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.

We publish new workshops on an ongoing basis. Sign up below to receive  notifications when new programs open for registration.

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Whatever our spiritual path or meditation experience, we benefit from finding and resting in the inner sanctuary of the heart — a place we arrive at naturally through releasing into a natural place of open, grounded presence.

Join us for a rejuvenating retreat where we will slow down and experience the benefits that meditation, mantra, music, and movement have to offer our body, mind, and soul.

Devotional chanteuse and recording artist, Nina Rao shares traditional chants from her ancestral home of India, guiding us to release into presence — the mental and emotional space where we find our inner sanctuary. Just knowing that this sanctuary exists can soften anxiety and clear a more open path as we walk through life. When you enter this practice of devotional chanting intentionally — day after day — the foundations of this sanctuary grow stronger such that our confidence develops with a clearer mind and an ever-opening heart to carry us through the day, one step at a time, moment-to-moment.

Buddhist teacher and author Lopön Chandra will offer guidance in meditation and gentle yoga to help us release into grounded presence with ease and comfort. We will learn techniques for developing shamatha, calm abiding, and vipashyana, insight. These techniques will include the mindfulness of breathing, an especially effective approach to soothing the body and calming the discursive mind, and more advanced techniques called “settling the mind in its natural state” and “awareness of awareness.” Yoga practice will be accessible for all body types and levels of experience.

Nina and Chandra share a profound appreciation for the complementary wisdom and devotional traditions of Tibet and India. Together, they weave a tapestry of mystical stories, meditations, mantra, singing chants, and gentle yoga to offer an immersive experience of the many pathways available to us as we explore the creative power that underlies our inner and outer nature.

Esalen is a truly magical experience this time of year, one that you will never forget. All are welcome.

Releasing into Presence: A Meditation, Mantra, Music & Movement Retreat
Releasing into Presence: A Meditation, Mantra, Music & Movement Retreat
October 3–7, 2022
October 3–7, 2022
October 3, 2022
Releasing into Presence: A Meditation, Mantra, Music & Movement Retreat
with Chandra Easton and Nina Rao

In search of balance, the ancient sages of China walked into the woods to attune themselves with nature in its sublime integrity. The timeless wisdom uncovered in their wild wanderings was called simply Tao, “The Way.”

Qigong — the practice at the heart of Taoism — is dedicated to harmonizing body, mind, and spirit with the elements of nature. In this age, when so many of us feel disconnected and overwhelmed, wilderness remains a powerful healer and teacher, and qigong can bring us back to center.

Join us to learn an accessible qigong form called wai dan gong (“easy tao”) while immersing in the majestic landscape of Big Sur, the ancestral homeland of the Esselen tribe. We rise each morning to practice, harmonizing breath and movements with the flow of waves greeting Esalen’s cliffs. After breakfast, we set out on a wilderness hike to mindfully explore Big Sur’s enchanted redwoods, sun-steeped meadows, and mountains that rise from the sea. All along the trail, we explore qigong and Taoist philosophy as pathways for returning to a grounded, spacious, revitalized state of being — in harmony with nature, embodying Wild Tao.

Additional Resources and Notes:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the workshop can be found here.
  • Various hiking abilities can be accommodated, bearing in mind that day hikes are between three to eight miles in length, with uneven and often steep terrain. If you have any questions about your ability to participate, please read the workshop FAQs.
  • A fee to cover parks permits and parking fees will be added to the workshop cost.

Wild Tao: Hiking and Qi Gong in Big Sur Wilderness
Wild Tao: Hiking and Qi Gong in Big Sur Wilderness
October 3–7, 2022
October 3–7, 2022
October 3, 2022
Wild Tao: Hiking and Qi Gong in Big Sur Wilderness
with Fletcher Tucker, Noël Vietor and Jim Gallas

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:

  • Practice yoga asana, pranayama and meditation to experience the Elements within ourselves by integrating breath and movement. (Gentle yoga for all levels, with optional adjustments.)
  • Enjoy engaging presentations to identify Elements within ourselves and in nature, recognize imbalance, and restore equilibrium.
  • Connect with partner and group activities to deepen understanding and build community.
  • Explore the Esalen landscape with nature connection activities and rituals to directly learn from the Five Elements in their natural splendor.
  • Reflect with journaling and creative practices to integrate our embodied explorations.

Come 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.

