YSC Schedule

Pre-Conference Intensives

FRIDAYMay 19, 2017
10:00 a.m.-Noon; 2:00-5:00 p.m.

Looking for a great way to start the Yoga Service Conference? We are offering three Pre-Conference Intensives on May 19. These full-day intensives can be taken alone, or as part of the Yoga Service Conference. Please call Omega at 877.944.2002 to register for preconference intensives.


FRIDAY EVENING • May 19, 2017

4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

6:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m.

8:00 p.m.-8:20 p.m.
Welcome & Introduction to the Weekend with Jennifer Cohen Harper

Review & Update Community Agreements

Chair Yoga Practice

Meditation & Closing

SATURDAY • May 20, 2017

7:00-8:45 a.m.

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Optional Practice Sessions: Meditation

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Optional Practice Sessions : Vigorous Yoga

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Optional Practice Sessions : Gentle Yoga

9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.

9:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Cultivating Inner Resilience: Embodied Practices to Help Cope With Disappointment, Difficulty, Even Disaster
Linda Graham
Every human being has to face failures and crises. Embodied practices such as mindfulness and yoga help us develop a reliable inner basis of calm and equanimity that is the essential ground of skillful coping, resilience, and well-being. In this breakout session, we learn somatic-based tools to reverse the impact of stress, trauma, anxiety, depression, guilt, and shame. We also strengthen the clarity, self-compassion, and relational resourcing necessary to discern options and make the wise choices that lead to thriving and flourishing.

11:00 a.m.-Noon
Yoga for Underserved Populations: The Science & the Research Evidence
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa
Yoga is an ancient behavioral practice that allows for the development of mind-body skills, including physical fitness, awareness/mindfulness, self regulation of internal physiological and psychological states, and enhancement of life purpose and meaning. In this presentation, we review some of the basic science underlying the psychophysiology of yoga practices and describe some of the leading-edge biomedical research studies with relevance to yoga, including research on molecular biology and brain imaging. Models of psychophysiological mechanisms of action and future areas of research are also presented. Together we examine the scientific rationale for the benefits of yoga as a therapeutic intervention for underserved populations, including veterans, the elderly, trauma survivors, and those in public schools, among others. We also overview the depth and breadth of the published biomedical yoga research.

Noon-1:15 p.m.

1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.


B1A: Best Practices for Cultural Competency: A View from a Historically Black College
Santiba Campbell and Tamara Y. Jeffries
When Bennett College—a small, Southern women’s college—added yoga to its course offerings, it became the first historically black institution to do so. The course was in high demand, but with an obvious need to increase cultural awareness in instruction and eliminate “micro-barriers” to student needs. Issues included designing sessions to address health factors that disproportionately affect African-Americans; psychological stress related to racial tensions and trauma; religiosity and yoga without minimizing or culturally appropriating the traditions. This breakout session examines the development of the yoga course from a psychological perspective including discussions on mindfulness and cultural competency. We also examine data and case study analyses that concern African-American health, economics, and culture.

B1B: Breathe, Move, Learn: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Working With Youth
Pam Lozoff
In this workshop, we are introduced to the triune model of the brain and a corresponding need within each of the three parts: the need for safety, the need for love/soothing, and the need for learning. We cover practices for creating a trauma-informed space with youth by first responding to the need for a sense of safety in their bodies, in order to then be able to respond to the other needs. We learn practical, yoga-based tools for guiding youth toward more safety and emotional regulation in their bodies. The tools are accessible and you needn’t be a trained yoga teacher or professional to lead them. These tools and takeaways can be applied and integrated immediately and are relevant for classroom teachers, counselors, social workers, and other caregivers or people working with and caring for vulnerable youth and others exposed to complex trauma.

B1C: The Science & Art of Evaluating Yoga Service Programs
Kyla Pearce and Kim Baker
We all know that yoga changes lives and can foster empowerment, healing, and community. What is less known is how to measure the impact of a yoga program. Assessing impact is critical not only for the ongoing refinement of your program and for securing donor support, but also for influencing clinical practice and policy makers to view yoga as a viable and respected intervention for wellbeing. This interactive workshop uses the LoveYourBrain Foundation’s yoga program for the traumatic brain injury (TBI) community as a case study for describing key successes and pitfalls in developing evaluation systems and academic research collaborations. You can expect to learn about the pros and cons of different evaluation designs, possible measures for assessing physical, emotional, and cognitive impact, and practical tips for enhancing your response rate. We also discuss your organization’s measurement systems and the challenges you’re facing to begin to identify best practices for evaluation and dissemination.

B1D: Developing Wisdom Presence Through the Four Yogas
Molly Lannon Kenny
The YSC’s definition of yoga service includes three interconnected circles: yoga practices, inquiry and reflection, and conscious relationship. However, in our collective effort to secularize yoga, we often miss the opportunity for connection to divine presence, the very foundation for reflection and relationship through yoga. In this inspiring workshop, Molly introduces the transcendent heart of yoga as it is described in the Bhagavad Gita, and the ways in which we can deepen a sense of divinity in service to others through each of the four yogas.  Molly has started dozens of “outreach programs.” She knows that yoga can—and usually should—be shared in a secular manner. At the same time, yoga is by definition a spiritual practice. Invoking yoga’s rich history, Molly inspires us to explore the depths of practice and to develop the individual wisdom presence required to truly, authentically share this practice.

3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.


