For almost 45 years, Feathered Pipe Foundation has been hosting yoga, health, and wellness programs at the Feathered Pipe Ranch located outside Helena, Montana.
Yoga Retreats (8)
Judith Hanson Lasater
Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, taught at the very first workshop ever held at Feathered Pipe Ranch in 1975. “The Pipe” has become a touchstone for her, her family, her friends and her students. She brings broad and deep experience across many disciplines and in a multitude of settings. She holds a doctorate in East West Psychology, is a physical therapist, and began her yoga teaching career in 1971. She is co-founder of the Iyengar Institute of San Francisco and of Yoga Journal. Her teachings have been shared in nearly every state in the United States and on six continents.
Baxter Bell, MD, C-IAYT, eRYT500 fell in love with yoga in 1993 while he was working full-time as a family physician. Now he focuses on teaching yoga full time, both to ordinary students of all ages and physical conditions, and to the next generation of yoga teachers, to whom he teaches anatomy and yoga therapy along with his accessible, skillful style of yoga. With 18 years of experience under his belt, Baxter brings a unique perspective to his teaching, combining his understanding of anatomy and medicine with his skill at instructing people from all walks of life and all levels of ability.
Melina Meza (BS Nutrition, Ayurvedic Health Educator, Certified Yoga for Aging Teacher, 500-ERYT) has been sharing her knowledge of Hatha yoga, Ayurveda, and whole foods nutrition with yogis around the world for over 20 years. Melina pioneered Seasonal Vinyasa, an innovative multi-disciplined approach to well-being. Since 1997, Melina has been teaching yoga at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle, Washington, where she also is co-director of their 200- and 500-Hour Teachers’ Training Program.
Amir stands at the helm as a senior teacher and owner of the renowned Sun & Moon Yoga Studios in Northern Virginia. He works attentively with students who want an enhanced quality of life through a plainspoken and sensible approach to health and well-being. He is a practitioner of Thai yoga therapy. Amir is an avid amateur hockey player, has fulfilled a lifelong dream to design and build his own custom home, and is also known to herd cats.
Zane is putting down his camera more often these days to appreciate his reality unmediated through a lens and share with others the revelation of truly seeing their world. A celebrated and award-winning Wisconsin photographer, Zane has contributed his photographic skills in volunteer support of international humanitarian projects, captured the alluring photographic images you see on the Feathered Pipe website, and is an extensively published photographer (panoramics, architecture, travel, and portraits). He’s also an accomplished craft beer connoisseur.
A Yoga Alliance registered teacher (RYT 500) in Virginia, Anne teaches at Sun & Moon Yoga Studio, serves as President of the Feathered Pipe Foundation and works for busy startup companies. She knows all about what it’s like to yearn for practical ways to insert pauses into a heavily scheduled, rat-race-y life. Anne’s mission is to return you home with skills to plug back in consciously so you can step back into the world of noise and technology equipped to nourish and safeguard your own health and apply your consciousness for good of all.
Raised in San Francisco and trained as a designer, Lizzie Lasater March, RYT, teaches yoga internationally and online. She jokes that yoga ”runs in the family” because her mom, Judith Hanson Lasater, co-founded Yoga Journal magazine and has been teaching since 1971. You can find Lizzie on Instagram (@lizzie.lasater) where she posts about deceleration. She lives in the Alps with her Austrian husband.
Carie teaches a fluid and creative practice based on inner listening, courage, and self-trust. Her unique teaching style is down-to-earth, organic, and open-hearted, reflecting her insights and real-life experiences of living the yoga in the world on a daily basis. Carie is a senior teacher of Los Angeles-based yoga master, Erich Schiffmann. Carie teaches Freedom Yoga classes in College Station, Texas, and workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings throughout the country. She is the author of a forthcoming book on Freedom yoga.
J. Brown (E-RYT 500) is a yoga teacher, writer, podcaster, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for more than 20 years, he is known for his pragmatic approach to teaching personal, breath-centered therapeutic yoga practice adapted to individual needs, including chronic or acute conditions. His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. He is studied in the Ashtanga-Vinyasa, Iyengar, Sivananda, and Desikachar / Krishnamacharya forms of Hatha yoga practice.
Los Angeles based Marla Apt is a senior intermediate level Iyengar yoga teacher who has been involved with medical research studies at UCLA on yoga for depression, anxiety, and IBS. She was honored in 2013 by the Iyengar Yoga Association of Southern California with the Manouso Manos Leadership award. She is pursuing her interest in making the healing benefits of yoga available to communities in need as a member of the non-profit organization, Iyengar Yoga Therapeutics. She leads workshops and teacher trainings throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Matthew Marsolek has received awards of excellence from the University of Montana for his musical work with theater and dance. He has studied East Indian and West African music for the past 18 years with a variety of teachers, including Mukesh Desai from India and Abdoul Doumbia from Mali, West Africa. A dedicated and charismatic educator, Matthew has a passion for rhythm, musical relationships, and the therapeutic and community building aspects of music. He teaches classes and clinics in voice, rhythm, and hand drumming throughout the United States and Canada.
Annie Moyer conveys the authenticity and beauty of yoga in an accessible and inviting way. Dharma sessions with Annie demystify and share perennial truths from the teachings found in the world’s most enduring and beloved texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita. She was recently featured in a creative Yoga Anytime series exploring “Yogis Among Us,” leading students through creative sequences inspired by the likes of Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, Leo Tolstoy, and Maria Montessori.
