Starshine and Clay: Yoga Retreat for U.S. (You Sister)

A place for Women of Color to Be.

Your Body. Your Mind. Your Love.Your Heart. Your Soul. Matters. This retreat is an unapologetic affirmation of this truth. It is inspired by our communal Ancestor, Lucille Clifton’s words:

“Won’t you celebrate with me
what I have shaped into
a kind of life? I had no model.
Born in Babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did I see to be except myself?
I made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.”

Over the course of the weekend you will:

  • Explore your strength and softness via balanced and accessible yoga practices
  • Connect to your energetic centers {chakras} emphasizing the hips and heart.
  • Use cultural and ancestral dance to elevate and ground you + celebrate US!
  • Build your own sacred space and altar to honor your Ancestors, your
    present journey, and the road ahead
  • Spend quiet time remembering and connecting to what brings you joy
  • Rest and restore
  • Write love letters to yourself {and anyone else you want to}
  • So much more…

Come together with other sisters & women of color as we celebrate our expansive nature and the ways that we survive, thrive, and live- between starshine and clay!


Dates Friday September 22-Sunday 24 2017


Dahlonega Spa Resort is located on 72 acres near the historic gold-rush town of Dahlonega, Georgia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just over an hour and a half north of Atlanta. For more details about the resort, click here.

Rooming options include single or double occupancy in The West Wing or The Cabins nestled throughout the woods of the property.

The West Wing is connected to the Main Inn through a breezeway and is relatively close to the dining area, parlor, front porch, reception area and Jacuzzi. Most rooms are double occupancy and have twin beds. The views from the West Wing are either garden or mountain.

The Cabins are nestled in the woods surrounding the property. All cabins have two queens, a sitting area, small refrigerator, coffee pot and individual heating and air conditioning for your comfort. Each cabin has a small covered porch and chairs. Wooded views are available from each of the cabins.

What’s Included:


All meals

All yoga practices

All meditation sessions

Surprises+so much more

What you’ll need to add

  •  Travel to and from the resort

What you may want to add

  • Alcoholic beverages for dinner
  • Spa treatments


Retreat if is currently sold out. Email Octavia at if you would like to be added to the waiting list.

A nonrefundable deposit of $250 reserves your space.

Mountain Garden Inn {Shared}

Bright, cozy rooms located near the parlor and front porch with mountain and garden views, two single beds and private bath.

Nature Cabin {Shared}

Surrounded by woodlands, each cabin has hardwood floors, two single beds, private bath, sitting area, small refrigerator and private covered porch with chairs.

Mountain Garden Inn {Private}

Bright, cozy rooms located near the parlor and front porch with mountain and garden views, king or queen bed and private bath.

Nature Cabin {Private}


Surrounded by woodlands, each cabin has hardwood floors, KING or queen bed, private bath, sitting area, small refrigerator and private covered porch with chairs.


Sample Schedule

Program Begins on Friday September 22 at 5pm and ends Sunday September 22 at 1pm.

Day 1

Check in begins at 3pm

5:00-6:00 Opening Circle/meditation

Dinner * Candle light restorative yoga practice

Day 2


7:00am Yoga practice *Breakfast

Dance *Sacred Space Workshop



Movement+ meditation+ writing * Free time *Yoga practice



9:00pm Soul session circle

Day 3

7:30am Yoga* meditation *Breakfast *Love Letters to myself

restorative practice *Closing circle

*retreat ends by 1pm on Sunday

Founder, Teacher, and Host

I am a Yoga Alliance experienced registered teacher (E-RYT) at the 200 hour level. I completed teacher training under the guidance of Graham Fowler and Elizabeth Nix at Peachtree Yoga Center in 2007 and began teaching later that year. To date, I have taught over 7,500 hours of yoga in studio, corporate, and private settings. I have headlined Wanderlust Yoga Festival 108 in Atlanta as well as taught sold out crowds at Atlanta’s homegrown Dirty South Yoga Festival. I co-own Sacred Chill {West} Yoga and Meditation studio, Red Clay Wellness, LLC  and am the creator of CHILLshop®yoga, retreats, and immersions.

I hold additional certifications and specialize in restorative, yin, power, and yoga for kids+teens.

Off the mat I am a new wife, mama, avid reader, and writer. You can peep my writing style here and here.

I have an academic background in English Literature and creative writing, 10+ years of professional experience teaching writing and language arts in K-12 settings, and spent two years working in the nonprofit sector designing and implementing college preparatory programming.

What does any of this have to do with yoga?

As a yoga teacher, I communicate with my students clearly, yet poetically, reaching them on many levels.

As a retreat or corporate wellness guide I effectively employ all of my teaching, planning, and program design skills to create yoga based experiences that are carefully thought out, all inclusive, and guaranteed to inspire powerful shifts within individuals and groups. In short, I leave no detail unattended to.

