Welcome to Villa Cugnanello in Tuscany

Shin Soma yoga, intuitive dance & bodywork
June 8-13, 2019

Our Third Tuscan Sun Retreat: 2012-2015 & 2019

2019 Workshop is led by Kay Nelson & Ruth Way, Certified Eastwest Teachers and Associates.

Eastwest is an ISMETA Approved School and also certifies students in Yoga though Yoga Alliance.


Full of unspoiled beauty & pure nature, Cugnanello country estate is in the centre of Tuscany in Italy. The historic estate lies nestled amidst vineyards, surrounded by olive groves and idyllic hills.

Cugnanello offers guests tasteful comfort and relaxation.
The villa is 800 years old and radiates the typical flair of Tuscany

Villa Cugnanello Video

Learn Somatic Methods, Yoga, and Shin Soma Bodywork with Kay and Ruth, your workshop guides and teachers.

Earn Credit to become certified through Shin Somatics® and ISMETA.
Students who earn seven levels of credit are eligible for registration through ISMETA

Become certified in Shin Somatics® Land to Water Yoga with five levels of study.

Become certifed in yoga through Yoga Alliance and Eastwest Institute, Yoga 200 and 500 available.

General Participation Option. Be a part of the retreat for personal development and not certification. Participate in yoga only and other activities on request.

Workshop Retreat includes 5 nights at the villa, workshop classes, all meals, excursion to Siena, shuttle service.

Prices are in US dollars.
$1495 Certification Students
$1245 General Participation
$1145 Eastwest Graduates


Schedule of deposits
$220 nonrefundable deposit of by Aug 1, 2018.
Deposit will reserve your place. Space is limited.

Second deposit of $450 by September 7, 2018.

Final deposit of balance due by April 1, 2019.


Register and make deposits on registration page of this website: registrations.php Pay by Paypal or credit card on the link provided.

Space is limited. Prices are based on double occupancy. Register in full by March 20 for early bird and receive a discount of $45 on full price.

Refund policy: $220 deposit to hold your place is non-refundable. Return of 1/2 of 2nd deposit with cancellation before January 31, 2019. No refund of 2nd deposit after January 31, 20019. Cancellation after final deposit and before May 1, return of 1/2 the value of the final deposit. No refunds after May 1, 2019. Non-refundable fees retained by Eastwest can be applied to a future workshop at 1/2 value.

Email kay nelson with your intent to attend, kay.nelson@q.com. Send also a one paragraph short statement of your interest in the workshop retreat, and include a three line bio. Kay researched our retreat and has travel tips for those making the first deposit.

Register through Pay Pal on the Registration page of the Eastwest website, or mail to the address given there. Email, eastwest@q.com with any questions about your registration.

Requests for original flyer on this retreat and more information: Email: Kay.nelson@q.com

Video of Shin Soma in Italy  

See some previous retreats below

Chania on Crete, harbor view

Plan for Chania, Crete, June 11-17, 2014.

Eastwest Somatics Mythos Retreat

Program for community participation with somatics

and yoga certification credit as an option.

Myths to Live and Dance by.
Somatics and Butoh with Sondra Fraleigh

Mythos refers to a set of attitudes, or stories that guide our lives--ruminating mostly below awareness. Bringing to light the myths we live by is important in admitting fully our hidden light and shadows. We can heal in the light of excavation, directly through the conscious body, through dance and gentle movement consciously directed, and through the art of touch.

Greece is the land of mythology, art and architecture. We get the concept of "the golden mean," from the symmetrical beauty of Greek temples and the balanced proportion of the human form represented in Greek sculptures. "The smaller is the the larger what the larger is to the whole" is the formula for the golden mean, which guided ideals of beauty from the time of Classical Greece until around the 18th century when new ideas about beauty began to form - that beauty lies in expression and in the eye of the beholder. With the advent of Butoh in the middle of the 20th century, beauty becomes even more complex. This ugly-beautiful way of dancing had its genesis in postmodern Japanese theater arts. Butoh means "ancient dance"-- the dance that is already always happening.

