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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The Art and Science of Embodied Presence is an experience designed for connection with intention, meaning, reverence, vulnerability, and care. By engaging in neuroscientific and somatic approaches to the mind and body, and by practicing creative and contemplative mindfulness, together we will embark on an embodied journey towards healing through meeting the self in presence — the Truth of who we are.

  • Learn the latest science and scholarship on mindfulness, embodied cognition, and presence.
  • Engage in creative contemplative practices related to dance, improvisational mindful movement, authentic creative expression, and collaborative performance.
  • Cultivate a practice of radical presence, awareness, wonder, and awe of ourselves and the environment we exist in.
  • Self-study through stillness, writing, and creative dialog/collaborative storytelling.
  • Deepen the connection to self and others through self-expression.

Experience the practices with a live accompaniment from Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and song-writing musician Tauwoo.

The Art and Science of Embodied Presence: Mindfulness, Movement, and Music
July 8–10, 2022
July 8–10, 2022
July 8, 2022
The Art and Science of Embodied Presence: Mindfulness, Movement, and Music
with Nkechi Deanna Njaka

We are in a place in our human journey where we need guidance and support. As we navigate world events, the pandemic, climate change, and our own individual traumas, our goal is to not only survive, but thrive and live powerful lives we can be proud of. Ayni is the Quechua word for sacred reciprocity, and the way in which we humans can be in right relationship with the world around us. These are the times indigenous prophecies have spoken about.

Join us for two days of ceremony with the Earth wisdom teachings from Mesoamerica and Peru as we reconnect, heal, and nourish our hearts. We will work with our ancestors to build our spiritual support team and partake in a plant medicine ceremony with Cacao. We will learn how to make specific offerings to the land that help you create magic in your life.

Being at Esalen provides a special opportunity to be in connection with the elemental spirits of the native coastline and the sacredness of the land where the sweet and thermal waters meet the ocean.  

During our time together…

  • We will learn the ancient Peruvian philosophy of Ayni — how to live in sacred reciprocity.
  • We will learn how to make an ancestral altar for us to connect and have a team of support.
  • We will be supported by the sacred plant medicine of Cacao in a ceremonial space that supports our emotional release and healing.
  • We will experience the power of community healing.

Our weekend will feature two guest faculty, who will bring their magic to enhance our understandings over the course of the week…

Kyle McBride is an international chef, food justice advocate, ferment and wild food enthusiast. He draws inspiration from the abundance and diversity of nature and seeks to honor our sacred connection to the earth through his food.

Marisa Anita Reyes is a community leader and medicine woman who uses her voice, the charango, harmonium, frame drum, and crystal bowl to take people on a journey to open their hearts, meet their ancestors, and connect to Spirit.

Come and share a weekend of Earth-based practices in community with love, support, and guidance as you learn about the Quechua and Mazotec traditions that have honored living in right relation with the Earth for thousands of years.

Ancestral Plant Medicine and Ceremony: Living in Ayni to Heal our Connection with Self and Earth
July 22–24, 2022
July 22–24, 2022
July 22, 2022
Ancestral Plant Medicine and Ceremony: Living in Ayni to Heal our Connection with Self and Earth
with Xochitl Ashe
Women have a unique power of creativity fueled by our reproductive system — the power to create new life and to give birth to our passion projects.

The problem? That energy is often BLOCKED by physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma to the pelvic core and the female organs.

This workshop is designed for all women. You’ll be guided through specialized imagery, movement and hands-on exercises — all done with clothing on — to heal the pelvic core, including the vagina and uterus — the places that tend to hold our deepest wounds.

Wounds may include intimate traumas: rape, abortion, sexual abuse, surgery, childbirth tearing and scars. Wounds also present through self-esteem issues and negative images about our femininity.

Because self-knowledge is vital, you’ll learn simple scientific and anatomic information. You’ll take away practices of profound self-care using pelvic floor yoga and abdominal massage.

You’ll experience exciting new possibilities for renewed feminine energy, better health, and a deeper sense of pleasure in being the passionate, creative woman you are.

There will be time to explore nature and use our connection to the earth to deepen our connection with ourselves. The course will culminate in an evening of nurturing at the Esalen baths.

