Driving down Marinship Way to Harmonia in Sausalito, I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem. I enter the sunny garden and pass a redwood sauna originally constructed for Sly Stone. That's right, this vibey little Wellness and Social Club was once home to The Record Plant, a recording studio that saw the likes of Prince, The Stones, Bob Marley and other musical greats. When you enter the space, you can feel the history - literally, you can run your hand down its original (and ridiculously cool) wavy-walled hallway.
The first time I went to Harmonia was for a sound healing event with Karma Moffett, a man who's spent almost 40 years collecting antique singing bowls and creating his ‘Tibetan Bell Experience’. With a growing trend of those who call themselves healers, it’s becoming harder to find quality, and that’s what sets Harmonia apart from the rest. I have had not one, but several profound experiences there.
Harmonia's practitioners are curated by Eric Monkhouse, a fixture in the yoga/healing community for 20+ years, Mac Murphy, son of Esalen founder Michael Murphy, and Jennifer Adler, Harmonia's Founder, whose passionate vision became this wonderful place. Jennifer tells me ‘We look for the most advanced practitioners that bring a well-rounded wellness experience…that truly understand yoga and dance not just for fitness but for the mind experience as well.’
Highlights for me were almost too many for this post. From Eli Cohen’s transformative QiGong classes, a movement based form of self-healing to Tarika Lovegarden's Heart Meditation that almost brought me to tears. There was a semi-private Pilates class in the garden with Shana Morrison (daughter of Van, of course) and then studio Pilates with Katy Boyd where there was 1 woman for every 10 men (that's right, single ladies). Our very own contributor, Erika van Gemeren does Bhakti flow, while one of my personal faves, John Berlinsky takes the time to explain every pose in Vinyasa, and lovely Tasha Rosenkrans does a more rigorous Power Flow.
And there are private sessions and events too; everything from relationship coaching to Esalen massage to your own private Sound-bath. An infrared sauna and soaking tub are being installed. There is a focus on music and creativity to honor the history of the space, with record release parties, screenings, and even music classes with Songwriter Chris Haugen. And then, there’s the community. In the spirit of Marin, I’ve met some truly lovely people there; from technocrats in search of a more mindful existence to healers and creative spirits drawn to this area for its natural beauty and sense of peace.
As the club is still in its completion phase, there are early sign-up benefits available. Until August 2016, they’re waiving activation fees and dropping monthly fees to just $99 for the first 6 months, after which it will go up to $150. After that, activation fees will be $1200 (no that’s not a typo, quality comes with a price) plus $150 per month. Classes, concerts, happy hours, and private events are all included in membership. In fact, I couldn’t help signing up as I was writing this because, trust me, this place is just that good.
If you want to try it out, non-members can still drop in for group classes and attend events. To view a full schedule of offerings and events - which includes Karma Moffett’s ‘Tibetan Bell Experience’ again this Sunday, April 24th at 6pm - go, go, go!! - please visit their website.
Photo: Courtney Aldor
Post written for SFYogaMag.com