Estes Park, Colo. — Rocky Mountain Conservancy’s Field Institute and Estes Park Yoga have teamed up to offer a new series of educational wellness programs in Rocky Mountain National Park this summer which combine ecology lessons and mindfulness practices to give participants a unique approach to learning in the park. The full or half-day classes will introduce participants to the ecology of various Rocky Mountain landscapes and help participants connect with nature—and themselves—in the stunning setting of Rocky Mountain National Park. The programs are led by Rocky Mountain Conservancy staff and Diana Laughlin, a registered yoga teacher at the 500-hour level.
Carlie Bangs, education director for the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, said these programs fill an important void. “We know being in nature promotes health and wellness,” she said. “These courses encourage people to unplug from their tech and enjoy some inner discovery while exploring and learning about Rocky’s beautiful environment. Participants will hike, meditate, practice yoga, and learn about the interconnected plants and animals that make Rocky Mountain National Park so special.”
“We designed this course for people who seek balance in their lives but struggle to find the time and mindset to make it happen,” said Laughlin. “This course gives participants the opportunity to feel grounded and more connected to their inner self and the natural world.” Laughlin has taught hatha yoga and meditation in Estes Park for ten years.
“Rocky Mountain National Park is a special place to feel the magnitude of one’s yoga practice,” Laughlin explained. “Often when I’m hiking, cross-country skiing, or camping, I like to step away from my friends for a little bit to be mindful in the moment. I would love to share that experience with those who choose to attend these retreats.”
The programs are designed for participants 16 years and up, and are intended to inspire a deeper connection to wild places and pique participants’ curiosity about natural connections. No previous natural history or yoga experience is required, and participants should expect to hike three to six miles at a relaxed pace with elevation gain up to 500 feet. Full day programs are offered June 1, July 6, August 3, and September 7. Half-day programs are scheduled for June 3, July 8, August 5, and September 9. For more information and to register for this or other Field Institute courses, visit RMConservancy.org/events/.