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Conscious Connections

Reconnect with yourself, others,

nature and Spirit.

Join us August 9th - 11th, 2024

at the beautiful waterfront North River Inn in Bridgewater, Virginia

This 2-night weekend getaway, nestled along the North River in the Shenandoah Valley, is exactly the space and time you've been needing to reconnect with your true self, to one another, and to your own divine source, however YOU define it! 

Under the expert guidance of seasoned retreat facilitators Elizabeth Shoop and Natalie Kerr, enjoy an easy-going program of meditations, gentle mindful movement, transformative breathwork practices, collective mindful relating, reflective journaling, and sacred readings from many varied sources - all designed to bring you back to what's most important to YOU!



A Transformational Weekend Experience for
Lasting Connection to Natural Wellbeing

At CYANWOOD we specialize in Natural Lifestyle Design by implementing practices that nourish the whole person and root us in our natural environments.  The Conscious Connections Retreat is an opportunity for interpersonal and introspective transformation through mindfulness of interaction, movement, breath, nourishment and Spirit.

But this retreat isn't just about experiencing profound connection over a weekend getaway, when responsibilities are suspended.

Liz and Natalie have expertly crafted a retreat experience that transcends the weekend, and provides powerful long-term nourishment to the whole person, through everyday practices that are grounded in nature, highly adaptable and accessible to everyone.


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What participants say about this retreat

"My soul is filled with life! I’m motivated to live life with more intention,
filtering out what no longer matters and increasing deeper relationships."


"I enjoyed the balance of self-reflection time and group reflection time."


​"I came with some deep questions about my life and my calling, and left with the answers."


"This retreat helped me discover that it's OK to release the worry and the shield I wear,
which allows a deeper connection with myself and others."


"The greatest part was the people - hearing their stories and sharing mine -
​listening and being heard."


"This retreat had all the components so one can feel nourished."


Enjoy Natural Spaces

The North River Inn in Bridgewater, Virginia is a serene space that ensures our connection to nature during the retreat.  Nestled in a cozy bend of the river, the property offers plenty of wild and quiet space to wander, swim, kayak, nap, and commune with nature.  The bonfire on the river bank is a highlight of the weekend!

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Connect to Natural Wellness


From gentle Yoga and Mindful Movement sessions, to fresh and balanced meals made with all organic and locally sourced ingredients, you will have the opportunity to explore practices and food choices that are practical, accessible and sustainable, and that you can piece together to meet your own values and needs back at home.


Explore Your Own Nature

We will skip the small talk and dive deep into what's at the heart of meaningful connection, through readings and lessons learned of philosophers, mindfulness practitioners, and theologians, from varied cultural and religious/non-religious perspectives, as well as from each other.  These interactions and thought exercises, coupled with movement and breathwork, are designed to help you access your own beliefs and inherent wisdom, and remember that some connections are never really broken.

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Retreat Dates & Rates

The Conscious Connections Retreat begins at
5pm, Friday, August 9th

and concludes at
11am, Sunday, August 11th


Daytime Weekend Retreat WITH Overnight Accommodations - $625-$650/person*

OPTION 1 : $625 TOTAL ($300 Private Bedroom, Shared Bathroom (2 nights) + $325 Retreat Fee) TWO SPACES REMAINING

THIS OPTION IS SOLD OUT OPTION 2: $650 TOTAL ($325 Private Bedroom and Private Bathroom (2 nights) + $325 Retreat Fee) 

OPTION 3: Daytime Weekend Retreat ONLY Fee - $325/person

This is the base price to attend the retreat, and includes ALL activities and meals, but does not include overnight accommodations.  We recommend this option for participants who live nearby, or have other private accommodations in mind. 

*Couples/Small groups who would like to share rooms with queen beds/multiple beds may co-register.  The cost of the retreat would be $325/per person, but the cost of the accommodation could be split between both parties.  Please note that the accommodations portion in this case is non-refundable.

**At CYANWOOD we never turn anyone away for lack of funds.  Please reach out if you have any questions about financing this retreat.

How do I register?


To begin the registration process for The Conscious Connections Retreat 2024, please complete THIS SHORT FORM with your name and contact information, a bit about your Retreat preferences, and a bit about YOU!


We will review your submission and schedule a brief call or Zoom meetup to help answer questions and ensure our Retreat experience is the best fit for your needs and wellness goals.


Following the discovery call, you will receive a private link to review the Assumption of Risks and Terms of Participation Agreements, along with an invoice to officially reserve your spot in the Retreat.


Upon receipt of payment and signed agreements, you should receive an email with your accommodation selection and confirmed reservation, as well as additional Retreat details.

Need Assistance?  Reach out to

How do I register

Your Retreat Guides

LizandNat leading retreat_edited_edited.

