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Movement, Meditation & Activities

Esalen’s Movement and Meditation Program is continual and offered on a complementary basis to workshop participants, personal retreat guests, and to residential staff. Each week there is a different selection of classes from the following list. A current schedule can be obtained at the front office.


Body Moves with Bryan Scott
Shake your booty to contemporary dance music in this free-form class.

Dance Church with Lance Lindborg
Free-form improvisational dancing

Sacred Walk: A Dance Journey with Nikki Kurtz
Fluctuating between being lost in the Ecstasy and trapped by the Inertia, you are invited to explore yourself, your patterning and what makes you, YOU. Getting to that place in all of us where words cannot reach. Noticing where you are stuck and where you move freely and how each of those can serve as guides in our movement on the dance floor of life.

Dance Awake with JJ Jeffries
Groove to your music muse in a Zen Boogie of mindful movement meditation. Explore your connection to the self, to the other, and to the divine in a spirit of playfulness and curiosity with the dance of heart opening.

Spirit Dance with Ellen Watson
Since the dawn of time, peoples from all cultures have used dance as a path to re-establish connection between body and heart and spirit, and experience an offering that can lead one beyond temporal mind into a dance with the divine…this is movement as a spiritual practice.

Yum Session with PJ Novotny and Friends
A space to explore soulful body awareness through breath, through beat, through dance, through movement! Live, continuous, improvisational music that blends East, West and World grooves with ambient sound landscapes, moving you through an energetic wave into a blissful stillness at journey's end...


Tai Ji with Chungliang Al Huang
Learn some of the important aspects of this ancient, gentle and powerful movement system with this engaging and inimitable master.

Gestalt Movement with Dianne Miller
Our bodies move in repetitive patterns of joy and stress. Participants will be offered a larger vocabulary of movement to realize, express, shape, and dance patterns of their lives.

Qi Gong with Shankari Barrera
Pronounced "chee-gung" and translated as energy cultivation, Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese system of postures, breathing techniques, self massage, and meditation designed to improve the flow of your body's energy. Inspired by Dr. Roger Jahnke.

NIA with Cristin Devine
NIA will pump your heart, lubricate your joints, release your tension, enhance your balance, and tone your muscles with creative movement, mindful awareness, and joyful spirit for all levels.


Hatha Yoga with Nan Hebert, Jan Sinclair, Julia Ingersoll, Coco Yellin, and Isabel Manso
Mindful yoga postures that emphasize breath, a practice for building strength, enhancing flexibility, creating energy, spacious presence, and compassionate listening to the needs of your body. All levels are welcome!

Restorative Yoga with Seema Christie, Anne Van de Water, and Julia Ingersoll
By supporting the body with props in relaxed poses, participants alternately stimulate and relax the body to move towards balance.

Yin Yoga with Isabel Fluery
Yin Yoga is practiced passively with soft muscles, holding each asana or asana-based exercise in the sequence for several minutes. Its goal is to stretch the body's deep connective tissues — the ligaments and fascia — to increase joint flexibility and self-awareness.

Yoga Nidra with Shankari Barrera and Peter Burke
Relax into a guided visualization through the body and its energy channels.

Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Isabel Manso and Donia Robinson
This vigorous class combines Vinyasa (a continuous series of postures which are linked together with fluid connecting movements, synchronized with the breath) with longer holds of some poses. As we practice presence both in stillness and in movement, we cultivate an environment for stilling the mind, deepening body awareness, and allowing prana (life energy) to flow freely.


Didgeridoo Meditation with Daniel Peterson
Sink into calm pools of the SELF at the baths with the soothing and mysterious sounds of the Australian didgeridoo.

Sensory Awareness Chakra Meditation with JJ Jeffries
Awaken the wisdom of the body through the pathways of sensation as revealed within each of the Chakras, opening the blocks to resonance, flow, and essence with the focus and support of voice and guitar.


Rise Up Singing with Lisa Goettel
Sing! This super fun group singing class is for singers, shower singers and non-singers alike. Lisa G. teaches songs in the round and guides the way to vocal freedom, joy, and connection.

Singing Gestalt with Nancy Lunney
Join Nancy at the South Point House for a moving experience. You choose from a variety of songs and sing with your heart, guided by Nancy's wisdom and musicianship.

Other Programs

Open Seat with Josef London, Brita Ostrom, Mary Anne Will and Gordon Wheeler
Open seats are a long-standing Esalen tradition in which an approved Esalen facilitator makes him or herself available for two hours for anyone willing to participate. As a participant, you are free to sit in witness or work on an issue you know about or let one emerge in the dialogue between you and a facilitator.

12 Step Tribe
12 Step Tribe offered three (3) times a week. The Tribe is open to all 12 Step fellowships.

Writing Group with Bill Herr
This writing group is open to all and is a supportive space in which to explore writing as a means of self-expression.

Somatic Awareness with Peter Burke
Most of us have chronic muscle contraction patterns which are unconsciously maintained. Through subtle movement, we will explore ways to organize your neuromuscular sense more efficiently, and bring awareness to these lost parts.  Come drop into a greater sense of yourself.

Interpretive Dance at Esalen Institute


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