The Five Elements of Yoga & Chinese Medicine
The Five Elements of Yoga & Chinese Medicine
October 10–14, 2022
October 10–14, 2022
October 10, 2022
The Five Elements of Yoga & Chinese Medicine
with Jiling Lin and Paula Wild

It is easy in this big bad beautiful world to be thrown off, distracted, or so overwhelmed we can’t feel ourselves. Most of us need concerted focus, inspiration, and support to engage in the deep listening of the inner workings of our own body and being.

Join Andrea Juhan, co-founder of Open Floor International, LMFT, and returning faculty member, for this stunning week of returning home to yourself through intentional movement.

To reconnect, to reimagine, to remember, to recharge, to re-access. The prefix “re-” points to circling back to something known or held as valuable before.

In movement practice, the dance of ‘circling back’ can be poignant and illuminating. To realign with something essential in ourselves is vital to living our own values and gifts. The movements of returning are known to us, and the practice and art of doing so vitalizes and aligns us with our core selves.  

If there is to be a reinvention or a recommitment to something we have been with before, we need to know what we are capable of now, in 2022, at whatever age we are, and in whatever state of health we find ourselves in. A time of retreat and the focused play of embodiment practice invites this into re-evaluation and renewal.

During this week together we will play with these methods.

  • Movement / Dance
  • Impact / Embodiment
  • Inquiry
  • Mindfulness
  • Group process for the purpose of support

Open Floor Movement Practice is mindful movement and can be done at any level of fitness. Please wear comfortable flowing clothing to support your experience.

To Realign: Open Floor Movement Practice
To Realign: Open Floor Movement Practice
October 17–21, 2022
October 17–21, 2022
October 17, 2022
To Realign: Open Floor Movement Practice
with Andrea Juhan

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.

Recommended Reading: Sweat Your Prayers, Maps to Ecstasy, Connections By Gabrielle Roth Dancing With Dharma: Essays on Movement And Dance In Western Buddhism edited by Harrison Blum, Published by McFarland & Company. Surviving the Fall (Peter Selwyn: Yale University Press

Grief Dancer
Grief Dancer
October 21–23, 2022
October 21–23, 2022
October 21, 2022
Grief Dancer
with Lucia Horan and Peter Selwyn

Love is not a mood but a state of being. —Gabrielle Roth

Gabrielle Roth’s Heartbeat map is a guide to how our emotional energy moves and morphs. In this practice, we embody the art of being a fluid emotional athlete. This map teaches us how to navigate the emotional terrain of life without getting stuck, holding on, or pushing away.

We will dance with the transformative qualities of fear and courage, anger and forgiveness, grief and surrender, joy and generosity, compassion and connection. We will practice with the Brahmavihara meditations that cultivate loving kindness, equanimity, joy, and compassion.

Together we will integrate the stillness of Buddhist mindfulness meditation with the moving meditations of the 5Rhythms®. In sitting meditation, we have the opportunity to observe the mind and body at rest through silent introspection. In the practice of the 5Rhythms, we engage in mindfulness while in motion. The two polarities together mirror the dance of life and open the door to peace, well-being, and balance.

Connection and compassion are keys to finding peace and happiness in a world suffering from fear and isolation. Cultivating compassion can relieve stress and allow more kindness to be present in our lives.

All skills taught are meant to be taken home and applied to your daily life. All workshop hours contribute to 5Rhythms® teacher training prerequisites.

Compassion & Connection: 5Rhythms® Heartbeat & Mindfulness Workshop
Compassion & Connection: 5Rhythms® Heartbeat & Mindfulness Workshop
November 7–11, 2022
November 7–11, 2022
November 7, 2022
Compassion & Connection: 5Rhythms® Heartbeat & Mindfulness Workshop
with Lucia Horan

“Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is important to me?”

Asking yourself these questions will activate your inner authenticity and allow you to move forward and live your life in alignment with your truest self. The answers to these questions will help you navigate life’s journey with direction, motivation, and inspiration.

The number one regret of the dying is that they lacked the courage to live a life true to themselves. In this workshop, you will reconnect with your authentic self through a series of exercises, such as guided meditation, self-inquiry, journaling, Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as Tapping), and one-on-one and group sharing and embodiment practices. This curated process is designed to allow you space to get clear about:

  • Your purpose
  • Your core values
  • Your message
  • Your big vision

With that clarity, you can create your manifesto, a written statement declaring who you truly are. Let that sink in: We will first uncover this hidden self, and then, together, we will manifest this being into reality.