"We are honored and excited to be hosting our annual retreat with CYANWOOD this year, and to be bringing our experience, personal interests, and authentic spiritual selves to another weekend of sacred connection.  We believe this experience is  deeply profound for our participants, promoting positive growth and change exactly where it's needed.  If you are looking for meaningful, lasting connections - to yourself and others - we invite you to join us in August!"

- Liz and Natalie


Elizabeth is passionate about sharing mindfulness and contemplative practices with others. As a certified embodiment coach, she uses movement and somatic awareness practices to bring more vitality and sensory awareness to the retreat experience. Spiritually, Elizabeth is influenced by Fr. Richard Rohr, Michael Singer and the teachings of Edgar Cayce. She finds that the expansion of her Christian background brings her closer to God than ever before.


Natalie is a social psychologist and professor at JMU. She studies loneliness and social connection, and has designed several programs to boost social connectedness among students and members of the local community. This retreat provides an opportunity for her to merge her professional expertise and her personal interest in spirituality. She believes that each of us is on the spiritual path back to our true selves and to our Source. As Ram Dass said, “we’re all walking each other home.”

Guest Yoga Teacher & Bioregional Meal Coordinator

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Jen is an herbalist and Yoga Instructor, as well as co-founder of CYANWOOD Natural Lifestyles Center and The Blackberry Herbarium in Harrisonburg.  Jen's work is centered around services that promote whole-person, self-empowered wellness, and lifestyle practices that are both personally and environmentally sustainable.  Through her Therapeutic Yoga Training, she brings balanced physical and breathwork practices to everyday bodies and lives.  And in her herbal practice she uses only organic, bioregional and sustainably sourced herbs and ingredients, helping clients reconnect to their local environments and plant medicine.

Sample Retreat Schedule & Menu

Opening Reception on Friday evening, with heavy hors d'oeurves - options for grilled or raw local veggies, watermelon mint salad, something savory, sourdough bread with local herbs and sunflower oil, and something sweet

Opening Ceremonies, Orientation and Circle Gathering

Saturday morning breakfast - Build-it-Yourself Organic, Grassfed Yogurt Bowls, with organic fruit, no-spray local raw honey, nuts, seeds, or organic homemade granola; homemade sourdough bread and jam; with coffee, juice and Chora (a specialty herbal drink by The Blackberry Herbarium)

Morning gentle Yoga, Circle gathering and Breathwork session

Saturday Lunch - Protein bowl with mixed lettuces and spinach, organic grains, mixed veggies, herbs and spices, hardboiled eggs, chickpeas, hemp hearts, nuts & seeds, optional sauce, and pickled/fermented garnish

A little free-time, followed by afternoon Circle Gathering

Saturday Dinner -  Lentil & Walnut Tacos, with tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, sour cream, jalapeno sauce & Pico de gallo. Served with tortillas

Evening Mindful Movement and Fireside Circle

Saturday morning breakfast

Morning Gentle Yoga, Circle Gathering and Closing Ceremonies



This retreat is not centered around any particular religion, but we draw from many spiritual traditions to create an inclusive, sacred and soulful experience.



We've welcomed attendees from many walks of life, including healthcare workers, full-time parents, educators, corporate executives, digital nomads, and retired individuals.  We have been enriched by the cultural influences of friends from all over the globe.  

We've carefully designed this website to accurately represent our weekend.  So, if you're feeling resonant with what you read here, you are most welcome, and will fit in just fine!


We embrace awkwardness and celebrate weirdness!  It is normal to feel uneasy in new situations, and we make that less scary by welcoming all expressions of uniqueness.  Whether you snort when you laugh, mix up your words, or spontaneously dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, you will most certainly fit in and be celebrated!  (These are actual events from prior retreats, and still bring a smile.)



This retreat is fully customizable to your needs and limitations.  We encourage you to attend the circle gatherings, as these are the most profound and transformative parts of the weekend. All other activities are optional, and there will be multiple options to choose from, including napping, staring at the river, and reading in a hammock.



These meetings are the cornerstones of the retreat experience.  We begin with a mindfulness practice and a reading or song for inspiration and reflection.

We craft questions and prompts designed to bypass the small talk, and normalize authentic connections.  (Remember, we celebrate weirdness!) 

Time and time again, our retreat feedback includes rave reviews about the deep and profound connections formed in these circles.  Many new friendships have been forged, nurtured, and continue long after the retreat.


At CYANWOOD, we never turn ANYONE away for lack of funds.  We believe there's always a way to provide access to our offerings and we want to share this work if it's important to YOU!  Because we're a very small business, our process begins simply, with our commitment to equity and inclusion OF AND FOR EVERYONE, and with a non-invasive conversation to get to know each other's needs and values.  Together we can create a path forward so all can enjoy access to this work.  

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?  Reach out anytime to Jen:

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