top of page

Explore Your True Nature

St. Lucia, caribbean

March 3 - 10, 2018

Forest Bathing and Yoga Retreat 



Deborah Denome, Forest Therapy Guide &

Joan Ruffels, St. Lucia Guide,  Yoga Teacher and Integrative Wellness Professional


  • Marvel in the exquisite magic where lush rainforest meets azure blue sea

  • Bask in serene, spacious inner calm


  • Flourish with vibrant energy & fresh inspiration for your life


  • Surrender your stress to our island oasis and

      let Nature remind you who you really are…


Come join us as we immerse in the infinite support of our tropical paradise...the warmth of the sun...deep, cool rainforests...invigorating waterfalls...calm, crystalline sea...vivid coral reefs...refreshing tradewinds...luminous moon and stars...delicious garden-fresh meals...succulent tropical fruit, bush teas...    


Boundaries between self and nature will soften into the fluid spaciousness of awe, wonder, vision and mystery.  Here we can easily commune with the wisdom of Nature and absorb her profound resilience and boundless creativity into the fullness of our own lives.



  • Enchanting, private, historic, eco-retreat 

  • Deep nature connection  through forest bathing

  • Gentle daily yoga practice 

  • Immerse In local wonders: waterfalls, rainforest, coral reefs, crystalline beaches...

  • Small, intimate, friendly group 

  • Warm, passionate, professional guides 

  • Spacious free time to unwind and Be

  • Delectable, garden-fresh meals

  • Authentic local community and service project options





Reawaken ancient senses that all of our ancestors knew to connect with the Medicine of the forest and our natural world. Forest Bathing is a fast-growing practice based on humanity’s evolution as part of nature, not separate from it.  Forest Bathing (aka Forest Therapy or Shinrin-yoku) is a pleasurable, effective, natural antidote to stress, anxiety and depression and is a cornerstone of the Japanese healthcare system. Now over 30% of the population in Japan heads to the forest each week to boost immunity, intuition, creativity, cognition, decision making, and feelings of wellness and peace.  Forest Bathing leaves us healthier, happier, and smarter. ☺  Basking in the essence of the forest and in our natural environments, we will weave Forest Bathing into every aspect of our precious time together and you will depart with the skills to practice at home.


“The healing that happened for me was deep and blessedly uncomplicated.”   

- Sue M. Forest Bathing retreat participant


Transform into your most radiant self through combining Forest Bathing with our yoga practice of easeful Being that embraces an approach of  soft, intuitive, natural movement.  We will enjoy gentle flowing and restorative postures to unleash blockages from body, mind and soul.  An integrated yoga practice offers you an opportunity to feel into the place within where boundaries begin to blur, spaciousness expands and a feeling place of where “air meets water” starts to emerge. Awaken alignment  with the Oneness of all that is. Harmony, connection to our inner and outer abundances of wisdom, fully present to our inner and outer paradise in the tropics--this is Joan’s intention for guiding our yoga practice together in St. Lucia.

There is no waiting and no delayed gratification because yoga is both the means and the result, and

the seed of all that is possible is present at the very beginning.  -D. Farhi

















St. Lucia, West Indies…the Caribbean Island you dream about!   Beaches, mountains, sunshine, warmth and a slowed down pace of life is waiting for you. Our tropical home for the week is Balenbouche Estate, nestled in the southwest coast of St. Lucia.   Enchantment takes over as you are welcomed to this very special 75 acre restored West Indian sugar plantation and organic farm.  Amerindian, African, European and East Indian history is intricately interwoven in this 18th century sugar mill, historic plantation house and grounds.  Together we will learn about the history as we honor the past and present stewards of this fertile land.  Today, lush with ancient banyan trees, gardens of flowers, vegetables, coconuts, bananas, mango and papaya, lily ponds and nature trails, the property is flanked by black sand beaches and sparkling Caribbean Sea.  Friendly fishing villages, the Piton Mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, petroglyphs, and coral reefs are all nearby.


This eco-chic resort has been owned, lovingly restored, and managed by the Lawaetz family for 3 generations.    Lodging is intimate with 5 historic cottages, ventilated by nature, equipped with mosquito netting and fans, and beautiful artistic touches.  Each cottage has its own unique layout and you can choose your lodging to include more privacy or more social connection; early registrants having greatest choice.  To learn more view the Balenbouche video!




