Ladies, it’s time again to come together in celebration of the Visionary Goddess within.

This retreat is for your mind, body and soul. Open to women and feminine spirits. Art healing and technique classes, sacred spirit cleansing and goddess empowerment workshops.

Featuring acrylic painting classes by visionary artists, Toni L Taylor andVeronika Rose. Mixed media/Watercolor frottage class Silk prayer flag painting class (Batik technique) by Maria Elena Olivera. Healing Sweat lodge Tobacco prayer with Moon dancers Gratitude fire ceremony and Flower Banos by John Moore and more!

$250 includes three nights stay at the Hostel in the Forest. This includes two healthy meals a day (brunch and dinner), all classes and basic art supplies. No experience necessary.

To make payments please go here:

*Very important!! Once you pay for the retreat, please call the Hostel at 912-264-9738 to reserve your spot. The beds are on a first come first serve basis. Please tell them of any food allergies and dietary restrictions and if you are participating in the sweat.

Tell your friends, this retreat will fill up fast!

What to bring- small, lightweight travel easel for outdoor classes, personal art/painting supplies, crystals and sacred items for the creativity altar, extra blankets, portable water container, natural bug repellent, snacks. (We provide brunch and dinner.)

If this is the first time at the Hostel please read this:

You will have to bring $10 with you and your I.D. to check in to the hostel and receive your membership card.

If this is your first sweat lodge, please read this:

You must arrive on Friday evening to settle in and adjust to the energy of the hostel to participate in the sweat, Saturday night.

The wonderful staff at the Hostel In The Forest will be cooking and supporting the space during your stay. Much gratitude to the hostel for allowing us to return.

Check in Friday, April 7th 12-4PM Check out Monday April 11th 11AM

Previous Events 2016

Posted January 6th, 2016

Sunday, May 8 Mother’s Day with Jim Seem

All guests are invited to the library after dinner for an acoustic concert by touring artist, Jim Seem.

Thai Yoga Therapy Training with Phoebe Diftler Saturday, May 14 – Sunday, May 22 2016

Limited to 12 Participants – Traditional Thai Massage is an ancient system of healing with roots in Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhist spiritual practice. This unique and complete system of Yoga therapy combines rhythmic massage, acupressure, gentle twisting, deep stretching and meditation. It releases tension, increases vitality and creates wholeness of mind, body and spirit in both giver and receiver. The movements and adjustments you will learn are a valuable compliment to Yoga Teaching and other body work. This course is the equivalent of a two week course taught in Thailand.

For the first time ever, this transformational 9 day course is being offered at the Hostel in the Forest where our classes will take place in geodesic domes, by the lake under a canopy of trees, and in our unique glass house nestled into the forest on the far side of the pond. Lodging will be in tree houses, forest huts, or rooms painted by our resident artists. Breakfast and Lunch will be served solely to retreat participants, and dinners will be shared on the screen porch with hostel guests, staff, and travelers from around the globe.

In this course, you will learn:

To structure and give a full body Thai Massage
- Theory and massage of energy lines (meridians/nadis)
- Restorative Yoga poses to facilitate deep relaxation
- Applied Hatha Yoga stretching exercises and breathing exercises
- Principles of energetic healing
- Basic therapies for common ailments
- Using Thai Therapeutic movements to adjust, balance and correct Yoga Asanas
- To work in a meditative state of mind
- Helping the receiver to experience a deeply relaxed altered state
- History and theoretical foundations of Thai Yoga Therapy
- An introduction to and practice of meditation

This training is open to everyone. It is a great additional modality for Yoga teachers and massage therapists or for anyone interested in well being, healing and body work. The work is done in comfortable clothing on a mat. No prior Yoga or massage experience is necessary.

Certification All participants successfully completing the course will receive a certificate of completion. Those wishing a Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner certification will be given a home study/practice assignment to fulfill after the course.

Included in the retreat are daily yoga classes, a Kirtan experience, and the option to stay one extra day to participate in the Monthly Sweat Lodge.

Program cost $1850 for a private treehouse (6 available) $1700 for shared space (2-3 persons to a hut)
To register, contact Pinto at the Hostel in the Forest – manager[at] 912-264-9738
$500 Deposit required for Registration (nonrefundable after April 16), Total balance due May 1st
Limited number of scholarships available ~ Contact Pinto for application

Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 5- Forest Fusion: Because FUN!

