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Aging Gracefully Yoga Retreat

Canceled for September 19-22, 2021
Dates for 2022 Retreats Coming Soon

Join us at scenic Lake Junaluska in the Western North Carolina Mountains for a retreat focused on aging gracefully and maintaining your strength, mobility and agility for your highest quality of life. At this event, offered in partnership with Waynesville Yoga Center, learn how to let go of resistance to change, which causes suffering, and the illusion of control over all things. Become more adaptable and flexible in mind, body, and spirit for a healthier and happier you!  

Workshops and sessions led by instructors from Waynesville Yoga Center will be held at Lake Junaluska, a peaceful lakeside village with stunning lake and mountain views, comfortable accommodations, and convenient amenities such as our lakeside Walking Trail and gardens.

The Aging Gracefully Yoga Retreat is $795 per person (and only $775 if booked at the early bird rate 60 days in advance!), and includes three nights of lodging at The Terrace Hotel (single or double occupancy), eight meals from dinner Sunday through breakfast Wednesday, and all retreat workshops, sessions and activites. Check out the retreat workshops, instructors and schedule, and Lake Junaluska's other upcoming yoga retreats!  

Retreat Workshops

Tara Scarborough with Waynesville Yoga

Opening Circle and Easy/Accessible Chair Yoga

Instructor Tara Scarborough will lead the retreat's opening circle and yoga class.

Class: Easy + Accessible Chair Yoga 

An easy and accessible chair yoga class, ending with an intention setting for the retreat.

Tara has been a student of yoga for almost 25 years. She studied and has been influenced by the Iyengar, Anusara, and Ashtanga lineages. Tara completed her RYT 200 training at Anahata Yoga Center in Mason, Ohio. Her style now includes mindful alignment cues that focus on opening and releasing to leave you relaxed, aware, and free. On her days off, you can find her up in the mountains hiking, in her boat kayaking, or mountain biking the local trails. Tara is also a registered nurse having worked in pediatric ICU, and now in pre and post-operative care.

Walking Trail

Adaptive Yoga for Seniors

As we age, a sedentary lifestyle can cause a loss of strength, stability, and mobility in our bodies. We have to fight harder and work harder at keeping our bodies strong and mobile so we can do the things we love with ease and comfort! The first 75 minutes of this session led by Jay MacDonald will be a workshop on the importance of keeping an active and mobile lifestyle at any age and overcoming any fears including falling or getting injured. There will be time for Q&A after this workshop.

The class with Jay will address common age related issues such as osteoporosis, joint replacement, problems with balance and coordination, and much, much more! Immediately following will be an adaptive chair yoga class that focuses specifically on balance and stability – accessible to all levels! 

What You Need: We will provide chairs! Just bring yourself! 

Lakeside Bistro

Nutrition at Any Age

Whatever your age, it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. In this workshop with Sara Lewis, we will discuss nutrients and tips to keep in mind to maintain energy and strengthen your immune system as you age. For example, sufficient Vitamin D is critical to prevent bone loss, and the requirements for calcium and B12 increase as those nutrients are not as readily absorbed from food as you age. Also, iron and fiber become more important. In addition, there are certain foods and drinks you should avoid as you age.

Class: Yoga At Any Age

Part of any yoga practice is to accept yourself where you are at any point in time. Some of you may be returning to yoga after many years, just beginning or continuing a regular practice. Wherever you are on your journey, you are not too old! Some of the many benefits of yoga, at any age, include: better mobility, increased energy, stronger bones, improved blood circulation, better sleep and improved flexibility, posture and balance. The latter is especially important to age gracefully. A regular yoga practice increases proprioception (ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space), which improves balance. The yoga practice in this session with Sara Lewis will combine a series of gentle yin and balance poses. Yin yoga poses target connective tissues such as ligaments, joints and even bones. You will leave the class feeling calm, balanced, and energized.

Sara Lewis with Waynesville Yoga

Sara Lewis is a RYT-200, certified holistic health coach, and instructor at Waynesville Yoga Center. She has been practicing yoga for over 15 years and has been teaching yoga since 2014. After a 25-year career in international public health, Sara began a second career as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Her passion for food led her to yoga when she began studying the connection between mindfulness and stress eating. Sara emphasizes alignment and posture in all her classes. 

Her flow classes, which are fun and energetic, focus on lengthening the spine and improving balance and strength. Sara’s yin classes focus on pranayama (breath work) and deep relaxation.

