Yoga Day

LMU Yoga Day

A Digital Retreat Through the Self

Saturday, October 24, 2020
6:00 AM PDT to 7:30 PM PDT

ON ZOOM

Sponsored by LMU Graduate Yoga Studies Master's Program

Wish to Support the Program? Click Here

 CLICK HERE TO RSVP FOR YOGA DAY

LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Presenters

LMU’s 9th Annual Yoga Day will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 on ZOOM from 6:00 AM to 7:30 PM. Attendees will experience a special digital retreat experience through the layers of the Yogic self from the macrocosmic (gross) to the microcosmic (subtle). Classes will dive into our personal relationship with the earth, society, physical, energetic/subtle, emotions, mind, and wisdom bodies in guided reflection. Meditation and movement (āsana) will be led by individuals well-trained in diverse spiritual traditions.

This year’s offering is different from former years in these unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19, heightened exposure of systemic racism, and forced isolation + introspection in quarantine. The keynote speaker will address the pragmatic issues of social activism, engagement, diversity, and appropriation within Yogic spiritual circles and American society. Our goal is to give the gift that Yoga has given us in these times of uncertainty - a way of understanding ourselves and our role in the world. We welcome yogis and persons of all traditions internationally to join us in community or sangha. 


Yoga Day is LMU's annual celebration of the Yoga tradition, experience, and its many expressions—past, present, and future. The event is completely free and open to the public for brand new practitioners and experienced ones alike. Come explore āsana practice, meditation sessions, the musical traditions of Yoga, participate in philosophical discussions, and more. Yoga Day draws upon our rich Yoga community and features world-renowned guest teachers from studios, practice centers, and spiritual communities as well as LMU's own Graduate Yoga Studies family.

Please click the sign-up button below to RSVP and receive the latest news and updates!

  • *Schedule subject to change.

    RETREAT THROUGH THE SELF

    CLASS TIME

    ZOOM 1

    ZOOM 2

    ZOOM 3

    Eco-Self

     

     

      

    6:00 AM - 8:20 AM PT

    OPENING ĀSANA + MEDITATION

    "Sentient Universe: Micro-organisms, Animals, Humans, and Earth"

    Christopher Key Chapple, PhD

    +

    Catherine Weiss, MA '19

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    8:30 AM - 9:00 AM PT 

    LMU YOGA DAY WELCOME

    "What is Graduate Yoga Studies?"

    Christopher Key Chapple, PhD

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    Social-Self

    9:00 AM - 10:15 AM PT

    KEY NOTE SPEAKER

    "Justice, Ethics, Yoga"

    Shyam Ranganathan, PhD

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    10:30 AM - 10:50 AM PT

    INTERVIEW

    “Divine Feminine Revealed: Shakta Tantra”

    Sravana Borkataky-Varma

    hosted by

    Serenity Tedesco, LMU Yoga Studies MA Candidate, ’21

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    Physical/Subtle-Self

    11 AM - 12:15 PM PT

    PANEL

    "Illuminating the Diversity and Role of Yoga in Modern Society"

    Judith Carlisle, MA '20 (moderator)
    Marsha Banks-Harold
    Mayuri Bhandari, MA '17 
    Shyam Ranganathan, PhD
    Acharya Shunya

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    12:30 PM - 12:50 PM PT

    CLASS

    "Poetry as Sacred Offering"

    Dr. Shahrzad Sami

    LIVE MUSIC

    "Guitar Sound Healing"

    Aaron Hanson, LMU Yoga Studies MA Candidate, '21

    CLASS

    "Simple Yogic Practices + Their Effects on Immunity"

    Dr. Pallavi Lowery

    1:00 PM - 2:00 PM PT

    CLASS

    "Ayurveda for Yogis: Health Awakening Morning Rituals with the Gayatri Mantra"

    Acharya Shunya

    CLASS

    "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga"

    Susan Chapman, MA '19

    CLASS

    "Safe Yoga After 50"

    Larry Payne, PhD

    Emotional-Self

    2:15 PM - 3:15 PM PT

    CLASS

    "Compassionate Social Justice Action"

    Marsha Banks-Harold

    CLASS

    "Heartfulness Meditation"

    Mukta Ghookal

     

    CLASS

    "Exploring Rasa (Flavors & Emotions) in Indian Dance"

    Mayuri Bhandari, MA '17

     

    Mind-Self

    3:30 PM - 4:30 PM PT

    CLASS

    "Calm the Commotion"

