Dr. Katia Sol

cultivating transformative leadership and learning



Fall Women’s Equinox Retreat

MMillerimg_1680We are THRILLED to be coming back together this fall for our second Ecology of Leadership Women’s Retreat. The first one (2017 Spring Equinox) was so fantastic, we can’t wait to come together again!

Gather with us at the beautiful Spirit House in Woodacre in a nurturing, feminine-supportive space. We will connect, share our stories, and rejuvenate our hearts, bodies and souls. We will get creative, we will play, we will dance, we will sing, we will move our bodies in yoga and authentic movement, and we will spend time exploring the local trails and hills. We will reflect as we approach the Fall Equinox and harvest our learnings and growth from the summer!

And we will make LOTS of space for informal hanging out and connection, soaking in the hot tub, going on wanders, personal reflection and rejuvenation, and just plain having fun and BEING together =).

We have a perfect location for this purpose – a very unique property called “Spirit House” – a beautiful home on the top of the rolling hills of Woodacre, just up the road from Spirit Rock. With comfy accommodations, our own private hot tub, a yurt, exquisite gardens, a nearby labyrinth, our own kitchen, dining & common areas, and an amazing view of the whole region, we will be supported and held by this sacred space to do our “wombyn’s” work.

We are opening up the retreat this time for Ecology of Leadership women AND their friends and community members! The retreat will maintain a minimum of 50% of the spaces for EOL alums – but we will open the other half of the spaces so that we can begin to expand the work to others who feel called and that we would love to bring in.

*Please note that while we are calling this a “women’s” retreat – this is inclusive of anyone who is woman-identified and/or female bodied. Our intention is to be fully inclusive of the spectrum of gender identification while honoring the sacred space that becomes possible when we gather with others who identify as women and/or female-bodied.


“The EOL Women’s Retreat was a powerfully nourishing time of self inquiry, sisterhood weaving, a deep drink of Mother Earth, and a showing of what is possible when strong women hold up other strong women. The rising of each of us individually and all of us collectively was palpable and truly moving. It felt in my bones like I had been needing this kind of gathering for a long time and that it is a need to keep quenching with much more frequency – especially in these times of shift and revolution.” -Participant


Logistics & Registration

We will gather before dinner on Friday at 5 pm, and close officially at 3 pm on Sunday. Women are welcome to arrive as early as 3 pm on Friday to settle in and soak/wander.

Scheduled time will be planned together Friday evening, Saturday morning, afternoon, and evening, and Sunday morning and afternoon. Saturday evening will include a creative, celebratory, and/or ritual gathering. A more detailed schedule will be shared closer to the date of the retreat.

Accommodations are included in the price of registration. The first 20 women to register will be assigned to a bed in the house – the rooms generally accommodate 2-4 people per room. After the first 20, a limited number of spaces will be available for camping or sleeping in the yurt.

Food will be a collectively-inspired and sourced collaboration – each woman will join a team of 3-4 women to plan, shop for, and then cook a meal for the group on the weekend. This way we will get to enjoy the blessing of both nourishing and being nourished by one another!

Full Tuition: $495.

Early bird discount (register before August 8th): $395.

People of Color discount: $350

Please note that there are no refunds available after August 25th (2 weeks before the program commences, as per Ecology of Leadership and Commonweal policy).

To register, send Katia an email saying you’re IN and send your payment via PayPal to (please choose the “friends and family” option).

If you are a YES – we suggest you contact Katia NOW –

there are limited spaces (25-30 max) and this will definitely fill up FAST!!

“We’re all under the same sky and walk the same earth;

we’re alive together during the same moment.”

― Maxine Hong Kingston



Gratitude and the beloved Thich Nhat Hahn


“Every morning we have twenty-four brand new hours to live. What a precious gift!” -Thich Nhat Hahn

What would it be like to awaken each morning in gratitude, aware of the precious gift that the new day has to offer us?

