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We will be offering a BIPOC course again in March of 2024

A 4-Day In-Person Training in Oakland, CA 

September 7 - 10, 2023

Create a centered presence that embodies authenticity, integrity, accountability, and confidence.

Transform your capacity for presence, discernment, and choice — in every part of your life.

What do you long for, for yourself, your loved ones, your community?

What matters most to you? What future do you envision?

What are you doing each day to move closer to that future?

Join Strozzi Institute for a 4-day, in-person course held specifically for those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) by a team of Strozzi Institute BIPOC teachers — to deepen into these questions, and their embodied answers.

True embodiment happens when your actions consistently reflect your values and your commitment, especially under pressure…

When you build your capacity to remain  embodied under pressure, you expand your possibilities for aligned action, connection, and purpose.

We’re here to help you align your vision of who you want to be with daily practices to actually live your values and vision every day.

This in-person program offers you the core practices of Embodied Transformation. You’ll deepen your embodiment of declarations, and learn practices to align your actions with what you most care about.

You’ll discover what truly matters to you as you learn to hold, in new ways,  how you’ve been shaped — and what it is you want to open to and invite in.

Through somatic opening processes practices, readings, reflections, and more; new options will emerge — shifting you from reaction to presence, discernment, and choice.

You’ll learn foundational embodied skills like centered request and setting boundaries, mutual connection, and rethinking conflict as a generative part of life — as you deepen trust and authenticity. 

At the end of these four days, you’ll walk away with a holistic plan, a declaration for your life based on what you long for most — the conditions of satisfaction that must be met to live authentically.

Your declaration worksheet will help you continue making it happen every day, and you’ll understand exactly how to continue measuring your progress…

Six months to a year from now, you will have transformed.

This unique 4-day event is especially
for you if you’re:

  • A coach or consultant who sees life as it is and as it could be — and feels called to bridge the gap for your clients
  • A social entrepreneur, nonprofit professional, organizer, or civic leader who’s striving to bring out the greatness in those you serve
  • A healer, educator, parent, or other caretaker who needs to stay centered as you support others
  • A mission-driven business leader and high performer seeking greater potency and impact
  • Growth-minded and in transition — and ready for more clarity, focus, and alignment in your life and work


We know that profound transformation happens in rooms with bodies of all shapes, abilities, backgrounds, and races. We also recognize the healing potential made possible when we feel safer and more able to trust and to open. 

As we work to embody racial equity at SI, we have committed to supporting powerful transformation and leadership work for our BIPOC students both within spaces created specifically for BIPOC healing and in spaces that include white-bodied participants. 

Our teaching team for this course is made up of three teachers who identify as Black and one who identifies as South Asian. Together, they bring their many years of practice and training in Strozzi Somatics and a deep commitment to equity.

The content, structure, and agenda of this course is the same as all of our Embodied Transformation courses. The pace, examples, and relevance will be set by the experiences of the BIPOC teachers and participants in the room.

Join us and deepen into a somatic sensibility as you discover the skills and practices to continue on toward your most powerful visions and deepest values, every single day.

During this 4-day in-person event, you’ll:

  • Discover the potential of your own somatic awareness, somatic practices, and somatic opening are and how they reside within a social context, land and Spirit

  • Understand how you have been shaped by personal, community, and social experiences and how to work with this shaping

  • Align your practices with the embodied skills you need to be and act from your vision and declaration

  • Learn individual and collective practices that deepen your capacity to be centered under pressure,  stay in connection, navigate conflict and increase trust 

  • Explore how to more effectively coordinate with others toward your goals

  • Learn centered boundaries, requests, and the body-based ability to navigate complexity

  • Discover how to give and receive somatic assessments that deepen relationship and uplift what you and others care about

  • Benefit from a somatic sensibility in your life and work

  • And more…

What You’ll Discover During This Life-Changing
4-Day In-Person Event

You’ll create a declaration, or statement of vision, toward the future you want as you align your vision with your daily actions.

Each training session features in-depth teaching, guided exercises, interactive training, and practices — including with partners — you can apply right away.

The Strozzi Institute’s 45-year old somatic methodology combines elements of mindfulness, action-oriented communication, martial arts, bodywork, and neuroscience to produce sustainable change…

Graduates of this transformative course embody the virtues of authenticity, integrity, accountability, confidence, and a centered presence.

Through embodiment, you become your powerful vision.


Four Days of Live, In-Person Wisdom Teachings, Trainings & Practices

You’ll receive your training at
The Grove Building Conference Center
1727 MLK Jr Way, Oakland, CA

September 7 — 10, 2023

These intimate, immersive training sessions are held: 

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday – Saturday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday

To give yourself enough time to arrive, check-in and ground, plan on arriving no later than 8:30 a.m. each morning for a 9:00 a.m. start. For the final day, we suggest that you be generous with yourself as you say good-bye and plan to exit by 5:00 p.m.