    Danielle Fowler, MA '15

    CLASS

    "The Art of Adapting: Buddhist Inspired Yoga + Guided Meditation for Embracing Change"

    Alexandra Jones, MA '20

     

    CLASS

    "Therapeutic Flow Yoga"

    Paula Tapia

     

    Wisdom-Self

    4:45 PM - 6:00 PM PT

    CLASS

    "Metaphysics + Meditation"

    Rob Zabel, MA '17

     

    CLASS

    "Meditation on Sound + Spaciousness"

    Traca Gress, MA '16

     

    CLASS

    "Deeply Rooted - An Internal Wisdom"

    Lizbeth S. Vázquez, MA '19

     

    LIVE MUSIC

    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM PT

    CLOSING PERFORMANCE

    Marti Nikko + DJ Drez 

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  • LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Shyam 

    KEY NOTE SPEAKER

    “Justice, Ethics, Yoga”

    Shyam Ranganathan

    KEY NOTE DESCRIPTION
    In this talk, I address the pragmatic issues of social activism, engagement, diversity, and appropriation within Yogic spiritual circles and American society as an outcome of a longer historical process of Western imperialism that continues in many quarters today, including the academy. The Yogic response consists in challenging the Western tradition’s authority, while focusing on what the ancient philosophy of Yoga as found in texts such as the Yoga Sūtra have to teach us about justice, ethics and activism. Indeed, what we think of as progressive politics today is traceable back to the Yoga Sūtra itself. The key teaching of this ancient tradition is for us to take responsibility for our own moral standing and the standing of others by being devoted to Sovereignty (Īśvara praṇidhāna), which amounts to the practice of Unconservativism (Tapas) and Self-governance (Svādhyāya). Yoga teaches us that people are what thrive given their own Sovereignty, the Earth is a person too and that being devoted to the abstraction of Sovereignty is to be devoted to everyone’s Sovereignty. Prosperity is not a zero-sum game and the yogi is uniquely placed to be the solution to Western imperialism, namely the one-person revolution. Finally, moving to a state of kaivalya is about transforming the world into one that operates according to natural laws (prakṛti) to one that operates according to the dharmic laws of persons (puruṣa).

    SPEAKER BIO
    Dr. Shyam Ranganathan is the founder of Yoga Philosophy, a scholar-practitioner initiative. Dr. Ranganathan is a field-changing researcher, scholar, author and teacher of philosophy, and an expert in the neglected traditions of Indian moral philosophy, which covers practical questions of how to live, what to aim for, and what we should value—including Yoga.

    Dr. Ranganathan’s work has changed the literature on Indian philosophy, Translation Studies and Yoga: the literature hence no longer unanimously supports the old orientalist myth.  While writing his PhD dissertation in philosophy on the topic of translation, he applied his research findings to translating Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra from the Sanskrit (Penguin 2008), which has sold over 5000 copies world-wide.  

    Dr. Ranganathan is a scholar practitioner of yoga as described in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra and has written widely on Indian philosophies of meditation (Yoga, Buddhist and Jain).  In his introductions to philosophy and critical thinking, Dr. Ranganathan draws liberally from Indian and Chinese traditions to teach the discipline of philosophy. Shyam is a CYA-E-RYTGOLD (over 1000 hours training) and an E-RYT500. Yoga Philosophy is GOLD Registered Yoga School (CYA-RYSGOLD) and Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP). He is a member of the Department of Philosophy, and York Center for Asian Research, York University, Toronto.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Marsha Banks-Harold

    "Compassionate Social Justice Action"

    Marsha Banks-Harold

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Embracing the intersectionality of wellness and social justice creates an opportunity to explore self-study, building relationships, resiliency, and compassionate action. Tapping into the tools and practices of yoga and yoga therapy prepares our community to create compassionate sharing experiences where all beings are honored and valued.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Marsha D. Banks-Harold, Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator (TCTSY-F), E-RYT 500, YACEP, RPYT, RCYT, BSEE and owner of PIES Fitness Yoga Studio, is an intuitive healer called to empower clients to fortify one’s strength of awesomeness; to learn to rely on one’s authentic self; and to cultivate everlasting physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual (PIES) peace. Marsha is the creator of the flagship yoga class My Body Don’t Bend That Way designed for clients who don’t believe they are flexible enough for yoga, who are afraid to get onto the floor, who are living with physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual pains or those who have restricted range of motion.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Mayuri Bhandari  

    "Exploring Rasa (Flavors & Emotions) in Indian Dance"

    Mayuri Bhandari, MA '17

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    An introduction in exploring emotions, expressions, and dance stemming from Indian classical and folk movement. Many art traditions stem from the Natyasastra (Indian Text on the Performing Arts) and these forms have undergone many changes in Indian history. The performer is like a cook, and the bhavas (emotions) are like ingredients that cook through tapas(heat/practice). The rasa(flavors)are then experienced by the spectators. We will play with these 8-9 Universal emotions through storytelling, dance and understanding of the Ego for the artist -'the Yoga of Dance'. 

