The Playful Warrior Wilderness Retreat

California Sierras July 22-29th, 2012

Playful Warriors guard their play-time with the same earnest focus of a monk in meditation.

They will not compromise their playful selves to fit a role, please others, dim their light or cage their spirit.

They delight in following their wander and allow their natural impulses to nourish wholeness.

They are a balance of strong and gentle.

Serious and playful.

Powerful and vulnerable.

Dear Friend,

Is your life so busy, so full of responsibility and so stress-laden that getting time for yourself, much less going on a mountain wilderness retreat sounds like a distant dream?

Perhaps it’s time to return to the playful self you used to know but haven’t seen in years.

Can you imagine re-connecting with your playful self  on a hike, camping in the woods, and swimming in crystal clear, blue lakes?

Far from the distractions of cell phones and computers, harried schedules and a compulsion for multi-tasking, the Playful Warrior Wilderness Retreat calls to you if what you seek is time dedicated to reflection, rejuvenation and renewal.

Deep belly breaths of crisp, alpine air, community sacred circles, gorgeous hiking trails, resting your body on the earth, limitless views of the pristine Sierra Mountain Range … this is just a taste of what awaits you.

The Playful Warrior Wilderness Retreat is an 8-day backcountry, personal empowerment adventure set in the High Sierras of California.

You, along with a curious bunch of other Playful Warriors are invited to participate in the adventure of a lifetime and an experience that will radically launch you to the next stage of your personal evolution.


Top 10 Benefits of Choosing To Be a Playful Warrior

You will:

  1. Dramatically re-write the negative tapes in your head of who you are and connect with the deep truth of your most essential, powerful self. You will shriek and giggle in delight during the free hanging rappel, suspended in mid-air while your body, mind and spirit dangle safely in the wind.
  2. Feel more genuinely connected to yourself, others and the experiences life brings you through mindfulness practices such as movement games, meditation and solo time.
  3. Gain clarity and perspective on what is and isn’t working in your life and how to enact sustainable change.
  4. Bring more playfulness and creativity in your life: Story telling, howling at the moon, bootie shaking, laughter snorts and fake accents are all encouraged but not required.
  5. Increase your self-confidence and self-trust through activities like rock climbing and peak ascents.
  6. Deeply reconnect with the natural world while learning to Leave No Trace and live in harmony with your inner landscape and outer wilderness.
  7. Re-discover your deepest wishes and needs and live in alignment with your Spiritual path.
  8. Claim the gifts that only you can bring to help heal yourself, others and the planet.
  9. Establish a community of other adventurers and soul rebels who will support and sustain you long after the retreat has ended.
  10. Learn to deeply honor your body’s innate and ancient wisdom through practices including mindful movement and dancing, twirling and swirling by starlight.

“I needed Maira’s approach to help guide me back onto the path that I know is right for me. She gave me the tools I needed to look within and reclaim my power and, since then, I have become more aware of who I am and what I have to offer.” –Angelic R.

Top 10 Reasons Why You’re Perfect to Come on This Retreat (Yaaaay!)

You rock because you:

  1. Are thinking, “This scares the sh*t outta me but I think I’ve got it in me and I gotta find out!”
  2. Know that completely immersing yourself in a new, adventurous, wildly out-of-the box experience is exactly the thunder jolt you need to rip that Velcro sticker of “Stuck” off your forehead.
  3. Not only need a damn break from Daily Grinds-Ville but you also don’t want to flounder around in Burn-Out Town.
  4. Have always wanted to really get into the mountains and commune with nature at your deepest Soul Self but never knew how to make it happen and wished someone else would deal with all the logistics.
  5. Can roll with imperfection, misadventure, getting’ dirty, and falling in love with life’s messiness, in a really fo’ real kinda way.
  6. Have been there and done that with the yoga and meditation retreat thing and are ready for a different kind of experience with your Spirituality.
  7. Can see yourself standing on top of the peak you’ve just climbed and announcing triumphantly, “I do epic sh*t!”
  8. Are willing to lean into your discomfort, fear, and uncertainty as they guide you towards wholeness and empowerment.
  9. Understand that coming on a retreat like this means you need to start busting ass to kick some ass on the trip by committing to a physical fitness and health program. (Right now please.)
  10. Are willing to support, live and journey with eight other fun and adventurous souls, who by the end of the week, you’ll be able to recognize by their stink, their laugh, their stories and their soaring spirits.

“Three years have gone by since I began working with Maira. I feel like I am stepping into my higher self and becoming the woman I am meant to be. I know what I value in life today. I am honoring myself by using my gifts. I am especially thankful to have had so many opportunities to learn from Maira.” –Amelia M.

Key things to know about this retreat:

  1. Expect rustic accommodations. That is, we will be sleeping on the ground, under tarps, preparing meals together and not showering till the end of the retreat.
  2. There is a strong group focus with expectations of teamwork, positive support and personal responsibility.
  3. Requires you to participate in a moderate physical fitness program to help prepare you for the trip.
  4. Once the trip begins, the decision to end your experience or leave early will be difficult due to time and distance constraints of the retreat barring an emergency.
  5.  This is not designed as a wilderness therapy experience and is not designed to deal with behavioral, motivational or rehabilitation issues..

“So I ask you, my friend, are you willing to go there? Are you willing to sit in fire and sacrifice the comfort of your known world for the potential of something amazing, new and unknown? Don’t you want to find out what’s on the other side of your fear?”

–Jackson Kiddard

The Playful Warrior Retreat Includes:

  • 6 nights of back-country living with the best views of the California Sierra Range
  • All meals and snacks provided
  • All necessary camping, climbing and group gear, ie. Backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad etc. (does not include personal outdoor wear like boots, thermals, jackets etc.)

