Friday, May 15, 2009

Inagural NYC Yoga Journal Conference - Day 2 of 5

Today I got to the conference around 2:30pm and attended the "Money Matters" session with Brent Kessel, contributor to Yoga Journal's Om column and author of "It's Not About The Money" www.BrentKessel.comBrent Kessel combines the latest financial thinking with ancient spiritual wisdom to shed light on the relationship between people and their money, and offers the reader a program for attaining financial and emotional security. Drawing on interviews with spiritual leaders and financial gurus, Kessel teaches you how to grow more conscious of your spending, saving, investing, and giving, and shows you how to become more financially sound and spiritually at peace.

After Brent's informative session I headed to the - Yoga Marketplace - products and services for balanced healthy living. I wanted to share my information about Yoga Flava TV on African Caribbean Television for possible cross-promotion to our growing audience and sponsorship opportunities (Click here for Sponsorship info)

The first booth I saw was my friends from Introduced the team to my associate producer, Aisha Brown and gave them more details about the TV show and the Satellite network. I will be in touch with them to help manage and grow my business.

At Zobha's booth, we were warmly greeted by Christina Turner, sales and marketing coordinator I love the superior performance yoga and fitness apparel displayed at the booth. I will continue to learn more.

Moving on to the royal ladies that joyfully greeted us at Gaiam. Khim Davis, Associate Brand Banager, DRTV and Jackie Laues, sales rep., embraced the concept of Yoga Flava on African Caribbean TV and the possible collaborations with Gaiam. Since I have been in the Yoga world for the past 10 years, Gaiam has been a powerful resource for tools & products and health & wellness and green & sustainable living.

The above written by Robin Downes.

The following written by Aisha Brown.

I'm thrilled to report on my first ever yoga conference, right here from Yoga Journal's New York City Conference. The day started off with an intensive workshop entitled "Eight Limbs of Yoga," presented by Gary Kraftsow. He is the Director and Senior Teacher of the American Viniyoga ™ Institute, and the author of two books published by Penguin: YOGA FOR WELLNESS and YOGA FOR TRANSFORMATION; and author of two educational DVDs 'Viniyoga ™ Therapy for Low Back, Sacrum and Hips' and 'Viniyoga ™ Therapy for Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders'. His website is

The workshop delved deeply into the philosophy of yoga and drew contrasts between Buddhism and yoga. As a beginning yoga student, I found much of the information to be a little too advanced. However, a few key points stuck with me. The standout quote of the day was, "Yoga is more about dealing with your anger than your hamstrings." Essentially, the effect that yoga has on transforming your personality and mind is more important than the effect that it has on your body.

My favorite part of the day was the wonderful energy I encountered in the Yoga Marketplace. I was able to chat with several vendors, and was immediately swept away by their enthusiasm and the assortment of products for sale. Some highlights included practicing asanas on an eternefit mat, which is designed with a built-in cushion for extra comfort and support. It's definitely worth checking out at

I was able to purchase some sage (great for cleansing the atmosphere) and delicious smelling rose and jasmine incense from East West Living. This three story bookstore/yoga studio offers weekly classes and events. It contains everything you need to delve deeper into your practice. View their upcoming events at

The interesting designs of Yogalitik Apparel and Homegoods ( drew my attention. Design Director Miles Mendoza has created a line of yoga clothes and apparel that are as inspiring as they are stylish.

I'd also like to say a quick hello to Ardie Cowlah, over at Brand Marketers. She's a warm, funny yoga instructor of color who I'm sure will bring some exciting collaborative energy to Yoga Flava. Be sure to stop by and take a look at the "T-Shirt TV" at You'll have to see it to believe it!

Overall, I had a wonderful time, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in this gathering. I look forward to more positive experiences tomorrow!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Inagural NYC Yoga Journal Conference - Day 1 of 5

I arrived at the Business of Yoga Workshop (Part 1) at around 11am. I missed the first two presentations with Bill Harper, publisher, Yoga Journal and Connie Chan, founder, Levitate Yoga. I was happy to catch Connie Chan in the lobby. I met Connie in 2007 in times square for the Yoga in Times Square celebration. Check out the video clip from 2007 -

She reminded me to spread the word, it is truly a transcendental experience. This year the Yoga in Times Square will take place, Sunday, June 21, 2009. I will be there for the morning session. Sign up at

I walked in on Bob Murphy, CSMO, Mindbody, Inc "Creating a Viable Studio" He was discussing the biz of yoga. Some of the highlights of the discussion included:
*Determine what you want.
*Create goals with actions
*Budget and monitor
*Have the life you want.

Sales Specialist, Tiffany Baker, gave a great demonstration of the software. I am curious about how it can work with the programming / video on demand for Yoga Flava TV. They suggested I check out their client's business module - Core Power Yoga.
I will certainly be checking them out further. MindBody has a booth at the Conference.

The next speaker was Leonard D. Easter, Esq. He shook us up with the legal issues that are currently being questioned in the Yoga community. He advised us to focus on a business plan that is clear, direct and simple. In addition to a good lawyer, have a good accountant. If you are just started out, several law firms, business schools and retired executive are available to help start-up companies. I got on the mailing list and will keep everyone informed about the on going legal developments in the Yoga community.

After being shook up by the attorney, we were calmed down and connected to spirit with Ganesh Das (aka Carlos Menjivar) managing director, Jivamukti Yoga. "Building Community with Yoga." He started with a much needed Meditation. Highlights of his lecture were based on principles from the Bagavagita:
*No difference between the spiritual and the biz of yoga.
*Everything is an extension of thr spiritual life.
*Create success for the people in your business.
*Everything has a mutually beneficial relationship.
*What is our purpose and what is our intention.
*Be clear about what success means to us.
*Want to be wealthy so that I can share it with others!
*Be indifferent toward the wicked.
*Live simply so that others can simply live.
*Money if a form of energy.
*The only way you are going to be happy is to make others happy.
*Business is a perfect way of working your Karma out.

He recommended a book "The Diamond Cutter" (Buddist principles in business)

I met some new friends: Suzanne Girard Foote, Founder and Director of New Mother Yoga and Wellness ( and Ardie Cowlah Hollander (, who got me excited about a t-shirt that has a video screen.

It was a great way to end the first day of the Business of Yoga Workshop. I look forward to tomorrow.