Esalen is currently closed. We will reopen on Friday, 2/9.
Esalen Institute is open! However, Highway 1 to the south is closed — please review the alternate route directions.

Self-Guided Explorations

Choose your own transformational adventure at your own pace — solo and as a part of our dynamic, open group classes.

The Self-Guided Explorations format offers a more freeform, spacious experience outside the structure of a workshop. Self-Guided guests come to celebrate, to grieve, to question, to make space, to transition. We’re here to support you on your path, whatever shape the journey takes. This self-directed experience is enriched by a variety of classes led by world-class, compassionate instructors who skillfully meet you where you are, as you are. The journey is yours to design and to savor.

This is a time to practice honoring your own rhythm and your own desires. It’s a time to discover and to remember— a time to heal. The power and majestic beauty of the land, the medicine of community, the nourishing meals, the healing waters, the expansive discussions and lectures, and expert guidance in an array of transformative modalites all converge to help usher you into the next chapter of your life. Whether you’re with us for a weekend or a week, our intention is that you leave revitalized and inspired.

Explore your potential.

Our dynamic open class schedule changes weekly, but always features rich experiences that invite you to tend to heart, body, mind, and spirit, with opportunities to nurture community. Upon arrival you’ll be warmly welcomed home — whether you’re joining us for the first time or the tenth — and invited to sit in circle with your fellow seekers to set intentions for your stay. As you feel called, enjoy classes in yoga, dance, meditation, art, wildcrafting, relational awareness, breathwork and more. The choice is yours to take daily dips in the creek, meditate in the garden, write your Morning Pages to the soundtrack of the ocean, or enjoy a book by the pool. A closing circle on the final day provides a reflective conclusion to your time with us, readying you to integrate your discoveries as you return to your communities.

Feed mind and body.

Savor three hearty, healthy meals per day in our central gathering place, the Lodge. Our kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the mindfully harvested fruits (and veggies) of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local Big Sur providers to prepare delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth. Enjoy your meals in solitude — with an awe-inspiring view — or have a seat at one of the communal tables so you can break bread with new friends. To complement your meals, our coffee bar offers all the standard coffee and espresso drinks, along with a variety of specialty beverages, many of which incorporate herbs and flowers from our verdant garden. At dinner, you are welcome to enjoy a glass of wine, beer, sake, or zero proof beverage from our sommelier-driven list.

Create space for reflection.

Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch dramatically over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen since its inception, the baths and tubs are an ideal place to reflect, to listen, to find clarity, and to set new intentions. The baths are also a stirring place to feel into the inspiration evoked by our whale, dolphin, and otter friends.

Choose Your Dates
A man dances facing the Pacific Ocean on the pool deck at Esalen.

Imagine if you pressed pause
on your life for four weeks to
give yourself time and space
to transform.

Explore your potential.

Our dynamic open class schedule changes weekly, but always features opportunities to sit in meditation and mindfulness, explore embodiment and movement practices, and connect with nature. An opening circle, hosted by an Esalen Staff member or a visiting teacher, welcomes you as you begin your stay. A closing circle on the final day provides a reflective conclusion to your time with us.

Feed mind and body.

Savor three hearty, healthy meals per day. Our kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the fruits of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local Big Sur providers to create delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth.

Create space for reflection.

Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch dramatically over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen since its inception, the baths and tubs are an ideal place to reflect, to listen, to find clarity, and to set new intentions.

Choose Your Dates
A man dances facing the Pacific Ocean on the pool deck at Esalen.

Imagine if you pressed pause
on your life for four weeks to
give yourself time and space
to transform.

Explore your potential.

Our dynamic open class schedule changes weekly, but always features rich experiences that invite you to tend to heart, body, mind, and spirit, and opportunities to nurture community. Upon arrival you’ll be warmly welcomed home — whether you’re joining us for the first time or the tenth — and invited to sit in circle with your fellow seekers to set intentions for your stay. As you feel called, enjoy classes in yoga, dance, meditation, art, wildcrafting, relational awareness, breathwork and more. The choice is yours to take daily dips in the creek, meditate in the garden, write your Morning Pages to the soundtrack of the ocean, or enjoy a book by the pool. A closing circle on the final day provides a reflective conclusion to your time with us, readying you to integrate your discoveries as you return to your communities.

Feed mind and body.

