Workshops

Our workshops are designed to support you in the challenging work of self exploration, in partnership with some of the leading minds of the day. Join us in discovering the next frontiers of individual and societal transformation. (Interested in a scholarship? Learn more here.)

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The New Year is a powerful threshold. It is an opportunity to listen deeply, reflect, restore, and create anew. Yet we often make resolutions that perpetuate the myth of self-improvement, while doing nothing to empower our heart’s intentions, thereby setting us up for disappointment.

This five-day retreat invites you on a powerfully restorative journey to exchange striving for compassion and clear-seeing, through meditation, mindful inquiry, relational mindfulness, conscious movement, deep time in nature, writing, and ritual.

Throughout our time together, the group will explore such questions as:

  • What are my deepest intentions for the year ahead, for my life, and for our world in this age of global uncertainty?
  • What lessons are there to harvest from 2021?
  • What obstacles or limiting beliefs is it time to release or forgive?
  • How can I fully empower my essence or center, which is the source of my deepest power and my peace?
  • How can I hold myself accountable for embodying my whole self?
  • And what is the key to balance, joy, and personal sustainability at a time when we are facing grave challenges globally and collectively?

The New Year beckons with possibility and renewal. If we open to this invitation with wonder, curiosity, and courage, we can position ourselves to receive the true guidance within and, at the same time, embrace the support of the universe on our journey.

Awake in the New Year: Setting Conscious Intentions for Our Lives
January 31 – February 4, 2022
January 31 – February 4, 2022
January 31, 2022
Awake in the New Year: Setting Conscious Intentions for Our Lives
with Deborah Eden Tull

Nearly 2,500 years ago, Buddha worried we had become too distracted — and that was before paper, let alone smartphones. Now many of our days are filled with convenient distractions that promise happiness while mostly delivering busyness and frustration. So many of us today live life in a hectic fog, working too much and noticing too little. When was the last time you gave something your undivided attention?

There is a different way. This weekend we will disconnect, slow down, and meditate together. We will learn the ancient Zen practice of sitting still, bringing our full awareness to what is now.

Our time together will follow a gentle schedule of sitting meditation punctuated by brief lectures, group discussion, relaxing meals, and soaks in the healing baths, all while we explore the process and practice of mindful living. We’ll be listening to our own bodies, noticing the food we eat, and truly engaging with the people around us – all to explore what it means to be fully present.

You will leave this retreat with everything you need to start, revive, or deepen your daily meditation practice. You will receive instruction in traditional Zen meditation and we will sit together in guided sessions, practicing what we’ve learned. We’ll work together on everything from the mechanics of sitting posture to the mental barriers we all face. We’ll discuss how to overcome common obstacles to meditation and the many ways to incorporate more mindfulness and presence into our daily lives.

Whether you’re brand new to meditation or even if you’ve been practicing for years, you will leave prepared to bring meditation into your life and mindfulness to your work and home – today and every day. Come reclaim a healthier and happier way to be.

Recommended reading: Dan Zigmond, Buddha’s Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well.

Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
February 4–6, 2022
February 4–6, 2022
February 4, 2022
Meditation and Modern Life: A Zen Meditation Retreat
with Dan Zigmond

The Artist lives within everyone and Art can be made out of just about anything!

In this transformative workshop, we will use repurposed material in a whole new context of re-creation. Come experiment with a vast array of reused materials to create mixed-media mosaics, sculptures, and collages.

There will be an assortment of recycled materials and bits and pieces of yore and today to choose from:

  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Paper
  • Photographs
  • Fabrics
  • Old artifacts

You will have the opportunity to explore and play in a whole new creative way.

In a beautiful, nurturing and supportive setting, we will reclaim society’s scraps and discarded objects to re-imagined meaning. Find your own inner voice of expression as you delve into the process of creating art out of different materials and mediums while learning new skills, guided and supported by Dana and Flash.

Not only will you have the opportunity to explore your own expression and immerse yourself in solo creations, we will also engage in a collaborative group project and enter the whimsical world of community-oriented magic and play. There is a transformative joy that comes from engaging with others in the artistic process. It opens doors unseen and forges deeper bonds between people. This shared experience is exciting and teaches us how beautiful it is to break down barriers and collaborate.

This workshop is geared towards anyone with the desire to create. From the beginner to the advanced, this is a time to explore new possibilities. It’s a time to leave the critic behind and allow yourself to play, nourish, and replenish the creative spirit. It’s also a time to enjoy the company and camaraderie of like-minded peers. It’s a time to discover the joys of what art based on community and collaboration is and how meaningful and grand a shared, creative experience can be.

If there are any recycled materials or special mementos or photos you have that you would like to bring and include in your creations, please feel free to bring them along!

Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
February 7–11, 2022
February 7–11, 2022
February 7, 2022
Creative Catalyst: The Transformative Power of Making Art
with Dana Albany and Michael "Flash" Hopkins
Three Master Teachers Join for Five Powerful Days of Transformation

Alchemy is all about taking the mundane, the unexpected, even the inconvenient, and creating Magic. Due to a series of teacher cancellations, this incredible group of visionaries took this as a synchronistic sign to come together as a team and share with you the tools they share with each other to create successful lives.

Join us for a collaborative experience in Human Alchemy, where we engage in healing, neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, astrology, intuition, ritual, and personal mythology to transform your reality in tangible ways.

Three experts, in three separate modalities, join to re-engineer your life using their most powerful transformational techniques.

Each teacher will spend time engaging the group through their own processes of transformation, sharing their incredible perspectives on how to reshape your experience.

Join:

  • Ericksonion psychotherapist, hypnotist, and transformational coach, Nancy Winston
  • New York Times Bestselling author, healer, and intuitive Laura Day as featured in Forbes Magazine
  • Astrologer, author, and mystic Gahl Sasson

This is a fast-paced workshop, held by three master teachers who will use their gifts to illuminate yours.  

These are evidence-based practices which means your job is to bring your goals, your challenges, and the outcomes you would like to achieve.

These are also deep, challenging practices. We trust you to be loving and responsible custodians of your own boundaries and we fully support your taking space at any time during the workshop

Recommended Reading (or Listening): The Astrology of 2022, by Gahl Sasson, and The Circle and How To Rule The World From Your Couch, by Laura Day.

The Tools For Transformation
February 7–11, 2022
February 7–11, 2022
February 7, 2022
The Tools For Transformation
with Laura Day, Gahl Sasson and Nancy Winston

To breathe well is to live well. When we befriend the breath, we expand our capacity for choice, change, joy, and healing. When we embody breath — allowing limbs and bones to express outwardly the dynamic, unceasing pulsation of life within — we touch freedom.

In this new and electrifying experiential workshop, we’ll explore and deepen the relationship of self-to-breathing-body through a number of somatic pathways: embodied movement, breathwork, presencing exercises, meditation in motion, and sound.

Operating from philosopher Havi Carel’s conception of breath as “a juncture of the physiological, psychological, existential, spiritual, and cultural,” we’ll practice dancing and digging at this intersection, and in effect access a felt reconnection to our wholeness.

