Program Details

City Retreat

January 26 / 9:30 AM - January 26 / 3:30 PM

Stress is a natural part of being alive.  But it can also become an unhealthy drain of our natural well-being.  How can we recover from stress and strengthen our resilience?  In The City Retreat, we will explore simple methods of working with the stress we hold in our bodies by increasing our emotional intelligence and mindfulness.  We will focus on meditation, mindful eating, yoga, and singing as ways to reduce anxiety and stress, increase productivity, and develop self-acceptance. 

Emotional intelligence is our ability to act out of conscious choice rather than habitual, unconscious patterns that result in behavior that undermines our own well-being.  We develop Mindfulness by becoming aware of our emotional “triggers,” recognizing and managing our emotions as they arise, and managing our relationships with others.

Before we can develop positive relationships with others, we must first develop healthy relationships with ourselves.  In the practice of Meditation we allow our mind to settle and reconnect with its natural wisdom and compassion.  Iyengar Yoga will help us explore our bodies in a gradual, systematic way that wakes up and enlivens our dormant energies.   Mindful, Intuitive Eating helps us distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger so we can eat just what our bodies need.  Together, we'll rediscover the joy of eating--free from food anxiety and guilt.  Singing creates the beautiful paradox that by immersing ourselves in our own voices, we immerse ourselves in each other and in the universe. We become part of the greater whole, which is the way towards peace. 

Lunch is provided with the program.

The Instructors:

Emotional Intelligence

Nikki Graves, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Practice of Management Communication at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.  She teaches and consults in developing emotional intelligence in organizations nationally and internationally.

Mindfulness Meditation

Daniel Philips is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and has been meditating since 1996.  He is an instructor of Shambhala classes and has been an instructor of Shambhala Art since 2000.  


Elise Witt is a singer, songwriter, educator, recording artist, and community song leader. She tours the United States and the world with her Global, Local & Homemade Songs™ and is famous for turning groups (even self-professed "non-singers") into an Impromptu Glorious Chorus™.  See Elise's website.


Chris O’Brien  RN, MPH is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, part-time medical indexer for WebMD, and part-time clinical nursing faculty member at Georgia State University. Her teaching focuses on the health benefits of yoga as an important tool for improving daily life. Through sequenced yoga postures, students will begin to learn how to manage physical and mental stress.

Mindful, Intuitive Eating

Martha McGinnis, M.B.A., discovered mindful, intuitive eating more than 30 years ago and has maintained a weight loss of 45 pounds.  She's been there and back, and is delighted to share the joy and freedom of normal eating.

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