Person Power Yoga Retreat: April 8–10, 2016

Our in-depth weekend retreat integrates yoga, meditation, and nonviolence to create a powerful approach to personal and social change.

Where: Mount Madonna Center, Watsonville, CA

Hosted by a team of peacebuilders from the Metta Center: Michael Nagler, Stephanie Van Hook, Stephanie Knox-Cubbon, Kimberlyn David

This integrative, practical, and educational yoga retreat is open to everyone who wishes to sow the seeds of true peace—in ourselves, within our relationships, in our communities, and for the broader world. We can all learn and teach nonviolence. Our goal is to help you develop and bring such skills into your homes and workplaces with new confidence.

While recommended, previous knowledge of yoga or meditation is not required. Yoga mats and props will be provided for those who need them. We enthusiastically welcome people of all physical abilities (retreat facilities are wheelchair-friendly). Bring your child for a child-led retreat facilitated by Stephanie Van Hook, a Montessori educator (the kids can enjoy creative activities, hiking, games, and snacks).

Learn more about Person Power Yoga Retreat below. Ready to register? See the Pricing and Registration & Payments sections toward the bottom of this page.

Experience Your Power

Yoga retreat—image of Gandhi

Power is not about physical strength. Nor is it about putting the right person in power. True power is our inherent capacity to transform anger and fear into love and compassion.

In the Person Power Yoga retreat, we will focus on the amazing power that comes from within—and how best to bring it to life around us.

This mind-body-spirit retreat weaves the three main strands of yoga: discussions, asana, and meditation. Retreat participants will come to understand the deeper meanings of yoga and nonviolence through immersive, experiential learning. We will engage in lively, heartfelt conversations about the theory and practice of yoga, along with nonviolence as the wisdom we can draw upon to renew our spirits and transform our conflicts.

Recharge your vitality, embody wisdom, and discover greater freedom and creativity by exploring:

  • Balancing inner and outer peace
  • The positive role of conflict
  • Defining power and happiness
  • Negative peace vs. positive peace
  • Nonviolence as action and science
  • Ancient yogic texts (Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras of Patañjali)
  • Gandhi’s path to spiritual activism


Yoga Retreat Activities & Schedule 

Yoga retreats activities

Those who register will receive pre-retreat to-do’s and a detailed schedule in the early part of 2016 (see Pricing below). Healing and skill-building activities include:

  • Gentle yoga sessions (2 per day)
  • Meditation (morning and evening)
  • Delicious vegetarian meals*
  • In-depth theoretical talks
  • Active listening and other dynamic partner/group exercises
  • Creating your own Action Plan**
  • Personal reflection time

* Dinners will be served on Friday and Saturday; brunch and a snack will be served on Saturday and Sunday. Vegan and gluten-free options are available for meals and snacks. An on-site café sells coffee for those who want it.

** We will guide you, for example, in launching your very own community Hope Tank (we have enough think tanks; we need hope tanks! Learn about our hope tanks).


The Person Power Yoga retreat starts the afternoon of Friday, April 8 and ends at noon on Sunday, April 10.

  • Arrival/check-in is from 2:00–5:00pm on Friday. Orientation begins at 7:00 pm.
  • Dinner is served from 5:30–6:30pm on Friday and 5:00–6:00pm on Saturday.
  • Brunch on Saturday and Sunday are served late morning/early afternoon.
  • If you plan to arrive late on Friday, let us know if we should save a dinner for you.
  • Retreat ends at 1:00 pm on Sunday.


About Your Hosts

Michael Nagler bio pic_300x300Michael Nagler is Professor Emeritus at UC Berkeley, where he co-founded the popular Peace & Conflict Studies program. The founder of Metta Center for Nonviolence, he is also the author of  The Nonviolence Handbook: A Guide to Practical Action and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which won an American Book Award (2002). In 2007, Michael received the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for “Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India,” joining other distinguished recipients such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and peace scholar and activist Johan Galtung.


SVH bio picStephanie N. Van Hook is passionate about the power nonviolence and constructive conflict resolution, especially in its practical applications in early childhood education and unarmed peacekeeping. She has been working with the Metta Center since 2007, starting as our Executive Director in 2010. She hosts the bi-weekly Peace Paradigm Radio show on KWMR. In 2015, she wrote a daily column on Gandhi’s wisdom for our times. She is currently working on projects to share Gandhi with children and is Admin of the Facebook page Montessori-Peace Education. A novice weaver and a very slow knitter, Stephanie is primarily a spiritual aspirant.


skc bio pic 2015Stephanie Knox-Cubbon earned her MA in Peace Education from the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and her BA in Environment and Development from McGill University in Montreal. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger (2003–2005), and she is the Metta Center’s education director. Stephanie is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher, having completed her 200 hours at Kripalu and her 500 hours at the True Nature School of Yoga in Oceanside, CA. She writes a column on applying yogic philosophy for the quarterly publication Yoga Living, and she teaches meditation and yoga at Yoga Oceanside in Oceanside, CA.


