On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton


We had such a good time at our first ever R&R 1/2 Day Retreat here on The Yoga Room grounds. The morning Yin yoga class set a peaceful, relaxing tone for our day. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a lovely plant-based lunch al fresco (prepared by yours truly, with help from my awesome husband!). Then there was time for hanging out by the pool, reading and chatting with friends before getting into the warm 85 degree water for a fun Aqua Yoga session. I think everyone would probably agree that the floating Savasana at the end was the best part. So relaxing! 


Want to join us next time? Sign up soon for our July 22 R&R Retreat HERE. There are only a handful of spots left–don’t miss out!


(Click on each picture for a slightly larger view.)



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SATURDAY, JULY 22, 10:30AM-2:30PM
My first R&R 1/2 Day Retreat of the summer is sold out and students have been asking if I’m going to host another ‘spa day.’ The answer is yes! As a complement to our active ‘Yoga for Your Summer Activities’ session, we are going to immerse ourselves in rest and relaxation during this 1/2 Day Retreat:
*Light-hearted Aqua yoga class with floating Savasana*
*Free time to relax by the pool*
*Light lunch on the patio*
*Meditative Yin yoga practice*
This retreat only has 7 spots available, so click HERE for more details and sign up soon to reserve your spot!


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Finding Time for Rest & Stillness:

A Half-Day Retreat

Saturday, June 24, 2017

10:30am – 2:30pm



It’s not ‘how do we make time for rest and stillness’ but ‘why are we not committed to that, and what stands in the way of that?’ As a complement to our active ‘Yoga for Your Summer Activities’ session, we are going to immerse ourselves in rest and stillness during this 1/2 day day retreat.


Relax, de-stress and enjoy an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You will create space to show yourself compassion and lovingkindess so that you may leave here feeling a greater sense of well-being and be more in touch with what really feeds your soul.


Our retreat will begin with a light-hearted Aqua Yoga session and relaxing floating Savasana (bring your own floaty) in the heated pool. Afterwards, enjoy time for poolside relaxation and a light lunch on the patio. Our retreat will close with a meditative Yin yoga practice.



This past October 14-16 we celebrated our 6th year of traveling to the Inn at the Rustic Gate for our Fall Yoga Retreat. The Inn, in the countryside outside of Big Rapids, is a lovely B&B setting for our annual retreat. We were spoiled once again by the innkeepers, who treated us to delicious and healthy vegan meals throughout our stay, as well by the warm weather that afforded us the opportunity for walks through the woods to marvel at the fall colors and our traditional Saturday evening bonfire (with the added bonus of listening to some sandhill cranes flying into the nearby wetlands to roost for the night!). And of course, there was yoga: Yin, Energy Flow, a combo Thai Yoga-Meditation Workshop, and Ashtanga! The group was a mix of my students from The Yoga Room and others who found out about the retreat online, but we were all fast friends by the end of the weekend. :)


Take a look at the pictures below (you can click on them for a larger view), and mark your calendars for next year’s retreat: October 13-15, 2017. I hope you can join us!





Last month I held my annual Fall Yoga Retreat at Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids, MI. We had absolutely perfect weather for it this year: sunny and highs in the 70s! Because I know how busy all the attendees are with their work and family obligations, I made a point to let everyone know this weekend was “for them to do whatever THEY wanted to do.” That ended up including things like taking a daily yoga class, going on a silent meditation walk to the Inn’s labyrinth, going for a run on the trails at nearby Hungerford Lake Recreation Area, enjoying a bonfire under the stars, and partaking in lots of delicious meals! Here are what a few attendees had to say about the weekend:


“I really needed to get away from ‘real life’ for a while and this was a perfect opportunity. Perfect blend of yoga and free time for myself. Thank you!”


“Thanks for another amazing yoga retreat! Even after going for years, I’m always impressed how much I learn about myself and the sense of peace I bring back into my real life after a retreat!”


“That was just the peace & quiet I needed!”


Mark your calendars: next year’s retreat is scheduled for October 14-16, 2016!


Here are some pictures from the retreat. (Click on each photo to enlarge slightly.)







This past August I hosted an intimate yoga retreat for those in helping & healing professions in Glen Arbor, MI. Participants included school teachers, massage therapists and medical professionals. All were treated to the opportunity to unwind by enjoying outdoor yoga classes overlooking Lake Michigan, farm-to-table ‘al fresco’ meals (that they didn’t have to cook!), and free time for wandering the beach, biking and enjoying other fun adventures the Lelanau Peninsula has to offer. A few highlights from participants:


“I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Perfect blend of yoga and free time. Lovely setting too.”


“The ability to practice and meditate on the deck overlooking Lake Michigan provided a unique experience rich with tranquil memories that I will treasure for a lifetime.”


