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Art & Yoga Urban Retreat

Saturday, September 21, 2019
9:00 AM–6:00 PM

Join NY YOGA + LIFE magazine and the Rubin for a full day of workshops and classes pairing the art of the Himalayas with the magazine’s community of teachers, artists, and leaders in the yoga world. Events take place in the Museum’s galleries and theater and focus on asana sessions from prominent teachers including Ally Bogard, Taz Rashid, Tao Porchon-Lynch, Sarah Platt-Finger, and Alan Finger, as well as in-depth, intimate workshops led by Jai Sugrim, Tashi Chodron, Aminbir Singh, Reni Bickel, Bhakti lata, and Dawnette Samuels, with art by Miriam Castillo.

View the full schedule for the retreat below. After purchasing your ticket, you’ll receive an email prompting you to complete your registration and designate your preferences for each session. Every effort will be made to accommodate your preferences, but please note that certain restrictions, including maximum program capacities, apply.

Presented with New York Yoga + Life Magazine


Special Morning Session | 9:00″“10:15 AM

Morning Asana with Ally Bogard and DJ Taz Rashid

Session A | 10:45 AM”“12:15 PM

Conversations with Tao Porchon-Lynch: The Power of Positive Thinking (Option 1)

Accessing Your Inner Power Through Shamanism with Jai Sugrim (Option 2)

The Power of Art: Meditation and Yantra Yoga with Tashi Chodron (Option 3)

Please Choose One

Lunch Break | 12:15″“1:30 PM

(Lunch is included and will be available in the cafe)

Session B | 1:30″“3:00 PM

Sound Meditation with Basia Blonska (Option 1)

Tibetan Astrology and Coloring with Dawnette Samuels and Art by Miriam Castillo (Option 2)

Kundalini Mantra and Chants for Peace with Amanbir Singh (Option 3)

Please Choose One

Session C | 3:15″“4:45 PM

Mantra, Meditation, and Flow with Sarah Platt-Finger and Alan Finger (Option 1)

The Healing Power of Crystals with Reni Bickel (Option 2) SOLD OUT

Divine Kirtan with Bhakti lata (Option 3)

Please Choose One

Session D | 5:00″“6:00 PM

Power of Sound

Open to all Art + Yoga Urban Retreat attendees

Session Information

Special Morning Session | 9:00″“10:15 AM

Morning Asana with Ally Bogard and DJ Taz Rashid

Internationally renowned teacher Ally Bogard kicks off the Art + Yoga Urban Retreat with a special morning asana session featuring live music and mixes by DJ Taz Rashid.

Session A | 10:45″“12:15 AM

(choose one option)

Conversations with Tao Porchon-Lynch: The Power of Positive Thinking

Tao Porchon-Lynch—the world’s oldest yogi, who just turned 101 years young—will share her life stories and philosophy in this special session, followed by a Q&A. The session will conclude with a guided meditation led by Tao.

Accessing Your Inner Power through Shamanism with Jai Sugrim

There are innumerable plants that function as a gateway to non-ordinary states, filled with wisdom and instructions for mankind’s evolution. Through deep study of ancient civilizations we find shamanism at the base of almost every spiritual/religious tradition that we have practiced as a species.

Join Jai Sugrim for a historical exploration of the relationship between healing plants and the unfolding of a direct, experiential spirituality. You will learn about shamans from different regions of the world, throughout our history, and how they have been intermediaries between the seen and the unseen.

The Power of Art: Meditation and Yantra Yoga with Tashi Chodron

The great mother Tara, icon for all mothers, offers protection by revealing that what scares us on the outside is a reflection of what we fear within ourselves. In this in-gallery session, Tashi Chodron will begin with Tibetan Yantra Yoga, the ancient breathing exercise that clears our mind and wakes us up, then guide us through meditation and visualization to become our own protector from fear.

Lunch | 12:15″“1:30 PM

(Lunch is included and will be available in the Café)

Session B | 1:30 AM”“3:00 PM

(choose one option)

Sound Meditation with Basia Blonska
Experience the power and therapeutic effects of healing sounds and vibrations through this immersive sound meditation session with Basia Blonska.

Tibetan Astrology and Coloring with Dawnette Samuels and Art by Miriam Castillo
Explore the roots of Tibetan Buddhist astrology with Dawnette Samuels and learn to read the cosmic turtle mandala through coloring a special illustration by artist Miriam Castillo. It has been reported that similar to meditation, coloring for adults may have stress-relieving effects, allowing us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment.