Day 1

The Body is the Domain for Learning

On this opening day, you’ll delve into the body as the domain of action, mood, coordination, learning, and dignity…
As you meet your fellow participants (and better understand yourself) you’ll redefine somatics, including the change in Self that comes from a profound change in body and practices.
You’ll set your own declaration as you set specific conditions for your investment in yourself over these four days. You’ll learn how to embody your commitment to galvanize others, and yourself…
As you’ll discover, Self is your fundamental source of Power.

In this opening session, you’ll:

  • Reflect on and share your declaration

  • Discover how the Self is indistinguishable from the body

  • Learn to be present with others, open to possibility, connected to Self — and connected to what you care about

  • Declare the Dojo (from a Sanskrit word meaning “place of awakening”)  as a place of learning that will include your teacher, fellow learners, and practices

  • Discover the value of a Kata (a series of moves)

  • Move through guided partner practices including Standing Centering Practice (communal standing Somatic grounding), Walk in Walk Out, Hand on Chest, and more

  • And much more…

Day 2

The 3 Circles — Core Components for Embodied Transformation

You’ll begin your second day centering in action. You’ll discover The Three Circles, a cognitive framework to help you track and understand the many changes and transformations that will take place over the next three days…

You’ll also receive deep attention training as you learn the ancient roots, modern neuroscientific discoveries, and health benefits of sitting, meditation, and more. (If you’re already initiated into your own path with a teacher, you’re free to practice your own form of meditation.)

You’ll also discover how your body holds the sum total of your history — your adaptations, practices, resiliencies, and more.

On this second day, you’ll discover:

  • How to uncover your reactions and and stressors when you’re under pressure

  • Why and how we’re all fundamentally built to adapt so we can seek safety, belonging and love, and dignity

  • How your longings, commitments, and what has been broken lives within the tissues of your body — and how you can observe it all, and take action

  • The three common reactions you might experience in relation to power, pressure, and stress

  • The true meaning of a somatic assessment
  • How to give and receive assessments to help develop others, guiding them in becoming less reactive and more trusting — so you can build powerful purposeful teams and organizations

  • New partner practices (including Arm Extension), plus powerful small group work
  • And more…

Day 3

The Rhythm of Action

Today you’ll discover how to take coordinated, effective action toward a shared vision.

You’ll be guided to ask questions of yourself, including, What is something you want to promise to say yes to? What is an offer that you need to make to fulfill your declaration? What is an even bolder offer? And more…

Your teacher will take you through a cycle of action as you experience practices  to help you stand in your power for what you care about and fight for others in their power.

You’ll receive large-group coaching to help you deepen, learn, and embody transformation towards your goals.

On the third day, you’ll explore:

  • The conditions of satisfaction, including taking actions toward the fulfillment of your declaration

  • How to become a committed listener who incorporates both support and accountability

  • How space represents your world and how to own the space as soon as you walk in a room

  • The competencies you must embody as a leader

  • The true meaning of sustainable business — embodying and acting from your values

  • New guided practices including shoulder massage, deeper partner work, and becoming centered in chaos

  • And more…

Day 4

New Shape, New Actions, New Future

On your final day, you’ll ask yourself, What’s your good news? What’s changing in you?

As you get clear on how to take all you’ve learned out into your daily life, you’ll make plenty of space for gratitude and celebration.

You’ll participate in a practice to appreciate someone in life who’s love, support, or efforts have allowed you to be here — and let them know you appreciate them publicly.

As you become clear on your virtues and values, you’ll also speak about the virtues of someone you can never repay.

On this closing day, you’ll:

  • Explore the Arc of Transformation as a framework for understanding the changes you’re experiencing — and how to deepen and continue after the course

  • Become equipped to continue on toward your declaration after you head back home — including the predictable hopes and challenges to look out for

  • Move through practices with a new partner, including an exercise to decipher your virtues — and appreciate each other’s virtues, too

  • Write a card to send yourself six weeks from now — what do you want to remind yourself of?

  • Choose an accountability practice partner to text daily for the next month

  • And much more…

Here’s What You’ll Receive when you register for Embodied Transformation with Strozzi Somatics:

Receive depth teachings, guided practices, partner work, demonstrations, and interactive small and large group sessions.

In addition to the guided sessions, you’ll receive practices, exercises, and “assignments,” to deepen your experience and skills long after you return home.

Revisit your work at any time.

Learn how to incorporate bodywork into your daily practice.

