lush & whole: welcoming our fat as an embodied resource

Facilitated by Jules Pashall & Laura McCunniff Reid

March 7-10, 2024

Registration deadline extended.

We have *ONE* bedspot left at WildHeart, and the option to join a group of other participants in securing separate airbnb housing offsite. Scroll down to register, or email with questions!

Have you ever wanted more of your body to live your life with? More body to feel with? More body to move with? Let your fat help! Join us for “Lush & Whole: Welcoming our Fat as an Embodied Resource.”

So many intersecting systems of oppression disconnect us from being present in our bodies. And even when we do connect with our bodies, we often still ignore fat because of the way these systems pathologize and villainize it. And that is a huge loss because fat tissue is all over our bodies! It makes up more than half of our brain. It lives in the center of our bones. It protects our organs that pulsate with life. When we don’t feel our fat, we miss out on feeling so much of our bodies.

During our time in retreat together, you will have the opportunity to explore somatically and creatively what is available to you when you feel your fat. We’ll listen to our fat and honor our fat’s relationship to the nervous system, bones, organs, skin, and every cell. There will be focus on play and experimentation with different invitations to move and be in your body that center fat as our starting point. You will get to connect with your voice through sounding and writing and experience your fat as a place to connect with the land, trees and water of our beautiful retreat space.

Jules, a fat white queer wearing all black, sits in a room with others, one hand on their chest and another on their belly teaching “Singing with Our Whole Selves” at Let My People Sing, Summer 2023

We will gather together with our curiosity and creativity as people who want more aliveness, more of our own bodies to live life with. You will spend time in the larger group and solo so that you can learn with others, while also having the space for your own integration and exploration. At the closing of our time we will all get a chance to share an offering, gift or learning from our fat and leave with more of our bodies to be in connection with.

In this time of tremendous grief and change, we need as much of ourselves and each other as we can get.

Join us for “Lush & Whole: Welcoming our Fat as an Embodied Resource” as we recover fat into the wholeness of self and the wholeness of the collective.

“I feel as though I have found another piece of my puzzle. I have started to heal, which is a tremendous jump for me.”

“This experience was transformative- I feel empowered to seek what I need to feel held. I am taking with me a sense of security in my body”

“This workshop gave me so much more than I could have imagined when I signed up. Not only was I able to address the initial issue that brought me to this work, but I found healing in other pockets of myself that I didn’t realize were hurt! This was a spectacularly and intentionally created container capable of truly transforming lives.”

“In exploring my fat, I was able to start unpacking deep desires and feel more confident to seek out what I desire.”

“This workshop has given me a firm ground on which to facilitate deeper healing. I have found tremendous shifts in my perception of body/self that lean toward positive in ways that are both exciting and new.”

Sample Schedule:

Schedule is subject to change. Each participant will have an opportunity for a 20 minute one-on-one session with a teacher.

Thursday March 7

Arrive between 2-4pm
4:30-7pm: Opening circle
7pm- 8pm: Dinner
8-9:30pm: Dreaming with our fat

Friday March 8

7am: Optional morning practice led by a participant
8am: Breakfast
9am-11am: Sensing and feeling our fat
11am-1pm: Lunch
1pm- 3pm: Nurturing & supporting our fat with our whole bodies
3pm-5:00pm: Free open or creative time
5:00- 6:00pm: Fat Shabbat (optional)
6 – 7:30pm: Dinner
8:00-9:00: Evening Reflection time

Saturday March 9

7am: Optional morning practice led by a participant
8am: Breakfast
9am- 11:00am: Whale Song: Sounding with our fat
11am-1pm: Lunch
1pm-3pm: Moving and resting with our fat
3pm-6pm: Open creative rest time
6pm-7:30pm: Dinner
8pm-10pm: Fat Gifts: an evening of creative offerings

Sunday March 10

7am: Optional morning practice led by a participant
8am: Breakfast
10am-12pm: Closing circle
Lunch and departure by 2pm

Jules, a fat white queer wearing all black, stands in a room with others who are standing with outstretched arms, they have both hands on their chest, teaching “Singing with Our Whole Selves” at Let My People Sing, Summer 2023

Who is it for?

All who want to lovingly and curiously engage with their fat tissue are welcome. Maybe you have been unlearning fat bias but that hasn’t shifted how you feel in your body- this space is for you! Maybe you want a space where your fat is being centered with care instead of violence- this space is for you! No prior experience in somatics or body-based practices is necessary. This is not the right space for people actively trying to lose weight.


