Expressing Gratitude: Participant Testimonials from our Summer Retreats

As the summer comes to a close, we reflect on our front and backcountry retreats from the season with participant testimonials. Thank you to each and every individual who joined us on these experiences, and the instructors and staff who made the trips possible! The feedback we receive allows for us to continue to make our retreats and experiences even better for the participants.

Participants smile in front of Yosemite Falls during the Writing from the Heart retreat led by Heather Sullivan

“I attended the Writing from the Heart retreat. From the moment I stepped into the campsite, I felt loved, welcomed, and safe. Our yoga practices were centering and our writing time helped me to reignite my love of writing. Heather Sullivan was an amazing leader. I am so thankful for my time in Yosemite. The peace and rest I found there are truly indescribable.”

“Writing from the Heart was very well run and organized. I felt very provided for, and I think Heather’s heart and professionalism created the opportunity for a transformative experience for me.”


Saluting the light during our Summer Solstice backpacking trip
Summer Solstice instructors and participants gather for a group photo

“My yoga and backpacking retreat couldn’t have gone any better. This was a life-changing experience where reconnecting to nature and spirit was the key. Breezy and JP are absolutely exceptional yoga instructors, they cared a lot about the welfare of the group, the food was super healthy and convenient, meditations were beyond my expectations, Yosemite was fantastic and the instructors were super knowledgeable of our surrounding environment.”


Yogis strike Tree Pose during the Wild Awareness backpacking retreat, led by Breezy Jackson and JP Salonen
Participants take a break during the Women of Color backpacking trip, led by Miho Aida and Grace Anderson
All smiles from the Women of Color backpacking retreat!

“This was the greatest weekend in my twenties thus far! I was challenged, loved, and supported!”

“This was such a beautiful and healing and joyous trip! Miho and Grace were extraordinary trip leaders. I felt totally safe and held by them and inspired by their wilderness skills and facilitation. I learned more about myself and others’ similar struggles and strengths through the meaningful and powerful exercises we engaged in.”

“I’ve been backpacking and climbing for over nine years, and this was one of the most special, healing, and joyous backpacking trips I’ve ever been on. I really loved spending time in the mountains with women of color–sharing space to talk about our experiences, joys, and pains in the outdoors, and cultivating the healing that comes with being heard and seen (and from plunges in freezing alpine lakes). Thank you to the trip leaders, Grace and Miho, for holding such beautiful space, and the Balanced Rock for providing this magical and necessary space!”


Sunset in the High Sierra
photo credit: Patrick Bremser
Starry Tuolumne skies
photo credit: Patrick Bremser

“What can I possibly say that would adequately summarize the exceptional leadership of Jana and Patrick? I would follow them around the world. They are wise, strong, insightful, beautiful people. I am so overflowing with gratitude for both of them. My being is full.”

“The amenities that Balanced Rock provided for a completely comfortable camping experience, made me feel very cared for.”

Group smiles in Tuolumne, led by Jana Kilgore and Patrick Bremser
photo credit: Patrick Bremser
Sunbeams and granite in the high country
photo credit: Patrick Bremser

Stay connected to our Programs Calendar to see what courses/trainings we are offering this Fall/Winter, and the upcoming 2020 Summer trip season!


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