LIFT YOUR ASS TO ENLIGHTENMENT
Strengthen your arm balance and piking practice in this 5-Day Piking Camp at Blackwood Educational Land Institute , taught by Heidi Sormaz and Catherine Allen. Since we spend the majority of our time standing on our feet or sitting on our butts, arm balancing and piking are difficult feats for a lot of us. Heidi and Cat will take you through smart yoga practices and techniques and meditations that prepare you for piking. You will receive personal guidance and skillful partner spotting to help you establish the focus and connections for piking. Each day will intentionally build upon the skills you learned in the previous day. This continuous learning will bring your practice (and your butt) to new heights. You will leave this retreat knowing how to lift your ass if nothing else!
Bottomline is – It’s fun! Piking is difficult and strange, but that makes it all the more fun when you rise above the difficulty of it and ask yourself What Part of This Can I Do? It raises endorphins. It gives you opportunities to problem-solve, celebrate your wins, and expand your limited beliefs. Piking isn’t the only way to reap these benefits in your life, but piking is a way! And it’s definitely an exciting way.
Why a Retreat?
You may wonder…why a retreat and not a traditional series of workshops at a yoga studio? The retreat setting is absolutely key to helping you pike. Here are the main reasons for having this training at a retreat:
- Relaxation: You will learn how relaxation is essential for piking. Excess tension in your muscles and connective tissue and restricted breathing weigh you down and make it harder to use your core muscles to lift your butt in piking.
- Nutrition: You will be fed nutrient-dense food. The quality of your nutrition greatly influences your stress and strength levels. The professionally prepared meals will reduce your stress and boost your strength. Blackwood Education Land Institute grows and harvests much of the organic food you will be eating. Every meal will be farm-to-table.
- Community Energy: The bright web of energy that will be created by the people around you will help boost and brighten your own energy. Pleasure and positivity are the energies that literally lighten you and help lift your ass.
- Focus: For 5 glorious days, you get a chance to put down old habits and energies that drag you down. You will practice quality focus and commitment to yourself and your piking practice without the usual life distractions. You will return to your normal life feeling recharged and seeing with new perspective.
Who is this retreat for?
This retreat is for ANYONE who wants to learn how to pike or arm balance. You don’t need to have an arm balance practice, and you definitely don’t need to have a piking practice. We suggest that you know how to do Dolphin with hands clasped in order to participate in the piking exercises. (Dolphin is like Downward Facing Dog, except the forearms are on the floor.)
What is a typical day like in this retreat?
A tentative schedule will be published. But here is a summary of what a typical day would be like:
- Wake up to a light farm fresh breakfast of fruit and eggs.
- Led Morning Meditation Session. Meditation practice is essential for piking. It builds focus and helps you ally with your mind and the rest of your body.
- Yoga Intensive, taught by Heidi and Cat, that will focus on building intelligence and connections for specific aspects of piking.
- Yummy buffet lunch, laughter with friends, and get some fresh air on Blackwood.
- Afternoon Lecture and Q&A on topics specifically related to piking.
- Evening Yin Yoga Session. Yin Yoga is excellent for helping you to release excess tension that inhibits piking.
- …followed by Led Yoga Nidra Meditation.
- Float off to a delicious home-cooked dinner freshly prepared and served on-site.
- Star-gaze before bedtime.
Check-in starts at 2pm on May 24. Retreat begins at 4pm that day.
Retreat will end around 2pm May 28. Check-out is flexible on May 28.
Blackwood is Gorgeous!
Blackwood Educational Land Institute is a nonprofit (for-purpose), 33- acre teaching farm in Waller County, Texas. Nearly four acres of the land are cultivated, and the remainder is preserved in three distinct ecosystems: coastal prairie, post-oak savannah, and pine barrens.
Blackwood Educational Land Institute is a teaching farm on a quest to model the indispensable role of sustainable food systems in all our lives. Together we can co-create better ways to grow and source food, eat and live—restoring natural systems, public health and animal welfare, and celebrating all it means to be human! Daily, we recommit to life-long-learning, diversity and gathering with our family, friends and community.
Blackwood grows healthy food to inspire the next generation and to connect us all. They are dedicated to harvesting and producing their food in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner, often employing key concepts of the day. Whether it’s biomechanics or permaculture, they’re integrating resiliency into their farming methods. The food grown here is at least 40% higher nutritional value than conventional food bought at a grocery store and its because of their nurtured soil.