Frequently Asked Questions

I am fat and have often felt uncomfortable in somatic / body based spaces, is this retreat for me?
YES! We are grounded in the knowledge that all bodies have deep wisdom to explore and share. Fat people’s experience and embodied knowing will be celebrated and lifted up in our space together.

I do not identify as fat, can I attend this retreat?
YES! While this space will be held in a way that centers fat tissue as a point of origin, you do not need to identify as fat to attend this retreat.

I’ve never been in a somatic/movement space, can I be here?
YES! We welcome people of all experiences to come join us.

Will there be affinity spaces for people who hold marginalized identities?
Yes! Based on who registers for this retreat, we will create spaces that meet the emergent needs of the group.

What are your COVID precautions?
We take COVID and other illnesses seriously! We ask that all participants mask in public the 5 days leading up to our gathering and test before arriving. We also ask that all participants bring 3 extra rapid tests with them so we can test together daily. We will have air purifiers in indoor spaces, open windows for the most air flow and be outside when we can, weather permitting. Masking is welcome.

Can you tell me about the accessibility of the space?
If you have specific access needs please reach out and we will discuss what is possible. We are happy to work with people individually to try to make the spaces work for them!

A note on food

We are able to accommodate most diets. We serve meat and dairy daily, and always have vegan and gluten-free options available. If you send us your dietary preferences in advance, we will do our best to make sure there is good food for you at each meal! All living accommodations have access to a full kitchen (separate from the main/commercial kitchen). We will provide breakfast groceries for you to prepare and eat on your own. Lunches and dinners are communal shared meals. Drinks include: coffee and tea, dairy and non-dairy milk, lemon and lime juice for water, red and white wine.


Jules Pashall is a fat, white, trans/queer Jew who holds space as a somatic, creative and spiritual practitioner. Their offerings are built on the belief that undoing violent hierarchies and how they live in our bodies is part of the path of soul retrieval and collective liberation. For 15 years, they have been exploring fat as a resource for transformation. Jules holds a master’s degree in Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and their writing can be found in Diverse Bodies, Diverse Practices: Toward an Inclusive Somatics and The Fat Studies Journal. Connect with them online

Laura McCunniff Reid holds a MA in Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and has trained in Body-Mind Centering® with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and through The School of Body-Mind Centering®. Additionally, Laura is trauma trained through the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, ongoing mentorship, her own personal life history and context, and years of listening to and being with others as they share stories of survival. Laura’s body initially got her to pay attention to it through the pain of a chronic illness and she now finds understanding, listening to, and caring for her body/her self to be a beautiful process of ongoing recovery. She enjoys supporting others on their journey. Laura has a psychotherapy private practice and offers somatic movement classes for people of marginalized genders in Oakland, CA.

Retreat Location

WildHeart is located on 46+ beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley. Retreatants will have the option to stay in a single room, double room, dorm, or camping in either our main retreat center or in private two-bedroom cabins. All options have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Daily events will take place in the studio, shared common spaces, and outdoors. Retreatants are welcome to enjoy the lawns, walk in the forest, and swim and boat in the lake during their stay! More info about directions and transportation options HERE.

Retreat Costs

By offering a variety of housing options we hope to make this retreat accessible to all.

To further increase financial accessibility we have kept our facilitator payments low. For participants who are able and excited, there will be an opportunity to supplement that with donations at the end of our retreat.

If you have any questions, concerns about pricing, or need assistance attending, please do not hesitate to reach out.

The Program Fee includes:

Room and Board:

  • All Food / Beverages
  • Housing (all housing has access to shared kitchen and bathrooms)
  • WildHeart Access (45 acres of forest and fields, a private lake, studio space, and more!)


All retreat sessions and content:

  • Somatic exploration and education
  • Creative expression practice
  • Campfires
  • Enjoying the forest and fields
  • Cold plunging and boating in the private lake

Program Fee:

  • Double room (shared with 1 other person) = $599
  • Spacious 5 person dorm = $509 *sold out*
  • Commuter rate = $434
    There is a small group of retreat participants planning to secure their own airbnb offsite housing. To join, please register online, and email to get in touch with other folks going in on housing together.

To get on the waitlist for program housing, please email 

Refund Policy:

The first $250 of payment is a nonrefundable deposit. The fee minus the deposit is refundable up to 2 weeks before the first day of the workshop, after which time no refund will be given. Full refunds will be given if the workshop is canceled by the host due to under enrollment.

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Find out about WildHeart happenings!

Get Updates

Find out about WildHeart happenings!