Travel is not always about escaping, but about connecting.

The perfect wellness getaway is when the person walks away with what they really didn’t even know they needed.

As part of my series about “discovering hidden wellness destinations,” I had the pleasure of experiencing a 3-night stay at enLiven at the Green River in Arlington, Vermont.

Nestled on the shores Vermont’s cleanest river and resting in the shadows of Equinox Mountain, enLiven at the Green River is an event center with 12 en suite rooms with the flexibility to accommodate one, two or three guests per room. Rooms are replete with fine linens, towels, and bath products. The kitchen is restaurant appointed and hosts private chefs and catered fare. The event center also boasts 5 common room areas, an outdoor deck which connects to our yoga and meeting room, as well as a pavilion adjacent to the river.

The assignment was clear: embark on a transformative 3-night retreat nestled along Vermont’s serene shores, promising an immersive experience. Little did I know that this journey would gift me a treasure trove of sensory delights and a renewed sense of purpose. EnLiven, with its enchanting ethos of restoration and renewal, became my sanctuary, igniting a clearer path forward.

EnLiven at the Green River, a haven of rejuvenation and purification, invited me to partake in its offerings. The spa, with its tranquil ambiance, called for surrender and serenity, its saline Jacuzzi and invigorating infrared sauna unveiling a realm of bliss.

Vermont, an ethereal destination in every season, embraced me with open arms. I surrendered to the allure of the great outdoors, embarking on enchanting hikes through majestic mountains and leisurely strolls alongside crystal-clear streams.

EnLiven beckons your soul to find solace, offering a holistic wellness experience that recalibrates the body, mind, and energy. Each R&R weekend immerses you in transformative practices, including emotion coding (a powerful method of finding and releasing trapped negative emotions that have been stored in the body), human design (a complex system that combines various spiritual and metaphysical concepts, including astrology, the I Ching, the Kabbalah, the Hindu-Brahmin chakra system, and quantum physics to help people understand their motivations and how they make decisions) complemented by sound baths, invigorating yoga and Pilates sessions, profound meditation experiences, spa access, guided social activities, and scrumptious health-conscious meals prepared by chef Andrea Becker.

The most profound experience of them all was a rejuvenating somatic massage by Britton Hall — an experience that moved me to tears. With her subtle touch and profound breathwork, she effortlessly unlocked hidden childhood traumas, guiding me through a dance of release and renewal.

In the embrace of enLiven at the Green River, I discovered the profound truth that wellness is not a fleeting pursuit; it is an eternal quest waiting to be found.

The following is an interview conducted with enLiven founders Carrie Winograd Kaufman and Brenda Stoeke.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about your backstory? What brought you to this specific career path?

Carrie: I became a yoga teacher about 22 years ago, as I always loved yoga. About 10 years ago I went on a yoga retreat and it was awful. It was in Tulum, Mexico and the leader, like everything else there, was very expensive. He basically taught two classes a day and then disappeared. We were on our own for a lot of meals and activities.

I have an MBA for Wharton and was in the corporate world for a really long time and I was like, this could be done so much better. I was in Belize with a girlfriend of mine and I was standing on the riverbank and got this message that said, bring a retreat here. So I did my first retreat about nine years ago. I had 18 people from all over the country, and it was magical.

I took a two year sabbatical and then started enLiven retreats. I created the brand and did a bunch of retreats, and that’s how I met Brenda. I added in Human Design and Emotion Code to what I was already doing. We redid a lot of the space, created the spa, and revamped the yoga room. We changed the flow of the place because it was formerly a bed and breakfast.

Brenda: I moved to Saratoga in November of 2016 working with rescue thoroughbreds and trauma victims. Every animal came with a person and since I was good with people, my job in the veterinary clinic was enjoyable. So that’s where it all started. And then from my own evolution and healing, I helped people find ways to get from A to B, get out of debt, and out of illness. All of those things were my experiment, and then it became really important that I share it with other people. So from that delineation through all the animal programs that I had completed, including participating in therapy and retraining horses off the racetrack, I realized that was a crutch. I needed to go out and really tell my story and help people one-on-one or in groups with the magic that I bring in order to transform their journey.

