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Yoga Service Conference Schedule
May 11 – 13, 2018


Pre-Conference Intensives: Friday May 11th, 2018

These full day workshops will offer you the opportunity to deeply immerse yourself in study of important topics in the field, supported by extraordinary teachers and leaders. Each of these workshops will offer a grounding and inspiring start to the full Yoga Service Conference, which begins on Friday evening.

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1. Accessible Yoga: Jivana Heyman, C-IAYT, E-RYT500

Join Accessible Yoga founder Jivana Heyman, in a workshop designed to answer the question, “Who deserves the teachings of yoga?” We’ll look at practical ways to make the teachings and practices of yoga available to all students regardless of ability or background. In particular, we’ll look at how to integrate different levels of ability into our classes so that we can serve the needs of all of our students. We’ll consider how the essential principals of yoga are accessible to everyone, and how the challenges that come with disability, illness and pain can lead to greater wisdom and insight. The program will include a mixture of yoga practice, lectures, small group work, and practice teaching.

Content includes:

  • How do we make yoga accessible?
  • Considering the role of the yoga teacher in accessibility.
  • Variations of popular asanas, including chair yoga and bed yoga.
  • Techniques for creating integrated Accessible Yoga classes.
  • How to empower people with disabilities by giving them a deep understanding of the Yoga teachings.
  • How to make the subtle practices of yoga available for all students.


2. Supportive Touch in Trauma Informed Yoga: Sue Jones

Where, when and how to touch survivors of trauma in the trauma informed yoga class is rarely addressed and often labeled as taboo. My eleven years of experience contradicts the notion that touch is always harmful for trauma survivors, and in fact it can be profoundly healing. This workshop will teach you the fundamentals of offering safe and supportive touch in yoga classes and programs for survivors of trauma.

You will leave this day long workshop with a basic understanding of the role touch plays in healthy neurobiological and psychosocial development, positive implications of touch in society and potential short and long term impacts of traumatic experiences on the experience of touch in survivors. You will also learn the components and practices necessary for creating safe spaces within which students can choose to receive touch, as well as principles and practices for the touch itself.

This workshop includes a practicum component allowing participants to put their knowledge into action. After an afternoon of practicing safe and supportive touch under the supervision and coaching of a well qualified team, you will leave this workshop with the confidence to begin offering this powerful modality to students in all of your classes.

Please note: “Inclusive Cuing” with Jasmine Cherazi has been canceled. Please catch up with Jasmine via her website


Main Conference

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8:00 – 8:15: Welcome and Introduction to the Weekend: Jennifer Cohen Harper

8:15 – 9:30: Cultivating Connection: Marshawn Feltus, Molly Lannon Kenny, Lynne Boucher

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7:00 – 8:00: Optional Practice Sessions (Vigorous Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Meditation)

9:00 – 9:15 Introduction

9:15 – 10:30 Stepping Forward into Your Medicine: The Relationship Between Spiritual Practice and a Path of Service: Rolf Gates

There is a dynamic relationship between what we are learning to give ourselves and the form of service we can provide to our communities. In this talk we will look at this learning process that is spiritual practice and how that process includes both the role of the student and the role of the teacher. My meditation teachers describe it as internal and external mindfulness. In modern education theory “teaching something back” offers the student her best chance at retention. In 12-step programs they may have said it best: “you have to give it away to keep it”. The ability for an individual to experience physical and emotional well-being, freedom from limiting or self-defeating beliefs, clarity, abundance, and creativity has never been more attainable, and doing so fundamentally changes that individuals ability to impact the world in positive ways. My talk will focus on the words of a shaman who has taught me that as I step forward into my healing medicine I am stepping into the medicine I was born to bring into the world.

10:45 – 12:00 Integration and Group Work


1:30 – 4:30 Breakout Workshops

  1. Skill in Action: An exploration of the Intersection of Yoga and Social Justice How to be Skillful and Responsive: Michelle Johnson
  2. Essential Considerations of Trauma Informed Yoga: Mark Lilly
  3. Integrating Yoga Service Research in Your Program Development and Evaluation: Catherine Cook-Cottone
  4. Radical Togetherness: Best Practices for Building Community Within and Beyond The Yoga Classroom: Marshawn Feltus and Lynne Boucher

5:00 – 5:45 Yoga Practices with Rolf Gates

6:30 – 9:30 Reception and Celebration


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7:00 – 8:00: Optional Practice Sessions (Vigorous Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Meditation)

9:00 – 9:15 Introduction and short practice

9:15 – 10:15 Community Focus Discussion Groups

10:30 – 11:45 Exploring the Role of Contemplative Practices When Identity-Based Suffering Has Happened: Rhonda Magee

In this dynamic presentation, Professor and Mindfulness teacher Rhonda Magee will explore how contemplative practices assist us in the work of personal and social transformation leading to a more just world. She share stories from her own life and work experiences, and she will review research indicating some of the ways we might bring contemplative practices to bear in a variety of contexts to support teaching, learning and engaging with others confronting social suffering at personal, interpersonal and systemic levels. Some practical and ethical considerations related to offering particular practices in a variety of contexts will be explored, with the aim of enhancing the inclusivity of research, inquiry and communities of practices across the field. She will guide a practice and facilitate discussion aimed at demonstrating the potential of contemplative awareness practices to support the work of social justice in a world beset with both challenges and opportunities.

Participants will:

  • Learn about and reflect on research on the benefits of contemplative practices for decreasing bias, for regulating emotion and for facilitating difficult conversations
  • Explore practices that support being willing to see, and seeing, turning toward and engaging with identity-based suffering
    Experience how contemplative practices may support their own efforts toward personal, interpersonal and/or systemic transformation

11:45 – 12:00 Conference Closing


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