Kushi Institute Logo 4
women's retreat Aug 2012
                Retreat Highlights, Schedule, and Presenters
                           It's time to nurture YOURSELF!


Your Week Includes: 


A great program with:

Cooking classes 

Women's health discussions
Natural beauty care
and much more
Delicious rejuvenating meals prepared from fresh organic whole foods (gluten-free and low- salt options, etc.) 


Free-time options: 

 ·  Movement sessions

 ·  Socialize or just relax

 ·  Explore the Berkshires   

 ·  Treat yourself to private 

     sessions (extra fees):  

        -  Relax  with restorative


      -  Feldenkrais Functional  

     -· Energy healing 

        -  Macrobiotic consultation

       -  Macrobiotic menu planning 


For complete descriptions of private session options click HERE     

 Start Quotation Mark

"I really appreciate the opportunities for personal growth and emotional transformation.  I feel like I was able to grow and was well supported in this growth  ... seeing the dramatic change of participants over the course of the week was very empowering and impressive."


Ann Lazar

Women's Retreat participant, April 2012  






Join in with other like-minded women in the beautiful, serene Berkshire mountains for an extraordinary week of renewal.  


Gain new insights as you discover and explore your 

depths and potentials, release old patterns and stress,
and add tools to create a more joyful, rewarding, healthy and meaningful life.   


Explore a great array of exciting participatory classes

and workshops designed just for women, facilitated by six workshop leaders whose experience and talent span an extensive, in-depth range of health and healing modalities.


The size of this exceptional retreat is limited to 25 participants to promote an atmosphere of trust and transformation, and to allow each participant to have time for expression and to receive individual attention. 


Topics and events include 

  • Cooking for pleasure, wellness, beauty, and festive occasions      
  • Women's health concerns 
  • How food relates to emotions 
  • Practical macrobiotics -- tools to put everything
    in place  
  • Making the best of your dining experience
  • Optimizing digestion  
  • Strategies for bone growth from Bones for Life®  
  • Herbal facial and massage for rejuvenation
  • "Pelvic Clock"and other movements from the gentle developmental, brain-based Feldenkrais Method®    
  • Gentle yoga
  • Kick-boxing, Tao Yin, and Do-In exercises   
  • Self-care and nurturing -- a  macrobiotic
    teacher's panel   
  • Knowing your dreams   
  • Expressive art with soft hands and supple arms
  • Walking for balance 
  • Visit to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and performance    
  • Drumming and dance  
  • and much more!       

Retreat Highlights


Hands-on Cooking Classes


Cooking for Women's Health - with Bettina Zumdick

Many women today are struggling with various problems, such as painful menstruation, menopause, fibroids, breast problems, emotional difficulties and many more.
Bettina will demonstrate how to prepare dishes that will address overall health and can help improve many specific health issues. She will also discuss physical and emotional dynamics to improve the quality of our lives so we may enjoy vibrant health.


Festive Cooking - with Diane Avoli     

In this workshop you'll create dishes for parties and seasonal holidays so delicious you'll want to make them again and again to share with family and friends. You'll also see how these delights can leave you feeling satisfied and healthy.  


Cooking for Balance and Vitality - with Diane Avoli 

Do you sometimes feel off-kilter? Find out how adjusting your cooking can help you regain feelings of balance and well-being. The special needs of women of different ages, activity levels, as well as the climate you are living in will be discussed in this hands-on class, where you will be guided in preparing dishes designed to strengthen vitality and please the palate. 


Cooking for Beauty - with Sheri DeMaris

Support your organs, including your skin (your largest organ and your "third" kidney!) with a variety of dishes and remedies designed to hydrate, balance and maintain optimum weight, regulate blood sugar, and provide lasting energy throughout the day.




Making the Most of Your Dining Experience - with Mirea Ellis 

Learn to eat healthier by discovering how to balance and adjust your food choices with the use of macrobiotic principles, including: how macrobiotic condiments unify your dishes, provide satisfying tastes, and aid digestion; the differences between the mild and strong side of the Kushi Institute buffet line, and more. Use this knowledge to extend and enhance your dining experience at Kushi Institute - as well as at home - for helping you achieve greater health benefits through mindful eating.


Women's Health - with Bettina Zumdick 

In today's culture, some diseases or conditions are more common to women, such as osteoarthritis, obesity, breast cancer, and depression. Concerns exclusive to women include pregnancy and menopause, as well as conditions such as uterine or ovarian cancers. In this brief introduction, senior macrobiotic teacher Bettina Zumdick will address these concerns to provide you with an understanding of the macrobiotic approach to women's health and wellness.


Macro-Magic - with Sheri DeMaris

Based on her cookbook Macro-Magic, which teaches the simplicity of macrobiotic cooking and eating well, Sheri will demonstrate how to make Ginger Snaps and Mocha Mousse, two favorite transition desserts using a variety of whole grain sweeteners.  


