Attending to Joy: Cultivating Liberation & Resilience in Community

Philo, CA 95466, USA

SoulFlow Oakland
  • Facebook verified
31 reviews
Sep 1 - 4, 2023
Group size: 20 - 55
Attending to Joy: Cultivating Liberation & Resilience in Community
Philo, CA 95466, USA

SoulFlow Oakland
  • Facebook verified
31 reviews

Sep 1 - 4, 2023
Group size: 20 - 55

About this trip

Rejuvenate, re-divine, and connect with Queer family in nature for three nights and four days in the pristine beauty of Mendocino. Nestled between coastal redwoods and oak chaparral on unceded Pomo land, River’s Bend Retreat Center is a refuge for rest, play, and building community. 

Gathering in Queer community means healing particular wounds, freeing ourselves and each other, and creating both comfort and love, and a chance to grow into who we have always been//already are. This retreat is an opportunity to gather in all your Queerness within the warm glow of embodiment, yoga, meditation, nature, mindfulness, and play. Connect on a soul level. 

Dive deep into the Yogic & Buddhist tradition with Asana (physical Yoga postures), meditation, pranayama, mantra, stories, and discussion. No Yoga experience necessary. Lucid Dawn will teach Hatha Flow and gentle Yoga in a radically inclusive way.  Her teaching emphasizes therapeutics, alignment, and injury prevention, and celebrates the seasons, celestial movements and life in all of its contours.  

Rev. Liên Shutt will offer meditation and Dharma teachings in the Zen tradition and an inclusive and anti-oppression ethos. Sabrina Davidson will be offering art therapy. Dr. Annie Malcolm will be offering a creative writing workshop in which participants tie learnings from the retreat to their greater queer experience and practice ethnography—acute attention to the ordinary intimacies and intensities of everyday life. 

We will be on 10 acres of land and have ample time to swim or lounge by the Navarro River, explore nearby beaches, and explore the hiking trails into the redwoods. 

We will be nourished with bright, fresh, delicious + nutritious meals provided by Jes of Yes Please Catering.

This retreat is for folks who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Gender non-confirming, Asexual, Two Spirit AND our allies. Our intention is to welcome and celebrate folks 18+ in age from all experiences, religions, abilities, immigration statuses, sizes, and sexual orientations. Our intention is to co-create a space that is pro-Black, pro-Immigrant, pro-Queer, and pro-Trans. We will co-create community agreements to embody these intentions. 

Arrival: Friday, September 1st, 5 pm

Departure: Monday, September 4th, 12 pm

*late arrival and early departure strongly discouraged. Please consider the retreat an investment in your own well-being and in building community. We are unable to accommodate arrivals after 8:30 pm* 


1. If you would like to arrange to pay by cash or money order, please contact Sabrina directly

2. All deposits & payments are NON-REFUNDABLE and NO EXCHANGES. This includes if the retreat gets canceled for reasons beyond the control of the organizers such as acts of God, Covid-19, or Mother Nature. Purchase of travel insurance is required to attend. Please make sure you purchase travel insurance that would cover a cancelled retreat or your personal need or emergency to cancel your retreat. Make sure to check fine print. Fear of travel isn't the same as not being able to travel. Another option is plans that cover up to 75% of your expenses if you cancel for any reason. In these unpredictable times, this type of planning is important to protecting your investment in the retreat. 

Travel insurance recommendations: or

Click here for Insurance policies where you can cancel for any reason.

3.  All meals are included and lovingly prepared by Redwood Hill. Ingredients are organic with an abundance of vegetables, protein, and fruit. Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and other dietary needs are available upon request. 

Meet the SoulFlow Oakland Team

Rev. Liên Shutt (she/they) is a priest lineage holder in the Shunryu Suzuki tradition. Born to a Buddhist family in Vietnam, she received her meditation training in the Insight and Soto Zen traditions in the U.S., Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. They were a founding member of the Buddhists of Color in 1998 and currently is the guiding teacher of Access to Zen, an inclusive, anti-oppression sangha and non-profit in the SF Bay Area. She lives on Ohlone land, currently called San Francisco, with her partner, exploring waterways and forests as often as they can. Visit for ways to connect and practice together.   

