If you’ve been on retreat with me, it’s likely you’ve met Lori. If you haven’t, you’ve probably at least heard about her. She’s reached Big Sky Yoga Retreats “legend” status, holding the record for most attended retreats; she was also one of two women on our very first retreat ever. I wanted to pick her brain on why she keeps coming back, so here you go – meet BSYR retreater extraordinaire, the lovely Lori.
1. Why do you keep coming back?
I have found Margaret’s retreats to be a perfect combination of beauty, fun, fitness, indulgence, and making new friends. It is hard in our busy day-to-day world to take time for ourselves and focus on our own health and wellness. Since attending Margaret’s very first retreat in 2008, yoga and skiing in Big Sky ~ there were two of us there ~ I knew that this was something I wanted to do for myself again. Again has turned into 10 retreats, with two more planned for 2016. I think it is fair to say that I have become a BSYR addict ~ one of many! I am so appreciative of the friendship I have formed with Margaret, but also with other ‘retreaters.’ There is definitely a crew of us that have formed lasting friendships, and who enjoy our time together as much as we are enjoying the retreats. Seriously ~ beautiful nature, amazing yoga, wonderful laughter, delectable dining, unique luxury lodging, time for introspection and self ~ how could I not keep coming back???
2. You’re from Montana. What is so special about this place?
Having grown up in Montana, it has always had a special place in my heart. I have to say though, that the special place has grown significantly due to the retreats and the time we get to spend under the amazing Big Sky. Margaret highlights so many Montana gems, from mountain hikes, to horseback trail rides, to high mountain lakes, to a boiling river. The air, the sky, the stars are all integral to Margaret’s retreats ~ they really are woven into the experience and rejuvenation that is experienced on a BSYR. The Montana component has become integral in the ‘people/place/self’ combination that transform into a BSYR.
3. Our friendship continues to deepen over the years, and we’ve both made other close friends on retreats. What do you feel connects us as women during the experience?
I have made lasting friendships at the retreats ~ it happens each and every time. In addition to the friendship with Margaret, I have formed many others. Women that I am excited to visit when I end up in their neck of the woods on travel, and women who have visited me when they are in the Pacific Northwest. The connections are natural and genuine. We are like-minded women who are fortunate enough to have this get-a-way from all of life’s craziness. As one might expect, there is a great diversity of backgrounds that come together at Margaret’s retreats. The environment is such that camaraderie is instant. It may be due to common interests, it may be due to the positive and friendly environment, it may be the wine…but we all seem to be so open to each other. Commonalities are found and there is a lot of opportunity for talking and bonding over nature, food, horses, wine, the outdoors. I think we all feel so fortunate to have this special and unique experience and we want to soak it all in, including each other.
4. What would you tell someone who is considering their first BSYR retreat?
Do it! Do it!! I would encourage her to invest her time and energy 110%. As I’ve said, it is hard to get away in life, but the rewards are invaluable. Margaret’s retreats are action packed ~ she definitely makes the experience as rich as it can possibly be, and makes the most of the time. Participate ~ every little piece of these weekends can bring the memory that sticks the most. Every moment can bring laughter or stillness that make the retreat even more valuable and always more than expected! This is why there are so many repeat retreaters.
5. Fave Retreat?
Wow! I honestly don’t know if I can choose. LUXE Cowgirl Yoga and Winter Wonderland & Wellness at the Double T River Ranch, Yoga & Yellowstone, Costa Rica, Yoga & Vineyard in Anderson Valley ~ all amazing! I think however that for my very fave, I would pick the first one. It was the one that made me realize the beauty of Margaret. It was the one that refreshed for me the splendor of amazing Montana. It was the one that made me realize the power of yoga in an intimate and beautiful setting, really connecting with others. It was the one that made me want to keep coming back!
So, has she convinced you to join us? Hope to meet you in Montana. And if you’re lucky, you might get to meet Lori too. Yeehaw & Namaste.