Omega in Action

Omega in Action highlights inspiring people and organizations making meaningful change. From protecting the environment to empowering women, healing veterans, and serving nonprofits, you'll find fresh perspectives, trending news, and the latest information on noteworthy events here at Omega and around the world.

Unmet Needs of Veterans With Psychological Injuries Reaches Epidemic Proportions With Rise in Suicide & Sexual Assault

2 years 3 months ago

Join 30 Top Mind-Body Healing Experts in Exploring New Alternatives for Veterans Dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & In Addressing Unique Challenges Faced by Female Veterans

RHINEBECK, NY – As reported by the New York Times, 45 percent of veterans that have served in Iraq or Afghanistan are now requesting support for their injuries, in many instances psychological injuries. President Obama recently stated that we are losing more troops to suicide than we are losing in combat, calling the issue an epidemic and demanding that “we’ve got to do better.” Additionally, there has been a 97% increase in sexual assault in the military over the past five years, creating trauma in female veterans.

In response to the rise in unmet health needs of returning veterans, Omega Institute is convening an unprecedented gathering of experts in trauma and the treatment of trauma for veterans using complementary and alternative medicine. Veterans, Trauma & Treatment—Best Mind-Body Practices: A Professional Conference Addressing Resiliency to Recovery will be held October 12–14, 2012 on Omega’s campus in Rhinebeck, New York, and is intended for healthcare professionals, psychologists, social workers, caregivers, and counselors assisting veterans battling with PTSD and their families. Omega will also offer additional programs in addressing combat-related issues through yoga therapy, and will hold two healing retreats to address the specific needs of female veterans.

“We see a critical need to support returning vets beyond what the current system is equipped to provide. The road to healing from the trauma of war is complex, and we are honored to be working with some of the nation’s most forward-thinking health experts and veterans’ advocates, to collaborate on best practices in healing modalities in an effort to help more veterans get treatment, more quickly,” said Carla Goldstein, chief external affairs officer at Omega.

The conference will also touch on resilience studies, and some remarkable trauma prevention work being undertaken with combat and noncombat soldiers. Join Jon Kabat-Zinn, Bessel van der Kolk, Peter A. Levine, officers and retired officers from the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force, and other extraordinary leaders who offer creative solutions to the myriad problems that come with PTSD. For a complete list of presenters, visit

For more than 20 years, Omega has been engaged with veterans and family members dealing with issues of PTSD. Following this groundbreaking conference for professionals, Omega will offer additional workshops for veterans, including:

Teaching Yoga in Military Communities, Part 2: Advanced Teaching Skills for Addressing Combat-Related Issues
October 14–19. Professional training for yoga teachers. Participants need to complete Part 1 (teleseminar) before attending Part 2.
As the United States military adopts more evidence-based, mind-body approaches and seeks to hire competent instructors, specialized training focused on military culture and combat-related conditions will be a great benefit. This 5-day certification program for yoga teachers provides a solid foundation in the art and science of teaching yoga in a military setting. Seasoned teachers, with medical, mental health, and military backgrounds, who have significant experience teaching yoga to servicemen and servicewomen, will train teachers in the effective use of yoga for post-deployment physical and psychological conditions.

Military & Veteran Women’s Healing Retreat(s)
October 14–19 (already full) and a second retreat October 22–26 (space still available). This program, including room and board, is available at no cost to qualified female veterans or active duty women in the military.
With the alarming rise in sexual assault in the military, and many other unique challenges, the wounds of war often run deeper and longer for female veterans. Major (fmr) Nisha Money, former chief of United States Air Force Fitness, and a team of healing arts therapists, along with financial, employment, and life-skill reintegration experts, will guide attendees through a variety of holistic healing modalities and other helpful resources. For scholarship information, call 845.266.4444, ext. 180.

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.    

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Sharon Salzberg: Who to Vote For?

2 years 3 months ago

Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, is one of America’s leading meditation teachers and authors. In this article for Huffington Post, she shares her thoughts on why "voting is like alchemy—taking an abstract value and breathing life into it. Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world."

Read Sharon Salzberg's full article, "Who to Vote For?" on Huffington Post.

Omega Named One of the Best Places for Silent Retreat

2 years 4 months ago

Omega was featured in The Wall Street Journal as one of the best places to go for a silent retreat. Constant communication is a highly prized part of modern-day life, while going quiet has been shown to ease stress, lower your blood pressure, and reflect on the things that matter most. 

For more than 35 years, Omega has offered general mindfulness workshops, professional trainings in a number of mindfulness-based modalities, and groundbreaking conferences.  Our mindfulness programs feature notable voices in the field—from Jon Kabat-Zinn to Sharon Salzberg—and reach a broad spectrum of people—from kindergarteners to yoga enthusiasts and corporate executives.