Lucid Dawn, ERYT500+ is alive to help others thrive.  As a non-dual Tantrik, trauma-informed, therapeutic yogi, & queer witch, with 30+ years of immersion into healing practices she weaves the teachings of Yoga; movement, breath, meditation, & philosophy w/ ritual & practice that acknowledge;  season, celestial movements, and phases of life.  lucid also includes the use of sound healing & expressive arts practices from decades of performing arts background.  lucid's studies in neuroscience, nutrition, essential oils, herbs, plant medicines, Non-Violent Communication, earth magick, energy medicine, peer counseling, grief work, writing, crafting, community organizing & trauma healing also inform their teaching.  lucid is dedicated to embracing all beings & all aspects of being for a full celebration of life, including courageously facing death and gracefully embracing processes of grief, loss, and change.  

Nia Johnson (she/her)  is Soulflow Oakland’s  Communications Director. She is a Yoga Teacher and student whose work explores body awareness, mental health and healing through intuitive movement. She shares her yoga classes on retreat .

Jes Vee

Many say the kitchen is the heart of a gathering. I would agree. This is where you can find me providing sustenance and energy for folks' bodies so their souls can be fueled for connection. I work with communities who choose to gather in an intentional way and align with events that aim to nourish and heal communities. I do however also enjoy the occasional event that gathers just to have a real good time together. I enjoy bringing my catering magic to your event, providing you and your guests the opportunity to revel, gather, and just be. I bring over two decades experience in kitchens, many years of working with communities, and a team of passionate people who bring Joy to the kitchen. 

Dr. Annie Malcolm is a queer Jewish creatrix who lives in Oakland. She writes about art and cares for her community. 

Dr. Dawn Yee Sanders (she/her) has been practicing Chinese Medicine since 2016. First internationally, working on cruise ships in private practice and now currently providing over 100 treatments per week at the Oakland Acupuncture Project in a community setting. What she has found is everyone is going through something, no matter where they are from, the human experience is shared. Dawn's goal is to provide meaningful alternative health care to help her patients' feel more comfortable in their bodies and to help find more ease in their lives. 

Nathaniel Jenkins (he/him) is a licensed clinical massage therapist, energy healer and Reiki Master practicing and living in Oakland, California. Nathaniel’s one-on-one healing sessions and group workshops are designed to create a container of safety for anyone who struggles to feel safe in their body, with emphasis on the BIPOC community and those who have been historically othered. Nathaniel centers his practice around discovering what the body wants and needs in order to encourage its natural ability to heal. He empowers each client to be in full agency in their own body and to trust in self, in the body’s wisdom and in the ability to assert boundaries. Working with the chakra system from the root to the crown, Nathaniel teaches his clients to ground the energy within a safe container and to heal sexual shame to come into greater creative self-expression, joy, sensuality and vitality. He focuses on grounding meditation, healing breathwork, and stimulating the parasympathetic autonomic response with deep tissue integrative work, range of motion opening, pain relief and rocking—all designed to feel good in the body off the table. Through his JEDI work, Nathaniel shares knowledge and practices to liberate the Black body, heal the nervous system and release identification around systemic injustice. Nathaniel graduated from the San Francisco School of Massage & Bodywork with over 850 hours of clinical training, is a certified Reiki Master and a leadership facilitator.

Ashley (she/her) has been teaching yoga and practicing bodywork since 2016, though found these medicinal systems years earlier. Being in the roles of student, teacher, and healer have been instrumental to her own healing, namely of managing the dysregulating effects of trauma and its resulting chemical dependencies. On her bodywork table, she blends Eastern energetic modalities with active Western techniques, and approaches sessions holistically, knowing that we hold all that ails us emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in our bodies. Her work is mindful and intuitive, yet firmly rooted in the physical realm, and she seeks to create an experience that is deeply nourishing and allows the person on the table to seek refuge within themselves, while she does the work of relieving physical restrictions and clearing energetic channels. She is also a UC Berkeley alum, grad school drop-out, a student of Mother Earth, astrology, and systems of self-understanding & evolution such as Human Design, and would be honored to have you on her table!

Anuja Bhuta (she/her) is an artist, healer, baker, and musician - who uses her hands to create, relax, and energize. Her massage practice began in 2006 and continues to ebb and flow in concert with her other passions which include pottery, painting, fiber arts, baking, piano, and aerial arts. Anuja offers Swedish, Therapeutic, Deep Tissue, Prenatal massage with an intuitive touch. 

