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FOR-EST - 1 week wellbeing retreat

February 5-11th, 2024 Labanoras national park, Lithuania

when i am among the trees

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.”

        

                                                          Mary Oliver

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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

Retreat Invitation

FORest retreat has been created for those who already appreciate nature and are willing to dive deeper into its healing powers. The winter version of the FORest retreat will focus on the SILENCE. In winter nature is in a sleep mode, animals are looking for a food, harvest season is over, yet the pine forest that surrounds our retreat location is still green.

Being silent allows us to channel our energies. It gives us the clarity we need to calmly face challenges and uncertainty and to hear our inner voice.

During this retreat 1 day will be dedicated to a complete silence. Yet we will be doing activities like yoga, meditation and walking in nature.

 

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.

A wild nature that surrounds us in the retreat location invites to truly come remember the wild woman that you are. Freeing your soul, expressing your voice, honoring who you are.

 

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.

Retreat activities

  • Forest Bathing at different times of the day

  • Forest trekking at night and day, watching animal traces

  • WIM HOF method-  cold water immersion & breathing

  • Experiential workshop: local life & forest- folklore & pagan traditions

  • Meditation sessions

  • Wild Forest Foraging & Hike

  • Sauna Ritual - meditative and including local traditions (possibility to book individual extra sessions)- 2 times group session

  • Cold Lake Swimming (after sauna) and breathing sessions

  • Yoga ( Yin & Hatha) and Movement sessions 

  • Community gathering & fire ritual

  • Free time for personal reflection, cocooning, time at the lake

  • Massage (optional and to be booked upon request)

if you attended forest retreat in 2023, you will still find 2024 program interesting. there will be new topics & surprises added in the program.

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Sauna Ritual

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 an authentic sauna ritual just by the lake at our retreat location.

This ritual allows to let go of the thoughts, relax and come back to inner peace.

There will be different stages of the sauna ritual ( at least 3-4)​

The entire sauna ritual will take for 3-4 hours. 

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Sauna expert birutė

 

Birutė is the expert of sauna and she will leave you in awe with her stories about  pixies.

She is not only an iconic human being but also a director of the Association of Sauna in Lithuania. She will take you on an authentic sauna journey that you will remember forever.

During retreat we will have 1 group sauna session. Following the experience of last retreat, we also have created an opportunity to have extra sessions for a small group of participants or even a private session.

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forest bathing

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.

Imagine this. 

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.

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forest trekking 

For hundred years  Lithuanians have been living close to the forests, including getting food from there - mushrooms, berries, medicinal plants and routes.  You will  wont be able to forage them in winter but we have well prepared from the summer harvest and will be able to sjare with you some of those goddies. 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.

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local guide Andrejus

Our local nature guide and botanist Andrejus will surprise you with his knowledge, wisdom and humor. Andrejus lives in a nearby village and works in a Regional Parc of Labanoras. He is also known as nature activist in Lithuania and fighter for wolves. Due to his passion to wolves he even has a nickname The Wolf of Labanoras. In his nature outings not only he shares knowledge about wolves but also shared interesting stories and picantic facts abotu the forest.

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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.

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Accommodation

In this very special accommodation normally 27 people can sleep. In order to ensure intimacy and privacy, the retreat is limited to 12 participants.

The 2 houses where you will sleep are well hidden in the forest and just 1 minute walk from the lake with a private access. 

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yoga shala

Our yoga shala is nestled in the forest. Does not matter which yoga pose you do, you still see trees.

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retreat Creator

Ruta, mountain leader, nature therapy guide & coach and Jenny Wim Hof trained specialist, combine their unique experience and energies. They invite you to explore the infinite beauty of nature and reconnect with your true self in an exclusive setting.

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ruta

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.

Jenny

Meet Jenny Quénard, passionate about connecting people to their nature through Mother Nature herself.

After leaving the fast-paced tech and startup world behind, Jenny embarked on a journey to share the Wim Hof Method, embracing the cold and harnessing the power of breathwork to transcend the limitations of the mind, heal the body, and connect to the Divine. Growing up as a semi-professional tennis player, tennis and travel were Jenny’s biggest teachers until her early twenties. What she has learned since is that her biggest teacher all along on this life path is not external but internal, right within herself. Her discovery of the WHM five years ago allowed her to deepen this inward connection in subtle and profound ways. This has become an extraordinary mind-body-soul practice and commitment, one that continually reminds her to listen, to surrender, and to simply be happy, strong, and healthy. At the end of the day, it is not the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that have a compounding effect on our lives, but our daily micro choices that do.

