At almost any hour of the day you can find an opportunity to practice with - and learn from - yoga teachers branching numerous backgrounds and traditions, offering immense possibilities for growth and bliss. Whether you are ready to hit the mat early in the morning when the dew is still on the grass, or you prefer a mid-day all-natural-hot yoga session with the warmth of the high sun, YogaFest is the perfect weekend for a full dose of yoga asana.

A list of participating presenters and the classes they will offer is available below for YogaFest 2017!


AcroYoga Fundamentals: 

Connor Otto

AcroYoga Fundamentals: Have you ever wanted to fly? Now is your chance! AcroYoga is a dynamic exploration into the potential of the human body as we join together to develop the skills necessary to safely and effectively communicate and play. Join the Movement Wizard (Connor Otto) as we build the trust, communication, and body awareness skills necessary to safely dive into this exhilarating art form. Come prepared to smile and celebrate life! No partner or experience necessary.

About: Over the course of the last six years, Connor Otto (the "Movement Wizard") has been bouncing from training to training, with a desire to explore the possibilities of the body and what it truly means to be human. With a focus on body awareness, partner communication and co-creative expression, he has found rich inspiration in helping others to gain a deeper understanding of their own body and mind, as well as how to come into union with the individuals and cosmic energy that surround them. As a seeker on the path of divinity, Connor finds great joy in the opportunity to learn from, share, grow, and play with all those that cross his path.

Align Divine Alchemy Flow: 

Carla Samson

Description: Align Divine Alchemy is the process of transmuting matter into it’s highest form; it is the shift in consciousness from the physical to the spiritual. In this guided flow class, Shamanic and yogic techniques will be used, along with breath and movement - all to merge the Spirit with Earth. We will combine asana, mudra, and primal wild movements to shift our story, and come into alignment with our Divine Playfulness.

About: Carla invokes the Divine and infuses the sacred into each one of her creative flowing classes. She is the "Creatrix" of Align Divine Yoga in Ann Arbor, MI, and the founder of Dance Church Ann Arbor.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200Hr) with Yoga Alliance, and completed her 300HR AtmaYoga training with Saul David Raye. She holds a Bachelor of Science(B.S.) in Exercise Physiology and Holistic Health, and studied Sound Healing at the Globe Institute for Consciousness and Sound. Now, Carla is pursuing a Master’s in Spiritual Nutrition to become a nutritional counselor.

Introduction to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga: A Workshop & Ashtanga Yoga Led Primary: 

Brian Bridson

Description: Because of the cleansing and toning effect is has on both the body and mind, this series is called Yoga Chikitsa, or yoga therapy. On a physical level the asanas (poses) of the Primary Series, build strength and flexibility in the body, loosening tight muscles and realigning and detoxifying the body and nervous system. The series begins with forward bends, then some twists and hip openers with a vinyasa between each asana. On a mental level, through regular practice, focus, and willpower, mind-body awareness and confidence are improved as we overcome the mental obstacles to our practice. On a subtle level, the Primary series works therapeutically to clear obstacles in the energy channels in the body (known as Nadis). This clearing of obstacles allows the Prana to flow more freely so the body and mind can work more effectively. The introductory program will provide an overview of Ashtanga in addition to a vinyasa flow class, with the Led Primary series continuing from where the introduction left off.

About: Brian Bridson is an ERYT-200, with an additional 100 hours of apprentice teaching and assisting with Hilaire Lockwood at Hilltop Yoga in Lansing. Brian has been teaching Yoga for four years, and began leading Ashtanga classes three years ago. Brian has attended workshops with notable Ashtanga teachers, including Tim Miller, Maty Ezrathy, Angela Jamison, and Matthew Darling.

Be Love Kaleidoscope Yoga Jam: 

Steve Vachon

Description: ‘Be Love Kaleidoscope Yoga Jam is the unique art of connecting with others through shared yoga poses to create sacred geometry shapes and human mandalas. It incorporates elements of synchronized breathing, co-meditation, authentic movement, dance, partner yoga, Thai massage, and connected restfulness. Each individual and group posture and movement is a living, breathing, bliss-producing, community embodiment of the intention to Receive and Give Love - to BE LOVE in Every Dimension of Life! No yoga experience is necessary. This practice is for all levels.