Join us in the mystical forest to bring in the Summer season in joyous celebration of music, education, and FUN! The days will be filled with workshops and play shops presented by our staff and the evenings will be ringing with live music.

Andrew, aka DJ IDEAL, has kept our feet dancing this spring, and we are bringing him back home to the forest for a Friday Night Black Light DJ Party and Sunday morning Live DJ YOGA session!

Saturday night we welcome special guests from Wisconsin and Oregon, DINGO FACTORY. Check them out at This three piece, original rock group will steal your heart! Opening for them is a female folksy duet featuring our very own, Pinto Bean, and St. Augustine artist Kensley Stewart (

$150/person includes two nights lodging, two brunches, two dinners, all classes, DJ Party and Saturday Night Concerts.

Celebrate the turning of the new year in the forest with a special three night Forest Fusion. The special event pricing ($175) covers your three nights stay, Brunch and Dinner each day, attendance to all of the workshops, and a special blacklight party with our very own DJ Jai Biotic! Guest instructors include Veronica Rose, Pinto, Danika, Megan, Jeff, Johnny Savage, and Jonah.

Call the Hostel to make your reservation. 912-264-9738 There is limited space in Friday’s sweat lodge, so let us know when you make your reservation if you want to participate in the sweat! Check in: Dec 31, 1pm-5pm Check out: Jan 3, 2pm

Things to bring: Yoga Mat, Water Bottle, Dancin’ Clothing and costumes, Journal and favorite writing utensil, Snacks (if you might get hungry before brunch or between programs), Cooler (with many guests, the guest fridge does fill up), Warm Blankets/clothing if the weather is going to be cold, Bug Spray, Check here if you are looking for ways to donate to the space <3

The Schedule of Events is as follows!!!

Thursday (New Years Eve): New years eve starts with a late afternoon yoga class, orientation for sweat lodge participants, gratitude circle and dinner. Then we will welcome in 2016 with collaborative group art, a bonfire, a drum circle, and featured fire spinning.

Friday [RELEASE]: We will start our morning with Yoga and Breathwork classes. After a late morning brunch, we will continue the day’s theme of “Release” with a special art workshop. Later in the day participants will have the option of being part of our sweat lodge (Limited sign up) or attending a writer’s workshop. After dinner we will complete our day of release with candle-lit yoga and a bonfire. If you’re a musician, bring your musical instruments for an open jam around the campfire!

Saturday [RESTART]: The early risers can join Pinto for an invigorating yoga class followed by a Labyrinth meditation, walk and mandala drawing. After brunch we will feature a second art workshop by Veronika, elaborating on our theme, Restart. Our later afternoon workshops give you the choice between a new interactive workshop “Opening the Throat Chakra” or a forest foodie workshop “Conscious Consumption” with our kitchen manager, Jonah. After dinner and a Movement Meditations Playshop will be the party we are all excited for, bringing back DJ Jai Biotic, the black lights and body painting, and record amounts of dancing!

Sunday [RENEW]: Our final day together will focus on Renewal with a morning yoga class and the final art workshop by Veronika. After brunch we will join together for our closing circle before we go our own ways and say “See you Somewhere.”

The theme for this event will be mythology and the forest. Woodland animals, mythological creatures, the four elements, etc. We encourage guests to be creative in their costume expression using mythology and the natural world as inspiration. However, we would never want to stifle personal expression and so invite you to see this as a guideline that might have wonderful aesthetic effect around the fire!

This event will will feature the following facilitators:Bela Watson: Certified Yoga instructor, art teacher, and live painter, Eric Woodell: Art teacher and live painter, Jai Biotic: DJ and vibe expert, Wren Shoumate: Earthskills teacher, Jeffrey Rieger: Yoga Nidra Meditation Sam de Mooy: Meditation and Cacao.