In this program…

  • Students will learn how to take a baseline in sensation within their own bodies.
  • Students will explore various methods to refill their inner energy reservoirs for maximum health and presence.
  • Students will identify limiting beliefs and discover their antidotes.
  • Students will reclaim their power and path to health for themselves.
  • Students will learn about female anatomy and physiology.

Identity: This workshop is for women born with female anatomy and the accompanying cultural issues.

Attire/Supplies: wear loose and comfortable clothing (preferably no jeans or skirts) as class involves some movement work. A sweater and an extra pair of socks are suggested for times of stillness. You may wish to bring coloring implements and a journal with you to use in class, and/or during our breaks.

Pre-study: it is highly recommended that you read Suzanne Scurlock’s books and listen to the audio downloads that accompany them even if you are not a reader.

Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom (New World Library, 2017. Available via Audio or PDF download at Healing From the Core.) This book comes with several hours of audio downloads to help awaken and deepen into your inner wisdom. Download instructions are found along with transcripts of the explorations in the book.

Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom (New World Library, 2010. Available via Audio or PDF download at Healing From the Core.) Full Body Presence also includes downloads; instructions for obtaining them are at the end of Chapter One. These explorations and are also included with Reclaiming Your Body, which has quite a few more for you to practice with and enjoy as well.

Healing the Pelvic Core™
July 25–31, 2022
July 25–31, 2022
July 25, 2022
Healing the Pelvic Core™
with Suzanne Scurlock

Throughout modern times, movement, dance, and the expressive arts have provided individuals and communities with a means of soulful expression, healing, and connection with spirit. This workshop generates opportunities for participants to find such meaning, and become connected with the real issues in their lives. Daria Halprin’s approach to integrative movement will take participants on a unique journey into the sensing, feeling, and imagining body.

The Life/Art Process®, developed by Anna Halprin and Daria Halprin, bridges body awareness, art expression, and psychological processes. Experiencing the Process provides people with an opportunity to understand dance and the expressive arts as a way of learning, healing, expanding creativity, and developing new strategies for personal and professional life.

Each day of the workshop will include somatic awareness practices, individual and group movement and dance, drawing, poetic narrative, improvisation, and life/art reflections. Supported by the immersive Esalen experience, the beauty of the natural environment, and the amazing beats of the musicians, we will delve into themes that matter, explore deeply, play wildly, renew, inspire, envision, and catalyze new resources to bring back into personal and professional life.

Live music with special guest artists support the daily work. They will also be featured in an evening dance jam as well as the Planetary Dance — a community ritual that has been performed in over 40 countries since 1975.

Pioneers in their respective fields, the Halprins worked with Fritz Perls, Ida Rolf, Will Schutz, and others in the early years at Esalen. Their work has been a pivotal part of the groundbreaking human potential, postmodern dance, and healing arts movements since the 1960s.

The workshop is designed for everyone, with no previous experience in dance/art needed. For further information on the work please visit www.tamalpa.org and see Tamalpa Media.

Materials: bring a box of cray-pas oil pastels and a writing notebook.

Please note: masks will be required at all times except outdoors. We will try to maintain some distance while engaging!

Recommended reading: The Expressive Body in Life, Art & Therapy by Daria Halprin; Dances That Matter, Anna Halprin with Rachel Kaplan.

Empowering Creativity Through Movement/Dance & Life/Art Metaphors
August 8–12, 2022
August 8–12, 2022
August 8, 2022
Empowering Creativity Through Movement/Dance & Life/Art Metaphors
with Daria Halprin

What is the relevance and significance of the maṇḍala (“circle”)? In this workshop series we aim to individually and collectively understand maṇḍalas and related sacred shapes and their importance in Tantric traditions. We will also show how the geography of Esalen could be perceived as a sacred landscape or maṇḍala. Our focus here will be on the historical development of the maṇḍala and its connecting link between the internal and external worlds.

Join Tantric scholar-practitioners Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Cantú for this fascinating new workshop, part 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 understanding of what a maṇḍala is and how to use it to journey from various points in meditation and on your personal path.
  • 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 maṇḍalas.
  • 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 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 | Maṇḍala: The Macrocosm and the Microcosm
August 12–15, 2022
August 12–15, 2022
August 12, 2022
Tantra: The Body and The Release, an Esalen Signature Series | Maṇḍala: The Macrocosm and the Microcosm
with Sravana Borkataky-Varma and Keith Edward Cantú