About: Steve Vachon, M.Div. M.A. is a holistic psychotherapist, soul-expressive dance facilitator, life-coach, spiritual caregiver, and community capacity builder and guide. Steve uses an array of spirit-mind-body practices, and is always exploring new ways to use dance, yoga, music, and art to aid in healing of the soul as well as for social enjoyment and cultural and spiritual expression. Steve serves as a member of the Parkview Hospital Healing Arts Program (in Fort Wayne, IN) through which he offers music, meditation and mindfulness practices to patients and caregivers, and provides workshops on Mindfulness Journaling, The Healing Power of Trustworthy Love, and Embodying The Soul.

Be Still: A Harmonious Yoga Reiki Flow: with 

Kelly McHood, Caitlin Boyle, and Steve Larson of Rooted Akron

Description: Receive love-and-light filled Reiki while basking in the sacred sounds of chants and harmonium in this restorative class. Reiki, Yoga, and Sacred Sounds will come together for a multidimensional approach to the cultivation of stillness and surrender. We will also move through a gentle yoga practice in the style of Viniyoga.

About: Rooted Akron is a multidimensional, holistically minded business striving to create calm spaces, places, and classes that support mental, emotional, and physical health and healing regardless of socioeconomic status. The fundamental principles that drive Rooted Akron are healing and well-being. They view these as human rights and basic needs, and believe that through creating accessible, explorative and compassion driven programs, we all can support one another on our healing journey to create a more equitable word in terms of health outcomes. Alternative and adjunct methods and practices have the power to aid in the prevention of, coping with, and recovery of our modern stresses and dis-ease.

Bihar School of Yoga Digestive Series: 

Mary Eschbach

Description: Every part of your body will be activated and stretched in this series: the muscles and nerves of the lower back, and the organs and glands of the abdominal area. In addition, from opening the valves in the digestive system, the nervous system will relax, and both breath control and capacity will increase. All asanas in this practice are dynamic, and every action will include a breath.

About: Mary is a preschool special Ed teacher. Throughout her years as a yoga practitioner, she has used this specific series to benefit her both mentally and physically.

Classic Rock Vinyasa: 

Patricia Clark (ERYT)

Description: Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson are just a few artists who brought people together to groove and connect with oneself and with one another. As we move through led vinyasa flows and then on our own, we feel the powerful energy of the music moving through our bodies and minds. Our hearts become one, linked together by familiar lyrics, beats and movement. Join us for some great Classic Rock music with a series of fun vinyasa flows. Some asana experience is helpful.

About: Diagnosed with degenerative disc disease at age 15, Patricia came to asana as way to manage pain. She became a certified yoga teacher in 1999, when she completed Jonny Kest’s Center for Yoga Teacher Training. Since then, Patricia has taught over 1,000 hours, and is registered with the Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT). Patricia has taught students of all different levels and conditions at her studio (which she founded in Cleveland, Ohio called called the Dragonfly Yoga inn), The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and at University Hospitals. Patricia has also taught classes and workshops throughout the northern Oakland County area of Michigan, and has hosted some amazing river/yoga retreats in Grayling, MI. Currently, you can find her at Stone Turtle Yoga in Grayling and Higgins Lake, MI.

Cosmic Wisdom, Meditation & Movement (Astro-Yoga): 

Michelle Whitney and Kate Bracken

Description: This workshop focuses on Astro Wisdom, and is energetically designed to connect, align, and tap into the energy which exists both around and within us. Together, through meditation, mindfulness, mudras, breathwork, and movement (yoga), we will connect with the heavens, stars, and planets. The cooperation of the Sun and Moon, is vital for all harmony and balance in life. Where the sun represents our external, masculine, and yang energy, the moon, symbolizes the internal, feminine, and yin side. Join us as we connect and align with the wisdom of the cosmos, and work to both harmonize and balance the sun and the moon.

