Deep Connection Activities
Songs of Empowerment
Morning Yoga
Heart Healing Ceremony
Vocal Play & Cultivation
Emotional Sharing

The Awakening Harmony team is back to offer another inspiring weekend of movement, song, ceremony, and personal growth. Yoga literally translates as connection, body-and-mind unification, and the process of getting to know oneself. We will explore these in ways unlike you’ve ever experienced before to empower and deepen your relationship with your body, your self, your voice, your community, and your soul purpose. We will share a magical and transformative weekend, awakening ourselves with yoga, singing, deep connective activities, and ceremony. As we delve deep into the process, layers will begin to shed, as we courageously face and embrace who we are.

Tickets to this event include two dinners, two brunches, programming from 2pm Friday until 6pm on Sunday, and two night’s stay at the most amazing Hostel in the world! This transferable but non-refundable package is sold on a sliding scale from $250-$350 (please pay what you can). Early-bird price of $220 is available until January 10th!

Register soon if you’re interested: tickets are limited to 30 participants, and this event has sold out the last three times it has been offered! Call the hostel to register: 912-264-9738 More information here

Food Forest Workshop – March 30 – 31st 2018

This is the ideal time to learn how to establish and work on a permaculture food forest. Mycol Stevens will return to his favorite classroom (where he often teaches ethnobotany and mycology with Marc Williams…and hoping to do this Oct 2018). Mycol has been living “off-the-grid” on his permaculture homestead since 2002 in N. Central FL which is a nearly identical climate to the Hostel. There he has been establishing a diverse food forest where he has had many failures, but along with diligence, many a success. Learning from others mistakes is one of the best ways to learn! For an idea what Mycol is now growing on FInca Mycol here is a partial list: 7 varieties of persimmon on about 20 trees, 6 varieties of muscadine/scuppernog grape, 4 varieties of pomegranite, figs, olive, 8 varieties of citrus (about 60 trees), 6 variety of pear, 3 apple variety, cold hardy avocado (thanks to Oliver), guava, 15 Che fruit, peach, about 15 Dunstan chestnut trees, white sapote (thanks to Oliver), Rio of the Grand CHerry (thanks Oliver), yams, ginger, turmeric, about 8 varieties of blueberry (incorporating into long leaf pine restoration), ginko biloba, asparagus, sassafras, etc etc etc! He is also heavily involved in long leaf pine restoration and its often overlooked understory where he is also planting rare listed species. Mycol also grows a diversity of tropical fruit trees in Sarasota at his parents home and now at his old house in St Augustine. Of course Mycol is growing mushrooms too! Mycol has been grafting for over 15 years now, but crucial techniques were learned by Oliver Moore. Oliver has been a great friend over the years and I hope you will take advantage of learning from both of us. During this event, you will learn how, why and when to prune fruit and nut trees, you will learn how to sharpen your tools, you will learn plant propagation techniques, you will learn various grafting techniques, you will be able to take home your own grafted fruit tree, you will get to taste some of our fruits of Mycols and Olivers labors, you will eat some dank food and have an awesome time! We hope to improve food forest production and management at the hostel so that they will live more sustainably and hope that you will “invest” in your future by planting foods for yourself and others in the community!

Mycol Stevens has a Master’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology and worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL from 2004-2014. He has traveled much of Central and South America and Africa, and has learned from some of the best teachers including Frank Cook and Robert Hunsucker. Mycol has been teaching ethnobotany and edible mushrooms since 2005. He also lives off-the-grid on an “ecocentric” permaculture homestead where he eats from the wild almost daily and propagates and cultivates his own organic foods. Mycol’s philosophy is to ween off the “system” and to let your food be your medicine. Mycol has been inspired by the Hostel since the mid 90’s and much of its philosophy is reflected in his way of life. Knowing the living world around you, connects you to the living world. Mycol is now allowing guests to GLAMP at his Finca via airbnb and also at his house in St Augustine if you are interested (Finca Mycol and 20 Davis St).

