6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m.

7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Welcome, Community Connections, and Introduction to the Weekend

Jennifer Cohen Harper

8:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Yoga Practice: Becoming Our Most Authentic Selves
(dress for movement)
Kelly McGonigal


6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.
Asana (Movement) Practice
Jay Fields

6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.
Meditation Practice
Jasmine Chehrazi

6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.
Chanting Practice
Molly Lannon Kenny

8:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.
Welcome to the Conference

8:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m.
Beyond Duality: Deepening Self-Awareness, Building Relationships & Expanding Community Through Compassionate Conversation
Hala Khouri, Roxanne “Nikki” Myers,
and Teo Drake
One of the keys to powerful, effective, world-changing service is the ability to build relationships with people of widely varying identities, experiences, beliefs, and worldviews. Rather than pretending, denying, or ignoring differences, this session will introduce context, reflection, dialogue, and skills to help build relationships resilient enough to grapple with even the "hard" questions. Through the framework of  compassionate conversation, we examine the challenges and opportunities for growth offered by differences in race, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religious and spiritual worldviews, economic background, and more, and how differences truly work to bring us back to deep levels of connection.

10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Please choose one workshop.

Teaching People, Not Poses       B1A
Jay Fields                            
It’s one thing to direct a group of bodies in how to move. It takes a whole different set of skills to connect with a group of people as yourself and teach something you’re passionate about in a way that has integrity. Current research in neuroscience demonstrates that embodiment offers the inner resources and qualities that are necessary for the type of connection, confidence, and authenticity that we seek as teachers. In this workshop, we combine best practices from yoga, improv, and somatic leadership to explore the challenges and benefits of embodiment within the context of becoming the most expert—and the most human—teacher you can be.

Hands of Intention, Words of Love       B1B
Molly Lannon Kenny
This session is for anyone who has struggled with knowing when and how to touch as a part of teaching yoga, or who has been confused by the ever-changing stream of political correctness in use of language while teaching. In this breakout session, we learn the differences between agenda and non-agenda based touch, "adjustments" vs. "corrections," and how and why touch heals, or hurts. We also examine our own language, the biases we inadvertently reveal through our words, and how we may give experiences of exclusion, even with our best intentions. Using the yamas and niyamas as the basis for this new look at nonviolent communication through skilled touch and language, students leave this session feeling both confident and liberated. Inclusion will no longer be an intellectual exercise of right and wrong, but a simple, deliberate way of being in the world.

Self Care: Yoga Tools for Caregivers       B1C
Geri Topfer
and Penni Feiner                                                     
This workshop is designed for caregivers of loved ones or professional caregivers who wish to explore varieties of ways to calm and regulate the nervous system, return to the self, and hopefully leave feeling balanced and restored. “Compassion Deficit Disorder” is an epidemic in our country. Health care providers, social workers, therapists, mothers, fathers, teachers, and administrators are all expected to give and give some more. Many caregivers do not have the tools to recognize when they are emotionally exhausted, or notice their patience dwindling, or be aware of a growing sense of disconnection/isolation. Learn to create awareness and share valuable tools to enhance coping and quality of life. Take home breathing techniques, restorative postures, meditations, mantras, and yoga nidra (with a guided meditation called consciousness rotation and guided imagery) to get you through tight places in caregiving and to help prevent burnout. We will create a four-day sadhna, holding each other accountable for developing and maintaining a home practice. We also discuss creating a sacred space and developing a manageable home practice. Take-home relaxation CD’s will be available.

Simple Practices to Offer Anyone       B1D
Jasmine Chehrazi                                                     
Learn to teach and practice movement, breathing, posture, and meditation techniques that are safe, effective, and engaging for a wide variety of communities and all levels of experience. These powerful and intuitive techniques based on traditional yoga practices can help you start up or carry on your efforts to effectively share yoga with everyone, including people experiencing a range of physical and emotional challenges. You walk away from this break-out session with a variety of hands-on tools that can enable both you and your students to enhance well-being and improve the quality of your lives.

Two-Part Breakout Choice: Vinyasa Yoga Practice Followed by Facilitated Discussion        B1E
10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Vinyasa Yoga Practice        B1E
Sue Jones                                                    

Enjoy a one-hour Vinyasa Yoga practice before engaging in the Facilitated Discussion described below.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Facilitated Discussion        B1E
When Things Go Wrong
Bob Altman, Leslie Booker,
and Mary Lynn Fitton
Whether it’s a disruptive youth flashing gang signs, the unexpected triggering of a military veteran, or an uncooperative facility staff member, we can meet these unique challenges with compassion, awareness, professionalism, and respect. Join experienced leaders in the field of yoga service for an open discussion on how to deal with unforeseen situations and create a trauma-informed toolbox that is proactive vs. reactive and highly effective for creating safety, healing, and well-being.

12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m.

Lunchtime Round Table Discussions
Join some of the most accomplished teachers in their fields to discuss the challenges of working with specific populations, including at-risk youth, trauma survivors, the seriously ill, addicts, those with disordered eating, and others.