Kundalini Mantra and Chants for Peace with Amanbir Singh
Chanting is a powerful practice to quiet the mind, open the meridians, and work through samskaras. Kundalini yoga teacher and yoga therapist Amanbir Singh will lead a guided meditation through chanting and mantras from the Kundalini tradition. Some breathwork and seated asanas will be incorporated to support steadiness in chanting meditation.

Session C | 3:15″“4:45 PM

(choose one session)

Mantra, Meditation, and Flow with Sarah Platt-Finger and Alan Finger
Join Sarah Platt-Finger in her signature ISHTA breath-based flow. The class will combine intelligent sequencing and ancient kriya techniques to purify the consciousness. This session will lead you back to your source of unbound potential and help you to recognize your own divine nature as embodied by the primordial buddha, who represents the potential for all beings to become enlightened. The class will begin with a mantra and meditation led by Alan Finger.

The Healing Power of Crystals with Reni Bickel
This experience-based workshop will offer you the knowledge and practical exercises to tap into our personal power. Crystals serve to channel light and activate intrinsic healing forces, allowing a free and harmonious flow of energy. We will work on activating our chakra system in order to strengthen everyone’s personal center and expand our field of influence (aura). Together we’ll learn about the crystals and crystal meditations that empower the mind and dissolve insecurities so we can formulate a positive affirmation for personal power.

Divine Kirtan with Bhakti lata
At any given moment, we can access the power and the love of the Divine through a simple and intuitive process: calling upon the Divine’s name. This interactive, experiential session will explore the power of creating community through the sacred practice of kirtan. Kirtan is a form of worship that calls upon the Divine’s name to connect with a higher power and with one another through love.

Session D | 5:00″“6:00 PM

Open to all Art + Yoga Urban Retreat attendees

Power of Sound
Wrap up the day’s event as a community for the first Power of Sound session in the galleries with an art inspired mix created exclusively for the Art & Yoga Urban Retreat by DJ Taz Rashid. We will begin our Power of Sound experience together in the theater and all guests will receive a set of wireless headphones to borrow as well as a map of suggested pieces to visit in the galleries for a self guided tour while listening to DJ Taz’s mix.

About the Instructors

Ally Bogard is a yoga and meditation teacher based in New York City. For the past 14 years, she has led 200/500-hour teacher trainings, mentorship programs, and advanced immersions all over the world. She is the co-founder of Gaiatri Teacher Training, SoundMind Meditation, and Upwards.

DJ Taz Rashid brings a high vibrational energy to any room by mixing the beats and rhythms of love, ancient new world, house, devotional, and all the cosmic sounds. His vision is to be a channel for the expansion of those around by tapping into the creative wisdom of the body and allowing them to feel, let go and awaken.

Taz has been producing and participating in the creation of mindful events globally over the last few years. As a musician, he plays guitar, piano, Native American flute, didgeridoo, and hand percussion. He takes these instruments and connects to source energy, and what comes through has the ability to move his crowd to connect to their higher selves. Recently he has been performing and DJing at events such as Yoga Journal Conference, Wanderlust Festival, Arise Festival, Bhakti Fest, Bali Spirit Fest, and many more high vibrational gatherings while sharing the stage with global acts such as Xavier Rudd, Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Nahko Bear, MC Yogi, DJ Drez, Guadi, and more.

Tao Porchon-Lynch is a 101-year old yoga master, activist, model, actress, film producer, wine connoisseur, newspaper publisher, and ballroom dancer. She started doing yoga in 1926 when “girls didn’t do yoga” and still conducts weekly classes in Westchester. Her mantra, “There Is Nothing You Cannot Do,” is exemplified by her marching with Mahatma Gandhi in 1930 and dancing on America’s Got Talent in 2015.

Jai Sugrim is a yoga teacher, athletic trainer, and recognized men’s health expert who has worked in the health and wellness industry for 22 years. He is the creator of the Jai Sugrim Method, a scientific approach for bringing the human body and mind into harmony. Jai has worked with many professional athletes, including the New York Yankees during the 2000 and 2001 seasons. He earned a 2000 World Series Championship ring as the Yankees defeated the Mets in the World Series.

Jai is a C.S.C.S, L.M.T., Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, plant-based nutrition counselor, and master practitioner of N.L.P. (Neuro Linguistic Programming). He is licensed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the American Council on Exercise, the International Sports and Sciences Foundation, and Jivamukti Yoga School.

Tashi Chodron is the assistant manager of Himalayan Culture Programs and Partnerships at the Rubin Museum of Art. She leads the series Awakening Practice, a Saturday meditation and mindfulness class in the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room, and she curates a monthly program on Himalayan Heritage. Chodron leads gallery and university group tours and teaches adult classes at the Rubin. She also trains guides and docents on Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhist art and culture. Chodron is the founder and current director of Voices of Tibet, an organization dedicated to conducting interviews with Tibetan elders to save their stories for future generations and to educate the world about Tibet.