    SPEAKER BIO
    Jersey born and closely in touch with her South Asian heritage, Mayuri is an actress of East Indian descent. Her performing background lies within both Bollywood & Hollywood industries; she is a National figure skating champion, an Indian dance star, a Bollywood Fitness Co-Founder and an advocate of activism through the arts. Mayuri is a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.A. Dance & South Asian Studies) & Loyola Marymount University (M.A.Yoga Studies). Through her cultural background, poetry, and dance, she creates works with a powerful social message. Mayuri voices an Ahimsa [non-violent] way of life (beyond diet), women's empowerment, and Brown experience & identity. She is a teacher of Prison Yoga + Meditation at the Twin Towers in DTLA and engages with various communities through movement.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Sravana Borkataky Varma

    INTERVIEW

    “Divine Feminine Revealed: Shakta Tantra” 

    Sravana Borkataky-Varma

    Serenity Tedesco, MA ’21 will interview Dr. Sravana Borkataky-Varma on the Shakta Tantra tradition. We will explore topics such as goddess worship, Dr. Sravana’s personal lineage, gender, sexuality, and appropriation.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Sravana Borkataky-Varma is a historian, educator, and social entrepreneur. As a historian, she studies Indian religions focusing on esoteric rituals and gender, particularly in Hinduism (ŚāktaTantra). As an educator, she is currently a lecturer at Harvard Divinity School and at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. In the past she has taught at the University of Houston, the University of Montana, Rice University, and DaLian Neusoft University, China.In a previous non-academic avatar, Sravana worked in customer service, in the financial and IT industry. As a social entrepreneur, she is the co-founder of a nonprofit, Lumen Tree Portal. Sravana invests in building communities with individuals from various faith backgrounds who believe in kindness, compassion, and fulfillment.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Judith Carlisle 
    PANEL
    "Illuminating the Diversity and Role of Yoga in Modern Society"


    Dr. Judith Carlisle, MA '20 (moderator)


    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    The Illuminating the Diversity and Role of Yoga in Modern Society panel examines how Yoga theory, praxis, and philosophy enact, embody, and convey opportunities to create a more just and equitable world. In order to explore the diversity that exists within Yoga, the panel offers a variety of distinguished voices. It explores the opportunities and challenges that this culture, based upon a shared appreciation of Yoga, faces as these ideals are pursued, including experiences of BIPOC in the Yoga world, challenges of forced self-introspection, impact of trauma emerging from events and processes such as colonization and systemic racism in order to explore and convey Yoga's power and place as an agent and methodology for social change.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Dr. Judith Pinn Carlisle began practicing yoga with her grandmother when she was a young child. She comes to Loyola Marymount University with over 20 years as a professor of information systems at institutions such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, and the University of Michigan-Flint. Originally, her work focused on applying natural language processing techniques to search engine development but broadened to include the philosophical and ethical considerations of computer-based information technologies.

    She is a graduate of the Yoga Studies M.A. Program at Loyola Marymount University. She now questions how computer, information, and yoga technologies can be combined to create a good life.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Susan Chapman 

    "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga"

    Susan Chapman, MA '19

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    This āsana practice is for all levels and includes chanting during sun salutations and cakra toning. The poses are suitable for everyone, including those who prefer to practice in chairs, and the call-and-response chanting while performing the poses is engaging, energizing, and a lot of fun.

    SPEAKER BIO
    A Vedic Educator certified by the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, Susan teaches in the Chopra Center’s Meditation Weekend, Seduction of Spirit, and Journey into Healing programs. She is the Co-Founder of Bliss Yoga, a Los Angeles-based yoga and meditation community, and regularly teaches yoga, meditation, and Perfect Health in studio, classroom, and corporate settings. 

