Yoga & Nature Immersion Retreat- Wonderland Lodge, Makarora


Welcome! Thanks for showing interest in the Yoga and Nature Immersion Retreat  23-24 October, on our home ground the Beautiful Makarora Valley. In what we envision will become regular opportunities to sustain self- care & good health,  with  Nature awareness, Yoga & Ayurveda.

Wonderland Lodge & the Makarora Valley


Who are we?

A collaboration of local ( Makarora) skilled & passionate folk committed  to well-being and Nature wisdom.

Rachel connecting with an ancient Beech Tree

Rachel: Founding member of the  Aspiring Biodiversity Trust :  believes that: Biodiversity forms the foundation of the vast array of ecosystem services that critically contribute to human well being. Rachel is passionate about  the integral connections between nature and human well-being. In tune with the earth through her connection with nature, Rachel was a true naturalist from a young age and later took this further by becoming a professional ecologist and ornithologist. She has worked on many ecological projects both in NZ and internationally. Her current work focuses on the protection and restoration of indigenous threatened species within the Makarora catchment from ridge to river. She has been working on biodiversity projects within Makarora since 2016 and has often envisaged holding a wellbeing retreat at this perfect location. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and has experience with Ayurveda practices in the UK.



Virabhadrasana, Warrior pose

Carmen:  Longtime student of Yoga and local Yoga facilitator. Studied to teach Yoga in 2005. Learning Yoga in an Ashram enviornment offered up a beautiful transmission of teaching, carried forward from a lineage of Shaivate Yoga teachers. This experience opened her to  other aspects of Yoga and the  realisation that: Yoga was an astonishing system that offered perceptions and insights into human potential and seeing the world in a different way. This initiated a lifelong inquiry into the greater teachings of Yoga philosophy and the Vedic science of Life, Ayurveda. Carmen is  a trained  Ayurveda lifestyle consultant where Nature and the Elements are the cornerstones for preventative health care routines.  Including  the  Beautiful Vedic ritual of Agni Hotra (offering into the fire) which will be experienced on the retreat.

Initiated in 2011,  the practice of Kriya Yoga, with  Kriya Yoga NZ,  Heeding the call to explore and practice Raja Yoga as the deeper aspects of Yoga philosophy & practice, life and living from a traditional Guru/student lineage of teaching, which offers deep roots of reliable & powerful transmissions of knowledge.

Like Rachel, she also has seen the vision to support well-being, nurtured by the pristine Nature of the Makarora Valley.



Tim harvesting Horopito

Tim: Man with many hats, one as a trained Chef.  He follows the path of the Shaman, is passionate about organic gardening and fruit trees, enjoys opportunities to cook nutritious food for  gatherings that uplift the spirit. Tim likes to  build round houses 


Collectively we recognise there is a powerful transmission when we come together with the common goal to immerse and reflect in nature,  practice Yoga, Meditate, eat meals prepared in accordance with the cosmic Ayurvedic principles. Our intention is to create the space to pause from daily commitments and demands and turn awareness to Yoga, Ayurveda and Nature to uplift energy and help dissolve accumulated tensions.


Biodiversity & Well-being

Endemic biodiversity – a brown creeper in full song

Gentle guided hikes by the pristine rivers and in the mighty forests of the Makarora Valley.    Exploring the innerstanding that everything we do is nature, that we are nature. Living in a city or town, working for a corporate, as a scientist, with a computer,  or as an engineer, does not mean you are not nature.  Our effort and ability to develop right relationships with nature is weaved with the knowing that  a strong connection with nature improves our well-being, inspires and nourishes us. In Japan the antidote to stress and the dis-ease of modern life is to meditate among the trees( forest bathing) Learn and connect to the biodiverse landscapes, flora and fauna with Rachel as practical ways to  expand our awareness not only as natural beings but towards living as nature intended within our natural enviornment.

Yoga & Nature

Time spent immersed in natural realms and settings is the practice of Pratyahara, the yogic management of sensory wellbeing and perspective.


Traditionally Yoga was practised in nature, the mountains the forests, oceans, lakes rivers, which offered profound realisations through the power of nature. It is said that the transmission of Yoga from Adiyoga (the first Guru) occurred on the banks of a lake in the Himalayas. Learn how Yogic and Ayurvedic science are rooted in observations of Natural law, Elements, Animals and Plants, with Carmen.

