Don’t get us wrong, yoga studios are great, and they have their place, as anyone who has been through a New England winter can attest. But have you ever practiced yoga in an outdoor setting? There’s something undeniably energizing about feeling the breeze in your hair and the grass on your toes as you breathe deeply during your yoga practice. That’s one of the reason’s we’ve been so excited to discover the yoga retreats led by Maine Guide and founder of Forever Wild Yoga Leah Titcomb. Leah’s trips combine yoga retreats with overnight outdoor adventures by canoe and SUP in a way that’s refreshing, challenging, thought provoking, and just plain healthy. Essentially, her retreats are deeply rewarding for both the body and the mind, and we think that’s a fantastic concept.
Leah is a registered Maine Guide, and has been guiding professionally for 15 years. She came to yoga as a way to build strength and flexibility, but in time discovered it to be a spiritually transformative practice as well. The feeling of Ahhhhh, the sense that everything is where it should be, that you get when you’re paddling across a Maine lake on a clear morning or hiking up a mountain through the spruce trees? That’s essentially what yoga seeks to cultivate as well, so Leah thought combining the two seemed like a good plan.
The results of her ideas are a series of retreats that intertwine Leah’s outdoor guiding specialties of SUPing and canoeing with the grounding practice of yoga. For example, there’s a 5 day canoe/yoga retreat down one of Maine’s most remote rivers, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, that includes daily guided yoga & meditation sessions in addition to experienced canoe instruction. That’s a hearty canoe trip, but Leah is careful to pair the challenge with some serious relaxation and enjoyment. Healthy and delicious food is a focus on all of her trips, as is time to kick back and unwind (see the photo at the end for evidence). Her SUP/yoga adventure on Maine’s Rangeley lakes is another great example: 3 professionally catered meals a day on that trip!
Leah’s retreats are designed to inspire a connection and spiritual grounding within nature. She’s also a knowledgeable birder and naturalist who has taught both natural history and outdoor leadership courses. That depth and variety of knowledge is what really makes Leah special as a guide. She takes a complete view of outdoor adventures, from natural science, to mindfulness, to physical challenge, but ultimately understands that it’s really just all about having a good time.
Leah Titcomb, Founder of Forever Wild Yoga, is a Registered Maine Guide, Naturalist and Educator who has been guiding professionally since 2003 throughout the US and abroad. She is a native of Maine and was raised in a family of Maine Guides on the coast. She is medically trained as a certified Wilderness First Responder with over ten years of experience managing and running backcountry expeditions. She has led extended wilderness trips, taught natural history and led technical outdoor leadership trainings in backpacking, flat water and whitewater canoeing. Through her career, she has become most passionate about experiential learning and helping people connect with the outdoors. She is also a Certified Yoga Instructor and Master Reiki Practitioner. While practicing yoga, she felt a similar sense of happiness as when she was in the wilderness and decided to combine her wilderness guiding expertise with yoga. She brings a sense of lighthearted playfulness to retreats and enjoys moments of still concentration as well as the ability to laugh at oneself.
Visit Leah’s website to learn more about her offerings.
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