    Susan enjoys sharing the message of finding happiness by connecting with the true Self. Along with teaching, Susan writes extensively on yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, adoption, recovery from addiction, and other topics to help others feel empowered and fulfilled. Susan is often an invited speaker at corporate and academic events, and her views on love have been featured on the acclaimed website, lifebyme.com.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Chapple 

    OPENING ĀSANA + MEDITATION

    "Sentient Universe: Micro-organisms, Animals, Humans, and Earth"

    LMU YOGA DAY WELCOME

    "What is Graduate Yoga Studies?"

    Christopher Key Chapple, PhD

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    We live together on an amazing planet, in reciprocity with the earth beneath our feet, the water that hydrates and sustains us, the fire that warms us, and the breath that moves through us. By making these connections through meditation and movement we enhance our capacity for resilience and insight.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and founding Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. A specialist in the religions of India, he has published more than twenty books, including the recent Living Landscapes: Meditations on the Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas (SUNY Press). He serves as advisor to multiple organizations including the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), the Ahimsa Center (Pomona), the Dharma Academy of North America (Berkeley), the Jain Studies Centre (SOAS, London), the South Asian Studies Association, and International School for Jain Studies (New Delhi). He teaches online through the Center for Religion and Spirituality (LMU) and YogaGlo.

    Recent book: http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6860-living-landscapes.aspx

    YogaGlo Classes: https://www.glo.com/preview/teachers/dr-chris-chapple

    Master of Arts in Yoga Studies: https://bellarmine.lmu.edu/yoga/

     

    "Calm the Commotion"

    Danielle Fowler, MA '15

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Rooted in ancient yoga psychology and supported by modern science, participants will learn methods for working with their mind to navigate change in a healthy and helpful way. We all live with a habitual mind (mindset) that reacts in patterns primarily based on the past. Sometimes these patterns are helpful, sometimes they are harmful. Using time-tested techniques such as waking up the witness, encouraging the pause, setting intention and cultivating the opposite, we will explore our current mindset and determine ways to best shift perspective when needed. By the end of this lecture, you will have a handful of meaningful practices to establish a personal daily ritual to keep you grounded and focused.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Danielle is director and lead instructor of True Nature School of Yoga, where she blends her passion for teaching and learning to inspire in-depth study and practice of Yoga. She has taught Yoga classes for over a decade in a variety of settings including yoga studios, corporations, non-profit organizations and schools, and has been the co-owner of two successful studios, Yoga Vista (2005-2009) and Yoga Oceanside (2010 to present). Danielle's unique teaching style is inspired by her extensive training with renowned Yoga centers such as Mount Madonna and the Himalayan Institute, and masterful teachers such as Donna Farhi, Roger Cole, Judith Hanson Lasater, Nischala Joy Devi, and Rolf Sovik. Her pilgrimage to India, the Motherland of Yoga, embedded her into a spiritual lineage of the tradition which shines through in her sincere approach to sharing Yoga with others.

    Danielle's teaching is also shaped by her extensive experience in the education and training field. She is a facilitator for AmeriCorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), has served as a MiraCosta College Instructor, and has created numerous professional development courses for corporate, government, and community-based clients. She uses her expertise as a facilitator to create learning experiences that emphasize personal growth, self-reflection, group process, enriching discussion, and hands-on experience. Her instructional style helps students evolve into compassionate, competent, and confident yoga teachers, as she inspires and empowers her students to find the teacher within.

    Danielle Fowler is honored to be a graduate in the inaugural class of the Master's Degree Program in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University.

     

    "Heartfulness Meditation"

    Mukta Ghookal

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Heartfulness Meditation is a simple, practical technique rooted in Raja Yoga and builds on Ashtanga Yoga by Patanjali. We begin each session with a short-guided relaxation, followed by a silent meditation. These meditations are aided by yogic energy or transmission, which is unique to Heartfulness. The subtle suggestion for the meditation is that we are connecting to ‘the source of divine light within our hearts’ and this process, backed by transmission, helps you experience a deeper meditative state. With Heartfulness meditation, whether you are new or a seasoned meditator, you will be able to create a change of state, through accessing deeper levels of consciousness. Heartfulness is a suite of practices – Relaxation, Meditation, Rejuvenation, Contemplation & Prayer and I warmly invite you to join this session & experience it for yourself.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Mukta began meditating in South Africa at the age of 16 years old. She found that the use of yogic energy allowed her to tap into transformation, in a natural, seem less manner, without behavioral mandates and long to do lists.  The simplicity of the method helped her quickly manage stress, find creative solutions from within and access courage. The rejuvenation / cleaning method helped her keep her heart open, pure, present. She began to feel liberated from within from the political, social, cultural and religious biases, the country was entrenched in.  Moved by gratitude and joy, she began to travel for seminars and learn more. It’s been 27 years since, and over the years, she’s shared her experiences informally through talks, written articles, mentored Individuals, supported development, training and meditation workshops, helped at events and offered strategy.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Traca Gress 