What is WiM HOF Method?

It is a natural approach that consists of three fundamental pillars: breathwork, cold exposure, and mindset. It serves as a profound training ground to consciously push our bodies to new limits, light up our inner fire, and cultivate comfort in the face of discomfort. Beyond the fun and exhilarating challenge, the Wim Hof Method deeply affects our physiology offering a long list of health benefits, including improved sleep, enhanced energy levels, optimized cardiovascular performance, and a strong immune system.

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Logistical details,PRice And Conditions

Retreat will start on Monday, February 5th at 3pm and will finish on Sunday at 3pm. Detailed program and list of things to take will be shared once registered. Pick up will be arranged from Vilnius city center to retreat location: Monday, February 5th 1pm. Way back: February 11th, 3pm

Please plan your flights accordingly. If you arrive later or need to leave sooner, personal pick up can be arranged for 140 EUR.

You can stay 1 extra night ( until Monday 10am) for an extra fee of 75CHF (80 EUR). No activities will be provided during this extra time however diner and breakfast will be served. Usually participants enjoy to stay 1 more night and do not rush to go back to the city.There will be a group transfer at 10am on Monday, February 12th to Vilnius.

Price & accommodation options- all prices are per person:

Standard double shared room double bed shared bathroom sofa: 1,150 CHF / 1200 EUR

Standard double shared room double bed shared bathroom: 1,250 CHF / 1300 EUR

Superior double shared room double bed shared bathroom (exceptional A): 1350 CHF/ 1400 EUR (only 1 available)

Standard private room w double bed shared bathroom: 1600 CHF / 1700 EUR

Private room with Private bathroom: 1750 CHF / 1850 EUR ( only 3 available)

Private room with Private bathroom and private fireplace: 1900 CHF / 2000 EUR ( only 1 available)

To secure booking: 50% deposit. The rest to be paid before 1st of January. Payment options are available upon request.

Cancellation policy: 2 months before 50% refundable, 1 month before the retreat- non-refundable.

Included

  • 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

  • 2 times sauna ritual with the local sauna lady

  • 6-night accommodation in an exclusive and natural place

  • Food: 3 meals/ day and snacks. Adapted to your diet.

  • Drinks during meals: water, coffee, tea

  • Tips about further travels in Lithuania and best place to stay and eat in Vilnius

Gift: if you arrive to Vilnius before the retreat, you will be invited for a free city tour by Ruta on Sunday 28th. Participants love the capital of Lithuania. So much history, architecture and vibrant coffee shops!

​Not included:

  • Travelling from abroad to Lithuania

  • Insurance: travel, cancellation, liability and health…

  • Alcoholic drinks ( not recommended anyway)

  • Possible extra nights before or after the retreat 

What 2023 forest retreat participants say?

I will not be able to find the right words to describe how beautiful it was in thie Forest Retreat in Litauen. Ruta took care of us at all times. Perceived every little detail. One felt comfortable all around and at all times. The attention to detail by Ruta, made the whole retreat. I can't even say what the highlight was. each day was a highlight in itself. It was incredibly beautiful, nurturing. I am very grateful that I was allowed to be there.

Jasmin from Switzerland

I had one of the most beautiful experiences of my life at the retreat organised by Ruta. We were in Lithuania, in the forest, surrunded by trees, birds, two lakes and absolute peace and quite. All the activities, yoga, walk in the forest, Forest Bathing were organied with so much care and so nurturing. The walks in the forest to discover the local flora and fauna were guided by a local biologist who knew the area like the back of his hand. All the food was freshly made, so health and delicious, prepared with so much care and consideration for our needs and diets. The Forest Bathing sessions really nurished my whole being and the morning yoga classes tuned my body and mind for the day. I can only praise Ruta for putting together such a great team of people and offering us such a great experience. Thank you Ruta! 5 stars +++

Mariangela from Italy

As they say, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts; I can't single out one thing that I liked the most. The time to connect with nature, the stunningly beautiful forest, the opportunity to deeply rest, the chance to be creative and connect with others - all of these things combined created a truly nourishing and unique experience that I will never forget. Thank you, Ruta, Mila, Chris & Donata.

Zoe from UK

we are looking forward to seeing you at the forest!

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