Friday 10/30/15 Evening: Dinner @ 7 PM – Fireside social with the possibility of co-created stories and games after VITAL GLORY (our language for a clean kitchen after dinner :) )

Saturday 10/31/15 Morning: Meditation in the Glass House 8 AM - Yoga in the Glass House 9 AM, Brunch @ 10:30 AM

Saturday Afternoon: Earthskills Toolbox in the Woods, Art class in the Library Dome, Siesta, Free Time, Self Care! starting @ 3:30 PM

Saturday Evening: Dinner @ 6:30 PM, Ceremonial Grade Cacao from Guatemala in the Screen Porch after Vital Glory. Epic Costume Dance Party around the Main Fire Pit/ Cobb Kitchen beginning around 9:30 PM

Sunday 11/1/15 Morning: Meditation 9:30 AM, Yoga Class 10 AM, Brunch @ 11:30 AM

Sunday Afternoon: Plant Walk, Final clean up, Checking out by 3 PM

Helpful hints: It might be a good idea to bring a cooler as the guest fridge can get pretty overwhelmed when it’s busy. Bring your own towel and drinking vessel to cut down on laundry and washing up.

Upcoming Events

Posted September 29th, 2015

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

If you ever read “Tuva or Bust” then you will know what Throat Singing is. The book tells the story of Richard Feynman (famed quantum mechanics physicist who worked on the first US atomic bomb at Los Alamos) who with his friend Ralph Leighton, set out to visit Tuva, and discover the wonders of Tuvan throat-singing.

Jon Erkkila is a folk musician and throat singer on tour in the US. He studied throat singing and traditional Tuvan music with Choduraa Tumat of Tyva Kyzy at Tuvan State University in Kyzyl, Republic of Tuva, Russian Federation for six months last year. Jon states that the Tuvan khoomei is therapeutic to listen to and to practice. It is both amazing what one can do with their body, and the fact that everyone is capable of singing in this style with the right start on how to sing and with a good sound concept.

Jon is coming to the Hostel on Friday Sept 26th. 2015 to perform and teach us about throat singing and his amazing travels. Admission is free to guests.

Watch Jon Erkkila throat singing here

Forest Fusion September 18th - 20th 2015

Posted September 15th, 2015

Back by popular demand, the Hostel in the Forest will be hosting another Forest Fusion event the weekend of September 18th thru the 20th.. Come connect with us and take advantage of the many offering these events have to offer. Schedule for the event is as follows:

Friday afternoon – check in by 7pm. A wonderful vegetarian dinner will be served at 7:30pm. Following clean up, our event meditation instructor, Sophia Seeramial, will be hosting a guided meditation in the glass house…a perfect way to set your intentions for a relaxing and healing weekend. See more information about Sophia’s work, here

Saturday morning – start your day off will a guided yoga practice—led by certified yoga teacher, Cassandra Heggan at 9am. When you are ready, make your way back to the Screen Porch, where we will be serving a bountiful brunch at 10:30am. Spend the rest of the day exploring art workshops hosted by Joe Quillsong and beloved artist couple; Bella and Eric. There will also be an earthskills workshop led by own very own wonder woman of the woods, Wren.

Saturday night – after another lovely vegetarian feast, DJ Jai Biotic will spin his magic for us as we dance the night away, painted in blacklight active body paints and watching live art provided by Joe Quillsong and Bella and Eric…a highlight, indeed.

Sunday Morning – wake up to the alarm of birdsong and gentle breezes… Yoga will again be led by Cassandra in the Glass House at 9am, followed by brunch at 10:30am. Walk the Forest paths with intention as Sophia Seeramial leads us on an intentional, meditative walk at 12pm. Check out by 3pm*

We look forward to hosting an event like this once a month here in the Forest.Keep an eye out for event notifications via Facebook- like our Facebook page here

Many Blessings, The Hostel in the Forest team

Upcoming Event

Posted September 13th, 2015

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

Yaupon Tea Presentation August 29th 2015

Posted August 25th, 2015

Owner and Founder of Yaupon Tea Company, Lou Thomann, will be offering a lecture on the history, medicinal properties, and cultivation of the only indigenous caffeine producing plant in North America known as Yaupon. This plant is a prolific understory tree that grows all over the Hostel in the Forest property. Yaupon is a very hardy plant that can be wild harvested with minimal impact on the environment. Lou will be offering samples of the finished product; a line of Yaupon based drinks and dried tea under the brand Asi (Ah-see). Please join us as we investigate and celebrate this native plant!

