• Mountain Yogini: Yoga Backpacking Pilgrimage

    "If there is to be a future, it will wear a crown of feminine design." ~ Sri Aurobindo

  • Do you long for deep connection with yourself, nature, the sacred feminine, and a break from your everyday life?

    If so, join this Sisterhood for a profound immersion in the wilds to experience bliss and guiding wisdom found in goddess yogic studies in Ma Nature...

    Mountain mist filters through thick stands of Douglas fir and cedar treetops as golden rays of light shimmer in the morning motes across of sea of glacier lilies. As we ascend an ancient trail used by local Native populations to access the passageway to epic vistas and one of the most spectacular regions of the North Cascades. Where we will enter into the liminal realms of backcountry wonders and our own consciousness, exploring seven aspects of Goddess, opening us up to the wonders of ourselves and surroundings for She, Our Divine Mother, IS, this sacred geography within and without..

    This is a 7 day, USA-based sacred yoga pilgrimage into the heart of the North Cascades Range of Washington State in the Pacific Northwest:

    • Step into the healing rhythm of nature and unplug from fast-paced, technology centered modern life
    • Practice healing & expanding goddess-based yoga 
    • Connect to physical strength & intuitive wisdom
    • Learn backpacking fundamentals & how to setup camp
    • Explore Sacred Activism & “Artivism” for supporting women and the environment
  • Your Yoga Mountain Guide:

  • Stephanie Renee dos Santos

    Yoga Transformational Guide

    • Lifetime of wilderness experience in the North Cascades Range
    • 20 years on Yoga Path + Multiple Yoga Training Certificates
    • B.A in Studio Arts, Whitman College
    • Wilderness First Aid Certified
  • Stephanie Renee dos Santos passion is empowering people to fully embody and heal body and soul through nondual Tantric goddess wisdom and aligning with natural cycles so, you can thrive in life. She’s known as an inspiring, loving, creative, compassionate and uplifting yoga teacher, who possesses the Hindu goddess Bhuvaneshwari-like quality to create sacred healing, creative-expressive and meditative spaces. Certified in Integrative Yoga and Kum Nye (Tibetan Yoga), she also is a follower of Sally Kempton’s nondual Shakti/Shiva teachings, with a focus in the divine feminine and Kundalini. Stephanie holds a B.A in Studio Arts from Whitman College. In addition, she studies Bharathanatyam classical Indian dance and contributes spiritual writing to literary journal Lalitamba. She offers pathways to create healthy life rhythms, access your innate intuition, creativity and healing capacity, while connecting with others, the Divine and caring for our Mother Earth.

  • Do you want to unplug from the fast-paced modern world and step into the rhythms of nature? 

  • Stephanie's call to slowdown and retreat to the mountains...

    In my late twenties I followed my heart's calling and founded a design/build skatepark construction company, Airspeed Skateparks LLC, with another passionate creative soul. We were artists and entrepreneurs first, business people second because our dreams demanded it of us. The years sailed by and the day arrived when I realized it had been years since I'd taken a backpacking trip, which I had heretofore relished almost every year of my life.

    Years had passed in a blur of business responsibilities. I was anxiety-ridden, exhausted and spent. I hadn't prioritized and made time to commune with life-balancing and regulating sacred natural places.

    When my mother suggested a backpacking trip with her and my two younger brothers my heart cried out, "Yes! I'll find a way to come." It was on this journey that I was called back and reminded of the vital importance of walking and living the earth’s rhythms, and of how profoundly the earth heals and balances one in such a short span of time.

    Sleeping upon Her earthen floor, allowing Her mountain breezes to calm and caresses one’s high strung city soul, to pad at one’s natural pace upon Her spongy and pebbled paths, and to live simply, by having one’s complete home upon one’s very back is grounding and healing. It's this shedding down to what is necessary and essential to live that is so relieving. It is in the comfort of the forest or on a high mountain ridge that we are reminded of who we are and what a blessing it is to be alive. It is by slowing down and drinking in this exquisiteness that we attune with the gift of existence.

    It  is in wild places that we reconnect with who we are and can come into a place of ease and peace within, gaining clarity and direction on how to go forth living in harmony with ourselves and the larger world once we return to our everyday lives -- whole once again, replenished and invigorated.

    And this is what we offer and will guide you deeply into during this pilgrimage -- your peaceful at-ease self, so you can reconnect with who you really are, and access wisdom and inspiration of the divine feminine wilds and learn the yogic tools to recharge, support and guide you once back home. 

     

  • We'll meet up at a designated spot and caravan to our first camp. Before hand, by email you'll receive a "Backpacking Gear Check List", "Wilderness Safety Guidelines" and "Leave-No-Trace Backpacking" information. Also, before the pilgrimage we'll connect with each person in-person, by Skype or phone to go over your gear and to field any questions.