Oliver Moore is a permaculture gardener based in Gainesville, Florida, where he is deeply committed to teaching and sharing skills related to community food production. Oliver grew up in Rockbridge County, Virginia on a 200-acre farm with seven springs, sheep and cows, and a pastured grove of over 500 black walnut trees, where his father first introduced him to the basics of grafting. After going to Hawaii in search of tropical paradise, he became convinced that we need to create paradise wherever we are especially on depleted or degraded land. Accordingly, he returned to the states and bought a five-acre tangerine grove in Citra, Florida and continued to implement and refine grafting methods. He also experimented with growing exotic tropical fruits in a greenhouse, learning how to adapt to the challenging line between the tropical and temperate climate zones. In 1995, Oliver volunteered with the Trees For Life organization in Guatemala, assisting with fruit tree and firewood nurseries and organic growing methods. Three years later, he visited Earth Haven, an intentional community in North Carolina, and discovered the concept of permaculture. The holistic vision and integrated approach to working with the earth instantly rang true for him, and while it would be several years before he would return to train for and receive his permaculture certification, he immediately began integrating the concepts into his life and work. In 2005, he sold the tangerine grove and began cultivating edibles on a four-acre property closer to the city of Gainesville, drawn by the resource of its vibrant nature-loving and supportive community. In 2008, he expanded his personal nursery into a commercial enterprise and founded Abundant Edible Landscapes, which offered design-planning and installation of fruit trees, perennial vegetables, and shiitake, as well as rainwater capture and irrigation systems. He has helped bring out-of-town experts to his local community to teach Permaculture Design Courses (PDC’s). He regularly offers classes and consultations on grafting, pruning, and mushroom identification, wild-harvesting, and propagation. He enjoys making fermented beverages chock full of adaptogens and other tonic herbs and sharing them with good friends. PRICE: $250 per person Please call the Hostel in the Forest at (912) 264-9738 to register.

Visionary Goddess Retreat 2018 April 26-29th 2018

Join us in celebrating the sacred divine feminine and art as a spiritual practice- with three days of visionary art workshops, sacred sweat lodge and meditation/healing activities. For creative women and feminine spirits. No art experience necessary.
Your stay includes: Lodging of three nights and three days on 133 acres of lush Forest. Two delicious vegetarian meals per day prepared by a holistic chef. (Brunch and Dinner). Access to all art classes/workshops. Participation in sweat lodge. Access to Hostel space and amenities (Treehouse linens included), outdoor showers, glasshouse, private lake access, swimming, hiking trails, labyrinth, and library. 

Classes PAINTING – Beginning Acrylics and Techniques with Veronika Rose. Acrylic Landscape Perspectives with speed painter Ania Amador. ART OF HENNA – Visionary Henna with Jennifer Duque. How to make henna, sacred symbols and designs and body application. Each participant will receive a henna cone to practice. SACRED BEADWORK – Learn to make earrings with colored beads and feathers with Astraya Luna. Each guest will leave with a new set of earrings. SPIRIT DOLLS - The practice of making dolls as a spiritual practice has been found in many cultures all over the world. Since ancient times dolls have been embodied with healing Protection and as a rights of passage. Join John Moore in the ceremony of creating your personal healing inner child doll. Create an effigy of your personal inner child doll and embody it with the essence of it’s healed and true nature.

Events – Art Church with Veronika Rose in the Glasshouse. Sacred Sweat Lodge and tobacco prayer, lead by Moon Dancer, Drea Silvestri. Yoga, Meditation and healing circles.

PRICE: $250 per person Please call the Hostel in the Forest at (912) 264-9738 to register.

Madre Tierra Retreat, May 25-28th, 2018  

Retreat includes: Daily Yoga classes, 3 night accommodation at Hostel in the Forest, Daily delicious and healthy vegetarian brunch and dinner (3 brunch, 3 dinners) Pricing: $300 per person In order to register for a this retreat, participants must call the Hostel at (912) 264-9738 to sign up, at which time the Hostel collects a $75 deposit (refundable up to 10 days prior to the event, you can pay for the event in full when registering if you wish).


“Stop, Drop & Breathe* Kristy Vizzone. Participants will be guided in mind, body and spirit activities to increase concentration, self-regulation, calmness and compassion; including yoga, meditation, pranayama, and hands-on projects. They will also learn how to extend these practices to children up to adults. Useful in schools, corporations, hospitals, and homes.

Learning objectives: Self-regulation/calming skills, elf-motivation/increase focus, Discover best personal practices for increasing inner calm.