About Michelle: Michelle Whitney is an Astrologer, certified Holistic Life Coach, Dharma and Meditation/Mindfulness Coach, and Recovery and Self-Love Coach. Owner of both Simple Dharma Wisdom and Astro Dharma Den Coaching in Mt. Pleasant Michigan, Michelle helps clients become their truth through the tools of Astrology, Meditation, and Mindfulness.

About Kate: Kate Braken received her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification in 2012 through OmBodies Yoga Studio in Mt. Pleasant Michigan, and has completed several yoga teacher intensives, the most recent through Yoga View Studio in Chicago, IL.

Dances of Universal Peace: The Peaceful Sisters (

Catherine Safira Sugas, Jessie Sitara Noe, & Susan Surya Ashley)

Description: The Peaceful Sisters invite the YogaFest Family to join them in participating in the Dances of Universal Peace. These dances use sacred phrases, chants, music, and movements from many of the earth’s traditions to create a shimmering matrix connecting heart to heart. In a world hungry for peace, we envision and celebrate our human family. We heal ourselves and each other with songs of compassion, joy, and devotion. We join hands in one circle, in harmony, beauty, and community. All chants and movements are taught in the moment and all age groups can participate.

About: Since 2001, the Peaceful Sisters, Jane Sky, Betty Demers, Jessica Noe, Catherine Sugas, and Susan Ashley, have traveled throughout Michigan to lead the Dances of Universal Peace in numerous settings. They continue to grow in their commitment to the path of service and discovery. Their deep love for spirituality, music, friendship and dance, combined with their passion for peace, brings joyful and uplifting energy to each of their gatherings and retreats. The Peaceful Sisters are very grateful to have found and studied the Peace Dances as a creative expression for prayer, celebration and community.

Dancing Freedom: A Movement Meditation: Miriam Dowd

Description: Dancing with the Elements (or Dancing Freedom™) is a movement practice that draws upon somatic, shamanic, ecstatic, and expressive art therapies. We use the tools of breath, motion, sound, and stillness, to deepen the connection within our natural selves.  After this 60-75 minute facilitated journey, each dancer's experience will be deepened by the "Inner Dance", drawn specifically from a practice called, "Authentic Movement". Perfect for all levels, this conscious dance practice introduces the magic of dance into one's yoga journey.  

About: Miriam Dowd, LMT. is not only a skilled movement facilitator, but also a licensed massage therapist, and musician. Throughout her journey and teachings, Dowd has helped a number of individuals find greater self-compassion, health, and empowerment.

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement: Judith Dila

Description: Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement is a method taught in groups to anyone who wants to enhance their well being and self- image. Each lesson is directed to participants who lie on a mat on the floor. Participants learn to use their awareness to help them move effortlessly. With teacher directed lessons, young or old, physically challenged or physically fit--anyone can benefit. Those experiencing chronic pain of the neck, back shoulders, hips, legs, or knees can find relief too. Musicians, actors, and artists can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity from this practice too. Learning to move with less effort makes life easier!

About: Judith is an energetic body worker and Feldenkrais Practitioner. For the past 17 years, she has had a massage practice in Ludington, MI. Judith also teaches ongoing weekly classes at The Ludington Center for the Arts in Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement.

Forrest Yoga: Sarah Nelson

Description: Named after its creator Ana Forrest, Forrest Yoga is an intensely physical and slower-paced practice that focuses on using long holds of poses paired with a strong connection with the breath to feel deeply into the body. The long holds build internal heat and are used as a tool for nuanced observation of the body while cultivating a balance of both strength and flexibility. The powerful relationship with the breath also provides an opportunity to develop a rich awareness of self. There are many things that make Forrest Yoga a unique style of asana practice, including an emphasis on core strengthening, a set of specific Basic Moves, and a distinctive method of sequencing. Expect to be challenged both physically and mentally as you tap into your inner power and peace, and throughout the unique experience of Forrest Yoga, expect to FEEL and create more space in your body and your mind.