B2A: Compassionate or Co-Dependent: The Wisdom to Know the Difference
Nikki Myers
Compassion is the heart of sustainable service. Literally translated "suffering with," compassion goes beyond feeling another’s suffering to actively mitigating it. Codependence has been defined as "the disease of the lost self" and becomes problematic when we consciously or subconsciously seek something outside as a way to sidestep looking inside. The line between the two can be confusing. Even when intentions are good, if service comes from codependence it ultimately creates harm, turning into what Chogyam Trungpa calls "idiot compassion" or compassion with neurosis. True compassion balances concern and wisdom, and Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield stresses that it only comes through deep self-acceptance. When we find ourselves "helping" or "fixing" from our own sense of identity, it’s codependence, not compassion. Through lectures, discussions, and experiential exercises, this breakout session explores codependence, compassion, and self-acceptance.

B2B: An Introduction to Teaching Trauma-Informed Yoga
Rosa Vissers
This workshop provides you with fundamental tools and practices to ensure your classes are a safer, more accessible space for students who have experienced trauma. We study the basics of trauma research and how stress impacts our nervous system and body. Together we explore essential yoga postures, meditations, and breathwork that invite self-regulation and connection. We walk away with practical knowledge we can integrate in our classes right away to support our students’ wholeness and health.

(THIS SESSION HAS BEEN CANCELED) B2C: Inclusive Cuing: The Art of Offering Sensitive Cues for Diverse Experience Levels, Intentions & Mobility Expressions
Jasmine Chehrazi
How do we decide which practice options to offer our students, and how do we offer them in a way that fosters each student's inclusivity and self-empowerment? Explore the best practices of using objective rather than subjective qualifiers in cuing, as well as process-oriented cues rather than goal-oriented cues. We also examine how to present options sensitive to common physical and psychological conditions. We learn how to use class time before the practice begins to set guidelines that promote inclusivity and celebrate diverse practice expressions. If we are to authentically offer our students diverse cues in a way that the options are perceived as equal, we must offer ourselves the same opportunity. Accordingly, this breakout session provides an opportunity for us to explore how we approach our personal practice, working to leave behind any self-judgment for our own sakes, and our students' too.

B2D: A Mindful Approach to Education: Promoting Inquiry & Social Justice in Schools
Argos Gonzalez
This session addresses some of the concerns that yoga teachers, leaders, and service providers must explore as they attempt to engage students of color.  An interactive format allows us to share experiences and best practices. When bringing mindful awareness practices to youth, there is a huge potential for inquiry, social justice, and change. This workshop explores ways educators can incorporate mindfulness into their work and how it can provide a practical and structured way to disrupt the ways we habitually look at the world. Together we create a space for reflection, group work, and discussion. Mindfulness awareness tools are incorporated to support engagement, develop a critical stance, help us stay connected to our highest intentions, and honor the youth we work with. We also use movement to help support inquiry and create opportunities for interaction that are joyful and supportive of individual needs.

B2E: A Sustainable Model for Nonprofits
Brett Cobb
Do you currently serve a nonprofit and need help raising new funds? Join Brett Cobb—YSC Board member, fundraising consultant and former director of development at Omega Institute with 25 years experience raising lead gifts and grants—for a group discussion of the most pressing challenges you and your organization face today. Leave this breakout with practical tools and confidence to help ensure greater fundraising success.

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Optional Practice Session: Meditation

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Optional Practice Session: Gentle Yoga

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Optional Practice Session: Vigorous Yoga

6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m.

7:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Yoga Service Exhibits & Networking Event

SUNDAYMay 21, 2017

7:00–8:45 a.m.

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Optional Practice Session: Meditation

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Optional Practice Session: Gentle Yoga

7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.
Optional Practice Session: Vigorous Yoga

9:00 a.m.-9:05 a.m.

9:05-10:00 a.m.
Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There: The Transformative Power of Stillness & Its Role in Yoga Service
Gail Parker
We live in a culture that places more value on doing than being. Many of us attach our worth to accomplishments. In placing such a high value on "busyness," we often deny ourselves the opportunities for stillness that lead to transformation, and we miss seeing how our personal transformation is a central factor in our capacity to generate social change. If we don’t practice being still, when the time comes to do something, we may be depleted from all our busyness. Restorative practices prepare us for action, and in this discussion we explore the relationship between individual transformation and social change, and how we can show up as our best selves when it counts the most.

10:05 a.m.-11:10 a.m.
Facilitated Discussion Groups

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Changing the Paradigm of Self Care From Individual Act to Communal Covenant
Leslie Booker
and Teo Drake
Together we must make space for imperfection, brokenness, and brilliance. All too often, Western culture perpetuates the myth that brokenness or struggle is a personal failing and that self-care is an individual responsibility—or, worse, is an indulgence. But when we are in community, supporting and caring for each other is a collective responsibility and a revolutionary, communal act. When someone burns out, the entire community suffers from the loss of their gifts. In this breakout session, we open an inquiry into how to model self-care and communal care, and how to live and practice our deepest intentions as yogis. We explore why, from the perspective of people on the margins (those who are oppressed, marginalized, or tokenized), it’s particularly important that we redefine care and transform our understanding of leadership—and we examine the strategies and tools that can help us do so.

12:15-12:30 p.m.
Conference Closing with Jennifer Cohen Harper

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

Schedule and teachers are subject to change. The Children's Program will not be available for this conference and is not available on the Rhinebeck Campus until May 20. If you have extenuating circumstances please contact Omega Registration at 877.944.2002.