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.
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Embody and reconnect with your unique ancestral wisdom with the Five Elements of Yoga and Chinese medicine through nature, movement and art. Experientially learn Five Element philosophy and tools– from two similar yet divergent traditions– to apply in daily life. Discover your unique relationship with each Element, and come home to the wild beauty of your inner radiance!
Enjoy five nourishing days connecting with ourselves, each other, and the sacred Esalen landscape. Begin each morning with gentle yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation. Then root your understanding with engaging presentations, dynamic discussions, nature connection, journaling, and creative play.
Dive into the Five Elements of Yoga on Tuesday, explore the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine on Wednesday, then integrate on Thursday with group discussion, creative explorations, and restorative group acupuncture. Each day, we will:
Reconnect with your unique ancestral wisdom through the Five Elements of Yoga and Chinese Medicine. Take home tangible skills and practices to align with seasonal rhythms in your daily life. Connect with the beauty of your inner and outer wilderness, resourcing abundant wild, creative, infinite potential to fully thrive.
We warmly welcome all levels of experience in yoga. We will have daily movement sessions, with modifications offered for most levels of mobility. This workshop is not appropriate for someone in a wheelchair.
Spring brings renewal to our lands. After the isolating winter chill, it is time to expand, bloom, and gather in community. During this full moon week, including Earth Day, we’ll celebrate with a campus-wide event that will weave together our most potent offerings: the 5Rhythms® dance, mindfulness, meditation, and art!
Together, we’ll honor our common ground as living beings and our interconnection with Mother Earth. We will dance in nature and be danced through the 5Rhythms, Gabrielle Roth’s map of the earth’s primary energies and their movement through our bodies and in the world around us. Working with this system helps us to attune and align with ourselves, one another, and the earth. Dance supports neuroplasticity and uses the body’s intelligence to help us experience reality in a more balanced and healthy way.
We will be accompanied by world-famous musicians Sanga of the Valley and Nick Aryes. With Tracy Powell, our artist-in-residence, you will bring into being a series of community-made, “created in nature” pieces. In addition, TED speaker and environmental psychologist Renee Lertzman will discuss the importance of “attunement” with the environment and how to inspire and create a better future.
This course will include:
In this fiercely changing landscape, some may feel emotionally called to grieve or may be disconnected and numb from all that is happening. These practices will offer a pathway into conversation with the natural forces. In the splendor of nature, we will celebrate the gift of life on this Earth. Join us for a week of celebration of the Earth and our bodies!
Recommended Reading: Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth, Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth, Connections by Gabrielle Roth, Dancing with the Dharma Edited by Harrison Blum
This workshop includes $100 of additional faculty tuition.
Embark on an intentional wilderness journey through the sublime and seldom-traveled backcountry of Big Sur, concluding at the coastal grounds of the Esalen Institute. Among the fleeting gifts of Spring – free-flowing creeks, boundless wildflower fields and vibrant wildlife – immerse in the wild with an intimate cohort (up to twelve participants), practice awareness and community, and learn fundamental skills to feel at home on the earth.
Over the course of five nights and full days on the trail, we will embody a contemporary form of pilgrimage, traveling as reverent guests through this sacred wilderness (historic Esselen tribal territory). We will rise with the sun, carry only what we need, wander with presence and curiosity, and gather meaning from our inner and outer landscapes. Much of our time on the trail will be spent in spacious, contemplative, and challenging hiking. As the sun sets behind the mountains, we will share stories and meals by the fire, and sleep beneath a blanket of stars.
Inspired by Esalen’s co-founder Dick Price, who found healing and transformation wandering the Big Sur wild, we will engage Gestalt practices from the Esalen lineage – including group check-ins to help us connect with ourselves, each other, and the land. As we hike and camp, we will engage with what the landscape reveals, encounter philosophies and poetry of the wild, and learn foundational wilderness and backpacking skills.
After our trek, we will arrive at Esalen for a weekend of rejuvenation and integration of our wilderness time. Through the ardor and intentionality of our trek, may we shed some of what no longer serves us, and connect deeply with the sacred, living world.
Highlights of our Wild Pilgrimage include:
Important Note: This is a partner program with Wildtender, an organization working at the intersection of wilderness and wisdom traditions. Visit wildtender.com/esalen2024 for more details and to apply. Please note the full experience takes place over seven days, from Monday, April 29th to Sunday, May 5th. Prior to registering with Esalen you must have registered and paid tuition fees through Wildtender for the wilderness portion of the program.
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