About: Sarah is RYT-200 certified and became certified to teach Forrest Yoga through an immersive teacher training with Ana Forrest. She fell in love with Forrest Yoga two years ago, and through this rich and powerful practice, found a new passion for life and reconnected with herself. It quickly became clear that her path was leading her to share the transformative healing practice with anyone who would listen! Sarah teaches classes that support and inspire others to find a connection deep within themselves. As a teacher, Sarah strives to create a safe space for her  students to go deeper and be curious about what their body can do, how it communicates, what are its limitations are, and how to find ease in a place of difficulty. Sarah’s classes help you to build foundations for strength, and find more space in both your body and mind.

Gentle Movement: Julie Dillon

Description:  Healing Movement is a gentle movement and mindfulness class that helps improve posture, balance, flexibility and breath work. A variety of tools from different modalities such as Yoga, Pilates, Spirituality, Meditation, and Self-care, are used to deepen the practice and our mindfulness. This welcoming, foundational class can be done seated or standing (although the majority of the class with be done in a chair, along with some standing exercises if able). Discussion on posture and exercises will show how we can create greater "ease" in the body. Specific strengthening and mobility exercises will focus on helping the lower back, neck, and any shoulder issues. To conclude, there will be a guided meditation and handouts provided with several foundational exercises.

About: Owner of Be Balanced Pilates and Personal Training, Julie is a group exercise teacher for numerous classes, and presents inspirational wellness-based talks on movement, spirituality, healing and self-improvement. She currently is a third year ministry student, and will be ordained this August. In her classes, Julie integrates a diverse range of holistic disciplines such as, Pilates, Yoga, Dance, The Franklin method, and Meditation.

GLYTA Chair Yoga: Kaye Thomas-Hogan

Description: Chair yoga is for everyone! Come receive the same benefits of Hatha yoga, without feeling any strain on your limbs or joints. By using the chair as a prop, we will start with a practice warm up, then some seated and standing postures, balances, flows, and lastly, end in deep relaxation. Using the Golden Lotus principles of awareness of body, mind and spirit, breathing techniques and meditation, you will be pleased with how you feel without ever having to get down on the floor. Build strength, awareness, health, confidence, peace, and relaxation through chair yoga!

About: In 1971, Kaye Thomas-Hogan began her studies of Yoga and was trained by Swami Amarananda of the Integral Yoga Institute. She started teaching classes in 1981, became a member of Song of the Morning Ranch, and was initiated as a Kiryaban in 1989 by Yogacharya Oliver Black. Kaye received her Golden Lotus Yoga Teacher Association certification in 1992, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1993, and became a Golden Lotus Yoga Teacher Trainer in 1995. Since 1983, Kaye has been certified and teaching both Tai Chi and Qigong. She has offered classes, retreats, seminars, and workshops in various aspects of Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, meditation, massage and Reiki, throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Canada. Kaye is a Usui Reiki Master, a retired massage therapist of 31 years, and a facilitator of the national program “A Matter of Balance”-which helps seniors improve their quality of life by re-framing their thinking on their fears of falling.

GLYTA Gentle Flow: Roy Thibodeau & Kaye Thomas-Hogan

Description: Using the Golden Lotus principles of awareness of body, mind and spirit, breathing techniques and meditation, this gentle-flow class will help to both deepen your yoga and spiritual practice.  

About:

Roy Thibodeau is the current president of the Golden Lotus Yoga Teachers Association founded by Yogacharya J. Oliver Black (founder of Song Of The Morning). For over forty years, Roy has been practicing and teaching yoga and meditation. After being on staff and living with Yogacharya for three years, Roy moved into Gaylord and taught Hatha Yoga and Meditation in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Traverse City, and Alpena. 

Kaye Thomas-Hogan received her Golden Lotus Yoga Teacher Association certification in 1992, and became a Golden Lotus Yoga Teacher Trainer in 1995. She has been an officer of GLYTA, and a staff member at the Song Of the Morning ranch. Since 1983, Kaye has offered classes, retreats, seminars, and workshops in various aspects of Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, meditation, massage and Reiki, throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Canada.

