When it comes to raw wilderness and abundance of natural surroundings-no where compares to Alaska. It is truly “The Last Frontier.” With a population density of only 1.3 people per sq. mile, it’s easy to find space to think… & simply be. Not only are there less crowds, the opportunities to access sacred wilderness are unparalleled. Alaska offers travelers & seekers something special, words can’t quite do it justice- Alaska’s magic must be seen with one’s own eyes to be experienced.
“In all my travels around the world, I keep coming back to Alaska. For me, it’s like heaven on earth- I haven’t found anywhere that inspires or enriches my spirit, quite like Alaska. It’s so wild here- the mountains are big, glaciers abundant, rivers are fast, cold & wild, coastlines never ending, and wildlife roam free. There’s space- I can hear myself think.”
“The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.” - Nancy Newhall
We’ve all craved nature at some time or another. Most of us sense that taking a walk in the woods is good for us. We take a break from the rush of our daily lives & enjoy the peace & beauty of being in a natural setting. Now, research is showing that spending time in nature has real, quantifiable mental & physical health benefits. Studies are finding that spending time in nature can:
- Reduce stress & improve mood
- Increase our ability to focus
- Increase energy levels
- Improve sleep
- Boost the immune system
Lower blood pressure
Clearly, immersing ourselves in nature can be transformative and healing. Ayurveda, often known as “Yoga’s sister science,” the ancient healing tradition of India, recommends spending time in nature each day. Doing so nourishes & nurtures our senses, helping to calm & quiet the mind. This encourages us to shift our attention beyond the domain of our ego, the stress of our lives, the busy-ness of our thoughts… and instead remind us that we are inextricably connected to the universe.
Our trips go deep into Alaskan wilderness to connect with nature, reconnect with ourselves and genuinely connect with others. When we spend time in nature, we create space within ourselves- this allows us to gain insight and rejuvenates our entire minds, bodies and souls. Nature is wise, she is one of our greatest teachers. Nature never experiences fear, self-doubt, anxiety, feels lonely or depressed. Think about it: the sun knows exactly when to rise, the moon goes through perfect phases, seasons naturally come and go, flowers know exactly when and how to bloom, animals know the time to sleep, how to find food & when to migrate… mother nature has this innate intelligence, a natural wisdom- a way of doing things that is simply perfect. It didn’t have to be learned or taught…it was just known. We believe that our mind/body system is a unified indivisible manifestation of nature; that spending time in natural surroundings a encourages a spontaneous natural balance & healing within ourselves. We re-discover our true nature as peace, serenity, happiness, bliss & joy. Yoga refers to this as “Ananda,” the inherent love, light & joy within us all.
We’ve found that people can experience parts of themselves and tap into something special when they take their yoga practice outside, unplug from technology & step away from their normal day to day. Go ahead, give it a try!
For a detailed itinerary, check out each trips page. In general, you can expect 1-2 daily yoga and meditation classes, led by Jule. Expect 3 delicious meals per day, prepared by loving hands. Expect to enjoy time taking care of yourself, preparing food & enjoying the surroundings. We get things done, but don’t rush. Yes, we go hiking, paddling & exploring…but we aren’t fixated on these activities with an objective mindset. Our trips are about the wilderness experience as a whole- practicing yoga, eating meals, camping & exploring are all parts of the experience. Alaska also likes to throw out wild cards-sometimes the weather doesn’t act how we planned, or a wildlife encounter changes the course of the day. Kind of how real life works 😉 Expect to be surprised and for itineraries to change. We roll with it. Expect a unique, fun, insightful & beautiful experience.
For a lot of people, being in the wilderness lies outside of their comfort zone. That’s okay. That’s why you have a guide. If you enjoy camping, spending all day outside & connecting with other fun loving & open minded yogis- you’ll fit right in. These trips are right for you if you have a willingness to be outside in the elements (wind, rain, sun, varying temperatures, mosquitos), enjoy being in nature & don’t mind feeling challenged at times. If the idea of spending all day outdoor, getting rained on, being around mosquitos, having zero access to phones/internet, seeing large wild life or having to go to the bathroom outside seem daunting or not how you’d like to spend your vacation…you might not be the best candidate for our adventures.
