Steamboat woman launches yoga and writing retreat in Routt County
The first SoulSpark Journeys retreat is Oct. 9 and 10 at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp. The cost of the two-day event is $150 and includes breakfast and lunch both days, as well as workshops. Call 510-882-7129 for more information or visit http://www.soulsparkjourneys.com.
Steamboat Springs — Alex Pallut has been a travel guide throughout the world. She’s hiked the Alps, explored Patagonia and walked the beaches of Sumatra, Indonesia. And there’s always been one constant in her backpack: a yoga mat.
On her next adventure, she’ll unroll her mat in her own backyard of Steamboat Springs.
The yoga instructor said there was a point in her travels when she stopped and asked herself, “Why leave?”
“Steamboat’s just a special place,” the 10-year resident said. “Why go anywhere else? Let’s bring it to town.”
In the first yoga retreat put on by her new company, SoulSpark Journeys, Pallut hopes to take participants on a personal voyage combining the introspective aspects of yoga, meditation and the arts.
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The two-day retreat will feature choices among workshops in yoga, writing and life-coaching taught by local women.
The event is Oct. 9 and 10 at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp, a location close to downtown Steamboat but still tucked away in the folds of the Colorado outdoors.
“I can’t always afford to leave town for a retreat,” Pallut said. “I’ve always dreamed of a retreat in Steamboat. I want to provide that space for people.”
The retreat runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, featuring early morning meditation and choices among different workshops.
Yoga gurus can choose all yoga workshops if they’d like, including vinyasa flow, ashtanga and acro-yoga.
But the retreat also incorporates other aspects of Pallut’s passions. Writing, nature and self-reflection are all components of mindful and peaceful living, she said.
As a part of the retreat, local life coach Diane McCrann will conduct a workshop about how to live the life you’ve always wanted.
Pallut said she will talk specifically about goal setting to reach accomplishments like Pallut’s dream of leading her own yoga retreats. Pallut now has her sights set on taking a group to Costa Rica in the spring and France next fall.
During her travels, whether geographical or introspective, Pallut is drawn to expression through the arts, specifically writing. She attends writing seminars with one of her yoga students, Jill Murphy Long, who is collaborating on the retreat by teaching a mindful writing workshop.
“Our world’s kind of busy, even in Steamboat,” Long said. “The practice of yoga to some people, it can be a selfish practice. There’s no competition. For the hour or hour and a half, it’s all about you. That’s what writing is, too.”
Often, while twisting herself into various poses in Pallut’s yoga classes, Long finds herself crawling across the room for a piece of paper to jot down an idea.
She hopes to provide that same outlet for participants in the retreat.
“Nature inspires us to hopefully be at peace,” she said. “When you write, when you’re trying to get into that creative mode, you need to be still and quiet.
“And it’s nice to have something we can do in our own backyard.”
Pallut said the weekend retreat, and subsequent SoulSpark Journeys, is more about a communal bond of arts and mindfulness than a teacher-and-student relationship.
“It’s not just about me teaching,” she said. “I want to bring this together for the community.”
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