Candlelight Yin and Yoga Nidra

This class with Natalie Lembeck will consist of easeful stretching, accessing the connective tissue in addition to the muscles, and long posture holds. The class will be restorative and soothing to the nervous system with soft lighting. Natalie will guide the class through a blissful Yoga Nidra to promote ease and comfort.

Natalie Lembeck with Waynesville Yoga

Natalie Lembeck responded to her call to yoga over four years ago and finds that the practice of yoga is transformational. Within the first month of practicing yoga asana, she knew she had found something special and was immediately inspired to bring her knowledge to others. She’s a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor and thrilled to be sharing her passion of yoga with the Waynesville community. Her teaching style ranges from faster-paced, alignment-focused Ashtanga and vinyasa classes to more mellow, fascia-focused yin classes.

Beyond the yoga asana, Natalie incorporates mindfulness and breathing techniques into her classes and makes use of essential oils, incense, and some reiki to promote a soothing, welcoming environment.

Rose Walk

Restorative Yoga and the Nervous System

As we age, change is inevitable. But the saying goes, “Change is not painful, only the resistance to change is painful.” In this workshop with Amber Kleid, you will learn the importance of the nervous system and how to keep yours healthy and happy so you can be more flexible and adaptable as life circumstances change and evolve.

Class: Restorative Yoga

This workshop will be followed by a yummy and soothing Restorative class designed to calm and soften the mind and body. 

What You Need: A yoga mat, blanket, and bolster or blocks!

Amber Kleid with Waynesville Yoga

Amber Kleid (RYT - 500) is a yoga teacher that loves getting yummy with her poses and using her sense of humor to make you feel at ease and welcome. Her style of teaching allows students to find their own expression in each pose. 

Amber has been practicing yoga postures since the mid 90’s; but her journey didn’t really connect until a few years ago when she was met with some hefty health challenges. Gradually, while practicing mindfulness and patience, her health improved and she took her first teacher training in hopes that sharing her story would help others overcome obstacles.

Self Care

Self care is important at any age but it is critical as we age to keep up a self-care regimen that keeps us healthy and happy. In this workshop with Lynda Saffell, we will explore a range of self care options to keep you youthful and energized. These options will include: massage, yoga, social interaction, and many more.

Class: Self-Massage Yoga

The class will introduce self massage and yoga poses accessible to all levels.

What You Need: Yoga mat, blanket, bolster and/or blocks

Lynda Saffell with Waynesville Yoga

Lynda Saffell followed her dream to serve others in a healing capacity. She attended Bhakti Academe for Intuitive Massage and graduated in August 2004. She gained her pain management experience working two years in a chiropractic clinic specializing in neck and back injuries. Lynda has elevated massage to an art with her fine-tuned skill of “listening” to your body and the body’s energy. She practices a combination of relaxation massage, deep tissue therapeutic techniques, and healing energies to release tension and emotional stress and bring your body into balance. Each massage is a wonderful experience, custom designed to your needs in the moment, and includes hot stones and aromatherapy.

Candlelight Gentle Yoga and Meditation/Closing Circle

This Gentle Yoga class led by Jay MacDonald is a slow-paced, soft and nurturing practice supported by props. Set under soft, candle lighting, this class will be the perfect way to relax and restore at the end of the retreat. Following the class, Jay will lead a centering meditation and closing circle.

Retreat Schedule

Sunday, September 19, 2021

♦ 4:00 p.m. Check-in
♦ 5:00 p.m Dinner
♦ 6:30-8:00 p.m. Opening Circle: Welcome, followed by an easy/accessible chair yoga class and ending with an intention setting for the retreat

Monday, September 20, 2021

♦ 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
♦ 9:00 AM-Noon: Adaptive Yoga for Seniors
♦ 12:00 p.m. Lunch
♦ 1:30-4:30 p.m. Nutrition At Any Age + Yoga At Any Age
♦ 5:00 p.m. Dinner
♦ 6:30-8:00 p.m. Candlelight Yin and Yoga Nidra Class 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

♦ 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
♦ 9:00 a.m.-Noon Restorative Yoga and the Nervous System
♦ 12 p.m. Lunch 
♦ 1:30-4:30 p.m. Self Care
♦ 5:00 p.m. Dinner
♦ 6:30-8:00 p.m. Candlelight Gentle Yoga and meditation class followed by a closing circle

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

♦ 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
♦ 11:00 a.m. Checkout

If you have questions regarding the program or are a local resident interested in a program-only option, please contact Tammy McDowell, assistant director of programming, at or 828-454-6681.  Also, check out our other Yoga Retreats at Lake Junaluska!


Register Now! 

Call 800-222-4930 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday) or download the Registration Form (PDF).