Need Space for Your Yoga Retreat?
Looking for a great location for your next yoga retreat?! Big Raven Farm is a fantastic yoga retreat center in southeast Minnesota’s driftless region, Where Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa Meet. We’re conveniently located within 2 ½ hours of Minneapolis, Mankato, Rochester, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Madison, Dubuque, Waterloo, and Cedar Rapids, among others.
- A beautiful 1200 sq.ft. yoga studio with fantastic views of woods and fields and hills, lots of windows, and plenty of room for everyone.
- 40 sets of bolsters, blocks, blankets, straps, and yoga mats. (We actually make our own yoga mats, and could even make a custom yoga mat just for your retreat!)
- A gorgeous, sunny 800 sq.ft. dining room with plenty of space for programming and presentations.
- A commercial kitchen, complete with commercial dishwasher and honest-to-goodness pizza oven.
- 6 beautifully furnished guest rooms that sleep 14+ (easily converted between king-sized and extra-long twin beds).
- A private summer cottage that sleeps an additional 2–3.
- A 2-mile walking trail. Great for exercise or meditation or simply communing with nature!
- Incredible vistas of rolling hills, valleys, and woods.
- Free-range chickens and all the fresh eggs you could want. (Please — take some of our eggs!)
- Gracious and accommodating hosts. (See below! :-)
Our life revolves around yoga. Joleen has practiced yoga for 20 years and has been an RYT200 certified teacher for 10. We run yoga classes at our farm every day, and our lifeblood is designing and printing high-quality yoga mats in the workshop below our yoga studio. Our farm is our home; this is no soulless, windowless, corporate space-for-hire! We prepare all of the food ourselves (Joleen does most of the baking, Darin does most of the cooking), and we’ll great care of you and your guests.
We know retreats, and we know yoga teachers, and we know yogis. We’ve hosted everything from art retreats to weddings, but the core of our life is yoga. We can provide everything you as a yoga instructor need. We can even help with programming (and marketing, if necessary).
We’ll help make your retreat memorable for everyone and profitable for you!
We are Joleen Emery and Darin Warling. We met in kindergarten, grew up, graduated, went our separate ways, traveled the world, got married, got divorced, and met again at our 25-year high school reunion. We’ve been together ever since. Joleen is the yoga teacher and artist and visionary, Darin cooks and makes sure the metaphorical trains run on time. (Former engineer; not the choo-choo kind.) We founded a yoga mat company, Big Raven Yoga, and a couple of years later ditched the big city life in search of a larger print space (with room for a yoga studio and a retreat center). We purchased this farm right around Halloween 2020, and have been working to restore it to its original grandeur ever since.
How It Works
We can be involved in your retreat as much or as little as you like — fully hands-on and involved in every aspect of its planning and execution, fully hands-off, or anywhere in between. We’re flexible!
Typically, we provide accommodations, retreat space, tables, chairs, food, cleanup, and help with programming. Most retreats take place Thursday–Sunday, with guests arriving on Thursday evenings and leaving Sunday afternoon. We normally provide a casual welcoming meal on Thursday evening as guests arrive (such as a flatbread pizza buffet), 3 full meals on Friday, 3 meals on Saturday, and a farewell brunch on Sunday.
Normally we charge only our base rate for room and board; anything over and above our rate becomes profit for you. For a fully filled (14 attendee) 4-day, 3-night retreat (Thursday–Sunday) we typically charge approximately $143/night, or $429/attendee. If you were to charge attendees $200/night, or $600/attendee, your profit would be approximately $2400 for the weekend. ($600-$429×14 = $2,349). If can command $1000/attendee, your profit would be approximately $8000 for the weekend. (Also note that retreat hosts stay free, so it costs you nothing to host a retreat with us!)
We do require a 50% non-refundable deposit to hold the date, with the remaining balance due 7 business days before your retreat. A sample rate sheet for a typical yoga retreat is available here.
We Are Here!
We’re right in the heart of the upper midwest! Part of the reason we chose southeast Minnesota is that we’re surprisingly well-situated: There are at least a dozen major population centers within an easy (and beautiful!) 2 ½ hour drive, with approximately 7 million people inside 150 miles, and 13 million people within 200 miles. (The other reason we chose this location is that, unlike the rest of Minnesota, there are literally no mosquitos in this weird little corner of the world. You can lay outside in the grass all night long watching the stars and not see or hear a single mosquito! Also, the Driftless area is incredibly beautiful — it’s the Vermont of the midwest.)