On January 15-18, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite hosted their third annual Wellness Spa and Retreat.  This weekend-long event focused on living a healthier lifestyle revealed a new degree of wellness which included world-class spa treatments, unique exercise classes, interactive sessions with influential industry leaders, and hands-on culinary class with Tenaya’s Chefs.


Participants enjoyed various activities including:

  • Yoga sessions each morning to start the day out right.
  • Spa Treatment of choice.
  • Guided natural hike to experience and learn about the outdoors.
  • Learn to paint and enjoy the relaxing benefits of artistic outlets through an interactive class with artist Slade Wheeler.
  • Spa at home provides tips to easily and effectively reap those benefits after a spa treatment.
  • How Fit Are You? Takes the time to assess individual fitness levels.
  • Diet Saboteurs are investigated to determine what prevents us from reaching a goal of losing a few stubborn pounds.
  • ABC: Abs Butt Core what more?
  • Interactive cooking class with Chef Sheamus O’Rork seeks to satisfy culinary curiosity and find the hidden chef in everyone with healthy and flavor-packed snacks and meals.
  • Whiskey pairing dinner promotes the heritage and culture behind whiskey tasting with creative dishes to tantalize the pallet.
  • Aromatherapy for everyday Life. 


The talented staff at Tenaya Lodge partnered with the following wellness experts to host this year’s event.

Keynote Speaker, Abbie Kozolchyk is the Beauty and Travel Director for Every Day with Rachel Ray. Abbie’s long career as a writer and editor includes work with publications such as Spa, Shape, Vegetarian Times, Fitness, Natural Health, Martha Stewart Living’s Body + Soul and other health and wellness magazines. She has also written for a variety of travel and beauty publications including National Geographic Traveler. Come hear Abbie’s insights from over two decades of writing about beauty and wellness.

Alexandra and Kymberly Williams are fitness experts who give practical exercise advice, answer fitness questions, and provide cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable.  They have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for three decades on four continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, the Williams believe that little steps turn into big paths by moving a little more than the day before. They are FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off; learn more at Fun and Fit.

Tara Donna Grodjesk is president and owner of Tara Spa Therapy, Inc., and she has devoted over 30 years of experience in Holistic Health and Wellness. Her focus is on refining bodywork techniques, bringing therapeutic efficacy to spa treatments, and offering a careful selection of high quality green and organic products to hotels/resorts and spas. Tara has been a consultant to world-class spas in design of their facilities and the development of wellness concepts for treatment programs and signature product lines. Tara has worked with renowned Tenaya Lodge, Auberge Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Spas, Trump Spas, Canyon Ranch Spas, Four Seasons and Rosewood Hotels. Ms. Grodjesk has a B.A. in Psychology with Honors from the University of Michigan. She is a Certified Massage Therapist, Holistic Health Educator, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Aromatherapist. She has trained over 3000 massage therapists and aestheticians internationally and was the first person to introduce Ayurveda to the U.S. spa industry.  Tara hosts an annual “Living Wellness” Women’s Retreat. Her vision is to harness nature’s inspiration to create environments that are conducive to healing and which nourish the Divine within

Sheamus O’Rork is the Sous Chef at Tenaya Lodge. He came to Tenaya in 2014 with previous  experience as a Sous Chef, Wine Director, and General Manager in Northern California and Seattle. Sheamus started working in kitchens while studying classical guitar and composition at Cornish College of the Arts. After four years of conservatory training, the creativity and culture of the kitchen life won out, he has worked in restaurants ever since.  He is passionate about supporting local, sustainable cuisine.

Published January 2016