2:00 p.m.–2:10 p.m.
Short Practice
Jennifer Cohen Harper

2:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m.
The Science of Stress & Resilience
Kelly McGonigal

Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal offers a surprising new view of stress—one that reveals the upside of stress and the human capacity for resilience. The latest science shows that stress is not always harmful, and can be a catalyst for growth and change. In this breakout session, we consider how stress can be good for you, from the biology of the stress response to the ways stress helps us grow and connect with others. We also explore the evidence that it is possible to get good at stress—a much more realistic goal than avoiding or escaping stress. Through practices such as mindfulness, compassion, and physical exercise, you can train for resilience and transform how you experience stress.

3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Please choose one workshop.

Creating Safe Space & Healthy Boundaries for Yourself & Your Students        B2A
Mark Lilly                                                    
This workshop delves into a cornerstone of yoga service: the ability to establish, maintain, and gently close a safe and sacred space for all participants and for yourself. We practice grounding ourselves in clear intention for manifesting energetic and personal boundaries. Using voice and body language to convey safety and respect, we honor all participants and use diversity as a building block to promote inclusivity and engagement. We also have the opportunity to practice and create safe and sacred space using a variety of scenarios and role plays. This breakout workshop is useful for people already working in yoga service, or those on the cusp of directly serving others.

Vulnerability & Service: The Power of Your Story       B2B
Chelsea Roff                                                     
Your personal story is one of the most powerful tools you have to create connection, build community, and inspire action in those you serve. In this workshop, you learn how to use your own life experience to more effectively connect with and serve your community. Through group discussion and interactive exercises, we explore how personal narrative can be a source of self-knowledge, empathy, and inspiration. We practice telling stories from a space of authenticity and vulnerability, communicating lessons not as abstract principles, but as lived experience. Finally, we look at storytelling as a practice of translating values into action and discuss how to use stories to build community and spur positive action in the world.

Creating an Accessible, Sustainable & Replicable Program—Guidelines From the Public Health Field       B2C
Sue Jones                                                     
In the past 10 years, yoga and mindfulness have gained increased attention in traditional health and healing sectors. A meticulously designed evidence-based mindfulness program can be a powerful partner in healing. It can take several years of research, design, and piloting before a program is ready for widespread implementation. Knowing the crucial considerations in program design and scale-up can help you in your development process. Accessibility, replicability, scalability, and measurability are all fundamental components for programs that are appropriate for widescale public health application, yet these considerations are often overlooked in the initial stages of program design. Join Sue Jones for a session focused on understanding the considerations recommended when building a program. You leave this session with a clear understanding of how to design, pilot, implement, evaluate, and scale-up your program so that it has a chance of self-sustainability and widescale growth in the public health and global health domains.

How to Change the World Without Attachment, Anger & Aggravation       B2D
Lisa Flynn                                                     
A common theme for service providers is the underlying urgency and attachment to making others understand the importance of our work. We might feel the need to change others, and perhaps even become angry with them when we find they are not able or willing to be on our same path. In addition, though incredibly passionate about our mission, we might find ourselves frustrated and overwhelmed as we strive toward what can feel like an unreachable finish line. Inevitably, the energy created by this discourse not only causes us suffering, but actually prevents us from inspiring authentic change in ourselves, and in others. In this breakout session, Lisa Flynn shares her own experience while providing tools and inspiration for turning attachment and anger into loving acceptance and, ultimately, to authentic and positive change.

Two-Part Breakout Choice: Restorative Yoga Practice Followed by Facilitated Discussion        B2E
3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Restorative Yoga Practice       B2E
Gillian Arthur

Enjoy a one-hour Restorative Yoga practice before engaging in the Facilitated Discussion described below.

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Facilitated Discussion          B2E
When Things Go Wrong
Bob Altman, Leslie Booker,
and Mary Lynn Fitton                                                  
Whether it’s a disruptive youth flashing gang signs, the unexpected triggering of a military veteran, or an uncooperative facility staff member, we can meet these unique challenges with compassion, awareness, professionalism, and respect. Join experienced leaders in the field of yoga service for an open discussion on how to deal with unforeseen situations and create a trauma-informed toolbox that is proactive vs. reactive and highly effective for creating safety, healing, and well-being.


6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m.

Dinnertime Round Table Discussions
Sit with YSC community leaders and conference faculty members to discuss topics relevant to yoga service work such as fundraising, research, program sustainability, teacher hiring and training, and outreach.

7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Yoga Service Exhibitions
Join us for an opportunity to network with conference participants and faculty. Yoga service organizations will be present with materials to share and representatives on hand to answer questions and offer support.


6:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m.
Kirtan Practice
Penni Feiner

9:00 a.m.-9:20 a.m.
Plenary Introduction
Serving as Your Most Authentic & Effective Self
Roxanne “Nikki” Myers

9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Serving as Your Most Authentic & Effective Self: Breakout Groups (4)
Roxanne “Nikki” Myers, Teo Drake, Mark Lilly, and Molly Lannon Kenny

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Creating a Mindful Society
U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan

11:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Appreciation & Intention Setting
Rob Schware

12:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.
Lunch & Departure