Join Sadia in her signature practice, which draws from her many deep pools of training and experience. This deeply embodied practice will include:

  • A movement practice that draws equally from hatha yoga, calisthenics, ritual, Qigong, dance, and your own intuition.
  • Intuitive breathwork and pranayama to help you connect more honestly to the nature of your aliveness.
  • Sounding practices that liberate the use of your voice and guide you toward expanded breath capacity.
  • Guided dance ritual that will help you develop inner attunement and feel the limitless power of embodied expression.
  • Restorative moving meditation to access the powerful convergence of attention and surrender, giving you an embodied understanding of the power of yielding to both breath and life.

Together we’ll form a sacred community of breathing beings and establish conditions for the unobstructed flow of life force within and around our bodies and our lives. The natural, subtly explosive intimacy that exists between body and breath — and between you and your breathing body — can emerge anew, rendering you more sensitized to desire, pleasure, purpose, and power; to who you are, what you want, and why. Join us for this incredible experience.

The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
February 11–13, 2022
February 11–13, 2022
February 11, 2022
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
with Sadia Bruce
Three Master Teachers join to share their most effective tools with you (and each other).

You as a human being are composed of your beliefs, your habits, and the world they create around you. The gift of ritual is sacredness. When you choose to make something sacred it has the power you give it. That power is the material with which you can build a New Reality.

In this workshop, each teacher will give you their simple practices to rely upon daily, when your habits are not creating the results you want.

We will give you our best tools — from psychic healing, neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, astrology, intuition, personal mythology — to construct your new quotidian life.

Alchemy is all about taking the mundane, the unexpected, even the inconvenient, and creating Magic. Due to a series of teacher cancellations, this incredible group of visionaries took it as a synchronistic sign to come together as a team and share with you the tools they share with each other to create successful lives.

Three experts, in three separate modalities, join to re-engineer your life using their most powerful transformational techniques.

Each teacher will take you through the experience and implementation of their modalities in your life..

Three master teachers will use their gifts to illuminate yours.

Join:

  • Ericksonion psychotherapist, hypnotist, and transformational coach, Nancy Winston
  • New York Times Bestselling author, healer, and intuitive Laura Day, as featured in Forbes Magazine
  • Astrologer, author, and mystic Gahl Sasson

These are evidence-based practices which means your job is to bring your goals, your challenges, and the outcomes you would like to achieve.

These are also deep, challenging practices. We trust you to be loving and responsible custodians of your own boundaries and we fully support your taking space at any time during the workshop.

Recommended Reading (or Listening): The Astrology of 2022, by Gahl Sasson, and The Circle and How To Rule The World From Your Couch, by Laura Day.

Quick Hits for Lasting Change
February 11–13, 2022
February 11–13, 2022
February 11, 2022
Quick Hits for Lasting Change
with Laura Day, Gahl Sasson and Nancy Winston

This workshop introduces the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy and teaches healing professionals and all who are interested how to apply it to their own countertransference. Richard Schwartz developed IFS as he learned to set aside his trained assumptions and truly listen to his clients. IFS is a highly effective way of guiding people to a state of inner clarity and compassion (called the Self) from which they know how to heal themselves. From the Self, one can calm and transform troubling inner voices, compulsive distractions, and feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy, and overwhelm. These parts of the psyche are surprisingly responsive and resilient when addressed with respect and patience.

A therapist’s ability to remain steady, centered, and open-hearted in the face of clients’ extreme emotions or predicaments is central to his or her effectiveness. By utilizing IFS, therapists and laypeople can hold this Self state of loving kindness that allows others to heal themselves.

Participants will gain the tools to understand the role of the Self, discuss the role of mindfulness in self-awareness, and recognize the essential features of the IFS model. This workshop is for everyone.

The I in the Storm: Bringing Self Leadership to Everyday Life
February 14–18, 2022
February 14–18, 2022
February 14, 2022
The I in the Storm: Bringing Self Leadership to Everyday Life
with Richard Schwartz

We know that a consistent meditation practice lowers stress, improves health, strengthens relationships, and increases happiness. But did you know that cultivating mindfulness can also make you a more creative and skillful writer?

This combination writing and meditation workshop invites writers and meditators of all levels to delve deeply into both practices. Throughout the workshop, we will practice together in a number of ways to encourage your own work and practice to flourish. We’ll engage in…

  • Daily guided meditations that nourish creativity by encouraging you to be present to experience, establish a strong mind-body connection, and access emotion and empathy — all important tools for writing.
  • Daily bursts of free writing that give you an opportunity to tap into your creative energy — without judgment — so you can do your most original and authentic writing.

Both practices will be supported by discussions of writing craft to help you master the technical aspects of story-telling.

Each day, we will set aside time to share our work in a safe and supportive environment. As a special bonus, on Thursday evening we will invite the entire Esalen Community to a Public Reading. If you are interested in sharing your work, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up during the program.

By the end of the workshop, everyone will have acquired the tools necessary to develop a daily meditation AND a daily writing practice (and make them stick!). You’ll also receive a free month’s membership in the online daily writing community Creative Caffeine Daily.

Writing and Mindfulness: How a Mindfulness Practice Can Make You a Better Writer
February 14–18, 2022
February 14–18, 2022
February 14, 2022
Writing and Mindfulness: How a Mindfulness Practice Can Make You a Better Writer
with Janis Cooke Newman

What if there was a space where our love was not just tolerated, but celebrated? What if there was a place where our relationships were not judged and shamed but poured into with support, encouragement, and care? Come strengthen your couple-love and deepen your self-love in a weekend dedicated to LGBTQ+ humans.

We need spaces to navigate the terrains of intimacy, vulnerability, and trust just as much as straight-bodied humans. Our love is beautiful, strong, passionate, vibrant, and resilient. It can be challenging to focus on our relationships when we don’t feel safe, seen, or represented in the broader world. Join Toni Bergins and Erika Allison in a sacred and refreshing container for LGBTQ+ couples and friends to be ourselves, love how we love, and explore the depths of our connections.

Through movement, expression, music, ritual, and meditation, we will open new pathways for self-love. Through somatic partner exercises and heart-opening practices, we will open new pathways for couple-love. Embodiment and movement practices expand our inner awareness and invite our presence, allowing us to touch our depths and feel our aliveness, whatever emotions may come. Ceremony and ritual practices open our hearts and allow us to celebrate and honor the journeys of our lives and our love.

Throughout the weekend, we’ll explore…

  • Somatic touch exercises to deepen our connection to self and each other
  • Partner energy work and meditation to create new ways of connecting in spiritual practice
  • Rituals for healing and celebration to honor our past and shifting our stories into belonging and acceptance
  • Daily spiritual practice for grounding and reflection
  • Movement, music, and dance for embodiment, empowerment, expression, and sensuality
  • Forgiveness and gratitude practices for healing and connection
  • Couples Clearing Practice for communication relationship depth and sustainability

Together we will engage in embodiment practices, such as:

  • JourneyDance, a therapeutic movement modality that supports healing, expression and creativity
  • the Embodiment Series (body-mind centering, release technique, developmental patterns)
  • the Heart Series (energy work, somatic touch)
  • the Evocative Emotion series (light Gestalt psychodrama with music)
  • affirming interfaith spirituality and relationship blessing ceremony

Join us for a weekend of being and loving, bringing us closer together and strengthening our relationships. Get out of your mind and into your body, gaining a new sense of presence to deepen your love and relationships. By strengthening our bonds, expanding our capacity to be seen and heard, and celebrating our authentic expressions, we can cultivate thriving relationships full of joy, playfulness, and peace.