Commonly the Western Yoga movement are largely void of the integral aspects of the teachings of nature in favour of Urban commercial Yoga studios.  At what point did we no longer take our Yoga practice outside? The whole system of Yoga, works with nature and is able to awaken the higher powers of nature within us. This is not something that can be measured or reflected in a commercial way or by marketing.

Yoga Lodge

yoga&immersion retreat
Yoga Lodge










Studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, when we spend time in immersed in natural landscapes especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition. In this way science proves what the Yogis have always known: when people remember that we are a part of nature, not separate from it, and are related to all other beings in fundamental ways it is profoundly beneficial




9am: Welcome followed by:   Yoga Techniques that will ease into the energy of the immersion – (connecting to the elements within chakras & kosha, guided meditation).

11am: Refreshments

11:30am: Nature Immersion 1:(shinrin-yoku)

13:15 pm: Nutritious Ayurvedic Lunch

15:00 pm: Gentle Yoga & Meditation

16:30pm: Refreshments

18:15 pm: Sacred Fire Ritual(yagna)

19:15pm: Light Ayurvedic Dinner

Evening: Yoga Nida (optional)


06:30 am: Gentle Yoga & Meditation

08:30 am: Nutritious Ayurvedic breakfast

09:30am: Nature Immersion 2:the essence of life

12:00 pm: Light refreshment

13:00pm: Close – free time/ full list of suggested activities can be provided

Ayurveda –  Known as the science of self-healing

One of the cornerstones of Ayurveda is diet which views food as medicine. An Ayurvedic diet aids the practice of Yoga.

A well prepared Ayurvedic meal will enhance vitality, harmonise your mind and nourish your body.

Ayurvedic tomato & beetroot dhal

All meals will be organic (where possible) & Vegetarian in accordance with Ayurvedic principles which include diary products.  If you have dietry requirements please let us know when you register for the retreat.


Accommodation Options at Wonderland Lodge

View A-frame chalets here


iconic A-frame Wonderland Lodge

If you would like to stay an extra night or two before or after the retreat there is a generous discount available. In which case please let us know how many nights you wish to stay with your preference for accommodation.

There are options to share with one other, with your own room, which will lower the cost of accommodation there are 8 available spots for shared accommodation for two people.

There are 8  remaining options  for single accommodation or couples.  Please do not hesitate to inquire with Rachel, Carmen or the Staff at Wonderland Lodge if you have room queries. (Please note that Wonderland lodge will not be taking the bookings for the retreat. Carmen & Rachel will be taking the bookings.)

Superior Shared Accommodation for two people in  Two Room Chalets with bathroom  @  $130

Superior Single Person Accommodation in Studio Chalet with bathroom & kitchenette   $105

Studio Chalet with outdoor baths single/double accommodation  @ $130

Standard Chalet with Bathroom single  @ $105


night sky in the Valley by the Makarora River


$165 + Accommodation.

$90 Saturday only

Begin your retreat experience with the Yoga & Nature immersion at Wonderland Lodge, with Rachel, Carmen & Tim.

Numbers are limited. Reserve your space in the retreat and for further questions email or call:

Rachel:64 (0) 210510240
Carmen: (03)7775059

Full payment required one week before.

Day spots available (Saturday), please register your interest for the day retreat. Our priority would be to attend the full immersion, in order to gain the best experience. We understand that this is not always possible.

What to Bring

  • Comfortable loose clothing for Yoga practice.
  • Warm wet weather clothing and good foot wear for walking.
  • Your own Yoga mat, blanket, meditation shawl, bolster, cushion etc
  • If you require a mat etc please let us know when booking and we will provide for you

  • No previous experience necessary – this immersion retreat is designed for the beginner or seasoned Yogi
  • Accessible – the Yoga facilitated is gentle & non-intimidating, modifications offered and  is very enjoyable
  • Surrounded by – others who enjoy the practice of Yoga & immersing in Nature
  • Delicious, nutritious food prepared with love




 “Viewing the fluid realms of rivers, lakes or the ocean soothes the mind, including swimming and boating, dissolving any rigid boundaries. Hikes into mountains and hills are very important to widen our perspective and realize the human world is just a fraction of the universe. Looking at our human world from a mountain and forest helps restore a wider perspective on life, and take us out of our human fixations to appreciating our forgotten cosmic connections..”  -Dr David Frawley

We look forward to meeting you and practising together.

Rachel, Carmen & Tim xx