Summer Solstice: Awakening to the Light ** CANCELLED**

Yosemite 4-day Yoga and Backpacking Retreat

with Breezy Jackson and Jon-Paul Salonen
Summer Solstice: Awakening to the Light ** CANCELLED**
Date: June 18, 2020 - June 21, 2020
Location: Yosemite National Park Wilderness
Early Bird Price: $595 (by March 20, 2020)
Regular Price: $645
Type of Program:


*NOTICE: Due to the current global health climate, Balanced Rock has cancelled this retreat to protect our valued members of the community, both near and far. Registered participants will receive all of the information about this cancellation via email from Balanced Rock. Stay tuned to Balanced Rock’s social media channels for announcements on the future rescheduling of this retreat.

Celebrate the light through backcountry yoga practice, outdoor adventure and deep relaxation over the longest days of the year. The summer solstice is a perfect time for transition and renewal and what better place to experience this than the Sierra Nevada’s, Range of Light.

Our four-day journey in Yosemite National Park takes us to some of the most amazing outdoor “yoga studios” in the world. Backpacking, outdoor yoga, community and ecology are woven into a journey of body, mind and spirit.

As we move towards the end of our time together, there will be a special emphasis on the development of a home practice, bringing our experience out of the High Sierra mountains and into our home and daily life. Tuition assistance is available.


  • Two optional yoga classes each day in some of the best outdoor “studios” in the world
  • Morning meditation instruction and practice
  • Spontaneous river or alpine lake dips
  • Hiking and gentle peak climbs in Yosemite’s unparalleled wilderness
  • Fresh meals include local and organic ingredients

Tentative Itinerary*

We will meet at the trailhead at 9 am on our first morning. We will take time for introductions and trip orientation. Next we will have thorough instruction on what and how to pack our backpacks and then be on our merry way. This hike may take us the entirety of the day. We will stop for breaks and to enjoy the scenery. We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner after yoga as the Range of Light, bathed in alpenglow, lives up to its reputation. Evenings may include fireside stories, music, or gazing at the Milky Way from the cozy comfort of our sleeping bags.

Friday and Saturday
The next two days will allow us to adapt to the natural rhythms of the planet and flow with the specific needs and desires of the group. We may move our camp or enjoy a day-hike with light packs. We may now feel a settling into our new home among granite domes and peaceful lake waters. In addition to the adventure of backpacking, each day provides opportunities for swimming in alpine lakes, day hikes to sweeping views of the High Sierra or perhaps relaxing creek-side. Evenings are set aside for intentional discussions, wilderness education, creative journaling, music-making, or quiet contemplation around the campfire.

Our last morning, we will enjoy a yoga class and meditation before sharing our final breakfast together in the field.  We will then pack our backpacks and begin our hike back to the trailhead. After putting closure on our journey together, we will aim to conclude by 2 p.m.

*Note on Itinerary: This schedule is an outline. It is subject to change depending on the needs of the group and allowing for spontaneous inspiration. Almost all of the activities offered are optional.  This program operates rain or shine.

Packing List & Welcome Letter

Backpacking Trip Packing List is available here!

*Feel free to download or print the Packing Checklist for your convenience.

Welcome Letter coming soon!

Price Includes

Professional instruction and guiding, campground fees, wilderness permit fees, first-aid supplies, and group gear for backpacking and camping. Balanced Rock provides delicious and high-quality meals so you don’t need to worry about a thing!

Not Included

Transportation to and from your hometown to Yosemite, park entrance fees, and personal items.

Cancellation Policy available here

Meet Your Guides

Breezy Jackson, RYT 500,  is a 7th generation Californian whose grandmother took the stage coach into Yosemite Valley to vacation as a girl. Deeply familiar with Sierra Nevada ecology, Breezy completed her doctorate in Ecosystem Ecology. For her dissertation work, she studied how past and present forest fires affect streams and rivers in Yosemite. Breezy began practicing yoga in 2003 to enhance her balance, core strength, and mental acuity as a collegiate rower. Later she studied Iyengar Yoga for five years with Jeri Stewart at the Moscow Yoga Center in Idaho. Breezy’s teaching style is vigorous and playful while drawing on a foundation of proprioception and breath awareness. She enjoys spontaneous self-discovery and contemplation enhanced by wilderness travel and simplified living in a stunning landscape.

Jon-Paul Salonen has explored a wide range of yoga and other philosophies and health modalities. He began teaching yoga classes in 2006. He continues to practice and teach an eclectic and inclusive style of yoga. Yoga that is practical, with basis in accessible Asanas and Pranayama. JP studied Ayurveda, a sister science to Yoga, at the California College of Ayurveda (CCA), and graduated in 2002. He went on to found and work through Blue Oak Ayurveda for the next 14 years, doing body work, individual health consultation and product development. JP is also a Certified Massage therapist, trained in Myofascial release, trigger points and Ayurvedic Abyanga, Shirodhara, and Swedana relaxation and cleansing treatments. In his own rural renaissance way JP tries to be a “Jack of All Ways”: owning his own construction company, guiding Yosemite backpacking trips, catering, DJing and MCing local events, and being a member of the local Search and Rescue team.