Margaret Burns Vap
Margaret is the originator of Cowgirl YogaTM and the director of Big Sky Yoga Retreats. Her yoga journey began more than two decades ago, when she started attending Jivamukti Yoga & taking up the practice to help her manage her busy New York City lifestyle & corporate career at L'Oréal.
After a few years and hundreds of down dogs, she ditched her fancy clothes for yoga pants and relocated to Washington, DC to create her own studio. Georgetown Yoga, which she founded with her business expertise and enthusiasm for mindful movement, quickly became one of DC's most popular studios.
When her family moved to the UK for a brief time, she practised at Jivamukti London and studied Ashtanga Yoga with Richard Freeman, David Swenson, & Dave Oliver. Margaret also finished a training program at Yoga Works, a prominent California/New York-based studio, and attended Baron Baptiste's Teacher Training Bootcamp in Hawaii.
Margaret's students have ranged from celebrities and DC dignitaries to wheelchair-bound elderly, from beginners to advanced yogis — and everything in between.
Margaret's belief that yoga may benefit everyone, at any time, was one of the driving forces behind her family's move to Bozeman, Montana in january 2007. She instantly welcomed the laid-back-yet-vibrant community, its outdoor fitness emphasis, and spectacular 360-degree mountain vistas with her spouse David and daughter Morgane.
Margaret didn't have to wait long to combine her passion for yoga with her newfound love for Montana. Big Sky Yoga Retreats was born out of her genuine teaching style her natural gift for creating compassionate, safe settings for people to practise. Margaret created a one-of-a-kind retreat experience for ladies to enjoy yoga with an incredible Montana backdrop with the support of her close-knit crew.
Since its start, Big Sky Yoga Retreats has been published in several publications and has received extensive press coverage. Margaret conducts retreats in Argentina, California, France, & Italy, in addition to Montana.
Margaret's retreat experience and vision for the excursions are continuously expanding and changing. She and her team are determined to merge yoga and horses, as well as yoga and nature, in as many ways as possible. Cowgirl Yoga & yoga & hiking are two of the distinctive retreat experiences. Margaret has just completed equestrian coaching training in order to take her retreat participants on a more even deeper journey into the mind-body-horse connection. And, just for kicks, she throws in a couple of yoga-and-wine retreats every now and then. #namasteandcheers
Authenticity is her yoga retreat concept. The idea is to deliver something absolutely unique that would not otherwise be discovered on one's own - whether it's a deep grasp of how to go into and out of a certain yoga position or riding off the beaten route through Patagonia's wilds.
Margaret graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. and Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management, with an MBA. She can communicate in Spanish and French, with a dash of Italian thrown in for good measure. She has traveled considerably, particularly when it comes to horseback riding and hiking. (If you can't make one of her travels, she highly advises an Icelandic horseback riding tour with Eldhestar — it'll change your life.) She's presently pondering how to collaborate with them!)
Morgane is now an excellent ski racer and horse whisperer, so you can often find her assisting with Cowgirl Yoga. She and David enjoy Montana's many outdoor activities and also have loved watching her daughter Morgane grow up on the ski slope as well as on horseback.
Margaret is also the proud mother of English Mastiff Lili, Maine Coon cat Leo, barn kitties Leia, Thor, and Loki, as well as her equestrian herd, which includes Tennessee Walking Horses Java & Skywalker, Paint horse Apollo, & Paso Fino Dulce.