Deborah Denome is a Social Entrepreneur, Educator, Herbalist and Certified Forest Therapy Guide.  She is passionate about the expansion of human consciousness as it informs our Interdependence with All Things.  Deb's greatest joy is in helping individuals to deepen their own relationship with the Earth, each other, and our own true nature and she has been leading retreats for over 20 years.  She is the owner of Finger Lakes Forest Therapy and finds Forest Bathing to be a profound yet simple and accessible path to expanding our relationships with All That Is.


Since 1997 Deb has served as Director of Shimmering Light Farm & Renewal Center, a non-profit educational organization that explores, models and inspires more conscious and restorative ways of life.   Her previous corporate career was in international training and publishing and she was the 2008 Canandaigua Athena Award recipient for her work promoting women in leadership. Deb is blessed to live and play at Shimmering Light Farm in South Bristol, NY.  Here, overlooking Canandaigua Lake, she raised three fascinating young adults, tends abundant herb gardens, and dances as often as possible.


"Deb has a beautiful ability to hold sacred, still space for us to enter into Presence."     

- Lynne W. retreat participant

Joan Ruffels is an Integrative Wellness Professional who blends degrees in anthropology, sociology and occupational therapy with teachings from global masters, shaman and wisdom keepers in a way that provides opportunities to reclaim wholeness and vitality.  She is a yoga teacher who began her training over 20 years ago with Muktunda Tom Stiles, and extended stays at various ashrams have deepened her practice. She has recently come full circle with her  yoga training through completion of Yoga Alliance 200 hour teacher training. 


Joan has adventured with her family as worldschoolers. She and her family love to  slow travel, where they can experience authentic connection with local customs and cultures through extended stays in various communities, living in villages or neighborhoods that are off-the-beaten tourist track.  Joan loves guiding transformational travel where beneficial relationships occur among travelers and local people.  She has lived in St.Lucia either full or part time for over 20 years and is delighted to share her island home with our group. Joan provides opportunities for a  glimpse of real-life St. Lucia that one rarely sees behind the gates of all-inclusive resorts.  Through alliances with local friends near Balenbouche, Joan has worked with communities to uncover meaningful service opportunities.


"This was not a siteseeing adventure. This was a “down to your soul” transformative week. This journey, orchestrated with love and care by Joan, was indeed a life event for me.  

The trip changed my perspective in a lasting, positive way.  

I could not recommend a better person to trust with your travels."- D.P., Previous retreat guest


Deb and Joan have savored the intimacy of a women’s circle together for the last 16 years.  They have shared the joys and challenges of homeschooling their children, co-creating a community farm, delving deep into self and relationships, and celebrating the seasons of nature and life.  They are both recognized for their authenticity, gentleness and ability to hold beautiful, blessed space, allowing you to enter a place of healing that feels right for you.


Marvel. Bask. Flourish.



We share meals that are served family-style on the verandah of the main plantation. Our creative chef utilizes produce grown in the plantation gardens and from local sources (as much as possible on an island) and lovingly prepares meals that dazzle the senses.  Meals are delicious and typically include:



Early morning snack: local herbal "bush" teas, coffee, fresh coconut water, fresh tropical fruit


Brunch: Eggs, hot porridge or granola, fresh mixed salad and additional

savory dishes, hot rolls with butter, jam and cheese


Afternoon snack: Fresh baked goods, fruit or fruit smoothie, green drink


Dinner:  Mixed green salad, delicious green vegetables, local root vegetables,

rice, couscous and scrumptious desserts, optional fresh fish or chicken



Almond Cottage with private bed and private bath is perfect for those who require a little more space and want to ensure that they have enough alone time to process their inner journey.


Calabash Cottage, Frangipani Cottage, or Waterlily  Cottage with private bed in shared bedroom OR

Banyan Cottage with private bedroom and shared bath. These rooms are  perfect for those who like a little social time, enjoy connecting with others but still want to have some solo space.


Banyan Cottage with shared bedroom and shared bathroom is for those who are used to having a busy house and prefer it that way.

There is bountiful outdoor space around the property for private reflection and most people prefer to be outdoors except to sleep, so be assured that you can find whatever amount of solo space you might need at any given time.

You can view detailed room photos and layouts on the Balenbouche website.

A deposit of $500 is required to reserve your space in our intimate group of 12 retreatants.  

We expect this retreat to fill fast!  

Register before October 15, 2017 and receive a complimentary one-hour massage in St. Lucia.  

The full balance of your payment is due December 1st, 2017.  