Ground Your Energy through Core Energetics: Jeremy Fulwiler

Description: Ground your energy during this expansive weekend while experiencing and learning about the powerful healing practice of Core Energetics! Core Energetics is a practice of personal evolution through working with one’s body and energy. Awareness and movement of one’s body are the doorways into deeper consciousness. In addition to supporting and developing one’s inner awareness, Core Energetics is unique in its direct approach to developing healthy self-expression, creativity, union and sense of one’s life task. This workshop will include both discussion and experiential activities to support you to ground your energy for a bigger and more vibrant life!

About: Jeremy Fulwiler is a Body Psychotherapist and Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, as well as founder of Wellness Beyond Words in Ferndale, MI. For 20 years, Jeremy has been learning, practicing and developing skills that integrate mind, body and spirit for deeper personal health and vitality. Included in these skills is Core Energetics, a dynamic and transformational practice referred to as “a marriage of Body Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development.” Jeremy is the only practicing Core Energetics therapist in Michigan, and has developed approaches that integrate Core Energetics with the wisdom of yoga. For more information visit: www.wellnessbeyondwords.com.

Heart Centered Yoga: Sarah Hoppe

Description: This class will focus on drawing the senses inward to create a deep connection to the heart and the inner vibration of the student. By connecting to the beautiful surroundings of Song of the Morning, and channeling the vibration of the planet, we can come to a place that is deep within our own hearts. A place that we find not only unity to ourselves, but to our energy centers or chakras too. Through asana and pranayama, we can find balance within these systems. Come and experience something that will help to restore balance to your mind, body and soul.

About: Sarah Hoppe resides in Presque Isle Michigan, and has been teaching Yoga for nearly 20 years. She is certified through The Shambhava Yoga in Colorado, and practices Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga, and Kundalini Meditation. Yoga has been an instrumental part of her life both on and off the mat. Yoga and the connection to the "true self" has been what she keeps coming back to for peace, clarity and living the life she truly desires. Sarah is the owner and lead trainer of Light Guardians Yoga School in Presque Isle, Michigan.

Joint Freeing & Classical Hatha Yoga: Trevor Chaitanya Eller

Description: The practice of Yoga postures and breathing techniques is designed to balance the body and mind. Joint Freeing yoga (pavanmuktasana) sequences help to open our minor chakras and keep the joints pain free. We will explore joint freeing yoga followed by a Classical Hatha Yoga. Classical yoga flows cultivate sattva (clarity and alertness)- the goal of yogis throughout the ages. Come experience these styles of yoga to reset and learn to cultivate the elevated mood of yoga.

About: Trevor Chaitanya PritaHari is the Co-Director of the Yoga Maya Center for Yogic Arts and Cultures in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, and a director of the Yoga Maya Lifestyle Submersion Course and 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Trevor practices yoga therapy and is a body worker. He has been running the Full Moon Kirtan- a monthly non-sectarian gathering of Bhakti Yogis since 2011, and has traveled nationally and internationally in several kirtan bands.

Laughter Yoga: Kevin Karas

Description: Hohoho, Hahaha, Hehehe, Whowhowho! Congratulations, you meet the requirements for this fun workshop that harnesses the power of laughter, reath, games, and movement for health and wellness. Ending with a deeply silly savasana to the healing vibrations of giggles and singing bowls.

About: Kevin James Karas joyfully serves the awakening of consciousness as a holistic educator and community leader. He has dedicated a decade to studying with senior teachers in a variety of holistic traditions including yoga, shamanism, meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, communication, community building, leadership, and various energy healing traditions. Kevin leads workshops and performs at schools, businesses, conferences, and festivals including Big Love, The Yoga Summit, and Elevate Akron. As Holistic Leaders co-founder, he has built holistic community for 1000 people and collaborated with US Congressman, Tim Ryan’s Mindful Nation.  He is also a co-founder and creator of the White Pond Rising Intentional Living Community, Graduate Teacher of Public Speaking at The University of Akron;  President, Co-Founder, and Education Director of  Holistic Leaders ( community movement to awaken a connection to self, others, and the planet), and Community Ambassador for the Elevate Akron Yoga Festival.