Savor three hearty, healthy meals per day in our central gathering place, the Lodge. Our kitchen draws on global culinary traditions, using the mindfully harvested fruits (and veggies) of the Esalen Farm & Garden and other local Big Sur providers to prepare delicious meals that support holistic health — for you and for the earth. Enjoy your meals in solitude — with an awe-inspiring view — or have a seat at one of the communal tables so you can break bread with new friends. To complement your meals, our coffee bar offers all the standard coffee and espresso drinks, along with a variety of specialty beverages, many of which incorporate herbs and flowers from our verdant garden. At dinner, you are welcome to enjoy a glass of wine from our sommelier-driven list.

Create space for reflection.

Esalen’s beloved mineral hot springs perch dramatically over the Pacific Ocean, a juxtaposition of intimate and infinite. A core part of Esalen since its inception, the baths and tubs are an ideal place to reflect, to listen, to find clarity, and to set new intentions. The baths are also a stirring place to feel into the inspiration evoked by our whale, dolphin, and otter friends.

Choose Your Dates
A man dances facing the Pacific Ocean on the pool deck at Esalen.

Imagine if you pressed pause
on your life for four weeks to
give yourself time and space
to transform.

Self-Guided Explorations Sample Schedule

This is a sample schedule only. Please refer to the posted schedule on campus for actual class offerings during your stay.
See general schedule information including arrival, departure, and meal times.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY

5:00–5:45 pm
How to Drop Into Esalen

7:15–8:30pm
Self Guided Exploration Welcome Circle

7:30–8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ

10:15–11:45 am
Basic Principles of Gestalt
Sarah

2:15–3:15 pm
Breathscapes
Sadia

7:30 pm
12-Step Program

7:30–8:30 am
MOJA: Elemental Flow
Megan

10:15–11:15 am Healing Circle
Megan

2:15–3:15 pm
A Brief History of Esalen: The 60s
Sam

7:30 pm
Wednesday Evening Program

7:30–8:30 am
Mahasandhi Meditation
JP

10:15–11:15 am
Morning Class
Visiting Teacher

2:15–4:15 pm
Exploring Creativity
Phoenix

7:30–8:30 am
The Body Electric
Sadia

10:30–11:45 am
Self Guided Exploration Closing Circle

5:00–5:45 pm
How to Drop Into Esalen

7:15–8:30 pm
Self Guided Exploration Welcome Circle

7:30–8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ

10:15–12:15 pm
Exploring Creativity
Phoenix

2:30–3:30pm
Bathing Rituals of Self-Renewal
Micha

7:30 pm
Saturday Evening Program

7:30–8:30 am
Intuitive Yoga Flow
Cara

10:30–11:45 am
Self Guided Exploration Closing Circle

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY


No classes on Monday


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


No classes on Sunday

4 – 5:00 pm
Restore


4 – 5:00 pm
Restore


4 – 5:00 pm
Restore


4 – 5:00 pm
Restore


4 – 5:00 pm
Restore

MONDAY


5:00 – 5:45 pm
How to Drop Into Esalen


8:00 – 9:00 pm
Self Guided Exploration Welcome Circle

TUESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ


2:15 – 3:15 pm
Afternoon Class
Visiting Faculty


4:30 pm
Intro to Gestalt
JJ

WEDNESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Moja Yoga
Megan


2:15 – 3:15 pm
Bathing Rituals of Self Renewal
Micha


7:30 pm
Wed Evening Program

THURSDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Soul Movement Sanctuary
Jovinna


2:15 – 3:15 pm
The Hive and the Hum
Deva



FRIDAY




11:00 – 11:45 pam
Self Guided Exploration Closing Circle


5:00 – 5:45 pm
How to Drop Into Esalen

SATURDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ


2:15 – 3:15 pm
Afternoon Class
Visiting Faculty

SUNDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pranotthan Yoga
Jovinna


11:00 – 11:45 pam
Self Guided Exploration Closing Circle



MONDAY


7:00 – 7:45 pm
Orientation


8:00 – 9:00 pm
Self Guided Experience Welcome Circle

TUESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ


2:15 – 3:15 pm
Afternoon Class
Visiting Faculty


4:30 pm
Intro to Gestalt
JJ

WEDNESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Moja Yoga
Megan


2:15 – 3:15 pm
Bathing Rituals of Self Renewal
Micha


7:30 pm
Wed Evening Program
Visiting Faculty

THURSDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Soul Movement Sanctuary
Jovinna