  • Transportation to and from Hewanorrah Airport (UVF)

  • 7 nights lodging

  • All on-site meals from Saturday evening to Saturday morning

  • Daily yoga and forest bathing

  • Excursions to local attractions that may include:

Tet Paul Nature Trail walk between the famous Pitons

Soufriere Volcano

Moule-a-Chique Lighthouse

Snorkeling at Sugar Beach coral reefs


  • Airfare to and from St. Lucia

  • Off-site meals, drinks, snacks, etc. that are not part of Balenbouche meal plan

  • Alcohol

  • Optional activities expenses (e.g. guided Piton climb, horseback riding, etc.)

  • Optional Massages and Spa services

  • Travel insurance


Trip insurance and health insurance that covers you in St. Lucia is highly recommended to cover costs associated with last minute cancellations or any unforeseen circumstances.  

We encourage you to research on your own and choose the best option for you, however below are two travel insurance options to get your started.


World Nomads,


Early March is perfect to give us a healthy dose of Vitamin D,  avoid school vacations and get a jump start on the spring breakers. While airfare can vary, flights from Rochester and Boston are in the $600 range.

We recommend booking early to secure a reasonable flight time and price. Please contact us for the flight options we have found.


We understand that you may have registered well in advance of your trip. We appreciate that work schedules and plans may change and unforeseen emergencies do occur. Therefore, we have established the refund policy below to try to fairly accommodate such eventualities and yet maintain quality retreats. Please realize that once you have registered for a retreat, we immediately incur expenses on your behalf. Because many people start planning longer trips well in advance, it can be difficult to fill an empty spot late in the game.

In order to receive a refund for a retreat, you will need to submit a written notice of cancellation. Your refund comes from your travel insurance. If you elected not to take travel insurance there is no refund.  We highly recommend trip insurance...the cost is very reasonable and gives you invaluable peace of mind!

Shall we save you a place at the table? 

Have more Questions?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions!. If you don't see what you want to know, feel free to call us at 585-412-5550 or email  We look forward to connecting!

Your mat awaits...
$200 Discount to support
children of Dominca!
Registration Deadline
November 1, 2017
$200 Discount to support
children of Dominca!
Registration Deadline
November 1, 2017
$200 Discount to support
children of Dominca!
Registration Deadline
November 1, 2017
$200 Discount to support
children of Dominca!
Registration Deadline
November 1, 2017

Utah Canyon Quest

April 6 - April 14, 2018


email us to be added to a

waiting list for the next one!


Namaste Dear Seeker,


Do you yearn for more peace in your soul?


Looking to deepen the stillness and quiet?


We would love to share this journey with you. Join us for this special time to reflect, experience and immerse in Utah's exquisite canyons.


“The desert. When the sun came up…I couldn’t tell where Heaven stopped and the Earth began. “– Forrest Gump


Deb Denome and Rick French


Finger Lake Forest Therapy and Pack, Paddle, Ski, Inc.




  • Desert immersion in one of the most beautiful and secluded places in the world

  • Guided Forest Therapy (desert forest? well, there are some trees, but nature is our therapist either way) Experience

  • Gentle descent into our souls

  • Small intimate group

  • Deep connection with nature

  • Thousands of year old Native American petroglyphs, pictographs and sites




Journey deep into Nature as our sweet guide and muse, mirroring to us our own True Nature.


Immerse in our senses as we explore and bask in the exquisite beauty of the desert and canyons. Open to the infinite support of the landscape, the heat of the sun, cool, clear water, wind etched sandstone, luminous sky and stars. Drop into awe, wonder, inspiration, vision and mystery...


Each day will include guided invitations to individually sink deeper into our senses and our unique rhythms and relationships with the more-than-human world. Boundaries between self and nature will soften into fluid spaciousness.

We will reconnect through council circles, weaving our collective experience into an expanding relationship with one another and All That Is.




Camping in remote desert places with vehicle support. Easy overnight backpack with 30 lb pack, up to 3 miles, or 2 hours of walking. Day hiking at a reflective pace of up to 6 miles max or 6 hours (usually less). Uneven and remote terrain. Tent camping near truck. On the immersions, under the stars with overhangs or tarps for our protection.

Call us if you are not sure about your conditioning.


Click here or paste into browser to see map of area,+utah/@38.2362237,-110.5774669,11z


Trip starts and ends (meets) in Salt Lake City.

“Wild Places Pierce our Heart and Open us to an intimate Dance”

For Detailed Itinerary, services, accommodations, pricing, and policies please contact  Pack Paddle Ski or Finger Lakes Forest Therapy

We love talking about this trip!

 (585) 346-5597 or or Finger Lakes Forest Therapy at 585-412-5550


Pack Paddle Ski Corp.

6237 South Lima Rd - Livonia, New York 14487

(585) 346-5597


bottom of page