Heartful Hooping Katie “Pinto” LaBrun. Time to embrace the therapeutic integration of yoga and the hula hoop.  We will begin and end with yoga practices that utilize the hula hoop for stability and alignment.  These practices will bookend a fun and challenging (but open to all levels!!!) hula hoop dance class that will get you jumping, rolling, and throwing things in the air.

Learning Objectives: Successfully accomplish a physical action that was previously unavailable to participant, especially if participant believed he/she was unable to do it.  aka … if you didn’t think you could do that, but you just did it… what else do you believe you can’t do that might need to be reconsidered?

Let go of something: We will address the concept of trust in the release by leaning tricks that involved jumping (letting go of the ground) and throwing the hoop (letting go of your security blanket) and apply the emotions and process to daily life. How to care for your body on a daily basis with exercises that can be done in 5-10 minutes, so that this movement can be a part of your life even when you don’t feel you have time to do a full practice or attend a class. Making this accessible to everyone   Chakra Journey Awakening the Rainbow Within* Beatriz Ricco A body mind soul experience through the 7 main energy centers of the body. Explaining about the Chakras in theory then moving along with dancing meditation, yoga Asanas for each Chakra, mudras and mantras to awake and create movement to balance the centers. In this workshop you will learn about the 7 main Chakras, experience dance with music and movements designed for each of the 7 Chakras and awakening the Kundalini energy.

Utilizing Chanting, Creativity, and Visualization: This workshop is designed to work on the soul and embark on a journey to come home to our real self.   Embodying Your Wisdom: How to Nurture and Grow a Simple Daily Practice. April Kline & Kimberly Bush. Do you ever long to feel more connected? Wish you had something to hold onto that could remind you to breathe and be present? In this one-day workshop, Kimberly Bush and April Kline invite you into a safe and powerful place of spiritual creativity. You will be encouraged to become still, listen deeply, and purposefully and intuitively weave your inner wisdom into a personal collaged journal and your own set of prayer beads. You will leave the workshop with an understanding of how to carry what you have experienced and learned into your daily life. No artistic ability or experience necessary.

Objectives/Outcomes Participants will be able to compare embodied and disembodied experiences as well as identify the advantages of being embodied, particularly in challenging circumstances.Participants will be able to identify five specific ways in which witnessing and embodied experiences can be strengthened and become second nature through concrete practices including: a silent practice; meditation; connection with breath; visual imagery; and the creative process/art making.Participants will be able to actively apply three principles of open studio process to increase empathic attunement with themselves and others. They will demonstrate an understanding of how these principles can deepen relationships with themselves and others and the benefits therein. Participants will be able to use the tools practiced in this workshop to directly enhance and expand upon a non-judgmental and open attitude towards their own creative process which increases non-judgment and unconditional acceptance of self in all aspects as well as increasing attunement to the delicacy of this process in others.

More information here

Upcoming Events

Posted November 24th, 2017

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

Life can get busy and noisy, so unplug and unwind in the beauty and simplicity of the amazing Hostel of the Forest with Dr. Nadia Ramoutar, Creative facilitator. Invest in yourself and take this grown up life design camp with enriching and meaningful material. This interactive and intelligent program will be ideal for the person who wants to liberate his or her creative energy and further explore current lifestyle and focus. You get to be with cool people, cultivate creativity and stay in tree houses! What a unique and cool opportunity. Based on her hand illustrated “52 Ways to Free my Mojo” book, Nadia will lead a slow paced, reflective and fun three-day retreat to inspire, uplift and enrich participants lives. What better way to connect with your creative nature than in nature?

The event will include:
- Setting inspiring intentions
- Goal exploration & renewal
- Relaxed walking adventures in nature
- Fun, expressive interactive exercises
- Art journal prompt pieces
- Quiet personal time
- Candlelight meditations
- Family style healthy meal time
- All supplies and accommodation & food

We will take care of all your nurturing needs so you can just rest and relax in the Forest. Due to the intimate nature of the setting, the retreat size will be limited. Registration through the Hostel is required to attend. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing.

