The first few months of the new year are all about kicking the bad habits you picked up over the holidays—like bingeing on cookies, daily happy hours and endless screen time. Whatever your guilty pleasure, there’s a wellness center within driving distance of S.F. that will help you step away from the sweets, booze or iPhone and get back to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Whether it’s a daylong intensive, a weekend crash course or a weeklong retreat, you’ll be back to your better self in no time.
If Detoxing Means Road-Tripping Up and Down the Coast, Count Us In
Meditation 101: Spirit Rock
Meditation can be an intimidating thing, but this Marin County retreat eases newbies into the practice with a weekly Monday night session that serves as an intro to mindfulness and stillness. Once you’ve been enlightened, challenge yourself to a rigorous weekend-long retreat of sitting and walking meditation, where silence is golden. The reward: practicing at a tranquil pagoda-style center among rolling green hills as far as the eye can see. Oh, and a more centered self, of course.
Digital Detox: Esalen Institute
With the new bridge in place, Big Sur is back in business…and that means a trip to the idyllic Esalen Institute is in order. Hard-core hippies meet the stressed-out Silicon Valley set for digital detox and spiritual enlightenment. Choose from weekend-long workshops in mindfulness, yoga and energy healing as well as programs that require handing over your smartphone and tech gadgets for an off-the-grid experience. A stay wouldn’t be complete without a soak in one of the natural hot spring tubs perched on bluffs overlooking the Pacific.
Yogi Skills: 1440 Multiversity
Dedicated yogis pursuing a holistic lifestyle come to this retreat nestled deep within the redwood forests of Santa Cruz County. Sign up for Body and Soul, where global yoga guru Janet Stone will teach you techniques of asana, pranayama and meditation that you can integrate into your vinyasa practice. All-inclusive weekends include a stay in one of the campus’s rustic-chic hotel rooms with gas fireplaces, private bathrooms and balconies. Did we mention they have WiFi for after-hours Netflix binge-watching? It’ll be our little secret.
Green Eating: Mendocino Center For Living Well
For all of you looking to go sugar-free in January, may we recommend a jaunt up to this stunning eco-resort at Stanford Inn? Get a crash course in the healthiest foods for the human body in a nutrition seminar, and then apply what you learned in a plant-based cooking class. Round out the weekend with a gardening session, where you’ll find out how to grow all the food you need for an entire year. And don’t miss a mushroom foraging tour through Mendocino’s coastal forests.
Sweat Sessions: The Assembly
The brand-new membership-based social hub, wellness retreat and co-working space right here in the Mission emphasizes a holistic lifestyle with an onsite fitness studio for pre- or post-work exercise, yoga and meditation classes. Sweat out all your demons in the sanctuary of this former Welsh Presbyterian Church dating back to 1905 in signature classes like Stronger, 45 minutes of high-intensity interval training that will kick your butt from head to toe. Then wind down with The Release, a stretching and movement session designed to relax and rejuvenate.