Soul Calling Sanctuary Uses the Power of Nature, Yoga, and Therapy to Encourage Healing

Healing-Centered Engagement 

Nature has a way of healing itself and it has done the same for people like wellness practitioner Yia Lor, who centers the power of nature in her business Soul Calling Sanctuary. Soul Calling Sanctuary is a service provider for the Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) program in Wisconsin that offers yoga and forest therapy.

Lor has taken her experiences as a social worker, educator, Reiki master, yoga teacher, and forest therapy guide to serve adult clients on their journey to recovery.

“At the core of all of this…it’s all about being mindful,” said Lor.

The organization’s services are only available to adults enrolled in CCS through the Recovery and Wellness Consortium (RWC) in counties: Buffalo, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, and Washburn.

Lor doesn’t guarantee her services will give her clients the results that they want but she does guarantee that she will offer tools, and resources, and will hold space for her clients and their experiences.

The Art of Not Multitasking

A big part of Lor’s work is teaching people how to focus on the present. According to a 2019 survey conducted by Marriott Hotels, 44% of Americans said they spend three or more hours per day multitasking. Yet Lor and research show that multitasking isn’t effective and can cause stress, so Soul Calling Sancanutary offers alternatives to focus on just being in the moment.

“It’s really about coming into to the present moment,” she said.

For example, forest therapy consists of guided walks that include meditation and sensory exploration with the goal of restoring balance and nurturing the spirit. Walks are between a quarter to a half mile long. These activities are meant to slow down the body and mind through nature immersion.

Soul Calling Sanctuary offers forest therapy and yoga.
Soul Calling Sanctuary offers forest therapy and yoga. (Picture by Soul Calling Sanctuary)

“We are so used to this go-go mentality…I think this is where a lot of stress comes from,” said Lor. “We operate at our best when we’re not multitasking.”

Yoga too provides a sense of healing, which has been well-studied in the last decade, like reducing stress, improving sleep, increasing strength, and reducing symptoms of anxiety.

Soul Calling Sancanutary offers a variety of yoga including restorative, gentle vinyasa (breath to movement), and yoga nidra.

“I think we could be a less stressed society,” if more people did yoga said Lor.

Finding Comfort in Silence

A part of forest therapy is spending 10 minutes alone exploring the forest with the intention of not speaking. As a society that can communicate with one another at any time from anywhere, we have become accustomed to constant chatter.

Soul Calling Sancanutary sometimes encourages silence to reconnect with oneself and the nature around them.

Soul Calling Sancanutary states that forest therapy is not a clinical or psychological treatment service and should not be used as a substitute.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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