Participants can register for $299 (includes accommodation, vegetarian food and supplies. Additional​ ​Links:

Instructor​ ​Bio:
Nadia Ramoutar, Ph.d is a creative and dynamic visual artist, storyteller, social advocate and filmmaker with a diverse body of work who uses her talents to reconstruct meaning and build compassion. An eclectic and inspiring person by nature, Nadia writes and creates positive and insightful images, materials, films and courses to empower and uplift her audiences globally. An entrepreneurial leader, Nadia earned a Ph. d in Communications from the University of Florida. She has worked extensively in print and digital media including producing and directing in film and television. Born in Ireland to an Irish mother and West Indian Father, Nadia is an advocate for the power of diversity and inclusion. Nadia taught college classes in academia for over 18 years while also producing and directing independent film and TV projects. She is currently creating her own unique work and enrolling other artists and writers to do the same. With her authentic and strong voice, she has mentored and fired up many award winning filmmakers and artists globally who have experienced unprecedented success with her encouragement and inspiration. She is uniquely suited to be the midwife to other people’s precious dreams and goals, serving as a catalyst for creativity.Energetic and intelligent with a warm wit, Nadia awakens confidence and courage to those around her. Always interested in new horizons and collaboration, Nadia is a consultant to many creative and social entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the world. She is particularly skilled in helping people focus intention, overcome obstacles and take calculated risks that move them upward and onward. She created an Art Journal book “52 Ways to Free My Mojo” and a line of inspiring products and educational programming to help people experience greater quality of life.She created Enlighten Productions, LLC with a mission to write, create and deliver meaningful media and messages to diverse audiences globally. She is a visual artist who uses multi-source materials and mediums to create original and inspiring work. She creates installation art and media that makes social commentary and provokes connection. Her mantra is “The World has need of Your voice.

Shea Butter-Making Workshop – Nov. 21

$15 – for materials – -Proceeds from this event support our Women-Empowerment co-operatives throughout West Africa as well as projects within the Africa Communities in RI (

Come learn about African natural botanical ingredients for your body + hair, and to create Shea butter-based products in accordance with FDA standards and guidelines using centuries-old African women’s aesthetics and traditions remedies. After the workshop, each participant will take home products containing all-natural and nourishing ingredients, that are carefully chosen for their qualities, recognized natural benefits, created by and for their unique skin.

Ladies, it’s time again to come together in celebration of the Visionary Goddess within. This retreat is for your mind, body and soul. Open to women and feminine spirits. Art healing and technique classes, sacred spirit cleansing and goddess empowerment workshops.
Featuring acrylic painting classes by visionary artists, Toni L Taylor andVeronika Rose. Mixed media/Watercolor frottage class Silk prayer flag painting class (Batik technique) by Maria Elena Olivera. Healing Sweat lodge Tobacco prayer with Moon dancers Gratitude fire ceremony and Flower Banos by John Moore and more!
$250 includes three nights stay at the Hostel in the Forest. This includes two healthy meals a day (brunch and dinner), all classes and basic art supplies. No experience necessary. To make payments please go here:

*Very important!! Once you pay for the retreat, please call the Hostel at 912-264-9738 to reserve your spot. The beds are on a first come first serve basis. Please tell them of any food allergies and dietary restrictions and if you are participating in the sweat. Tell your friends, this retreat will fill up fast! ,/br> What to bring- small, lightweight travel easel for outdoor classes, personal art/painting supplies, crystals and sacred items for the creativity altar, extra blankets, portable water container, natural bug repellent, snacks. (We provide brunch and dinner.) If this is the first time at the Hostel please read this: You will have to bring $10 with you and your I.D. to check in to the hostel and receive your membership card.

If this is your first sweat lodge, please read this: You must arrive on Friday evening to settle in and adjust to the energy of the hostel to participate in the sweat, Saturday night. The wonderful staff at the Hostel In The Forest will be cooking and supporting the space during your stay. Much gratitude to the hostel for allowing us to return.

Check in Friday, April 7th 12-4PM – Check out Monday April 10th 11AM

Rob Jacoby “The Map to Love” Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Rob Jacoby will be visiting the Hostel next week, and has offered to give a talk on his book “The Map to Love” . Join us the in the library the evening of Wednesday, April 12th, as psychotherapist, artist, survival instructor, and author Rob Jacoby draws upon all four areas of his life and experience to offer us The Map to Love: How to Navigate the Art of the Heart, a life-giving perspective on love, fulfillment, healing, and successfully navigating the complex human emotional landscape. His twenty-year career helping people from all walks of life, especially young people suffering from extreme emotional problems, gives this book its lived-in authority. His passion for creation, particularly music and painting, drives the spontaneity and rhythm of its prose and presentation. In collaboration with world-renowned artist Brian MacGregor, the result is a visually and intellectually stunning masterpiece on the topic of LOVE.