Visit the Yaupon Tea website for more information on this delicious tea known to southern indigenous peoples as “Big Medicine”.

Forest Fusion August 21st - 23rd 2015

Posted July 17th, 2015

The Hostel in the Forest will be hosting “Forest Fusion” which will be weekend event from August 21st – 23rd. We will be having classes through out the day featuring nature connection, friction fire, and plant walks. Come connect with the land and enjoy the abundance of knowledge being shared! The founder of Wilderness Means, Ex Umbra will be leading classes on Saturday and Wren Shoumate will be leading classes on Sunday. There will also be live music on saturday night by popular DJ from Orlando known as Jai Biotic. We encourage guests to bring their own water vessel, beach towel, and a cooler. The price will be $125 per person or $100 for camping. Please call the hostel for more information or visit our facebook page for the full event information.

Upcoming Events

Posted July 8th, 2015

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

July 4th Hostel's 40th Birthday

Posted June 14th, 2015

The weekend of July 4th, we turn FORTY, and America… turns WAY OLDER! Let’s celebrate how well we’ve all aged with songs by the campfire and doing yoga til we can’t downward dog any longer!

Starting on the night of Friday the 3rd, after you get cozy in your accommodation and fill your bellies with a wonderful vegetarian dinner, we’ll have the lovely songstress Danielle Hicks—with guitar wizard, Nate Saraceno, down from Savannah to serenade you fireside.

On Saturday morning, we’ll start the day of full of intention with a guided Yoga Nidra meditation, followed by a yoga practice led by an instructor (to be determined) in the Glass House. Spend the whole of the fourth in the magical woods and waters of the Forest… Sounds nice, doesn’t it? That night (the 4th) we’ll be rockin’ up some authentic southern BBQ, courtesy of our very talented kitchen manager, Mark (a man well versed in the art of food for the soul). And, of course…we will not disappoint our vegan and vegetarian friends! After dinner, as the sun casts its last rays upon the canopy, Orlando’s own, D.J. Jae Ortiz (Jaibiotic) will spin his magic from the cobb kitchen! Watch beauty form to the music as the much loved artists Veronika and Bridget transform surfaces into live works of art!

The following morning (Sunday), wrap up your weekend of celebration with a healing Yoga Nidra meditation and a guided yoga practice.

Check in before 7 p.m. Friday, July 3rd. Check out by 12 p.m. Sunday, July 5th.

A light brunch will be provided both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Lunches are up to you!

To protect our beloved Forest, no fireworks will be permitted during this event.

In addition to all of our beautiful treehouses, we’ll be offering campsites around the lake. Reservations can be made now! We’re asking a flat fee of $125 per person for all of what Friday, Saturday and Sunday have to offer.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff


The prelude to summer brings great knowledge and excitement to the Hostel in the Forest. Marc and Mycol return to one of their favorite classrooms with practical ecological identification of plants and mushrooms, as well as permaculture and fermentation techniques. We will share in the fresh local bounty, eating and drinking deliciously all the while elevating our collective wisdom around the wonder of biology!

Mycol Stevens has a Master’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology and worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL from 2004-2014. He has traveled much of Central and South America and Africa, and has learned from some of the best teachers including Frank Cook and Robert Hunsucker. Mycol has been teaching ethnobotany and edible mushrooms since 2005. He also lives off-the-grid on an “ecocentric” permaculture homestead where he eats from the wild almost daily and propagates and cultivates his own organic foods. Mycol’s philosophy is to ween off the “system” and to eat your food as medicine. Mycol has been inspired by the Hostel since the mid 90’s and much of its philosophy is reflected in his way of life. Knowing the living world around you, connects you to the living world. Mycol hosts (Willing Workers On Organic Farms, (WWOOFers) at his Finca. Contact him if you are interested in visiting. He also is the host of the annual mushroom teaching in July on the Finca.

Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied plants intensively while learning to use them for food, medicine, biological conservation, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. Marc’s major research in graduate school focused on the most useful plants of Appalachia. However it is clear that a holistic appreciation of nature irrespective of utility will be necessary to create the new paradigm that our current global situation calls for. He has since spent significant time learning the plants of the western U.S. and tropical regions as well. Marc has spent over a decade working at a multitude of restaurants, various farms, and travels throughout 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe and all 50 of the United States of America. In those travels he has visited over 70 of the best botanical gardens in the world. He has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous lives of plants and their respective uses. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. Marc first came to the Hostel in the Forest in March of 1998 and was immediately transformed through a first time sweat lodge experience with Tom Dennard the hostel founder. Like Mycol many of the principles that make the Hostel in the Forest such a special place have informed his expression of life in this world ever since. Further info can be found at where an online botany class in the tradition of Frank Cook is conducted by donation.

Workshops will include: Botany/Mycology 101 presentation, Wild Foods/Medicines walk, Super Food preparation presentation, Botanical beach/estuary Walk, Fermentation Overview with Honey Mead Making and a Permaculture Ecological restoration talk. Botanical slide shows of various parts of the world including Latin America, Africa and Europe are also possible given interest.

WHEN: Please prepare to arrive Friday afternoon. Teachings will begin Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon.

COST: $150-200 per person sliding, which includes accommodations at the Hostel for Friday and Saturday night as well as a basic breakfast porridge, potluck lunches and beautiful vegetarian dinner on both nights. Please bring a food item or two you would like to share. Worktrade may be available for interested participants with limited funds. Write to with stated need and proposal.

BRING: Your notebook, any relevant books you have, a camera, a loupe (portable magnifying glass) if you have one, water bottle, rain coat etc. Handouts will be provided.

May the Forest Be With You

Upcoming Workshops

Posted January 18th, 2015

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

Join us for a winter solstice celebration to feed the soul and spirit. Rich with opportunities to connect with our hearts and with nature, this sacred and nourishing space will guide you more deeply into your own radiance with the return of the sun! Midwinter has traditionally been a time of ritual, connection, reflection and renewal. Like our ancestors have done throughout the ages, we honor the cycles and the seasons to acknowledge and remember the great web of life that connects us all. Experiencing the longest night opens an opportunity to look into the darkness, greet it, honor it and enjoy it, and then bring forth the light. Winter solstice is an occasion to move from the outer world into our inner world, offering time to feed our spirit and nurture our soul. We will embark on a journey that helps cultivate rest, renewal, inner wisdom and our innate powers to heal.

The retreat will include: Medicinal and delectable herb walks, mead-making (and sharing), awareness games, co-counseling (healing through deep listening), dawn chorus bird sit, connection with yourself, each other and nature, Thai body work and acrobatic play, candlelight dinner, night walks, healing the heart, and a solstice ceremony!


Josh Fox has built a life around the healing powers of plants, people and nature. He has a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine and is a faculty member of Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts and the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. He also teaches through many venues including his own healing practice, Warren Wilson College, earthskills gatherings and private workshops. Find out more about Fox at

Jamie Sparks is a long-time herbalist, body worker, yoga instructor, educator, artist and event organizer. She is excited to bring her knowledge, vision and enthusiasm to the Hostel. Jamie runs an herbal CSA and a massage practice part of the year and teaches at earthskills gatherings the rest of the year. She believes in year-round fun and joy. Find more on Jamie at

Chuck Thomson’s life was changed when he did a month of worktrade at the Hostel in 2007: he was inspired to pursue a more meaningful life full of adventure, passion, skills, forests and tribe. Seven years later, he is site coordinator at four regional earthskills gatherings, organizes several smaller skills gatherings each year, mentors youth through nature connection, and teaches next-level tree climbing, fire management, tracking, animal processing and community leadership.

Ann Delia Turner joins us from Athens, Georgia, where she works to inspire aliveness, creativity and awareness in children and adults through the nature connection programs of Wild Intelligence. She has a passion for inter-species communication and restoring the role of humans as conscious life forms actively participating in a sentient landscape.

COST: There is a sliding scale fee for this event of $100-$150. This includes accommodations at The Hostel for Friday and Saturday night, a vegetarian dinner on both nights, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and 48 hours of celebration!

WHEN: Please prepare to arrive Friday afternoon. Opening circle will convene after dinner on Friday, Dec 19th, and closing circle will conclude by 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec 21st.

BRING: Bring a sense of ceremony, ready-to-eat snacks for Saturday afternoon, songs to share and instruments to play, and an open heart.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff