Healthy New Year! Move into 2015 with a Walk, Run, Yoga Retreat or Healing Workshop

first day hike across Elephant Butte Dam

Here’s a heads-up about a few healthy happenings during the first week of 2015 here in Sierra County.

First Day Hikes

On Thursday, January 1st, 2015, Elephant Butte Lake State Park will play host to two moderate level “First Day” hikes. Both hikes are at the south end of the lake, and though they are in proximity to one another, the old adage “you can’t get there from here” is somewhat true due to roads being closed. The Dirt Dam Hike (open throughout the year) is accessed just south of where Highway 179 meets Highway 195. Folks who choose this hike should meet at the Dirt Dam parking lot at 10am and prepare to walk about 3.5 miles.

The Elephant Butte Dam Hike is shorter, at only 3/4 of a mile, and mostly paved. It is also available far less frequently; if we’re lucky, the roadway on top of the Dam is opened to foot traffic once a year, for a few hours on New Year’s Day.

Participants should park anywhere near the Dam overlook (close to the Damsite Recreational Area); to get there, drive east on Highway 51 toward Engle before hanging a left on State Road 177. A presentation on the history of the dam will be available, and the dam will be open and accessible from both ends from 10am-2pm. This hike is not long but there are some inclines en route to the Dam.

Park fees are waive for both hikes, consider it State Parks’ gift for the New Year! Contact Elephant Butte Lake State Park at 575-744-5923 for more information.

map of the First Day Hikes

New Year’s Wellness Weekend

On Saturday, January 3rd and Sunday, January 4th, 2015, Kingston’s Black Range Lodge will be the peaceful setting for a relaxing weekend of wellness instruction. 

Black Range Lodge front porch
The Black Range Lodge, Kingston
The intention of this informal gathering is to train folks how to help themselves enhance their own health and happiness on an ongoing basis. Attendees will go home with plenty of “take-aways” so that they can continue some of the practices at home.

Saturday’s workshops will include yoga, chi gong, pairs chair massage, reflexology, quantum bio-feedback, and a chance to sample local herb tinctures. On Sunday there will be opportunities for private sessions with the various wellness practitioners. Those who choose to stay overnight at the B&B will have the opportunity to commune with other health-conscious folks on Saturday evening. Accommodations are offered at 10% off regular rates; food will be simple and natural, with gluten-free options. Suggested donations $10-15 per 90 minute session; day-trippers are welcome. Contact Catherine Wanek at 575-895-5652 or for more information.

Yoga & Meditation Retreat

Looking for contentment in your new year? Join Marisa Wolfe and Halli Bourne of Santosha Yoga & Meditation Retreats for 3 days of meditative movement with a goal of soothing soul awakening. 

Yoga class
Yoga Workshop in Truth or Consequences
This is the seventh year that they’ll bring their “Breathe New Life Into Your Life” retreat to Truth or Consquences, and they’ll offer a series of restorative activities during the event. Modalities will include acupressure, reiki energy, and craniosacral therapies; lomilomi, Thai yoga, and Swedish style massage; mindfulness performance and creativity coaching; and private yoga and meditation. Local massage masters Ova Leuthye and Deitrie Yamini will lend a hand (or two.)

The weekend starts Friday, January 2nd, 2015 at 3pm and ends Sunday the 4th at 11am; folks will choose from two local hot spring lodges for their stay, and enjoy soaking priveleges as well. La Paloma Hot Springs and the Sierra Grande Lodge both have unique lodging rooms and charming outdoor spaces where attendees can connect with other enlightenment-seekers. Rates from $465 include accommodations, group yoga sessions, four meals and one personalized therapy session. Contact Marisa and Halli at 505-417-1986, 505-249-4981 or And in case you were wondering, Santosha is a Sanskrit word meaning contentment.

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