Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is a Yosemite-based non-profit that has been inspiring health and well-being through programs and classes since 1999.

  • California , United States
Limited availability
5 people currently interested
from US$645
Price for:

4 days / 3 nights

Limited availability
2 people currently interested
from US$995
Price for:

6 days / 5 nights

Paula Wild

Paula joined the Yosemite area community in 2011 seeking the soul solace only a wild landscape could offer. She is honored to serve as business director, instructor, and guide for Balanced Rock, and aspires to share an attitude of empowerment and joy with colleagues and course participants. Paula is a masterful yoga instructor who most deeply enjoys practicing and teaching in nature’s outdoor studio. Her yoga classes combine movement and breath work to increase physical awareness, strength, and mental clarity.

Heather Sullivan

Heather is both a yoga instructor and an accomplished backcountry guide with Yosemite destinations, as well as trips in the Himalayas, under her belt. Among other outdoor education jobs, she has been a NatureBridge (formerly Yosemite Institute) field instructor, a volunteer mountaineerig ranger in Denali National Park in Alaska, and instructor at Naturalists at Large. Her yoga classes blend Ashtanga flow, Iyengar alignment, and a strong connection to the rhythms and patterns of the natural world.

Jon-Paul Salonen

Jon-Paul has been a resident of Catheys Valley since childhood. In adolescence, he realized that healing and spirituality were his calling. Jon-Paul graduated from the California College of Ayurveda (CCA), in 2002, and established Blue Oak Ayurveda shortly thereafter. He is also a certified massage therapist, trained in myofascial release, trigger points and Ayurvedic Abyanga, Shirodhara, and Swedana relaxation and cleansing treatments. His yoga instruction is a creative blend of Vinyasa flow practice infused with his deep knowledge of health and wellness practice.

Breezy Jackson

Deeply familiar with Sierra Nevada ecology, Breezy just completed her doctorate in Ecosystem Ecology. Breezy began practicing yoga in 2003 to enhance her balance, core strength, and mental acuity as a collegiate rower. Later she studied Iyengar Yoga for five years with Jeri Stewart at the Moscow Yoga Center in Idaho. During this time, she also received a Masters of Science in Leadership in Physical Education and Recreation, worked as a graduate assistant in the Wellness Program at the University of Idaho, and designed and tested an evaluation and assessment tool for group fitness instructors.

Testimonials

  • Review by Arlene Trevathan from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Just had the most amazing yoga session last Saturday with this amazing group of Yosemite yoga teachers! Their beautiful energies are so powerful and infectious. So grateful to have found such an authentic group close to home. I can't wait for more yoga togetherness very soon. Namaste."

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Maddie Patton from USA
    10 out of 10

    "I had the honor and pleasure of participating in the wild awareness yoga backpacking journey last weekend. This adventure included off trail travel to a beautiful backcountry setting at Nelson Lake. Our guide, Paula Wild, set the tone for an immersive weekend - complete with fresh, healthy meals, two restorative yoga sessions a day, and lots of room for personal growth against a spectacular Yosemite backdrop!"

    "A personal highlight for me was a solo journey up to the top of a pass, where I got 360 views from below to the lake we set up camp to the towering granite peaks that surrounded us. Whether it's your first time hitting the trail or a seasoned backpacker, this course has something to offer everyone!"

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Ashley Schmid from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Reflecting back on my WildYoga teacher training this past year, I am feeling eager to share yoga with folks in the wilderness and to continue learning on this great journey! I owe this inspiration to Balanced Rock and it's incredible teachers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Alicia W from Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, USA
    10 out of 10

