If you’ve been following along, then you’ll know about the amazingly awesome energy healing workshop, Hands of Light, at the Omega Institute last weekend. (And if you wanted to catch something like it, there’s an Energy Psychology Conference coming up in just a few weeks!) In class, we learned that self-healing comes easier in a well-intentioned group, and after walking around the lush grounds of Omega chatting with happy staff and friendly guests, I can definitely tell you that’s true. And so I dedicate this post to my new friend, Robin - who cried one morning in meditation because she loved Omega that much - to tell you why you should DEFINITELY check out this magical place:
1. The Insanely Happy and Awesome Staff
When our NYC-Omega shuttle was late (due to road closure) and a rosy-cheeked young guy literally pranced up onto the bus to tell us they’d kept dinner on, I knew something awesome was up. And by the time the sincerely friendly library-man offered to recommend me a book, I had to ask. Turns out Omega treats its staff and speakers so well, the high vibes are infectious.
2. It’s SO well-run!
There’s so much staff who knows everything when you need to know it, days are planned perfectly so you’re never late for your lunch-time dance break (or yoga or meditation or complimentary lecture or swim or kayak session or….), and they’re committed to sustainability so that everything is re-used and recycled. Bottom line, there’s a system for everything so you don’t have to worry about anything. You don’t even have to carry your own luggage…my type of heaven.
3. The Workshops and Amenities
From Al Gore to Elizabeth Gilbert to Thich Nhat Hanh to Arlo Guthrie to Gloria Steinem to Pema Chodron, Omega has hosted more interested presenters than is possible to mention. And oh yeah, former POTUS, Bill Clinton was once a keynote, too. And the range of offerings is not just high-quality, but diverse. During my weekend stay, there were workshops in everything from Ana Forrest’s Yoga Intensive to DIY Beauty Crafting (over lunch, I got tips on how to make salve!)
Beyond that, free resources include: a library with over 7,000 books on holistic living, yoga, qi-gong, group meditation, live music, hiking trails, programs for kids, a bookstore, dining hall with delicious food, a cafe for snacks and hanging when the dining hall’s closed, a lake with sandy beach and kayaks, a labyrinth, tons of hammocks and more. I hear their Wellness Center is also pretty genius, given the ladies I met who’d come up just for their exhaustive list of services - like massage, facials, acupuncture and more!
4. The People!
What a diverse bunch of lovelies! I met women and men of all ages and backgrounds, from all over the world - from a young actress from Sweden to a former painter studying to be a Tibetan-Buddhist monk and a young woman from Jacksonville just discovering yoga. It was refreshing and enlightening to talk to so many different people. And thanks to the friendly environment, everyone was open and inspired.
5. The Location and Grounds
Just 90 miles from NYC and in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Rhinebeck is gorgeous. In Spring, it’s lush, in Summer you can swim, and in Autumn there are those Fall Colors the Northeast is known for. In Winter, the Rhinebeck campus is closed but they continue to run workshops at Omega Costa Rica, Mount Madonna, CA (just 2 hours south of SF!), in NYC, and even ONLINE!
And if that isn’t reason enough to go, check out their website for a full list of upcoming workshops and events!
Photos: Courtesy of Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck, NY, eOmega.org
Post written for SFYogaMag.com