Into the woods

Stoke your creativity by getting away from it all
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  January 23, 2014


EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS Students at the ShivaShakti School of Yoga and Healing Arts train to teach others.

Whatever your preferred mode of expression — whether it be penning poems or cultivating catnip — the chance to refresh your skills and recharge your creative energy is always welcome. Even better if, after a long, gray winter, your educational pursuit allows you to break away from your desk and enjoy the wild outdoors (or perhaps just a new view from the window). With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some enticing educational opportunities for adults taking place this spring and summer around Maine, all of which involve either direct communion with nature or at least an inspirational setting. Costs vary widely; find details at each organization’s website.

Beginning a Writing Project: A Weekend Workshop, March 1-2, 2014
We’ve all been there, inspired by a brilliant idea but without any idea how to bring it to fruition. The only requirement of this weekend workshop in Bridgton is that you have the desire to start work on a piece of fiction or non-fiction. Instructor Joan Hunter, who bought the Fifth House Lodge (situated on 20 acres of woods and fields) in 1990 “as a retreat to inspire and nurture writers,” will teach participants “how to enlist dreams, intuition, and everyday magic to guide you as you work [and] what, if anything, needs to be added or subtracted from your life in order to begin and sustain a writing project.”   Fifth House Lodge | 207.647.3506 |

Grow Your Own Organic Garden, April 2
On Wednesday, April 2nd, at locations around the state and in partnership with the Maine Adult Education Association, seasoned MOFGA farmers and gardeners will offer tips and pointers to those who want to grow their own food. The Portland event will take place at Whole Foods Market from 6-9pm; those who attend can expect to learn the basics of soil science, composting, crop rotation, weed control, and how to deal with common pests. Follow up throughout the growing season with MOFGA’s extensive online resources. Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association | 207.568.4142 |

200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training, April 25-September 14, 2014
Designed to deepen students’ understanding of anatomy, physiology, and yogic philosophy as well as to prepare them to teach others, this six-month, weekend-format course allows future yogis to work and live at home while commuting to the Camden Yoga Barn for three-day-weekend trainings once a month. The ShivaShakti school also offers weekend workshops in Yoga Nidra (which promotes deep relaxation) and Thai Bodywork (an ancient form of hands-on healing), as well as a Children’s Yoga certification course. Perfect for those seeking to infuse their practice with scholarship.  ShivaShakti School of Yoga and Healing Arts | 207. 431.8079 |

Black Fly Writing Retreat, May 8-11, 2014
Summer camp for literary types! This four-day, three-night workshop at the Shoreline Camps in Grand Lake Stream (in Washington County) features workshops, readings, and lots of solitary writing time in rustic, lakeside cabins. This year’s instructors will offer guidance in four areas: fiction (Susan Conley), memoir (Monica Wood), poetry (Jeffrey Thomas), and short fiction (Lewis Robinson). We’re especially intrigued by Conley’s “The Middle Ground” workshop, which will use writing prompts to guide participants “from the land of autobiography into fiction.” Registration forms due April 1.  Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance | 207.228.8263 |

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