Micah Mortali, a current Goddard Graduate Student, came to the Health Arts and Sciences program with the vision of starting an mindful outdoor leadership program at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In short order, he’s done just that, working with fellow yoga teacher, musician, and outdoor educator Mark Roule to design and teach the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership. (Check out Micah and Mark talking about Nature Deficit Disorder in this video.)
The program offers two certifications, Level 1. Forest Community, and Level 2. Aligning With Nature, both taking the form of 10-day residencies, which focuses on nature meditation and observation, council practice and group facilitation, forest bathing and mindfulness, naturalist instruction, science and evidence, and outdoor skills. As the Kripalu website explains:
Now, more than ever, Mother Nature needs us to honor, value, and protect her. As Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guides, we can be powerful catalysts for strengthening our and our clients’ bond with nature and, in doing so, improve the chances that our communities will steward the natural systems we all depend upon for our health and well-being.
But a funny thing happened on the way to developing this new school of leadership school: Micah was contacted by a publisher on his work, and he’s not under contract to write a book on re-wilding. Now he’s creating a thesis program that includes materials for the school, plus a book, both of which come from his passion for helping people come home to themselves and the earth.
Micah comes by this calling naturally. As director of the Kripalu Schools, he is a 500-hourKripalu Yoga teacher, and he’s been leading wilderness retreats and education program for two decades. He brings an approach drawing from yoga, nature, Ayurveda, and mindfulness into his work, life, and family. He also brought this to the spring 2018 GGI residency, where he offered a workshop that brought people into the woods — “Awake in the Forest: Practices for Deepening Your Bond with Nature” — to explore their connection with the earth.
Learn more about the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Living here.