    “Meditation on Sound and Spaciousness”

    Traca Gress, MA '16

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    In this meditation, at the end of a full day of information, movement and practice we will take the time to integrate it all gently.  There will be time for a short teaching, 30-40 meditation on effort-less-ness and sound, (with the intention of leading us to more spaciousness and connection with our infinite nature) followed by time for questions and discussion. This is appropriate for all levels of yoga and meditation.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Traca moved to LA from Portland, Maine in August of 2014 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Yoga Studies at LMU. She completed that degree in May of 2016, and enjoys sharing her lifelong passions for yoga, dance, nature, art, gardening, travel, meditation and Native American/Peruvian Shamanic explorations. She has been a longtime student of Khen Rinpoche Lobsang Tsetan (abbott of the TashiLhunpo monastery in Southern India) whose very best teaching is his clear embodiment of joy, compassion and presence. She currently teaches with Insight LA, private classes and retreats and coaches for the app, 10% Happier.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Graduate Yogo Studies Logo 

    “Guitar Sound Healing”

    Aaron Hanson

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Aaron Hanson will open with chanting of the sacred sound AUM (Om). While guitar drones hold this fundamental frequency, Aaron will layer in more melodic structure with the guitar based on Classical Hindustani Raga Music.  He will play an original instrumental piece called, "Inward" which was inspired from going deeper into yoga philosophy and dedication to look at the work needed to be done inside of myself (svadhyaya).  We will close with few beloved popular tunes not only linked to India through their creators (John Lennon, George Harrison), but through the use of yogic concepts of Mantra and Bhakti. Singing along is greatly encouraged. (Disclaimer: This appropriation of Indic aspects by pop stars of the Beatles' era is a great topic of discussion pertaining to the continuous transmutation of Yogic practices as they have reached Western minds over decades.)

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Alexandra Jones

    "The Art of Adapting: Buddhist Inspired Yoga and Guided Meditation for Embracing Change"

    Alexandra Jones, MA '20

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    To be human is to be confronted with a transient world; one filled with uncertainty. Many of us search for stability, for something to lessen the turbulence, but again and again, the search remains insatiable. Health deteriorates; loved ones leave; shiny new purchases either break or become boring. Moments of beauty and blessedness are followed by a return to the chaotic and mundane. Buddhism teaches us to come to terms with the fact that all created realities must eventually dissolve, and that impermanence is, paradoxically, here to stay. The yogi knows that the world has never been predictable. They know that the phenomena they encounter, no matter how pleasurable, arise only to fade away. Instead of grasping for stability, we can learn to find comfort in the inability to know what the open horizon ahead of us contains, becoming friends with our own decaying, ephemeral, and unpredictable nature. Begin to change your perspective towards the fluctuations in life, instead seeing them as teachers. Turn challenges into an opportunity to discard your resistance to the new and uncomfortable - and explore the possibility of finding peace in unfamiliar places.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Alexandra is a devoted practitioner and teacher of yoga, meditation, and spiritual self-inquiry. She moved to Los Angeles from Canada to pursue an MA in Yoga Studies from Loyola Marymount University, as well as certificates in Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change, Yoga Therapy RX Level 1, and a 200-hour teacher training in the Ram Dass lineage. Her personal passion for Tibetan Buddhism remains at the foundation of her practice, and continually inspires her to develop a relationship with the unknown. Her dream is to help other people expand their perspectives, reconnect their heart and mind, and to provide them with tools for transforming their inner experience into one of deeper compassion & creativity.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Pallavi Lowery

    “Simple Yogic Practices and their Effect on Immunity”

     Pallavi Lowery

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Yoga offers a unified approach to the body and the mind that mutually influences physiology and psychology. Through structured asana, breathing techniques, consciousness meditation, etc., it offers positive benefits to the nervous system, endocrine, digestive, heart, lungs and immune system simultaneously. In this presentation we will explore, 'Simple Yogic Practices and its effects on immunity.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Pallavi Lowery grew up in India in a nurturing environment of Yoga Philosophy. Yoga has been part of her life at home and school throughout her childhood. Pallavi's mother is a 'Pranayama Teacher' (the 4th limb of Yoga Philosophy) with a desire to help people achieve their physical and emotional wellbeing.