Each of our adventures is assigned a difficulty rating - Levels 1 thru 3. Below is a detailed description of each intensity level listed by activity category. Of course, let us know if you have any further questions. Our primary goal is for you to have an enjoyable experience and immerse yourself in natural & wild surroundings. The nature of our trips is such that they involve some level of physical exertion and potential exposure to weather elements, including cold water, cool temperatures, heat, sun, wind and rain.
These trips can be enjoyed by almost anyone. If you regularly engage in some sort of physical labor or aerobic exercise at work or play, then these trips will be a good fit for you. You will be expected to load and unload your own gear, carry a light daypack and have the option to participate in a hike up to 3 hours in duration. Pre-trip physical conditioning is suggested and should include hiking or walking.
Physical conditioning and consistent exercise prior to backpacking trips is essential. You will be carrying all of your belongings and hiking off-trail over steep, hilly, and uneven terrain, often covering more than 6 miles in a day with up to 2000' of elevation gain/loss. You may encounter short stretches of thick vegetation and may also experience Alaska's diverse selection of insect species. You will be camping in remote wilderness, sleeping in tents, digging a hole for the bathroom, and possibly enjoying all of the above in the rain. You will be expected to load and unload your own gear, and manage your own physical comfort and well-being with support from our guides. Pre-trip physical conditioning should include walking & hiking with backpack weighing 30-40 lbs.
Similar to level 2 backpacking trips but expect to cover more miles & spend more time hiking. You should be able to wear a heavy backpack for 6-7 hours and hike up to10 miles per day with up to 3000 ft elevation gain/loss. The terrain may be more challenging, involving more bushwhacking, steeper slopes, river crossings, or other challenges. Previous backpacking experience may be required and is certainly recommended for these trips.
Physical conditioning and consistent exercise prior to these trips is helpful. While our kayaking trips are suitable for a total novice kayaker & include a skills clinic, keep in mind you will be sitting in and paddling a sea kayak for up to 3 continuous hours. You will be camping in a very remote wilderness & sleeping in tents. You will be expected to help load and unload gear & help with moving kayaks up and down the beach.
Physical conditioning and consistent exercise prior to these trips is helpful. While our rafting trips are suitable for a complete beginner & involve safety & skills instruction, keep in mind you will be sitting in and paddling through swift moving water (up to Class II-III) in a 4 person raft up to 3 continuous hours. You will be accompanied by a guide; they will navigate the boat downstream, but rely on you to paddle when needed. You will probably get wet and there's a slim chance you may fall out of the boat & swim. Participants are expected to help load and unload boats daily.
Expect the unexpected. Temperatures range anywhere from 40-75 degrees F. Alaska weather is hard to describe or predict. It could be 50 degrees, drizzling rain & cloudy one day, then beautiful, warm, pleasant & sunny the next. Some trips do experience wet or cold weather, but we can help you figure out what to bring & how to stay warm & dry. We won’t leave you hanging- we are here to help you pack & dress for success, we want you to be comfortable! Being outside in the elements- sunshine, wind, rain, etc can be challenging, invigorating & powerful experiences. However, if you’re expecting a hot sunny beach vacation, you miiiiiiight prefer to look elsewhere. 😊
Most of our participants are between the ages of 25-65 years old. There really isn’t an “average” age for our trips. If you’re concerned about being the only participant in your age range, contact us directly and we can try to get you on a trip with others similar in age.
Short answer: no, not really. Will we see any? Likely…you’re in Alaska, after all. The areas we frequent are home to a variety of wild animals- bears, wolves, lynx, wolverine, moose, caribou…just to name a few. We are traveling in their backyards. We have experience dealing with wild animals in wild places- our guides have had encounters with all of the above critters. We follow industry standard bear safety protocol regarding food storage and group management & will teach you how to do the same. We bring multiple cartridges of bear spray on each trip. It is very possible to have a bear sighting during your trip in Alaska; we will share with you how to react in that situation. Contrary to what many people believe, bears generally want nothing to do with humans. We pride ourselves in our safety measures regarding wildlife encounters & will teach you how to do the same.
