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3 Days Writing From The Heart and Yoga Retreat in Yosemite, USA

Writing and Yoga Retreat in California

Join nationally acclaimed writer, Nancy Aronie, for a nurturing writing workshop perfect for the beginning writer and a jump-start for the burnt out professional. Be encouraged to find your powerful one-of-a-kind golden voice filled with self-esteem, honor, and joy. Be held in the supportive community, the magic of Yosemite and daily yoga practices.

Meet the instructors

Heather & Nancy
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  • Morning yoga classes
  • Short guided naturalist hikes
  • Creative writing inspiration and guidance
  • An opportunity to connect with nature and find your muse
  • 2 nights accommodation in a tent
  • Fresh and delicious daily meals

Yoga styles

3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 15
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During this retreat, you will be staying at a “front country” campsite in Yosemite National Park Campground. Balanced Rock will supply the tents (the actual structure). You should bring your own sleeping bag rated to zero degrees Fahrenheit, as well as a pad to insulate you from the ground will help you sleep warm and comfortably. Feel free to bring a pillow if you need it.


Heather Sullivan, an acclaimed local guide and co-founder of Balanced Rock. She will support the weekend by starting each day with nurturing yoga and meditation practices, share local Yosemite knowledge and stories on short day hikes. She will also host the group amidst the inspiring Yosemite landscape which will hold our circle of writers.

Heather is beyond honored to humbly work beside her first true teacher and writing mentor, Nancy Aronie. Much of the writing and reflective portion of Balanced Rock’s curriculum has been influenced by Heather’s study and practices with Nancy, beginning when she was 19 years old. Nancy was on the original instructor team on the very first Balanced Rock (then Wild Women Workshops) trip in 2000.

You will learn about Balanced Rock’s powerful origin with this dynamic pair while being held and allowed to be vulnerable and authentically you on the journey of discovering your voice. No prior writing or yoga experience necessary.

Day 1: Friday

You will gather at the Campground at 3 p.m. for the introductions, intention setting, and an orientation to the course. In the afternoon, you will take your first hike to acquaint yourself with the area. After dinner, there will be time for relaxing, sharing stories, and stargazing, as you settle in for your first night in the mountains.

Day 2: Saturday

Each morning will begin with hot drinks, a nourishing breakfast, and creative fun. The day includes writing instruction, time to reflect, and short hikes that will allow you to explore the elements for investigation and get some inspiration from the magic of trees, granite rock, alpine lakes, or mountain streams; nature invokes creativity and sparks the imagination for your art.

You will return to your camp with time for more journal writing, lessons, and discussions. In the evening, you will relax, prepare a delicious meal with the group, and enjoy good company and conversation before falling asleep under the starry skies of the sierra.

Day 3: Sunday

You will greet the day together with the group to continue your creative explorations and group activities. After a celebratory lunch at the camp, you will have time to further explore the beautiful surroundings. The retreat will conclude by 2 p.m.

Included excursions

During this retreat, you will enjoy guided hikes through nature in search for inspiration.


Heather Sullivan

Nancy Aronie

Retreat location

This retreat will take place in Yosemite National Park, California, United States.

Unique features


  • Hiking
  • Mountain walking
  • Stargazing
  • Swimming


  • Environmentally friendly
  • River


Daily fresh meals prepared with local organic ingredients are included in this retreat, so you can relax and be nourished.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Pescatarian
  • Lactose Free
  • Whole food
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Valley, an awe-inspiring landscape containing many of the famous features for which Yosemite National Park is known, is 55 miles and two hours from Tuolumne Meadows. Hiking trails and bike paths are abundant in the valley. Rafting the Merced River is a fun way to cool down on a summer day when water levels are sufficient. Yosemite Valley also offers numerous guided bus tours, educational programs, museums, ranger-led activities, and an art center with workshops.

Glacier Point

Glacier Point is an hour from Yosemite Valley, with sweeping views of both, Yosemite and Little Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and Clouds Rest, among other notable landmarks. A visit to Wawona and the Pioneer Yosemite History Center is like stepping back in time. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is a must-see. A guided bus tour (tickets must be purchased) and a network of hiking trails lead to stately trees with names like Grizzly Giant, Faithful Couple, and California Tunnel Tree.

What's included

  • Morning yoga classes
  • Creative writing inspiration and guidance
  • Professional instruction and guiding
  • 2 nights accommodation in a tent
  • Campground and permit fees
  • Group gear for camping
  • Camp chairs
  • Bear-proof canisters
  • Daily delicious and high-quality meals
  • Full kitchen including utensils
  • Maps and emergency contact system
  • First-aid supplies

What's not included

  • Park entrance fees
  • Personal expenses and items
  • Transportation to and from your hometown
  • You should bring your own sleeping bag rated to zero degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A pad to insulate you from the ground will help you sleep warm and comfortably.

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Driving directions

  • Take Highway 41 north from Fresno
  • Take Highway 140 east from Merced
  • Take Highway 120 east from Manteca or west from Lee Vining (State Route 395) into Yosemite National Park
  • Tuolumne Meadows Campground is located 5 miles from the Tioga Pass Entrance station (Highway 120 from the east), and is 55 miles (2 hours) from Yosemite Valley.

Arrival by airplane

Nearby commercially served airports include:

  • Fresno / Yosemite International Airport (FAT): 1 hour to Southern entrance via Highway CA 41. 2 hours to the heart of Yosemite Valley. 3 hours to Tuolumne Meadows. There is no public transportation from Fresno to Yosemite.
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 2 hours to Big Oak Flat entrance via Highway CA 120, 3 hours to heart of Yosemite Valley. 4-5 hours to Tuolumne Meadows. Public transportation available to Yosemite.
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): 6 hours to Yosemite Valley via I-5 to Highway CA 99 to Highway CA 41. Add another hour for travel to Tuolumne Meadows.
  • Oakland (OAK): 2 hours to Big Oak Flat entrance via Highway CA 120, 3 hours to heart of Yosemite Valley. 4-5 hours to Tuolumne Meadows. Public transportation available to Yosemite.
  • Sacramento (SMF): 2 hours to Big Oak Flat entrance via Highway CA 120, 3 hours to heart of Yosemite Valley, and 4-5 hours to Tuolumne Meadows. Public transportation available to Yosemite.

Arrival by bus

Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) offers individual and group fares for motorcoach service into Yosemite from numerous gateway communities. Greyhound has no direct bus service to Yosemite, but can be combined with YARTS service from Merced, CA.

Arrival by train

Amtrak trains serve San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento to and from Merced / Riverbank and connect with via bus lines for direct luxury motorcoach into Yosemite Valley. Fares include the bus travel and the park entrance fee.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
3 days / 2 nights
from --


Arrival: Friday May 31, 2019
Departure: Sunday June 2, 2019


Full payment refundable 30 days prior arrival minus 50 USD registration fee.

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