    "Just got back from the Nature and Nurture four-day back country backpacking trip. Amazing! Let me set up me and my background coming into this trip: 30 year old female, single traveler, East Coast (yes it's totally doable!), been to the Yosemite Valley once and fell in love, no backpacking experience but a lover of the outdoors and yoga, an occasional jogger. This trip was three guides and I believe 12 people (one other single traveler) but it was like a family right away. Before the trip, I would send random questions via email to Balanced Rock and they always got back to me quickly and with wonderful personality and personal experiences. They prepare you with your gear list, then you meet at the trail head to cover what you've packed (I always over pack) and brief you on what's to come. We lucked out with beautiful weather. But everything else was planned to perfection by the BR team. Planned meals and snacks (I was never hungry even across miles of awesome hiking) which were almost too good to be true. And they keep you safe and want to know if you are ever having a difficult time with anything so it can be figured out. Yoga in the morning and the evening was not only beautiful, but I realized after our long hiking days, I was never ever sore, every backpacker should add yoga. Ultimately, I learned how physically and mentally tough I am, and how welcoming new people can be, and that I can totally hack it with backpacking and camping. I will be looking at BR 2016 schedule to do this again. You get to see a Yosemite that is a bit more hidden to the mainstream and with people who are all in it for the same reasons you are. Thank you to Dr. Breezy, Anna, and JP for being awesomesauce guides, and to Balanced Rock for offering the most one of a kind experience offered up to anyone."

    Yelp website, edited

  • Review by Julia Shafer from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I participated in the summer solstice 2015 Balanced Rock backpacking and yoga trip to Ten Lakes in Yosemite National Park. I loved the multi-generational and inspirational experience. The guides, Paula, Jean-Paul, and Anna, helped build a cohesive team, and we had an amazing experience. The pristine vistas, lakes, the yoga, hiking, and mediation experiences and our guides excellence in leadership fostered back country community building and an experience of a life time for my daughter and I. I highly recommend Balanced Rock journeys to anyone seeking a soul satisfying trip that creates space for celebration of the beauty in nature, within ourselves and our connections with one another. And the food was healthy, satisfying, and excellent. Thank you, Balanced Rock."

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Andre Carlomagno from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Balanced Rock is a wonderful community ran yoga group that does everything possible to accommodate the needs of their students. They go above and beyond to make sure students have a positive and loving experience. I took the teacher 200-hour training with them and I am truly impressed with how invested they are in the success of their students. I did an immersion program that included camping and backpacking, and I just don't know how they did it so well! They taught pranayama, asana, yoga history, and more while making sure everybody's basic needs were met in the front country and back country. Yosemite is the best yoga studio and we are lucky we are able to enjoy it. If you want an authentic and spiritual journey, signup for a Balanced Rock program!"

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Lisa Hamilton from USA
    10 out of 10

    "I participated in the women of color hike to Yosemite in 2013 and it was both phenomenal and life-affirming. It is the only program of its kind, I believe. And even if it's not, I felt like I was doing something important and life changing just by taking part. The leaders, Chelsea Griffie and Elizabeth Sy, were amazing and knowledgeable. Chelsea is the real deal; she's been profiled by Sports Illustrated and was the first African-American woman to climb El Capitan. Elizabeth is great too, she was the head chef and frankly, the care that she took with addressing everyone's dietary needs (paleo, pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan) was nothing short of amazing. Her Paleo granola is out of this world! At the time that I went, I'd just moved out west from New York City, so this was a great welcome to the beauty of the West and the natural world. Our group consisted of women of all ages, sizes, and aptitudes. You didn't have to be experienced (as I wasn't), you just needed to want to go. And Balanced Rock provided a generous scholarship so that I could go-otherwise, being a single parent, I probably wouldn't have been able to take part. So kudos to Balanced Rock! Anyway, we trekked over several days with very heavy backpacks. The sense of comraderie that I gained with these ladies was so special. The nights sharing by the fireside were amazing. And sleeping under the stars brought everything into perspective. The leaders had us write ourselves a letter that they mailed to us one year later. It's so great to read what I thought at the time, and how clear my thinking was after several days in the wild. In short, I can't recommend this trip enough. It will change your life. Just do it!"

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Erica Espitia from USA
    10 out of 10

    "I had the privilege of meeting the wonderful staff of Balanced Rock at the 2014 Ayurveda retreat in TMeadows. It was my first visit to TMeadows and the sights on our hike were amazing. Jon Paul and Ruth were knowledgeable and aided the group with all our inquiries. The mornings were cold but meditation and reflection was worth it. Being a yoga instructor, I used every bit of specific Diana yoga we learned from Jon. Paula and Heather made me feel safe in my surroundings. The group of people was so honest and humble I couldn't help but know I was where I was meant to be that very weekend. We had all organic meals and learned recipes to balance our doshas. I'd love to attend another retreat in the near future!"

    Balanced Rock Facebook page, edited