Together we will explore:

  • Guided Meditation to calm the mind and tap into your inner guidance and higher potential
  • Self Inquiry: asking powerful questions to connect with your true self and what matters most to you
  • Journaling with a focus on cognitive processing to reduce stress, improve memory, boost mood, regulate emotions, increase physical vitality, and improve relationships
  • Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping to clear subconscious blocks and rewire your subconscious mind

One-on-one and group sharing and embodiment practices to connect and share learn practical tools to help reprogram your subconscious mind and heal your connection with your truest, deepest, highest self. You will also have the opportunity to apply these insights to cultivate authentic interactions with others. As you deepen the embodiment of your native self, you’ll experience the great freedom of simply being you. This is one of the greatest victories you can possibly achieve: living a courageous life true to yourself — with no regrets.

Please bring a journal and pen to every session.

Authentic Alignment: Creating an Authentic Life of Purpose, Value, and Vision
Authentic Alignment: Creating an Authentic Life of Purpose, Value, and Vision
November 11–13, 2022
November 11–13, 2022
November 11, 2022
Authentic Alignment: Creating an Authentic Life of Purpose, Value, and Vision
with Anne Van de Water

Where have you come from? Where are you now? Where are you going? We are continuously challenged to find our true purpose and meaning — our ‘direction’ in life. Unconditionally, you are invited to question your direction deeply with a very special union of The Esselen Tribe of Monterey County and the Esalen Institute.Through Healing Waters, we weave the deep knowledge of the medicine wheel, led by Esselen Tribal Medicine Woman Cari Herthel, with the powerful and moving meditation practice of the 5Rhythms®, led by facilitator Douglas Drummond.  This week-long exploration into sacred ritual practice and deep intentional movement explores the teachings of the Four Directions within the medicine wheel. We will embrace this knowledge and guidance through ceremony and storytelling, integrating the unique teachings through the 5Rhythms® moving meditation practice. This unification is metaphorically two rivers flowing together into a shared source.  

Honoring the mana/matsa — the life force — of the healing waters flowing through the sacred land at the Esalen Institute, we will set an intention to gather in community. We will share our stories, honor our differences, and celebrate our unique directions as waypoints that center us. We will breathe life into the endless directions our journeys can lead.

In this dynamic program, we will explore:

  • Dance
  • Plant rituals
  • Group sharing
  • Sensory awareness
  • Leadership exercises

All levels of experience are welcome. Bring your curiosity and willingness to explore.

The Esalen Institute is deeply honored to welcome back the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County to our workshop schedule. This collaboration will be the first in over 10 years, and it will be the catalyst for future partnerships. Acknowledging the presence of the people from this land, on this land, will be a powerful offering for our week together.  

If you would like to begin your own journey to understand the past and present of the Esselen Tribe of Monterey Country or to support the tribe in the progress of its work, please visit www.esselentribe.org.

Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion
Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion
November 14–18, 2022
November 14–18, 2022
November 14, 2022
Healing Waters: The Medicine Wheel and Embodied Motion
with Cari Herthel and Douglas Drummond

We gather on this powerful land for a weekend to remember — with our bodies, minds, and spirits — all that we have to be grateful for. Amidst all of the turmoil, we come together in community to remember that we are enough as we are. Through yoga, meditation, reflection, cliffside baths, and walking on Esalen’s healing land, we will return to our hearts.  

Together, we’ll explore dynamic yoga asana, pranayama, chanting, meditation, and yoga nidra. Let’s recognize each breath as a gift, as we’re nourished by delicious organic meals, the natural hot springs, walks among the majestic redwoods, or simply curling up in an ocean-view chair. Whether you come alone or with loved ones, you are sure to return to your daily rhythm with a newfound sense of ease, inspiration, and deep gratitude for the life you’re living.

Gratitude Retreat
Gratitude Retreat
November 18–20, 2022
November 18–20, 2022
November 18, 2022
Gratitude Retreat
with Janet Stone

“Enoughness” is the starting point of any journey toward gratitude. We begin to fully take in the profound gift of all that is unfolding only when we recognize that we are enough.

With Esalen as our transformative container, let’s meet during the week of Thanksgiving. Let’s honor the land and the Esselen people, the indigenous stewards of this place, as we remember the awe of the natural world around us and the life force within us.

