Nestled in a valley of Southwest PA, River Mountain offers unparalleled access to nature - from active adventure to stargazing to forest bathing. With 150 acres on campus, bordered by state park and public land, River Mountain guests have access to more than 30,000 acres of undisrupted nature. Explore Sweet Root Creek, Dewey's Pond, Warrior Ridge, expansive meadow views, natural wetland springs, a hammock hideaway, and the River Mountain trail loop.
Transpersonal Breathwork is a modality most often experienced in safe and supportive group settings led by trained facilitators. This process often evokes supportive feelings of connection and community-building that can facilitate and amplify self-discovery and personal development. With this support, Transpersonal Breathwork can occasion transformative catharses even in response to seemingly intractable pain.
The core components of Transpersonal Breathwork are based on Stanislav Grof MD's holotropic theory and his work with his late wife, Christina. The experience includes group process, intensified breathing, evocative music, bodywork (when desired), expressive drawing, and group process. The felt sense of this practice can parallel reports emerging from mystical and shamanic traditions, as well as experiential philosophy.
Doing so is known to intensify one’s experiential field by which the content and intensity of one’s experience may be beyond those typically accessible during ordinary, normative states of consciousness. Through this intensification, individuals can experience shifts in how they understand and tend to their inner life, allowing for increased opportunities to effect direct change in one’s respective world. These shifts can range from deepening personal insight to posttraumatic catharsis and are most readily occasioned by a self-directed process of affirming all qualities of experience as expressions of an Inner Healing Intelligence unique to each person.
Spaces to Play and Sleep
Designed by award-winning architecture firm GWWO, River Mountain accommodations are a destination in and of themselves. Thoughtfully crafted accommodations blend modern amenities, the comforts of home, and the beauty of the outdoors -- this is your mountain oasis.
River Mountain's circadian rhythm cabins align with the body's natural rhythms -- helping reduce stress, enhance creativity, and increase connection to the natural environment. If you choose the cabin accommodation, you'll have your own cozy yet spacious sleeping pod (with a thick privacy curtain) in a cabin with 8-12 pods. Each cabin has two shared bathrooms, a seating area, and stunning views in every direction.
If sleeping closer to nature is something you love, three glamping tents and four glamping yurts are also available at River Mountain. The tents and yurts are double accommodations and are a short walk to the bathroom/shower facilities. More information about all available accommodations can be found here.
Our group will have exclusive use of River Mountain to support the experience of finding peace and creating connections with your fellow sojourners.
Nourishing, Fresh Meals
All meals are served buffet style with animal protein and vegan protein options. Each meal will have a menu card explaining the options and their ingredients (vegan, gluten-free). We do not put common allergy ingredients directly into the food (nightshades, dairy, nuts) but have these as optional add-ons.
As part of this VITAL Journey, you’ll rediscover the joy of eating and nourishment for body and soul in every meal. In addition to three meals a day, on certain days, you'll enjoy afternoon snacks with mocktails, and on certain evenings we'll have campfire fun and s'mores!
Your VITAL Journey Includes:
- 6 days/5 nights accommodation at River Mountain
- 4 Transpersonal Breathwork sessions (two as a breather, two as a sitter)
- 3 fresh, farm-to-table meals/day
- access to miles of stunning hiking paths, Sweet Root Creek, and the hammock hideaway
- daily yoga, intuitive movement, and CrossFit practices
- honey class and tasting
- access to spring-fed, cedar soaking tubs
- free wifi
- group airport transfer from BWI
- taxes and gratuities
What’s Not Included:
- all flights (R/T flight to BWI)
- any airport transportation outside of the group pick-up schedule
- optional massage treatments available on request
- travel insurance
A note about schedule + flights:
This Journey will commence on Friday, July 28th, from 3-5 pm when check-in opens at River Mountain, so look for flights that arrive at BWI before 1 pm that day if you choose the group shuttle option. Departure from River Mountain will be at 11 am on Wednesday, August 2nd, so look for flights that depart BWI after 3 pm that day.
Here is a detailed Journey Info Packet with more details to support your planning.
To complete your registration, please complete the Breathwork Health Form; our team will review it, and if there are any concerns, you will be contacted.
Our Wholebeing Framework
Every day you’ll spend time practicing and solidifying your knowledge of how to use wholebeing practices to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit. You’ll explore our wholebeing framework through CrossFit, yoga, intuitive movement, creativity, time in nature, and the breathwork journey.
Our Wholebeing Guides are highly trained, seasoned professionals in their disciplines and weave all aspects of these practices into their lives. We’ve found that there’s no one way, but many access points, to building a lifetime of healthy habits. The team will meet you right where you are to support and guide you toward where you’d like to be.
Your VITAL Journey Guides
Kyle’s interest in exploring non-ordinary states of consciousness began when he was 16-years-old when he suffered a traumatic snowboarding accident. Waking up after having a near-death experience changed Kyle’s life. Since then, Kyle has earned his B.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, where he studied the healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness by exploring shamanism, plant medicine, Holotropic Breathwork, and the roots/benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. Kyle has co-taught two college-level courses. One of the courses Kyle created as a capstone project, “Stanislav Grof’s Psychology of Extraordinary Experiences,” and the other one which he co-created, “The History of Psychedelics.”
