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Friday, January 19, 2007

the SYTAR conference, day two

back in september of last year, hoping to learn something about yoga therapy, i signed up to volunteer at the first-ever SYTAR event. what exactly that something was, i wasn't sure, but i figured that i could learn a tip or two that would help me in my own practice. after all, i had my surgically-repaired knee and my troublesome sacroiliac joint to contend with. if i could find out how yoga could make the pain and/or stiffness go away, then all the time i put into helping out would be more than worth it.

back then, my plan was that i would put in however many hours i needed for my volunteer shift(s), then spend the rest of the time listening to speakers, interacting in workshops, and maybe even participating in a practice session or two. and i'd be able to do this because i was going to take time off from work.

well, there was a definite mismatch between what i planned to do and what i actually ended up doing. unfortunately, right after i put in my requisite hours at the registration desk this morning, i had to leave the conference so i could put in my requisite hours at the office. there was a last-minute project that was dropped on my lap, and it had to be turned in before the weekend. so much for being able to listen, practice, and learn.

so what did i miss today?

main session #1:
  • welcome address and invocation - veronica zador, john kepner, lilias folan, amy gage, jnani chapman
  • who we are and how we got here - larry payne and richard miller


  • main session #2:
    what is yoga therapy?
    speaker panel: shanti shanti khalsa, gary kraftsow, joseph le page, michael lee, larry payne, swami ramananda, mukunda stiles, lisa walford

    main session #3:
    clinical trials on yoga for chronic low back pain - karen sherman, bradly jacobs

    main session #4:
  • accountability and soul: the journey of emerging health professions - pamela snider
  • yoga and emerging complementary and alternative medicine disciplines in perspective - john weeks


  • main session #5:
  • how a medical diagnosis can inform the yoga therapist and how the yoga therapist can inform the physician: sciatica - loren fishman
  • ahimsa in your practice: when to consult with other professionals - matthew taylor
  • how chiropractics can inform the yoga therapist: a case study on the cervical spine - rick morris
  • what yoga therapists should know about the anatomy of the breath - leslie kaminoff


  • practice sessions:
  • low back pain: addressing individual needs in a group class setting - robin rothenberg
  • structural yoga therapy (SYT) - mukunda stiles
  • the phoenix rising approach to yoga: addressing symptoms and life issues - michael lee
  • the healing power of forgiveness - max strom
  • how to work one-on-one using the yoga therapy rx model to address the whole person - larry payne
  • the use of props for therapeutic purposes in iyengar yoga - marla apt


  • all was not lost, however. through the course of the morning, i did manage to talk with many yoga teachers who were volunteering along with me (although now that i think about it, almost all of them were teachers except me...).

    there was one who flew in from canada and another who drove in from arizona. there was a kundalini teacher, a restorative teacher, and many hatha yoga teachers, all from the LA area. some i'd recognized by name, others i'd actually taken classes with. and their teaching experience ran the gamut from a seasoned teacher trainer to a fresh teacher training grad.

    as expected, we talked about all things yoga. about students and teachers, group lessons and private sessions, how they teach students with injuries and how they deal with their own injuries.

    so oddly enough, while i really haven't learned anything from the featured speakers at the conference (so far), i've gleaned many tidbits of information from my fellow volunteers. it appears then that i've gotten something out of this conference after all, doesn't it?

    on tap for tomorrow: more conference proceedings plus another volunteer shift...

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