Ken Banwart - Founder/Executive Director
Certified Kripalu & Yin Yoga Instructor
Ken has studied and practiced a wide range of yoga, nutrition, general health, exercise and indigenous spiritual practices for over 30 years. He has been able to fully demonstrate the results of this training in his personal health practices and vibrant lifestyle. He was Founder and served as Managing Director/Chairman of the Board from 1981 to 2013 of Aspen Partners, Ltd., a successful investment management and financial services business.
Ken received his Yoga Teacher Certification from Kripalu School of Yoga in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He has also studied and trained with other recognized yoga instructors including Sarah Powers in Yin Yoga. He moved to Blue Ridge, Georgia in 2007 and built his own yoga studio to focus his energies on teaching yoga and other health practices. He teaches and conducts international yoga retreats with his Daughter, Magen Banwart. Magen is Founder and CEO of MB Fitness in New York and was voted One of NYC's Top 20 Most Popular Yoga Instructors.
Ken is one of the founding members of the Heartwood Community. This community is dedicated to living a more sustainable supportive and intentional lifestyle in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He Founded Heartwood Development LLC, which is constructing more affordable and environmentally friendly smaller homes for Community Members.
Christina Law - Co-Founder/Managing Director, Health & Yoga
Resident Certified Yoga Instructor, AYURVEDA Practitioner, Certified in Thai Yoga Bodywork, Pranic Healing & Faster EFT, Massage Therapist.
Christina is co-owner of Yoga and Wellness of Blue Ridge. She received her 200 hour Yoga certification in Vinyassa Yoga at PYC (Peachtree Yoga Center) in 2000, Prenatal Yoga certification in 2003, Thai Massage certification in Thailand in 2005, 100 hour Yin Yoga and meditation intensive with Sarah Powers at the Kripalu Institute in 2007, and Advanced 500 hour Yoga certification at PYC and Pranic Healing in 2008. She is certified in Faster EFT , Living Ayurveda, and Taste of Herbs courses.
Christina offers a range of experience & modalities to meet the unique needs we all face in a world full of complexity. She changes her teaching styles according to the larger cycles of nature through Yin and Yang practices and Ayurveda to help balance her students. In the slower practices she loves to weave in all kinds of spiritual teachings that have helped her along the way and plays the guitar and sings during class. She loves working one-on-one to get to the root of challenges whether physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or energetic. Christina uses a diagnostic tool called a Veda Pulse that reads the imbalances in the body from the Ayurvedic perspective and gives the lifestyle, foods and yoga poses to get back into balance. She does Thai Yoga Bodywork and Faster EFT in private (also via Skype) and offers Body Thriving programs to individual clients and groups to help detox, lose weight and restore vitality through hardcore self-care and habit changing practices. She cooks healthy local foods for the retreats and offers her multiple healing modalities to the participants. Read More about Christina
Lynn Marie Dwyer - Managing Art Director, Resident Artist
Lynn Marie Dwyer, our local artist has been working with clay for over twenty years. Lynn has lived in the Heartwood Community for seven years, and currently building her own tiny home and art studio on the land here.
Specializing in mixed media, you will see Lynn's work scattered throughout the Retreat Center and its buildings. Lynn has been teaching in the North Georgia area for many years, working with children, adults, disabled populations and trauma/special needs students. She has a variety of Clay class workshops that can be incorporated into your retreat, if time permits. Powerful and fun creativity can shift even the hardest blockages. Lynn can help you let go with clay (Earth), and get grounded. Talk to Lynn about some art possibilities during your stay. Materials, Tools, Supplies and Firing provided. http://morethanmudpies.com
Massiel Ocampo is a Reiki and hypnotherapy practitioner at The Herb and Healing center in Holly Springs. You will find her facilitating Grief healing workshops and Women gatherings too. She enjoys performing ceremony for groups and individuals whom strive to celebrate themselves and loved ones. Massiel loves incorporating sound healing, eft, tarot reading, meditation, and breathwork into her sessions. Her goal is to bring authentic healing to The Heartwood Community. How many of you want healing but don't know where to begin? Do you give yourself the opportunity to properly grieve? We have all lost loved ones through death, divorce, abandonment, addiction and mental illness. We even lose parts of ourselves due to work and family obligations. The only way we can be in the present moment and truly connect with ourselves is when we allow ourselves to process emotions. I've been on my own healing journey for the past 9 years. I'm really proud of myself for exploring the darkest places of myself. Is it comfortable? No! But guess what?! I can deal with life so much better because of it. I forgive myself every single day and thank my teachers for giving me the tools to fight back. l learned how to cope with the tragedies in my life and even celebrate them. I overcame drug addiction, alcoholism, abandonment, sexual assault, verbal and physical abuse. Those events helped me evolve into the person I am today. If I can do it, you can definitely overcome anything you're fighting right now. I encourage you to reach out if you haven't already. You can't do it alone anymore. I was so fortunate to have angels pull me out of the darkness. I had the choice to reach my hand out and was willing to take a second chance at life. Ceremony is my way of pulling people out of their darkest place. No one deserves to stay in the pits of sorrow. Allow me to guide you towards the light of divine spirit. You are deserving of Love~♡~Massiel