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Art of Vitality 
Co-taught by Anna O'Malley, MD and James Stark

It is increasingly clear that our health and wellbeing are inextricably linked with the health of our communities and the natural world. As we come out of our pandemic realities, we have a unique opportunity to bring a new focus to the way we are living on this precious Earth. As we face into uncertain times, having skills in sourcing wellness from within, from relationship with nature, and from supportive relationships with each other  will strengthen our resilience.

***Message regarding 2021-2022 Circle and COVID***

With infection rates on the rise, we have decided to postpone the start date and shift the format. We will begin in March 2022 and conclude in June 2022, meeting monthly over four two day weekends. 

Aligned with the seasons, Art of Vitality is an immersive program in transformative well-being, of vitality on a personal, interpersonal, and ecological level. Drawing on emerging science and the essence of that which heals, we are building community around vitality, deep nature connection and reciprocity, and ecological consciousness.

What would our lives be like if we were living a life grounded in healing connections? How would we feel if each meal was a nourishing experience that optimized our vitality, decreased risk of disease, and contributed to a regenerative existence on this planet? What would we gain by attuning ourselves to the rhythms of nature and our natural world? What might shift if we brought our behaviors and lives into alignment with our highest selves? What can we ripple out into our communities, centering our wellbeing on justice and equality within our human family and beyond? 

We know there is a way toward healing, wholeness and vitality, and that it starts from within. We know that living systems, including our human bodies, have tremendous regenerative potential. We know that we belong to the life-giving body of the Earth, and that remembering and reconnecting to this source renews our body, mind and spirit. We know that there is much to be done to eliminate barriers to wellbeing for all people in our communities. Building community around recognizing and dismantling structural barriers to wellbeing is a path toward healing for us all.

We invite you to join us in exploring liberating, life-affirming and life-sustaining ways of being. Drawing inspiration from time-honored wisdom, advances in integrative medicine, and nature herself, we’ll be empowered to walk our individual and collective paths toward wellbeing.

Covered topics include:

  • Practices to prevent or reverse chronic disease processes by limiting inflammation and detoxifying.

  • Mind-body practices that harness the relaxation response, deepen your connection to the natural world, increase energy and decrease harmful stress.

  • The use of food as medicine, through chef demonstrations and medicinal pot-lucks. This will include seasonal yumminess consciously sourced from the wild.

  • Practices to support a healthy gut ecology, and the emerging awareness of the farm-food-gut ecological connection as pertains to health

  • Practices supporting healthy sleep

  • Self-directed, facilitated goal-setting toward behavior change with between-workshop support, partner work, and consultation.

  • Practice with honing intuition, insight and vision in manifesting one’s utmost mind-body vital potential.

  • Engaging and accessible yoga poses and qi gong practices

We will come together for four weekends to explore this together. We ask that you commit to attending all four of the gatherings.

In addition to the four weekends, you will be supported between the gatherings with group Zoom calls with Anna and James, a buddy relationship to anchor you in integrating new nurturing practices, and supportive material to assist you in attaining your vision of vitality for yourself.

Accommodations:

Staying on-site is encouraged. Camping is included in the registration; four camping platforms on the "retreat" side of the garden, complete with a tent and comfy camping pad, are reservable for additional fee. 

Registration Details:

Our registration process is as follows: Complete the application form here; upon review we will send you the registration link. 

Tuition for the year-long program (four three-day weekends with between-session support and communication) is as follows:

Early bird (before February 2): $1400

Elders, students, and non-profits: $1400

Full tuition: $1700

Limited scholarship funds are available for those in need. Priority given to BIPOC individuals.

2022 Dates:

March 19-20, April 9-10, May 14-15, June 5-6

**COVID considerations: As so much of this work involves close connection within a tightly-woven circle, often within a yurt, we are currently limiting enrollment to those who have been immunized agains COVID-19. Thank you for understanding this public health constraint.

*Please note that this event takes place on wood-chipped paths, with port-o-potties that have a step.

Apply for Art of Vitality:

Introduction to the Art of Vitality

Are you considering the program but desiring a feel of the experience before committing? We are holding two introductory sessions: one over Zoom, and one in-person.

The Zoom call will be held the evening of Thursday, February 17th from 6:30 to 8 pm.

To get the feel of the circle in person, join us on Saturday,  February 19th, from 1 pm to 4 pm. You'll get the feel of being in the circle, in the special spaces that are the yurt and the garden, and have the opportunity to engage with alumni of the program.