RENEWAL: Natchez plays host to weekend yoga, wellness retreat (with gallery)

Published 9:48 am Monday, October 2, 2023

Yoga Studio 90, a Baton Rouge Hot Yoga studio hosted 47 people in Natchez for its annual wellness retreat Sept. 8-9.

Retreat attendees traveled from Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans, Mandeville and Texas to join in the RENEW retreat.

“The retreat experience completely surpassed all expectations,” Hill said. “One lady shared that she really wasn’t sure what to expect. ‘I was drawn to the images and stories on social media.  I trusted it and took a chance and I’m so glad I did.  This was worth every penny and more. I cannot wait for the next one.’”

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The planning of this retreat began in April. Hill met with Mayor Dan Gibson, Pilgrimage Garden Club, Natchez Garden Club, The Nest, Consign and Design and many other local businesses for support and participation. As an entrepreneur it was important to her that these local places she enjoys when visiting be spotlighted to all attendees.

The event kicked off at historic Ellicott Hall which was big enough to accommodate guests, team and volunteers and offered old charm too.  The space allowed guests to relax and unplug from their busy lives.

As everyone arrived Friday they were greeted on the front porch by two Natchez residents Jackie Wild and Carol Frank, who offered warm smiles, cold mimosas, water, snacks and southern hospitality every single person raved about.  “The deep porch was the perfect place for picture taking as the classic green shutters had a beautiful dressing of smilax vine, American beauty bush and trumpet vines.  The most elegant and natural additions by local floral artist, John Grady Burns,” Hill said.

Guests enjoyed a light lunch delivered by Natchez Coffee.

Gibson arrived and welcomed everyone to Natchez. He shared how Natchez is the right place to RENEW.  “Mayor Gibson was the first to support this event and assured me that the City of Natchez will support this event as we are delighted to have healthy events here.,” Hill said.

Dr. Andy Yarborough with The Well Clinic was the kick off Friday speaker and shared, “caring for our whole self requires us valuing ourselves.”  He led everyone through exercises peeling the onion back on what value does and doesn’t look like.

Guests enjoyed seeing the town as Hill intentionally placed the 15-plus fitness classes and break-out sessions in different locations. Attendees had the option to choose a fitness stretch, yoga, power walk class or a break out session like Rewire your Brain for Hope with Rochelle Frazier and How plant life affects our health with John Grady Burns.

In addition to Yarborough, guest speaker, Meredith Waguespack with Sweet Baton Rouge and Don’t Stop Just Geaux  shared what keeps her from stopping, how and why she keeps GEAUX’g. “ She spoke from the heart and not a dry eye was left in the room,” Hill said.

Saturday morning, Adam Braud with Adam Braud Fitness kicked off the day with a presentation on Stewarding Your Health.  “He was funny and informative.  Many people shared their biggest take away was his explanation on the importance of sun to soil,” she added.

Guests also were able to experience beautiful properties like cocktail hour at The Burn, sunrise Yoga and power walking on the bluff of the Mississippi river to private garden tours at Magnolia Cottage and Choctaw Hall.  Attendees also enjoyed the beautiful and air-conditioned Queen’s Room at Stanton Hall for Stretch and Rhythms classes along with HOT Yoga and FLOga classes on the lawns of Stanton Hall and Memorial Park.

“We are so appreciative to the City of Natchez, local business owners that generously sponsored the event: The Well Clinic, Adam Braud Fitness, Sweet Baton Rouge, Media Furrate, Studyville, Hallelujah Wine and Spirits, Baton Rouge Family Fun, SPIRO, The Nest, Magnolia Cottage, Choctaw Hall and Murray Printing,” Hill said. “We are excited about the RENEW wellness retreat 2024 and hope to see you there.”