I am particularly aware of the potency of this quote by the beloved Vietnamese Zen master and teacher Thich Nhat Hahn, as he himself is facing the threshold between life and death. As he is in the hospital in France, I feel deep gratitude welling up for his life, for all of the teachings he has brought to millions around the world, for his humility and modeling of what it really means to walk in gratitude and mindfulness each and every moment. I am grateful for my friend Tobias who first introduced Thich Nhat Hahn to me in college, and for the awareness I’ve held since that day to “wash the dishes” when I am washing the dishes – for otherwise, how can I really be present for anything else in my life? I am grateful for my friend Melina who served as a nun at Plum Village, and who helped me remember when, as a new mom of two I was feeling angst about not being able to sit in the morning without a toddler climbing on top of me, that practicing mindfulness doesn’t have to mean having a 30 minute sit every morning – it can be as simple as taking a breath with each “mindfulness bell” throughout the day -the cry of the baby, the ring of the phone, the change of the diaper, the traffic light. It’s all an opportunity to practice.

Breathing in, I am grateful. Breathing out – I am grateful.

I am also reminded at this time of the precious opportunity I had to walk with Thay (as his devotees call him), just over a year ago in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in which thousands of us wound slowly through the redwoods, following his careful footsteps. Peace emanating throughout the forest with every step.


Thich Nhat Hahn invites us to “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” I brought this teaching into the hike we took at the Gratitude Retreat I led last year at this time, at Avalon Hot Springs, in the Mayacama Mountains. Fifteen of us practiced walking in Thay’s tradition – letting our feet kiss the earth. With each step we said “Thank you.” Right foot, “Thank.” Left foot, “You.” Right foot, “Thank.” Left foot, “You.” Over and over.

As I walked, I felt my relationship with the earth deepening with each step. I felt the truth of my words amplifying each time I spoke them. With each mindful step, my love for the land underneath my toes grew – the words felt truer and truer. Yes. THANK YOU. Thank you earth. Thank you for holding me up every day. Thank you for all that you do. I love you. Thank you.


In my experience, this is the magic, alchemical power of gratitude. By giving voice to, and being in the practice of noticing what we are grateful for, our gratitude and feelings of joy and appreciation grow. In other words, “What you appreciate appreciates.” Or as illuminated by Thay, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” We can CHOOSE to create more joy, love and happiness in our lives simply by choosing to notice what it is that we are grateful for around us.

So here’s an invitation, to consider remembering Thay’s words each morning – to awaken in gratitude, aware of the precious gift of having 24 new hours to live.

It’s an invitation to consider, how would our lives be different if, rather than rolling over to turn off the alarm and immediately getting pulled into iPhonelandia (as I so often do), we instead always began with thanks? What would it be like o start the day with gratitude for my children that have run in to wake me up (sometimes earlier than I might like!), for my beloved who is laying beside me in bed (or often already up making me coffee =)), for the sun, for the rain, for our bodies, for the shelter over our heads, for food in the refrigerator, for all of the sacred work that is awaiting me in the day, for a whole new day to be alive and in practice, in which I get to experience the precious gift of life. Indeed, what a gift.

And it’s a way to honor the life of this beloved teacher, as he is on the threshold. May we all live our lives in such a state of humble grace and gratitude.

For a deep dive into the practice of gratitude, join me and Siri Peterson for our GRATITUDE RETREAT at Orr Hot Springs, November 21-23. Register HERE.


GRATEFUL: A love song to the world

Love this new video which is a gratitude-inspired love song to the world – might just be my new theme song!!!

A Weekend Immersed in Gratitude ~ My Thanksgiving Retreat (by participant Owen Millado Donnahoo)

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu 

This past weekend, a group of people from all over the Bay Area and one wonderful gal from Calgary, Alberta gathered together in the name of gratitude. We sat in community, reflected on what it means to be grateful and explored the countless possibilities and ways to practice gratitude in our everyday lives. Each and everyone of us came to the circle fully present and open: open to all the sharing, the kindness, the beauty, the grace and the gifts of seeing the present and what is to come with grateful eyes. We lifted our hearts, stretched our hands and bodies through our morning yoga practice and released anything within us that is not cultivating gratitude. Then with feet and knees planted deeply on the ground, we touched our hearts and minds to the open space beneath us and sought in earnest, support for our intentions.