Covid info

Please note that this retreat will go on regardless of the state of Covid-19. Purchase of travel insurance that covers Covid-19 and other emergencies is required. 

Scholarships and Work Trade

Scholarships and work trade are available for solo camping, shared rustic cabins, and shared tent cabins only. The scholarship deadline has been extended to August 1st.

Getting there

The drive from the Bay Area is about 2.5 hours. We organize carpooling and make every effort to support those who need a ride. In 13 years of leading retreats we have never had someone who has needed a ride not be able to get one. However, we can't guarantee a ride to the retreat. 

For those of you coming from outside of the Bay Area you can fly into Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Oakland, or San Francisco. Santa Rosa is the closest airport but likely more expensive than the other three to fly into. If you fly into San Francisco or Oakland, we will help you connect with carpooling. You may want to fly in the night before or plan to arrive before 12 pm September 1st.

Testimonials from Previous Retreats

Soulflow Retreat Promo Video  

Here are a few testimonies from previous retreats 

Geetali Testimonial

Zach and Emma Testimonials 

Shaketa Testimonial 

Halima's Testimonial 

 This was undoubtedly one of the most divine experiences that I have ever been blessed to be a part of. Everything was intentionally planned and infused with love. I felt safe in body and spirit. The location was beautiful, the leaders and guides were great. I loved the yoga, dance, and meditation offerings and I loved that additional offerings such as massages or solo/group therapy were available as well. The food was really good and I have absolutely no complaints. There was a clear schedule of events, but no pressure to attend or participate in anything. I look forward to being back.  - Dianicia

 I had a fabulous time getting to know fellow attendees and spending time relaxing and rejuvenating in nature! I’ve already recommended it to friends and plan on attending again next year!  - Liz

What’s included

  • brunch
  • Dinner
  • Yoga classes, meditation
  • Discussion
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Excursions
  • Airport transfers

Available Packages


Bring all of your own gear: tent, sleeping pad & bag, tarp and pillow. Indoor Bathhouse with hot showers and sink a few steps away. 2 well kept outhouses a few steps away.


This is the downstairs part of Sunset Lodge. Bunk beds are what's available. You will share the room with up to 7 other people. The bathrooms are shared with other folks in the lodge. Upstairs there is access to a kitchenette, deck, and a living room. There is electricity. 

Accessibility: There are several steps to get downstairs.

Shared Tent Cabin

Cot or futon in a tent cabin shared with up to three other people. There is minimal solar lighting outside and no electricity inside tent cabins. There is a bathhouse with showers and two outhouses close by. Please bring your own towel, sheets, and bedding and/or sleeping bag.

If you are coming with someone click "shared room" and then select two or more as the quantity. If you'd like to pay separately sign up separately and then email us who you are sharing a room with. 

ADA accessibility: no steps. Wheelchair acessible but land is rough.

Rustic Cabin

Twin or double bed in a unique two-room cabin shared with 2-3 other people. Bedding provided. There is electricity and wood stove heat. External bathhouse is a few steps away. The showers in the bathhouse are exclusively for people in rustic cabins while the toilets may be used by other yogis as it's the closest bathroom to yoga space.

If you are coming with someone click "shared room" and then select two or more as the quantity. If you'd like to pay separately sign up separately and then email us who you are sharing a room with. 

Accessibility: wheelchair accessible. no stairs

Double Standard Room

Twin or double bed in a room shared with one other person. The lodge has 3-5 other rooms in it and the bathrooms and showers are shared with 5-7 other people. The lodge has electricity, a kitchen, a deck, and/or a living room for connecting and lounging.

Accessibility: Two steps to enter the lodge. 

Private Standard Room w/ Queen Bed

Queen bed in a private room. The lodge has 3-5 other rooms in it and the bathrooms and showers are shared with 5-7 other people. The lodge has electricity, a kitchen, a deck and/or a living room for connecting and lounging.

Accessibility: Two steps to enter the lodge.  

Private Standard Room

***not eligible for discounts***

Twin or double bed in a private room. The lodge has 3-5 other rooms in it and the bathrooms and showers are shared with 5-7 other people. The lodge has electricity, a kitchen, a deck, and/or a living room for connecting and lounging.

Accessibility: Two steps to enter the lodge.  

Private Room Queen Bed & Private Bath

Twin bed in a private room. The lodge has 3-5 other rooms in it and the bathrooms and showers are shared with 5-7 other people. The lodge has electricity, a kitchen, a deck and/or a living room for connecting and lounging.

