With Irene Lyon and Elia Mrak

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada I August 4-6




More and more research is telling us that to have a healthy brain and life we MUST put the focus on our body!

This 3-day retreat will be a blend of Feldenkraisian awareness through movement lessons, dance, and lively discussion.

Each day will be rich and full of opportunity to get active and moving in a creative way and to quietly investigate and explore your body and mind with the support of myself and my expert co-teacher, Elia Mrak.

Questions, discussions and full participation of ideas and sharings will be an integral part of these three days.


♦  Gravity, weightlessness and navigating challenges with curiosity via movement.

♦ Finding strength via the skeleton for effortless movement.

♦ Emotions & expressions via movement and following the impulses.


Irene Lyon is a nervous system specialist and therapeutic coach who helps everyone — from the mom next door to the next big thought leaders — transform their bodies, businesses, relationships and lives through regulating their nervous systems. She helps people release their deepest traumas from their nervous systems, allowing them to finally heal from chronic mental, physical, and emotional conditions they’ve tried everything to fix. Irene is certified in the Feldenkrais Method and Somatic Experiencing, and has a master’s degree in research in the fields of biomedical and health science. She also has experience speaking and teaching, and has taught at conferences like Every Women in The World Conference, The Feldenkrais Guild of North America Annual Conference, Bill Baren’s Big Shift Retreat for conscious business owners and she is frequently on telesummits and podcasts sharing her love and knowledge for all things healing via the nervous system. She maintains a busy private practice virtually with clients worldwide and in-person in Vancouver, BC.

Elia Mrak has performed, taught, and directed dance and movement throughout the last decade of working in Europe, Central/South America, and the United States. He includes in his list of masters: David Zambrano (BELGIUM), Park Young-Cool (KOREA) and Break-dancer FeverOne (USA/Rocksteady).  His practice fuses Breakdancing, Qigong, and dramaturgy of the theater. After graduating from Pomona College in 2006-07, he was awarded the Watson Fellowship, which began his career performing, creating and teaching in Europe. In 2010, he was the only American to be invited by Zambrano to participate in his intensive workshop “50 Days in Costa Rica.” This began his career performing, creating, and teaching in Latin America. Beginning in 2010, he began leading workshops for movement professionals and non-professionals at Club ZUM in Seattle, a boutique movement gym. Since 2012, Elia has collaborated with Irene Lyon, leading their own intensive workshops that honor the nervous system and rhythm as the epicenter of a healthy, happy, and intelligent body. Their workshops tell an anthropological story of human evolution for contemporary times. Elia blends his artistic work with his collegiate sports background and somatic knowledge to create unique workshops accessible for all.

Check out what past participants had to say about one of our workshops, “Get Down And Back Up Again”. We’ll be doing things that look a lot like this…. and then some! Come PLAY with us!

ps – people from this workshop didn’t want to go home! (and neither did we)



FLOW. Ease, effortlessness and fluidity.

Discover how to move and groove your body with greater resiliency (don’t worry, no contortionist yoga poses or fancy dance moves required!).


FUNCTION. Skillful, savvy and solid.

You’ll discover the secrets of functional skeletal alignment that has nothing to do with core strength and endless boring strengthening exercises. You’ll learn how to tap into your organic movement intelligence so you can create your own movement routines that’ll help you stay strong and supple without any fancy equipment, just you and your body.


FUN. Smiles, belly laughs and play.

Learning and playing in groups is medicine, yet as adults we rarely find time for this. Experience the joy of connection with others who share a similar passion for health, healing and happiness.


FREEDOM! Move You. Sense You. Be You.

Develop the self-knowledge to break through old habits and set a new tone for living life that is free from inhibition and toxic limiting beliefs.  


  • The Aspiring Mind-Body Jedi Who Wants To Harness Their Deepest Powers For Healing and Happiness.