2:15 – 3:15 pm
The Hive and the Hum
Deva



FRIDAY




11:00 – 11:45 am
Self Guided Experience Closing Circle


7:00 – 7:45 pm
Orientation

SATURDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ


2:30 – 3:30 pm
Bathing Rituals of Self Renewal
Micha



SUNDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pranotthan Yoga
Jovinna


11:00 – 11:45 am
Self Guided Experience Closing Circle





MONDAY


No classes today

TUESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


4:00 – 5:00 pm
Expand

WEDNESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


4:00 – 5:00 pm
Expand

THURSDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


4:00 – 5:00 pm
Restore

FRIDAY


4:00 – 5:00 pm
Expand

SATURDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Enliven


4:00 – 5:00 pm
Expand

SUNDAY


No classes today

MONDAY


5:00 – 5:45 pm
How to Drop Into Esalen
‍‍
7:15 – 8:30 pm
Self Guided Exploration Welcome Circle

TUESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ

10:15 – 11:45 am
Good Contact:
Basic Practices of Gestalt
Sarah

2:15 – 3:15 pm
Breathscapes
Sadia

7:30 – 8:30 pm
The Heart Essence of Recovery:
A 12-Step Program
JJ

WEDNESDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
MOJA: Elemental Flow
Megan

10:15 – 11:15 pm
Healing Circle
Megan

2:15 – 3:15 pm
A Brief History of Esalen: The 60s
Sam

7:30 pm
Wednesday Evening Program

THURSDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Mahasandhi Meditation
JP

10:15 – 11:15 pm
Morning Class
Visiting Teacher

2:15 – 3:15 pm
The Hive and the Hum
Deva

FRIDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
The Body Electric
Sadia

11:00 – 11:45 am
Self Guided Exploration Closing Circle

5:00 – 5:45 pm
How to Drop Into Esalen

7:15 – 8:30 pm
Self Guided Exploration Welcome Circle

SATURDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Pathways to Joy
JJ

10:15 – 12:15 pm
Exploring Creativity
Phoenix

2:15 – 3:15 pm
Bathing Rituals of Self Renewal
Micha

7:30 pm
Saturday Evening Program

SUNDAY


7:30 – 8:30 am
Intuitive Yoga Flow
Cara

10:30 – 11:45 am
Self Guided Exploration Closing Circle

Class Descriptions

A Brief History of Esalen: The 60's

Sam Stern

(

Ongoing

)

Join Sam for a deep-dive into Esalen's archives to explore the transformative origins of the Esalen Institute and Human Potential. Discover the roots of a movement that forever changed the landscape of personal growth and self-discovery.

Bathing Rituals of Self Renewal

Micha Merrick

(

Ongoing

)

Meditate with the surging energy of the waves and let tension dissolve on the ocean breeze. Adorned with flowers and local healing herbs, this unique experience at the Esalen baths blends personal inquiry, herbal education, and sensory delight. Each ritual is an emergent collaboration of sound, sensation, intention, and floral offering to the sea. Come early, class size is very limited.

Body Language

Sadia Bruce

(

Ongoing

)

A spacious, slow-paced exploration of the body home using therapeutic yoga and other somatic modalities to make space for breath, alleviate tension, and access greater mobility and fluidity— in flesh and bones, and in life. Accessible to all levels.

Breathscapes

Sadia Bruce

(

Ongoing

)

Rhythmic breathwork for breath-body intimacy and heightened aliveness. Learn to shape, adapt and dance with your breath through joyful experimentation, using the medicine of rhythm as your anchor.

How to Drop Into Esalen

Staff

(

Ongoing

)

So, you’ve finally arrived at Esalen — welcome home! Join us in exploring Esalen’s historic, culture-shifting origins, the vision for human potential, and our core values, as we embark on another 60 years of transformational education. Prepare to learn, grow, experiment, and evolve as we shepherd you on how best to integrate into this unique community and get the most out of your time on this sacred, ancient land.

Intro to Gestalt Practice

JJ Jeffries

(

Ongoing

)

Gestalt, like meditation, is an awareness practice that also provides a means for us to connect in the present moment. In this class, we will re-create and experience an Esalen style check-in, building spontaneous and intentional community. An Esalen tradition.