    Pallavi has extensive clinical and management experience in Occupational Therapy and has provided numerous continuing education courses on a variety of topics related to Strength and Balance Training, Cognitive Rehabilitation, Falls Prevention, Diabetes Management, at the state level and locally for Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, Nursing staff and for family support groups in collaboration with the Alzheimer's Association. Pallavi especially enjoys teaching on the topics related to Health and Wellbeing bringing balance and achieving one's highest potential in life

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Larry Payne 

    “Safe Yoga After 50”

    Larry Payne, Ph.D.

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Learn the safest Yoga postures and techniques to use at any age including inversions and how to avoid injuries.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Larry Payne, Ph.D. is an internationally respected yoga teacher, which The Los Angeles Times named "one of America's most respected Yoga teachers". He coauthored Yoga Therapy Rx, Yoga for Dummies and The Business of Teaching Yoga. Larry is founding president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, founder of the Corporate Yoga program at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the first Yoga teacher to offer Yoga classes at the World Economic Forum, cofounder of the yoga curriculum at the UCLA School of Medicine, and the founding director of the Yoga Therapy programs at LMU Extension. In 1980, Larry founded the Samata Yoga Center. His background is in Psychology and he has also completed graduate work in Physical Therapy at Cal-State University at Long Beach. Larry has been a frequent guest on national television and syndicated radio programs. His work has been featured in numerous national and international magazines, as well as in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. Most recently he is featured in six new DVDs as part of the Yoga Therapy Rx series. Larry resides in Los Angeles, California and has a thriving practice in Marina del Rey and Malibu. In addition to speaking engagements and workshops, he leads Yoga and health seminars worldwide.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Dr. Sherry Sami 

    "Poetry as Sacred Offering"

    Dr. Shahrzad Sami

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Dr. Sami will guide attendees how to use poetry as a sacred way of metabolizing their emotions, as well as getting a deeper insight into their own souls. She will use pieces from mystic poets such as Rumi or Hafez, as well as more modern ones such as David Whyte and Mary Oliver as an entry point of self-discovery and reflection.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Dr. Sherry Sami is the founder of Happy Kids Dental Planet in Agoura Hills, CA.  Holding a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology, Dr. Sami works extensively with parents and children to identify and resolve psychosomatic barriers to healing orofacial, cranial, respiratory and myofunctional disorders.  Much of her work is based on heart-centered communication skills, which she teaches in various workshops, including Conscious Uncoupling for intimate partners choosing to complete their relationship in a healthy way, Couples Transformational Intensive for those wishing to strengthen their connection, and Conscious Parenting to help parents improve their relationships with their children.  She also conducts educational seminars for medical students at Western University of Health Sciences to improve doctor/patient communication and help keep the heart in healthcare.  She is a regularly sought-after speaker for health, parenting, and personal development for organizations and events such as the In-Goop Health Summit hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow and Fertility Plan It at UCLA. Dr. Sami is also co-founder of the Love Button Global Movement, a nonprofit organization that promotes random acts of loving kindness.

     

    "Ayurveda for Yogis: Health Awakening Morning Rituals with the Gayatri Mantra"

    Acharya Shunya

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    There is no day like the present to love and heal yourself, a little more! Join internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher and Ayurveda healer Acharya Shunya, as she teaches how to live an Ayurveda lifestyle that supports the emergence of health and wellbeing through incorporating the Gayatri Mantra and early morning sacred practices. The Gayatri Mantra has been utilized as a tool of sadhana as well as vibrational medicine for recovery from disease and emotional distress, in Ayurveda and Yoga lineages and literature, for centuries. When chanted exactly (that shall be taught) and its meaning, that shall be conveyed, contemplated upon, Gayatri has the power to awaken health and activate yogic Shakti.  Gayatri Mantra's 9 words and 24 sound vibrations are said to harmonize the five pranas, calm the thought waves, destroy ignorance (Avidya) and bestow health, beauty, strength and vitality (Arogyam). With mastery of ancient Ayurvedic and Yogic scriptures, ease of expression and articulation of her own soul truth with spontaneity and joy, Acharya Shunya will undoubtedly evoke your inner light within minutes of receiving the pure transmission of the mantra, chanted to perfection.

