YOGA + HIKING + WILD
Join your Wild Tribe as we immerse ourselves in some of Melbourne's most stunning landscapes. Hike through seemingly magical forests, meditate under crystal clear waterfalls, practice yoga as we gaze over vast mountain top vistas, and maybe even meet some of our most iconic wildlife along the way.
Reconnect to your true wild self, and to the world around you, as we venture into the wilderness. Join the Wild Tribe!
Check out the Wilderness Yoga page for upcoming events.
ABOUT WILDERNESS YOGA
A TYPICAL DAY RETREAT
Meet your fellow travelers
communal chai + eco-snacks
safety briefing + welcome meditation
1-3 hour hike
restorative movement class
3-5 meditation + mindfulness classes
're-wilding' + self exploration practices
Lunch + chill time (BYO lunch)
intention setting + closing meditation
We sat down with our Founder, Environmental Scientist, and Meditation/Yoga Teacher, Dr Belinda Christie, to ask her a few burning Qs from the team and our retreat guests. Here where her As...
So you're a scientist? Like Sheldon?
No, I'm not a lab-coat wearing, test tube wielding kind of scientist (but who doesn't like a good lab coat?!). I like to imagine I'm an Indiana Jones kind of scientist - you know, the adventure-seeking, horse-back riding, debonair-smile kind of scientist (I swear they exist?!). I'm a climate change and environmental sustainability researcher. I research people - and how to create a mindful planet one sustainable practice at a time.
So what do you actually do?
I am an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia. Most recently my research investigated the social implications around food waste and composting to combat climate change and create connection and community. My current research explores experiential and mindfulness-based outdoor education for adults, and the emerging field of 'spiritual ecology'.
And oh yes, I'm the Founder of a little outdoor education organisation called 'Wilderness Yoga', and a meditation and yoga teacher. too. But there's a lot changing on that front very shortly...
What kinds of people have you worked with?
After nearly 15 years in the industry, my research, teaching, and practice has covered a wide range of the breadth and depth of our global environmental problems; from sustainability and climate change education, to indigenous flora and land management, and conservation ecology. I've worked with industry, universities, non-profits, schools, small and big business, retail, hospitality, and age care... all aimed at helping us all better reconnect with the planet. I spent over 8 years working at an Indigenous Plant Nursery (hence the endless plant and bush-food talks on my guided hikes!). For 10 years I have lectured at Deakin University and Swinburne University's in environmental sustainability, sustainable cities and building design, environmental impact assessment, research methods, and climate change adaptation.
What practices do you draw from?
Having grown up partly in Melbourne, partly in India, and traveled widely as a kid (and adult too) I study and practice a big mish-mash of teachings. From the ancient scriptures and philosophies of India, Judeo-Christian and Comparative Relgions, and Eastern and Western Philosophers. Much of this was studied formally through Higher Education (I even wrote a chapter on philosophy in my PhD thesis) but more importantly, it has come from personal practice as a life-long student, Foremost I am an initiated student and practitioner of Thich Nhat Hanh's Plum Village tradition of the Order of Inter-being, and you'll see much of his teachings in my own. I practice and teach Yoga - not just 'asana' (the physical bendy bits), but the 8 limbed path, which includes ethics, service, and meditation. I also use nature interpretation, ecology, mindfulness and 'rewilding' practices, and good ol' environmental science. All of these practices together can be thought of as 'spiritual ecology'... practices that recognise that our ecological crisis, at its core, requires a spiritual response; a merge of the 'environmental' and the 'spiritual'.
BEnvSc(EnvMgt) (Hons) PhD ADipYTT
What on earth does that all mean?...
Lol, sorry! I was awarded a PhD (Environmental Sustainability) in 2014, and hold a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management) 2008, and Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) 2009, from Deakin University, Melbourne. And just for good measure I also have an Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching (350 hour certification) from the Australian Yoga Academy, with another 150+ of training so far, for a 500 hour accreditation, including a 60 hour Trauma-Informed & Community Yoga training with Yoga for HumanKind. Oh, and I'm an official Parks Victoria Tour Operator too.
Can I talk to you about speaking at our organisation, or writing something for us? What about an interview?
Sure! I regularly run workshops, talks and presentations, for school and community groups, businesses, conferences, universities and non-profits. I also write pieces for magazines, blogs and newsletters, as well as the usual academic papers and book chapters. And yes I'm usually happy to be interviewed. Feel free to connect, give me a little detail about the request (who it is for, and what your intention is) and we'll see if the stars align!
What books and articles have you written? Where can I get them!?
Most of my writing, including books and articles, up til now have been academic peer-reviewed publications (which can be difficult for anyone outside of a university to access). We're working on giving you access to full or partial copies here shortly. I'm also working on a very special book for the climate generation; stay tuned!
Do you teach yoga at a studio? What kinds of classes to you teach?
So, do you like long walks on the beach?
Haha. Err, yes - who doesn't?! I prefer a mountain stroll though...
Whats your coffee order?
Hold the coffee. Soy chai - leaves, not that powdered sugar monstrosity. In a Keep Cup obvs.
What do you do when you're not up a mountain?
I'm usually in the garden... I'm trying to grow us much of our own food as we can... although the kangaroos usually get half of it! The garlic always looks happy at least. Lol.