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Healthy Living Retreat for Women

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May 18-21, 2023


Treat yourself to four days of relaxation and rejuvenation this spring alongside a team of friendly and knowledgeable Stanford and Bay Area health experts. Reservations are now being accepted. Please note that the program tends to fill up quickly and reservations will be accepted until the program is full. Download the reservation form (PDF) and sign up today.

Spring 2023 Program Details program 


Your Healthy Living Retreat is enriched with sessions and seminars led by a diverse group of presenters—from physiologists, nutritionists, and professors to scientists, researchers, and yoga instructors. 

See Presenters



Learning and Health Hacks for the Weekend and Beyond, presented by Marily Oppezzo, PhD, MS, RD

What a weekend you have ahead! You will learn and experience many amazing things from incredible experts in their field and leave healthier and happier and more restored! But – how can you take it with you? First, what are the best ways to learn when all this information is jam-packed into one binge-watching weekend? Second, how can you fit important new behaviors into your everyday life? Learn – and practice – knowledge acquisition and behavioral science hacks to get the most out of your experience at Sierra Camp and ideas for how to weave it all into your life once you get home!

Valuing Nature in Personal Practice and Societal Transformation, presented by Gretchen Daily, PhD

An awakening is underway, to humanity’s place in the web of life, the risks and costs of its ongoing destruction, and ways of transforming to nature-positive, inclusive pathways of development.  Stanford Professor Gretchen Daily will describe new science and partnerships, illuminating nature’s benefits to people and integrating them into decision-making. Through compelling stories unfolding now, she’ll relate scalable models for valuing nature in a wide array of contexts – from securing safe drinking water to protecting people and property from flooding and improving the mental health of city dwellers.  She will focus especially on places that stand out today, the diverse leaders involved, and how we can all help drive the transformation.

Personalized Nutrition: Microbiome, Mediterranean, and More, presented by Christopher Gardner, PhD

A surge of new companies are promising to help you find your personalized, optimal diet – if you will provide them with your blood/poop/spit/DNA and $$. Is it worth it, or should we just focus on Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants? Nutrition scientist Christopher Gardner will address the possibilities and challenges of Personalized Nutrition with an engaging blend of humor and evidenced-based science.



Seeking Joy by Restoring and Reconnecting, presented by Sonoo Thadaney-Israni, MBA

The new realities of COVID and life have reduced joy in our lives. Sonoo will share how to use decision and conflict coaching skills and tools that strengthen your roots and find purpose and joy for a life of courage and contentment. Making healthier choices and decisions comes from the clarity of your values for strong, thoughtful, and meaningful journeys. Anchored in Authentic Courage for Constructive Change.

The Science of Compassion, presented by Angela Lumba-Brown, MD

Compassion is empathy and action. It can be directed towards others as well as ourselves (self-compassion).  Dr. Angela Lumba-Brown will discuss the science of compassion and its brain-body physiology.  We will explore our innate tendencies towards ego and practices that will support our resilience through compassion.

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: A Layperson’s View on the Hope, Hype, Promise, and Peril, presented by Sonoo Thadaney Israni, MBA

Sonoo Thadaney-Israni has co-chaired the National Academy of Medicine's (NAM) Working Group focused on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare since 2018. This workshop is based on the Special NAM Publication titled: AI in Healthcare: The Hope, The Hype, The Promise, The Peril. Sonoo will present an executive summary on the ethical issues that would matter to a lay audience and help demystify AI in healthcare.

Future-Proof Your Body: Fitness Strategies for Women, presented by Carol Sundermeyer

It’s never too soon (or too late!) to increase bone and muscle mass, improve flexibility and balance, maintain a healthy spine, and build overall strength. Take the preventive path to well-being with these targeted, future-proofing fitness strategies designed for women of all ages.

Farm to Sierra Camp, presented by Jennifer Robinson, PhD, and Rosalyne Tu, MS, RDN

Join nutritionists and avid cooks Jennifer Robinson and Rosalyne Tu as they highlight many of the health insights gleaned from over 20 years of research from the Stanford Nutrition Studies Group. You will learn how to prepare and incorporate unapologetically delicious plant-based foods into your diet that your whole family will enjoy. The items highlighted will support your brain, a vibrant microbiome, metabolism, immune status, plus enhance cardiovascular health – and just improve your life through pure culinary delight!