Folks identifying as LGBTQ+ only, please.

In this workshop, we define LGBTQ+ couples as any two people in an intimate relationship.  Please bring a partner (romantic or friend!) for this program; it is important that we have an even number of attendees.

Recommended reading: Gay the Pray Away: Healing Your Life, Love, and Relationships from the Hams of LGBT Conversion Therapy, by Reverend Erika Allison

Embodying LGBTQ+ Love: Celebrating Our Relationships
February 18–20, 2022
February 18–20, 2022
February 18, 2022
Embodying LGBTQ+ Love: Celebrating Our Relationships
with Toni Bergins, MEd and Rev. Erika Allison

Touch is our forgotten language. In this introductory massage course, participants will learn to listen to each other, gain the sensory skill of initiating touch, experience the felt sense of touch and muscle release, and close with a balanced tenderness. Seasoned instructors will offer exercises, demonstrations, and at-the-table guidance during the supervised practice. The simple principles of Esalen massage — presence, connection, attending rather than fixing, self-care, receptivity, and slow-paced strokes encompassing the body — will build a heartfelt experience with your partner or friend, and perhaps most significantly, with yourself.

By the final session, participants will share the basics of a classical Esalen Massage. Experienced practitioners and caregivers will find it refreshing to apply the Esalen method and notice its healing effect as their pace slows and the mind becomes focused on compassionate contact rather than technique.

Touch can evoke an opening to spirit, either our innate ability to move into healthful balance or a broader sense of nature surrounding us. The edgy wildness of Esalen’s grounds, canyons, hot springs, and mountain backdrop invites this deeper natural connection. The group may include an optional evening massage ritual in the baths, the birthplace of Esalen Massage.

Please note: you must register and participate in this workshop with another individual, who will be your practice partner for the weekend.

Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
February 18–20, 2022
February 18–20, 2022
February 18, 2022
Esalen® Massage for Couples and Friends
with Oliver Bailey and Daniela Urbassek

This five-day retreat is open to anyone — currently in a relationship or not — who wants to explore the idea that it is possible and optimal to bring one’s full heart to any important relationship. In a safe and supportive environment, this experience will offer ways to work with the parts of ourselves that stand in the way of giving and receiving love fully.

With the beauty of the Pacific coast to support and nurture your process, you will have the opportunity to explore many aspects of self-compassion in the following ways:

  • Learn about the Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy and gain skills that make self-exploration engaging and deeply satisfying
  • Address the question, “Who am I in a relationship?”
  • Use tools to understand the nature of relational burdens and let go of old ways of relating
  • Engage in deep personal work that can lead to the development of new beliefs about yourself
  • Support and be supported by others on a similar journey
  • Increase courage to take new risks in connecting

Prepare to open yourself to the possibility of building truly connected relationships.

Self-Compassion in Inner and Outer Relationships
February 21–25, 2022
February 21–25, 2022
February 21, 2022
Self-Compassion in Inner and Outer Relationships
with Richard Schwartz

How are you doing?

Most likely, you have been challenged and altered in many ways during the past two years — an unparalleled time that has offered us all a moment to stop and reconsider our lives.  

According to the yogic study of the koshas, we have five multi-dimensional layers of being: body, breath, mind, consciousness, and soul.  When all five layers are aligned, we can experience powerful transformation and integration.  This five-day retreat is an invitation to come together as a community to integrate our experiences in all five layers of the self.

Drawing on the embodied practices of yoga, pranayama (breath practice), sound meditation, and conscious dance, we reconnect our bodies and minds this week, digest our feelings and emotions, and open ourselves to the wisdom of our hearts. Most of all, we expand our vision to include a bigger perspective on the suffering of the world.

We greet each day with morning yoga and breath practices, followed by dance, and then close with sound meditation and discussion in the afternoon.

The practices we cultivate this week help you:

  • Listen deeply to the questions foremost in your heart
  • Revive a sluggish nervous system
  • Release fear, inhibition, and judgment
  • Build confidence and creativity  
  • Manage stress and anxiety
  • Expand trust in yourself
  • Celebrate your strength and resilience

The physiological and psycho-social benefits of these embodiment practices that serve you during the retreat will continue guiding you into the future. Allow yourself to be nourished by this sacred land and hot spring waters, the healing and energizing practices we share together, and the friends you make, so you may return home rejuvenated and eager to continue walking your life path.

Integration From the Core: Embodiment through Yoga, Dance, and Sound Meditation
February 21–25, 2022
February 21–25, 2022
February 21, 2022
Integration From the Core: Embodiment through Yoga, Dance, and Sound Meditation
with Jovinna Chan

Burnout happens when our body and mind don’t have adequate recovery from all the action. Pushing on the gas pedal for extended periods can leave us buzzing with exhaustion and yet unable to rest deeply. And let’s face it, it’s impossible to be excited about life when we are depleted and exhausted, no matter how much you love what you do. Deep Recovery can help you rest, release, and recharge so you go back home feeling rejuvenated and with the skills to help maintain a state of inner resourcefulness.

Meditation is part of our survival instinct, a way to access rest and relaxation deeper than sleep. In this weekend workshop, you will learn about a variety of doorways into meditation that have proved useful for people living in the modern world, who have busy, responsible lives, who want to learn how to access deep rest.

There are thousands of different techniques of meditation. We will explore several that have been extensively researched scientifically, are pleasurable and effortless to practice, and can be easily done at home.

We will explore different ways to enter a meditative state so you can find what feels effortless and natural to you. In this rejuvenating weekend, you will…

  • Learn the skills to maintain a state of inner resourcefulness in your everyday life.
  • Discover some simple skills of meditation that you can share with others.
  • Have ample personal time for integration and for being held by nature at your leisure.

We have found that everyone can meditate. It is a matter of accommodating your individuality. We will show you how to modify techniques to suit your nature, and practice how to share the gift of meditation with others. And on Sunday, our intention is for you to return to your life having been held in the nourishing current of the life force, and restored by it.

Recommended reading: Meditation Made Easy by Dr. Lorin Roche; www.instinctivemeditation.com

Deep Recovery: Meditation for Caregivers and Anyone Facing Burnout
February 25–27, 2022
February 25–27, 2022
February 25, 2022
Deep Recovery: Meditation for Caregivers and Anyone Facing Burnout
with Lorin Roche, Camille Maurine, Dr. Maria Ramos, and Dr. Mayya Shveygert

In this turbulent time, how can you offer radical vitality to our world? What ignites your imagination? When do you erupt into awe?

What if your deepest longings and heartaches suggest something about your unique expression of the wild eros of the world? Eros is much more than sexual desire: it’s a deeply embodied, imaginative, mystical, soulful participation with the animate, intelligent Earth.

In Wild Eros, we’ll approach the waters, forest, gardens, and creatures (human and other) as a lover, awakening the wild body and mythopoetic imagination where everything is alive and intelligent. Our soulcraft practices will include ceremony, deep imagery, dreamwork, trance drumming, dancing, and solo wandering. We’ll live the question: If Earth is alluring us for her own purposes — very much the way the nectar lust of bees serves the desires of flowers — what wild child, what honey, will we create from this joining?

