Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Dance, Move, and Transform


Check the Journal every other Monday to see the latest additions to the schedule and sign up for our newsletter for monthly updates on new workshops and more.

  • Aligning with Nature: A Winter Solstice Yoga Retreat, December 17–19 with Sarana Miller. For centuries, winter solstice has been a time of reflection. Given recent events, we might take these opportune moments to turn inward, take time for self-care, and focus on the awareness within. Practicing in the dark days, students can cultivate vitality and brightness to return home, renewed. Revitalize the body and calm the mind through Miller’s offering of yoga asana, meditation, and chanting in the exquisite and healing natural environment of Esalen.
  • Healing Wisdom For Modern Times: You are Your Greatest Healer, January 21–23 with Erika Gagnon. Join this wisdom keeper on a sacred journey to explore the healing wisdom of the “Americas.” Together, students will learn the importance of ancestral lineage, rites of passage, ceremonies, rituals, sacred altars, medicinal plants, and the origins of dis-ease in our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual bodies. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a water prayer blessing, a sound healing journey, and a traditional South American healing ceremony.
  • Next Steps: Experiencing Wellbeing and Creativity through Contemplative Dance Practices and Techniques, January 21–24 with Vincent Martinez Grieco. During these extraordinary times, it is incredibly important to renew dedication to health and well-being. Students will experience an expansion through dance, meditation, and well-being practices, making inroads toward a healthier nervous system and accessible mindfulness practices. Each day students will use yogic principles and mindfulness practices to tap into the inner dances of mind-body and breath-body. 
  • Finding Divinity in a Sparkling Matrix of Neon and Plastic, January 17–21 with Joel Gruber. Learn about the two aspects of human identity — the ego and the awakened self — through the lens of Eastern philosophy’s great contemplative traditions. By deconstructing identity via Buddhist-inspired philosophy, students will learn to recognize their egos as internalizations of cultural voices from the past. With mindfulness meditation, Joel Gruber will help students shift their attention to the present. Through a range of tantra-based somatic practices, engage yourself in a more awakened identity.
  • Interconnection through Yoga, Strength, and Self-Compassion, January 28–30 with Lauren McHale. Come together through physical movement, strength training, and shared experience — the foundation for self-compassion! This practice asks participants to open up to their own inner knowing and use it as a means for practicing interconnection with others.

There’s still time to plan your trip to Big Sur. These workshops are still open for enrollment or waitlist. 

And if you’ve always wanted to visit Esalen but haven’t been able to find the room in your budget: learn more about our scholarship program.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.

Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?


Esalen Team