Chewing for Better Digestion- with Sheri DeMaris 

Learn why how well we chew affects every aspect of our health as well as our appearance. In this dinner discussion, you'll gain a deeper understanding of what it means to "chew your food well"  and why it is vital to the importance of creating digestive enzymes, absorption of nutrients, energy maintenance, and relaxation of the digestive organs.


Quick Fix Macro Menu Planning - with Sheri DeMaris

What is a healthy meal comprised of, and how do you make it balanced? This, plus selecting healthy foods, and how to make meals quickly to fit into your busy life, are some of the great tips you will learn in this discussion over dinner. An extensive handout on macrobiotic menu planning is included in your welcome packet.   


Practical Macrobiotics:Tools to make it Work - with Angelica Kushi

Learn the foundation philosophy of macrobiotics, and discover the essence that drives your practice.  Decode how to turn macrobiotics into a practical way of life for you, gaining tools to stay healthy, happy and stress-less.  Understand how the concept of sustainability can generate "Think global and act local."       


Food and Emotions - with Mirea Ellis   

Do you sometimes feel you are eating more from your emotions than your intellect? Most people do! Explore the underlying factors of emotional eating, the reasons some foods seem "addictive", and how emotional eating can be turned around and lead to positive emotional and life changes..   


Macrobiotic Teacher Panel on Self-Care and Nurturing  - with Diane Avoli, Sheri DeMaris, Mirea Ellis, Angelica Kushi, Bettina Zumdick   

Discover the self-care and self-nurturing practices these macrobiotic teachers use to help them create balance, vibrant health, well-being, and beauty in their lives. 




Digestive Health - with Diane Avoli  

Many individuals who had suffered from the symptoms of Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, acid reflux, ulcerative colitis, and other stomach or intestinal disorders, attribute their successful recovery to a macrobiotic practice. Men and women have many of the same digestive health problems, but they can affect women differently.  Learn how macrobiotics can help these conditions with great long-term benefits and the tools to maintain healthy digestion.


Other Workshops on Fitness, Creativity,
Natural Beauty and more!


Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® - with Misha Forrester  

Rediscover childlike flexibility with the Feldenkrais Method ®, an internationally acclaimed system of health and pain relief. Using slow, gentle movements, designed to communicate between muscle, bone, and brain, you'll develop a new awareness of your movements with more options for greater coordination, better posture, and cultivation of ease and grace. Great for relieving pain or stiffness and for finding renewed pleasure in your movements. To read about the Feldenkrais Method® click here or for this YouTube demonstration here


Tao Yin Gentle Exercises - with Bettina Zumdick  

Tao Yin is an ancient Oriental system designed to energize, bring strength and flexibility, as well as vibrancy to your body. Developing our physical, emotional and spiritual aspects through activating energy flow in our bodies enriches life's experiences. This set of exercises integrates internal and external awareness and discernment. Guided imagery is incorporated with emphasis on relaxation.


Walking for Balance - with Misha Forrester

Based on the Feldenkrais Method®  this outdoor "inquiry" and mindful walking lesson builds on making better connections between your heel, toes, and ankles, in relation to your knees, hips, and torso for stable, upright mobility and balance.   


Gentle Yoga  - with Angelica Kushi  

These classes are designed to help free the body of restrictions, eliminate stress and tension, and create a calm and balanced you. For every level, fitness, and age.


Kick-boxing - with Mirea Ellis

Rev up your metabolism, tone muscles, build strength and endurance, and develop better balance with these fun, low-impact cardio workouts designed for everybody - all moves are easily adjusted for every fitness level. Enjoy great music including African drumming and traditional Brazilian songs as you go through simple, repetitive routines you can continue to do at home.


Dreams As A Doorway - with Bettina Zumdick 

Dreams will often point to dynamics we might overlook in our waking life, so that we can make the necessary course corrections. Dreams can serve many purposes such as providing precognition of future events, telepathically connecting to loved ones, obtaining instruction, receiving healing, and much more. In this class we will explore various aspects of dreams, including how to program your dreams, lucid dreaming and interpreting your own dreams.  


Connecting with Conversations - with Mirea Ellis

Sharing thoughts, insights and feelings in a safe space with other women can be one of the most "intimate" encounters possible - where you are truly seen, heard, and accepted -- as well as getting to know others in the group more deeply. This experience includes a short guided meditation and reflection on a topic, after which, in small groups, you'll have the opportunity to share how the topic has touched your life.


Creative Hands and Expressive Art - with Misha Forrester

Give yourself the gift of attention in this experiential workshop designed to unwind unnecessary efforting in your hands, arms, and shoulders, provide a shift in your nervous system, and open up uncritical abilities to relax, play, and express yourself through color, shape, texture, and poetry. You are welcome to bring any magazines/paper/materials for collage possibilities that you might like to use. These and many other materials will be provided.