That’s okay. If you have a willingness to be outside of your comfort zone & learn something new, then what are you waiting for!? Sleeping outside on the earth is incredibly grounding- experience it for yourself! We recommend having had a few nights experience sleeping in a tent, but if not, we can meet you where you’re at. Honestly though, if the idea of sleeping in a tent outside seems like a nightmare, you should look into one of our lodge based trips, like the McCarthy Base Camp. (link to that trip page)
It’s for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for decades. The classes are taught in a way so beginners don’t feel left behind while more experienced yogis will find ways & have options to be challenged and invigorated- we teach with modifications so the practice is accessible to all. With that said, having some exposure & familiarity with basic postures is recommended, as you’ll get more from the experience. If you’re nervous or hesitant about your skill level, attend a few beginner classes before your trip!
Ideally, we practice twice a day, but sometimes we “play it by ear” according to the weather. Our morning practice is an opportunity to wake up, move, stretch, connect with our breath & allow for meditation & intention setting. Our evening practice is more calming & conducive to stretching, unwinding & giving back to our bodies after that days adventure. Evening practices include either elements of meditation, intention setting, journaling, self-reflection or optional group discussion & connection opportunities (satsanga).
You should feel comfortable hiking 6-8 miles with varying elevation (for hiking trips) or paddling up to 4-5 hours (sea kayaking, rafting & packrafting trips). For backpacking adventures, be ready to wear a 35-45 lb backpack for 4-6 hours a day. Our basecamp trips are suitable for most people, as you always have the option to stay back & hang at camp, or enjoy a shorter hike/paddle adventure option. However, if you describe yourself as a sedentary person…our trips might not be the best fit for you.
We provide healthy vegetarian meals & snacks, that are inspired by yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda. Jule is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner; she has studied the healing benefits from whole foods & is invested in creating meals that are healthy & delicious. Even though our trips are in remote places, we go above & beyond to bring great food along. When possible, we source local, fresh & organic ingredients. Many participants from our trips are interested in Ayurvedic cooking & eating- if you’re curious & want to learn more you’re always welcome to join and help us out in the kitchen! Group cooking is a fun & interactive way to learn about Ayurveda food principles; no pressure though-feel free to use meal prep time to chill out or unwind if that’s what you’d rather be doing 😊
We prepare dishes like:
- Cinnamon stewed apples w/ maple raisin oatmeal & toasted almonds
- Homemade banana coconut bread
- Whole grain cardamom french toast
- Almond milk chai
- Vegetarian sandwiches: avocado, sprouts, cheeses, delicious spreads & veggies
- Kitcharee (Ayurveda’s healing meal) with chutney and fresh herbs
- Vegetarian Curry with basmati rice & cucumber raita
- Snacks: dates, nuts, fruit, jerky & chocolate
Most likely. We want you to feel healthy and thrive on this trip! We have experience catering to dairy and nut allergies, gluten free diets and other food restrictions. Please notify us in advance so we can make a suitable meal plan for you. Please note there may be an additional fee to cover extra food expenses.
Please bring a water filtration/purification system of your choosing for backpacking & raft trips. (we provide water for sea kayaking & basecamp trips) This is a personal choice, many people use either filters, iodine, chlorine solutions or a steri-pen. We will purify cooking water, but expect you to have your own purification system for drinking water.
Please contact us directly to discuss further. We wouldn’t want this to stop your adventure necessarily, but want you to work with your doctor in making safe and healthy decisions for your well-being.
Absolutely. Some yogis have adventure plans before/after the trip and don’t always want to return to Anchorage or Fairbanks at the end of the trip…and sometimes people would just rather drive themselves. No problem. Please let us know before hand if you’re taking your own vehicle or plan to meet us there (at the trailhead, air taxi service, or town) so we can coordinate.