Climbing the Inner Mountain
Hiking & Yoga Retreat
in the Dolomites (The BEST of the Italian Alps)
with Ai Kubo and Mark Silva
July 11 - 18, 2019
“It's not the mountain we climb, but ourselves..” -- Edmund Hillary
As hikers of the mountain we seek to climb the physical peaks and vantage points to get more perspective on the expansive vistas that surround us, feeling more connected to everything in the process. As yogis we seek to climb the inner mountain of the self, exploring, and understanding deeper layers with each passing breath. In this retreat, we will do both!
Set within the magical UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Dolomites, we’ll reside in the heart of the Dolomites, in a lovely family-run hotel in the beautiful town of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
We will take daily excursions into the uniquely splendid landscapes of the most extraordinary parts of the Dolomites, arguably the most stunning and distinct mountains in the world.
Each day, we will have local professional guides lead us through the most breathtaking landscapes. You'll have 2 hiking options to choose from daily. Enjoy the more challenging hike (up to 7-9 miles with great climbs), or opt for an easier approach (you should be comfortable with a 6-7 mile hike with up to 1200 feet elevation gain on some days.) In the Dolomites, it is possible to savor the astonishing views without all the work, via cable cars, ski lifts and shuttle rides. The diverse and dramatic topography of the Dolomites offers vistas galore for everyone!
This retreat is open to anyone interested in immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the Italian Alps, as well as the contemplative practices of yoga. Ai Kubo and Mark Silva will lead a daily all-levels yoga class that will help focus on recovery from our long day hikes. The yoga classes will be progressive and alignment-focused.
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UNESCO describes the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as “being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world. Their intrinsic beauty derives from a variety of spectacular vertical forms, such as pinnacles, spires and towers, with contrasting horizontal surfaces including ledges, crags and plateaux, all of which rise abruptly above extensive talus deposits and more gentle foothills. A great diversity of colours is provided by the contrasts between the bare pale-coloured rock surfaces and the forests, lakes, and meadows below. The mountains rise as peaks with intervening ravines, in some places standing isolated but in others forming sweeping panoramas. Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,500 m and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world… The quantity and concentration of extremely varied limestone formations is extraordinary in a global context, including peaks, towers, pinnacles and some of the highest vertical rock walls in the world.” Read more.
Prepare to be completely enchanted by the exhilarating landscapes you will see each day. The vast and diverse Dolomites (see above) offer magnificence everywhere you turn. Even from the road, they bless the viewer with captivating panoramas. Our excursions will be structured so that you will be immersed into the most dramatic and impressive scenes of the Dolomites whether you're a moderate hiker or a serious one. We will have access to the cable cars and ski lifts which can transport us to the soaring peaks and reduce the workload. At the top of the mountain, you’ll be entranced by striking 360 views that are so stupendous, you’ll feel as if you’ve been boosted up to heaven. You may choose from 2 hiking level options daily. Either choice will allow you to drink in even more of the breathtaking vistas, and/or enjoy lunch at the rifugios (see below). If you love to hike, these colossal jagged peaks and pinnacles, soaring cliff walls, lunar landscapes, otherworldly green meadows, stunning alpine lakes and unexpected wild flowers are happy to indulge you even beyond your wildest dreams. We’ve scouted it all out and our local professional guides will lead us on the best trails for you to witness this mysterious and glorious land! We’ll all visit the most thrilling peaks, structures, valleys and meadows and spend an afternoon at a jaw-dropping, luminous lake and take a swim, walk its perimeter, or hike its peaks. You’ll have options to hike a little or a lot. Many of the more challenging hikes recommended are about 7-9 miles long with elevation gains between 1500- 3000 feet, and the more moderate hikes are up to 7 miles. To get the most out of the hiking, it is best if you are comfortable with up to 7 miles and a 1200 feet elevation gain.
Known for their crystal clear instructions, generous hands-on adjustments, combined knowledge on yoga philosophy, biomechanics, and health, Mark and Ai are highly sought after yoga teachers in the Bay Area. Mark Silva, E-RYT500, is a Yoga Teacher and iOS Developer. He loves to cultivate wonder in the surrounding world, pulling us into a deeper connection with Consciousness. Ai Kubo, PhD, is a certified yoga teacher, wellness coach and a scientist. Her calm energy, presence, and unique personal styles fill up the room in a way that radiates purpose, confidence, and playfulness. Mark and Ai’s teachings are deeply influenced by: Noah Maze, Sianna Sherman, Desiree Rumbaugh, Richard Rosen, and Ana Forrest. Being parents of two girls, Mark and Ai’s teaching is often appreciated by those who have busy lives with a lot of daily responsibilities.
