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This category contains 8 posts

The pause in between

Esalen has a way of gently prodding you to look within. The area is remote–although they are able to get Wi-fi with a satellite, there is no cell phone reception, nor are there any attractions nearby to distract you. All you have is Esalen itself. Some might say that this place has a special energy … Continue reading

The case of the missing yoga pants

On my first visit to Esalen I wrote about the ‘clothing optional’ baths, so I won’t belabor that topic, especially since I’ve long gotten over it and it seems as natural as breathing to me now. I’ll strip off my clothes in a heartbeat if it means I get to soak in those baths. So … Continue reading

Bath. Yoga. Eat. Repeat.

The last time I wrote about Esalen, I mentioned that the yoga workshop takes up six hours of each day. When I tell people this, they usually balk. “Six hours of yoga? How can you do that?” It’s really not as difficult as it sounds. The six hours is broken into three sessions, each of … Continue reading

Returning to Esalen

Six years ago, I returned to Portland after three months abroad–a trip that was the result of quitting my job to take a much-needed break, reassess my priorities, and also satisfy some of my travel cravings. Upon my return, I didn’t feel a great deal of anxiety about the prospect of unemployment. I knew the … Continue reading

Saying farewell to Esalen

There are lots of reasons people do yoga. Some people practice it purely for spiritual reasons, while others for the mental, emotional, and physical benefits. Not being a particularly spiritual person, I do it for the mental and physical aspects of the practice. My reasons are simple: when I do yoga, I feel happier and … Continue reading

Braving the storm

I mentioned an unseasonable October storm. It reminded me of the storms we get in Portland with powerful gale winds blowing rain in sideways—the kind of thing that renders umbrellas completely useless. During yoga classes yesterday, the wind was powerful enough to severely shake the yoga dome (yoga is conducted in a large yurt-like dome … Continue reading

On the notion of “clothing optional”

I think one of the jewels of Esalen is their magnificent mineral baths, which appear to be carved right into a cliff overlooking the rocky beach below. As you enter the modern stone baths, there are bathrooms, a large dressing area, showers with sliding glass doors that open right to the ocean, a massage area, … Continue reading

Escaping to Esalen

I normally don’t feel the need to journal during ‘staycations’ (for me, a “staycation” is any vacation within the continental U.S.), but the moment I arrived at the Esalen Institute for a week-long yoga workshop, my mind immediately went into journaling mode. This is the mode where I begin processing everything as though I’m writing … Continue reading

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