Get Ready …

By: Jill Rivera Greene, Conference Blogger

The conference is just one short week away! It’s never too soon to start packing your bag. We’ve put together a list of suggested items to bring, to get the most out of your conference experience.

Earth to Ethers will be offering mats and bolsters, as well as their unique Lotus Wrap, in the Mindful Marketplace.

Earth to Ethers will be offering mats and bolsters, as well as their unique Lotus Wrap, in the Mindful Marketplace.

Yoga mat and props. This might seem obvious. But if you’re used to practicing at a studio where all props are provided, remember that there is no “prop closet” at the conference. Bring whatever you’ll need to keep you comfortable and supported as you practice. (Suggested props for each workshop are listed at the bottom of the workshop description.)

Water bottle. We will have complimentary water and hot tea available for you throughout the conference. Pack an eco-friendly water bottle to make it easy to fill up on your way to the next workshop.

Mishu Boutique will feature comfy layers with a stylish edge in the Mindful Marketplace.

Mishu Boutique will feature comfy layers with a stylish edge in the Mindful Marketplace.

Comfortable, layered clothes. The Convention Center is a large space. We will make every effort to keep the rooms comfortable, but temperatures will vary. Dress in layers that will be easy to shed during a vigorous asana session and put back on for savasana or meditation.

Journal. With so many insightful teachers and workshops, you’re going to want a journal handy to capture all that you’re learning!

Stop by the Mindful Marketplace to check out beautiful malas like this one from local vendor Bicycling Buddha.

Stop by the Mindful Marketplace to check out beautiful malas like this one from local vendor Bicycling Buddha.


Bring a favorite mala for meditation workshops or just to take a moment to yourself between sessions in our meditation room.

Spending Money (for food and marketplace).  The Namaste Café will be open from 11:00am-3:00pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday offering espresso, snacks, and lunch.  The café offers gluten-free and vegan options.

Most importantly, bring an open heart and your sense of adventure! Be sure to check out the blog next week for some thoughts on “getting set”–setting your own intention for the conference.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Newcomers Welcome!

By: Jill Rivera Greene, Conference Blogger

Me as a beginning yogi ... as always, wondering whether I'm doing this right!

Me as a beginning yogi … as always, wondering whether I’m doing this right!

The week before I started my first Intro to Yoga class, a cartoon was circulating on Facebook. It showed a group of yogis bending gracefully in deep Uttanasana. Right in the middle of the room was the Tin Man, standing straight up, stiff arms reaching toward the front of the room, with a thought bubble: “This is bull$hit.”

I was sure that was going to be me—standing out like a grumpy sore thumb, with my tight hamstrings and an understanding of Sanskrit that didn’t extend beyond “Namaste.” I felt the fear … and showed up anyway. At my first studio, I was blessed to encounter teachers who convinced me that Yoga is as much for me, with my hunched-over-the-laptop posture and tight hamstrings, as it is for anyone else. That introductory class turned out to be the beginning of an absolute love affair with the practice and philosophy of Yoga.

If you are relatively new to Yoga, like I am, you might think that a weekend-long conference is not for you—that you’re “not ready yet.” I couldn’t disagree more! Here are a few reasons why I think the conference is the perfect place for beginning yogis:

  • Build your community—Meet other local yogis in a fun, friendly environment. The conference schedule offers plenty of “down time” to foster new-found friendships.
  • Find resources to support your practice—The Marketplace and Share Your Yoga table are great places to learn about local vendors, studios, retreats, and workshops.
  • Discover new aspects of Yoga—There’s so much more to Yoga than the poses. Give your body a rest in workshops on Ayurveda, pranayama, mantras, sutras, chanting, and meditation.
  • Expand your practice—If you feel like you’re always doing the same type of class, here’s your chance to try something new: Thai Yoga, Yin, or bodysensing, to name just a few. I guarantee you won’t be the only one feeling like a beginner in workshops like AcroYoga!
  • Explore different teachers—Maybe you’re not up for a teacher training or intensive retreat just yet. All the more reason to take advantage of this opportunity to sample workshops from a number of highly respected teachers from the Seattle area and beyond.

To make sure that newcomers get the most out of their experience, Conference Director Melissa Hagedorn will be hosting a special gathering just for us. Look for more information at the Registration Desk, and join Melissa during the first break on Friday, from 11:15 to 11:45, for a special “Thank you for coming,” insider tips, and answers to any questions you might have.