What is the beauty you most fear? That of stumbling, failing, or of getting old and ugly? How do we break though the skin of the myth of ugliness? I believe we do this by not denying life's shadows. The great butohist Ohno Kazuo put it this way: "We cannot push away the messiness of life." I think he was pointing to a reality that sees beauty in acceptance and in akwardness. Our workshop will explore beautiful ugliness in butoh and in somatic processes, stepping away from expectations of perfection while cultivating numinous neutrality.

Sondra Fraleigh

Our group has reservations at the friendly and elegant Halepa Hotel in Chania (pronounced Hannia). We will gather the first evening on June 11 for a welcome party on the rooftop overlooking Chania and its aqua ocean. Please have a look at Halepa Hotel with the link below. It is near our workshop studio, also situated on the ocean with a small theater where our informal concert presentation will take place at the end of the workshop. Those wishing to perform should send a proposal to eastwest@q.com. The workshop itself will contribute some group improvisations to the performance, for those who wish to participate. There is always the option to be an audience in our somatic approach to performance.

Studio in Chania where our workshop will be held

Halepa Hotel

June 11-17, 2014 (arrival on the 11th, departure on the 17th)

What if you could learn through travel while doing the things you love?

"I do. As a wanderer, I have experienced ethics and aesthetics improvisationally. Travel has become a spiritual encounter with myself through the minds and hearts of others, and Greece offers me the riches of the ages, especially through its art, the beauty of its history and landscapes. I find Crete washed and soft, welcoming and warm. The deep religion of Greece emerges prehistorically through Gaia the earth mother and the tiny snake goddess of Crete, the oldest well-preserved icon we have of a female diety. Much was lost of respect for the feminie when the thunder hurling invaders with their warring Gods from the North swept through Greece. But luckily much was preserved of prehistory on the island of Crete. Yes, this is a country infused with goddess energy, and thus the power of the earthy root chakra. Crete enlivens my legs and submerges my psyche in its wine dark seas. In the early morning and late evening, the colors glow. I sink into them and meditate. Like a snake, I shed my outer skin, spiraling and renewing in a serpentine.

I first traveled to Greece and Crete in 1965 after a year of study with Mary Wigman in Germany. I drove my new Volks Wagon through much of Greece, and took the ill-fated overnight barge (ferry) from Athens to Crete. It sank to the bottom of the ocean a week later. (Ahh, lucky me.) Don't worry, this barge no longer operates. In any case, take a ship or fly. In my travels, I gathered post cards to remind me of the rich metaphysical artifacts of Greece--and the cradle of Western civilation. I filled a large suitcase, and eventually used the cards in teaching the architectural backgrounds of dance history." --Sondra Fraleigh


Eastwest just completed its Italy workshop in 2012. Information below.

Eastwest Somatics in St. George Utah sponsors the Tuscan Sun Yoga Retreat in Italy May 28-June 3, 2012. Sondra Fraleigh with the assistance of Catherine Schaeffer will teach this rejuvenation retreat at Ebbio, an authentic antique farmhouse in the hills of Tuscany. The restored house, an 800 year old classic Tuscany farmhouse includes a beautiful yoga and dance studio. Tuition includes daily instruction, group process, evening meditations, lodging for six nights, all meals, a day trip to Siena, and a field trip to the coast (H20 day). Participants responsible for one dinner out in Siena. The photographs show some indoor and outdoor views of Ebbio retreat center located in the Tuscan hills surrounding Siena.

Shin Somatics® Certification Credit, full day program, $1498. Non-Certification Option, half day program $1298.

Space is limited. Prices are based on double/triple occupancy. Deposit of $500 by March 18 will reserve your place. Earlier deposits welcome. Deposit refund of 1/2 by April 12. Register in full by April 12 and receive a discount of $48. See Registration Page for full details on Registration.

