Winter Day Retreat

A Winter Day Retreat

Let’s shake that cabin fever feeling, get out of the routine and play outside. 

Imagine a day just for you to take care of your body, soul and connect with other amazing women. Doesn’t that sound marvelous? 

With movement, comes energy!  Arrive by 9am and kick start the day with some morning yoga in a warm, cozy space. Then let’s hit up the trails for snowshoeing, hiking and fitness! Feel revitalized for an amazing day. 

A hot, nourishing lunch will be served inside where you’ll enjoy relaxing and socializing.  Time to tune inward with a thought provoking coaching session with Amélie.

Then, head back outside for more movement, forest bathing meditation and some creative time. 

You’ll leave this winter retreat feeling refreshed and invigorated, ready to face the cold months to come!

All ages and fitness levels will enjoy this event. 

Amelie Chanda is a yoga teacher, coach, and speaker who shares the power of mindfulness as a way to transform lives. She empowers people to show up as their best selves.

Everything included!

Join me on January 25th at Blueberry Hill Estates.

Your investment: $100.00 + HST
To reserve your spot, get your ticket here:





Forest Bathing

*Written and published for Norfolk County Tourism

We all know that spending time outside is good for us. Connecting with nature is a powerful way to manage stress, increase our energy level and help to find clarity.

Have you ever heard the term: “Forest Bathing” or “Shinrin-yoku”? It is a Japanese practice which means: “bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.” I have been hearing about this concept lately and wanted to experience it for myself!

Last Thursday, the beautiful fall weather in Norfolk County inspired me to get outside and explore Backus Woods in the Port Rowan area. I simply wanted to be in the forest by myself to connect with nature through my senses of sight, hearing, smell and touch.

I set the intention to be in the present moment and take time for myself to relax and de-stress.

The idea behind forest bathing is that you are not hiking to a particular destination but rather tuning into your intuition to guide you as you walk through the woods. It was a bit challenging to let go of covering a certain distance. It also felt very different to be alone in the woods.

I most often hike with my husband and my kids so the quiet time in the forest was a nice change from our usual chit chats.

I took the time to listen to the birds and the sounds of the leaves dancing in the wind. I focused on the different colors and shapes of trees and plants and took time to breath in the various aromas. In many ways this process is similar to meditation. It was a profound way to experience the local forest and I certainly enjoyed the process. I felt the tension of the busy week slide down from my neck and shoulders.

In Norfolk County, 25% of the landscape is forest covered. This provides much opportunity for that special time in nature that many crave. Backus Woods in particular is a spectacular spot to explore. You can find some of the oldest trees living in Ontario in this Carolinian forest. Backus Woods offers 7 main trails which total around 25 km in length. Consider accessing the trails on the 3rd or 4rd concessions in Port Rowan.

Spending more time in nature is scientifically linked to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower heart rate, reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reduced risk of type II diabetes. If that is not a good enough reason to spend time outside, I don’t know that is! 🙂  I invite you to get out and spend some time outside this fall. If forest bathing interest you, get ready to open your senses and breathe in some fresh air and harvest a sense of relaxation and well-being.

Get off the couch and explore what Norfolk County has to offer. Explore the trails and spend time outdoors connecting to nature and with yourself!


Go Norfolk goes hiking…

I chose hiking for the first Go Norfolk event because it is an accessible activity for the whole family and is a fantastic way to connect with nature. I love hiking. It’s an activity I enjoy doing solo as well as with my family. It’s free and it makes you explore different areas!
Bonus, for the average person, hiking is likely to make you burn between 430 and 440 calories per hour ! (nothing wrong with that).

The first destination is Hay Creek Conservation Arena. This is a 3.5 km trail in a loop. It goes through a wooded area along the reservoir and it offers fantastic bird watching opportunities. Make sure to explore the amazing bridge that crosses the Hay Creek reservoir!

Hay Creek Bridge
Now, in order to have some fun hiking, I want to provide you with some tips to get you ready. Here are my top 3 tips to enjoy your hiking experience:

Snacks are a must especially if you are hiking with kids. I tend to use the snack as a goal and a reward for my little ones. Pack things like yogurt tubes, cheese strings, nuts, bars, apples, trail mix, water…. Plan to stop often and get out the snacks. It is important to fuel your body, hiking uses a lot of energy. Encourage kids to move forward to find good spots along the trail for places to “picnic”. Make sure to leave no traces and bring your garbage home!

Hiking snacks

If you are hiking in the winter, it’s important to be warm enough. No one likes to be freezing…Good boots, snow or waterproof pants, coat, scarf, mittens, tuque. Underneath your outerwear, dress in thin layers to avoid overheating when you get going at a good pace. You will also feel less “bulky” when you are walking. A small backpack is also useful for extra gear, snacks, water and a map if needed. Don’t forget your cell phone for emergencies and to take some fantastic photos. I encourage you to post your pictures on social medias using the hashtag #GoNorfolk for a chance to win prizes! (FB, IG and Twitter)

If you and your family are new to hiking, leave your expectations at home!! Start with very short distances and commit to travel at a child’s pace. They will increase their endurance as they come back but for the first time out, patience is key. Inviting a friend to come along can be enjoyable for your child, parents tend to become boring quickly… Emphasize fun: play games like looking for specific things in nature or do sing alongs, look for treasures (bring a bag) or try geocaching! Let kids participate in the hike planning. Look at the map, show them the options and features they are likely to see if they are patient.

Norfolk county has so many amazing trails to explore. This website is fabulous to get you excited about hiking in Norfolk county, check it out:
Norfolk has a rich variety of wildlife, including raccoons, foxes, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks. So many bird species like migrating songbirds, waterfowl and birds of prey. Keep your eyes open and see if you can spot any of your next hike!