Q&A: Ciuin Doherty on Big Sur, California

Q&A: Ciuin Doherty on Big Sur, California

Ciuin Doherty (MA) is a certified integral coach who supports people to step into their full potential, creating the relationships, careers and lives they dream of.

His approach is holistic, incorporating mind, body and soul and is built on a solid foundation of connection and trust. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness, Ciuin works one-on-one with individual clients and runs workshops and retreats internationally. Originally from Ireland he is now based in Venice Beach, California.

What are your top 5 recommended things to do in Big Sur?

1. Start the day at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park taking in the stunning McWay Falls that cascade 80 feet into the most pristine aquamarine bay.

2. Spend the afternoon wandering amongst some of the oldest Redwoods on the planet (2000 years plus) in the Pheiffer Big Sur State Park.

3. Catch the sunset at the very stylish Nepenthe Restaurant , drinking in majestic views down the length of Big Sur.

4. Check into your very own historic Norwegian cabin at Deetjens and trade stories by the blazing fireplace. 

5. Sneak out for a 2 am moonlight soak in Esalen’s secluded hot-springs, nestled into the cliffs above the churning Pacific Ocean.

What in Big Sur has really inspired you and your experience?

To me Big Sur is sacred land. Spending time up there taking in the vast Pacific seascapes reconnects me with a deep sense of awe, wonder and gratitude. I am reminded of what an exquisite opportunity it is to be alive at all on this breathtaking planet. I always leave with a reinvigorated sense of my purpose and calling in life.

Aside from yoga, what activities do you enjoy?

Surfing has been my number one passion since I caught my first wave off the West Coast of Ireland at 8 years old. It has brought me to the most amazing places in the world and always requires that I let go of control, placing myself in the hands of something much bigger than I am. I’ve also recently taken up boxing and I’m totally hooked. I love the explosiveness of it. No matter what state I arrive in, I leave the gym on top of the world, ready to make anything happen.

What super natural gift would you most like to possess?

Without question the ability to fly! As a kid I used to dream about flying every night, it was the most blissful experience. To soar high above the hustle and bustle of life, banking effortlessly, swooping weightlessly, to experience that type of perspective and freedom, to have your own set of wings, yes that would be a gift indeed!

In your next life, what would you choose to come back as?

I genuinely don’t ever think about coming back in a next life. I feel I’m exactly where I’m meant to be right now , the possibilities in front of me are so big and unknowable. It’s the most incredible gift to be here just once, I’m not asking for anymore!

Who inspires you or your practice?

The people I work with inspire me. We all have such a depth of goodness and beauty inside us that is just crying out to be expressed. That’s why I became an integral coach, to support others in recognizing and living from own unique gifts, stepping into to their full potential.

What is your present state of mind?

Right now I feel really inspired, it’s so fun answering your questions and being reminded of why I’m walking this path.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

1.  Aligning your life with that which makes you come vibrantly alive

 2. Living from a purpose you believe in, allowing it to be the rudder that guides you through the inevitable storms of life

 3. Expressing all of who you are and creating the space in which those around you feel safe and encouraged to do the same

What are you listening to right now?

The Italian pianist, Ludovico Einaudi. His music is at once haunting and uplifting, painful and beautiful, all in the same breath.

What are you watching right now?

I got sucked into Breaking Bad recently but have had to stop watching it before bed as it can get pretty dark.

What are you reading right now?

The Brain Wise Therapist’s Workbook, by Bonnie Badenoch. She applies the latest findings in neuroscience to how we practically support people in creating more freedom in their lives, gorgeous stuff.

What has been your favorite discovery in Big Sur?

I heard about a rarely surfed wave in Andrew Morella State Park. After taking numerous wrong turns through a dense forest, clad head to toe in rubber, I finally emerged onto an empty beach rimmed by perfectly peeling waves, not a drop of water out of place. Sitting alone out in the inky black ocean as the sun drifted beyond the curve of the earth, I felt myself to be an integral part of that ancient land, just as much as the kelp swirling below me and the stars blazing in the heavens above.

What is/are your, “must haves,” while traveling?

Surfboard, journal, and a good book. Less is more.

What is your favorite retreat venue in Big Sur?

Esalen, for sure. It’s perfectly nestled between the towering redwoods and the rolling Pacific. Taking a yoga class while watching huge fans of spray cascading in slow motion over that big rock out to sea, that alone is worth the trip up to Big Sur.

What is your favorite quote?

“Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” -David Whyte


For more on Ciuin;

Top Ten Yoga Retreat Destinations

Top Ten Yoga Retreat Destinations

Sisterhood of the Traveling Mats: Part II

Sisterhood of the Traveling Mats: Part II