Geneen Marie Haugen and Guest Faculty Palika Rewilding will guide you through this weeklong exploration of…

  • Solo wanderings in nature with practices intended to help open wilder or mystical perception
  • Deep Imagery Journeys to explore the depths of wild psyche
  • Dreamwork with the intention of letting the dream do its work on the ego, rather than the ego working on the dream
  • Small group sharing of solo experiences with reflection and suggestions from the guides

Wild Eros is a way of falling into the deep mystery of soul as well as nourishing radical intimacy with other-than-human beings. It’s a way of embodied participation that amplifies our experience of Earth as sacred, and may reveal seeds of vision for our troubled, tender world — potent seeds for artisans of cultural renaissance: change agents, tricksters, artists, poets, therapists, activists, and true leaders.  

Wild Eros in a Fragmented World: Soulcraft as Radical Participation
February 28 – March 4, 2022
February 28 – March 4, 2022
February 28, 2022
Wild Eros in a Fragmented World: Soulcraft as Radical Participation
with Geneen Marie Haugen

Carl Jung believed the shadow to be the neglected, and often personified, parts of the self that we prefer to keep hidden from both ourselves and others. We begin a conscious relationship with these mysterious inner partners by seeing how our experiences of the “other,” are often extensions of our self. In some strange way, it seems we may enter our inner space by exploring the forces that move us in our outer space. Thus, when we look to the collective, we may reveal doors and windows that take us within. In our worldwide culture, the famous and the powerful — royalty, religious figures, celebrity figures, political leaders – placed on the pedestals of the divine, reveal an excessively over-valued reflection of both the positive and the negative qualities we sense or desire in ourselves. This is called shadow projection.

In this workshop, uncovering the root of these questions is the very quest we are on — to recognize that often what we seek “out there” is found within and that the unlived parts of us often carry a heavy burden whether we know it or not. Reflecting upon and integrating these beautiful segments of our bodies, minds, and souls offers us an invitation to a broader and more expansive life, greater awareness and presence with the nature of our personal experience, and the depths of the patterns and forces encountered in the human experience.

To explore and deepen your relationship with the ideas of how shadow projection and fame intertwine, we will work with practices like…

  • guided self-analysis
  • journaling
  • group discussion
  • active imagining
  • lecture and study
  • film

Join John for an unforgettable week of walking the philosophical path of the scholar and the seeker, and the deep work of cultivating a practice in yourself that will help open your eyes to how these various psychological concepts and ideas are expressed in our broader culture, all while soaking in the incredible opening and healing energy of the land and sea.

Recommended reading: Meeting the Shadow, edited by Connie Zweig.

Exploring Our Shadows Through the Psychology of Fame
February 28 – March 4, 2022
February 28 – March 4, 2022
February 28, 2022
Exploring Our Shadows Through the Psychology of Fame
with John W. Price Ph.D., LPC

Join Janet in this nourishing weekend designed to replenish the nervous system and adrenals, boost the immune system, and ground into simplicity. We will drop into the body, mind, and spirit to find space between effort and surrender, allowing our systems to release into their great integrative power.

Using slow and fluid movement along with restorative postures, meditation, pranayama (breathwork), and chanting we will create space in our bodies for introspection, move out of the cyclical fight-or-flight response, and cultivate sustainable power, rest, and healing.

We’ll practice:

  • slow yoga to cultivate sustainable power
  • restorative postures to promote regeneration
  • meditation to encourage stillness
  • pranayama to balance hormones and whole being
  • chanting to awaken your heart's longing.

Please bring a bolster, sand bags and eye pillow.

If you are traveling from afar and cannot carry all of these items in your luggage, email connie@janetstoneyoga.com, and we will try to secure some you can borrow.

10 hours CE credit for Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) available through Yoga Alliance; see leader.

Restorative Weekend
March 4–6, 2022
March 4–6, 2022
March 4, 2022
Restorative Weekend
with Janet Stone

Restore.

It can take time and great effort to move away from the ego-affirming busyness of modern-day life toward a reflective stillness. In this workshop we will cultivate this slowing, deepening, and going within.

Through slow, nourishing yoga practices, restorative postures, meditation, mantra, writing, and intentional silence we’ll allow ourselves to dive below the surface of our thoughts and identities to know ourselves more intimately and untether from the chords that hold us to old behaviors and belief structures.

With the power of this land, the healing waters, strength of community, and nourishment of slowing down, we will move toward a listening, supple, healing body.

Please bring a bolster, sandbags and eye pillow.

If you are traveling from afar and cannot carry all of these items in your luggage, email connie@janetstoneyoga.com, and we will try to secure some you can borrow.

Moving into Stillness
March 7–11, 2022
March 7–11, 2022
March 7, 2022
Moving into Stillness
with Janet Stone

Imagine if — whatever challenges life may present to you — the one thing you could count on is your own mind always being kind to you. That is your birthright, and now is the time to claim it! This weekend, immerse yourself in this mindfulness-based approach to self love and compassion.

Mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices have entered all spheres of our society including but not limited to corporate settings, sport performance, medicine, and psychology. Science has confirmed the health benefits in immunity, brain architecture, pain management, and mental and physical resilience that has been part of an ancient system of mental and physical training through meditation practice.

You will participate in guided exercises geared to bring your body, mind, and soul into a self-nourishing whole person, and strengthen your ability to give love to others by first loving yourself.

During our time, you will…

  • Learn mindfulness meditation practice.
  • Take the time to experience your own loving attention all weekend.
  • Learn to take back the controls of your body/mind and create a more peaceful you.
  • Explore the breath.

Join us for an exploration of meditative practices designed to nourish your whole self and increase your capacity to give and receive love and care.

Open to all levels.

Love Yourself for Everyone Else’s Sake
March 11–13, 2022
March 11–13, 2022
March 11, 2022
Love Yourself for Everyone Else’s Sake
with Mark Abramson

To breathe well is to live well. When we befriend the breath, we expand our capacity for choice, change, joy, and healing. When we embody breath — allowing limbs and bones to express outwardly the dynamic, unceasing pulsation of life within — we touch freedom.

In this new and electrifying experiential workshop, we’ll explore and deepen our connection to our breathing bodies through a number of somatic pathways: embodied movement, breathwork, presencing exercises, meditation in motion, and sound.

Operating from philosopher Havi Carel’s conception of breath as “a juncture of the physiological, psychological, existential, spiritual, and cultural,” we’ll practice dancing and digging at this intersection, and in effect access a felt reconnection to our wholeness.

Join Sadia in her signature practice, which draws from her many deep pools of training and experience. This deeply embodied practice will include…

  • A movement practice that draws equally from hatha yoga, calisthenics, ritual, Qigong, dance, and your own intuition
  • Intuitive breathwork and pranayama to help you connect more honestly to the nature of your aliveness
  • Sounding practices that liberate the use of your voice and guide you toward expanded breath capacity
  • Guided dance rituals to help you develop inner attunement and feel the limitless power of embodied expression
  • Restorative moving meditation to access the powerful convergence of attention and surrender, giving you an embodied understanding of the power of yielding to both breath and life

Together we’ll form a sacred community of breathing beings and establish conditions for the unobstructed flow of life force within and around our bodies and our lives. The natural, subtly explosive intimacy that exists between body and breath — and between you and your breathing body — can emerge anew, rendering you more sensitized to desire, pleasure, purpose, and power; to who you are, what you want, and why. Join us for this incredible experience.

