The July Wellness Weekend was a beautiful success!  The weather was perfect, the people were wonderful and Ryder Farm, which always has the ability to relax and rejuvenate, was at its best.  My deepest gratitude to everyone who was involved, both participants, teachers and facilitators - each individual brought a spark that added to the magic of the weekend.  Thank you all!
The retreat started with a yoga class on the stage led by the beautiful Zelina Blagden.  Doing sun salutations to a big open sky brings a whole new delight to yoga and a deep feeling of appreciation for the things that we have in our lives.  My own experience of practicing yoga outside at the farm was like experiencing my physicality in a new way - I felt energetically connecting to my body and my surroundings in a way that I don’t feel in a studio.  Zelina is also a truly fantastic teacher!
Saturday morning began with an hour’s meditation followed by a continental breakfast.  All the meals were prepared with produce harvested from the farm that day and were expertly prepared by Brianna Langan with the help of the SPACE team.  Each meal was hearty, healthy and clearly made with care and love.
The afternoon was led by Kathi Sanders, a nurse practitioner and FNP at the Integrative Medicine Center located in Sanford Hospital, CT.  Kathi led the group through a series of exercises focusing on mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, including free writing and walking meditation.  Kathi is a wealth of knowledge and experience - we all felt very lucky to have her!
As the sun started to set, we laid out blankets in the lawn and were taken away by the music and magic of Grace McLean.  Grace is a singer and songwriter based in New York City who has created a show that includes journal entries, original songs and treats for the audience that draw you into the spirit of collective experience.  She is an amazing talented woman and watching her concert was the perfect ending to a beautiful day.
And how could I possibly fail to mention the strength and generosity of Jen Kosky, our resident massage therapist.  Jen set up her table in a shady alcove of trees and treated each participant to one of the best massages they’ve ever had.  There couldn’t have been a more peaceful setting to have a massage in, nor a more tuned in and skilled masseuse.  
  –Susan Goodwillie - Associate Director, SPACE on Ryder Farm