KD bio picKimberlyn David is inspired by the power of creative communication. She sees storytelling and listening as healing modalities that bring people closer together while engaging our highest human potential. As the Metta Center’s communications director, she is also Editor of the organization’s biannual print magazine. To focus on staying grounded in compassion, she practices Vipassana meditation, which greatly influences her approach to yoga. Kimberlyn, who lives in Panama, is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with Juliana Trejo in 2011, in Coral Springs, FL.




Yoga retreat location

Mount Madonna Center sits on a gorgeous, 355-acre stretch of redwood forest and meadows.

The Center is located in the Santa Cruz mountains between Watsonville and Gilroy, CA. From the grounds, you can enjoy a spectacular mountaintop view of Monterey Bay. Amenities include hiking trails; volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts; a swimming pond; and a hot tub.


Lodging Types:

  • Rooms are in hotel-style buildings (no phones or TVs in rooms). Some rooms include a private bathroom with shower. Others have access to shared (but private while in use) bathrooms and showers. Beds are twin size.
  • Cabins are located in a forest grove, and include electricity and heat, but not indoor plumbing. There’s a separate bath house with private shower and dressing rooms, and clean, well-ventilated privies are nearby. Beds are twin size.
  • Your own RV or tent: various spots are available for your van, camper, or tent. Some spots have access to electricity, but no other hookups. Showers and restrooms are available in retreat center buildings.


Retreat Pricing

Yoga retreat lodging and food

Because of the intimate nature of our retreat work, space is limited to 24 participants. Don’t delay on registering!

Your yoga retreat hosts are happily volunteering their time. All fees cover retreat expenses and support educational programs at the Metta Center for Nonviolence. Per-person cost for adults* includes tuition, meals/snacks, lodging** (unless commuting), and facilities use.


Cost Per Person:

  • Commuting (incs meals): $285
  • Your RV or tent: $318
  • Dorm (4-7 to a room/cabin): $410
  • Triple (3 to a room): $440
  • Double (2 to a room/cabin): $485
  • Double with Bath: $520
  • Single (1 to a room/cabin): $575
  • Single with Bath: $665

* Teens 13 and older pay the full adult rates. Children who are 2–12 years old and staying with an adult guest will pay discounted lodging rates (there will be no other retreat fees for children).


Children’s retreat lodging:

  • Commuting (incs meals): $68
  • Your RV or tent: $84
  • Dorm (4-7 to a room/cabin): $130
  • Triple (3 to a room): $144
  • Double (2 to a room/cabin): $165
  • Double with Bath: $185
  • Single (1 to a room/cabin): $215
  • Single with Bath: $257


** Please note that housing changes will incur a $20 change fee.


Registration & Payments

Yoga retreat peace sign

To reserve your place, complete the sign-up form and submit your full payment.

We accept credit cards and checks (check payments will be considered registered upon receipt and deposit). Go to the sign-up page via the Register button below.


Become a Peacebuilder:

In addition to the fixed pricing above, we offer a sliding scale fee. You can help us build a culture of peace by paying above the standard price, making this educational retreat available to those who could not otherwise attend. Thank you!


Financial Aid:

To make the retreat as accessible as possible, we offer financial aid options. If you’re interested in applying for financial aid, please email us with your preferred option and the applicable payment to:

  • Sliding Scale: How much can you comfortably pay? We will try to accommodate you. Our decision will be based on our ability to meet our retreat expenses.
  • Installments: We can help you set up monthly payments (up to 4 installments total). Let us know what you can pay upfront, and how much you’d like to cover in your remaining installments.
  • Scholarships: We may have a limited number of scholarships available. If you’d like to attend this yoga retreat, how much can you pay now, to reserve a spot? We will put you on our wait list until we see how much scholarship funding we generate.


A note on refunds/cancellations:

The Metta Center for Nonviolence reserves the right to cancel Person Power Yoga Retreat within 7 days of the retreat date if necessary for some reason. Should we need to cancel, those who paid will receive a full refund.

Those who request to cancel registration at least 45 days before the retreat starts will receive a full refund. Thanks for understanding that we cannot accept refund requests at any point after January 23, 2016.

Register button



× Comments are closed.