• October 18–27, 2019
  • Friday-Sunday: 9 nights

Mindful Outdoor Guide Certification, Level 1 Forest Community

As a Level 1 Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide, you gain foundational skills to lead individuals and small groups in connecting with nature. This training is perfect for 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.

You learn the basics of nature connection and community building, including:

  • 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.
  • Wilderness first-aid and CPR certification As a Kripalu Mindful Outdoor Guide, it is necessary to know the basics of wilderness first-aid and CPR when leading others outdoors.
  • 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.

Find out more about the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership

Apply today!

This program may be taken as part of Kripalu’s 1000-Hour Yoga Teacher Training.

Program at a Glance

Yoga Experience
Suitable For
Program Theme
All Health, Fitness, and Wellness


Lisa B. Nelson, MD, is Director of Medical Education for Kripalu programs, and a family practice physician. She also serves as medical director of the nonprofit Nutrition Center.

Full Bio and Programs

Mark Roule, RYT 500, is a Kripalu Yoga teacher and outdoor guide who holds qigong teacher certifications with the Elixir Light and IIQTC schools, and is certified by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapists.

Full Bio and Programs

Micah Mortali, Director of the Kripalu Schools and longtime Kripalu Yoga teacher, is the Founder of the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership.

Full Bio and Programs

Becky Cushing, MS, director of Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries, has led natural history and birding programs throughout New England and has been published in the Journal of Raptor Research.

Full Bio and Programs

Erin Casperson is the Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and a 500-hour Kripalu Yoga teacher.

Full Bio and Programs

Dale Abrams, MS, is the education coordinator for Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries and a lifelong naturalist whose specialties include birding, wildlife tracking, and ecosystem studies.

Full Bio and Programs