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Take your yoga practice and community-building intentions to another level through this intensive exploration of effective social justice activism grounded in the practice of compassion. Together with Off the Mat into the World's team, you will dig deep into the real impacts of injustice and inequality in your communities and larger world and grow your skills in being agents of social change and justice.
You will be accommodated at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane Campus' residential building, which is located separately from the campus. The residential building offers retreat-style lodging and provides a unique and peaceful environment. The accommodations include standard rooms with a shared bath and shower. Bed linens and towels are provided.
Spacious lawns in front of the property have sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara Channel Islands, while beautiful gardens afford spots for quiet contemplation with views of mountains rising in the background. Recreational opportunities are offered by hiking trails that lead into the wilderness. At night, deer and coyotes are often seen wandering through the grounds.
This weekend retreat facilitates a holistic integration of mind, body, and spirit with your intentions to be a participant in addressing inequality and injustice. You will be invited to engage in an exploration of social justice concepts in a practical and embodied way, as this work is vital for anyone doing community engagement work.
Through mindfulness meditation and daily yoga practice, you will build a foundation for opening your hearts to the pain of injustice, healing yourself and your communities from the trauma of oppression, and fostering the resilience you need to stay in the struggle over a lifetime.
Seane Corn is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher known for her impassioned activism, unique self-expression, and inspirational style of teaching. She has been featured in commercials, magazines, NPR, and Oprah.com. She utilizes her national platform to bring awareness to global humanitarian issues, including HIV/AIDS prevention. In 2013, she was awarded the Global Green International Environmental Leadership Award. Since 2007, she has been training leaders of activism through her cofounded organization, Off the Mat into the World.
Hala Khouri has been teaching the movement arts for over 20 years. Her roots are in Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga, dance, somatic psychology, and the juicy mystery of life. Creative movement and honest self-exploration have always been her sources of tremendous healing. Her calling to share this with others has been clear to her since she began teaching at the age of 16. Hala is one of the cofounders of Off the Mat into the World, along with Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling.
Suzanne Sterling facilitates retreats and workshops in the United States and abroad and brings a special blend of music, yoga, sacred ceremony, and activism to events such as yoga retreats, emerging cultural conferences, and music festivals. She has also been a ritual designer and priestess for many years and has developed a curriculum and teacher training and apprenticeship programs for numerous communities across the country.
Teo Drake is a spiritual activist, an educator, a practicing Buddhist and yogi, and an artisan who works on wood and steel. As a blue-collar queer-identified transman living with aids, he has 101 reasons to not want to be in his own skin. His physical and spiritual practice of yoga and Buddhist traditions made it possible for him to heal and feel at home in his own body.
The workshop will be held at Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Ladera Lane Campus, situated on 35 acres in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
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Meals are served to encourage dialogue and community exchange throughout the weekend. Thursday dinner; Friday and Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Sunday breakfast and lunch are included in the meal cost. Pacifica’s caterers provide healthy meals, which include organic ingredients where possible. Please indicate on the registration form if you need a special vegan, gluten-free, or vegetarian meal or if you have other medical or dietary restrictions.
Please book your flights to arrive at either Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is 90 miles south of Santa Barbara, or Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), which is 18 miles north of the campus. Information on ground transportation to and from Santa Barbara will be included in your confirmation letter.
"After attending Off the Mat into the World’s five-day leadership training last summer in Minneapolis, my vision for Sunday yoga service was born. Those five days with Seane, Hala, and Suzanne were life changing for me. Seane’s words, “How dare we not?” were a question that went straight to my heart. For me, it was, “How dare I not share my story?” Those closest to me knew my addiction story and the sober life I now live. But many of my students and this large yoga platform we have here in Arizona did not. Therefore, that question lit a fire inside me to share my story and connect it with Off the Mat into the World’s Seva Project. This endeavor has turned into a monthly community event at a beautiful resort in Scottsdale. In addition, I’ve been given the opportunity to travel and bring Sunday yoga service to other communities in California and Dallas. The opportunity to share my story carries the message of Off the Mat into the World, and the woman from Kenya has been one of the biggest gifts in my life. What used to bury me in guilt and shame (my past addiction) has become my biggest asset. This awakening was only possible because of the deep inner work we did at the leadership training. In order to be of service to others and transform the world, the process has to start within. This is what I learned. And this is the message I now choose to carry. Thank you, Off the Mat into the World, for giving me a clear path!"
Off the Mat into the World website, edited
"Our four-day leadership training retreat is right around the corner, which is in a week and a half! We love this intensive training because the retreat format gives us the chance to immerse into the concepts and practice of social justice and community building while deeply exploring injustices and the conditions that cause them. We have an awesome group that signed up this year, and we can’t wait to embark on this collaborative, eye-opening, heart-opening journey together!"
Off the Mat into the World website, edited