A Softer Side of Yoga - Lanita Varshell & Diane Ambrosini

Helena, MT, United States

Feathered Pipe Ranch
  • Email address verified
Sep 1 - 8, 2018
Group size: 1 - 40
A Softer Side of Yoga - Lanita Varshell & Diane Ambrosini
Helena, MT, United States

Feathered Pipe Ranch
  • Email address verified

Deposit: $500
Sep 1 - 8, 2018
Group size: 1 - 40

About this trip

Lanita Varshell and Diane Ambrosini believe that anyone, any size, facing almost any challenge—illness, aging, pain—can greatly benefit from yoga taught with skill and gentleness. “When I started yoga, I was very large and very sick,” says Lanita, who founded A Gentle Way in San Diego in 1996. “By the time I opened my studio, I knew that many other people needed a much gentler, safer, softer approach—just as I had. Plus-sized women came to me first. Then they brought their friends and sisters, and husbands and brothers. Those people loved being with a teacher who didn’t intimidate them.”

Lanita’s Meditation in Movement Style Yoga (MIMSY) blends asana, breath, mantra, yoga nidra and meditation. Her experience with large students, people experiencing or recovering from illness, and brand-new yogis informs all of her work. She loves sharing her approach with other teachers who can bring it to the work they do with their own students.

Diane began her practice engaging in more rigorous and physically active styles of hatha yoga. Today she cultivates a deeper focus on relaxation and peacefulness. Her active students can slow down a bit and appreciate an inner and outer calm, while others lovingly explore how movement taps into inner and outer strength. “Each style of yoga, from the most strenuous to the most restorative, offers the opportunity to tap into the deepest core of your being, where you will find peace, again and again,” says Diane.

The combination of teaching styles make this workshop ideal for virtually any yogi looking to add ease to their practice.

Students can pick and choose a variety of classes and workshops each day, from chair yoga to restorative or thoughtful classical classes. They do not have to do it all.

Teachers in Training take six hours of training each day, and can qualify for a 40-hour certificate of completion. “I love mixing all ages, sizes, experience levels, seeing the resistance that arises at first, and watching it melt down as the week progresses and people find such joy together,” says Lanita.

Classes with Lanita and Diane are held in the Ranch’s stunning main lodge with its breathtaking view of grass, water, trees and mountains, all shimmering under the big Montana sky. “I knew this was a sacred space from the moment I set foot on the ranch for the first time,” says Lanita. “It’s truly a bucket list destination.”


“I just finished a weekend with Lanita, and all I can say is that I believe that Lanita’s training should be mandatory training for every yoga teacher.  Her ability to work with all ages, levels and abilities, and to be able to customize each class for the needs of those who walk in is amazing to watch. Her knowledge and intuition guide her, and her beautiful spirit, and not so perfect or thin body help us all realize that yoga is much much more than just pose.”

~ Sheila S.

“What you do is so yoga, yet so different than the way I have been taught to teach it. You start the class in a very relaxed way, almost playfully, releasing tension out of our body, and then we just seem to go deeper and deeper, with poses held longer and longer. It feels as though it is music, and you are this powerful conductor. We get swept away by the music, the slow healing rhythm we are discovering in our very own body.”

~ Judy H.

RETREAT TIP! Extend your time in peace and beauty while savoring Western hospitality by spending some time exploring the great West’s National Park treasures either before or after your retreat with Lanita at the Ranch. Glacier National Park is a glorious and scenic 3.5-hour drive north and west of Feathered Pipe, while Yellowstone is just a 4.5 hour drive south and east of the Ranch through some of the prettiest Western territory you’ll ever see.

About Lanita Varshell

Lanita Varshell is the owner of A Gentle Way Yoga Center, and founder-creator of MIMSY Meditation in Movement Style Yoga®, and Aalamba – Yoga with Support. She has taught over 10,000 classes, and has certified yoga teachers since 2000. Lanita Varshell holds designations with the Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500 and a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider®. She is also a certified IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist, and has taught over 750 private therapy sessions.

She is a Gentle-Traditional Hatha Yoga teacher, stress management expert, former missionary, and inspiring motivational speaker. She is known fondly as the “queen of relaxation” for her Yoga Therapy work with the very stressed and those in chronic pain, and for bringing students into yoga who never imagined they could ever do yoga.

Lanita Varshell began teaching yoga in 1996, after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. She has evolved from a very sick “couch potato,” who could not work, to a busy studio owner and teacher. Still challenged daily with body pain and limitations, Lanita is living proof that the many benefits of yoga can be experienced by anyone, any size, with almost any challenge.

About Diane Ambrosini

Diane Ambrosini, MA, is the author of Instructing Hatha Yoga (2nd-edition), a best-selling yoga instructional book for many yoga teacher training programs throughout the country, filled with safe modifications for classical asanas.Trained as a yoga teacher and movement science specialist, she has worked as a coach, personal fitness trainer, hospital kinesiologist, YTT trainer, and yoga instructor/therapist. Diane believes everyone can practice yoga, and that with practice, everyone can rediscover their true nature.



Our lodging options offer the finest in rustic comfort. Indoor and outdoor choices include a variety of private or shared accommodations ranging from chalet-style rooms to tents, tipis and yurts nestled in the forest.

After retreat registration, Feathered Pipe office staff will contact you to confirm your lodging preference. Accommodations include all meals and use of all amenities – our bathhouse, sauna, hot tub, as well as all the Feathered Pipe Ranch facilities and grounds.

Accommodations exclude massage and bodywork.

Pricing & Registration

Program Tuition & Basic Accommodations: $1595

Basic Accommodations are shared room Main Lodge, Yurt, Sai Condo or single Tipi/Tent, and include meals and use of all amenities – our bathhouse, sauna, hot tub, as well as all the Feathered Pipe Ranch facilities and grounds.

Feathered Pipe Community Discount: Invite a friend(s) new to the Ranch and you each receive $100 off tuition price!

*A $500 deposit is required to secure online registration/payment.

**Airport shuttle service on the day of arrival/departure is an additional $65. Non-arrival/departure shuttle service is $100

***Please plan to arrive at the ranch before 6pm on the first day of your retreat, and to depart in the morning or early afternoon of the final day.

For more information, visit our FAQ page, contact us at registrations@featheredpipe.com, or give us a ring at (406) 442-8196.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you!

Your Organizer

Feathered Pipe Ranch
Nestled in the pulsing heart of the Montana Rockies is a place like no other – the Feathered Pipe Ranch. One of the oldest centers for conscious living and yoga retreats in the country, Feathered Pipe offers workshop experiences guided by some of the world’s finest teachers in a relaxed, leisurely, nature-drenched setting. Surrounded by millions of acres of forest and mountains, the Feathered Pipe Foundation hosts summer personal growth and yoga retreats in Montana and year-round yoga travel around the world. Our guest teachers’ styles encompass a broad spectrum of specialties and emphasis, including yoga therapy, meditation, mindfulness, healing arts, and so much more. Feathered Pipe offers an array of customizable options for retreats, yoga travel, and workshops for individuals and groups – all of which support our core purpose of service (Seva Yoga).