Carefully curated to renew body, mind, and spirit, Woven is a place for women to gather for intentional self-care on the deepest level. These “soulful gatherings” invite participants to lift the veil of pretense and expectations and simply be with other women along the journey.
Woven hosted its first retreat in September 2019 with attendees across lines of age, race, and background. Designed as a mindful, restorative experience for women, activities include self-discovery workshops, spiritual movement, and meditation such as yoga and nature walks, dedicated space for creative expression, and healthy, chef-prepared meals on site.
With a background in education, Woven founder Angie Hamstead has always been working to help students grow. Whether through classroom instruction, leading other teachers as an educational coach, or working with Knoxville’s Project GRAD to propel high schoolers to college and career readiness, Angie’s passion is seeing people thrive physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Following a life-changing experience with her family, she started the Hozho Project, named for a Navajo word that encompasses the idea of “embracing the beauty around you and living with intention.”
“Everything I do is about helping people live in that state of hozho,” Angie says.
The purpose of Woven was born out of that idea, endeavoring to bring women together on their unique journeys to learn and grow in community. Gatherings connect women, provide an unconditional support system, and value continual learning from one another and within themselves.
“I feel we are all teaching one another,” Angie says.
Unlike other restorative retreats that tend to focus on a particular aspect or method of healing or development, Angie designs each Woven experience to provide various opportunities for growth and renewal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. She is careful to carve out space for intentional downtime to quiet the mind, and a special room for creative expression gives participants the opportunity to process their experience through art, journaling, and more.
“Woven is the perfect rest stop on your life journey,” says retreat participant Ginger Markley. “Pull aside, recoup, and get what you need so you can get to your destination safely.”
Woven gatherings are cultivated to develop self-love and acceptance as well as continual learning and accepting others. Angie describes the community as “opening outward,” though times of solitude are still honored. “It’s an open circle,” she explains.
As the Woven community grows, Angie is working to provide more regular gatherings for women to connect and recharge between retreats. Each event cultivates elements to calm, rejuvenate, and inspire women to become their best selves. These supplemental gatherings are free or Dutch treat, open for anyone to join or bring a friend. That doesn’t mean they are boisterous social gatherings, however.
“I am a self-proclaimed extrovert,” Angie says, “but I’m very intentional about designing spaces that still honor those who are not. We give everyone space and permission to make the experience her own.”
The next Woven Retreat is scheduled for September 4-6, 2020 at the enchanting Bend of Ivy Lodge in Asheville, NC. Featuring guest co-host Grace Kendrick -- Ayurvedic healthy living expert and founder of Blissful Living Wellness -- and catered by Chelsea Lockhart of With Grace and Love Cooking, guests can find more information by visiting WovenRetreats.com. For more information on monthly gatherings, follow Woven on social media using @wovenretreats.