Just a little bit more:

I love movement, stillness, a good sweat, and deep rest.

I love dichotomies and balancing within the center or along the edge of contrasting things.

Words that inspire me: “I found God in myself, and I loved her, I loved her fiercely.” -Ntozake Shang

Guest Teachers


Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D., E-RYT is a yoga educator, writer, and public speaker who completed her initial 200-hour yoga teachers’ training in 2007. Chelsea’s teaching style is grounded firmly in an exploration of strength and freedom through a dialogue of awareness within the body.

Chelsea’s yoga practice extends beyond the asana through her strength of cultivating community dialogue through yoga.

In 2013, Chelsea founded Yoga, Literature, and Art Camp for Teen Girls at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. In 2015, Chelsea graced the June cover of Yoga Journal and shared more about her unique community work through yoga and the ways in which she shares this work through yoga workshops and trainings.

Chelsea has been featured in the January/February issue of Spirituality & Health Magazine as an Influential Trailblazer, as well as, Elle Magazine, Huffington Post, and NYLON mag for her authentic teachings, practices, and community outreach.

You can read more about Chelsea through her blog, You can learn more about the work she does through Georgia based non-profit, Red Clay Yoga by visiting


Vanya Francis, 200RYT is founder of Cherished Life, a boutique, Atlanta-based yoga and wellness company for women. She is also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Yoga Instructor specializing in Prenatal Yoga. Deeply inspired by her students, Vanya’s goal is to empower them to achieve greater self-awareness, balance and wholeness of being. A culturally aware, life-long learner with a passion for health and wellness, Vanya is certified at the 200-hr level in both Classical and Kemetic Yoga and has received multiple Prenatal Yoga certifications. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College and Master of Arts in Communication Management from the University of Southern California.


Off the mat, Vanya is a mother to two beautiful, light-filled children, Taraja and Tunde. Her work as a mother and partner of 10 years informs her light-hearted, compassionate teaching style and encourages women to exercise the same deal of care, kindness and love for self as they do for others. Vanya’s gift as a teacher lies in her ability to create a safe, nurturing space for women to heal, grow and ultimately thrive in their daily lives. She believes yoga is meant to positively transform our life and relationships.


Anana Parris Harris- Bio coming soon!

What To Bring

Yoga Mat
Yoga mats will be available, but you may want to have your on mat.

Comfortable clothes for yoga and hiking

Rain jacket

Small day bag/pack (if you plan to participate in the long guided hike)

Layers, Layers, Layers
Packing layers ensures you are comfortable regardless of the weather outside and inside.
Comfortable Shoes to hike in

Bathing Suit
For the Jacuzzi, nuff said!

Water Bottle

Your Favorite Journal
If you have a special journal or something you often write in, bring it on your retreat so you can add your new experiences and thoughts.

An Open Mind

Even if you forget everything on this list, if you show up with nothing but yourself and an open mind, you’ll have truly all you need to receive all of the benefits of the retreat.


1. Start out going south on Airport Boulevard toward Airport Circle.
2. Turn right onto Riverdale Road/GA-139.
3. Merge onto I-85 N toward Atlanta.
4. I-85 N and I-75 split. I-85 N splits to the left toward GA-400/Greenville. Continue north on I-85.
5. Take Exit 87 to merge onto GA-400 N toward Buckhead/Cumming/Dahlonega. (YOU WILL NEED $.50 FOR A
TOLL ON GA-400).
6. Continue north on GA-400 for approximately 50 miles.
7. GA-400 ends at a signal light where there is a sign indicating a left turn to get to Dahlonega. IGNORE THIS
8. Continue for approximately 8 miles on Long Branch Road until it dead ends into Cavender Creek Road
(there will not be a sign at this intersection).
9. Turn left on Cavender Creek Road and drive approximately 1 mile.
10. Turn right on Town Creek Church Road (there is no stop sign but there are a number of signs including one
for Dahlonega Spa Resort).
11. Drive approximately 2.8 miles until you see a sign for Dahlonega Spa Resort and a street sign for Blueberry
Hill on the right.
12. Turn right onto Blueberry Hill and drive up to the Main Inn for check-in.

Drive north on Highway 400. At the intersection of GA400 and Hwy 60 you will see a sign indicating the end of
GA400 and a sign for Dahlonega to the left. Continue straight through that intersection (400 turns into Long
Branch Road-a 2-lane road) for approximately 8 miles until it dead-ends into Cavender Creek Road (there’s no
sign at this intersection). Turn Left on Cavender Creek Road and go approximately 1 mile. Turn Right onto
Town Creek Church Road. Go approximately 2.8 miles and you will see a sign for Dahlonega Spa Resort on the
right hand side. Make a right on Blueberry Hill and take the road up to the main house.
400 Blueberry Hill, Dahlonega, GA 30533 tel 706-865-7678

Downloadable Property Map

Download Directions to Dahlongega Spa Resort

Leave a Reply