Visit to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and performance 

Located on a former farm, just fifteen minutes away from the Kushi Institute, and recently called "the dance center of the nation" by The New York Times, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival has been celebrating dance, music, art, and culture for the past eighty years, with an ever-changing international cast of dance pioneers and established and emerging dance companies. We'll take a visit to "The Pillow" to attend an early evening performance held in the open-air, outdoor community amphitheatre which hosts a panoramic backdrop of the Berkshire Hills. For a stunning overview of this historic and vibrant jewel, visit their performance video collection here.  After the performance we will return to Kushi Institute for dinner.

Strategies from Bones for Life® - with Misha Forrester

Develop harmonious coordination, stimulate bone-growth with your own weight-bearing posture and load, and engage in springy, rhythmic pulsations for a powerful antidote to osteoporosis. Based on Ruthy Alon's program of ninety approaches, these quick strategies allow you to send pressure through the bones, safely and easily, on your own, whether in standing or sitting that signal the bones to continue to grow. For more information on this program click here.     


Do-In Exercises - with Sheri DeMaris

This very gentle, relaxed form of Japanese self-care, which restores and balances your flow of energy or life force (also known as qi), uses gentle stretches and tapping in a series of directed, sequential movements. It stimulates circulation, lymph fluid, and strengthens and tones organs and tissues to increase vitality. 


Rejuvenating Herbal Facial and Massage - with Mirea Ellis   

Healthy skin is beautiful skin! Experience and enjoy a luxurious spa-type facial using certified organic and wild-crafted herbs, plants, and clay to tone, smooth, soothe, and nourish on a deep cellular level. Included in this session: a bentonite clay therapy mask with organic fruit and sea vegetables; relaxing, with a warm facial towel infused with an herbal skin elixir; and a guided facial massage with rejuvenating, anti-aging rosehip seed oil.




Dancing, outdoor walks, and more!  Optional private sessions (at extra fees) offered during the week include: Restorative Massage, Energy Healing, Macrobiotic Consultations, Macrobiotic Menu Planning, and Feldenkrais Functional Integration®.  For complete description and fees click here.  




Retreat Facilitators
Diane Avoli

Diane Avoli

Retreat Topics 

Cooking for Balance  

& Vitality

Digestive Health

Festive Cooking

Macrobiotic Teacher Panel                

Kushi Institute Senior Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor
Diane Avoli has 40 years of experience in the field. She studied
with leading macrobiotic pioneers including Michio and Aveline

Kushi, Cornelia Aihara, and Lima Ohsawa.  

Diane has a degree in education, and has taught macrobiotic  

classes in the US, Europe, and Australia.  


Writer of numerous articles, she is also the author of the cookbook
A Chef for All Seasons.


Diane has raised eight macrobiotic children. She is a wonderful

example of how women can have life-long  passion, health, and 




Private Sessions Offered: Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic
Menu Planning

Mirea Ellis
Mirea Ellis

Retreat Topics 


Food & Emotions

Macrobiotic Teacher Panel

Herbal Facial & Massage  





Kushi Institute Assistant Director and Senior Macrobiotic Teacher Mirea Ellis has over 35 years of experience in the fields of macrobiotics and other natural health and healing modalities. She is frequently quoted in magazines and newspapers, has been interviewed on TV and radio, and has authored published articles in national and regional publications.  She is also the founder of Rejuva Organics, a natural herbal body care company. 


Mirea is 61 year's young, and shows women how exploring food, movement, and self-care, along with engaging our "higher capacities", can support the development of extraordinary health, vitality and radiance - at any age - and make life more joyful, rewarding, and a continual adventure. 


An energy healing practitioner with over 25 years in the field, Mirea has trained with over 20 native healers including shamans and medicine men and women from North and South America.


Private Session Offered: Transformational Energy Healing 

Bettina Zumdick
Bettina Zumdick

Retreat Topics 

Tao Yin Exercises

Cooking for Women's      Health   

Chewing for Digestion  

Dreams Workshop 

Macrobiotic Teacher Panel



Kushi Institute Senior Macrobiotic Teacher and Counselor Bettina Zumdick has been involved with macrobiotics for over 25 years.  A native of the Baltic Sea area in Germany, she studied food science at the University of Muenster. 


She has taught macrobiotics and other body-mind-spirit related topics such as meditation, chanting, and Tao Yin  energy exercises throughout Europe and the United States.  


Realizing the complex interconnections between body, mind and spirit through her own healing journey from Lyme disease, Bettina knows that it is possible to improve your health and to deepen the quality of all your experiences in life. It is her intent to share the knowledge and wisdom of this path for better health, vitality and being able to pursue your most passionate dreams in life.