It’s been days and I am still in bliss…I am still soaking in gratitude. I am so thankful to have come to Avalon, this magical place so giving and so healing with its rustic peace and magical spring waters flowing from the earth. I feel so rejuvenated and invigorated. And most of all, I feel my heart open…I have experienced non-stop gratitude from both Avalon and my new friends and have been bathing in joy since.  I wake up with a yearning to live more consciously, more mindfully;  to appreciate everything that I have, and to show appreciation daily. I feel so connected and such an integral part of this expansive universe. I am blessed and there is nothing more that I can ever want. Thanksgiving is this Thursday and I couldn’t ask for a better way to prepare for this wonderful season of love and generosity. And before I end this post, I would like to say that I am so grateful to my children, my parents, my family and friends.  I am grateful to the wonderful children, women, men and families who have allowed me to photograph them. I am grateful for my lines of work, my colleagues, my clients. I am grateful for my talents, my challenges, my body, my mind, my soul. I am grateful for my home and the food on the table. I am grateful for my faith, my community and my country. I am grateful for my joys and my fears, my insecurities and my accomplishments. I am grateful for my health and my life. I am grateful for every day that I get to wake up. I am grateful for you reading my blog. I am grateful for kind words, and honest advise. I am grateful for caring and not so caring people. I am grateful for technology. I am grateful for books. I am grateful for music, and rhythm and songs and words.  I am grateful for everything.

Last but not least, I am truly, truly grateful to Katia Sol for helping me establish a foundation to continue a daily gratitude practice and for teaching me to go deep into thankfulness.  A huge thank you to Salina Espinosa-Setchko for the yoga, the “bed”, the “scaffolding”, and the body tapping.  And to my new friends, I am grateful for your vulnerability, strength and courage.  I cannot wait for our check-ins and learn where our individual journey leads us.  Love to you ALL. Here are a few photos from this weekend and I know that everytime I look at these photos, it will always remind me of the beautiful time we spent together.

By Owen Millado Donnahoo – Vist her website at

Ode to Gratitude

Gratitude is a constant prayer.  Whenever I drop into gratitude, my body relaxes, my mind stills, my heart opens wide, and my spirit remembers its connection with all things.  I enter into the present and into the realm of awe, wonder, and possibility.

Gratitude can be seen as the simple act of offering thanks.  However, in my experience it is more profound than just saying thank you or “thanks” in the ways that we commonly throw these words around in our culture.  It is thankfulness combined with deep reverence.  It is taking a moment to pause and look inwards, to find what it is that we authentically feel thankful for in that very moment.  It is an act of connection, of reaching both in and out to interact with the world.  It is experiencing that thankfulness in our very hearts, spirits, and bones.  It is both extremely simple and deeply profound all at once.

Gratitude practice can be linked directly back to the First Peoples of this land, and what is known as the Thanksgiving Address.  That beautiful Haudenosaunee address offers thanks to every aspect of creation- the birds, the trees, the water, the animals, and on.  It is a reminder to see and be thankful for our relationships to all of the beauty of creation that surrounds us, at all times.

Gratitude is learning to appreciate each and every situation, even when it is challenging or not what we had hoped.  It is finding the good in things, in the world, and in people.  It is reframing. It is approaching the world with a “beginner’s mind” and an attitude of appreciation and learning.  For example, I am really grateful that I got so sick last year, because it gave me an opportunity to rest and reflect that I might not have taken otherwise.  I am really grateful for missing my flights this morning, because without that experience this outpouring of reflections on gratitude might not have come forward and this post would not have been written.

Gratitude has saved my life.  There have been days when it was all I could do to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. Days in which I felt mired in hopelessness and a deep depression.  But gratitude was the fuel that kept me going.  As I trudged through the snow toward work, cold winds freezing the tears running down my face, wanting to do nothing more than to just lay down and give up, I would dig deep and remember- I am grateful for my legs, my powerful, healthy, strong legs.  Legs that are moving me toward where I need to go, even as the rest of me is filled with grief.  I am grateful for the great blessing of being able to walk on these two legs- a blessing that is not available for so many people in this world- for children of polio, the victims of land mines, the paralyzed, the ill.  I am so grateful for my strong, healthy legs.

This mantra, and other similar repeated mantras (for my eyes that can see, my arms that can hold my beautiful children,  my feet which hold me up, and so on) guided me like a beacon through those stormy days.  Sometimes it was not easy to connect to that gratitude, when all felt dark.  But there was always something to be grateful for, even if it is was as simple as my breath.

And now as things have become more easeful, I am still reminded time and time again to continually offer up my gratitude. Everywhere I go, everything I do, every small flower that I pass offers an opportunity to experience profound gratitude.

The thing about gratitude is that the more you offer it, the more you find to be grateful for.  You begin noticing things you are grateful for everywhere.  From gratitude for the laughter of a child to a helpful person on the street to the sun and the moon and the stars, it begins to flow like a river that cannot be stopped.  And that is when you really enter the Mystery- into a state of “wonder and amazement” that is fully present to the miracle of this great Creation.