Explore more of Omega's upcoming conferences and workshops

What Young Women are Saying about Rachel Simmon's Workshop

2 years 4 months ago

Here's a blog post from Naomi Chick and Julia Hunter who recently participated in the Omega Women's Leadership Center's workshop for young women Say What You Mean, Be Who You Are with Rachel Simmons. There was a lot of enthusiasm and engagement among the young women who attended the weekend and a commitment to creating change not only in their own lives, but in the world.

Starflower Experiences Tour the OCSL

2 years 5 months ago
Starflower Experiences, a Long Island based nonprofit educational organization offering focused environmental learning experiences, visited the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) this week. Their mission is to engage the head, the heart, and the hands in helping people understand natural systems, care about wild places, and take personal action to lower their impacts on the earth. 

Their Rangers of the Earth program, designed by the international organization, The Institute for Earth Education, helps 4th and 5th graders learn basic ecological concepts through first-hand experiences in the natural world in order to gain an understanding of how their personal choices and habits impact the earth.

Group and individual tours of the OCSL are offered by appointment year round, and students of all ages are welcome. Contact us at for more information.

How Yoga Changed One Man's Life After Coming to Omega

2 years 5 months ago

Rob Schware, the executive director for Give Back Yoga Foundation recently interviewed lawyer Bob Altman for Huffington Post about why he decided to change his life's work.

In 2008, Bob Altman attended an Off the Mat, Into the World intensive here at Omega Institute. That experience inspired him to wind down his law practice and put him on the path to yoga service by starting Grounded for Good, a yoga service initiative offering yoga and mindfulness classes to homeless youths in Atlanta.

Read the full interview with Rob Schware and Bob Altman on Huffington Post.

Explore more yoga stories and share your own with us

Turning a Toxic Landscape Into a Place of Beauty

2 years 5 months ago

Internationally recognized biologist, John Todd, the designer of the Eco Machine at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), is using similar technology, aptly named the Restorer, to treat commercial waste in the Baima canal in Fuzhou, China.

This 600-meter canal was considered one of the worst in the city due to the influx of 750,000 gallons per day of untreated domestic sewage. The city government worked with John Todd and Ocean Arks to restore the ecosystem to health by creating a Restorer, an affordable and low maintenance "living machine" which utilizes three natural elements—a marsh, a pond, and a stream.

Read the complete case study to learn more about the Restorer

Learn more about John Todd and Nancy Jack Todd's upcoming weekend workshop on Ecological Literacy at Omega from October 12–14, 2012. 

Omega Celebrates Staff Appreciation Day

2 years 5 months ago

Omega employs about 70 core staff who live off campus and support our organization in a variety of managerial and administrative positions. They come from nearly all walks of life and join together to serve Omega’s mission to provide hope and healing to individuals and society through innovative educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit.

Between April and October of every year, approximately 250 seasonal staff join us to be part of something larger than themselves, practice compassionate service, and enjoy meaningful work. There may be teachers on break from school working in the garden, lawyers serving in the Dining Hall, and college students eager to gain team-building skills helping participants with luggage. Many staff in mid-life find that a season at Omega is an ideal experience during a life transition or career change. It is also perfect for young graduates and active retirees who want to participate in community living.

The service and work provided by all of these amazing individuals is integral to the successful daily operation of our campus in order to provide thousands of guests with educational workshops, conferences, retreats, and trainings that foster personal development and social change.

Learn more about the staff experience at Omega

Omega on PBS: Mindfulness Goes Mainstream

2 years 6 months ago

Omega Institute was featured on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly on PBS in segment titled "Mindfulness Goes Mainstream" which included Congressman Tim Ryan and Jon Kabat-Zinn, as well as Ali and Atman Smith of Holistic Life Foundation speaking about the practice of mindfulness meditation.

As the practices of contemplative education, social/emotional learning, and mindfulness are now being widely explored in schools throughout America, research continues to show that mindfulness practice decreases stress, attention deficit issues, depression, anxiety, and hostility in children, while benefiting their health, well-being, social relations, and academic performance.

Numerous field studies in mindfulness and education show that teaching this practice to youth is profoundly beneficial for the development of children in grades K through 12. Children can easily learn these techniques and, when learned young, they become lifelong tools supporting awareness, empathy, and resilience.

Omega will bring together influential leaders in the field, including Congressman Tim Ryan, Sir Ken Robinson, and key education researchers, to discuss mindfulness and education with inspiring keynote lectures, question-and-answer sessions, transformative group exercises, breakout workshops and panels, and more.

Learn more about the Mindfulness and Education conference

Netroots 2012 Panel: Love, Compassion and Other Outrageous Forms of Activism

2 years 6 months ago
Carla Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Mallika Dutt, and Leslie Salmon Jones explore tools for resilience of body, mind, and spirit to help support a sustained, transformational activism.

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