Private Sessions Offered: Macrobiotic Counseling, Macrobiotic Menu Planning, Energy Healing 

Angelica Kushi
Angelica Kushi

Retreat Topics                     Gentle Yoga

Practical Macrobiotics    Macrobiotic Teacher Panel 



Visiting Macrobiotic Teacher Angelica Kushi, has been macrobiotic since she was in utero. She thanks mom and dad (Gabriele and Larry Kushi), and grandma and grandpa (Aveline and Michio Kushi), for their dedication to health through macrobiotics, and raising her to follow her dreams as a macrobiotic health coach, cook, yoga and meditation teacher in addition to being a professional dancer.


Angelica received a BA in dance and international food politics from Sarah Lawrence College. Her other studies includes macrobiotics at Kushi Institute, health coaching at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and yoga training at Conquering Lion Yoga Teacher Training.  She continues her yoga, meditation and Tibetan Buddhists studies with Yoga Studies Institute and Asian Classics Institute.  


She loves to support people in finding ease with healthy living in order for them to fulfill their wildest dreams.


Sheri DeMaris
Sheri DeMaris

Retreat Topics 

Women's Health


Menu Planning 

Cooking for Beauty

Do-In Exercise

Macrobiotic Teacher Panel 


Visiting Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Teacher, Sheri DeMaris, M.Ed, has been teaching whole foods and macrobiotics in various restaurants and cooking schools throughout the United States and Europe for over 25 years, in addition to running wellness seminars and creating programs for "healthy living" for public school programs K-12, community colleges and universities.  


She has authored articles on healthy lifestyles, school lunch programs and cooking for various magazines, and is the author of the new  cookbook, Macro Magic: For Kids and Parents.  


Sheri is the host, produce and director of an alternative health TV show, Tea With Sheri, and has also produced and hosted a cooking DVD, a DVD on the life story of Michio Kushi and a number of kids' cooking videos.  


She designed and ran one of the first Natural Foods Kids' Summer Camps in Killington, Vermont.


Misha Forrester
Misha Forrester

Retreat Topics 

Feldenkrais  Awareness

Through Movement®

Walking for Balance

Creative Hands & Expressive  Art

Bones for Life®

Licensed Massage Therapist, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Method
and Bones for Life® practitioner, Misha Forrester shares her time between the Kushi Institute and a private practice in restorative massage, Feldenkrais Functional Integration®, and teaching Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement®. Her clients include those with cancer, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia; with movement impairments such as MS, Parkinson's, stroke recovery, and hip replacements; as well as yoga teachers, dancers, and atheletes who wish to increase performance.

An effective method for reclaiming childlike flexibility and ease of
movement, Misha's Feldenkrais® private sessions and
public classes are transformative, resulting in greater movement reorganization and alignment that makes long-term connections between brain and muscle.

Her background in art and as an art teacher, combined with her experience in natural healing modalities and meditation is evident in her therapeutic art workshops which often compliment other mindfulness trainings. 

Private Sessions Offered: Restorative Massage, Torso Massage, Feldenkrais Functional Integration®       



Front Field with Bench 


 North Hall view   


Kushi Institute 
198 Leland Road
Becket, MA 01223 

Start Quotation Mark
"Wonderful. Has been fun, informative, transformative. 

Loved the cooking classes, loved getting to try new exercise techniques. 

I liked the optional program feel.  Impossible to pick [from the many options]. 

Loved it all. I benefited by relaxing and trying new things.

Women's Retreat participant, April 2012  



  • Program fee: Only $675  
    Includes the full program and all meals
         Program begins with Orientation 5pm August 19th
    ends after breakfast August 25th   
  • Housing options start at only $100 
    Below prices are NOT per night - they includes all 6 nights!    
    • $100 - Small single room in the North Hall with shared dormitory style bathrooms.
    • $100 - Per person shared double or triple room in North Hall with shared dormitory style bathrooms. 
    • $250 per person - Shared double room in the Main House with shared bathrooms along the hallway.
    • $500 - Single room in the historic Main House with shared bathrooms along the hallway.
    • $860 - Private Bath. These rooms have either 2 or 3 single beds, so can be used as single rooms or for friends or family wishing to share the room. 

  • Economical airport shuttle - only $50
    Fee is for each way on program arrival and departure dates. Shuttle is between Bradley International Airport (serves Hartford, CT) and Kushi Institute. Inquire for more details when registering.    

  • Private session fees and information click here.     

For More Information or to Register


Int'l 413-623-6457


Yuji Yoshino

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Kushi Institute is a federally approved 501-C-3 non-profit educational organization. Discrimination based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to course requirements is contrary to the principles and policies of Kushi Institute.