Manager of External Communications

Chrissa J. Pullicino
150 Lake Drive Rhinebeck, NY 12572
(w) 845.266.4444, ext. 404
chrissap@eomega.org

Omega's 2009 Being Yoga Conference Offers More Than 'Just Yoga'

Omega's 2009 Being Yoga Conference Offers More Than 'Just Yoga'

More than 30 Top Yoga Experts Come Together for a Weekend of Yoga, Health, and Wellness

RHINEBECK, NY - Today, Omega Institute announced its annual Being Yoga conference will take the form of a retreat on their Rhinebeck, New York campus, from August 21 through 23. By moving the conference, which has been held for several years in large city hotel environments to their rural campus, Omega offers a new approach to large scale gatherings for yoga practitioners and teachers, one that can foster community and provide an inspiring space for learning. The retreat will offer seasoned yoga practitioners as well as first time students an opportunity to be immersed in a variety of yoga styles, as well as to explore the many facets of yoga practice-from therapeutic to philosophical. Other health and wellness practices will be offered such as meditation, vegetarian cooking, tai chi, and dance.

"We are thrilled to bring the Being Yoga conference to Omega's campus, where guests can unplug and unwind in the beauty of nature with all of the added benefits our campus offers, such as the Omega Wellness Center, Sanctuary, Dining Hall, and the new Omega Center for Sustainable Living," said Carla Goldstein, director of external affairs and the Women's Institute at Omega. "Guests will experience first-hand the ways in which yoga practice can go beyond exercise to become a way of being-a lifestyle of awareness, peace, and public service."

As a nonprofit organization, service is at the core of Omega's mission, and also central to the philosophy of yoga, which incorporates principles such as kindness and selfless service-known as "seva" in Sanskrit, the classical language of the ancient yoga texts. In this tradition, Omega will offer guests the opportunity to give to others through a blood drive, a pen pal program with local senior citizens, and a letter writing project to support soldiers overseas. Guests can also partake in Omega's annual Seva Pledge, which invites guests to make a commitment to public service when they return home after the conference retreat. Omega then sends these commitments to participants in six months as a follow up. Experts from the Yoga Service Council will be on hand to provide one-on-one advice on starting a service project and empowering communities through yoga. Through Trees for the Future, Omega will plant 10 trees for each person who attends; estimated to be around 3,500 total.

Guests of Being Yoga will design their own schedule, choosing from nearly 70 dynamic workshops, to explore what it means to "live your yoga." They have the option to start the weekend retreat with a half-day intensive on Friday afternoon and study in-depth with a top teacher, including Shiva Rea, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, Aadil Palkhivala, Seane Corn, Tias Little, Sharon Salzberg, David Swenson, and more. Friday afternoon intensives may be taken separately or in addition to the full weekend event.

The main conference retreat, which brings together more than 30 of the yoga industry's most talented and diverse teachers, begins Friday at 8:00 p.m. with an opening yoga session co-taught by all of the yoga faculty. This dynamic shared class is a first time event and will model a new paradigm for bringing diverse teachers together and creating community. The following night, an evening performance by musician Wah! blends upbeat Sanskrit chants with reggae and pop influences to create a unique mix of spiritual world music, already featured on ten solo albums. The conference will come to a close on Sunday at noon, after a Lovingkindness and Joy ceremony to be led by Sharon Salzberg and Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.

For more information, including a complete list of faculty and workshops being offered, please visit eOmega.org/beingyoga. To apply for a media pass, please contact Chrissa Pullicino. Some restrictions regarding press access and flash photography may apply.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 195 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York and at exceptional locations around the world. eOmega.org

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