Gratitude is revolutionary. It is evolutionary. It is a complete reframing of the world. It’s like putting on a whole new set of glasses.  It is seeing the world through the eyes of beauty, wonder and appreciation. It is an act of radical relationship- of giving love and appreciation and the energy of creation BACK to the world. It’s our very best way of saying THANK YOU to one another, the earth, and to GOD.

Anyone can practice gratitude. I have introduced gratitude circles in academic halls where rationality is the highest value and within minutes I have experienced those same academics drop into radiant joy as they connect with their own hearts and with one another.  I practice it with my children, and we go round and round and round sometimes for half an hour naming all of the things we are each thankful for.  I use it in my friendships, my relationships, my work, and my prayers.

Yes, gratitude is a prayer, and the more I remember to practice it, the happier I am and the more grateful I feel to be alive.

One final thing about gratitude…it is possible to offer your gratitude not only for the things you might currently see and have and experience in the world, but ALSO for the things yet to come that you long for in your heart. The key to this practice is to offer gratitude for those things as if they really already ARE.  To believe and have faith, that yes they are done.  Now, this does not mean that you are attached to the outcome- because, after all, if something different comes to pass, surely you’ll find gratitude for that too. But just by offering the gratitude for the longings you hold in your heart, it acts like a prayer-  you attract those things and create stronger possibilities for their manifestation.

What are YOU grateful for today??


Join Katia Sol, PhD for her upcoming Gratitude Retreat at Avalon Hot Springs, November 22-24, 2013! Gratitude practice, yoga, hot springs, raw chocolate, nature connection, and delicious food prepared by an onsite therapeutic chef.  For more information and to register,  visit

My Upcoming Gratitude Retreat at Avalon Hot Springs!



For those who are looking for a way to meaningfully celebrate Thanksgiving this year – join us for SolYoga’s first Gratitude retreat November 22-24, 2013!

It’s that time of the year – time to give thanks for all of the abundance and gifts that have been harvested in 2013. And what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than spending a whole weekend focusing on gratitude while surrounded by natural beauty and soaking in the healing pools of Avalon Springs!

Led by Katia Sol, this weekend retreat will immerse you in the uplifting and transformative practice of gratitude. You will be guided in developing a daily gratitude practice, through time in circle, alone, and on the land. We will reflect on what we are grateful for from 2013, in preparation for the coming Solstice and New Year. The retreat also includes a daily gratitude-themed yoga class, a hike in the beautiful Mayacama Mountains, delicious meals prepared by the onsite therapeutic chef, and plenty of time for reflection and soaking in Avalon’s healing mineral hot pools.

california yoga retreat november

The healing waters are the heart of the Avalon Springs experience. The mineral hot springs of Avalon have been honored for centuries for promoting harmony and wellness. Relax and unwind in the Magnesium-rich Medicine Spring Water. Experience the skin-softening effects of the Boron-rich Mother Spring. Melt away tensions while feeling the strengthening effects of the Iron-rich Dragon Spring. And stay hydrated with your choice of seven different mineral drinking springs, flowing fresh and clean straight from the earth.

You will return home from this retreat rejuvenated and with the foundation needed to continue a daily gratitude practice that can transform your life. For,

“The moment you shift from a mindstate of negativity or judgment to one of appreciation, there are immediate effects at many levels of your being: Brain function becomes more balanced, harmonized, and supple; your heart begins to pump in a much more coherent and harmonious rhythm; and biochemical changes trigger a host of healthful responses throughout your body. Especially in difficult times, remembering to return to gratitude is a radical life-affirming act that builds your capacity for resilience.” (M. & J. Levy)


Avalon has what we think is the perfect mix between rustic living, cozy comfort and spa goodness. The rooms are old and are still being refurbished so aren’t super fancy, but are comfortable and cozy. Most of the rooms have a sink for washing but use a shared bathroom by the pools or in the lodge like the original hot springs was set up. The food and the waters are top notch and are as healing and tasteful than any resort I’ve been to, if not more so. The all around vibe is familial and you’ll feel like you’re diving into yourself while being supported by the land, the waters, the food, the atmosphere and most of all the people. If you’re looking for a sterile 5 star $400/night hotel, this isn’t for you!