  • The Most Devoted Scholar in the Healing Arts Who Knows Body Intelligence Is The Way Forward in Health and Healing

  • The “Never-Stop-Learning-and-Keep-Growing” Geek Who Simply Wants The Best For Their Body, Mind and Soul.


This event will be highly movement-based.

We won’t be doing gymnastics and judo rolls, and you certainly do not need not be an athlete or a dancer. But I do ask that you have the capacity to get down onto the floor without needing any aid from a wall, or a chair, or cane. You can be shaky and off balance, that’s NOT a problem, we’ll work on that! But I want to ensure you have enough functional and aerobic capacity to get onto the floor solo, and return back to standing solo.



The Old Barn Community Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

6308 Thunderbird Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

See the location on a map here

This is a stunning location away from the hustle and bustle of the city but close enough that you can head into downtown Vancouver in the evenings for meals and sightseeing.

The University of British Columbia is a massive campus and is a city in itself; there are accommodations for non-students on campus, grocery stores, restaurants and lots of walking trails in the woods as well as paths to the ocean. We picked this spot strategically to help create a space to retreat, learn, make new friends and have as a home base if you should choose to stay and be a tourist for a few extra days.

See The FAQ Section for accommodation suggestions and what Vancouver and Beautiful British Columbia has to offer in the summer months.



Due to the nature of our work together, Elia and I curate our teaching and progressions based on the individuals in attendance and the group dynamics, but this will give you an idea about how the day will flow.

If you’re coming in from out of town, we highly recommend giving yourself ample time to arrive, settle in, and check out the beauty that is Vancouver, British Columbia.

We strongly recommend you arrive no later than early afternoon Thursday August 4th so you can attend our registration, orientation and warm-up segment. In all our years holding workshops and events we’ve found that there’s nothing worse than rushing in to a workshop and rushing out without having any time to land, experience and integrate.

We also recommend taking one full day, Sunday May 6th, off from travel and anything strenuous in mental or physical energy. When you give yourself the time for added integration you’ll deepen your learning experience in so many ways.

Thursday August 4 

2:00 PM – 2:30PM: Registration

2:30 PM – 3:30PM: Orientation Exercises + Movement Warm-Up


Friday August 5 & Saturday August 6

9:30 AM – 10 AM: Arrive + Settle

10:00 AM – 12:30 Morning Segment

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch (on your own)

2:00 PM – 2:15 PM Arrive + Settle

2:15 PM – 4:30 PM Afternoon Segment

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Conversations + Q&A






: All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

: 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST) is NOT included in this price and will be added at checkout.


For Class:

A water bottle.
Pen and paper/notebook/journal.
Camera/phone to take pictures.


Because we’ll be doing a blend of movement (low and medium intensity), subtle and quiet self-awareness floor work and good ‘ol chatting and Q&A, I recommend dressing in layers for our time in class. Comfortable clothing that you can move in that isn’t too baggy and isn’t too tight.

(In my opinion, good old cotton is the best fabric for this work. Tight stretchy yoga gear limits your pelvic movement, ironically).

I suggest bringing socks in case your feet get cold during our quieter exploration.

Summer in Vancouver has been getting progressively warmer during the months of June-August, so you’ll definitely want summer attire (shorts, tank tops/t-shirts/sandals) but also a warm sweater, pants and jacket in case of rain, or for the evenings.


Your enthusiasm and desire to learn, laugh and love movement.


If you are arriving from out of town, you’ll want to fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR is the airport code.)


You are responsible for your own meals and accommodations and travel arrangements.

On Campus Accommodation

There are three main accomodation spots for non-UBC students and you can find them all on this site: http://vancouver.housing.ubc.ca/other-housing/visitor-campus-housing/
(FYI: Triumph House is the closest to our venue, The Old Barn Community Center. I’d suggest securing accommodation sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.)

Off Campus Accommodation

There are many hotels in the greater Vancouver area which are only a Google search away.

