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who we are


Who We Are

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who we are


Who We Are

 

The Squirrel, a symbol of Gathering & Playfulness

The idea that there are obstacles which cant be overcome is not part of Squirrel's outlook on life, nor is giving up. Squirrel is an almighty power animal to have any time when you feel you have reached a dead end in your life, or in a situation and ready to give up. We are shown that perseverance and the readiness to try different methods are the keys to success. 

 
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sonia peltzer

Hi ! My name is Sonia.

You could say I was imported from the French Alps, and have aged in the California Sierra.

If you've ever met me, you may have noticed I love being upside-down. I was a gymnast growing up, and my mom introduced yoga to the family when I was in highschool. Since 2007, Yoga and AcroYoga have shaped my life in many ways. These practices gave me a home, friendships around the world, and tools to live my life to the fullest.

As well as an abundance in community and human connection, my path has been enriched by training and learning various disciplines with many master teachers. My yoga practice is a culmination of experiences founded in Anusara alignment and the grace of Shadow Yoga. Since discovering AcroYoga in 2007, I have also specialized in handstand training and partner acrobatics, alongside pursuing deeper studies in Thai massage. Acrobatics, and more recently rock climbing, has fed my playful nature and desire to connect to others and feel strong in my body and mind. Thai massage and nature time feed my meditative soul and the profound need for healing, softness, and slowing down. In 2012, this journey lead me to Thailand and Laos for some advanced courses with teachers from around the world under the lineage of Pichest Boonthumme and Asokananda. My Thai massage practice has also been influenced by European and American teachers who introduced Chinese Five Element Theory, Cranio Sacral, Osteopathy and Shiatsu. I find balance in my life through these practices and by taking every chance to be outdoors, often rock climbing, hiking, biking, camping, swimming in the ocean, and anything else that connects me to nature, my biggest source of inspiration.

I am currently a Single Pitch Instructor with the AMGA and Wilderness First Responder. The mountains are where I feel most alive and I love to share that experience with others.

One of my homes is LA, though I love to travel and connect with people around the world. This is what lead me to Nicaragua from 2008 - 2010 working with the Peace Corps, and what propels me now to travel and teach specifically in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. When I am in LA, I offer privates and special workshops, trainings and nature retreats. I teach in English, Spanish and French, and travel for AcroYoga immersions, festivals, teacher trainings, and projects to share these practices for free in communities that need them. I hope to meet you and learn about you somewhere on or off this wild road. Please contact me if you want to hire me, go on an adventure, have questions, or just want to say hello :)

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Casey Stroud

Born & raised in Northridge California.  

  “No matter how smart you are, you can always learn.” I first came across this quote in a surf video I used to watch on repeat as a teen.  It stuck with me for years as I played basketball and explored the power of image at Art Center College of Design… But when I found yoga in 2009, this wisdom came fully alive. My heart was set afire by yoga’s simplicity in cultivating profound physical and mental awareness, at a level I had never before experienced. I am beyond excited to share the stoke with everyone in my life, and even more excited to continue learning. My teaching style is fun, playful, challenging and encouraging.  I teach from what I have learned on this journey and hope that you find a similar stoke and expansive learning in the practice of life.

Casey has earned her ERYT 200 and RYT 500 Yoga Alliance certifications under the tutelage of Sigrid Matthews, Noah Maze, and Matt Schwartz. Along the way to becoming a yoga teacher, she discovered AcroYoga and Thai massage in 2012, which blew the lid off of her already delighted mind, body, and spirit. She dove deeper, garnering both Level 1 and 2 certifions from AcroYoga.org, and taking multiple Thai Massage trainings. Her ability to maintain a beginner’s mind, even as her physical practice may look nowhere near beginner, keeps her offerings accessible, encouraging, and full of love.

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Our Manifesto

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Our Manifesto

The idea that there are obstacles which cant be overcome is not part of Squirrel's outlook on life, nor is giving up. Squirrel is an almighty power animal to have any time when you feel you have reached a dead end in your life, or in a situation and ready to give up. We are shown that perseverance and the readiness to try different methods are the keys to success. 

Few, if any, animals are busier than a squirrel during the autumn. They gather enough nuts and seeds to get through the winter and buries them. For us this is not only important on the physical level - it can also mean being as flexible as Squirrel when it comes to allowing and starting change. 

When squirrels prepare for the winter, they gather only what they require. This teaches us the importance of letting go/getting rid of unnecessary physical objects, and also negative beliefs, emotions and memories which limit our faith in love and abundance. We need to lighten our load, physically, mentally and emotionally. 

As busy as these animals are, they always have time to play. Often in between gathering, they start to leap at each other and roll about in the leaves. They also seem to enjoy simply resting on a tree branch, enjoying the peace and quiet. This teaches us that there IS time for everything in life, that the balance between work, play, rest and contemplation is essential to our overall feeling of well being and harmony. We are also taught the balance within the circle of gathering and giving out. Our energy must not be wasted, but conserved for times of need. We are reminded that on our journeys to fulfil our goals, it is vital to make time for play and socialising. 

Ask yourself are you too active, not active enough, too afraid, or hung up on accumulating and collecting. Squirrel people can sometimes be a little erratic, trying to do many things at once. Take the time to stop, listen and to heed your inner self. 

It is probably not by chance (but a synchronicity) that squirrels are found wherever humans live. Perhaps they are here to herald a message for us all, not to give up, not to get stressed, and as mentioned before there IS time for everything in life. Don’t forget to play, no matter what age you are! 

Squirrels are very trusting and are one of the few (wild) animals that will eat out of a person's hand. This symbolises a need to let down your defenses, and to learn to trust more. Trust issues can be present in all aspects of a person's life from personal intimacy to trusting the universe. Because the squirrel is always prepared, if this is your power animal you must realise and remember that you will be taken care of. Building a strong sense of trust where it is missing will compliment the power of this medicine. 

By Ina Woolcott

 
 

It all started when…

In 2011 we began camping and hiking adventures together while chatting about our dreams. We soon created our first retreats in Joshua Tree, California and Moab, Utah. What began as small, intimate retreats sharing Yoga, AcroYoga, and Thai massage evolved into a loving tribe and community of adventurers with rock climbing, backpacking, leave no trace ethics and trail work in the mix. In 2014, we went on an American Alpine Club weekend in Tuolumne to do trail work and discovered alpine rock climbing and this amazing paradise we now call home. We have since organized our own trail work stewardship retreats and love to collaborate with rangers, climbers, and other inspiring leaders, as well as support the National Parks and share the practices that keep us healthy, connected, and feeling full, while in harmony with this beautiful world and reflecting each other’s natural beauty.