Let the Joy Flow! A Celebration of Flow Yoga: Marcia Faye McGee

Description: Let the Joy Flow is a study of basic yoga postures while linking breath and movement. Students will flow from one posture to another, creating gentle flow sequences with basic breath exercises. The class will end with a relaxation series and savasana. This class is suitable for levels 1-3.

About: Share the Joy!-- Is not just a slogan, but Marcia’s yoga philosophy. Marcia is a certified Kripalu style yoga instructor, and completed her studies at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the summer of 2010. Marcia is also a graduate of the Samadhi Yoga Center Teacher’s Training Program, which has provided her with a solid Ashtanga /Hatha/Vinyasa foundation. Currently, she teaches yoga at the Yoga Loft in downtown Flint, Michigan, as well as Insight Health and Fitness (where she conducts quarterly vinyasa Yoga Rocks! Programs). Most recently, Marcia shared her joy of yoga with participants at the Sedona Yoga Festival in Sedona, Arizona. Marcia resides in the heart of Flint, Michigan and with a goal of sharing her love of yoga one smile at a time.

Mindful Yoga Therapy: Trauma-Sensitive & Resiliency Building Yoga: Emily Updesh Kaur Emersen

Description: Mindful Yoga Therapy is an empirically informed, clinically tested program comprised of five practices: Pranayama (breathing), Asana (basic postures connected with breath), Yoga Nidra (deep relaxation), Meditation and Gratitude. Each practice is a tool that can be used to cope with Post Traumatic Stress or other health/mental health issues, survivors of cancer or sexual assault/trauma and together, they form a comprehensive system -a toolbox- that will carry students into a life of strength and resilience. This class is also applicable for family members and their circle of support people.

About: Emily came to Kundalini Yoga in 1998 while in school for physical therapy and my life changed forever for the better. Shortly after, she became a Reiki Master and licensed massage therapist. She has taught fitness classes and personal training sessions throughout the years and obtained an Associates Degree in Business from LCC in 2013. She has earned specialty yoga certifications in SuperHealth Kundalini Yoga for Addiction & Recovery, Mindful Yoga Therapy and Yoga For First Responders in 2015. Currently Emily teaches weekly Mindful Yoga Therapy at Advent House Ministries with fellow Veterans, Mindful Yoga Therapy at the Greater Lansing Women’s Center, and Kundalini Yoga in Old Town Lansing, while continuing to build personal in-home/office yoga and healing session clients. She is also the new Manager and Minister in Hell, Michigan.

Mystical Yoga: Gwendolyn & Kevin Karas

Description: Unite mind-body-spirit in this movement, stillness, and musical workshop that merges the science of Yoga and neo-shamanism. Our Mystical Yoga is a beautiful Hatha Yoga practice that blends the Integral, Sivananda, and B.K.S lyengar lineages, with Peruvian Neo-Shamanism as taught by Vedantin and Alberto Vilaldo. It includes calling to the four directions, giving honor to our ancestors, practicing asanas, chanting bija mantras during the closing sequence, and a guided elemental body scan. Live sound healing tibetan bowls, singing and harp, are also a part of the experience. All levels welcomed.

About Kevin James Karas: Kevin joyfully serves the awakening of consciousness as a holistic educator and community leader. He has dedicated a decade to studying with senior teachers in a variety of holistic traditions including yoga, shamanism, meditation, mindfulness, law of attraction, communication, community building, leadership, and various energy healing traditions. Kevin leads workshops and performs at schools, businesses, conferences, and festivals including Big Love, The Yoga Summit, and Elevate Akron. As Holistic Leaders co-founder, he has built holistic community for 1000 people and collaborated with US Congressman, Tim Ryan’s Mindful Nation.  He is also a co-founder and creator of the White Pond Rising Intentional Living Community, Graduate Teacher of Public Speaking at The University of Akron;  President, Co-Founder, and Education Director of  Holistic Leaders ( community movement to awaken a connection to self, others, and the planet), and Community Ambassador for the Elevate Akron Yoga Festival.