Previous Events 2016

Posted January 6th, 2016

Sunday, May 8 Mother’s Day with Jim Seem

All guests are invited to the library after dinner for an acoustic concert by touring artist, Jim Seem.

Thai Yoga Therapy Training with Phoebe Diftler Saturday, May 14 – Sunday, May 22 2016

Limited to 12 Participants – Traditional Thai Massage is an ancient system of healing with roots in Yoga, Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhist spiritual practice. This unique and complete system of Yoga therapy combines rhythmic massage, acupressure, gentle twisting, deep stretching and meditation. It releases tension, increases vitality and creates wholeness of mind, body and spirit in both giver and receiver. The movements and adjustments you will learn are a valuable compliment to Yoga Teaching and other body work. This course is the equivalent of a two week course taught in Thailand.

For the first time ever, this transformational 9 day course is being offered at the Hostel in the Forest where our classes will take place in geodesic domes, by the lake under a canopy of trees, and in our unique glass house nestled into the forest on the far side of the pond. Lodging will be in tree houses, forest huts, or rooms painted by our resident artists. Breakfast and Lunch will be served solely to retreat participants, and dinners will be shared on the screen porch with hostel guests, staff, and travelers from around the globe.

In this course, you will learn:

To structure and give a full body Thai Massage
- Theory and massage of energy lines (meridians/nadis)
- Restorative Yoga poses to facilitate deep relaxation
- Applied Hatha Yoga stretching exercises and breathing exercises
- Principles of energetic healing
- Basic therapies for common ailments
- Using Thai Therapeutic movements to adjust, balance and correct Yoga Asanas
- To work in a meditative state of mind
- Helping the receiver to experience a deeply relaxed altered state
- History and theoretical foundations of Thai Yoga Therapy
- An introduction to and practice of meditation

This training is open to everyone. It is a great additional modality for Yoga teachers and massage therapists or for anyone interested in well being, healing and body work. The work is done in comfortable clothing on a mat. No prior Yoga or massage experience is necessary.

Certification All participants successfully completing the course will receive a certificate of completion. Those wishing a Thai Yoga Therapy Practitioner certification will be given a home study/practice assignment to fulfill after the course.

Included in the retreat are daily yoga classes, a Kirtan experience, and the option to stay one extra day to participate in the Monthly Sweat Lodge.

Program cost $1850 for a private treehouse (6 available) $1700 for shared space (2-3 persons to a hut)
To register, contact Pinto at the Hostel in the Forest – manager[at] 912-264-9738
$500 Deposit required for Registration (nonrefundable after April 16), Total balance due May 1st
Limited number of scholarships available ~ Contact Pinto for application

Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 5- Forest Fusion: Because FUN!

Join us in the mystical forest to bring in the Summer season in joyous celebration of music, education, and FUN! The days will be filled with workshops and play shops presented by our staff and the evenings will be ringing with live music.

Andrew, aka DJ IDEAL, has kept our feet dancing this spring, and we are bringing him back home to the forest for a Friday Night Black Light DJ Party and Sunday morning Live DJ YOGA session!

Saturday night we welcome special guests from Wisconsin and Oregon, DINGO FACTORY. Check them out at This three piece, original rock group will steal your heart! Opening for them is a female folksy duet featuring our very own, Pinto Bean, and St. Augustine artist Kensley Stewart (

$150/person includes two nights lodging, two brunches, two dinners, all classes, DJ Party and Saturday Night Concerts.

Celebrate the turning of the new year in the forest with a special three night Forest Fusion. The special event pricing ($175) covers your three nights stay, Brunch and Dinner each day, attendance to all of the workshops, and a special blacklight party with our very own DJ Jai Biotic! Guest instructors include Veronica Rose, Pinto, Danika, Megan, Jeff, Johnny Savage, and Jonah.

