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Art & Yoga Urban Retreat

Feed your mind, body, and creativity

Saturday, September 15, 2018
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 community. Events, which will take place in the Museum’s galleries and theater, will focus on asana sessions from prominent teachers as well as in-depth and intimate workshops.

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



Session A | 9:00″“10:15 AM


Master Class led by Tao Porchon-Lynch

Open to all Art & Yoga Urban Retreat attendees


Session B | 10:30 AM”“12:00 PM

Wakeful Essence with Katie Hess of Lotus Wei (Option 1)

Mindful Coloring with art by Jon Marro led by Ko Im and Veronica Beltran (Option 2)

Morning Meditation with Tashi Chodron (Option 3)

Please Choose One

Lunch Break | 12:00″“1:00 PM
(Please note: Cafe Serai will be open for lunch. Lunch is not included in retreat package)

Session C | 1:00″“2:30 PM

Shades of the Soul: Hope and Yoga with Faith Hunter (Option 1)

Balancing Polarity with Jai Sugrim (Option 2)

Meditation and Music with Erica Garcia and Johnny Scifo (Option 3)

Please Choose One

Session D | 2:45″“4:15 PM

Harmonic Infinity Loops with Neel Murgai (Option 1)

Art and Astrology with Dawnette Samuels (Option 2)

Medicine Reading Ceremony with Luciana Naclerio of MamaMedicine (Option 3)


Please Choose One


Session E | 4:30″“6:00 PM

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

Discover Your Cosmic Mission: Astrology + Tarot for Evolutionary Growth with Bess Matassa (Option 2)

Myths and Mudras with Kelly Kamm (Option 3)

Please Choose One


Session Information

Session A | 9:00″“10:15 AM

Yoga session led by Tao Porchon-Lynch

Open to all Art & Yoga Urban Retreat attendees

99-year-old yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch kicks off the Art & Yoga Urban retreat with this early morning asana session.

Session B | 10:30 AM”“12:00 PM

(choose one option)

Wakeful Essences with Katie Hess of Lotus Wei
Discover your own wakeful essence through mindfulness practices combined with transformative flower elixir rituals. Flower elixirs are believed to be energetic infusions of botanical lifeforce that awaken your inner wisdom by traveling through your acupuncture meridians. Deepen into your six senses with anointing oils, dark chocolate, aura mists, fresh flowers, and nature sounds. Experience the freedom of a spacious mind and learn simple techniques you can use anywhere, anytime to compassionately return to yourself and your own magic, again and again.

Mindful Coloring with art by Jon Marro led by Ko Im and Veronica Beltran
Join Ko Im and Veronica Beltran from NY YOGA + LIFEâ„¢ magazine as they lead you through a mindful coloring meditation with art work by Jon Marro. The session will be begin with a meditation followed by gentle breathing exercises and stretching. We will end with a mindful coloring experience.

Morning Meditation with Tashi Chodron
Tashi Chodron of the Rubin Museum will explore the law of karma through the symbolism of the Wheel of Life. A breathing exercise in the Tibetan Yantra Yoga tradition, meditation, and a brief Q&A will follow the discussion.

Lunch | 12:00″“1:00 PM

(Please note: Lunch is not provided)

Session C | 1:00″“2:30 PM

(choose one session)

Shades of the Soul: Hope and Yoga with Faith Hunter
When we focus on positive thoughts, we change our brain waves, resulting in new pathways rooted in positivity, joy, and hope. Join global yoga and meditation instructor Faith Hunter as she guides you through a nurturing practice infused with the keenness of breath, intentional movement, and peaceful stillness.

Balancing Polarity with Jai Sugrim
For thousands of years, yogis have understood that masculine and feminine energies surge within all bodies and minds regardless of gender. Masters believe that self-knowledge can arise once the male and female energies of the ida (female, left side channel) and pingala (male, right side channel) nadhis converge at the third eye, or ajna chakra, within the central channel. Join yoga teacher and men’s health expert Jai Sugrim in balancing the masculine and feminine energies within our bodies by dissecting subtle body anatomy, exploring characteristics of the divine masculine (Shiva) and the divine feminine (Shakti), discussing how modern life has created an imbalance of our natural fluid states, and sharing daily practices that lead to energetic balance and harmony.

Meditation and Music with Erica Garcia and Johnny Scifo
Join us for a meditation and mindfulness session guided by Erica Garcia and complemented by the sound-healing music of Johnny Scifo.

Session D | 2:45″“4:15 PM

(choose one session)

Harmonic Infinity Loops with Neel Murgai
Swim in an infinite sea of vocal overtone loops, sitar drones, and melodies created by instructor Neel Murgai as he teaches how to hear and focus overtones with your own voice. This intensive listening experience will begin with a brief talk about overtones and how to hear and manipulate them. Neel will demonstrate and teach several Mongolian/Siberian techniques and methods pioneered by the Harmonic Choir. With this new awareness, participants will then be invited to lie back and swim in a sea of rich harmonic loops created in the moment by Neel utilizing his voice, sitar, and looping technology (with a little reverb for good measure). Intonation drones and chords will mix with primal guttural rhythms and harmonic counterpoint to invoke a psychedelic experience for the whole being. At the end participants will bring back their own voices for a final ecstatic group improvisation and release.