    SPEAKER BIO
    As the first female lineage holder in a 2,000-year-old line of spiritual teachers, Acharya Shunya provides a rare opportunity to receive authentic teachings from a genuine Vedic master. As an internationally renowned and awarded scholar of nondual wisdom (Advaita) and a classically trained Master of Yoga and Ayurveda, she has dedicated her life to empowering health and elevating consciousness worldwide. She is author of best-selling Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True 2017) and Sovereign-Self: Claim Your Inner Joy and Freedom with the Empowering Wisdom of the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (Sounds True, 2020). She has served as President of the California Association for Ayurvedic Medicine (CAAM) and is currently advisor to the Government of India, in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga awareness. Through The Awakened Self Foundation in California, Shunya offers satsangs, e-courses and global seminars. To find out more, visit AcharyaShunya.com

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Paula Tapia 

    "Therapeutic Flow Yoga"

    Paula Tapia

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    A softer and gentler approach to a classical Vinyasa practice, Therapeutic Flow Yoga brings together the wisdom of the ancient and modern Yoga traditions to support practitioners and their personal needs, capabilities, goals and intentions. The all-levels practice accesses the mat as a vehicle to facilitate healing for the individual in his/her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. In this class, we will explore and cultivate a mindful and supportive relationship between breath and movement to inspire self-reliance, develop inner balance, enhance wellness and connect with the teacher within.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Paula Tapia is a certified Yoga therapist, educator, and facilitator. She is also an expert in fitness and wellness specialized in integrative health, prevention and rehabilitation, self-care education, and mindful lifestyle modifications techniques.

    A lifelong dancer, athlete, and former national medalist in her homeland Chile, Paula is an international educator who has been teaching creative and intelligent forms of movement for over 20 years, including dance, fitness, aqua therapy, Yoga, and Yoga therapy.

    Professionally, she is the Associate Director of the “Yoga and the Healing Sciences Program” at Loyola Marymount University. She is a member of the Yoga Alliance (YA) and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), having completed her Yoga Therapy Rx™ training at LMU in Los Angeles, CA and her associated internship as a therapist at the Simms-Mann Family Clinic in Venice, CA. Her experience includes work at chiropractic wellness centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics, athletic/sports clubs, as well as Yoga festivals and studios. Moreover, she has also worked as a bilingual medical interpreter.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Lizbeth S. Vázquez

    "Deeply Rooted - An Internal Wisdom"

    Lizbeth S. Vázquez, MA '19

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    Through the Skeletomuscular wisdom of the spinal column we will meet at the basic intelligence of the sacrum. Searching for awareness in its physical shape, in its energetically form, and vital energy. This practice is open to all levels as we will work together on breathing exercises, meditation, and intentional movement. What to bring (suggested): Pen and paper, yoga props to support your practice, and any grounding essential oil for example: (myrrh, frankincense, ylang ylang, sandalwood, or cypress).

    SPEAKER BIO
    Vázquez is constantly evolving her practices, having completed an M.A. in Yoga Studies (Loyola Marymount), and over 2,000 hours of teacher trainings in many types of contemplative and evidence-based practices. She is currently a graduate student at the Maryland University Institute of Health (MUIH: M.S., Yoga Therapy, I-AYT), which combines theoretical, scientific, and experiential practices with relationship-centered, integrative, and holistic medicine modalities. The program embraces many different classical styles of yoga therapy with more conventional approaches, emphasizing new biomedical practices and strategies for pain-management and prevention.

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Catherine Weiss 

    OPENING ĀSANA + MEDITATION 

    "Sentient Universe: Micro-organisms, Animals, Humans, and Earth"

    Catherine Weiss, RYT 500, MA '19

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    We live together on an amazing planet, in reciprocity with the earth beneath our feet, the water that hydrates and sustains us, the fire that warms us, and the breath that moves through us. By making these connections through meditation and movement we enhance our capacity for resilience and insight.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Mover and shaker, dancer and dreamer, artist and yogi. My work explores the intersections of yoga and conscious dance, pulling from traditional vinyasa, Bharatanatyam, 5Rhythms and many other modalities. I have taught yoga for four years and practiced for twenty. My mission is to empower my students to find the joy of their own unique practice. In the interest of making yoga accessible to all, I teach multiple donation-based yoga sessions per week over Zoom.
    Instagram: @catherineweissyoga

    LMU YOGA DAY 2020 - Rob Zabel 

    "Metaphysics + Meditation"

    Rob Zabel, MA '17

    CLASS DESCRIPTION
    This class will take a look at the mystical worldview of classical yoga and how reality serves as a ladder we can climb back to self-awareness through thoughtful examination. Part lecture, part guided meditation, all yoga.

