ALIVE Retreats brings together a dedicated group of healers who support the retreat's mission.

Practitioners are fully committed to seeing us all become vibrantly whole.

Karla Downing, CMT, RN
Founder of ALIVE Retreats

Karla has been a holistic health care practitioner and bodyworker/massage therapist for over 40 years. As well as being a Registered Nurse, she is a certified Integrative Restoration/iRest/Yoga Nidra Teacher and Certified Cannabis Consultant. Creating gut health by making medicine out of delicious, live, fermented foods is one of her joys.

In her practice of massage therapy she has offered pregnancy massage and birth doula services. She loves being a Grandma(LaLaMa) and while stepping into this grandma role in her family she is feeling called to be a Grandma in her community as well.


Studying, practicing and teaching meditation is a large part of her life. She has had many fortunate opportunities to study with great masters from the Tibetan Buddhist and other traditions. She has the understanding that the mind and body are both important to keep free of congestion. Her passion is to help people connect with kindness: to themselves, to their health, to their innate wisdom, and to each other.

Karla founded ALIVE Retreats out of her life-long journey of self discovery, realization, and healing. 

Barbara Juniper
Certified Sound Healer and Spiritual Guide

Barbara has worked in the field of alternative healing and spiritual growth for over 20 years. After graduating from the Institute of Classical Homeopathy in San Francisco, she had a successful homeopathic practice in Marin County for 15 years. She currently offers Sound Healing and Spiritual Guidance in private practice as well as group settings. She studied and completed training in Sound, Voice and Music Healing at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Over the last eight years, she has helped hundreds of people transform and liberate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual pain using sound, music and the voice. Because she has been a depth practitioner of many different wisdom traditions, including Native American, Buddhist and Mystic Christianity, she has a profound ability to be a spiritual guide and friend to both men and women. Her depth of presence and compassion infuse her work with powerful healing energy.

Dr. Nicole Yezman, ND, LAc
ALIVE Retreats Naturopathic Doctor & Consultant

Nicole is a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist in San Rafael, who is committed to assisting others in their journey to wellness. Nicole is dedicated to helping people identify the root causes of their health issues, and is always asking WHY a person’s current health state is the way it is. She uses resources such as homeopathy, botanicals, vitamins and minerals, hydrotherapy, nutrition, Chinese medicine and acupuncture; and works in all realms, including physical, mental-emotional and energetic. Her specialties include gastrointestinal health, autoimmune illnesses and allergies. Nicole’s goal is always to trace the symptom back to its original source, so that the environment or factor can be navigated and true change and healing can occur.

Nicole will be talking about GI health, inflammation and Naturopathic medicine at ALIVE and will be available for private appointments during the retreat.

Rik Halsted, LAc
Acupuncturist, Meditation Facilitator, QiGong Teacher

Rik has been a practicing a acupuncturist for over 30 years. Rik studied, trained and worked as an acupuncturist in Taiwan and Japan before moving to the Bay Area and earning a Masters degree in Chinese medicine. He treats people for a wide range of disorders including gut and digestive challenges, which he considers to be at the core of a healthy, vibrant physical body.

Rik has been practicing meditation for more than 40 years. He began his meditation practice with Chogyam Trunga Rimpoche and has since studied with accomplished meditation masters worldwide. He also served as a translator for his teacher Master Sheng Yen around the world. Rik has previously taught meditation in Taiwan, Japan, NYC, and the Bay Area. 

Rik studied Tai Chi and Qi Gong extensively in Taiwan with Master Liu and continued his studies in the U.S. He has taught these disciplines internationally for several decades.

Robin Winn, MA, MFT
Healing Arts Practitioner, Human Design Consultant, QiGong Teacher

Robin brings over 35 years of experience in the healing arts. Immersed in studying, teaching, and working with the weave of mind, emotions, body, and spirit, her passion is embodied awakening. With grounded awareness, deep caring, infectious enthusiasm, and inspired curiosity, her calling is to meet you where you are and help you take the next step on your journey to true well-being. Robin has supported people's embodiment and transformation as a Licensed Psychotherapist, Diamond Logos Teacher, The Work of Byron Katie Facilitator, Rosen Method Bodyworker Practitioner and Movement Teacher, Anat Baniel NeuroMovement Practitioner, Qigong Teacher, MBS Facilitator, Speaking Circles Facilitator, as well as Human Design Consultant. She is a Lineage Student at the Sukhasiddhi Dharma Center. With a plethora of tools, and a clear understanding that each one of us is unique and perfect, Robin is committed to supporting and empowering individuals, families, and businesses to skillfully navigate their path. In this retreat she will utilize Qigong, NeuroMovement and the template of Human Design, sometimes called the new astrology, to help you meet yourself with new eyes, connect to your inner guidance, upgrade your capacity to function, and live at a higher level of coherence.

Kara Graham
ALIVE Retreats Manager

Kara supports the logistical planning of ALIVE Retreats with the goal of providing a well-organized and peaceful environment for guests to align with their wellness goals. Many years of facility management, event planning and community outreach experience inform this role. She is passionate about Food Justice and the development of nutritious and resilient food systems that nurture individual wellness, biocultural diversity and sustainable communities. She presently works for a network of nonprofit community health centers in Humboldt County, as well as for the local Farmers’ Market. 

Rosemary Iris Georgeson, B.A.

Mother, Herbalist, Teacher, Cannabis Therapy Consultant,

Ayurveda Counselor and Practitioner

Jamil Downing
ALIVE Retreats Chef
Jamil has always been passionate about making tasty food and is excited to share a food-first approach to nutrition at ALIVE Retreats. He has several years of formal restaurant cooking and catering experience, and recently completed a Fermentationist Certification course to expand his repertoire of fermented foods and knowledge about how to build a healthy gut biome. When Jamil is not in a kitchen you can find him at Mycality Mushrooms in Fairhaven, California, where he assists with the cultivation and distribution of culinary and medicinal mushroom varieties to local farmers’ and retail markets.
Jennifer Zlaket, MA, CHHC
Mindfulness Facilitator & Human Design Consultant

Jennifer is a Level II iRest/Integrative Restoration Meditation Teacher-in-Training, and a Mindfulness Coach. She is board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, holds a Master’s degree in Counseling, and has 20 years of education, counseling and coaching experience. Jennifer is passionate about living and healing holistically, and empowering men and women with mindfulness so they can shift from being on auto-pilot to BEing aligned with the best version of themselves. Jennifer helps with various tasks behind-the-scenes, as well as facilitates meditations and supports classes at ALIVE Retreats when she’s not traveling with her husband and toddler.

Kalin Zlaket
ALIVE Retreats Systems & Safety Coordinator

Kalin Zlaket is ALIVE Retreats Systems & Safety Coordinator, fire-maker, and handles so much more behind-the-scenes. He’s also a mariner, a Certified Transformation Coach, an Integrative Restoration Meditation Teacher-in-Training Level I, as well as a lover of people and nature, and a gifted communicator and listener. His inspiration for guiding others toward deeper love and connection comes from a desire to contribute to a healthy, loving planet. Kalin is passionate about many things, including sailing, juggling, and traveling.