On Campus Program

Mindful Outdoor Guide Certification Level 1 Forest Community


Join Kripalu faculty Micah Mortali and Katie Hagel for an on campus experience of the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership. Grounded in the philosophy that fostering a meaningful connection with nature is an essential part of a healthy and balanced life, this training is an opportunity to develop and deepen your connection to the natural world. 

This Level 1 training—which combines an exploration of forest bathing, yoga, Ayurveda, outdoor skills, and an overview of relevant research on nature’s health benefits—is designed to engage yoga teachers, outdoor guides and educators, Ayurvedic practitioners, yoga therapists, and anyone who is passionate about sharing with others the benefits of being in nature. 

A connection with nature can be a powerful catalyst 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.

Learn more about the Kripalu School of Outdoor Mindful Leadership.

Curious About the Program?

Watch the free program preview recording presented by KSMOL founder Micah Mortali.

Watch the Preview Recording

As a Level 1 Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide (KSMOL), you gain foundational skills to lead individuals and small groups in connecting with nature. Through live online teachings, you explore 

  • The 9 Steps of a Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Experience. This practice, a unique method that provides a complete experience of connection with self, place, and community that is accessible, potent, and intuitive, is a signature of Kripalu programming and philosophy.
  • Forest bathing fundamentals. Forest bathing, or shinrin yoku, is the practice of taking in the forest’s atmosphere through all the senses. This practice is a potent, proven method for relieving stress, boosting mood and immunity, and fostering deeper bonds with nature. 
  • Nature meditation and observation. Sitting quietly and mindfully in nature is a powerful way to become a part of the forest community. Practice the art of sitting in nature to expand awareness and become one with your surroundings. 
  • Group facilitation and council practice. For most of human history, people have gathered in a circle to share their stories. This practice, called Council, is an invaluable tool for building community, as well as developing communication and facilitation skills as a Mindful Outdoor Guide. 
  • The efficacy of nature therapy. Discover the latest scientific research on the health benefits of spending time in nature and learn to share these benefits with others. 
  • Animal and Plant Connection, Level 1. Animals and plants have so much to teach us about living and being on the land. Explore some of the common flora and fauna on the Kripalu grounds, including trees, basic animal tracks, scat, and signs. You also get to share your insights about the meaningful connections you have made with the forest community. 
  • Birthing Fire, Level 1. Learning how to safely and responsibly birth and tend a fire is an instrumental skill for Mindful Outdoor Guides. Here you experience the basics of fire-making using primitive techniques such as flint and steel and friction. You also explore fire as a potent tool for practicing meditation. 
  • Home project. Investigate opportunities to help connect people with nature in your community. During the break between Level 1 and Level 2, you will work on a personal project to present to your class.  This project focuses on research you will conduct on some aspect of your home environment and how you plan to incorporate those elements into your work as a Mindful Outdoor Guide. 

Complete this training with the confidence and expertise to lead your own mindful outdoor experiences and a renewed sense of connection to the natural world around you.

Preview the required reading and recommended reading lists as well as the suggested gear.

Note Tuition includes a badge and certificate for each level completed.


Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are proud to offer limited scholarship spots for this training. More information will be provided in your acceptance email. To qualify for a scholarship, you must meet one of the following criteria: be a member of the Global Majority, member of the LGBTQIA+ community, person who is differently abled, person with financial need or in a position of service to others.

Program at a Glance

Yoga Experience
Suitable For
Program Theme
Professional Training


Micah Mortali is lead Kripalu faculty, the Founder of the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership and author of Rewilding.

Full Bio and Programs

Katie Hagel, RYT-500, is a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and Kripalu Yoga teacher.

Full Bio and Programs

Date: September 20–29, 2024

Tuition: $1,134.00 per person + accommodations






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