    Our first night together we'll:

    • Set up camp
    • Go over and get our gear together
    • Introduction Wisdom Goddess Yoga session
    • Enjoy dinner in the wilds
    • Welcome Shakti Ceremony 
    • Moon and star gaze
    • Celebrate and rejoice, joining together in Sisterhood!
  • On our first full day in the mountains, we'll practice morning Wisdom Goddess Yoga in a lush forest, and then begin our trek heading up through a grove of Douglas Fir and Cedar, entering the sacred forest of Yakshis, tree spirits. Backpacking the footsteps of the indigenous people of this region, along a trail into the healing and expanding space of transformation. We will literally be inhaling and aligning with the power and rejuvenation found when we step out of bounds and into pristine backcountry. 

    You’ll learn:

    • How to commune with Yakshis and the healing and sustenance power of tree spirits 
    • How Yakshis are related to one of the first environmentalist movements  
    • Grounding and connecting yogic practices to allow you to embody the qualities of Yakshis
  • Day three, after morning Wisdom Goddess Yoga and a Chai masala tea breakfast before awesome sheer rock cliffs spotted with snow fields, we will explore the wisdom of goddess Annapurna, being nourished by abundant beauty found in a lush valley of wildflowers, along with drinking from the many streams of snowfield water along the way. Experiencing firsthand what it means to be nourished by the natural elements, as we head to our next deep wilderness magical camp. 

    You’ll learn:

    • How to invoke Annapurna to access Her nourishing qualities 
    • How She physically expresses herself in nature
    • An Annapurna food blessing to give thanks and bless your food in the wilds and back home

     

  • © Manjari Sharma

    Day four, after morning Wisdom Goddess Yoga and breakfast in a woodland of ancient arbors, we'll set off to discover pure magic:  a hidden horseshoe-shaped basin, home to cascading waterfalls, a wonder and rarity to behold and spend time in, and the home of the esoteric Goddess of the Forest, Matangi. We'll explore practices and meditations to enter into her mysterious realm, inviting her capacity for bestowing profound spiritual insight, connecting us with our earthy wild roots, revelations in the arts like poetry, and the ability to speak and share these truths with eloquence. 

    We’ll learn about Matangi's different and complex qualities, and deeply engage with Her throughout the day through story, writing, mantra, meditation and dance. 

    You’ll learn:

    • About Matangi's special gifts She can bestow, matriarchal values, and the environments where she's found
    • How to invoke Her to welcome her graces
    • Yogic practices to help you access liberating wisdom
  • © Manjari Sharma

    Day five, we'll enjoy breakfast in the sanctuary of deep wilderness and practice morning Wisdom Goddess Yoga. Afterwards, we'll trek back through the lush valley, living what it is to be Goddess Lalita, tasting and inhaling the pure sweetness of life with every step. Soaking in the elixir of this goddess of full liberation, play, and the juciness of life. 

    You'll learn:

    • How to invoke Lalita and Her playful and harmonizing energies 
    • Color your own sacred art of Lalita for your altar and meditation back at home
    • Sacred dance to experience Her sweet play and awaken and liberate energy
    • A walking meditation to be with the juiciness and peace of life and inner beloved
  • © Manjari Sharma

    Day six, after morning Wisdom Goddess Yoga and a Chai masala tea breakfast in pure mountain magic with goddess Durga underfoot and radiating in all direction, we'll set out for our high altitude camp, winding our way up through breathtaking scenery and across a scree rock field. This camp destination is one of the most spectacular in the whole of the North Cascades...the views will blow all of us away....as we access heights rising above the cloud and treeline, fully immersing ourselves in the pure power of Durga, goddess of inner strength and power.

    You’ll learn:

    • How to invoke Durga and align with her grounded power and strength
    • How to partner with her signature energies and where you can access her in the physical environment
    • Grounding and strengthening yogic practices to allow you to embody Durga's strength
  • © Manjari Sharma

    Day seven, we'll practice Wisdom Goddess Yoga with the rising sun before a skyline of endless mountain peaks. After breakfast, we'll hike back on the new moon and explore a new moon release and intention ritual for this is goddess Kali's transformative time of the lunar cycle, while being nourished by abundant beauty of high ridge views. Beginning our journey back towards home, refreshed and renewed -- and quite possibly transformed in positive ways well-beyond one's imagination. JAI MA!!! Victory to the Mother!

    You'll learn:

    • How to invoke Kali's rejuvenating power of transformation through mantra and mudra and movement
    • How to release inner thoughts and emotions that no longer serve you and your life path
    • How to set new intentions on the new moon and cultivate them

    We'll culminate with a group sacred circle of exchange to share insights, shifts, revelations, inspirations, and sacred activism and "Artivism" ideas for our health, the community and well-being of the planet.

