say that Ruta's passion for Nature is contagious.
Ruta is a professional mountain leader ( Association of Mountain Guides in Switzerland), neuro-coach (Neuroleadership Institute, London), and forest therapy guide (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, USA).
By creating Be Outside Coaching movement, she has connected her 2 major passions: activities outside and human development. Be Outside Coaching delivers immersive and holistic Nature experiences in the different corners of pristine the Swiss Alps. Her Nature Retreats are now well known in Switzerland and she is excited to bring her experience and passion to her home land- Lithuania.
Mila Monk is the first certified forest bathing guide in Lithuania and a director of the Center for Forest Therapy and Education. She is also a coordinator of Forest Therapy Day in the annual Forest Festival. She guides forest bathing walks in the urban forests of Vilnius and in other Lithuanian forests, gives lectures on the topic of nature connection, and organizes forest bathing workshops and online nature connection sessions, based on the forest bathing methodology. Mila is also an experienced translator; together with a colleague, she translated into the Lithuanian language the book "ShinrinYoku: the Art and Science of Forest Bathing" by Dr. Qing Li, who is one of the fathers of forest medicine, and who introduced the term “forest bathing” into the English language