Art and Astrology with Dawnette Samuels
Explore the roots of Tibetan Buddhist astrology, find out your zodiac animal, and learn to read the cosmic turtle illustration in the White Beryl, a beautiful manuscript that illustrates the Tibetan system of elemental divination.

Medicine Reading Ceremony with Luciana Naclerio of MamaMedicine
Yoga teacher and reiki master Luciana Naclerio will guide the audience through a Medicine Reading Ceremony, a group experience that begins by reading the collective energy and identifying the common thread that has called this group to this moment. The ceremony is a multisensory experience, combining sound healing, energy balancing, intuitive reading, and spiritual guidance.

Session E | 4:30″“6:00 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.

Discover Your Cosmic Mission: Astrology and Tarot for Evolutionary Growth with Bess Matassa
Join astrologer and tarot reader Bess Matassa of The Numinous for a dive into your personal cosmos. Bess will chat about astrology and tarot as tools for energetic evolution, and how to work with divination to catapult ourselves into the future while living in the right here, right now. You’ll connect with your power signs, uncover your tarot “soul signature,” and set star-studded intentions for elemental expansion.

Myths and Mudras with Kelly Kamm
Myths reflect back to us our deepest longings, our universal struggles, and our hidden strengths. Come join us under the beautiful artworks in the gallery and learn about the Hindu deities and myths that have inspired many of your favorite yoga poses. Tales of love and awakening will be woven together with mudra, hand gestures that may inspire elevated states of consciousness within us.

About the Instructors

Tao Porchon-Lynch is a 99-year old yoga master, activist, model, actress, film producer, wine connoisseur, newspaper publisher, and ballroom dancer. She started 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 many accomplishments, from marching with Mahatma Gandhi in 1930, to dancing on America’s Got Talent in 2015.

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 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.

A mixture of modern science, ancient wisdom, and raw love, Johnny Scifo (RYT-500) uses the power of yoga for positive change and the ability to fulfill one’s dreams and dharma. His 20 years of musical experience shine through in his teachings on meditation and happiness.

Neel Murgai is a sitarist, daf player, overtone singer, composer, and teacher from Brooklyn. He is a cofounder and vice president of Brooklyn Raga Massive, a nonprofit musicians collective dedicated to Indian music. Neel has studied sitar for over 20 years, currently with his guru Pundit Krishna Bhatt. He learned overtone singing from Timothy Hill of the Harmonic Choir. He is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. Neel has performed around the world with numerous artists from varying disciplines including, Bill T. Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Andre DeShields, Karsh Kale, and Vijay Iyer. He has performed at venues ranging from the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center to the David Letterman Show to jazz clubs such as the Blue Note and at festivals around the United States.

Faith Hunter is the creator of Spiritually Flyâ„¢, a life philosophy that celebrates every moment of life and uses yoga’s tools of breath, movement, sound (chanting and music), and stillness in a fresh and modern way to encourage students to live an epic life—on and off the mat. A favorite choice for mass yoga gatherings, Faith has taught yoga at the Great Lawn in Central Park, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, and the White House Easter Egg Roll. She is an esteemed faculty member for Kripalu and Yogaville.

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.

Bess Matassa is a New York”“based astrologer, tarotist, and writer. After completing a doctorate in urban geography, she went rogue and founded a “sensuous” astro biz that creates cosmic content and experiences that range from birth chart walking tours to zodiac wine tasting parties. Her approach to the cosmos is dynamic, exploratory, and juicily poetic. She works both one-on-one with private clients and with groups, brands, and other creatives to help them harness this potent energetic language. She’s a resident astrologer for The Numinous, Teen Vogue, and PureWow.

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, earning 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 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.

Erica Garcia is a proud Puerto Rican from the Bronx, with a yoga history going back more than 28 years. Erica is the owner of Nueva Alma Yoga and Wellness in Yonkers, NY. She is also the founder of the Ceiba Soul Foundation, a nonprofit foundation producing yoga and wellness mission trips in disadvantaged communities locally and abroad.

Katie Hess is a flower alchemist and the founder of Lotus Wei, one of the world’s leading floral apothecaries. Katie’s handcrafted flower elixirs have been enjoyed by A-list celebrities like Johnny Depp and custom-blended for President Obama and his family. A lifelong spiritual seeker, Katie has trained internationally with flower essence practitioners and studied meditation and mindful-awareness techniques with several Tibetan Buddhist masters, including the Dalai Lama and the Karmapa, Tibet’s next generation leader.

Dawnette Samuels is the Assistant 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, adult, seniors, visitors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as visitors who are blind or partially sighted. A preview of her astrology tour session can be viewed here.

Image Credit
Photograph by Alex Bershaw

Standard Retreat Ticket: $175.00


Check-in will begin at 8:30 AM. All attendees who purchase a retreat ticket are invited to attend the 9 A.M. morning asana session with Tao Porchon Lynch.


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


Have any questions? Contact the Museum Box Office at 212-620-5000 ext. 344 or email us at