“The free time afforded me the opportunity to ride my bike to the sand dunes and check out the lovely town of Glen Arbor. I was able to have the quiet time that I needed for reflection and enjoyed nourishing vegetarian meals that were delicious.”


“I would recommend this retreat to anyone who is looking to get away, unplug, & invest in themselves, the beautiful locale was just icing on the cake:)”


Click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.



At the beginning of March I had the good fortune to be able to get out of cold Michigan and attend a yoga retreat in Vieques, Puerto Rico–as a student instead of a teacher! The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful. Highlights included staying in a gorgeous house right on the north shore of the island with an ocean-view room, eating delicious food (in particular, lots of fresh, tropical fruit), doing yoga on the beach, and flying over the blue-green waters of the Caribbean in a 6-seat puddle jumper. 


Yoga retreats like this are not cheap. You can plan to pay $1300 and up for the week, plus airfare. But for those who want to combine their love of yoga with an opportunity to experience another part of the world, they are well worth it! If you have an interest in attending a retreat like this please let me know. If enough people are interested I will look into planning one. (For those of you who were not aware, I led a retreat to Costa Rica in 2007; you can see some pictures HERE. And for those of you who might prefer to stick a little closer to home and not put such a big dent in your finances, don’t forget that our annual Fall Weekend Yoga Retreat is already scheduled for September 25-27, 2015. More details on this retreat can be found HERE.


Click on the pictures below for a slightly larger view…





The Yoga Room’s annual Fall Yoga Retreat was another success this year with beautiful weather, delicious food, great yoga and wonderful hospitality from the innkeepers at Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids, MI. Highlights this year included Yin, Energy Flow, and Ashtanga Yoga classes, plus a Partner Yoga class outdoors! We also enjoyed a bonfire under the stars, hiking and biking in the Hungerford Recreation Area, relaxing massages and gourmet, locally-sourced vegetarian meals. Take a look at the pictures (click on them for the full view), and mark your calendars to join us for next year’s Fall Retreat, September 25-27, 2015!







I recently had the pleasure of hosting a weekend Yoga & Meditation Retreat on the shores of Lake Michigan for some fellow yoga teachers, long-time students and some of their family members. Our yoga practices consisted of flowing morning Vinyasa on the deck to wake and warm us up, and mellow late-afternoon Yin yoga and meditation sessions taking in the gorgeous views of the lake. Following our practices, yogis enjoyed all their meals al fresco (brunches of veggie frittatas and blueberry pancakes, and dinners of Thai curry, grilled veggies over polenta, corn on the cob, salad and grilled peaches with greek yogurt and pistachios for dessert). How awesome that most of the ingredients for these meals came from the Ann Arbor and Traverse City Farmer’s Markets, as well as some roadside stands in both locations! Once it was dark enough each evening we headed down to the beach for a bonfire under the shooting stars, constellations and the Milky Way (with the requisite s’mores, of course).


During free time people enjoyed activities like biking Sleeping Bear Trail, hiking the sand dunes, flying kites on the beach, and walking around downtown Glen Arbor–with an ice cream cone in hand.  ;)


It was a wonderful weekend to slow down, spend some time doing yoga and meditating, appreciating good fun, good company and, most of all, the natural beauty of our Great Lakes State. If you are in need of some time to slow down and would be interested in attending a retreat, our annual Fall Retreat in Big Rapids, MI is coming up soon September 26-28!


Click on the pictures below for a slightly bigger version.




On September 27-29, 16 yogis and yoginis shared a weekend of beautiful weather, delicious food, great yoga and wonderful hospitality at The Yoga Room’s Annual Fall Yoga Retreat at Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids, MI. Highlights included Yin, Energy Flow, Partner & Ashtanga Yoga classes, lots of wildlife sightings (from snakes and wild turkeys to the infamous bobcats found in that part of the state!), a bonfire under the stars, hiking and biking in the Hungerford Recreation Area, relaxing massages and gourmet, locally-sourced vegetarian meals.  Here are some comments from just a few of the participants:


“Kim and I would like to thank you for putting this weekend together.  It was truly enjoyable!  We really appreciated the GF food accommodations by the cook.  Excellent food!  It was also nice to meet everyone and share the yoga experience.  The partner yoga was great!  We look forward to more retreats.”

-Brady C.


“Thank you for the relaxing retreat. I’m already dreaming of next year’s! You might as well sign me up now.”

-Layla A.


“Thanks so much for organizing this!  I loved the yoga, the retreat center, the food!, the weather, the time to reflect, the people who came, and the rejuvenation.  Why do we call it a retreat, when it’s a time to grow and move forward?”


-Luanne B.


If you are interested in attending our next fall yoga retreat, mark your calendar now for September 26-28, 2014!