Kyle completed his M.S. in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in somatic psychology. Kyle’s clinical background in mental health consists of working with at-risk teenagers in crisis and with individuals experiencing an early episode of psychosis. Kyle also facilitates Transpersonal Breathwork workshops.
Drawing on her background in architecture, exhibit design, storytelling, human resources, positive psychology, yoga, mindfulness and breathwork, Alice founded Prasada in 2009. Pushing the possibilities of wholebeing at work, Alice guides the Prasada team as they collaborate with HR professionals and executive teams to plan and design wellness and professional development programs. These programs support organizational cultures where people can thrive.
Clients are unanimous in their praise of Alice’s commitment to helping them solve problems, often finding simple, elegant approaches to challenges. Her corporate professionalism and ability to truly connect with people provides a comfortable environment for the exploration of building wholebeing practices. These practices support mental and physical wholebeing for individuals as a foundation of sustainability for their organizations.
Alice received a Certificate of Completion in the VITAL: Psychedelics Therapies and Integratation with Psychedelics Today in 2023 and is currently in training as a Dreamshadow Certified Breathwork Facilitator, with final training requirements to be completed in 2023.
Meg Townsend is a classically-trained singer, holistic healer, yoga teacher, and experienced travel planner and guide. She has utilized these varied skills as a “Createur de Voyages” and since 2014 Meg has guided over 22 journeys to Costa Rica, Morocco, France, Italy, and Guatemala.
Meg’s journey with yoga sprouted in High School, and her formal yoga teacher training began in 2007. Today she is a registered yoga teacher with a 500+ hours ParaYoga® Master Training Certification, and continuous training has led her all over the world, studying with teachers at the Himalayan Institute in India and various places across the US.
As the Director of Program Development and Wholebeing Guide with Prasada, she is a top requested instructor with many corporate clients and other regional organizations. She formerly was the co-director of the Amrita Yoga teacher training program in Philadelphia, and as a Level 4 Reiki Master Teacher, she has created her own Reiki training programs.
Emefa, at her core, is a Healer and Medicine Woman hailing from the Ewe Tribe of Ghana, West Africa. What that currently looks like is serving as a Life and Business Coach for women focusing on healing through embodiment. She is a Certified Transformational Embodiment Coach, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Facilitator, and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Facilitator.
Emefa draws on her Ghanaian lineage, her personal experience as a trauma survivor, and her professional training to guide women through an integrated embodiment coaching process bringing about real and lasting change. She lives in Dallas and is training as a Psychedelics Preparation & Integration Guide. Visit her website to learn more.
Katherine Burkhardt is an artist, mystic, aromatherapist, breathwork enthusiast, world traveler, and mother. She has an innate love for life and all of its messy and glorious ways. Her caring, compassion, and intuition bring a level of instant trust and safety to all who meet her. She holds two bachelor's degrees - one in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts and the other in Culinary Arts.
For her, breathwork was the most important catalyst for massive life transformations. Through her years of training, she became the most authentic, highest version of herself. Breathwork was the modality that provided freedom, safety, and a community that she longed for. She found her calling and is thrilled to share it with others seeking the same transformation.
Marco Dapkey has been an athlete his entire life and was on track to follow his passion and play D1 college football as a career. However, in 2010, a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia guided Marco’s life in a different direction. He pursued a degree in Exercise Science and began practicing yoga and mindfulness to regain his health. This path also led him to CrossFit in West Chester, PA and his life has not been the same since.
In Marco’s words, “I will never forget the feeling of excitement and nervousness I had when I first walked into CrossFit. I was immediately hooked on the community, the challenge, and the opportunities to better myself. This helped me feel more like I had felt before having cancer.”
Through CrossFit and functional movement, he inspires everyone he encounters to be more engaged in their personal fitness and wholebeing. He lives this purpose every day with his growing business, CrossFit MVP in Havertown, PA.
Nicole is a certified Psychedelic Preparation & Integration Coach and a Neurodynamic Breathwork Facilitator. Nicole has personally found healing from abuse, trauma, and oppression through the therapeutic uses of psychedelic substances and is now passionate about helping others do the same.
Her professional training includes Loka Yoga Pranayama breathwork teacher training, Meditation teacher training, Yin yoga teacher training, the Being True To You Addiction & Recovery Coaching Program certification, 35-hr Trauma and Somatics practitioners training certification, Neurodynamic Breathwork Facilitators certification, and Psychedelics Today 12-month Vital Program in Psychedelic Therapy and Integration. In a past life of hers, she completed an associates in Fine Art, Elementary Education, and a major in Environmental Studies with a minor in Physical Geography.
When she is not in the office, she enjoys hanging out with nature, her greatest witness to her healing journey. She loves soaking in hot springs, swimming in alpine lakes, mountain biking, snowshoeing, hiking, and sitting outside. Nature reminds her that, ultimately, we are the medicine.