Featured Trips

Presence Retreat
Presence Retreat
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
06 Aug, 2023

Past Trips


Authentic, safe, intentional, warm, loving, encouraging, genuine and rare are words that come to mind when I think of my experience at the Summer Institute in Applied Psychology. And honestly, I feel like I could return every summer and keep building on the wisdom. Our world (even more so in this noise filled digital web) is flooded with self-help influencers, healers, quick-fixers, gurus, coaches and trainers confident in what they're selling you. Often times these people selling a solution haven't put in the time. And while I think some things come effortlessly, I'm also a firm believer in time. I re-read this quote by Bruce Lee recently, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." We've been spoiled with access to everything. For many individuals self-help has become a form of yo-yo dieting. Going from one thing to the next. Sometimes experiencing a bit of relief, but then falling back into the same discomforts. Why? Because they were sold a system or idea that fundamentally is fluff packed in a well marketed idea. Summer Institute in Applied Psychology is the antithesis to the noise and fluff. They're the real deal. Three instructors lead the workshop. Every one of them has put in the time and has a PHD level proficiency in what they're teaching. The best part is they deliver these time tested tools and insights in a way that's approachable, digestible and simplified. Every student at the workshop, including myself, walked away with wisdom that has GENUINELY impacted day to day life. The instructors and staff at Vida Asana are genuine and kind individuals. The experience was a safe space for our entire group — enveloped in Costa Rican rainforest to boot. I could keep going, but go for yourself. This is a life changing experience. You're worth the investment!!!
By Arna Behar for Summer Institute in Applied Psychology on Nov 30, 2022
Part of me expected to transform into a completely changed person after this experience. Instead, I found myself to be pretty much the same, but with a transformed perspective and deepened resilience. This program helped me to realize that I don't need to change to be happy, I don't need to conform to be loved, and I don't have to adopt other qualities to become the best version of myself. I already harbor those qualities, I already possess the tools to obtain happiness. I just needed to unlock them. This program provided the keys. It's hard to notice change while it occurs. During the program, I wasn't sure if much was rubbing off on me. It wasn't until weeks after the Institute, I noticed I was able to more easily maintain my composure in situations where I would have previously lost it. Further, I had a newfound awareness of my own thought process. I had detached from my thoughts, not in a psychopathic way (haha), but in a way that allowed me to question my unhealthy beliefs. It began to feel silly to believe the cruel narratives about myself and others perpetuated by my mind. Mentor Mike described it best saying, "harboring resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick". It's impossible for me to describe my full experience of this Institute and the profound effects the mentors have had on my life in a little online review, but I'll continue to try by adding one more thing. Like many people around the world, I sit down at my computer to work, and don't get up for hours. Maybe until I have to pee or eat something. This is disastrous for our bodies and we know it! The movement practice in this program shifted my mindset to a more body-centered one. I am more mindful every day of the way I am moving, (or not) and continue to work to maximize my activity throughout the day. This has proven invaluable for not only my physical health, but my mental well-being. I now truly believe that I can be happy anywhere. I am immensely grateful for my experience and am certain that anyone who participates will come out feeling more content in their skin than they ever thought possible.
By Ari Kirk for Summer Institute in Applied Psychology on Nov 18, 2022
This retreat was nothing short of amazing. Mike and Kaita cultivated such a comfortable and supportive space where I was able to connect with myself and others deeply. The classes were very insightful and allowed me to make really positive changes to my lifestyle and my self-perception. The community consisted of wonderful, like-minded people who I had such a great time getting to know. I felt supported in every way - delicious food, beautiful rooms, amazing people, kind staff, and freedom to be myself! Words don't do this retreat justice, I'll remember this experience forever.
By Nathan Godderis for Summer Institute in Applied Psychology on Nov 16, 2022