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"Breathe...remember to exhale from your lower back muscles." Is this even possible? 
I repeat these words to myself as I concentrate up Pratt Trail. The challenging trail 
has loose gravel mixed with variety sized rocks and numerous switch backs that demand 
my full attention and respect at 6:30 am in the morning.

I am an active, 40 years old male and "I survived The Oaks" in Ojai, CA. Was it what 
I expected? The environment was relaxing with engaging conversations from retired individuals and working professionals from Florida, to Canada, and even my home area of Silicon Valley.  While at The Oaks it never even crossed my mind that I would rather be golfing or playing basketball. I would definitely attribute this lack of consciousness to my daily 6-8 hours of exercise which included morning trail hikes and various workout classes ending before dinner.  How's the food? Fantastic. After meeting with the on-site nutritionist I was able to make sure I had adequate amounts of healthy calories in order to sustain my workout level. I would definitely recommend The Oaks and hope to come back every year! 
July 2014
Santa Clara

Our Fitness Director Nancy received this letter in June 2014.
Hi, Nancy
It's been a while since the summer of 2012 when we worked together while I was putting the finishing touches on my book. I have continued to embrace the tenants of healthy living--reducing stress, eating healthy, exercising regularly. I lost a total of 20 pounds since my time at The Oaks and while it's work, I have continued to stay within 3 pounds of my goal. Every time I receive one of your emails, I send a silent thank you into the universe for your wisdom and expertise. My life has changed dramatically in the past two years--my book was published, I met a wonderful man, we have been living in Israel for the past year and just this weekend, we became engaged. 
I hope you know what a difference you and your team make in the lives of those you touch, 

After her November 2013 stay at The Oaks, Adele D. had this to say,  "I don't exercise because I think it's boring.  After taking World Dance & Zumba, I realized I am not working out to the right thing.  Thank you for sparking this inside of me.  I now know what I need to do to be healthy and have fun while doing it."

Michele from Canada  June 2013

“How the Oaks Changed My Life

Have these sixty days been the most amazing gift I have given myself to date? Definitely! Would I recommend this same experience to anyone seeking health and wellness for themselves? In a heartbeat! My Oaks stay has absolutely changed my life.

I thought that in coming to the Oaks for 60 days my life would be about losing weight since I have fought with food and fat for forty years. At 58, I felt defeated and felt like I was dying. I was so unfit and unhealthy that I saw these 60 days as a desperate last effort to change my circumstances. I did not like the person I had become nor the habits and behaviors I was exhibiting.

Was I surprised when after only a couple of days at the Oaks I realized that I had really arrived at a place where I would be changing from the inside out. I was really here to heal emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The shock when I realized that I had to do that FIRST, before I lost weight, was profound to say the least. And how did that inside out healing come about? In many ways, through the various evening lectures, the afternoon seminars, things the class instructors would say, but primarily through the discussions I had with so many absolutely lovely and fabulous women who were kind enough and brave enough to share their inner journeys with me. Their examples gave me the strength to examine my own habits and body and to start the work towards the change I saw necessary. I am so glad and grateful that the Oaks is structured in such a way that it makes it easy to meet new people who are interested in health and wellness.

I am leaving here in the best shape of my life. At times I have been thinner, but never fitter. When I first got here I would sometimes cry after I completed some of the cardio classes because I felt so happy that I could and did do the class! I didn’t care that I looked like a beet and sweat like a pig- I was on my way down the Highway of Health!

How do I summarize a life changing experience? I am leaving here with so many new friends, a new mind, a new heart, and a new body! All of the Staff at the Oaks from the Front Desk, the Dining Room Servers, the MOD’s, those at the Nest, the class instructors, the Directors, Sheila herself, not to forget the wonderful cleaning ladies who were teaching me Spanish, are all in some way responsible for helping along my transformation.

From the very bottom of my heart, I extend a great big thank you with much love".


"We are coming back next year for a week and cannot wait.  There is something very special about the Oaks and although I cannot put my finger on it - it is there.  My daughter and I have gotten so much closer due to our visits at the Oaks.  I have met people there who have changed my life in many ways.   Awhile ago I taught adults for many years and made a difference in their lives.  I believe all those who work at the Oaks have changed lives and made a difference."   Nancy G.

" It's New York Judy who was there for the most WONDERFUL month from October 23 through November 20.  I didn't know if I'd last the whole month but I must say that I was happy every single day I was there and could've even stayed longer!  My New York friends couldn't believe I stayed the entire time.  I came home looking better than I've looked in years body wise and find that my cravings are now for tofu, quinoa and brown rice rather than sweets!  I was a diet coke fanatic and haven't had one since I'm home.  My sugar had spiked from 5.2 to 7.2 right before I went to the Oaks and went right down to 5.2 when I got home and my cholesterol readings were better than ever. I had a mini face lift on December 14 and am looking even better.  I fell in love with Ojai and have been investigating properties there.  I'm scheduled to be back February 1 through the 10th with a wonderful woman I met there (another plus) who lives in L.A.  My birthday is January 16th and I'm wondering if I could have the birthday special during that visit?  If not, no big deal.  I'm also coming back next December 15th through January 1 and have a wedding in L.A. mid July and am sure I'll combine that with a few days at Ojai.  In fact I can't imagine every going to L.A. on a visit without stopping at The Oaks.  I have been raving to my friends back in New York about The Oaks and they can see the results by looking at me." - Judy from New York.

"After a turbulent year, I received a much needed break at The Oaks at Ojai and it was a life changing experience that affected my body, mind and Spirit!  I didn’t know how badly I need peace and solace and a focus on overall wellness. Thanks!" - Frederick from Los Angeles 

"My life has never been the same since I discovered The Oaks at Ojai some 23 years ago, and I am very grateful for the sanctuary you offer.  I am also blessed to be able to afford it; it costs about as much as liposuction, but it’s so much better." - Abby from Calabasas

"Every time I come to The Oaks I go home with a new healthy habit, and reinforce ones I am now living by.  It is also a wonderful to reconnect with the caring staff and other interesting guests I have met over the years.  Sheila the founder is a wonderful role model and I am grateful for The Oaks." - Michelle from Camarillo

'“This is the happiest place in the world” some loved one always hers these words from my mouth within 24 hours of my arrival at The Oaks at Ojai. I appreciate The Oaks for the balance and calibration it has brought me over the years and enjoy it every visit.' - Jill from Los Angeles

 “I came to The Oaks in 07 for my 50th birthday I was planning on more relaxing than a jump start but I found myself inspired by the incredibly good low cal food, great classes and private session with Nancy. I am back again at the Oaks ready to rest and be inspired all over again. I suffer from auto-immune disease, and had resigned myself to mediocrity, but NO MORE! I honestly never thought that I could feel so good Thank you Oaks” - Jane from Colorado

 "There is something special for everyone at The Oaks at Ojai. For me it was my body composition profile with Nancy. One year later I am happy to report my cholesterol is down, my blood pressure is down and my body fat is down. All thanks to the Magic of The Oaks." - Peggy from Torrance

"What a great way to “unplug” and relax while getting into shape down time in this very busy life." - Karen

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