So please, join me at this year’s conference! And when you see me, be sure to say hello. I’ll be one with the tight hamstrings.

New Workshops for the New Year

By: Jill Rivera Greene, conference blogger

Happy New Year, yogis! It’s January, and the conference suddenly feels just around the corner. As if our schedule weren’t exciting enough already … we are thrilled to announce a few late additions to the line-up:

Lynn Jensen, a registered yoga therapist and founder of the Seattle-based Yoga for Fertility, is offering Yoga for Women’s Health: Balancing Chakras, Balancing Hormones. This workshop will explore how your yoga practice can support the hormonal system and address many common symptoms of imbalance, including PMS, cramps, fertility issues, hot flashes, adrenal depletion, and more. Participants will learn concrete tools for teaching or tailoring a personal yoga practice.

Release the acrobat within at our dynamic AcroYoga session! Robin Martin and Thomas Eagan will lead students of all levels in this workshop designed to introduce AcroYogafundamental principles and techniques of this unique style. Learn the building blocks to become a stable and supportive “base” and a dynamic and graceful “flyer.” Spotting skills will be emphasized, so that everyone feels safe trying new things. No partner necessary: Come as you are, for a playful and empowering practice!

Stephanie Sisson will take us back to basics in Chaturanga: Breaking It Down. Love it or hate it, chaturanga dandasana is a staple in most vinyasa and flow classes. It is rarely taught, however, and can become a source of frustration or even injury if not understood. The workshop will build a solid foundation for the pose through breath and the bandhas, and will explore transitions into and out of the pose. Get ready to have fun and leave feeling strong!


Lisa Black, founder and director of Baptiste Affiliate SHAKTI Vinyasa Yoga

Lisa Black , founder and director of Baptiste Affiliate SHAKTI Vinyasa Yoga, will be leading two recently added offerings: Discover Your Voice and Take Your Seat as a Teacher and Foundations of Flow. Lisa has been featured in Yoga Journal, including a March 2008 article highlighting her as one of the most “talented upcoming yoga teachers in the country.” She brings her extensive training and more than 10 years of teaching experience, and we are excited to add her to our list of gifted local teachers.

Discover the tools to stop wasting time in this wild and precious life, in Krishna’s Time Management System. Using the Bhagavad Gita and the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey as a guide, Andrew Tanner focuses on unearthing your personal dharma to help you create achievable goals and make your dream life a reality. (No prior knowledge of the texts is necessary.) At the end of this workshop, you’ll have a live dharma statement and the next week of your life planned for ultimate dharma action toward your financial and personal dreams.

In Studio Ownership: Create and Maintain Success, Andrew Tanner uses real-world examples and business strategy to explore studio ownership. Learn valuable tips for finding the right space, managing and hiring teachers, and smart pricing and scheduling. Andrew will share his know-how about what works and what doesn’t, developed through his 12 years of experience owning, selling, operating, and consulting for yoga studios. If you want to open a studio, already own a studio, or want to treat your yoga business as a virtual studio, this workshop will help you not only be successful but enjoy the journey!

Finally, if you are looking for ways to build your business, don’t miss Social Media: Harnessing Its Power as a Yoga Teacher, led by our very own Conference Director Melissa Hagedorn. Social media can be a powerful resource—if you know how to use it correctly. Melissa will share insights from her years of experience promoting the Northwest Yoga Conference. Participants will review a variety of social media sites to discover what elevates a page or profile from average to great, and discover answers to questions such as: Which platforms should I use? Who is my target audience? Should I advertise? And … How can I manage my time so that my social media accounts aren’t managing me?

Many of our workshops have already filled to over 50 percent capacity. Register soon to ensure you get the workshops you want! 

Already registered, but want to include some of these new offerings in your schedule? No problem! Make changes to your schedule any time before the end of February.

Illuminate Your Chakras

By Jill Rivera Greene, Conference Blogger

chakra_dancerImagine a stack of swirling energy centers, illuminating the spine from its base to the crown of your head. Those who have vision sensitive enough to see the chakras describe them as spinning wheels of light, each radiating its own brilliant color, from red to violet.

We are not all blessed with this gift of sight, but when our chakras are unbalanced, we feel it: in mind, body, and spirit. Deficiencies in particular chakras manifest as illness or pain in related parts of the body. We experience unbalanced anger, fear, or sadness … or simply feel “stuck” in emotional patterns that repeat in relationship after relationship. We may feel depressed or disconnected from ourselves and from Spirit.