In the Retreat

  • Earn one full level of certification credit in Shin Somatics®
  • Earn one full level of certification credit in Land to Water Yoga
  • Earn credit toward certification with Yoga Alliance
  • Create balance in body, mind, and spirit.
  • Experience a coherent life narrative in working with the chakras.
  • Learn how to heal through self-awareness.
  • Find pleasure in movement and intrinsic dance.
  • Learn how to listen through the body.
  • Experience applied anatomy in yoga and bodywork.
  • Learn how to acknowledge and relieve pain.
  • Experience the healing power of laughter.
  • Learn rehabilitative movements.
  • Experience healing through breath.
  • Gain insight in supportive group process.
  • Practice non-judgement in communication.
  • Gain peace of mind through meditation.
  • Learn how meditation can resonate in movement and life.

In the video below, see images of the 2010 Tuscan Sun Retreat in collage, and hear Sondra Fraleigh's original music.


Dance Performance Participants in the retreat have the opportunity to perform in an evening event. To propose a performance, email eastwest@q.com. Describe your proposed performance in a one paragraph abstract. We will also evolve a Metamorphic Dance for the environment during the workshop for all who wish to participate.

Enjoy the Colors, History, Food and Wine of Tuscany Ebbio, our retreat center in Tuscany, is a magical place surrounded by an evergreen forest, nestled in the heart of an old volcano that was sacred to the Etruscans. Located in the breathtaking countryside of Tuscany, Italy, it is only 42 kms from Florence, 11 kms from Siena, 9 kms from Castellina in Chianti, and 1km from Monteriggioni, a walled city and medieval jewel.

In Ebbio, you will find spectacular scenery and relaxation, a blend of history and beauty that makes Tuscany unique. Ebbio's rustic yet comfortable accommodations set it apart from other Tuscan villas, as an 800 year old classic farmhouse converted into a stylish yoga retreat. The ambience of Ebbio is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Looking out one of the many windows of the different accommodations in Ebbio, you will be captivated by the undulating hills swept with thriving vineyards, olive trees and enchanted forests. The amazing part is that Ebbio is still a working Tuscan Farm. A nearby annual harvest of grapes foregrounds the chianti wine that Tuscany is so well known for.

Remembering the old country ways of living, you can still discover the Tuscan feeling. Silence, earthy colors and fragrances abound. The food is vegetarian and mostly organic. On free time, guests can hike, enjoy the farm animals, or simply soak in an old wine barrel transformed into a unique floating pool. Meditation in nature is also a way to experience this abundant landscape.

In the photographs above, see religious history, art, and the landscape through Sondra Fraleigh's camera, Sondra and Kay enjoying the ambiance of Siena.

Arrival and Departure: Arrive at Florence airport or Siena train station. Airport and train transfers to Ebbio can be arranged when you register. Airport transfer 40 Euros; train transfer 10 Euros. Arrival day for the retreat is the afternoon of the 28th. First session begins at 6PM, after dinner at Ebbio. The last day of the retreat is June 2, with departure on June 3, after breakfast.

How to Register for Workshops:

Send a brief, one page vita and one paragraph statement of your personal goals for the program of study to Eastwest@q.com.

Shin Somatics® Certification Credit, full day program $1498

Non-Certification Option, half day program $1298.

Space is limited. Prices are based on double/triple occupancy. Deposit of $500 by March 18 will reserve your place. Deposit refund of 1/2 by April 12. Register in full by April 12 and receive a discount of $48. See Registration Page for full details on Registration.

Retreats & Home Stay priced separately

Home  |   About Sondra  |   Associates  |   What is SMT?  |   Techniques  |   Program  |   Certification  |   Feldenkrais
Schedule  |   Workshops & Retreats  |   ESN Conferences  |   Registrations  |   Resources  |   Gallery  |   Contact
Books & Publications  |   Testimonials  |   Links  |   Walk On Air Lessons
© Copyright 2018 EastWest Somatics. All rights reserved.