Category Archives: martin howard

Vermont Yoga Retreat


When Regina and I signed up for a yoga retreat in Vermont a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that it would come as such a perfect time. Dealing with Brad’s injuries and care these last couple of weeks has been really stressful for him and for me, and I think we both needed some space. Getting to go away to practice yoga 3 times a day, hike the Green Mountains of Vermont, have an incredible private chef cook organic food for us, and be surrounded by the yoga community that’s at the core of Balance Yoga was everything I needed.


Good Commons – a totally charming 1800s home completely revamped into a retreat space – was our spot for the weekend. Tescha, the proprietress, is an adorable, warm woman who definitely surrounds herself with similar people. From the time we on “The Good Bus” picked up our chef, Martin, on the way up to Vermont, we knew we were in for a wonderful weekend.
Martin, Tescha, and Rosie (our masseuse!)


The next couple of days went like this: yoga, gourmet breakfast, yoga, gourmet lunch, yoga, gourmet dinner, glass of wine, bedtime.  Add a day trip to Woodstock for an afternoon of shopping, a hike one afternoon, some hot tub time, an awesome massage, and you have our Thursday – Sunday.  It was fantastic.
The kitchen prepped for Martin with a stock of local, organic food

 We were all so into what Martin was cooking for us, and how tasty it all was! With the exception of one dinner (a fantastic chicken and dumplings stew) it was 100% vegetarian, and you hardly even noticed that the meals didn’t have meat. 

 Vermont was beautiful – so clean and chill and easy. My high school boyfriend Nash went to college at UVM, so I spent some time in Burlington our freshman year, but aside from a skiing trip or two to Stowe while at BC, I don’t think I’ve been to Vermont since college. I have a new appreciation for that kind of space after living in Colorado, though. Similarly minded people who care about their community and their world, who try to practice healthy living through organic choices (in both consumption and decisions), are really inspiring to me. Scranton is an amazing community itself, and I love it here, but I sometimes really appreciate the – should I say – hippie kind of vibe that comes along with that whole “we are a family” thing in Colorado and VT.  I’ve been really fortunate to live and work in a bunch of places throughout this country, and I feel incredibly lucky to have gained the experience that came along with following my wanderlust through my 20s.  NEPA has my heart, but some other places in this beautiful country really speak to my spirit.

bloody mary on a Saturday afternoon



Did I mention that Martin is a nationally acclaimed pastry chef? #omg

A word about yoga. I remember when Madonna came out with her “Ray of Light” album, and the insanely sculpted arms that she had on that tour. When she attributed all that definition to yoga, I couldn’t believe it. Wasn’t yoga just stretching? At the time, my sophomore year of college, yoga was nothing more to me than a class my Seattle-raised boyfriend Kyle liked to take at our gym at Boston College (which I found to be equal parts sexy and weird, if I’m being honest). But Madonna’s arms inspired me. Just like Madge, I would try this yoga thing. 

What followed was my introduction to a practice that has taught me about recognizing and conquering limitations (both physically and mentally), learning to quiet my mind, being fully in the present moment, and making me feel equally strong and graceful. I love running, and totally get how 5 miles makes you feel incredible, but an hour class of yoga just does something different for me. Four days of classes were everything I needed and more. I came back rested, rejuvenated, centered.

Good Commons does more than just yoga retreats – check them out here if you need your own weekend away: http://www.goodcommons.com/ 

And locally, for yoga, Balance Yoga is amazing, and they share some instructors with Mission Yoga  here in Scranton. Jennifer Ciarimboli at Balance put together this retreat, but both studios are incredible for their classes and their community.