Call the Hostel to make your reservation. 912-264-9738 There is limited space in Friday’s sweat lodge, so let us know when you make your reservation if you want to participate in the sweat! Check in: Dec 31, 1pm-5pm Check out: Jan 3, 2pm

Things to bring: Yoga Mat, Water Bottle, Dancin’ Clothing and costumes, Journal and favorite writing utensil, Snacks (if you might get hungry before brunch or between programs), Cooler (with many guests, the guest fridge does fill up), Warm Blankets/clothing if the weather is going to be cold, Bug Spray, Check here if you are looking for ways to donate to the space <3

The Schedule of Events is as follows!!!

Thursday (New Years Eve): New years eve starts with a late afternoon yoga class, orientation for sweat lodge participants, gratitude circle and dinner. Then we will welcome in 2016 with collaborative group art, a bonfire, a drum circle, and featured fire spinning.

Friday [RELEASE]: We will start our morning with Yoga and Breathwork classes. After a late morning brunch, we will continue the day’s theme of “Release” with a special art workshop. Later in the day participants will have the option of being part of our sweat lodge (Limited sign up) or attending a writer’s workshop. After dinner we will complete our day of release with candle-lit yoga and a bonfire. If you’re a musician, bring your musical instruments for an open jam around the campfire!

Saturday [RESTART]: The early risers can join Pinto for an invigorating yoga class followed by a Labyrinth meditation, walk and mandala drawing. After brunch we will feature a second art workshop by Veronika, elaborating on our theme, Restart. Our later afternoon workshops give you the choice between a new interactive workshop “Opening the Throat Chakra” or a forest foodie workshop “Conscious Consumption” with our kitchen manager, Jonah. After dinner and a Movement Meditations Playshop will be the party we are all excited for, bringing back DJ Jai Biotic, the black lights and body painting, and record amounts of dancing!

Sunday [RENEW]: Our final day together will focus on Renewal with a morning yoga class and the final art workshop by Veronika. After brunch we will join together for our closing circle before we go our own ways and say “See you Somewhere.”

The theme for this event will be mythology and the forest. Woodland animals, mythological creatures, the four elements, etc. We encourage guests to be creative in their costume expression using mythology and the natural world as inspiration. However, we would never want to stifle personal expression and so invite you to see this as a guideline that might have wonderful aesthetic effect around the fire!

This event will will feature the following facilitators:Bela Watson: Certified Yoga instructor, art teacher, and live painter, Eric Woodell: Art teacher and live painter, Jai Biotic: DJ and vibe expert, Wren Shoumate: Earthskills teacher, Jeffrey Rieger: Yoga Nidra Meditation Sam de Mooy: Meditation and Cacao.

Friday 10/30/15 Evening: Dinner @ 7 PM – Fireside social with the possibility of co-created stories and games after VITAL GLORY (our language for a clean kitchen after dinner :) )

Saturday 10/31/15 Morning: Meditation in the Glass House 8 AM - Yoga in the Glass House 9 AM, Brunch @ 10:30 AM

Saturday Afternoon: Earthskills Toolbox in the Woods, Art class in the Library Dome, Siesta, Free Time, Self Care! starting @ 3:30 PM

Saturday Evening: Dinner @ 6:30 PM, Ceremonial Grade Cacao from Guatemala in the Screen Porch after Vital Glory. Epic Costume Dance Party around the Main Fire Pit/ Cobb Kitchen beginning around 9:30 PM

Sunday 11/1/15 Morning: Meditation 9:30 AM, Yoga Class 10 AM, Brunch @ 11:30 AM

Sunday Afternoon: Plant Walk, Final clean up, Checking out by 3 PM

Helpful hints: It might be a good idea to bring a cooler as the guest fridge can get pretty overwhelmed when it’s busy. Bring your own towel and drinking vessel to cut down on laundry and washing up.

Upcoming Events

Posted September 29th, 2015

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

If you ever read “Tuva or Bust” then you will know what Throat Singing is. The book tells the story of Richard Feynman (famed quantum mechanics physicist who worked on the first US atomic bomb at Los Alamos) who with his friend Ralph Leighton, set out to visit Tuva, and discover the wonders of Tuvan throat-singing.

Jon Erkkila is a folk musician and throat singer on tour in the US. He studied throat singing and traditional Tuvan music with Choduraa Tumat of Tyva Kyzy at Tuvan State University in Kyzyl, Republic of Tuva, Russian Federation for six months last year. Jon states that the Tuvan khoomei is therapeutic to listen to and to practice. It is both amazing what one can do with their body, and the fact that everyone is capable of singing in this style with the right start on how to sing and with a good sound concept.