MojaFlow

Megan Cassamas

(

Ongoing

)

MojaFlow is an experience to provoke and elevate you to discover new realms of energy and inspire you to experience the joy of going beyond barriers in your own practice and life. Class will include a somatic warm-up, breath-work, and strengthening exercises to support the body/mind connection.

Pathways to Joy

JJ Jeffries

(

Ongoing

)

Start your morning by awakening your energetic body, tracking each of the chakras through the experience of meditative guitar and resonant voice. Then, emerge fully into sunrise energy with Dance Awake, connecting to your YES! and inviting ecstatic play and heart opening!

Pranotthan Yoga

Jovinna Chan

(

Ongoing

)

In class we contemplate spiritual/philosophical teachings, slow down and move mindfully by co-ordinating breath with movement, sustain poses to deepen focus and awareness, practice breathing exercises and meditation to hone skillfulness in listening to the inner subtle experiences.

Soul Movement Sanctuary

Jovinna Chan

(

Ongoing

)

This is a conscious dance practice for people who love or are curious about movement. Here in the company of non-dancers and dancers, we get supple and strong, we explore expressions, we celebrate creativity, we expand empathy, we move and are moved.

The Body Electric

Sadia Bruce

(

Ongoing

)

Take a somatic dive into the depths of the self with an enlivening, vigorous moving meditation that borrows from a variety of modalities, incorporates ancestral movement, and culminates in seated stillness. Shake, sound, and dance your way to deepened connection with your miraculous body, and with the body of the world.

Meet Our Teachers
Sadia Bruce

Sadia Bruce

(she/her)
Ongoing
@breathisalanguage

Sadia Bruce (E-RYT 500, YACEP) combines her expertise in breath-based movement, her reverence for the human experience and her energetic gifts to guide you to an electrifying sense of your own embodiment. With over 20 years of teaching experience across disciplines and contexts, and over 15 years of dedicated yoga practice, Sadia endeavors to create energized, radically inclusive learning environments that are guided by breath and driven by inquiry. As Head of Experiential Programming, she stewards Esalen’s pioneering self-development curriculum, curating experiences that are supportive of personal and planetary healing.

Megan Cassamas

Megan Cassamas

Ongoing
@moja.yoga

For nearly a decade Megan has provided a somatic-based approach to yoga. Her passion is to serve as a guide to support others in bridging meditation and motion in empowering embodiment classes. She is the founder of Moja Yoga.

Jovinna Chan

Jovinna Chan

Ongoing
jovinna.com

Jovinna Chan, E-RYT 500, YACEP, is co-founder of Shakti Initiation Yoga Leadership School and A Wild Life Sanctuary™. She is a certified Soul Motion™ and LetYourYogaDance Teacher, and co-founder of Pranotthan School of Yoga. She leads transformational programs around the world.

JJ Jeffries

JJ Jeffries

Ongoing

JJ Jeffries resides at the Esalen Institute, and has been offering movement classes here for almost two decades. Though BEING is his preferred state, he is intensely curious about all things DOING leading to BEING. He is a devotee of play and laughter, and welcomes your company.

Micha Merrick

Micha Merrick

Ongoing

Micha shares vibrational ritual and embodied herbalism as a heartfelt communion with our living ecosystem. Through personal mentorship with shamanic Lahu medicine women of Thailand and spiritual midwives in Bali, Micha currently facilitates the Herbal Clearing Ritual at Esalen, an energetic healing practice combining sound, touch, herbs, and intention. Micha offers sanctuary and grounding in connection with the earth.

Sam Stern

Sam Stern

Ongoing

Sam is the host of the Voices of Esalen podcast, a deep-dive interview program focused on Human Potential, with over 1 million downloads to date. He is a graduate of Brown University and received an MFA in Critical Studies and Integrated Media from CalArts. His greatest pleasure is spending time with his wife Candice and daughter Roxy.

Choose Your Dates

Please note: On Wednesday September 20, online registration may be unavailable for up to 15 minutes while system maintenance is performed. If the 'Register Now' page does not load, please wait about 15 minutes and try again.

5 Days / 4 Nights
3 Days / 2 Nights

Photos: Daniel Bianchetta, Ali Kaukas, Jens Wazel.