We’ll stay in a beautiful, comfortable, highly hospitable family-owned and -managed hotel just outside the downtown area of Cortina d’Ampezzo. It has all the amenities you’ll need and then some for a pleasurable stay. Each room is spacious by European standards and includes its own ensuite modern bathroom. On the outside you’ll find barrels bursting and pots overflowing with vivid and radiant flowers all over the place, and a tranquil, spacious, green private park. Trees sprinkle the park providing softly shaded areas, while simultaneously allowing sunshine to beam through. Lounge chairs are scattered throughout for your relaxation and enjoyment in the quiet and peaceful surrounding environment with the Alps floating above. There is also an illuminated pedestrian walkway that leads to the downtown area of Cortina. The interior boasts several delightful pleasures, including: a wellness center with sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish baths and treatment rooms; cozy social spaces, reading room, tavern with fireplace and wine cellar that houses 160 labels from Italy and abroad; and an elegant dining room. Furnishings are a mix of elegance and coziness, and combine elements of Cortina’s traditional style with modern and practical features, like WiFi.
The charming Cortina d’Ampezzo, located in a gorgeous valley in the heart of the Dolomites, is Italy’s most esteemed alpine town. It’s dazzling, elegant and classic. Its pedestrian-only streets are lined with novelty, sports, luxury and glamour shops, little boutiques, restaurants, cafes, pasticcerias and pizzerias. Cobblestone streets, enjoyable piazzas and church spires fill its center, and the hovering and alluring Italian Alps frame it. You may recognize it when you see it, as it’s been featured in a number of films, most recognizably Cliffhanger, For Your Eyes Only, and The Pink Panther.
A large European breakfast will be served each morning in the tasteful dining room and will include fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, cereal, eggs and bacon, ham and cheese, an assortment of bread, toast and pastries, and juice, coffee and tea. The delicious 4-course dinners range from local to international cuisine. They begin with the fresh salad bar. The first and second courses present choices of pasta, soup, vegetables and meat or fish dishes. Choices could range from native homemade pasta or asparagus in crepes, to veal shanks or filet mignon. Each night is different. Dessert introduces tempting cakes, pastry, gelato and fresh fruit. All is served by the friendly staff who seem to cater to each individual. Lunch will be a special treat at the rifugios.
During the day, we’ll also stop off at the rifugios (mountain huts) to savor their majestic setting. These mountain refuges are a part of the rich history of the Dolomites and they’re special gems of the area. They are each located in an exquisite alpine setting, and some are perched atop mountain peaks, seemingly at the edge of the world, while others sit at a lake’s shore, or smack-dab in the middle of a pristine meadow. The sauna pictured on the left sits in the clouds at 9000 feet and belongs to a very famous rifugio. You’ll be able take a cable car or hike up to it and enjoy lunch, a sauna and the heavenly views. All of the rifugios have sweeping panoramas. They allow us to commune with nature while experiencing the comforts of a hot cooked meal, cup of tea, glass of wine or beer or slice of cake. These unique rest stops serve as great venues to gather and meet interesting nature lovers from all over the world.
On the days you might prefer to "chill", there are many things to do in town. But you may prefer to relax with a book in the private hotel park, or luxuriate in the hotel’s wellness center. In the revitalizing wellness center, you may enjoy the sauna, soak in the Jacuzzi or Turkish Bath, or savor one of their treatments or massages.
Triple Room Share: $2795.
Double Room Share: $2995.
Single in Single Room: $3395 (only one room available)
Single in Double Room: $3595
All prices are per person. If you don't have a roommate, we can try to help partner you with one.
We cannot guarantee a triple room price until all there are enough other
participants who also want a triple and the room is full.
7 nights accommodations at a lovely 3-star hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo (see above for hotel description.)
7 breakfasts. The large European breakfasts will include fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, cereal, eggs and bacon, ham and cheese, an assortment of bread, toast and pastries, and juice, coffee and tea.
3 delicious 4-course dinners at the hotel, plus 1 special dinner out. Hotel dinners range from local to international cuisine. They begin with the fresh salad bar. The first and second courses present choices of pasta, soup, vegetables and meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. Choices could range from native homemade pasta or asparagus in crepes, to veal shanks or filet mignon. Each night is different. Dessert introduces tempting cakes, pastry, gelato and fresh fruit.
Daily hatha yoga classes led by Ai Kubo and Mark Silva, and yoga space rental.
Daily hiking or touring excursions. There will be two hiking choices each day: one for more advanced hikers and one more moderate hike. Both will see the dramatic landscapes.
Ground transportation for scheduled excursions.
Lift tickets for scheduled excursions.
Free Wi-fi at the hotel
Does not include:
Lunches, or 3 dinners.
Massages or Sauna use.
Any extra activities, lifts or ground transportation not included in the itinerary.
Deposit due to hold your space and payment schedule:
Triple Share: $2795 Triple Rooms.
Deposit to hold your space: $1395
Balance due February 1: $1400
Double Share: $2995
Deposit to hold your space: $1495
Balance due February 1: $1500
Single in Single Room (only one available): $3395
Deposit to hold your space: $1695
Balance due February 1: $1700
Single in Double Room: $3595
Deposit to hold your space: $1795
Balance due February 1: $1800