Creativity and Yoga Retreat in the High Desert // Taos, New Mexico – June 23-27th 2021

RETREAT FULL!

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Welcome to the Land of Enchantment. 

Taos, New Mexico is the southwest dreamscape that we always fantasize of and may forever long for. These are the landscapes of rich red dirt in Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, the Long Quiet Highway of Natalie Goldberg’s books, and that which inspires hundreds of artists, creators, mystics, and nature lovers every year.

Taos is an artistic goldmine within a small and evolving population of 6,000. Home of Unesco World Heritage Site Taos Pueblo – a living Native American community that has been inhabited for over 1,000 years – this landscape is rich with tradition, sacred mystery, reverence, and (maybe quite literally) humming with creativity.

Explore how a sacred landscape can inspire lasting, incredibly unique, and awe-inspiring beauty. Explore how a landscape within can reveal the same. In this retreat, we will venture to internal depths and gaze into literal external depths (deep into the Rio Grande river gorge!). We’ll learn about how sustainable, creative, and adaptable humans can be. We’ll bask in our own deep pools of unending bliss while soaking in fabulous mineral hot springs for a luxurious day trip.

Full moon view of the Sangre de Christo mountain range

This retreat will be a fairly active one, with day trips and a fair amount of walking. Please remember that this is YOUR time to carve out how you wish and everything is optional.

We will visit living structures and communities both ancient and new whose dreams are ALIVE. We’ll luxuriate in mineral springs under the full Sagittarius moon. We will hike along the Rio Grande River Gorge, the silent mesa home to blooming cacti, jackrabbits, coyote, and big horned sheep with the winding river echoing below. We’ll visit The Earthship Biotecture eco-community, and an option to visit the Taos Pueblo community if open (visitation varies during seasonal and ceremonial times and of course due to Covid-19 protocol), and wander the winding streets for a Saturday afternoon’s open galleries. We’ll weave in yoga practices & mindful movement to unwind tension and prepare the body-mind to settle into inner landscapes through creative writing practice, dream work, and reverent (or, irreverent!) group sharing.

Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge

“Among past Taos landscapes are mighty Precambrian mountain belts, shallow tropical seas, vast sand-duned deserts, extensive white sand beaches, and muddy meandering rivers bordered by lush fern forests. Most recently, the Rio Grande valley and its youthful volcanoes attest to an Earth history punctuated by violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

– Paul Bauer

Devisidero Trail.  Sacred Mountain.  Sage.  Labyrinths.  Gorge.  Sunset.  Ojo Spa.  Hot Springs.  Rio Grande.  Ghosts.  Hikes.  Galleries.  Pinón.  Silence.  Magpies.  Cactus blossoms.  Mesa.  Open space.  Big Sky.  Mountains.  Artists.  Peace.  Wonder.  Mystery.  Magic.  Vortex.  Holy.  Pilgrims.  Faith.  Sacred.  Full Moon. Community. Rest. Ancient Beauty.

About our excursions …

We’ll be taking a half-day trip on Thursday and a nearly full day trip on Friday. Included in your investment fee is transportation for our excursions – however, if you would prefer to drive yourself for the sake of freedom,  or as a precautionary measure during COVID-19 time,  OR if you bring a pet (dogs are welcome at the lodge for an additional fee!), that is perfectly fine!  We will be inquiring about your communal transportation preferences.  Please note that some may be allergic or sensitive to doggies (the dog-friendly rooms are in a different part of the lodge), and they are not allowed at the Earthships or the Ojo Spa for our excursions.

Earthship under construction at Earthship Biotecture Headquarters


Earthship Biotecture Headquarters: On Thursday we’ll luxuriate in the morning and head out to tour the wondrous, bizarre, fantastical, and utopian Earthship community.

“An Earthship is a brand of passive solar earth shelter that is made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds. Earthships are predicated upon the idea that there are six human needs which can be addressed through environmentally sustainable building design:[1]

  1. Energy: Thermal and/or solar heating and cooling, solar and wind electricity
  2. Garbage Management: Reuse and recycling built into construction and daily living
  3. Sewage Treatment: Self-contained sewage treatment and water recycling
  4. Shelter: Building with natural and recycled materials
  5. Clean Water: Water harvesting and long term storage
  6. Food: In-home organic food production capability

“Earthship structures are intended to be “off-the-grid-ready” homes, with minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are constructed to use available natural resources, especially energy from the sun and rain water. – Wikipedia. Watch the video below to learn more about these amazing structures and the philosophy of their creator.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gfw5kwPzhP0

After our Earthship Tours, we’ll enjoy take out lunch at the Rio Grande Gorge overlook with expansive views of the mountains and mesa … followed by a 2-3 mile mindful hike along the Rio Grande River Gorge. We’ll watch for those bighorn sheep and jackrabbits, smell the sage and dust, and stare (safely) into the void at the snake=like river below …

 

Ojo Spa & Mineral Springs Santa Fe

Prepare to surrender to some heavy duty bliss time. The moon will be full and high in the blue sky, and we will find our own ways throughout this gorgeous spa. Bring a book, a journal, your suit, towel, and flip flops and settle in for this luxurious day. Multiple outdoor and indoor mineral springs to choose from, including a mud bath. Schedule a massage if you like and enjoy lunch on your own schedule. ** Please note that previously this was an evening soak at Ojo Caliente,  the sister spa which has since booking been damaged in a fire.  We’ll be going to Ojo Spa Santa Fe for a full day instead on Friday!  ***Please note that their capacity is 20 per day,  so if you join our retreat later,  you may not make the cut!***

The legendary waters of Ojo Santa Fe have been a source of rejuvenation and a sacred gathering place for weary travelers on the historic El Camino Real for millennia.

Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort is Santa Fe’s only destination spa, with 70 tranquil acres of gardens, walking paths and scenic high desert landscape surrounding the historic spring-fed waters.  The resort’s serene guest rooms, art and fitness studios as well as its spa facilities fuse native and contemporary design influences with subtle touches of the Southwest to embody the expansive texture and tones of the desert.

The Ojo experience is customized for each guest to create harmony amongst the four aspects of wellbeing: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. We blend fitness, nutrition, spa therapies and wellness services with ancient wisdom and healing traditions.

Learn more here

Soaking at Ojo Caliente Spa & Mineral Springs

First Saturday Art Walk: On Saturday, we’ll have an option to visit Unesco World Heritage Site Taos Pueblo (if open, optional add on) or hike the Devisdero Trail (moderately strenuous), OR just relax at our retreat center! In the late afternoon, we’ll head into Taos center to explore. On each first Saturday, galleries and studios in Taos feature demos, receptions with new works, and meet the artist events. In a city of this size, the amount of art is phenomenal. And you can probably understand why after our last few days of exploring. Learn about the galleries and what they have to offer here (of course new exhibits will be coming through in June 2020). We’ll enjoy a group meal at El Gamal, a fave: Fresh and healthy Middle Eastern Food prepared with love.

SPECIAL EVENING WORKSHOPS with Guest Presenter Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim 

Yoga Nidra
Enter a mystical experience, soaking up starlight, and be guided through a series of sweet stretches and gentle movements to awaken the body and mind for meditation. The experience is like being on a magical carpet ride among the constellations to get in touch with universal forces within you. You will be welcomed with an open heart and an open altar with special elements and divination cards to enjoy. You’ll also receive 30 minutes of pure, dreamy bliss in prolonged savasana where you can drift off and explore the unknown corners of your consciousness. Perfect for any body, experienced yogis or beginners. Everyone deserves peace and stillness in their life.
 
Candlelight Restorative

Transform your energy with radiant light, bathing in beautiful candlelight, and completely surrender in fully supported and nurturing poses to prepare the body and mind for sleep. The experience is like taking a flower bath to deeply let go of any muscle or joint tension and become like that hollow bone completely present. Release any attachments to outcomes and empty out any self-limiting beliefs, fears, resentments, unhealed wounds, doubts and apprehensions and merge with what life has to offer. Be. Being here now you will become tuned in to the power and opportunity that is around you in every moment. Removing resistances, you will expand into the flow of vital life energy. Perfect heart-centered, grounding practice to cultivate compassion.

About our lodging

Blue Sky Retreat Center at the Historic San Geronimo Lodge is a historic property that was built in 1925. “… a signature New Mexico style adobe construction with a chili pepper-shaped swimming pool, a hot tub, a meditation path, a garden and a labyrinth. It has been a farm house, a sanatorium, a boarding school and now a bed & breakfast and a retreat center. The San Geronimo Lodge was built in the style of a Grand Lodge, with vast common rooms high ceiling with traditional vigas, rambling verandas and winding portals-all situated on the 3.5 acres of natural serenity. Fruit tree abound the banks of the Acequia Madre which rambles through the grounds and many miles of the Carson National Forest are just a short walk away. Built in native adobe, the San Geronimo Lodge truly offers the best of both worlds – historic ambiance and charm with all the comfort and convenience of modern day accommodations.” Choose from private rooms, doubles, or triples. Please note this is a quirky,  rustic lodge with some imperfections, and also very charming!  ANNNND this just in – they have built a YURT for yoga!

What is included:

  • Four nights at Blue Sky Retreat (single, double, triple guest rooms available)
  • Most meals included – Plant-based, home-cooked goodness (except for meals during excursions as noted below)
  • Coffee / Tea / fresh juices during breakfast
  • Daily yoga practice (Vinyasa, Slow flow, Yoga Nidra)
  • Creative writing practice
  • Evening workshops with Guest Presenter Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim
  • Spa Day Friday at Ojo Spa Santa Fe Mineral Springs Resort & Spa on Friday
  • Admission to Earthship Biotecture Community Tour (Limited to 5 ppl per tour – we’ll do this in sessions)
  • Group hikes along the Rio Grande River Gorge & optional Devisadero Mountain Trail
  • Relaxing wander through Taos during Saturday open galleries
  • Group dinner Saturday night in Taos**
  • Transportation during retreat for our field trips*** Due to Covid-19,  you may like to drive yourself on our excursions.  We will most definitely check in with you for your preferences and coordinate to keep us safe and comfortable!

What is not included:

  • Flights / transportation to New Mexico
  • Transportation from airport to and from Taos
  • Car Rental or Shuttle Fee
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical care
  • Gratuity
  • Lunch on Thursday & Friday and Dinner on Friday are not included
  • Spa treatments at Ojo Caliente (massage, etc)
  • Admission to Taos Pueblo World Heritage Site *if open during our stay*
  • Fancy coffees / alcohol not included (BYOB)
  • Alcoholic beverages during Saturday group dinner

Getting to Taos / Blue Sky Retreat

Taos is 2.5 hours from Albuquerque and 1.5 hours from Santa Fe. There is also the San Luis Valley Regional Airport in Alamosa, CO (1.5 hours). Gratitude to Blue Sky Retreat for these travel tips:

BY CAR

Blue Sky Retreat Center is located at 1101 Witt Road, two miles from Taos Plaza, off of Highway 64 (aka Kit Carson Highway). The road to take is Witt Road, which intersects with both Highway 64 and Paseo del Canon East (585). DO NOT TAKE SAN GERONIMO ROAD as it is 4 wheel drive only and not paved and not in good repair. If your GPS takes you down San Geronimo Road, please go on Witt Road instead.

BY AIR & CAR

From ABQ (Albuquerque Sunport) airport by car take I-25N to I-84N to I-68N to Taos. Once in Taos, it is a very short drive to 1101 Witt Road.

BY SHUTTLE

There is also a shuttle organized by Taos Ski Valley that will bring you right to the door of Blue Sky Retreat Center, which must be arranged at least 24 hours prior to your arrival at ABQ or SAF (Santa Fe) airports. They can be reached here: http://www.skitaos.com/discover-taos/airport-shuttle/ or call 800-776-1111.

There are also other shuttles – a quick google search should find them!

COVID-19 PROTOCOL

Masks are mandated indoors in New Mexico,  as well as at our retreat center.  Masks required during our group transportation.  Masks are required at Ojo Spa while on site AND in the soaking pools so please bring one you don’t mind getting wet and an extra dry one for our spa day.  If we practice yoga inside the yurt,  masks are required,  outdoors not.  Meals at the resort will mostly be served in biodegradable containers.  This will be updated as we get more information. Thank you so much for your grace and for your commitment to keeping everyone safe and healthy!

TO RESERVE

Payment will be made through Paypal’s secure processing site which accepts all forms of credit cards. Would be grateful if you chose to pay with “friends or family option” if you already use paypal to marybue@gmail.com (thank you!) or simply follow the links below.

Save your spot non-refundable $200 deposit or reserve in full with options below. Pay deposit here

Single (private) room $999 – Reserve here SOLD OUT

Double / shared (per person) $879 – Reserve here SOLD OUT

Triple / shared (per person) $799 – Reserve here SOLD OUT

Full balance due by May 15th, 2021

REFUNDS* No refunds after May 15th 2021. Refund requests after April 1st will be 50% minus deposit.

Payment plans available at no extra charge. Balance + remaining payment link will be sent to you after purchase.  If Paypal is not your desired payment processing option, I do accept Venmo to @marybuemusic 🙂

ABOUT YOUR RETREAT GUIDE MARY BUE

I am a lifelong musician, traveler, poet, journal writer, vegan, adventure seeker, solitude craver, and yoga instructor of 10+ years. I believe deeply in the richness of a creative life that is ever unfolding. I have visited Taos many times and had the great honor of being an Artist in Residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico in winter of 2017. I believe that one doesn’t have to play an instrument, write a novel, paint like Frida, or write like Mary Oliver to live a creative life. Every moment that unfolds offers opportunities to make something beautiful. While this may seem like a lot of pressure, rest in knowing that potential is ever unfolding, even in the silent and restorative times (like sleeping!). Please let me know if you have ANY questions. I am pretty much an open book (most of which can be discovered in this website or listening to my music!). Contact me via the contact link here or at marybue @ gmail.com

 

Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim, Mary Bue, Vijayshree Vethantham

About Guest Presenter Emily Ann Schmidt Nesheim

“I am a yoga, meditation, and energy healing practitioner as well as a student of astrology, plant medicine, and shamanic practices.

“Taurus sun in the 10th house/Scorpio moon in the 3rd/Virgo rising with Sappho in the 1st.

“I believe that we evolve over time, spiritually, philosophically, with our relationships. We are transformational beings. And, as such, are on journeys of self discovery and growth. This is the alchemy, this is the magic: That everything is alive and has spirit, or consciousness, and we are continually in process of being extraordinary.”