  • Testimonials

  • Padmaja Vedula

    Washington D.C, Maryland

    "The joy in getting a camp fire started, the joy in the warmth of the fire on a cold chilly evening, the joy in the warmth of the people around you, the sharing, the caring, the talks, the confessions, the bonding, the love and the laughter. Joy in the songs, the stories, the poetry, the yoga under the trees. Joy in the small things, the attempts to get a rope over a branch to hang food, the sleeping in a tent and watching the moonlight streaming through the tall trees as if it were a flashlight in the sky. Joy in the constant hum of the stream through the night. Joy in the walks, the treks, the trees, the mountains and in being little humans again. Joy, pure, simple, untagged joy.

    Life is short, yes, but perhaps, only if we don't live it."

  • Kaitey K.

    New Orleans, Louisiana

    "This pilgrimage brought me to a sacred space within myself, where each breath I took filled me with love, wonder, gratitude and reverence for the heart of everything that is.  I felt strong and grounded like the proud mountains surrounding me.  I felt safety under the canopy of deep rooted trees. I felt at ease with the rhythm of the glacial creeks. The warmth of the campfire mirrored the nature of our group.  Alongside the dancing flames, we shared ideas, stories, laughter, kindness and friendship. In the cool morning air as we practiced flowing goddess yoga, the light and shadows magically played, as the leaves fluttered and swayed above us. With each step taken, there was an opportunity to learn something new— about the landscape, about each other, about ourselves."  

  • Madhavi Kadiyala

    New York, New York

    "This is beyond a simple backpacking trip. It is truly an inspired divine experience. Stephanie is a Yogini, an author and an outdoor enthusiast. Her energy and enthusiasm to bring women of diverse backgrounds to experience the enchanting wilderness and an inner transformation with the help of Goddess teachings and Yoga is very special. I feel fortunate to be part of this very unique experience. This was my second backpacking trip with Stephanie exploring the inner self and the outdoors in the North Cascades National Park. The energies invoked with the Goddess work and Yoga were in perfect harmony with the nature outside. Personally it allows me to check in with myself and be inspired on my life journey. It is indeed such a blessing that Stephanie is able to bring all her unique talents in such a perfect offering.... With much gratitude."

  • Regina Anderson

    Seattle, Washington

    "Such an enriching and energizing retreat. We were surrounded by stunning panoramic views of jagged mountains and lush green valleys. I developed new friendships with a wonderful community of women. The retreat was well organized and Stephanie was extremely knowledgeable about the area and backcountry backpacking and camping. She was always willing to help any of us who had questions about gear, set up, etc. The North Cascades National Park is a gorgeous area to learn about and invoke the divine feminine. I would definitely recommend this retreat to others looking to deepen their spirituality, yoga practice and commune with nature."

  • You receive:

    • Guidance into magical goddess-infused natural places
    • Instruction on the fundamentals of backpacking & how to set up a back country camp
    • Goddess-based teachings & yoga practices inspired by nondual Shaiva/Shakti and Shakta Tantra
    • Time to explore creative expression through creative writing, investigative journaling & visual arts of yantra
    • Sacred activism/artivism support

    This is a journey of a lifetime, one that invites you into deep positive change and opens you to a reverence for All that Is. For there is nothing quite like sleeping upon Her earthen bed basking above at the endless expanse of the cosmos, drinking from Her glacial waters, and feeling Her varying breaths and Her summer sun on your skin.

    Come with us...on the path to all that She is, Her majesty, Her pure reality: You. She has the power to heal and open energy pathways like no other place can, as we explore yogic practices in the setting of their origin -- in Mother Nature.

  • Coming summer 2018...

    August 5-11 (new moon is the 11th!)

    *limit 6

    (as of April 16, 2018 only 4 more open spots!)

    Note: Good physical conditioning is a requirement to participate in this journey. There will be two days of trekking with significant elevation gain and each person will need to be able to carry a pack with 7 days worth of food for yourself. Backpacking experience is recommended for this trip, but if you are in good physical shape it is also possible to attend. 

    Please contact me if you'd like to step up a payment plan: stephaniereneedossantos@gmail.com 

    (2017 retreat SOLD OUT so if this pilgrimage calls to you please secure your spot asap!)

    Duration: 6 nights and 7 days

    * We meet up on Sunday afternoon and come off the trail in the afternoon on Saturday.

    * Recommended airport to fly into to attend trip: Seatac International Airport 

  •  Note: If you have questions about this pilgrimage and would like to talk about them, let's connect by Skype or email! Email Stephanie: stephaniereneedossantos@gmail.com and we'll set up a time to talk via Skype!