Throughout the week, we will practice giving thanks for the world around us. We’ll cultivate curiosity and wonder for the life we have here and now. We’ll begin to move our attention away from the long list of “lack” that can consume our days.

To support the cultivation of this state of being, we will include daily practices to create suppleness in mind, spirit, and body:

  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • yoga asana
  • Philosophy
  • Journaling
  • Yoga nidra

We will return to the present to reclaim and embrace ourselves in our wholeness as enough. We will attend to all the ways we are enough, give enough, get enough, and have enough so we can lay claim to the power of life pulsing through us.

Each day will be an exploration of practices and tools that can cultivate and make space for a sense of contentment — and a chance for “giving” to ripple out into the world with grace and gratitude.

Thanks Giving: A Yoga Retreat
Thanks Giving: A Yoga Retreat
November 21–25, 2022
November 21–25, 2022
November 21, 2022
Thanks Giving: A Yoga Retreat
with Janet Stone

Master Chungliang “Uncle Al” Huang, one of Esalen’s most cherished faculty members, brings 50+ years of teaching experience to welcome you into China’s ancient practice of qigong.

During this workshop, Master Huang will teach the most essential qigong exercises — guiding students through energetic practices of movement, storytelling, and subtle energy work. This is an experience for those who wish to sustain a daily practice for the mind, body, and spirit.

Master Huang will teach easy-to-absorb, adaptive exercises and assist you through metaphors, visualization, sonic chanting, meditation, and deep circular breathing methods. Participants will hear about the great history of this ancient practice as Master Huang shares his vast wealth of knowledge.

A fun, joyful weekend for all ages and levels of practitioners! We will learn to incorporate this healthy practice as a consistent habit: Wei Wu Wei — “doing by not doing, spontaneously.”

Beginners and “advanced beginners” are welcome.

The Essential Qigong of China: The Energy, the Movement, the Stories
The Essential Qigong of China: The Energy, the Movement, the Stories
November 25–27, 2022
November 25–27, 2022
November 25, 2022
The Essential Qigong of China: The Energy, the Movement, the Stories
with Chungliang Al Huang

To be truly creative, to let go of preconceived restrictions, is to allow yourself the freedom to flow. Taoist wisdom calls this Wu Wei — the art of not interfering with what is already happening.

During this weeklong workshop, we will playfully reinvent Tai Ji forms with ancient Tai Ji rituals, Five Moving Forces of Nature, and traditional Tai Ji motifs. We will explore, improvise, and evolve to find renewed and refreshed ways to dance the open structures of this ancient wonder of movement meditation.

With more than fifty consecutive years of teaching experience at Esalen, Master Huang creates a unique Tai Ji class for practitioners at all levels. Come prepared to enjoy “Uncle Al’s” storytelling, energy practices, and qigong mastery in this creative “Living Your Tao” Tai Ji experience.

Creative Tai Ji Experience: Change, Transformation, Metamorphosis
Creative Tai Ji Experience: Change, Transformation, Metamorphosis
November 28 – December 2, 2022
November 28 – December 2, 2022
November 28, 2022
Creative Tai Ji Experience: Change, Transformation, Metamorphosis
with Chungliang Al Huang

Have you created the impact you want? Are you showing up the way you want to? Are you going in the right direction? You have never been where you are today. You have never been the age you are today, or had the experience you have today. This is your time to pause and reflect. Rarely do we allow ourselves the time to stop and look at what is changing and what we need to feel fulfilled.

Through this experiential weekend, we will create a courageous community to both challenge and nurture ourselves. Our goal is to step back from our lives and renew ourselves. Participants will have the opportunity to learn what brings them joy and purpose and cultivate a vision to serve as a foundation for both the next year and the next phase of life.

We will engage in a progression of individual and group exercises focused on reflection, movement, and listening to our inner wisdom. In the process, we will discover how to navigate the stages of major life transitions, practice the skills to access our intuition, and reveal which of our behaviors either support or unconsciously undermine our overall success. The experience will be especially valuable for those who are passionate about having a more powerful and authentic impact on the world around them.

This is a very interactive workshop with lots of experiential exercises. The content includes important theory and plenty of reflection time, but this workshop will not be a series of talks/lectures. There will be movement, coaching, a little dance, and lots of activity in the whole group. All participation is voluntary at all times.  

