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.

New York Spirit on Being Yoga

2 years 8 months ago

"The air was humid and warm, but as raindrops began to gently sprinkle down and cover us in their dew, a mild chill set in. There are certain types of experiences that, as you approach them, you know that they will change you. As 200 strangers stood in line at the Omega Institute registration kiosk, it was as though we collectively sensed that this would be one of those transformative life experiences. Some of us were students, many of us teachers, but all of us on a journey into the heart of the path of yoga...."

Read the full story

Hudson Valley Women Raise Money for Domestic Violence Shelter

2 years 8 months ago

Inspired by the global message to end violence against women and girls at Omega's recent conference Women & Power: What’s Possible, Mary Goggin, Jessica Sillins, and Noelle Adamo decided to act. They immediately organized an event to support local women facing violence in New York’s Hudson Valley, not far from Omega's Rhinebeck campus. In November, Jessica and her partner Julie Abrams hosted a fundraising celebration attended by over 50 people and raised $3,000 for local domestic violence shelter Grace Smith House.

Jessica told the enthusiastic crowd that she had been particularly moved by Women & Power faculty and Omega Women's Leadership Center Advisory Council member Hibaaq Osman. Hibaaq is Founder & CEO of Karama, an organization that connects women working to end of violence across the Middle East. She challenged American women to turn their attention to issues facing their communities. “In that moment," Jessica acknowledged, "this initiative was born.”

The organizers' goal is to keep this energy moving. They thanked guests and donors by saying: “Yes, we raised money. Yet more significant perhaps is the awareness and conversation that has begun. We are thrilled. Let's encourage one another to be bold enough to continue the conversation, and to take action for change, both within ourselves and in the world."

Learn more about Grace Smith House.

Photo: Jessica Sillins, Susan Denton, Julie Abrams, Mary Goggin, Noelle Adamo, and Sarah Urech

The Living Building Challenge: A Short Film Featuring the OCSL

2 years 8 months ago

Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) is featured in a short video titled The Living Building Challenge produced and directed by David Henderson-Hean and Todd Brooks. This inspiring short film on deep-green design was recently named a semi-finalist in the Focus Forward: Short Films, Big Ideas competition. Your vote could help this film win an Audience Favorite award.

Watch the video and cast your vote now

(Please note that voting may not be available on all mobile platforms. Your browser cookies must be enabled to vote.)

Bob Berkebile's Vision for the Future of Regenerative Housing

2 years 9 months ago

Bob Berkebile, the founding principal of BNIM Architects, brings more than 37 years of experience to the architectural profession. By combining his design and leadership skills, he has consistently created new approaches to holistic, integrated community building. He utilizes education, historic preservation, quality housing, mental health and public safety, and neighborhood conservation as tools to restore social, economic, and environmental vitality.

In this video and article for EcoHome Magazine, he shares his vision for 2020 and the future of regenerative housing. 

Elizabeth Lesser: Bozos on the Bus

2 years 9 months ago

Omega's cofounder, Elizabeth Lesser reads the excerpt "Bozos on the Bus" from her best-selling book, Broken Open, in the Ram Dass Library during Family Week at Omega Institute.

Explore more from Elizabeth Lesser


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Carla Goldstein to Speak on the Sacred Balance of Giving and Receiving

2 years 10 months ago

Carla Goldstein, JD, Omega chief external affairs officer and director of the Omega Women’s Leadership Center will be giving a keynote talk on November 3, 2012 at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s 12th Annual Women’s Symposium. This year’s theme is “It’s a Give and Take World” and Carla’s keynote, “Finding Flow: the Sacred Balance of Giving and Receiving,” will explore the importance of allowing oneself to receive, as well as to give.

Carla will be joined by an exciting lineup of speakers including Nicole Sheindlin, executive director of Her Honor Mentoring program and Dr. Michael Koch, MD and Lindsay Aarstad, RPA-C, who will discuss their recent experiences working at a clinic in Africa. The HVHC will also be honoring Chereese Jervis-Hill, President of Events to Remember, with their Community Woman of the Year Award.

The symposium is from 8:30am‑2:00pm. Yoga, chair massages, and meals are included. Registration is still open. For more information visit The Hudson Valley Hospital Center’s website.

CEO Skip Backus: The OCSL Is Built to the Highest Standard

2 years 10 months ago

Omega Institute's CEO, Skip Backus was featured in a Poughkeepsie Journal cover story and video because Omega's Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) in one of three platinum-certified buildings in New York State's Dutchess County.

The OCSL is an environmental education center and natural water reclamation facility built to meet the highest standards currently available in sustainable architecture. It is the first green building in America to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification.

Read the full story and watch the video

John Perkins Awarded a 2012 LennonOno Grant for Peace

2 years 10 months ago

Omega teacher John Perkins (second from left), was awarded a 2012 LennonOno Grant for Peace in Reykjavik, Iceland last week. Also accepting awards from Yoko Ono (third from left) were Carol Blue Hitchens (left, accepting on behalf of her deceased husband, Christopher Hitchens), Lady Gaga, and Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of deceased peace activist Rachel Corrie.

Learn more about John Perkins

Learn more about LennonOno Grant for Peace



Julie Daley: Women & Power—Wisdom Learned from Omega Institute's Conference

2 years 11 months ago

Julie Daley, teacher, coach, and creator of women's leadership blog Unabashedly Female, shares insights from the Omega Women's Leadership Center's Women & Power Conference in her latest blog post. She features quotes from many of the speakers and reflects on how the conference impacted her personally, including the observation that "Our power is not like that which has been wielded over others to dominate and control. Our true power, the power that flows through us when we are embodying the feminine principle, is the power to serve, and it is inclusive, holding, and connecting, and it weaves life together in a supportive bond." 

Read Julie Daley's full post "Women and Power—Wisdom Learned from Omega Institute's Conference".

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

2 years 11 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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