Brianna Lintner & Celigne Degagne – North Bay, ON
Brianna Lintner knew she would host a retreat at Northern Edge Algonquin one day.
As a budding entrepreneur, she was very excited to receive one of her first pieces of mail to her North Bay, Ontario yoga studio just a few months after opening the business: It was a small brochure about hosting retreats on the edge of Algonquin Park.
While she wasn’t ready at the time, she safely stashed it away and kept the idea in the back of her mind as she grew her clientele and the breadth of the studio.
In addition to yoga classes, BReal Studio offers a broad range of alternative health practices to the community of North Bay including small-batch homemade cosmetics, acupuncture, reflexology and life coaching with her friend and business partner, Celine Degagne of Inner Beauty Movement.
Following along with the Edge on Instagram for another year or two kept Brianna hooked on the idea of one day hosting a retreat, and she finally decided to take the leap in 2020, asking Celine if she would like to partner with her in hosting the experience.
The late October experience was, in her words, amazing.
“They took care of everything I didn’t have time to,” she said. “When you are facilitating a group of people, you really need all of your energy to be able to go into delivering those transformational activities in order to help them really slow down, open up and connect to themselves on a way deeper level. That’s not something that’s super nonchalant. [You] have to have a strong intention and carry it through and set the stage.”
For Celine, access to varied spaces and equipment – from outdoor fires to canoes, yoga props, sound bowls, chimes and everything in between made the experience extra special.
“Everyone made us feel right at home, as if it was our own. It made it easier for us to share our gifts naturally, as the space felt safe, calm and open. You all made is so EASY for the first time running a retreat and we are thankful for everyone’s hospitality, love and guidance,” she said.
In addition, both added that having nourishing, delicious meals provided was a huge perk.
Places like Northern Edge Algonquin, Brianna concluded, are absolutely necessary when it comes to both individual and collective healing.
“Understanding ourselves better helps us interact with others and the rest of the world,” she said. “Places and experiences like this shouldn’t be looked at like a luxury, it’s about healing and we all need the opportunity to take time for ourselves and heal.”
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