Member Spotlight: The Mindful Marmot

Q&A With Rachel Gordon of The Mindful Marmot

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

This week features The Mindful Marmot, a yoga and hiking adventure company that brings visitors and locals to outdoor yoga day trips around Seward and multi-day retreats in Kayaker’s Cove. Owner Rachel Gordon offers destination yoga classes: guided hiking trips up to Mt. Marathon bowl or to Tonsina beach with a yoga class in each spectacular locale. She has also teamed up with Marathon Helicopters to take guests on scenic flights for yoga classes secluded in the mountains. For those who could do without yoga, she offers guided hikes around Seward as well.

We recently sat down with Rachel to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward. 

Kayaker’s Cove is a yogi’s peaceful oasis. Photo Kalani Woodlock Photography

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

I am very proud to be offering three yoga retreats at Kayaker’s Cove (May 18-20. July 13-15, and August 10-12). I teach clients two yoga classes a day, cook them delicious food, and guide them hiking while they bask in the glory of Kayaker’s Cove. It’s a magical place to relax and delve a little deeper in your yoga practice while tuning out from the daily hustle and bustle. We’ve also added massage therapist Sarah Herman from Three Peaks Massage and Wellness to the itinerary to help dissolve any lingering stress. Did I mention there’s a wood-fired sauna out there?!

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

The business concept itself is pretty unique, especially in Seward. No one else in town is offering any kind of outdoor yoga classes, let alone ones combined with hiking and helicopters. I’m looking forward to fostering the growing interest in yoga that’s blooming in Seward.

Zen out in the Alaska wilderness with The Mindful Marmot. Photo by Janessa Anderson

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

I’m bubbling over with excitement because this is my first season of my business venture! But that might not be that surprising, as I tell pretty much anyone who will listen.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

Ask all the questions, from everyone, all the time. The more information you can get from people who have already started a business or who might be interested in something your business would offer, you’re all the better for knowing.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

Probably the greatest compliment is the positive feedback and encouragement I have received from so many people in the community. I definitely have first year jitters but everyone’s positive response has been an amazing boost and quite a compliment!

The Mindful Marmot combines yoga, kayaking and hiking at their retreats in Kayaker’s Cove. Photo: Rachel Gordon

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

I would have to say Kristi Larson. She is just an inspiration. Kristi is dedicated to her job and helping people get into their new homes. She is an absolute light at all times and never has a negative word or sour face about anything. Not to mention that gal is always doing something outside. I can only hope to have one ounce of her smiles and positivity.

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

This is my fourth year in Seward. I first came to Seward to work a summer season to get a break from Southern California, where I was living at the time. I got bit by the Seward bug and now I don’t want to leave.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

Gosh, Seward just combines two of the things I love the most: the mountains and ocean. I get to hike a mountain and go surfing in the same day! Not to mention the incredible community here full of wonderful supportive people. I can’t ask for more than that!

How do you spend your free time?

I try to spend as much time outside as I can. I love being on the water whether it’s paddle boarding or surfing when we’re lucky enough to have some waves. That or bopping around on any of the trails around Seward.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

I tend to be very social and active so if I need some real unwinding I’ll probably be hitting crossword puzzles pretty hard in my cabin.

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

Great Expectations…Well, that one’s already taken but I might borrow it.

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

I’ve actually never been out to Northwestern. I would love to go check that out!

Feature Image: Rachel Gordon gives new meaning to adventurous yoga. Photo Courtesy of Mountain Men of Alaska.

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For more information about The Mindful Marmot, click here or call 907.224.3635

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.