The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
March 11–13, 2022
March 11–13, 2022
March 11, 2022
The Power of Breath: Embodied Liberation
with Sadia Bruce

The function of the brain is to take care of us and to be in sync with the body’s systems. Trauma changes the way our brains process information and the way our bodies engage with the world. Trauma makes people afraid to know what they know and feel what they feel. This is expressed in heartbreak and the state of being out of sync with oneself and one’s surroundings. This course explores how, because of altered biological systems, traumatized people continue to be trapped by their history and react to current experience in a myriad of ways as a replay of the past, shows ways to break the cycles of re-enactment and suffering, and explores ways of representing and befriending our inner experience.

Therapies that work all start from a basic sense of calm and safety. The calmer we are, the more we can allow ourselves to know what we know, and to feel what we feel. We will study and experience the capacity of EMDR, yoga, Internal Family Systems, sensorimotor practices, theater work, and neurofeedback to help people overcome a traumatic past and regain the capacity to be fully alive in the present.

Recommended reading: The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van de Kolk

Trauma, Memory, and the Restoration of One’s Self
March 14–18, 2022
March 14–18, 2022
March 14, 2022
Trauma, Memory, and the Restoration of One’s Self
with Bessel van der Kolk and Licia Sky

This is an era of chaos, change, and grief for the world. As we continue moving through these unprecedented times, we are required to face many difficulties that may seem insurmountable. We invite you to a weekend retreat to hold together what should not be held alone.

Have you experienced loss and the natural emotions of sadness, anger, fear, and love? How do you process your losses and move through your life? Many of us have not yet found safe and effective ways of expressing these emotions and we can feel burdened, both emotionally and physically, with the cumulative weight of our unfinished business.

Using the tools of the 5Rhythms movement practice combined with a process of grief work grounded in emotional presence, non-judgment, and supportive witnessing, participants will come together in a safe space to help heal mind, body, and spirit:

  • Lucia is a dancer and meditation teacher with more than 25 years of global teaching experience. She will facilitate the 5Rhythms® movement practice as a way of experientially accessing and transforming the emotional states that come with grief.
  • Peter is a physician with more than thirty years of experience in HIV/AIDS, palliative care, and grief work for caregivers, working in a community now heavily affected by Covid-19, and will facilitate an exploration of stages of grief, using story-sharing as part of releasing and working through losses.

The weekend also includes didactic and experiential sessions focused on natural and distorted emotional responses to grief, caregiving vs. caretaking, and more.

Please bring photos or other mementos of anyone whose memory you would like to bring into the workshop.

Grief Dancer
March 18–20, 2022
March 18–20, 2022
March 18, 2022
Grief Dancer
with Lucia Horan and Peter Selwyn

Are you ready to experience your unbounded creativity, bliss, and connection for healing yourself and others?

Join leading scientist, healing teacher and author Dr. Shamini Jain for an unforgettable weekend to unlock your healing capacities with the Healing Keys — and learn how to integrate these keys into your life to move through your days with more energy, joy, and ease.

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • What mind-body, placebo, and biofield science teach us about the power to heal ourselves and others
  • How to work with sound (including mantra) and subtle energy to connect with the Earth, foster your vitality, and release old patterns that do not serve you
  • Creative practices to foster powerful new possibilities for your own flourishing — and how to connect with the powerful creator inside you
  • Chakra meditation practices to charge yourself and others with loving energy, and deepen your connection with spiritual guidance
  • How to create your personalized healing ritual and feel the flow of well-being throughout your life journey

Discover your Healing Keys and widen your possibilities for joyful liberation. This workshop is open to all ages, genders, and other labels. No prior experience is necessary — only a willingness to meet and explore the beautiful being that you are!

Recommended reading: Healing Ourselves: Biofield Science and the Future of Health by Shamini Jain

The Healing Keys: Biofield Science and the Future of Health
March 18–20, 2022
March 18–20, 2022
March 18, 2022
The Healing Keys: Biofield Science and the Future of Health
with Shamini Jain

Spring Equinox is a time when the dual energies of day and night, and the Sun and the Moon are in perfect balance. Join wisdom keeper Erika Gagnon on a sacred journey within the macrocosm of this balanced union, as we gather together and learn about the importance of ancestral lineage, traditional ceremonies, sacred altars, medicinal plants, and the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. We will allow the Equinox energy to heal and strengthen our inherent desire to go beyond the false duality of self versus nature to a unified wholeness, living in harmony and balance within ourselves, and with the world around us.

You will be invited to reconnect to your authentic wisdom and power with clarity, and through gratitude and forgiveness. When you honor and heal your ancestral lineage, and connect to the natural and spiritual elements of this planet, you will strengthen your connection to the sacred in everyday life. This is your opportunity to transform unhealthy patterns and trauma and realign your body, mind, spirit, and soul.  

You will also have the opportunity to participate in a water prayer blessing, a sound healing and “doctoring” journey, and a traditional South American healing ceremony.

We are all interconnected in this great web of life, and every day is a gift to live in the service of unconditional love: for yourself, your community, humanity, and our planet. If you feel the call to be a part of a new humanity that lives in harmony and balance together upon this Earth, then we invite you to join us in this celebration of life.

Please bring any sacred items for our altar, including photographs of loved ones and ancestors, sacred objects that have meaning for you, and a journal to write in.

Special Note on Gift Economy:  For this workshop, Esalen will not be collecting the typical leader fees. Erika embraces the tradition of the gift economy and reciprocity. The leader’s compensation will be self-determined by each attendee. At the end of the workshop, participants will offer a donation amount that reflects their feeling of gratitude, value, and desire to support Erika and her ongoing work.

Beyond Duality: Equinox Healing Wisdom for Balance and Harmony
March 21–25, 2022
March 21–25, 2022
March 21, 2022
Beyond Duality: Equinox Healing Wisdom for Balance and Harmony
with Erika Gagnon

Sluggishness from winter begone!  Kick your heels into the air and welcome the spirit of spring with a fresh and fun Spring cleansing yoga workshop. We’ll lighten the load of winter lingering in our bodies with springtime Sun Salute variations revolving around the Solar Plexus to stimulate metabolism and a radiant flow of energy.

All practices focus on sloughing off the old and welcoming new energy with playful flows, gentle backbends, and energizing movement. Learn prana pulsing, coconut oil joint rejuvenation, simple chi activation, the art and science of dry brushing for healthy skin, and tension clearing yoga for the face and feet.

Certified in Anusara Yoga and the Halprin Life Art Process, Ulrika blends holistic practices of yoga, somatic movement therapy, and Swedish skin rituals with the elements of nature into movement medicine for body and mind. The many layers and systems of the body are addressed with balanced attention given to the physical and the energetic, form and formless, along with unique individual and more universal patterns. Think of Ulrika’s approach to yoga as anatomy and astronomy combined in body and mind.

