Balanced Rock is a non-profit based in California’s Yosemite National Park that addresses physical and mental well-being through inner reflection and connection with nature. They’ve been in operation since 1999, offering classes + workshops, short- and long-form hikes, camping retreats, and other activities building from yoga, meditation, and the creative arts, all among the majestic surroundings of one of the country’s most famously beautiful places.

For an organization with such a progressive mission, though, its roots are in the very basic effort to help a local community heal.

After 26-year-old outdoor instructor, Joie Armstrong, was tragically killed in 1999, fellow instructors, Heather Sullivan + Tana Leach, created Wild Women Workshops in an effort to bring the community together and take back the park. The modest beginnings of peak summits, yoga, and journaling proved so effective for friends of Armstrong and other locals touched by her violent death and the lost sense of security that came with it that the programs swiftly expanded in return.

From Balanced Rock’s Web site:

“Quickly recognizing that more people could benefit from life-changing empowerment opportunities in the outdoors, the backpacking programs were opened to the general public. In 2007, Balanced Rock co-founders Eliza Kerr and Heather Sullivan made the decision to expand programs to a wider audience, formalize the non-profit structure, and change the name of the organization to Balanced Rock. The name came from the last conversation Heather ever had with Joie, when Joie promised to teach Heather to balance rocks.”

The organization has continued to serve the local community and visitors from far and wide, even expanding to offer programs in Nepal, Tibet, India, Alaska, Point Reyes National Seashore, Red Rocks National Conservation Area, and Joshua Tree National Park.

After undergoing a complete design overhaul with their Web site, Balanced Rock approached our studio about following through to their print materials, including posters, seasonal class schedules, and their informational brochure (above).  We’re honored to work with such an earnestly service-centered mission that’s brought so many people more in touch with themselves and the world around them over the past 14 years.

You can read more about our work with Balanced Rock and see more photographs of it in our print portfolio. Read more about the organization and the classes they offer over at their beautiful new Web site, designed + developed by Michelle Martello at Minima Designs.