Designing the Life We Want
Designing the Life We Want
December 2–4, 2022
December 2–4, 2022
December 2, 2022
Designing the Life We Want
with Mark Nicolson

This course offers a deeper immersion into the mindful flow of Esalen® Massage. Senior teachers will guide participants via presence-based meditation, touch, muscles, and movement to savor these elemental massage skills.

This course is useful to re-boot an existing practice, yet simple enough for the novice to master. Whether giving or receiving a massage, you will walk away feeling your spirits renewed and your body refreshed.

  • The instructors will offer experiential exercises, lectures and demonstrations, plus plenty of time for shared practice and specifics.  
  • You will learn to attune, to comfortably apply the long flowing strokes, and to address those troublesome places such as neck, shoulders and feet.
  • You will note the impact of breath, relaxation and touch on personal wellness, a sense of  “coming home.”
  • Self-care will be emphasized throughout the course.

There will be plenty of time for you to take in the natural scope of Esalen land and baths, and perhaps the butterflies. Join us for this invigorating workshop.

Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
December 4–9, 2022
December 4–9, 2022
December 4, 2022
Introduction to Esalen® Massage: The Art of Healing Touch
with Dean Marson and Peggy Horan

How empowered do you feel as a woman navigating this world? What is your relationship to the feminine? And to female wisdom? Join us inside the Moon Lodge, a place for exploration — for women to find tribal and ritual healing.

The 5Rhythms is a map that teaches us how energy moves. It shows us the patterns, rhythms, and cycles of life — Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness® — and can be a direct path to the embodiment and empowerment many of us do not feel in a time of patriarchy.

This workshop will be about celebrating the body of Woman and the sacred feminine within us all. Through dance, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and ritual baths, we will share in the Sisterhood of humanity. We will poultice our wounds and celebrate the great gifts of our ancestors.

This workshop includes:

  • 5Rhythms Moving Meditation
  • Insight Meditation
  • Restorative Acupuncture
  • Women’s Health Practices
  • Women’s Counsel
  • Group Sharing
  • Spa Treatments

Dr. Julie Von, a specialist in women’s health, will present the Chinese Medicine perspective on the five elements, psycho-somatic process, restorative acupuncture, and self-care. She will teach us to prioritize these pillars and recognize when we are out of balance.

Lucia Horan will integrate the stillness of Buddhist mindfulness meditation with the moving meditations of the 5Rhythms®. In sitting meditation, we have the opportunity to observe the mind and body at rest through silent introspection. In the practice of the 5Rhythms, we engage in mindfulness while in motion. Together, these two polarities mirror the dance of life and open the door to peace, well-being, and balance.

Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
December 5–9, 2022
December 5–9, 2022
December 5, 2022
Moon Lodge: Honoring the Sacred Feminine
with Lucia Horan and Dr. Julie Von

Now more than ever, it is important for us to build practices to strengthen our internal resolve and self-resourcing amidst a fundamentally transitioning society. Together, we will awaken and listen to our heart’s wisdom in this incredible four-day journey (Friday to Monday) through sound, ceremony, and self-discovery.

In this intimate and transformative workshop, you will have the unique opportunity to experience three different East Forest live music performances: an intentional ceremony, a full concert, and a group co-creative music session. Additionally, Radha will lead us in embodiment practices based upon the principles of Self Awakening Yoga, Somatic Experiencing, and Yin Yoga to create an all-levels and accessible doorway to inner insights. Ecstatic Dance and breathwork. Through the primacy of our own heart-opening, we can discover the inner pathways to resiliency and healing.

East Forest and Radha would like to offer a certain amount of scholarships to those in need. Please apply with this form. If further assistance would be helpful, you may also apply for an Esalen scholarship.

***Please note: While the retreat space and exercises are conducive to deep inner work, the facilitators and Esalen do not permit the use of or provide substances of any kind.

Journey Space: Music, Movement & Ceremony
Journey Space: Music, Movement & Ceremony
December 9 - 12, 2022
December 9 - 12, 2022
December 9, 2022
Journey Space: Music, Movement & Ceremony
with East Forest and Marisa Radha Weppner

What is Spiritual Fertility? It is the path of returning to the awe and magic that inspires you to reproduce and bring life into this world. Everyone is fertile; however, our common standards for measuring fertility are faulty. Our narratives around fertility offer much in the way of diagnosis but little in the way of care for the mind, body, and spirit.