Bring your playful self, a dry brush, and body oil for the skin to assist in this innovative and fun Yoga Spring Renewal. We’ll make spring cleaning fun.

Open to all levels with a minimum of three months yoga practice.

Welcome Spring: Fresh and Fun Springtime Yoga
March 25–27, 2022
March 25–27, 2022
March 25, 2022
Welcome Spring: Fresh and Fun Springtime Yoga
with Ulrika Engman

Polish your luminous body by revamping not just your yoga poses, but yourself, with innovative practices that renew body, mind, and spirit. Our yoga spring renewal practices consist of energizing movement, flow yoga, core activations, meridian sequencing, tapping, rejuvenating holds, and cleansing rituals based on the five elements.

We begin with yoga for the skin, sloughing off the old, learning a potent five-step cleansing ritual. Next, learn revitalizing fluid yoga sequences that stimulate the organ body before thoughtfully weaving muscles and mind together into a whole new radiant being. One of the sessions will incorporate a specific bathing ritual that takes advantage of the potent Esalen springs. The practices each day will be as fresh and fun as you will feel from partaking in this sparkling Yoga Spring Renewal.

Certified in Anusara Yoga and the Halprin Life Art Process, Ulrika blends holistic practices of yoga, somatic movement therapy, and Swedish skin rituals with the elements of nature into movement medicine for body and mind. The many layers and systems of the body are addressed with balanced attention given to the physical and the energetic, form and formless, along with unique individual and more universal patterns. Think of Ulrika’s approach to yoga as anatomy and astronomy combined in body and mind.

** Bring a dry brush, tongue scraper, and facial clay mask.**

Open to all levels of experience with a minimum of three months yoga experience.

Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
March 28 – April 1, 2022
March 28 – April 1, 2022
March 28, 2022
Luminous Yoga Spring Renewal
with Ulrika Engman

Enjoy a rising tide of empowerment as you end your daily guessing game about life and receive the guidance you seek when you say “Yes!” to learning the Beauty of Tarot.  

This workshop is an introductory level deep-dive into the powerful insights of tarot, how to cultivate them for yourself, and how to begin reading cards for others in your life. Initiate this ancient and fascinating daily practice into your life as the sacred land of Esalen welcomes you.  

Join renowned master teacher Brenda Rose in a playful and magical journey through the sacred stories of tarot. You’ll gain a meaningful connection with the cards and learn to give insightful readings. Information on how to read the stories of Tarot is shared and transmitted in a customized way that books or online information cannot convey. The Beauty of Tarot amplifies your spiritual transformation as you cultivate more unconditional love and intuitive guidance in your daily life.  

This is an immersive and interactive workshop. The magic of tarot comes alive as you practice giving and receiving readings with your classmates under the supportive guidance of Brenda Rose and her graduate students. We’ll learn vibrant tarot spreads together and discover how both the obvious and esoteric stories of Tarot’s stories are activated.

In this workshop, we will learn to…

  • Meditate and work energy practices prior to every tarot reading
  • Engage with each of the tarot cards through their stories and interpretations.
  • Give readings while practicing inclusive, judgment-free, and projection-free language
  • Receive readings with grace and openness while practicing inclusive, judgment-free, and projection-free language

Brenda will also provide you with instruction beyond tarot, so you can enhance your spiritual and energetic ‘hygiene’.  Repeated application of these mystic practices enables you to deliver valuable readings without being energetically drained and build your confidence and skill as a tarot reader.

Tuition also includes Brenda’s original deck, The Beauty of Tarot, and a workbook chronicling each card. This provides continued support for when you return home and begin offering readings for your family and friends.

This immersion welcomes all levels of experience, from “I’ve always been curious” to “I’ve had a deck for years” to “I’ve been doing readings but want to deepen my understanding of the cards” and more.  As a result, every student will gain immense insight from this tarot class and Esalen community.

Learning Tarot: Awakening the Magic of Your Own Inner Guidance
March 28 – April 1, 2022
March 28 – April 1, 2022
March 28, 2022
Learning Tarot: Awakening the Magic of Your Own Inner Guidance
with Brenda Rose

The healing path has a trajectory. Gabrielle Roth called this, The Path of The Wounded Healer. It is here that we look closely at our healing process. We mark both where we are and where we want to be. We dance through the five stages of healing in relationship to being the victim, the survivor, the healer, the transformer, and eventually the one who rests in compassionate service.

Our sacred task in life is to transform the most difficult things we have been through into our greatest strengths. These are the stories of our resiliency, vulnerability, and strength. It is here one may learn how to move with what is and transform it to what we want it to be.

In the Heartbeat Map, we investigate what is moving through the shores of the heart. Through understanding the relationship of the emotional polarities, we come to respect and appreciate what we have been through. Without fear, we do not experience courage. Without anger, we cannot experience forgiveness. Without love, we cannot experience grief. Without loss, we cannot experience or appreciate the full spectrum of joy. Without all of these qualities, we cannot know the true nature of compassion.

You are invited to join this journey of movement and awareness, focused on how emotions transform the heart. This map is Gabrielle Roth’s living wisdom, available here as a gift to you, to be carried in your own bones and blood.

Each session will be primarily focused on the 5Rhythms® moving meditation (dance practice). We will integrate each movement session with a seated meditation practice, focused on one of the Buddhist Heart Practices (Brahma viharas) which are equanimity, loving-kindness, compassion, and joy. Included in the group will be optional sharing and a question and answer period.

The Path of the Wounded Healer
April 4–8, 2022
April 4–8, 2022
April 4, 2022
The Path of the Wounded Healer
with Lucia Horan

You have never been where you are today. You have never been the age you are today, or had the experience you have today. At times, you must pause and reflect: Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you want to? Are you going in the right direction?

Rarely do we allow ourselves the time to stop and look at what is changing and what we need. Drawing on psychological principles, movement practices, and ancient wisdom traditions, we will create a unique environment in which peers can come together for a rare opportunity of intense personal learning, interaction, and exploration.

Our goal is letting go and renewing the self. You will have the opportunity to develop tools, practices, and intentions as a foundation for the next year and next stage of life. Together we will create a courageous and supportive community to make this experiential workshop challenging, safe, enlivening, and nurturing. This is not for the faint of heart and is especially valuable for those who are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around them.

Designing the Life We Want: Self-Renewal in the Spring
April 4–8, 2022
April 4–8, 2022
April 4, 2022
Designing the Life We Want: Self-Renewal in the Spring
with Mark Nicolson

You have never been where you are today. You have never been the age you are today, or had the experience you have today. At times, you must pause and reflect: Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you want to? Are you going in the right direction?

Rarely do we allow ourselves the time to stop and look at what is changing and what we need. Drawing on psychological principles, movement practices, and ancient wisdom traditions, we will create a unique environment in which peers can come together for a rare opportunity of intense personal learning, interaction, and exploration.

Our goal is letting go and renewing the self. You will have the opportunity to develop tools, practices, and intentions as a foundation for the next year and next stage of life. Together we will create a courageous and supportive community to make this experiential workshop challenging, safe, enlivening, and nurturing. This is not for the faint of heart and is especially valuable for those who are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around them.