Lauren Walker is the author of Energy Medicine Yoga: Amplify the Healing Power of Your Yoga Practice (Sounds True, 2014) and The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription (Sounds True, 2017). Both books won the Nautilus Silver award for best Mind/Body book. She’s been teaching yoga and meditation since 1997 and created Energy Medicine Yoga while teaching at Norwich University. She teaches EMYoga across the US and internationally and has been featured in Yoga Journal, Mantra +, Yoga Digest, and The New York Times. She was named one of the top 100 most influential yoga teachers in America.
from United States, September 2018
"A family experience "
We treated our family to the Serenity Yoga Retreat for our summer vacation. The staff was so wonderful to accommodate our wide range of needs and experience. We truly felt at home. Gernot was an amazing guide and instructor who was so in tune with every individual. The ranch is a true outdoor paradise. We were lucky enough to get to experience the last sweat lodge of the year...amazing. We would highly recommend Gernot and the Feathered Pipe Ranch for a very refined and focused yoga experience.
Feathered Pipe Foundation website
After teaching yoga for close to 15 years — and having had the privilege of studying with scores of master teachers — this week at the Ranch with Gernot was by far the single most potent, information-packed, and insight-rich workshop experience to give me what I’ve needed as a teacher. While I savor my own practice, I am always looking for fresh, simple ways to convey the essence of yoga to my students – and this week with Gernot was pure gold on that front.
Feathered Pipe Foundation website
Gernot’s attention to healthy and mindful yoga details within a practice go beyond those of any previous teacher. The benefits of Gernot’s teaching are accessible to all levels and should be experienced by anyone who wants to dramatically increase their understanding of their own personal relationship to yoga.
I stayed at Feathered Pipe Ranch this summer resetting during a week long yoga retreat. We woke every morning to a calming meditation practice. Our simple and delicious breakfasts consisted of oatmeal, fruit, coffee, and juices. Our daily morning yoga practice focused on both the physical and mental components of yoga. We were also treated to several well-thought out and engaging sessions on Ayurveda. Each day after a delicious lunch we had the afternoon to relax, hike, kayak, swim, read, or do what we needed to recharge. After an early evening yoga practice, we were treated to more amazing home cooked food from the kitchen. Feathered Pipe Ranch will always be a special place in my heart. What an amazing experience!
Angie S. Texas
Magical place. Crystal lake. Fairytale blue dragonflies flying at its surface. Clean air and the purest water. Gourmet food, healthy organic, nutritious and delicious; this includes pampering deserts. The most helpful, friendly and wonderful staff one can dream of! Everything inviting to rest, relax and let go. If perfection exists - this is where it can be found.
Virginia Ray Arlington
I just returned from a wonderful weeklong yoga retreat led by Carie Garret at Feathered Pipe Ranch near Helena, Montana. It was a wonderful experience and I have already signed up for 2018 when she returns August 18-25. She is taking over the slot for a freedom-style yoga retreat at the ranch that was long led by Erich Schiffmann until he retired last year.
For those who don’t know her yet, Carie with the long-red hair was a long-time assistant of Erich’s freedom yoga style. To say she is filling his shoes would be trite because while she remains loyal to the principles of freedom yoga, she is going steps further by adapting freedom-style yoga to a unique and refreshing style that is all her own. In contrast to the more cerebral emphasis of Schiffmann, Garret seems more focused on the heart and emotional aspects of yoga. For example, she is a devotee to Bhakti yoga, a branch of yoga more oriented to expression through singing, dancing, and other artistic forms. Most yoga studios don’t offer Bhakti classes so yogis have few opportunities to sample the Bhakti experience.
Carie is also emphasizing a freedom form of hatha yoga that gets away from some of the old techniques that other yogis drone on about that actually create stress rather than bring peace. She has created some of her own poses and sequences. For example, I remember “pigeonish” which is a way for people with tight hips to get the benefit of pigeon without the strain. Another pose is “running dog” that is an interesting variation of down dog. I have a tough time with balance poses but she did a sequence that brought me to a brief instance of dancer’s pose.
In addition to the mediation, some discussion and standard asana of the morning, each afternoon we had a session of freeform. This involves turning on music for about an hour in which you do any poses—existing or self-created--in any way that the spirit and music moves you. During one free-form session, interested yogis even had a change to draw mandelas which was a popular group activity. Although I lack any artistic skill, I found the mandela a very cathartic activity. Don’t worry about the day being too busy to relax. There is ample time between the morning and late afternoon sessions to hike, boat on the lake, get massages, or my favorite activity take a nap. Some group members even led a yoga nidra session after class one day.
A highlight of the week for me was the way Carie blended in story-telling with a dramatic flair. One tale in particular was the fascinating legend of the monkey god, Hanuman. These are some stories only some teacher trainees learn, but after that enthralling tale I now understand why splits are called the Hanumasana.
Carie was very much a part of our group activities. Sometimes after dinner she led many of us to hike up to a scenic overlook over the ranch that also has a view of the continental divide. The sunsets there are spectacular. Often a group of us yogis line up on the ridge and have a picture of us in sundry poses.
Of course, this whole week had the lovely Feathered Pipe Ranch as a backdrop. The accommodations can suit all tastes from lodge, to yurt, to tipi, to tents. As usual the food was scrumptious and varied. There were many options for vegans and those with restricted diets, but the carnivores had their shot. We circled the world on our bellies with Thai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, etc.