This workshop was developed to meet you wherever you are on your journey. It is also a clarion call to those who have felt alone or discouraged. We gather together to hold what is too big to be held alone. We will teach practical skills to help you reconnect to sources of hope, positivity, and magic.

In the healing lands of Esalen, self-care can become your guide. We will find positive ways to reframe fear and stress. We will teach clinically proven techniques that support expansion and trust. These powerful tools will connect you to clarity and intuition. Together, we will develop a deeper relationship with the untapped energies of the universe that can be accessed for your benefit. All of this can be taken home and applied to your daily life.

We will discuss how past experiences, such as miscarriages, terminations, infertility, or medical procedures can create spiritual blockages. In doing so, we open the opportunity for healing, balance, and cultivation of our most fertile self.

Dr. Julie Von will teach compassionate and proven practices to help reorient with wholeness, unlock grief, and access deep intuitive wisdom. Lucia Horan will lead us in a movement practice that combines the stillness of Buddhist mindfulness with the moving mediation of dance to release, reconnect, and restore.

This workshop includes the following practices:

  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • 5Rhythms®: Moving Meditation
  • Sharing Circles
  • Self-Care & Resourcing Skills
Spiritual Fertility
Spiritual Fertility
December 12–16, 2022
December 12–16, 2022
December 16, 2022
Spiritual Fertility
with Lucia Horan and Dr. Julie Von

Winter solstice is a time to reflect — to cultivate vitality and nurture ourselves. The dark days of winter are an opportune time to slow down and make space for self-care. This winter solstice yoga retreat will focus on cultivating inner awareness. By practicing in community, we build inner vitality and brightness to return home renewed.

During this retreat, we will combine three healing practices in the exquisite and rejuvenating natural environment of Esalen to revitalize the body and calm the mind. Together, we will focus our attention on being by using:

  • Yoga: yoking body and mind to create present-moment awareness.
  • Meditation: cultivating concentration and empathy.
  • Chanting: bhakti yoga, the practice of the heart.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) because the seasonal movement of the sun’s path appears to come to a stop before reversing direction at the solstices. Winter solstice is a time to pause and reflect, a time to cultivate vitality and take extra care to nurture ourselves. Moving into stillness, we can return to our lives refreshed and strengthened for the new year to come.  

All levels are welcome. Please bring a yoga mat.

Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat
Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat
December 16–18, 2022
December 16–18, 2022
December 16, 2022
Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat
with Sarana Miller

Soul is flow. It’s an ever-changing play of sensations and feelings. It’s how the deathless Presence meets and moves our finite human body. In this workshop, we will reclaim the body-in-motion as a doorway to the life that is unfolding just under the surface of everyday forgetting.

A formless dance form, Soul Motion allows for passionate, full-bodied movement as well as mindful inner explorations, art making, ritual, and luscious lounging. Together, we will integrate conscious movement, body-based inquiries of Gestalt Practice, and the stillness of nature for a process to transform body, heart, and spirit.

Soul Motion is a meeting between self and other in a dance that is deeply creative, nourishing and transforming. It is a movement toward the dynamic stillness at the center of all things — the place of rest at the heart of sound and motion.

During this week together, we will:

  • Dance, inspired by a wide range of music and the great sound of silence, supported by the benevolent presence of earth and sky.
  • Learn skills for stress reduction, relaxation, and renewal through conscious movement and stillness.
  • Build resonance with the movements of life around us by moving from the inside out — alone, in pairs or trios, and as a group; sometimes indoors, sometimes in nature.
  • Explore and express what is alive inside us through movement, awareness practices, and sharing in pairs and as a group.
  • Experience through movement all the landscapes of relating — to self, to the world, and to the great Mystery that we also are.
  • Spend time on the land in sitting and walking meditation, allowing ourselves to dissolve a little into space.

Open to anybody willing to move, pause, listen, and truly relax into one timeless moment. This workshop is especially helpful for people in the healing professions who work with clients, patients, and students.

CE hours for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs available; see Faculty.

There will be a celebratory Christmas Eve dinner in the Esalen Lodge.

Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance
Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance
December 19–25, 2022
December 19–25, 2022
December 19, 2022
Soul Motion®: Tenderness at the Heart of the Dance
with Zuza Engler and Scott Engler
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