Jon is coming to the Hostel on Friday Sept 26th. 2015 to perform and teach us about throat singing and his amazing travels. Admission is free to guests.

Watch Jon Erkkila throat singing here

Forest Fusion September 18th - 20th 2015

Posted September 15th, 2015

Back by popular demand, the Hostel in the Forest will be hosting another Forest Fusion event the weekend of September 18th thru the 20th.. Come connect with us and take advantage of the many offering these events have to offer. Schedule for the event is as follows:

Friday afternoon – check in by 7pm. A wonderful vegetarian dinner will be served at 7:30pm. Following clean up, our event meditation instructor, Sophia Seeramial, will be hosting a guided meditation in the glass house…a perfect way to set your intentions for a relaxing and healing weekend. See more information about Sophia’s work, here

Saturday morning – start your day off will a guided yoga practice—led by certified yoga teacher, Cassandra Heggan at 9am. When you are ready, make your way back to the Screen Porch, where we will be serving a bountiful brunch at 10:30am. Spend the rest of the day exploring art workshops hosted by Joe Quillsong and beloved artist couple; Bella and Eric. There will also be an earthskills workshop led by own very own wonder woman of the woods, Wren.

Saturday night – after another lovely vegetarian feast, DJ Jai Biotic will spin his magic for us as we dance the night away, painted in blacklight active body paints and watching live art provided by Joe Quillsong and Bella and Eric…a highlight, indeed.

Sunday Morning – wake up to the alarm of birdsong and gentle breezes… Yoga will again be led by Cassandra in the Glass House at 9am, followed by brunch at 10:30am. Walk the Forest paths with intention as Sophia Seeramial leads us on an intentional, meditative walk at 12pm. Check out by 3pm*

We look forward to hosting an event like this once a month here in the Forest.Keep an eye out for event notifications via Facebook- like our Facebook page here

Many Blessings, The Hostel in the Forest team

Yaupon Tea Presentation August 29th 2015

Posted August 25th, 2015

Owner and Founder of Yaupon Tea Company, Lou Thomann, will be offering a lecture on the history, medicinal properties, and cultivation of the only indigenous caffeine producing plant in North America known as Yaupon. This plant is a prolific understory tree that grows all over the Hostel in the Forest property. Yaupon is a very hardy plant that can be wild harvested with minimal impact on the environment. Lou will be offering samples of the finished product; a line of Yaupon based drinks and dried tea under the brand Asi (Ah-see). Please join us as we investigate and celebrate this native plant!

Visit the Yaupon Tea website for more information on this delicious tea known to southern indigenous peoples as “Big Medicine”.

Forest Fusion August 21st - 23rd 2015

Posted July 17th, 2015

The Hostel in the Forest will be hosting “Forest Fusion” which will be weekend event from August 21st – 23rd. We will be having classes through out the day featuring nature connection, friction fire, and plant walks. Come connect with the land and enjoy the abundance of knowledge being shared! The founder of Wilderness Means, Ex Umbra will be leading classes on Saturday and Wren Shoumate will be leading classes on Sunday. There will also be live music on saturday night by popular DJ from Orlando known as Jai Biotic. We encourage guests to bring their own water vessel, beach towel, and a cooler. The price will be $125 per person or $100 for camping. Please call the hostel for more information or visit our facebook page for the full event information.

Upcoming Events

Posted July 8th, 2015

We are currently planning new events to take place at the Hostel over the coming weeks. Details of these will be published very soon.

July 4th Hostel's 40th Birthday

Posted June 14th, 2015

The weekend of July 4th, we turn FORTY, and America… turns WAY OLDER! Let’s celebrate how well we’ve all aged with songs by the campfire and doing yoga til we can’t downward dog any longer!

Starting on the night of Friday the 3rd, after you get cozy in your accommodation and fill your bellies with a wonderful vegetarian dinner, we’ll have the lovely songstress Danielle Hicks—with guitar wizard, Nate Saraceno, down from Savannah to serenade you fireside.

