Leading a mindful life | SierraSun.com

Leading a mindful life

Wellness Weekend at Granlibakken Tahoe brings two full days of yoga, meditation, wellness seminars led by experts and camaraderie among mindful people.
Courtesy of Jamie Kingham |

Granlibakken Tahoe is about to transform into a retreat dedicated to education and practice of health and wellness.

Wellness Weekend, which takes place from Saturday, Nov. 11, to Sunday, Nov. 12, was previously presented to women only. But this year, the event will also welcome men and has expanded its schedule to accommodate seminars and movement sessions to benefit both sexes.

“In the past, we got feedback from women saying they wished their significant other, and other men in their lives, could be there. We heard feedback from men saying they would like to attend and, so as far as the schedule goes, in years past the weekend has been more seminar and class focused. And this year, we’ve added a whole movement track so people can go to a class then do yoga or meditation or Ki Gong,” said Annora McGarry, marketing manager at Granlibakken Tahoe.

Wellness Weekend begins with sunrise yoga and meditation, followed by a breakfast buffet, and then dives right into speaking and movement events.

Kim Bateman, executive dean of the Tahoe-Truckee Campus of Sierra College and a renowned speaker, will host discussions on psychology to life with her natural presentation flow.

Bateman will kick off Wellness Weekend with a presentation entitled “Tickling Your Funny Bone,” which helps the audience understand the psychological role of humor as a coping mechanism.

“The discussion is on using humor as a mechanism to release tension in stressful situations. For example, when discussing body image it takes the uncomfortable and makes it comfortable,” she explained.

This will be Bateman’s third time participating in the Wellness Weekend. She says she supports the entire purpose of the event in helping people connect with a healthy lifestyle.

“It’s a very holistic event that brings in psychology, nutrition and exercise. In the past it’s been a nice time for women to connect with each other and there’s always been the feeling of a sisterhood; that we’re in this together. There were discussions focused on women, things like breast cancer screenings and meditation; and this year men are also invited, so it will be nice to see how they’ve adjusted the program,” Bateman said.

The keynote speaker will be Roger Gabriel, master educator at The Chopra Center. Gabriel is headlining his “Release the Karmic Spirit” seminar.

“Roger Gabriel has been working with Deepak Chopra since, I think, the late 70s or early 80s and helped him establish centers for learning and practice. He seemed like a great fit for this weekend; it’s pretty cool he’s associated with such a big name as Deepak Chopra, but on his own he has done a lot to educate people and has led his own meditation and Ayurveda teachings, so he will add some very unique insight. Tahoe is a small place, but it’s cool we can get a big name like his for the weekend,” McGarry said.

Gabriel trained as a meditation teacher under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1970s and has since hosted workshops in meditation, Ayurveda and yoga, worldwide.

His insight in self-transformation offers a valuable look into Karma and its effects on relationships, goals and achievements.

Gabriel’s seminar will also offer training tools for meditation and mindfulness.

Seminars and events can be reserved separately or as a daily or weekend package, and guests to this year’s event have an array of meditation and movement workshops to explore.

Additional seminars include, “GMO Foods: How About them Apples” by Stephanie Riley, ND, “Pain & Neurophysiology: How Perception Influences the Experience of Pain” by Whitney Rogers, PT, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think” by Karin Sable, LMFT, and “Mood Food: Nutrition to Keep you Balanced” by Jennifer Newkirk, RD.

“The coolest thing about the weekend is it offers a variety of movement classes as well as the educational portion. It’s a unique schedule, and is definitely approachable for all abilities and all education or knowledge levels,” McGarry said.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

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