Or give Airbnb or VRBO a try for affordable and homier accommodations:


Over the past few years our summers have become hotter and drier (of course, nothing like Southern USA or Mexico or Australia). But for us, we’ve been having full summers with hot days and evenings that are cooler.

Check the internet for accurate temperatures.


The closest UBC parkade from The Old Barn Community centre is a 4-minute walk.



From YVR: http://www.yvr.ca/en/getting-to-from-yvr/taxis.aspx


Our primary light rail transportation system in Vancouver is called Skytrain. It can get you to major areas of the city and suburbs. And it connect from Vancouver International Airport to central Vancouver and downtown. It does not go to the University of British Columbia.






The best suggestion for sightseeing in Vancouver is to Google it, and see what pulls your attention and interest. We have a few art galleries, one of the main ones is on campus at UBC, The Museum of Anthropology: http://moa.ubc.ca/

Local Beaches: Kitsilano Beach, English Bay, Spanish Banks, Wreck Beach (notice: Wreck beach is a clothing optional beach.)

Best Views of Vancouver CityScape:

Grouse Mountain: You take a gondola to a local ski area. Bar and restaurant and walking trails are up on top.
If you have a car, you can drive up to Cypress Mountain and sit at the look-out for a city view.

Foodie Districts:

Vancouver’s food scene is definitely on the up and up.
Asian cuisine is stellar here, as is the our classic West coast fare (seafood and fish), not to mention good old Irish/English comfort food in the many pubs.

I’ll have some of my favourite local restaurants listed at the event.


Parks are everywhere, especially on the North Shore which is North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

Lynn Headwaters is my favourite park to walk and hike in. Busy on the weekends, but worth it.

For the avid hikers, Grouse Mountain is famous for its steep “Ground Grind” hike. Only for those with fairly medium to expert fitness levels.
The trails near UBC in Pacific Spirit Regional Park are vast and easy with gentle inclines.

Deep Cove is lovely spot to visit for kayak rentals and to experience a cozy little seaside village.

Ambleside is a trendier area with a seawall that looks to the South and towards Vancouver. Dundarave is even quieter, more retirement energy :).

Stanley park is Vancouver’s version of Central Park. There’s a walking path that circles the park, and trails within the park.

Mountain and Alpine Viewing:

Head to Whistler for a day or overnight excursion and take the Whistler gondola up the ski hill into the high alpine. At this time of year you’ll just get the last blooms of the alpine flowers!!!

You can hike, or simply sightsee on top and have a beer and a burger, or both. 🙂

Ocean and Island Life:

Vancouver Island is a 90-minute ferry ride away from the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen (about 45 minutes outside of Vancouver.) From there you can sightsee in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia (it’s very British over there), or drive up island to Long Beach and Tofino (where the surfers hang out).

Saltspring Island (you must access it via Vancouver Island) is known for its artisanal goods, cheese especially, and it the quintessential island/hippie feel.

The Sunshine Coast is another popular destination, which is technically mainland BC., but it has the small town, island feel. You need to take a ferry to access this part of the mainland.

So many more!!

Have more time to stay and explore?

:: The Okanagan is British Columbia’s Wine Country. If you’re a wine lover, you can spend a few days visiting wineries and tasting all the delicious fruits and juices grown in this desert hot climate.

:: Go even further into British Columbia and make your way into the Kootenay region of BC. (my personal favourite) where you’ll find stunning lakes and mountains.

:: Go even further and you’ll reach the Rockies (bordering the province of Alberta)!

OK, there’s just SOME ideas that might wet your appetite for visiting BC in August.


I’ll be providing light (finger food) snacks.

I know everyone has different preferences when it comes to their coffee and espresso needs, so you’ll be responsible for your morning coffee. There’s a quality local cafe below the room we’ll be in that has all the options: http://www.yelp.ca/biz/bean-around-the-world-ubc-vancouver
(This cafe also has treats and light deli-style meals.)