Designing the Life We Want: Self-Renewal in the Spring
April 8–10, 2022
April 8–10, 2022
April 8, 2022
Designing the Life We Want: Self-Renewal in the Spring
with Mark Nicolson

Come home to your whole body instrument, and discover your unique sound.

We believe singing and speaking are a radical acts of self-expression, and that exploring your instrument with full freedom takes tremendous courage. We also believe intentional vocalizing creates measurable vitality and joy in our lives and empowers our whole body experience of life itself. As your new brothers in Voice, we set a safe space for you to reclaim your power and connection to your body, grounding into the gravity of your whole body instrument, and sounding out powerfully what it feels like to be you and alive. The benefits are clear, whether it be speaking at a conference, teaching a class, or singing in an arena, we see it as all one center of personal gravity — held deeply in the Embodied Voice you’ve been gifted this lifetime.

We forego performing and welcome experience as our methodology. We forego comparison and embrace an inner path to reclaiming a new relationship to our own voices, as instruments of our souls and our connection to the Earth and Spirit. So often we are taught the methodology of starting with a measurable result, using competition and comparison the benchmark for success. We want to invite you lovingly into an entirely different doorway. We invite you to see that you are incomparable, unmistakable, fascinating, and wholly distinct as a voice. We will be inviting you to experience your soul’s voice through fun and embodied practices of self-expression, union, and communion.

In this module, you will identify the key elements of your voice and outline the ways in which you set boundaries and use your voice in your relationships at home, at work, and in your community at large. You will become aware of your body as an instrument that was made to sing, and familiarize yourself with the music you truly love.

The Embodied Voice
April 8–10, 2022
April 8–10, 2022
April 8, 2022
The Embodied Voice
with The Brothers Koren

Embody the Five Elements of Chinese medicine through nature, art, movement and ritual. Experientially learn practical and poetic Five Element philosophy and tools to apply in daily life. Design your own elemental practices and rituals, aligning with seasonal rhythms, to come home to the wild beauty of your inner radiance.

Enjoy five nourishing days deeply connecting with ourselves, each other, and the surrounding sacred landscape as material and metaphor. We will begin with an overview of the Five Elements, focus on one Element each session, then integrate by crafting personal elemental rituals and enjoying a restorative group acupuncture experience.

The Five Elements of Chinese Medicine include Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. With each Element, we will:

  • Practice yoga asana and other embodiment forms to experience the Elements within ourselves, integrate breath and movement, and nourish health and well-being.
  • Experience elemental meditations to attune our inner and outer landscapes, and rest in present moment awareness.
  • Explore journaling and creative visual arts practices to reflect on, deepen, and integrate our experiences, welcoming insights.
  • Enjoy engaging presentations to identify Elements within ourselves and in nature, recognize imbalance, and gain tools for restoring dynamic equilibrium.
  • Explore the Esalen landscape with nature connection activities and rituals to enhance sensory awareness, hone intuition, and directly observe and learn from the Five Elements in their natural splendor.

Our indigenous ancestors communed intimately with the natural world, gathering information, inspiration, and both material and immaterial resources from the Earth. Come reconnect with your unique ancestral wisdom through the lens of the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine. Embody the Elements within and around you through nature connection, artistic creation, nourishing movement, and sacred ritual. Welcome spring by resting and resetting your current life trajectory, guided by the Five Elements. Experience gentle yet powerful transformation. Reconnect with the wild beauty within and all around. Feel loved, welcomed, and a sense of full belonging with every breath. Thrive.

Nature, Art, Movement and Ritual: Embodying the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine
April 11–15, 2022
April 11–15, 2022
April 11, 2022
Nature, Art, Movement and Ritual: Embodying the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine
with Jiling Lin

The soothing quality of massage is a delightful antidote for stress or that out-of-sorts feeling. Sharing a massage heightens non-verbal connection and awakens sensory awareness. Whether a novice or professional, this workshop will guide you through the basic concepts of Esalen Massage in a pleasant, easy-to-follow format.  

With brief lecture demonstrations and plenty of at-the-table guidance, the instructors will offer the essential elements, highlighting the foundational long, integrating strokes and gentle stretches. Grounding, sensing, contact, and the impact of touch will be introduced and practiced with classmates, building a firm base. The professional caregiver or practitioner can also refresh their existing work with Esalen’s pace, presence, and sensitivity — “the listening hand.” Don’t be surprised if you come away realizing you like to give a brief, classic Esalen massage just as much as you like to receive it.

Arrive prepared to enjoy the healing waters of Esalen’s natural hot mineral springs and the serene beauty of the Esalen land. As a gift option, the group will meet for an evening ritual in the baths, the birthplace of Esalen massage, weather and space permitting. The sound of the waves and the flowing strokes harmonize into an extraordinary massage experience.

Esalen® Massage: The Basics
April 15–17, 2022
April 15–17, 2022
April 15, 2022
Esalen® Massage: The Basics
with Char Pias and Deborah Anne Medow

What is the relationship between our physical substance and our subtle bodies? In this workshop series, we aim to individually and collectively understand physical and subtle bodies and their importance in Tantric traditions. Our focus here will be on the historical development of the Tantric body with its physiology of wheels and channels, although we will also explore the desire among the Theosophists and later New Age authors to map the so-called “astral body” and earlier cosmic bodies onto the Tantric body.

Our overarching goal beyond our exploration of how to transform the subtle body is to instill Tantra as an applied method of acquiring freedom from external interference and of obtaining self-sovereignty (Sanskrit: svādhikāra) along this very path to transformation.

Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this fascinating new workshop, the second of a signature series on Tantra, and explore the foundations of Tantric theory and practice. Together, we will explore the latest findings from academic research and ethnographic participant-observation that continue to challenge and reframe our conventional understandings of what Tantra was, is, and what it can be. Staying true to the roots of Esalen, we will intertwine the research and discussion with authentic Indian folk music performances and guided meditations to bring this latest research creatively to life in your mind, body, and heart. Our collective practice of these new understandings will bring to life Tantra’s connection to a wide variety of vibrant artistic and meditative practices in an eye-opening and unforgettable way.

In this workshop, you’ll be invited to:

  • Develop an embodied understanding of Tantra, complete with a more developed understanding of how to chart out your own network of channels and lotuses within the body
  • Learn to communicate your personal practice to friends and family using your new academic, researched-based understanding.
  • Creatively explore your divine potential
  • Enjoy the benefit of overcoming negative projections and self-generated illusions by means of both formulating and canceling aspects of this network as desired
  • Learn practical modes of meditation, including internal visualization and externalization of mandalas
  • Understand the connection of Tantra with art and music, and see a broader continuum of its relevance in daily life

Please Note: This workshop is NOT about Tantric Sex and experiencing enhanced sexual pleasures, although much of what we will discuss will address gender identity and sexuality.

We invite you to join us for this series of workshops that will blend meditation, art, and music with a holistic inquiry into what gives Tantra its power and therapeutic potential. Bring an open mind as we explore deep questions about our bodies and minds in a safe space and nurturing environment.

Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series, Part 2: Wheels and Breath: A Tantric Body
April 15–18, 2022
April 15–18, 2022
April 15, 2022
Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series, Part 2: Wheels and Breath: A Tantric Body
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú

The bond between mothers and their children — whether severed, fraught, intact, or cherished — is one of the most complex and significant relationships we have in life. Whether you’re a mother, a daughter, or a son, this transformative writing workshop will utilize creative exercises, guided meditation, and evocative writing prompts to lead you to a deeper understanding of this most primal of relationships. Shared story and deep listening will be our gateway to celebrate, grieve, and reconcile our relationships with our mothers — or our mothering.

In our days together, we’ll explore how bonds with our mothers and children change across the lifecycle, identify moments those relationships changed irrevocably, unravel the costs and benefits of caregiving, and learn how storytelling can evoke emotion, clarity, healing, and insight.

You’ll learn to “find the story beneath the story,” why writers need to “slow down where it hurts,” and the secret of crafting tales rooted in the immediacy of the moment. As we alternate periods of writing with listening to each other from a place of deep acceptance, you’ll benefit from the strength of a supportive writing circle, witness the healing power of language, and experience the transformation that occurs when we tell true stories and are deeply heard.

In this class we will use…

  • Evocative writing prompts will open the doorway to memory, story, and insight
  • Deep listening will build community and create a safe community for healing, growth and discovery
  • Shared storytelling will provide a gateway to celebrate, grieve and reconcile your relationship with your mother–or your mothering

Open to anyone willing to use words to explore the mother bond and their creativity in a safe, confidential community: mothers, daughters, mother-daughter pairs, and sons. Emerging and seasoned writers are welcome to attend.

We will be joined by guest faculty Evelyn Hall. Evelyn is a social worker, master hypnotherapist, and minister. For the past 35 years, Evelyn has been guiding individuals and leading groups, helping people find healing in body, mind, and spirit. Evelyn specializes in transformative healing practices including somatic awareness, movement, meditation, healing through nature, and leading sacred ceremonies.

Recommended reading: The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, by Laura Davis.

Unraveling the Mother Knot: Writing as a Pathway to Explore and Heal That Primal Bond
April 18–22, 2022
April 18–22, 2022
April 18, 2022
Unraveling the Mother Knot: Writing as a Pathway to Explore and Heal That Primal Bond
with Laura Davis

Here’s the truth: If you can worry, you can meditate.

Learn the truth behind meditation and why it’s difficult for so many people. Build a practice that doesn’t just help you relax, but becomes a tool to help you become more fully alive.

On the beautiful grounds of Esalen, come and play, dance, sing, learn a deep practice you can take home with you, and come alive in your everyday life. Awaken to the truth of who you are, your creative power, and your soul’s calling.

With daily meditation practice, intentional ritual-building, TED Talk-style lessons, live music, morning movement, and a dance party on Wednesday night — this class will rejuvenate your spirit and bring you back home to yourself.

All are welcome. From “I never meditated before,” to “I tried it, but it doesn’t really work for me,” to “I do an app sometimes,” to life-long practitioners looking to learn a new technique of profound awakening through a dynamic way of practicing.

What you will learn:

  • The reason why meditation is hard for most people, and how to overcome the inner dialogue that stops you from practicing.
  • The five myths about meditation and how to avoid them when building your practice.
  • A scientifically proven way to build a daily meditation ritual that you can do at home, well after the retreat is over.

This is your time to give back to yourself, do something fun, and remember the truth of your existence in a space of community, family, nature, kindness, and deep connection. Take your power back from fear and claim your true vision and story of your one big miraculous life.

From the ground up, this program has been designed to welcome people of all genders, races, identities, beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Expect a deeply rejuvenating week with a diverse group and a profoundly opening experience.

You are worthy.

You are enough.

We rise together.

This is your time — come alive.

Recommended reading: Stay Woke by Justin Michael Williams.

COME ALIVE: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
April 18–22, 2022
April 18–22, 2022
April 18, 2022
COME ALIVE: Meditation for People Who Can’t Stop Thinking
with Justin Michael Williams

What really causes disease, what really optimizes healing, and is there any way we can be proactive about becoming miracle prone? Healing With Sacred Medicine offers an experiential journey through the tools collected by a medical doctor on a ten year quest to unravel the mysteries of healing and answer these burning questions.

In this experiential transformational workshop, you will engage with others on a journey through the self-healing, relational healing, and earth healing tools and practices of the world’s medicine bag. Collected (with consent) from ten years of study with cutting edge trauma therapists, Indigenous healers, energy and faith healers, dance and art therapists, and mind-body medicine practitioners, Dr. Rankin will guide you through an orchestrated weaving of healing experiences, including nature-based rituals to honor the sacred land of Esalen and the native Esselen ancestors who once protected it, Internal Family Systems (IFS), energy psychology, NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM), Somatic Experiencing integrative trauma healing tools, group energy healing circles, guided meditations, practices to hone your intuition and tune you into spiritual guidance, the “Six Steps To Healing Yourself,” awareness of collective and generational traumas like climate crisis and systemic racism, and plenty of uplifting “energy transfusion” art, writing, Intentional Creativity practices, singing, and dancing.

Whether you’re a seeker in need of healing or a practitioner yearning to add healing tools to your toolbox, this workshop based on an experiential rendering of Dr. Rankin’s books Sacred Medicine and its prequel Mind Over Medicine will fill your tank if you’re depleted, and support you in plugging up any energy leaks that may repeatedly drain you, even after you’ve been transfused. You’ll also learn how to protect yourself and practice discernment around unregulated, unethical healers who might not wish you well.

To safely practice the healing arts or even use what you’ve learned on your loved ones, you’ll learn how to “First, do no harm” by healing yourself first, so you can protect those you seek to help from the potentially risky impact of your own unprocessed trauma. You’ll take home practices you can keep using, extending the workshop beyond our last day. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, renewed, connected to the land and your fellow workshop participants, and armed with your own medicine bag of Sacred Medicine tools you can use for self-healing or apply with patients and clients.

Healing With Sacred Medicine
May 23–27, 2022
May 23–27, 2022
May 23, 2022
Healing With Sacred Medicine
with Dr. Lissa Rankin

This workshop calls you to rest in the natural beauty of Big Sur while gaining a foundation in the art and practice of Esalen® Massage. You will learn to sensitively listen to your partner and yourself. The basic core of Esalen Massage includes grounding, moving from the center, quality of touch, proper draping, applying classic Esalen long lengthening strokes, and listening to each person and each body. Skills to address specific problems in the neck, shoulders and low back, just to name a few, will also be presented. Each day will include a brief massage demonstration, including instruction in self-care, with plenty of time to practice giving and receiving with your classmates. By the end of the week, you will be able to give and receive a simple and satisfying massage session.

The instructors will accommodate the group’s different skill levels with at-the-table guidance. Beginners will be taught the basic tools to more skillfully massage their partners, friends, and family. Experienced practitioners will gain techniques that can easily be integrated into their massage sessions, inspiring and infusing their work with a deep sense of presence and flow. An optional evening at the baths — the birthplace of Esalen massage — will be included, weather and space permitting. This workshop is especially useful for those wishing to learn massage and those in the helping and healing professions working with their clients and patients.

Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
May 30 – June 3, 2022
May 30 – June 3, 2022
May 30, 2022
Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
with Ellen Watson and Robin Fann-Costanzo