On Saturday morning, we’ll start the day of full of intention with a guided Yoga Nidra meditation, followed by a yoga practice led by an instructor (to be determined) in the Glass House. Spend the whole of the fourth in the magical woods and waters of the Forest… Sounds nice, doesn’t it? That night (the 4th) we’ll be rockin’ up some authentic southern BBQ, courtesy of our very talented kitchen manager, Mark (a man well versed in the art of food for the soul). And, of course…we will not disappoint our vegan and vegetarian friends! After dinner, as the sun casts its last rays upon the canopy, Orlando’s own, D.J. Jae Ortiz (Jaibiotic) will spin his magic from the cobb kitchen! Watch beauty form to the music as the much loved artists Veronika and Bridget transform surfaces into live works of art!

The following morning (Sunday), wrap up your weekend of celebration with a healing Yoga Nidra meditation and a guided yoga practice.

Check in before 7 p.m. Friday, July 3rd. Check out by 12 p.m. Sunday, July 5th.

A light brunch will be provided both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Lunches are up to you!

To protect our beloved Forest, no fireworks will be permitted during this event.

In addition to all of our beautiful treehouses, we’ll be offering campsites around the lake. Reservations can be made now! We’re asking a flat fee of $125 per person for all of what Friday, Saturday and Sunday have to offer.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff


The prelude to summer brings great knowledge and excitement to the Hostel in the Forest. Marc and Mycol return to one of their favorite classrooms with practical ecological identification of plants and mushrooms, as well as permaculture and fermentation techniques. We will share in the fresh local bounty, eating and drinking deliciously all the while elevating our collective wisdom around the wonder of biology!

Mycol Stevens has a Master’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology and worked as a restoration ecologist/botanist for the Florida Fish and Game across the state of FL from 2004-2014. He has traveled much of Central and South America and Africa, and has learned from some of the best teachers including Frank Cook and Robert Hunsucker. Mycol has been teaching ethnobotany and edible mushrooms since 2005. He also lives off-the-grid on an “ecocentric” permaculture homestead where he eats from the wild almost daily and propagates and cultivates his own organic foods. Mycol’s philosophy is to ween off the “system” and to eat your food as medicine. Mycol has been inspired by the Hostel since the mid 90’s and much of its philosophy is reflected in his way of life. Knowing the living world around you, connects you to the living world. Mycol hosts (Willing Workers On Organic Farms, (WWOOFers) at his Finca. Contact him if you are interested in visiting. He also is the host of the annual mushroom teaching in July on the Finca.

Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied plants intensively while learning to use them for food, medicine, biological conservation, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. Marc’s major research in graduate school focused on the most useful plants of Appalachia. However it is clear that a holistic appreciation of nature irrespective of utility will be necessary to create the new paradigm that our current global situation calls for. He has since spent significant time learning the plants of the western U.S. and tropical regions as well. Marc has spent over a decade working at a multitude of restaurants, various farms, and travels throughout 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe and all 50 of the United States of America. In those travels he has visited over 70 of the best botanical gardens in the world. He has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous lives of plants and their respective uses. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. Marc first came to the Hostel in the Forest in March of 1998 and was immediately transformed through a first time sweat lodge experience with Tom Dennard the hostel founder. Like Mycol many of the principles that make the Hostel in the Forest such a special place have informed his expression of life in this world ever since. Further info can be found at where an online botany class in the tradition of Frank Cook is conducted by donation.

Workshops will include: Botany/Mycology 101 presentation, Wild Foods/Medicines walk, Super Food preparation presentation, Botanical beach/estuary Walk, Fermentation Overview with Honey Mead Making and a Permaculture Ecological restoration talk. Botanical slide shows of various parts of the world including Latin America, Africa and Europe are also possible given interest.

WHEN: Please prepare to arrive Friday afternoon. Teachings will begin Friday evening and end Sunday afternoon.

COST: $150-200 per person sliding, which includes accommodations at the Hostel for Friday and Saturday night as well as a basic breakfast porridge, potluck lunches and beautiful vegetarian dinner on both nights. Please bring a food item or two you would like to share. Worktrade may be available for interested participants with limited funds. Write to with stated need and proposal.

BRING: Your notebook, any relevant books you have, a camera, a loupe (portable magnifying glass) if you have one, water bottle, rain coat etc. Handouts will be provided.

May the Forest Be With You