Who We Are
We are an internationally established platform offering embodiment education, training, and spaces for movement- and body-based soul-work. Evolving from founder Stefana Serafina’s work with freeing the intelligence of the body through intuitive movement, the Deep Body Institute is an emergent and growing collective of deep-body practitioners, embodiment experts, therapists, artists, & educators, passionately advocating for a deep-bodied social change.
Below, please meet:
Our small team has moved mountains to bring the Deep Body Institute into being!
We are beyond passionate about what we do and we love witnessing the life-changing power of our deep body work touching so many lives.
Our Core Team
Founder, Lead Teacher, Mentor
Stefana Serafina, M.A., is an embodiment educator, writer, & mentor. The Deep Body method, which defines our work, emerged in Stefana's work over the last twelve years with communities in California, Europe, Central America, and is a unique body- and movement–based approach to personal & collective growth, and soul work.
Stefana’s teachings and facilitation, which is a signature blend of movement journeys and expressive arts approaches, earth and nature-centric body practices, myth & ancient story, embodied archetypal psyche, and ritual dance, have been called "life-changing and life-giving", "penetrating and rekindling", a "masterful invitation to the timeless remembrance of who we are''.
See more about Stefana's credentials and the story that lead her to creating the DBI.
Primary Teaching Assistant & Core Faculty
Katy Avila, MFA, is an artist and a weaver of body, myth, music, dance, poetry, & the stars. After years of studying music, writing, and astrology, she had the visceral sense that something was missing in her creative pursuits - movement. A string of synchronicities led to discovering Intuitive Body & Dance in 2017, training with founder Stefana Serafina, and becoming certified as a Deep Body® Practitioner in 2020. She has since supported Stefana and the Deep Body Institute as a project manager and teaching assistant.
Katy has taught expressive arts and movement workshops in high schools, yoga studios, medical universities, music festivals and online since 2015.
As a Deep Body Practitioner, Katy has created and taught numerous courses on embodied astrology, and offers transformative embodiment mentorships focused on emotional, creative, and authentic expression.
Katy is of Mexican-American heritage, with ancestral roots in Poland, Ireland, Spain and Britain. Working with the Deep Body Institute has allowed her to connect with indigenous and ancestral wisdom of movement and dance, and brought her home to her own body and the Earth.
Deep Body Collective
Our Deep Body Collective is an emergent and growing collective of embodiment experts, trained Deep Body practitioners, therapists, artists, soul workers and change makers.
Let us introduce you to some of the people who have been transformed by our work while doing their own powerful work in the world. Weaving our deep body method with their own genius and leadership, they will be offering to our community councils, rituals, & presentations at the edge of embodied social change.
Dana Elaine Schlick, LMFT, is a holistic psychotherapist, community ritualist, and alchemist for transforming our sacred life experiences into true beauty, power and overflowing joy.
She is the founder and a Priestess of the Womb Weavers Temple, a collective of women devoted to the embodiment of the Divine Feminine and the 13 Moon Mystery School Priestess Path. She also co-founded Sacred Grief Healing, an organization offering community grief rituals. She has a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Cruz, Ca, with a focus on integrating all aspects of ourselves, connecting with the wisdom of the body & soul, and cultivating deeply fulfilling intimacy.
In Dana's words:
"The Deep Body work has awakened the powerful portal awaiting entry when we tune in, and follow the instincts and imagination held in our bodies.
This way of being has inspired an ancient remembrance of the necessity of embodiment in community ritual spaces, and how natural it is to move with the mystery awaiting expression through us, as an offering to life."
Michelle Maree Hardeman-Guptill MA, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist, a transformational coach, a trauma specialist and a mentor for practitioners who understand the value of being trauma-informed whenever working with someone's mind or body. She brings all of the wisdom that she has gathered over 20 years into a container of safety, occasional cussing, a splash of sass and total reverence for your unique experiences.
Michelle has ancestral roots in Ireland and Denmark. She currently lives on the Miwok and Pomo lands of Northern California.
Her work supports people to create a bridge between the wisdom of their body and the power of their mind. This dance between the mind and body leads us to awareness, insight, regulation and expression.
In Michelle's words:
“The work with the deep body initially terrified me, and eventually became a driving force in my reconnection to the magical world inside my own body. Stefana ignited a passion for me to help others create that bridge between the mind and the body so that our world can return to a place of balance, aliveness, connection and intimacy."
Abigail Hinds Abigail is an Earth based Priestess & Ceremonialist, wisdom keeper of feminine healing lineages that nourish the life-giving powers of the feminine body and soul. She specializes in supporting women to prepare for conscious conception,
embodied breast health, and spiritual healing. Abby is a certified Deep Body Practitioner, and incorporates animal medicine, sound healing, plant & flower medicine, and somatic embodiment into all of her offerings.
In Abby's words:
"My work with Stefana deeply supported my yearning for the wildness of my feminine to have expression. She created space for me to access the deep womb of my body. To let my body be free to speak from the inside. This has allowed me to walk more freely in my body ~ in my natural expression to move through life in more presence and deeply felt connection."