@ Centro Upaya


October 18-20

(5-9 pm on Friday, 10am-6 pm on Saturday and Sunday)

$500                                      (sliding scale discounts available)

20 spots 


@ Centro Upaya


October 18-20

(5-9 pm on Friday, 10am-6 pm on Saturday and Sunday)

$500 sliding scale discounts available

20 spots available

This workshop has a sliding scale.  Sarah is traveling from the United States, which incurs high expense. There are a limited number of discount spots available, designed to serve the local community. If you would like to pay less than the listed price, please read our SLIDING SCALE HERE for guidelines and discount codes. If you are a foreigner and able to be living in or visiting Portugal, please consider paying the full price.  13 spots available @ $500. 3 spots @ $450. 2 spots @ $400. 1 spot left @ $300. Bi-weekly payment plans available automatically at checkout. Reach out to Sarah directly if you need 3-month payment plan. 

This weekend will be rare and nourishing Soul medicine.  It brings the nuance and gravitas of a necessary and profound soul work that we are called to do.

Through flows of archetypal qigong, fluid-body primal expression and the frame of a single story from the oracular book Women Who Run With the Wolves, we lean into the truth of the Fierce Feminine and will walk between worlds in order to reclaim our wholeness and call forth fierce motions and insights of inner life that are required to guard and protect our truth, agency, integrity, and power, for our personal lives and for our world that is asking us to show up fully.

Story and movement are of our most indigenous human expressions and capacities, no matter where we come from. The deepest parts of us recognize the power of symbol and physical gesture. The import and impact of archetype and symbol is a language that cuts through and speaks to us in a soul-language- in flashes of insight and direct bone-knowing.

The fierceness of the feminine has long been socialized out of us – relegated to the shadowlands in Western postcolonial contexts. Qualities, expressions and embodiments of assertion, boundaries, directness, precision, discernment, immovable resolve, deep and direct knowing, surety, saying no, protection, differentiation, separation, severing, cutting through, sharp tongue, truth-telling, shrewdness, clarity, action, agency, and power…these movements and energies carry profound wisdom and transformative power in our lives and in our world. We cannot access these qulities just in our minds. We must remember what they feel like in our gestures and bodies.

Fierceness in the feminine soul (in all bodies and genders) is too often kept under wraps, hidden from view, and relegated to unexpressed territories. In most myths, fairy tales and real-life scenarios depicting a feminine protagonist, it is the embodiment and expression of this fierceness that is needed to free her from her own capture, domestication, and disappearance toward a life and path of sovereignty and true power.

Too often the qualities of ferocious integrity become distorted, false and ineffective versions of themselves as they twist into knots of anger, rage, and resentment inside of us…or become so hidden that they seem unfindable altogether, rendering us falsely passive, self-doubting, tentative, demure, disembodied and dissociated.

The aspects and qualities of the ferocious feminine are part of our instinctual animal body containing profound integrity when not repressed, hidden, or avoided.

A fundamental truth of the wild feminine soul is that we know what must live and what must die.  It is not only within our reach but within our biological intelligence to be the keepers of cycles and the actors of this agency. The map of this  Life/Death/Life nature is contained inside of every in-tact fairy tale and story/myth throughout time.

There is movement to our personal mythology as well as the myths that guide and are unfolding in our lives. There is a mythology to the innate gestures that rise from our tissue, and can be touched in specific archetypal flows of qigong. Both contain a unique and brilliant holographic intelligence that contain maps to show us where we are, where we have been and where to go next, mirrors within which to see ourselves and understand our states and conditions, and the medicine to nourish and instruct us in regards to what is really the matter and where to go from here.

When we are not landed in our bones, nor close to the somatic gestures of this fierce instinct, we live in our “heads”, we feel cut off from our gut knowing, we feel like a starved soul wandering in a kind of zombie-zone. It is difficult to use our voice, to say a full no or a full yes, to stand up, to show up -for ourselves and each other- and to create from our original signature of life force.

This workshop is open to all genders and every BODY wishing to explore the qualities of fierceness within the context of the modern socialization of the feminine soul.

What is Archetypal Qigong?

Different from other styles of qigong which might look and feel a bit more abstract, these forms carry symbol and story in a striking way. Over the last 10 years of teaching these forms, often students comment that they “somehow know these forms”  in their bones, that they “feel right”, feel like gestures they’ve been longing for. These archetypal forms offer us elegant maps and storylines in motion, mirrors in which to see ourselves clearly at any given moment and potent energetic medicines and balms; Through them, we literally move our way into a conversation with the wisdom, resource and universal memory of the archetypal world -expressed patterns and stories that hold keys to our potential, integration, and creative power. Each qigong form holds a different medicine- what might it be to inhabit and cultivate patterns of surrender, protection, fierceness, true vulnerability, warriorship, courage, hope, trust, deep yin power,  profound yang beauty, for example? These forms shift us from an ideal/idea into a felt-sense of these energies and qualities.

In these forms, we do the work of “making soul with physical ritual”. We not only cultivate energy, right relationship to natural cycles, sensitivity and reverent embodiment, but we commune with the unseen, archetypal and mythic worlds that fund our mundane lives into meaning and alignment.

What is fluid-body primal expression?

We are spine-based and fluid animal bodies. The body is not an object. The body is a natural process. We do not HAVE a body. We ARE a body.  We are a natural process with a primal intelligence that lives in our tissues and knows how to create system-wide harmony through the natural unfolding and infolding fluid movements of life.  When we live and express in a rigid and mechanical model and understanding of body, we are reduced to states of performance, habit, insistence and demand…We express as machines, rather than the supple, dynamic and  biointelligent movements that can nourish us and create resilience and coherence. All of us know how to be this. It is in our cells. It is our origin story and natural state. There is nothing to fix. rather we are looking to see what has interrupted this fluid expression. In this workshop we will work with fluid-movement explorations on the floor as a path toward returning to this original coherence.  This kind of movement will hydrate, nourish and enliven you to the bone. It is an experience of returning to the water, on land.


**Participants need to know they have the confidence, physical centering, and psychic anchoring to hold them in time and space. A clear sense of containment is required. This workshop is not a fit for those who may be currently feeling destabilized, traumatized, struggling to heal, or in need of reestablishing basic nervous system or life coherency. (Thank you to Liz Koch of Core Awareness for this language)

About Sarah Byrden

Sarah Byrden is a somatic educator, archetypal qigong teacher, a poet and writer, storyteller, orator and wilderness guide. A two time TEDx presenter, Sarah has dedicated over twenty years to the deep study and apprenticeship of nature-based movement modalities, archetypal patterns, words and wilderness. She brings skill, nuanced perception and capacity for language to her teaching in a way that opens new doors and pathways. Teaching from her own direct-study and life-long journey, she is the founder of The Elemental Self, a creative space for remembering our truest self, the web in which we belong, and our innate capacity to move and be moved by a source beyond our conditioning.