Described as an “inner vacation,” this wellness retreat is designed for relaxation and renewal of mind, body, and spirit.
I was invited to experience all that 1440 has to offer: morning yoga, nature trails, a massage at the spa, concerts, cooking demos, and a drum circle. It was a whirlwind 2 days, but I did observe a glimpse into what makes 1440 a special destination for people from all walks of life.
“There are 1440 minutes in a day, each one a chance to connect with what truly matters – both within and around us.”
This is the essence of 1440 Multiversity, a new learning destination nestled in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains. There are weekend and 5-day programs with sessions in yoga, meditation, art, writing, cooking classes and even gardening. Discovery Programs are structured to promote connection, creativity, and to deepen our relationship with nature. Past programs have been led by authors Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed, musician Alanis Morissette, and meditation experts like Sharon Salzberg.
An Inner Vacation at 1440
The campus was built to make everyone feel comfortable; it’s not too fancy or too funky. It was designed using natural materials to create an authentic gathering experience. In the words of founder, Scott Kriens, 1440’s design mantra is “no fake stuff.” From the material to the food and the instructors, this mantra is weaved throughout the experience. (*Kriens and his wife Joanie are co-founders of 1440.) “Whatever you hope to accomplish during your stay can’t be done alone,” explained Kriens. “Sage advice will happen in the classroom, but the more important things will happen in the communal areas or around the fire.”
My favorite place to gather was in the Kitchen Table dining hall, which serves a seasonal menu from Executive Chef Kenny Woods. “The fun part of creating the menu at Kitchen Table is the unknown. We base everything we do on what is seasonal, what is fresh.” Every meal was delicious and featured dishes for all needs, including gluten-free and vegan options. The chef, along with the instructors in the test kitchen, focus on clean and seasonal foods, not what is trending.”
The test kitchen is a state-of-the-art seamless indoor/outdoor classroom with herbs and vegetables grown for meals and gardening instruction. Our cooking demo was led by Michelle Tam, creator of Nom Nom Paleo, who I have been following on social media for years. Tam made us her potsticker stir-fry while answering questions about recipe development and writing her newest cookbook.
connecting to nature
The most beautiful building on campus has to be the Sanctuary building, a repurposed chapel from when 1440 was a religious university. With windows stretching from floor-to-ceiling exposing a view of the ancient redwoods, doing yoga in this room feels like a spiritual experience.
Spiritual connection outdoors is easily available as well. Take a walk on a trail, visit the outdoor amphitheater, or soak in the infinity tub at 1440’s spa. Overlooking the forrest, the infinity tub provided me with the clearest mind-body experience of the stay. The warm water, fresh air, sounds of the trees whipping in the wind, and the stunning view swept over me. It was here that I truly felt relaxed and renewed.
One of the most profound sites is the “Mother Tree,” a 250 ft tall 1200 year old tree, nestled down a trail and past a creek. Standing under this ancient tree I was reminded of one simple truth: life is a blessing. 1440 gives you the space to celebrate life, expand your thinking, and take a vacation from your daily hustle.