The Power of Play, presented by Mary Sheehan and Katie Sutherland

Most of us are aware that regular physical and mental activity, positive social connections, and exposure to nature, all play a significant role in our resilience and well-being. Please join us for an experiential workshop designed to deliver on all of these activities, wrapped up in one playful package! Bring your sneakers, a charged phone (with a camera), openness to meet a few new friends, and your playful spirit to this new fun-filled workshop.

A Creative Exploration to Deepen Your Connection With Nature, presented by Dominique Del Chiaro, M.Ed.

The key to developing a closer connection with nature is deliberately enhancing your powers of observation and wonder. A nature journal is a place to grow your thoughts, feelings, ideas, activities, observations, and relationship with the natural world. In this creative notebook workshop, you will have an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and create a space where the natural world can flow into you and have a lasting impression. Notebook and supplies will be provided and feel free to bring your favorite colored pencils or pens.

Fitness & Wellbeing Check-in

Personalize your Healthy Living Retreat experience with a one-on-one fitness and wellness check-in. With an experienced and supportive health coach, you will have the opportunity to complete a short set of fitness measurements and take time to reflect on your overall sense of wellbeing.

Movement classes

Hula, presented by Dominique Del Chiaro

Hula is an integrated dance of poetry, rhythm and movement that uses the dancer's body for storytelling. Hula helps strengthen your core, mobilize and align your spine, and increase flexibility and balance. Join us in this flowing, low-impact form of dance that is easy to learn and enjoy from the first step. Please bring water, a skirt or sarong, and your Aloha spirit!

Nightly Yoga Nidra, presented by Angela Lumba-Brown, MD

Yoga Nidra is a meditative practice that guides effortless relaxation. It supports sleep and reduces anxiety, promoting a calm mind-body connection.  During this yoga nidra session, Dr.  Lumba-Brown will guide you through the stages of the process to welcome a restorative night's rest.




You’ll enjoy a comfortable private bedroom with a shared bath in Sierra Camp's lakefront cabins and lodge. You can room with your favorite women by submitting a request for your cabin assignment, or simply leave your preference blank to have a cabin mate assigned. Linens, towels and daily housekeeping are provided.


Refuel throughout the weekend with healthy meals from our chef's inspired and delicious repertoire. Options are available for those with specific dietary needs.

Getting here

Attendees can access Stanford Sierra Conference Center by car or by shuttle. Planning on driving? Get directions. Taking the shuttle instead? Get shuttle information.


Your retreat package includes three nights' lodging (5/18–5/21/23) in a private bedroom with shared bath, meals, on-site recreation, and all programming (e.g., lectures and workshops, daily movement and relaxation sessions, body composition screening, and fitness testing) and a specially designed Healthy Living Retreat gift. Rates do not include taxes on lodging and meals.

Guest type Rate*
Stanford Alumni Association (SAA) member $950
Non-member $1050

Because Healthy Living Weekend is a program of the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA), SAA members receive a $100 discount. If you would like to become a member, please visit the membership page.

*If you wish to arrive early on Wednesday, May 17, please add $260 to these rates. This optional pre-retreat fee covers lodging, three meals, the Thursday morning workshop and access to recreational facilities. This is an opportunity to acclimate and enjoy Sierra Camp before the regular program begins.


The Healthy Living Retreat for Women is affiliated with the Stanford Alumni Association (SAA). While applications are accepted from all interested parties, Stanford alumnae receive priority, and all applications are ranked by postmark. If you are sharing a lodging unit with non-alumnae family members and friends, one alumna in a lodging unit gives the entire group priority reservation status. Download the reservation form (PDF) and sign up today.


Reservations require a $100 nonrefundable deposit with your reservation form. Only check payment is accepted, and checks should be made payable to "SAA Sierra Programs, LLC." Balance is due by April 14.


Payments will be refunded, less $100, only if written notice of cancellation is received before April 28; no refunds for cancellations will be made after April 28. The cancellation policy also applies to Wednesday reservations.


For reservation questions, contact us at (530) 542-5600 or by email. For program questions, contact Morgan Marshall by email.