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Adult Opportunities

One-Day Wellness Retreat (in person)

Focus on your wellness and spend the day immersed in nature on the peaceful grounds of the Arboretum.

Content Detail

Focus on your wellness and spend the day immersed in nature on the peaceful grounds of The Morton Arboretum. During this one-day retreat, attend to your mind and body with gentle movement, meditation, and reflection.

Research shows that time spent among the trees has clear benefits for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Set aside the rigors of your daily routine and take time for yourself with tai chi, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness workshops.

Light morning refreshments and lunch are included.

Retreat Sessions:

Arboretum Yoga

Yoga can help release stress and improve your health and well-being. Participants will practice poses, breathing, and meditation while connecting to nature in the tranquil setting of The Morton Arboretum.

Managing Anxiety with Mindful Practice

Work with a licensed clinical professional counselor to process how thoughts can manifest into anxiety and depression. Participants will explore how we manage our thoughts through an expressive activity, and leave with new skills you can use to navigate your internal dialogue for improved mental health.

Tai Chi

Move your body with the grace and confidence of the ancient Tai Chi masters who learned the secret of balancing yin and yang: strength with beauty, power with peace, endurance with flow. TaijiFit™ is a form of Tai Chi suitable for beginners. There is no routine or choreography to memorize or “get right.” Your instructor will lead you into flow using the Qi Cueing method developed by International Master David-Dorian Ross.

Writing W.I.L.D. Reflective Journaling for Wellness

We all hold within us the words to create, shape and live our life story. Too often, however, we fall into the role of characters. We respond to external processes, events and people, forgetting that we are capable of authoring our life narrative. In this outdoor session, participants are guided through a series of invitations to write W.I.L.D.–with wonder, intuition, love, and daring–to (re)discover the space where their life author resides. Invitations include contemplative practices, breathwork, and writing prompts that take place through a gentle journey on the Arboretum grounds.

Meditation with Essential Oils

Explore meditative and self-nurturing yoga poses with the use of plant-based essential oils to restore and rebalance the mind and body in the tranquil setting of The Morton Arboretum.


This program meets in person at the Arboretum.

Instructors: Natalie Schilke, Dawn Nader, Kristy Belton, Laura Jaramillo

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently.

Age: 16 and older



Natalie Schilke, certified yoga instructor, volunteer services assistant, The Morton Arboretum

Natalie Schilke has been practicing yoga since 2010 and blends her love for nature and wellness into all of her teachings. She is a registered yoga teacher  and also holds a certification in children’s yoga, aerial yoga, and horticultural therapy.

Dawn Nader, certified tai chi instructor, Elevate Tai Chi

Dawn Nader has more than 15 years experience as a student and instructor in Wushu, Yang Style Tai Chi, and Straight Sword, and she is a certified TaijiFit™ Method instructor. Her journey toward wellness through the Chinese martial arts provides a perspective on using mindful movement as an exercise to empower the mind, strengthen the body, boost the immune system, and improve the condition of the human spirit. Learn more at Elevate Tai Chi.

Kristy Belton, certified nature and forest therapy guide, Prairie Pathways

Kristy A. Belton is a certified Association of Nature and Forest Therapy guide, a native plants enthusiast, and an Illinois Master Naturalist. She loves engaging in earth-centered practices, whether through gardening, volunteering for the DuPage Forest Preserves, or guiding people in forest therapy and outdoor yoga practices. She is the founder of Prairie Pathways, an organization that offers rewilding practices to reconnect people to the land they live upon. Belton holds a PhD in political science and has more than twenty years’ experience in higher education, serving in diverse roles. Learn more at Prairie Pathways.

Laura Jaramillo, licensed clinical professional counselor, Laura Listens, LLC

Laura Jaramillo is a licensed clinical professional counselor and she hopes that the work she does in this world will allow people to fully love and accept themselves. She specializes in working with a variety of different anxiety disorders including eating disorders. She is a tree hugger, a mom, a yogi, a lighthouse, a friend, and always a student. Learn more at Laura Listens.

What to Know

This program meets indoors and outdoors. Check the forecast and dress for the weather.

Light morning refreshments and lunch are included.

Please bring the following with you: Something to write in and with, a yoga mat or blanket, a water bottle.

Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Be prepared to walk on wood-chipped trails and in grass.

Program Schedule

Saturday, June 17, 2023, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m. Arboretum Yoga with Natalie Schilke

9:00 a.m. Stress and Anxiety Workshop with Laura Jaramillo

10:30 a.m. Tai Chi with Dawn Nader

11:30 a.m. Quiet Reflection Time

noon → Lunch

12:30 p.m. Writing W.I.L.D.: Reflective Journaling for Wellness with Kristy Belton

2:00 p.m.  Meditation with Essential Oils with Natalie Schilke

3:00 p.m. Retreat ends

Founder’s Room

Thornhill Shelter


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