Guided wilderness activities such as:

  • Hiking
  • Rock-climbing
  • Peak ascents
  • Rappelling
  • Leave No Trace education
  • Optional activities include: Map reading 101, gourmet cooking in the back-country and trip-planning

“I have gone to different life coaches/therapists throughout my life, and I have had quicker and more productive results working with you in less than a year, than I have had working with others for 8 years.” –Dana S.

Personal growth activities such as:

  • Expressive arts and creativity prompts
  • Mindful movement practices
  • Soul retrieval
  • Meditation time
  • Nightly Sacred Circle
  • A 1-day solo experience
  • Journaling exercises
  • Time for self-reflection
  • Photo opportunities

“No stranger to reflection and personal development, her blend of science and spirit is one of the most invigorating and effective techniques I have seen in my personal and professional life and within two weeks I was experiencing incredible development.” — Allison M.

Other important details:

  • Retreat is limited to 9 participants.
  • Retreat Dates: July 22-29, 2012
  • Retreat Location: Sequoia/ Kings Canyon National Park, CA (Closest airport, Fresno)
  • Cost: $2497

Ready to go? Ok, SUPER! Here’s what happens next:

Step 1:  Once you hit the “Apply” button, you will be directed to an application ready for you to complete.

Step 2: After you submit the application, Maira will review your application and email you to set up a 30 minute chat.  This will give you an opportunity to ask any questions or address any concerns you might have.

Step 3:  Once you are given the high five to come on the Retreat, you will be sent 3 payment options to choose from.  Once you choose an option, we will plan on seeing you this summer! (Happy dance, gleeglee face and yahooooo sounds!)

About your Facilitators:

Maira Holzmann

Maira spent 10 years teaching mountaineering courses, outdoor leadership and education with The Outward Bound School in Colorado, South Africa and California.  She led everything from 8-22 day courses with folks aged 16-61 and has witnessed participants walk away from their mountain experience deeply empowered and with a new sense of themselves that far surpassed their self-imposed limits.  Maira combines her training as a therapist with her own alchemy of coaching, intuition, spirituality, mindful presence and love of adventure to help transform her clients’ lives for the better.  Maira has strong Earth energy and delights in living an embodied, playful and balanced life.

Heather Davies, LCSW

Heather is a queer artist, veteran, psychotherapist and trainer who runs a private clinical social work practice, Phoenix Thriving PLLC, in Austin, TX.  With 10 years of experience working in the field of interpersonal violence and several years as an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work co-teaching a peer theatre course, Heather is passionate about the intersections of the arts and individual and community healing.  Her work blends embodiment, creativity, and earth- based tools and wisdom in weaving together the warrior, playful, and sensitive selves to cultivate a more integrated sense of wholeness and thriving.  She is also currently engaged in a course of study towards her certification as a Dance Movement Therapist.  Heather is a creature of the forest and delights in continuing to discover all that the forest has to offer.

What folks are saying…

“I would strongly recommend working with Maira. She has helped me to see more clearly who I am and the endless possibilities that are there for me. I think that her experience and intuition can help many people out there who are in need of guidance.” –Will K.

“Maira is the embodiment of empowerment.” –Tamara Pryor, Clinical Director, Eating Disorder Center of Denver

Maira brings a lightness and playfulness to her life and professional work that supports balance to the often serious nature of transformational healing. This Playfulness is not to be underrated in its healing effect. To live and love from our higher selves is what Maira represents and transmits and I can think of nothing more important in this world at this time in history.” — Dan Wheeler, Counselor and Reiki Energy Healer


Why is there an application process?

We ask you to apply to come on the retreat because of the physical, emotional, social and safety demands of this retreat.  By it’s very nature, a wilderness adventure involves higher levels of risk and uncertainty than you would see at let’s say, a yoga retreat.  The application process ultimately benefits you having an amazing experience because of the in-depth nature of the questions asked, as well as you having a personal interaction with Maira.  The application and interview process is to ensure that it feels like a great fit all around.

Why is it called the Playful Warrior Wilderness Retreat?

This retreat has been in the making  for months now and grew out of many conversations between Maira and Heather.  Maira realized how crazy with over-responsibility and over-scheduling that her life had become and how far away from her own playful self she really was.  With Heather as doula for Maira’s return home to herself, they decided to co-create  the exact kind of experience they would both want to attend.  Maira brings a strong warrior energy and Heather brings a strong sensitivity and playfulness that when combined, will make for a supremely unforgettable experience.  Our hope is that you’ll want to come with us on this maiden voyage and wonderful soul journey!

Why would I want to leave the comforts of my home to do personal growth work when I can just read stuff on-line or go sit by the beach for awhile?

Great question.

Here’s what research shows about some of the benefits of participating in wilderness experiences:

·      Improved self-confidence and self-esteem

·      Increased sense of tranquility and serenity

·      Decreased mental fatigue, restored mental clarity, and increased sense of well-being

·      More trust and less need for control

·      “An existential kind of relaxation and Taoist-like harmony with the events of one’s life.”

·      Increased opportunity for group bonding, intimacy, sense of belonging and social support.

·      Improved sense of well-being

·      ”The mountains offer the antithesis of alienation; they offer the potential for flow.”

·      Increased physical fitness

Reference: “Psychological Benefits Of Nature Experiences:  Research And Theory With Special Reference to Transpersonal Psychology and Spirituality”, Dr. John Davis.

“By realizing our part in nature, we also come to feel more enchanted, alive, whole, and meaningful. Wilderness fosters the sense that we are each unique and individual and, at the same time, part of the larger whole.”  Dr. John Davis

Won’t you please come join us on this most excellent, soul adventure?  We can’t wait to hear from you and see you this summer.

Your Playful Warriors,

Maira and Heather