How has health, wellness, and spirituality played a big role in your life?

Carrie: It turned me from a hardcore burnt-out corporate executive into a global retreat leader and owner. It has changed my entire way of being. During COVID I ended up getting my 500 hour yoga teacher training and also got certified in meditation with Davidji, who was Deepak Chopra’s meditation teacher.

I used to be a really tightly wound corporate executive and this process has really softened me. We’ve built this business only doing the things that we love and hiring people who really want to be there. It’s really changed my life and has helped change the lives of others.

Brenda: It’s changed me from living in overwhelming anxiety and put me firmly in a space where I love my life, and enjoy how everyday unfolds. I think ultimately that’s what we’re all looking for. And it doesn’t mean that my life is smooth as glass or a feathered nest by means. But I do have the tools to work around anything that comes my way and a sense of self-responsibility knowing that I am personally the reason why things happen. It is very empowering.

Travel is not always about escaping, but about connecting. Have you made efforts to cultivate a more wellness driven experience at enLiven?

Carrie: What I learned when I first started doing retreats is that my journey and my path isn’t necessarily the same path that everybody is on because when I have a goal, I go all in. I changed my tagline of my business from transformational retreats to retreats that transform.

I realized just by creating the space and experience, people would find their own way. But I really had to meet them where they are, and then you introduce them to things gently. I kept finding people who would come to my retreats who had never done yoga before, and I was like, very interesting that you come to a yoga retreat and you’ve never done yoga before. But I would watch how the experience would change people’s lives over and over again. What I realized is that people in America are too overscheduled. They work too hard and are overwhelmed, especially moms who don’t have enough time for themselves. It’s about giving them an introduction to these practices and the time to integrate it which can help to create an opening.

Brenda: By bringing in varied practitioners to help. I don’t want to have any competition with another practitioner. I enjoy collaborating with fellow practitioners and embracing diverse perspectives when addressing the unique challenges individuals may bring forth.

What makes your location in Vermont so special?

Carrie: It’s the sound of the river and just being outside having the time to wander the grounds. I’m sure you felt the magic in those mountains, the vortex that is there — feeling that connection with the earth, being able to put on a bathrobe and then go into the spa or Jacuzzi. The place has a really warm, welcoming, grounded feeling. Every single person, whether it’s a contractor, participant or retreat leader feels it, and they don’t want to leave. I run retreats all over the world and sometimes I play with the idea of taking enLiven as a brand and going to other boutique hotels and expanding it to other places around the country — getting people who want to go deeper in their spiritual journey and giving them the space and the tools to do it.

Brenda: Our little valley is so peaceful with the river running right by the building. Everyone who walks in the door says, I’m home and they don’t want to go. They leave all their pretense and insecurities at the door and sort of take off their shoes. People get to hear themselves and recognize that they have thoughts that they can’t hear because there’s just so much noise in the world. Carving out moments to be fully present and connect with oneself is essential.

How would you describe the perfect wellness getaway?

Carrie: Finding a group of like-minded people who are open-minded in a beautiful place where everybody feels really comfortable, and where the food is healthy and delicious. Also where people have the permission to be who they are. At all of my retreats we do yoga, meditation, a spiritual workshop, sound healing, or dancing. People respond to different modalities. So we are giving them different kinds of ways to find something that speaks to them, and the downtime to integrate it by providing some nature-based outdoor adventure experience, whether it’s hiking, snowshoeing, or horseback riding. We always say in Vermont, you come on Friday as strangers, and you leave Sunday as family. Their connection with other people and communing with nature creates the perfect formula.

Brenda: The perfect wellness getaway is when the person walks away with what they really didn’t even know they needed. I love when people come with certain expectations and agendas, and then we go beyond and create something truly magical. When I organize a group retreat on Friday night, that’s when I start to plan the retreat based on what people are saying. Sometimes, these individuals really need Human Design, while others may find The Emotion Code more helpful. Therefore, I adjust the workshop offerings to assist people in discovering what they didn’t even know they were seeking.

How can I readers find out more about enLiven?

Carrie: You can find us at

Brenda: We are on Facebook and Instagram

This was very inspiring, Carrie and Brenda. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.