Basia Blonska is a classically trained flutist who has been a professional musician for over 20 years. She received her MA in music performance. Her passion for music expanded beyond performing and teaching, as she developed a profound interest in learning about the healing and transformational effects of sound and music. Basia brings healing sounds to intimate sound baths, yoga classes, and private, group, and corporate sessions. She uses her unique musical skills to create tranquil healing soundscapes.

Dawnette Samuels is the manager of admissions and engagement at the Rubin Museum of Art. She is also a trained museum educator and leads tours for a wide range of audiences that includes K”“12 students, adults, seniors, visitors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and visitors who are blind or partially sighted.

Miriam Castillo is a designer and illustrator based in New York and Valladolid in Yucatan, Mexico. Her whimsical, hand-drawn illustrations explore the world through both fantasy and proximity to nature. She draws inspiration from her journey as a yoga instructor, which has bestowed her with an invigorating source of creativity. She believes that yogis’ connection with nature gives them a deeper wisdom and understanding of their own bodies. As such, she spends much of her life observing the natural world and exploring its intersection with the creation of art. For the last decade, Miriam had ventured in custom design, pattern making, graphic design, illustration, and space intervention. To see her work, visit

Amanbir Singh is an international Kundalini Yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and NYC licensed acupuncturist. Known for his sense of humor, music, and extensive knowledge of healing modalities, he offers a fun, direct approach to the dynamics of Kundalini Yoga. Amanbir currently shares his in-depth understanding of energetic and physical anatomy in numerous Kundalini Yoga and yoga therapy trainings worldwide. He serves as one of the main teachers and program directors of Golden Bridge Yoga trainings under the tutelage of his mentor, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. He produced Akal Groove, Akal Groove 2, and African Soul and Jaap, albums that capture his modern embrace of the ancient sound current of mantras. He holds a master of science in traditional Oriental medicine and a bachelor of science in engineering.

Sarah Platt-Finger is the co-founder of ISHTA Yoga and the private yoga teacher of Deepak Chopra. She teaches trainings, workshops, and retreats internationally with her husband, yoga master Alan Finger, and is a featured teacher on Yoga U Online as well as Jiyo, a new digital platform that brings health and wellness to online communities all over the world. She is on the board of directors for Exhale to Inhale, a nonprofit organization that teaches yoga to survivors of domestic violence.

Tantric and Kriya Yoga Master Alan Finger began studying yoga at 16 with his father, Mani Finger, and renowned swamis of the past century. Alan and Mani created ISHTA Yoga. ISHTA is an acronym for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, and it translates to “that which resonates with the individual spirit” in Sanskrit. The ISHTA style integrates breath-based flow yoga with alignment, meditation, and healing bodywork. Alan co-founded Yoga Works, Yoga Zone, and Be Yoga and has co-authored several books including Introduction to Yoga with Al Bingham and Chakra Yoga and Breathing Space with Katrina Repka. Alan travels the world to share his teachings. He currently lives and teaches in NYC where he co-owns ISHTA Yoga with his wife, Sarah Finger.

Reni Bickel is a trained sport scientist, yoga teacher, and crystal healing facilitator based in Brooklyn, New York. She focuses her work in body awareness, intuition, touch, and movement—the connecting element is the energy. Reni was introduced to the world of stones and crystals in Peru and has been trained by the Crystal Academy of Advanced Healing Arts in New York and in Hawaii.

Bhakti Lata was raised in the tradition of Bhakti yoga; her life and character have been shaped by the teachings of selfless service and sacred chanting. She has sung kirtan since childhood and has continued to sing throughout the world at various festivals, retreats, schools, and yoga studios. She has also taught kirtan courses for retreats and at the Bhakti Center. Her passion for writing has flourished on her blog, Seed of Devotion, where she has written spiritual reflections for over 12 years. She currently teaches middle school English Language Arts, and Religion on the Lower East Side and is studying for her master’s degree in education.

Image Credit
Photograph by Chas Kimbrell

Early Bird Special: The first 50 ticket buyers will have access to attend the special morning asana session with Ally Bogard and DJ Taz Rashid

Standard Retreat Ticket: $195.00

Member Ticket: $156.00

Tickets include a boxed lunch and your choice of

  • chicken frankie sandwich
  • roasted vegetable salad (v)
  • gluten-free option

Check-in will begin at 8:30 AM for those attending the special morning session. Check-in for all other attendees will begin at 10:20 AM

Please bring your own yoga mat (required) and a warm sweater or blanket.