We’re getting to grips with one of the world’s original wellness destinations: the birthplace of The Human Potential Movement, Gestalt therapy, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and hot tub diplomacy. It’s the iconic Esalen Institute, the nonprofit retreat center and community housed in Big Sur, California and, some would argue, the origins of the modern California lifestyle. 

Joining us to get deep into the origins of the philosophy of wellness is Esalen Institute alum and Buddhist insight meditation teacher, Lucia Horan. Believe it or not, Lucia was actually born in the Institute itself, so she’s been submerged in the world of wellness from her first day on Earth. She was born into the family of 5Rhythms and she’s been a certified teacher of it since 1988. We discuss the power of motion and her popular Moon Lodge gatherings, designed to give women the power to come together, share, and see the beauty within themselves. 

We then speak to Douglas Drummond, the Director of Healing Arts & Somatics at Esalen, about how he came to the Institute, what the Institute is, what people can get from it, and how the pandemic has changed the way they offer their services to people.

Last of all, we sit down with two of the founding members of the Esalen massage school, Peggy Horan & Brita Ostrom. They tell us all about the healing and restorative power of massage and the work that they’ve pioneered at the institute. 

Together, they all offer a fascinating insight into Esalen for people familiar and unfamiliar with the institute’s work, alike. If you’re just learning about Esalen, this is a great place to start, and if you’re a fan, this is a great place to get some info about what you can expect from them moving forward. 

Thank You to Our Podcast Sponsor

This season’s sponsor is the wellness-forward skincare line, Murad. Today’s episode features an interview with Deepika Chopra (@drdeepikachopra), the world’s eminent optimism doctor, and guest editor of Murad’s new wellness publication, Well Connected.


Hosted by Kim Marshall

Produced by Crate Media