About Gwendolyn: Gwendolyn shares the teachings of harmony through yoga, music, art, play, language, meditation, and more. A vast array of diverse expressive, esoteric, holistic, creative studies, have developed Gwen into an expansive and dynamic individual. She plays many roles in uniting the whole: Singer-Songwriter, Musician, Poet, Multi-Instrumentalist, Visual Artist, Designer, Sensory Experience Facilitator, Ecstatic Dancer, Public Speaker, Actor, Yoga, Mindful Movement, Philosophy, and Holistic Health Educator, Co-Founder/Creator of the White Pond Rising Intentional Living Community, Massage Artist, Energy Worker / Reiki Practitioner, Sound Healer, Intuitive Astrology Student, Tarot Reader and Planetary Healer.

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Open Heart Power Yoga: Ria Nieboer

Description: Ria will be teaching Open Heart Power Yoga- a flow yoga practice that says, "yes to my breaths, yes to my body, yes to my life, yes to kindness and compassion, and yes to this willing open heart of mine."

About: Ria Nieboer RYT 200 is an embodied movement /yoga practitioner and educator, who for the past ten years, has found joy in guiding students in a breath-centered and trauma-informed yoga practice. 

Restorative Yoga for Runners & Hikers: Heather Poast

Description: Join Heather for 90 minutes of bliss, deeply stretching the hamstrings, hips, feet and upper back. As runners and hikers we often do not know when to slow down. This class will teach you how to relax and keep yourself injury free. You will release tension and also lengthen tight muscles with ten key yoga poses. Heather will teach you how to use blocks, straps, blankets and bolsters to support your practice and aid you in stretching more deeply. You will leave this class with a stretching routine that you can do over and over again. This class will also teach you how to reduce soreness and prevent injury. Additionally, you will learn how to slow down, a skill often overlooked by athletes.

About: "Heather Feather" was Heather's nickname growing up. Feathers inspire and that is what Heather aspires to do for YOU! Heather's journey in health began after her father died from a rare neurological disease. She started practicing yoga and running to cope with the loss, and wishes to share with you the healing and transformational powers of a healthy lifestyle. Heather is a certified Personal Trainer, 500 hour Yoga Instructor, and Chef. Additionally, she is an Ironman finisher, marathon and ultramarathon runner, long-distance swimmer and triathlete. Heather leads many unique Yoga, Hiking & Food Adventures.

Slow Flow Yin Yoga: Greg Kemppainen

Description: Enjoy this combination of a gentle slow flow yoga class with some longer yin-inspired holds, that provide for a complete, restorative experience.

About: Greg Kemppainen, E-RYT 200/500 YA Certified Instructor. Teaching Yoga since 2007. Licensed Thai Traditional Massage Therapist- Royal Style, Union of Thai Tradition Medicine Society, Esoteric Healing Facilitator, International Network of Esoteric Healing. Meta Peace Team Peacekeeping Trainer.

 

Sunrise Sadhana at the Platform: Alicia Smith

Description: In Sunrise Sadhana, we honor the coming of the new day chanting the Gayatri Mantra, and practicing Surya Namaskar- a truly an energizing practice. Over the course of the weekend, we will complete 108 sun salutations and chant the gayatri 108 times. Students will leave having learned the sequence of the sun salutation, which includes mantras and breathwork. They will return home with the experience of using a mala- a meditation tool used for chanting. Hopefully the words of the Gayatri will be decorating their minds, clearing out those habitual thoughts, long after the festival is over.

About: Alicia Dawn Smith owns and operates Infinite Bliss Yoga and Bodywork in Kalamazoo, MI. She fell in love with the Sun Salutation in India in 2007. Before going to India, Alicia found her yoga practice inconsistent and confusing. It (Yoga) was a glorious free-for-all that sometimes felt satisfying, and sometimes didn't. The sun salutation filled in the blank for her on what to do first. She intends to offer this gift of knowing where to start, to anyone who intends to incorporate daily practice into their lives.