    SPEAKER BIO
    Rob Zabel has been teaching yoga in Los Angeles since 2011, and taught his first classes to friends at the age of sixteen. Since then Rob has earned his master’s degree in Yoga Studies from Loyola Marymount University, where he also studied yoga cikitsa with IAYT founder Larry Payne. Rob has been blessed to have spent extensive time in India as well, studying yoga with members of the original lineage of Hatha yoga known as the Nathas. 

    For Rob, the physical practice of yoga is a potent means to access deeper and subtler aspects of reality through which students may regain balance in their lives. In every class Rob aims to take the student beyond the everyday material experience of life and bring them in touch with the most profound layers of the Self through the control of body, breath, and mind. Rob has a passion bordering on obsessive for the philosophy, history, and symbolism of the yoga tradition and writes extensively on these subjects on his blog www.sattvicmind.com  Rob also offers one-on-one sessions, Sanskrit, meditation, and philosophy for students who want to take their practice beyond the studio. Learn more at www.ganeshahouse.com.

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    Gypsy-.jpgDJ Drez & Marti Nikko - 2nd Annual Grand Valley Yoga Festival

    DJ Drez’s music has been moving bodies for more than two decades. His sound is an organic blend of mystical hip-hop, reggae roots and Indian raga that has been known to instigate an ecstatic dance party one instant, and soothe a group into a meditative savasana the next. If you’re a fan of Drez, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the mysterious, seductive voice of Marti Nikko gracing dozens of the albums, tracks and remixes he’s released over his prolific career. Nikko’s innate spark illuminates. Her soul-soaked vocals dance and play in the spaces impeccably arranged by DJ Drez, highlighting a natural chemistry developed and enhanced through years of performing, living and loving together. The result is a beautiful, eclectic collection of music made for all sacred movement and moods.

    ABOUT MARTI NIKKO

    The daughter of a jazz pianist, Marti Nikko spent her childhood in nightclubs, absorbing the art and wisdom of many great musicians. Enthralled by what she heard, she began to sing and perform her own music, infusing her innate grasp of jazz and soul into a warm, natural voice.

    Marti met DJ Drez shortly after high school, when they began performing and recording together. Over two decades, their collaboration has become an intimate musical language that effortlessly translates into and between many styles of music, including hip hop, reggae, kirtan, jazz and soul. Listen to any of DJ Drez’s albums and you’ll hear Marti Nikko’s unmistakably rich and nuanced voice. Her full-length albums, Dreaming In Sanskrit on Black Swan Sounds, Explorers of Infinity and Dreaming in Sanskrit Verse Two on Nectar Drop, combines her instinctive musicality with deeply devoted mantra practice.

    In addition to Marti’s talents as a singer, songwriter and performer, she teaches yoga and pilates around the world and in the Bay Area where she and Drez live and love their 15-year-old son and 2-year-old baby girl.

    https://www.martinikko.com/

     

    ABOUT DJ DREZ

    DJ Drez is in demand as a producer, musical director and sound ambassador. A master of his craft in the studio and on stage, Drez cuts and composes profoundly original tracks that facilitate body movement practice of all forms— be it dance, yoga asana or after-hours intimate/ecstatic. 

    Drez transforms the vibe of any scene his sound is set upon. Rooted in underground L.A. hiphop, Dr. EZ applies precise turn-table skills to a cutting edge vision for truly universal music, intelligently integrating elements of hiphop, world music, soul, funk, jazz, and reggae into his trademark sound and production.

    Drez’s peacefully determined demeanor makes him a highly sought-after contributor to a variety of dynamic projects. In the midst of a non-stop, world-wide tour schedule, Drez has prepared another solo effort (Alpine Swift, available June 7 via Nectar Drop Music) while simultaneously producing a Sānskrit mantra record with his wife, vocalist Marti Nikko, and a straight-up hiphop album with longtime collaborator, Zaire Black, both expected to be ready for release in 2016.

    Drez has too deep a resume to mention in its entirety here, suffice it to say he has worked with a who’s who of top artists (Blackstar, KRS 1, Black Eyed Peas, Macy Gray, Eminem, Project Blowed) and organizations (Adidas, X Games, ABC, Okay Player) while maintaining an extensive worldwide touring schedule, variously involving artists like Moby, Ziggy Marley, Common, Femi Kuti, De La Soul, Capleton, Nas, Lee Scratch Perry.

    http://www.djdrez.com/


     

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      Yoga Day 2019 Photos