Everyone experiences some degree of imbalance in the chakras—it’s part of being human. Yoga helps to release blocks and restore balance, and at the Northwest Yoga Conference, you will find many workshops to promote optimal energy flow.

Some sessions focus on a particular chakra, through specific asanas that open and awaken related parts of the body. Annie Carpenter’s SmartFlow will take us deep into our hips, cultivating stability through the root chakra. Jeanne Heileman will help us illuminate our heart chakras through backbends, breathing techniques, and Tantric visualizations.

There will also be deliciously sequenced practices designed to support balance and alignment through all of our chakras. Join us on Friday evening for a powerful movement and music co-creation by Jill Knouse and DJ HyFi: “Rockin’ It from Root to Crown.” Or treat yourself to a vinyasa series and sound bath that will brighten your entire energy field, in Amber Tande’s Sunday morning session.

It’s not just about the poses: We hope you will take advantage of the conference’s diverse offerings to discover (or rediscover) how chanting, meditation, 10169260_710140972408514_677844912580619374_nmantras, and more can work in harmony with asanas to promote healing, well-being, and focus.

After a weekend of yoga, our chakras are bound to be moving more freely. So come practice and play with us, and get ready to enjoy more balance in all areas of your life—a healthy physical body, peaceful mind, and deep connection to Spirit.

Can’t wait until March to learn more? Explore the chakras with us in our Chakra Immersion Series, happening right now on Facebook (, Twitter (@nwyogaconf), and Instagram (@northwestyogaconference). Each week we feature a different chakra, with poses, meditations, tips from conference presenters, and exciting giveaways!

Conference Team Workshop Picks

By Jen Mullholand, Conference Blogger

Welcome to the inaugural blog post for the 2015 Northwest Yoga Conference! We are super excited to kick things off. The event will be held at the Lynnwood Convention Center, March 5-8, 2015. We would like to introduce you to our amazing team. We asked them to give us their top workshop picks and tell us why they are excited! Hope you gain a little insight from our sharing.

  • Karen Magarelli – Social Media – The class I am looking forward to attending is The Radiance of Fire: Igniting our Cores by Jeanne Heileman.  Core is so key to good health from digestion to strength that I think this class will help me better understand the power within and to help maintain vibrate health.
  • Jill Rivera Greene – Blogger – I am most looking forward to the workshop on Writing with Movement: Yoga and Journaling with Silvia Mordini. It’s always a treat when my two favorite practices come together!
  • Jen Mullholand – Blogger – I am super excited to get to spend a day with Annie Carpenter in her therapeutics intensive “Balance Your Hips and Free Your Spine.” I met Annie in 2011 and fell in love with her style of teaching, her grace and her knowledge. I also have a background in yoga therapeutics and a deep interest in helping students understand their bodies and movement patterns better. Spending a whole day with Annie learning therapeutics is right up my alley!
  • Julie DiRusso – Volunteers – I am really looking forward to taking classes with Jill Knouse and Jeanne Heileman. I met Jill at last year’s conference and took one of her classes. She has a wonderful energy and is very knowledgeable about movement and flow. I am also excited to take classes with Jeanne as she was my yoga teacher’s (Lydia Lagrou) instructor and I have heard about her for years!
  • Carly Hayden – Swag Bags – I’m thrilled to be able to absorb some experience from Roy Holman’s “How to Organize and Lead a Yoga Retreat” workshop. Retreats are such a gem, yet there is so much to learn in order to be an organized and joyful host. I’m leading my very first paddleboard yoga retreat on Whidbey Island in May, so this workshop comes at the perfect time!
  • Kim Desjardins – Data Entry and Name Badges – “I am excited to be part of Amber Tande’s Chakra Anatomy workshop.  I believe she will help guide me to be more attuned with myself.  I’m looking forward to the crystal bowl sound bath.”
  • Melissa Philips-Hagedorn – Director – “I am really looking forward to finding a new, fresh perspective and rhythm with my yoga practice in Theresa Elliott’s Yoga Dance workshop.  This workshops looks like hard work disguised as fun!  Theresa has gone beyond creating a new “brand” of yoga and instead, has innovated an entirely new way to practice.  I can’t wait to experience it!”
  • Torrey Kaminski – Marketplace – “I am really looking forward to The Power of Intention with Debbie Dixon!  Yoga classes often start with the teacher asking the students to “set an intention” without giving more detail about what that means.  Setting an intention is so important for the mind-body connection and Debbie will offer a deeper understanding of intentions and how they relate to our yoga practice.”