“My passion is to help co-create with you a deeper and more profoundly satisfying experience of Life.”
PiaSoma, or devotion to the development of the embodied soul, was created over three decades by teacher and facilitator Char Pias, a certified instructor in multiple somatic modalities. It is a distillation of her life-long explorations of specific healing paths.
The word “PiaSoma” is derived from Char’s surname, “Pias”, which originates from 15th century Latin, meaning sacred, honest, kind, devoted, and “Soma” from the Greek language, literally meaning the physical body.
Combining her love of other cultures and travel, Char has presented her workshops internationally. At the 1993 Conference on Shamanism, Medicine, and Religion in Germany, Char was featured as a yoga teacher and performed her one-woman show “Mysterion” an autobiographical journey of healing and spirit. She has lead women’s workshops in Switzerland, shamanic dance and Esalen Massage workshops in Greece and Japan.
Born to an English mother and a Greek father, Char was raised in Big Sur, California with an appreciation for nature, anthropology, art and mythology. She is deeply influenced by her Greek heritage. Her ancestral village, Elatovrisi, is near the ancient site of Delphi, home of the goddess and the oracle Pithia, who counseled travelers to “Know Thy Self.” At age 24, Char had a series of transformative experiences that reset her consciousness on the quest for knowledge.
Char attended her first yoga class in 1972, the same year she began studying massage. Later, she took her background in dance and music to the Esalen Institute in 1977. Her move there enabled her interests in the creative and performing arts to expand onto the healing arts. Char went on to join the Esalen Massage staff in 1980, and began teaching massage four years later.
In her first years at Esalen, Char was influenced by master teachers Chungliang Al Huang, Gabrielle Roth, Anna Halprin, Paul Rebillot, Stan Groff, and Al Drucker. Her explorations into the divine feminine was nurtured by the work of Riane Eisler “The Chalice and The Blade” and anthropologist Maria Gimbutas “The Language of the Goddess.”
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
Char has a keen interest in visiting sacred sites and tuning into the wisdom of the terrestrial ancestors. Her early experiences with this deeper attunement happened while still a child, a visit to the Anasazi archeological sites in Arizona sparked a transformative experience. Years later while living at Esalen Char connected with Native American teachings and developed a deep affinity for the medicine wheel, vision quest and the sweat lodge tradition.