In addition to the community you form with fellow participants, Strozzi Institute also offers a free, online community, the SOMA Community, where you can connect with and learn from other somatic enthusiasts all over the world.

Registration is Now Closed

Please join the waitlist to be notified if space opens up

Register Now!

Pay In Full

Register today for
only $2175!

3-Pay Plan

3 payments
of $725

What students are saying about Strozzi Somatics:

“There’s no better place to learn & practice these skills than with the Strozzi Institute’s community of teachers and practitioners.”

“The instruction, coaching, and encouragement to be in a community of practice deepened my somatic awareness and continued to support my own embodied change, for the sake of liberation and love with power. I need – we need – this embodied competency to meet this moment. There’s no better place to learn & practice these skills than with the Strozzi Institute’s community of teachers and practitioners.”

Caitlin Brune

“The masterful instructors were authentic…”

“This class was a godsend for me… The masterful instructors were authentic, making it safe for everyone to show up in whatever mood or place they were in. I learned several practices that are helping me live out my commitments in the world.”

— Rebecca Glenn

“It was dramatically different than anything I had experienced before.”

“We wanted a game changer for accelerating our high performing teams and our leadership team. I’ve worked with a lot of different leadership programs and the Strozzi Institute’s is the one that works. It was dramatically different than anything I had experienced before. It’s their ability to connect the mind, language, action, and the body into sustainable practices. And we were able to see actual true change in a very short amount of time. It deeply resonated with our teams in a meaningful and authentic way.”

— John Pershing, SVP HR Ascena Retail Group

“The execution and the team has been the most professional I have ever seen.”

“I loved it! It was very profound and subtle at the same time. The execution and the team has been the most professional I have ever seen. Humanity, values, care, love were always at the foreground. I feel humbled and grateful to have been part of this experience.”

— Tania Fichtner, Director at Tajo Consulting (Mexico City, Mexico)


Strozzi Institute promises that you will be able to:

  • Deepen your ability to work with the foundations of embodied transformation: somatic awareness, somatic practices, and somatic opening, and how they reside within a social context
  • Discover and articulate what you care about and your declaration for the future
  • Align your practices with the embodied skills you need to take action toward your declaration
  • Understand how you have been shaped by personal, community, and social conditions and how to work with this shaping
  • Learn practices that deepen your ability to be centered under pressure, create mutual connection, navigate conflict, and increase trust
  • Discover how to give and receive somatic assessments that deepen relationship and uplift what you and others care about

This course is offered at The Grove Building Conference Center located at 1727 MLK Jr. Way in uptown Oakland, CA.

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday – Saturday
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday

To give yourself enough time to arrive, check-in and ground, plan an arriving no later than 8:30 a.m. each morning for a 9:00 a.m. start time. For the final day, we suggest that you be generous with yourself as you say good-bye and plan to exit by 5:00 p.m.

Healthy meals (with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options), sourced and prepared locally, are provided for lunches during all training days. Transportation and lodging are not included.

The Grove Building Conference Center is located in uptown Oakland, CA. There are plenty of nearby short-term rental and hotel accommodations, a number of restaurants within a few blocks, and larger commercial areas with additional restaurants and grocery stores just a few minutes drive away. Ridesharing services are widely available, and you’ll find electric scooters scattered around as well. 

Nearby airports include Oakland International Airport (OAK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The Strozzi Institute scholarship program is a tuition reduction program with the highest amount awarded being a 40- 50% discount.

It is highly competitive, needs-based, and is focused on being the most effective. Therefore, it is prioritized to support traditionally marginalized communities with regard to race, sexual identity, and socioeconomics.

Scholarship applications can be submitted up until 8 weeks before the course date so please apply early. Applications are reviewed and awarded with the intention to make the biggest impact. Scholarship awards will be communicated via email 1 week after the close of the application process. Awards can not be used in conjunction with other discount offers or transferred to other coursework.

Click here to apply for a Scholarship.

Chat with Denise M. Maes, Director of Enrollment, to receive guidance about enrollment into Strozzi Institute’s courses.

Schedule a Time to Talk

Meet Your Teachers

Tesfaye Tekelu is co-founder of two non-profit organizations: Aikido Ethiopia and Awassa Youth Campus (which works with youth empowerment, conflict-resolution, gender equality and HIV awareness in Ethiopia) and Institute for Social Advancement (which works in education, in the US and Southern Africa).

Tesfaye is responsible for introducing Aikido in East Africa, and currently holds a second degree black belt. Prior to moving to the US in 2010, Tesfaye served as Executive Director for AYC and as head instructor for Aikido Ethiopia (AE) for six years. He is still actively engaged in both organizations as a Board member and program coordinator. He also served as a circus and theater leader and Finance head from 2002-2005 at the Hawassa Children’s Center in Hawassa, Ethiopia, where he organized, performed and lead the circus and theater group tours throughout Ethiopia.