You will be staying in the beautiful Baleyfield House. Retreatants will sleep on bunk beds in dorms. Built in 1990, the Baleyfield House is a straw bale construction and one of the first of its kind in Central Texas. The walls are two feet thick, full of straw, and painted with a clay exterior. The house needs one fourth less energy to power the central heat and air conditioning because of its efficiency. The ceiling insulation is made of shredded newspaper soaked in chrysanthemum flowers to act as a fire retardant insulation. Plenty of showers and bathrooms.
What airport can I use? Where is it? How do I get there?
You can use IAH or Hobby airports. IAH is about 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Blackwood. Hobby is about 1 hour 30 minutes away from Blackwood. You can use Uber or another taxi service or a rental car to get to Blackwood. Blackwood doesn’t provide transportation services.
Blackwood address is 27144 Rock Island Rd, Hempstead, TX 77445
Blackwood is located about an hour northwest of Houston city limits. There is parking space for your car.
What does tuition cover?
Residential tuition is all-inclusive. It covers all your farm-to-table meals, training curriculum, accommodations in a dorm with bunk beds, and shared bathrooms. There are plenty of bathrooms and showers. The meal schedule is:
Dinner on Day 1 (May 24)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner on Days 2-4 (May 25-27)
Breakfast and Lunch on Day 5 (May 28)
What are check-in and check-out times?
Check-in on May 24 is 2pm (you are allowed to check-in earlier that day).
The retreat/training officially starts at 4pm on May 24.
Check-out is on May 28 at 2pm.
What are accommodations like?
You will be staying in the beautiful Baleyfield House. Retreatants will sleep on bunk beds in dorms. Built in 1990, the Baleyfield House is a straw bale construction and one of the first of its kind in Central Texas. The walls are two feet thick, full of straw, and painted with a clay exterior. The house needs one fourth less energy to power the central heat and air conditioning because of its efficiency. The ceiling insulation is made of shredded newspaper soaked in chrysanthemum flowers to act as a fire retardant insulation. Plenty of showers and bathrooms. Linens will be provided. Blackwood is immaculately clean. Click here for photos: http://blackwoodliving.com/
Can I stay an extra night?
Maybe. Fill out the message form below to inquire.
Can I smoke? Have a beer?
No smoking, recreational drugs, or alcohol on the retreat property during the 5-Day Piking Camp.
I can’t do a Handstand. Can I come?
You don’t need to have an arm balance or inversion practice to participate in this retreat. We ask that you know how to do Dolphin with hands clasped or Downward Facing Dog in order to participate in the piking. Anyone can benefit from this Piking Camp. You will do practices that open and strengthen your core, sharpen your focus, and help you relax, whether or not you want to pike. Everyone will be given appropriate alternatives for poses they don’t want to or can’t do.
Is there a non-residential option?
Yes, there is. If you want to participate in the training but don’t want to stay at Blackwood, then the non-residential tuition is $680. It covers all your meals, the training curriculum, and includes a non-refundable $250 deposit.
What should I bring?
We’ll send you a complete list of things to bring with you about 1 month before the event. For now, we can tell you about yoga props you’ll need to bring: 1 yoga mat, 2 large yoga blocks like this, 1 yoga blanket, 1 rolled up mat or large beach towel, 1 strap, wristwrap gloves like this, and a back brace. If you have a bolster, bring it; you will use it. The gloves and back brace can help support your wrists and back during partner spotting.
Tuition includes a non-refundable $250 deposit.
Please read the cancellation/refund policies before registering.
If you’re one of the first 10 people to register, you save $200 off regular price.
If you only pay the deposit, you qualify for the $799 price if you pay your remaining balance within the first 10 fully paid people. Your tuition is $999 if you pay the remaining balance after the first 10 full paid people have registered. The remaining balance is due March 30.
Tuition covers all meals, training curriculum, and bunk bed accommodations and shared bathrooms.
Residential Tuition: (includes training, meals, accommodations, and non-refundable $250 deposit)
$799 for the first 10 people who register!
$999 regular price
Non-Residential Tuition: (includes training, all meals, and non-refundable $250 deposit)
This is a strict policy, no exceptions.
*45+ days prior to retreat: Full refund of monies less paypal fees and non-refundable $250 deposit.
*less than 45 days: No refund. No exceptions.
*If you switch between non-residential and residential, a $50 admin fee applies.