 Accessibility: Two steps to enter the lodge.  

Private Cabin w/ Private Bathroom

*discount codes unavailable for this room*

Your private sanctuary awaits! Relax away from it all in your own private cabin, private bathroom, bathtub and shower. Includes a queen bed, wood stove, desk, kitchenette, and private deck.

*ask about special pricing for two people. One of the cabins has a queen and a twin bed*

Full Scholarship Dorm, Camp, or Cabin

***this is only for participants who have applied and received an award letter****

This is a full scholarship spot in the dorm, camping or shared rustic cabin. Please see accommodation descriptions above and enter your preference at check out. Accommodations are based on availability. Cabin or Dorm is available if camping is not comfortable for you.


Available options


Day 1
Sample Itinerary


Day 1 

4 pm 


5-6 pm

Gentle Yoga & meditation

6 pm 


730 - 8:45*  

Ritual, orientation, and community agreements 

10:00 pm - 7:30 am 

lights Out & quiet hours

Your Organizer

SoulFlow Oakland
31 reviews
Offering 13 years of experience teaching yoga, Satya de la Paz August inspires students to fall in love with their bodies and their practice. She infuses dynamic alignment, chanting, storytelling, and community-building into her classes. Satya is deeply grateful for her mentor, Abby Tucker, as well as all of her dharma and movement teachers: Sally Kempton, Rob Preece, and Sianna Sherman. Satya's classes are a classroom and restoration of our most awakened blissful being for multiracial, multi-gender, and multigenerational groups.


I had a wonderful time. Truly healing and nourishing! I am grateful for the organization and attention to detail throughout the weekend. The food was super yummy and the farm was so beautiful.
By Honeybee Courtney P for Sacred Ceremony & Yoga by the Sea 2023 on Aug 23, 2023
Amazing people, location, experience. So much gratitude and love.
By Aja D for Sacred Ceremony & Yoga by the Sea 2023 on Aug 16, 2023
I wouldn’t even know HOW to describe this experience. It was definitely nothing short of amazing! Being surrounded by beautiful, educated, successful, loving black women touched me in ways I couldn’t even imagine. The location was BEAUTIFUL. The food was DELICIOUS. The atmosphere was EXHILARATING. The bonds I’ve made, PHENOMENAL. Thank you all so much for each small role everyone played in making my experience one of a kind!
By Kanecia L for Black Womxn Resting, Black Womxn Rising 2023 on Jun 14, 2023
Wow. This trip fed me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. There are ways in which I can't describe the way it felt to be there but I FEEL it. This is enough for me and the ancestors! There may not be the words currently in the English language to capture how meaningful this experience was for me but I will try. It was magical to be surrounded by other Black womxn choosing themselves, choosing to rest, to rise, to dance, and to be. There was dancing, moments for release, rest, togetherness, space, laughter, solitude, plenty room for all the agency. I'm so thankful that my spirit chose this retreat to be part of my journey. I'm thankful for the leadership that was present there that designed and held this retreat for us so lovingly. Knowing well the labor of love that goes into co-creating large retreats, this does not go unnoticed! I'm thankful for all of the Black Womxn that were there and shared their wisdom, humor, dialogue, compassion, presence, stories, and hearts. I'm thankful for the fuel gifted to me from this retreat to deepen my gratitude practice. I'm thankful I could do this in the embrace of beautiful Mother Earth in South Lake Tahoe. Being here felt like a homecoming. Some highlights for me were spontaneous moments to dance with the other Black womxn there, release during yoga sessions, conscious time in nature, and meaningful conversations with others at meal time. Btw the meals provided were amazingggg. I hope more Black Womxn have the opportunity to come to this retreat and get what they need. I certainly plan to return!
By Kendra H for Black Womxn Resting, Black Womxn Rising 2023 on Jun 13, 2023
This trip was pure medicine!!!! The atmosphere in terms of the natural beauty and the energy of the people put my soul at ease and filled it with joy! Each of the activities contained a level of spiritual depth which allowed release and refueling simultaneously. Love flowed in and out of every detail of this retreat! Each of the leaders/instructors fully embodied the practices which amplified the impact. I left feeling lighter, connected and deeply blessed!
By Tameka J for Black Womxn Resting, Black Womxn Rising 2023 on Jun 13, 2023
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