Yin For Your Soul! Embracing Your True Nature Through Yin Yoga: Lynne Baum

Description: Yin Yoga for the Soul helps us clear the slate of our past and open to our own unlimited human potential. Ever since we came to this planet we've been observing and absorbing ways of relating, communicating and seeing ourselves. Moving forward we unintentionally start to mimic the unconscious and sometimes unhealthy habits of others. As we grow on our spiritual path we start to notice these patterns in our lives. Yin Yoga creates a safe space to observe and release these old ways of being. This is our opportunity to expand our consciousness and leap forward on our journey to a more fulfilling life. Yin takes us deep into our lower, earth, Chakras where we begin the process of unfolding into our true nature. Practicing outdoors close to the earth makes healing happen even faster. Yin reminds us that we are amazing spiritual beings having this crazy human experience.

About: Since her certification in 2001, Lynne Baum (ERYT) has taught over 8,000 yoga classes. Yoga taught her how to trust her own instincts and to live from her heart. This is what you will learn in her classes. "Yoga opens us up to the possibilities of our lives. It helps us get unstuck! This is how we become authentic!" Lynne has been teaching Yin Yoga since 2008, after spending a month at Osho's ashram in Pune, India. Yin helps us find balance in our hectic lives by connecting us to the earth. Yin gives us practical information that helps heal old wounds and opens space for dynamic change to occur. Lynne's love of Yin shines through in every class she teaches. She now hosts Spiritual Journeys to both India and Costa Rica annually. Her Yin Yoga Teacher Training- Yin With Lynne- will take you to the next level of your practice, whether you are a teacher or not!

Yoga in Asana, Affirmation & Chanting: Peggy Braden and David Krolikowski

Description: Peggy and David, of Spirit & Nature Kirtan, will offer a basic understanding of Bhakti Yoga, based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda through chanting, prayer, affirmations, and Hatha Yoga postures. Bhakti Yoga is understood by many to be the "yoga of the heart". It provides a spiritual feeling (Bhava) far deeper than an emotional one. Chanting, meditating, affirming, practicing asanas and pranayama techniques such as Kriya Yoga, in addition to praying with love and devotion, can lead to superconsciousness or union with the Divine, the goal of the yogi.

Peggy Braden is a founding member of Song of the Morning Ranch, professional musician, and GLYTA teacher. Over the years it has been her joy to sing for Yogacharya Oliver's SRF services and fellowships in Detroit and at Song of the Morning Ranch. After graduating with a degree in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan, she toured Europe and Russia as a soloist with the University of Michigan Chamber Choir. Later, she became a hospice and hospital Chaplain.

David Krolikowski:  In 2014, David became a Kriyaban and continued on with his interest in Hatha Yoga by completing the Golden Lotus training at Song of the Morning. David Krolikowski graduated from the Golden Lotus School of Yoga in 2015.  He has been nominated as Treasurer for GLYTA and also frequently attends the Detroit SRF Meditation Center.

Yoga Meets ReiKi in a "Chakra Cleanse & Balance:” Pavel Bednarski

Description: The Chakras represent energies which exist within and outside the physical body and are generally influenced by the mind. In this session, Yoga and Meditation are combined with Reiki (the practice of aiding alignment of universal Prana that flows through everything) and the sound vibration of Himalayan Singing Bowls. Also, the cleansing and balancing proof of the Chakras ( natural inviting means of sustaining heightened presence of Prana in balance of Body, Mind and Spirit) will be shown.

About: For decades, Pavel has been practicing and teaching a full range of Yoga's attributes, especially in the Breath and Asana realm. He likes to incorporate Reiki and Meditation practices into teaching Yoga, as a way to maximize the benefits.  Right now, Pavel teaches Yoga at four different Yoga Studios and one gym. He has also presented both Yoga Nidra & Yoga meets Reiki in Chakra Cleanse & Balance, over a dozen times in Michigan and California. Recently, he founded "Prana Vista" to take Yoga to corporations, schools & hospitals.