Esalen Hot Springs are located on the cliff side and have been used for ritual healing for more than 6,000 years. The upper level of the Springs features an outdoor massage deck and “living” roof of native coastal grasses, as well as a hot tub with handicap access lift and a wheelchair-accessible changing room and bathroom and shower.
The lower level of the baths has two changing rooms with glass-encased shower rooms overlooking the ocean, several indoor and outdoor tubs of varying degrees of heat, as well as private, claw foot tubs. There are also massage rooms on the upper level and towels are provided.
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Esalen offers a unique Movement and Meditation Program, which is run every week and available for guests free of charge. A variety of classes is offered, ranging from contemporary, free-form, improvisational and spiritual dancing, Tai Ji, Gestalt Movement, Qi Gong, and NIA, as well as Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and Vinyasa Flow Yoga. There are also Meditation classes, including Didgeridoo Meditation and Sensory Awareness Chakra Meditation and singing classes. Other programs include a 12 Step Tribe, writing groups, and Somatic Awareness.
Guests can indulge in a pampering massage treatment with an Esalen Massage. Renowned for helping to release stresses in the body through long flowing strokes, Esalen Massage are delivered by trained Esalen practitioners who accommodate specific requests through the Esalen massage modality.
Located next to the lodge in the center of the property, the Esalen Bookstore is a cozy bookstore spanning 600-square-feet that sells a variety of books, magazines, journals, prints, postcards, gifts, music, clothing and ceramics.
Commonly known as the Art Barn, the Art Center is located on the cliffs next to the Leonard Pavilion and the Farm and serves as a residence for artists and a base for creative workshops, including painting, drawing, textile arts, metalworking, stone carving and wood turning. The Art Barn has also used an open studio space for workshops and other events, with a range of arts and crafts materials and supplies available.
One of Esalen Institute’s primary philosophies is a strong commitment to sustainability and operates an eco-program called The Living Machine, which offers the perfect solution for integrating a functional ecosystem into the site by upgrading its wastewater facilities while conserving resources and protecting natural water cycles.
The Living Machine processes the wastewater from the lodging and laundry facilities and uses it to recharge the local aquifer and irrigate the landscape. The Living Machine achieves its goal of sustainability by using just a quarter of the energy of comparable water treatment systems, serving as a home for local fauna and flora and enhancing the surrounding landscapes.
The Esalen Farm and Garden have been growing organic food to sustain, educate and heal the community for more than 40 years. The farm utilizes traditional modes of farming, including organic, bio-intensive, biodynamic, and permacultural, and provides fresh produce that is used in the kitchen for creating delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Esalen Institute, a Spiritual Retreat in Big Sur, California - Photo: kanonsky/Fotolia
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