Erika Lyla is a Somatic Coach and Bodyworker with a practice in Oakland, CA (unceded Ohlone territory), and also teaches with generative somatics and Strozzi Institute. Erika works with people to reveal their power, potential, and purpose. She guides with love and laughter towards life grounded in authenticity and shaped by dream. She has been training groups and individuals in social and emotional development as well as creating and launching social emotional programs for over 15 years. Erika holds a Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and specializes in working with people facing psychiatric crises, survivors of sexual violence, and individuals healing from complex trauma. She has also worked with school age children as an afterschool teacher and program director. She continues to offer healing for individuals and communities as we collectively move towards liberation. In her free time, Erika loves family time, camping, snowboarding, hiking, paddle boarding, and delicious food.

Anjali Sawhney (she/her/s) is a Certified Integral Life Coach from New Ventures West in San Francisco and a trained Leadership Embodiment Teacher (somatic coaching based on Aikido & Mindfulness). Anjali is on the facilitation teaching team at Strozzi Institute (Generative Somatics lineage).  She has led workshops in somatics, coaching, transitions, and meditation in the non-profit, corporate, and educational sectors including East Bay Meditation Center, California Endowment, Dream Corps, & UCSF. Anjali serves directly with untapped BIPOC students, those unhoused, and those in recovery by providing coaching, counseling & series workshops. 

Anjali received her BS degree in Engineering from UCLA & an MBA from the University of San Francisco. She was born in India, raised in Los Angeles, and has lived on the east coast of the United States as well as in South & East Asia. She believes in rallying people through community and spirituality as well as street protests  for equity & systemic change, is in awe of nature & live music, & on rare occasions is allowed to groove with her teenagers, Aanika and Jai.

Maura Bairley, MA, (she/they) is a founding partner of co-LAB, a women of color consulting collective. Her approach to transformative leadership and organizational development is rooted in her 30-year commitment to racial and gender justice. She supports and challenges leaders to clarify purpose and vision, align values and practice, and create organizations that are liberatory, sustainable and adaptive.

Maura is a Core Faculty member with Move to End Violence, a project of the NoVo Foundation, where she leads a team of transformational coaches and consultants to support leadership and organizational development. Maura is a strategic partner and advisor with numerous philanthropic capacity building and organizational strengthening projects; her work focuses on change, complexity and collaboration across differences.

Maura holds a Masters Degree in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University, where she completed doctoral coursework and served as an adjunct faculty member. Her research interests as a scholar-practitioner include social identity and leadership development, group dynamics, and organization change.

Monica Murarka (she/her/hers) is a senior business leader with 25 years experience advising thousands of B2B and B2C companies and executives across Consumer, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Technology, Financial Services and Manufacturing industries on strategy, operations, talent and organizational topics while working at two global consultancies: Towers Perrin and McKinsey & Company.

Simultaneously, she has spent the last 20 years in deep study of embodiment, leadership and personal development, energy, personal/intergenerational/collective trauma healing, and interfaith religious practices through various teachers and disciplines. Her personal mission is to help people BE – uncover, connect, transform and amplify themselves for the sake of living their purpose. She works with executives, coaches and teams to help them develop their own skills and practices to continuously embody themselves such that they can feel congruence and alignment with how they walk through the world. She also mentors Asian Americans in how they navigate workplace bias and systemic oppression, racism and patriarchy, an offering born as a result of her own personal lived experiences in corporate America.

Monica earned her BA in Economics, International Relations and Community Health from Tufts University, and her MBA with honors in Finance, Marketing and Organization Behavior from the University of Chicago School of Business (now called ChicagoBooth). She lives in the San Francisco Bay area, and enjoys spending her time meditating, diving into personal development and personal growth activities, playing tennis and spending time with family, friends and her nephews.

About Strozzi Institute

 Strozzi Institute

Strozzi Institute is the creator of embodied transformation and leadership — a unique, neuroscience-based approach that integrates mindfulness, action-oriented communication, martial arts, and generative conflict training to prepare leaders, coaches, and teams to meet today’s biggest challenges.

Over 50 Years of Experience
Our unique and powerful embodied leadership methodology positions us as the leading institution shaping executives, teams, and leaders toward mastery in their business. We have over 50 years of experience in delivering innovative programs to a diversity of organizations around the globe that include Fortune 500, large governmental agencies, small businesses, B-corps, NGOs, sustainable business visionaries, multinational companies, and budding entrepreneurs.