Relax and unwind in the Magnesium-rich Medicine Spring Water.  Experience the skin-softening effects of the Boron-rich Mother Spring.  Melt away tensions while feeling the strengthening effects of the Iron-rich Dragon Spring. And stay hydrated with your choice of seven different mineral drinking springs, flowing fresh and clean straight from the earth.

The healing waters are the heart of the Avalon Springs experience.  The mineral hot springs of Avalon have been honored for centuries for promoting harmony and wellness.

In addition to the soaking springs, Avalon boasts a variety of special mineral drinking waters which can be enjoyed straight from their place of emergence in the rock. One drinking spring is high in Lithium – a mood elevator commonly used to treat Bipolar Disorder. Other springs include a bubbly iron soda drinking spring, a Magnesium-rich “laxative” spring historically named “Dynamite Spring” and Bohemia Spring, which was considered a hang-over tonic to cure the effects of over-indulgence!

Avalon is set up much like the old Weber Hot Springs from the 40′s upon which Avalon sits, with a main lodge, a mini bath house and cottages set back on the hill. We offer shared double rooms or single rooms. The bathrooms are located in the bathhouse and the main lodge although some room shave a sink for washing in them.

practicing gratitude


The kitchen at Avalon Springs will draw ingredients straight from the garden, offering an ample buffet-style meal plan with large meals twice daily (lunch and dinner) and a juice and snack bar available for breakfast and between-meals needs.
Entrees for meals at Avalon will include some organic local meats, fish, and poultry as well as ample fresh vegetarian fare sourced from local farms and Avalon’s own gardens. Raw food delights will also be showcased on occasion to feature the potency and taste of the freshest produce available.

With every meal introducing healing foods preparation including raw food delicacies, superfood juices, and healing teas, dining at Avalon will be a healing experience. Unlike many healing resorts, Avalon Springs will have no dogmatic restrictions on diet, allowing the guests the freedom to explore options and choose their own ways to nourish themselves naturally, with everything from raw chocolates to hearty meats and local wines.

weekend retreat california


~Gratitude Practices and Teachings with Katia Sol
~2 yoga classes with Salina Espinosa-Setchko
~Raw Chocolate Samples by Mia Cara Raw Chocolates
~Two Dinners, Two Brunches and two light breakfasts by our fantastic chef
~Accommodation of your choosing
~Use of Hot Springs and Facilities


Towels, Robes, linens/bedding, wifi in the main lodge


We use a trust based payment structure. This means we’ll give you 3 payment options based on what you’re able to afford due to your current financial situation. We’re putting our trust in you that you’ll choose the right payment. Those of you that choose to pay the regular price of Option 3 are making it possible for us to offer a reduced price for those that are “just gettin’ by”, so we (and they) thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

How to pay:
Pay in full now (includes $150 non-refundable deposit)
*If you can’t pay in full now – please contact us to work out a payment plan

Ways to pay:
1. Credit card via Paypal (you don’t need an account)
2. Pay by check  (no processing fee) *contact for details.

Please see our reservation and cancellation policies HERE
Buy reserving your space you are agreeing to the stated policies in our Agreement.



Option 1 – Biggest discount –  Student/Artist Rate:
Although I live the life of a student/artist/yoga teacher/etc., what I really need right now in my life is this yoga retreat

Shared – $450/person – (Shared twin,or Couple in a private room)
Private – $565/person – (Private room for 1 person)
*we can pair you up if you are coming solo

Option 2 – Slight discount – Doin Alright/Employed:
I’m doing alright financially, and although I’m not scraping by, this is still a pretty big purchase for me.

Shared – $499/person – (Shared twin,or Couple in a private room)
Private – $615/person – (Private room for 1 person)
*we can pair you up if you are coming solo

Option 3 – Full Price –  I’m doing well right now
I’m doing pretty well for myself now and can afford to pay the full price so that others who aren’t as fortunate can afford a yoga retreat

Shared – $549/person – (Shared twin,or Couple in a private room)
Private – $665/person – (Private room for 1 person)
*we can pair you up if you are coming solo



The Ecology of Transformation – A Presentation on April 25, 2013 at the California Institute of Integral Studies

EcoEvolution Radio Show with Michael Gosney

Listen in to this just posted podcast with James Stark and myself, hosted by Michael Gosney of EcoEvolution Radio!!!!

Intergenerational, Intercultural Dialogue Gathering at the Regenerative Design Institute

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