Conversations & Workshops Presenters


Sara Balkun

Sara is a Reggio-inspired Early Childhood Educator, intuitive artist, and registered yoga instructor who compassionately holds space for people of all ages, abilities, and experiences as they safely bridge the gap between their mind, body and heart. Little Creative Hearts is a fun and mindful sensory experience for the little yogi! Practice simple breathing techniques and explore various visual art mediums to create personal mandalas. All ages and abilities welcome. All materials provided.

Friday Sunday

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Maya Breuer

Maya is the current Vice President of Cross-Cultural Advancement for Yoga Alliance, cofounder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, creator of the Yoga Retreat for Women of Color™ and an Emeritus Trustee of Kripalu. As a yoga consultant and educator, Maya served as a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board for a National Institute of Health (NIH) Study from 2010–2015 and coauthored Back to Health: Yoga vs. Physical Therapy for Minorities with Chronic Low Back Pain, a NIH-funded study conducted by Boston Medical Center and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Her background of yoga practice and study at the Lakulish School in India and founding of the Santosha School of Yoga in Warwick, RI has garnered her recognition as one of America’s most distinguished black yogis. “As an African American Jew, she has felt exclusion keenly, which inspired her ‘unity within diversity’ view of yoga.”


Ali Cramer

Ali Cramer is the Director of the Ayurveda Program at Laughing Lotus NY and the author of the brand new book Modern Ayurveda-A Practical Guide for Applying Ancient Wisdom into Modern Life, published by Althea Press. Ali teaches workshops, retreats and trainings on yoga and Ayurveda both nationally and internationally. Her goal is to make the practices of Ayurveda simple, practical and accessible for everyone. As Ali puts it “Ayurveda and Yoga go hand in hand. All of my flows are based around the pitta, vata, or kapha seasons, and you'll experience an intuitive mix of yoga, Ayurveda and the chakra system to balance out the imbalances of daily life.”


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Beth Gibbs

Beth Gibbs, MA, C-IAYT, is a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists and is guest faculty at the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy and The Graduate Institute. She holds a masters’ degree in Yoga Therapy and Mind/Body Health from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and writes for the blogs, Yoga for Healthy Aging, and Accessible Yoga. She is the author of Ogi Bogi, The Elephant Yogi, a therapeutic yoga book for children and a Yoga Nidra MP3, Release, Relax and Let Go. She is currently working on her next book, Enlighten Up! The Five Layers of Self-Awareness.


Chris Grosso

Best-selling author of Indie Spiritualist, Everything Mind, and Dead Set On Living, Chris Grosso is a youth mental health group facilitator with Newport Academy. Public speaker, and writer for Revolver Magazine, ORIGIN Magazine, and Huffington Post. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs Over Dinner, hosts The Indie Spiritualist Podcast on Ram Dass’ Be Here Now and is a member of The Evolutionary Leaders. His work has been endorsed by a diverse mix of celebrated individuals including Jeff Bridges, Ram Dass, Tony Hawk, Andrew Harvey, Sharon Salzberg, Richard Rohr, Alex & Allyson Grey, Tara Brach, Ken Wilber, Jack Kornfield, Krishna Das, Robert Thurman, and more.


Alphonso McGriff, III

Author, inventor and speaker, Alphonso McGriff, III can often be heard saying, “when people improve the quality of their consciousness, they will also improve the quality of their decisions, their actions and ultimately their reality.” He has found his present LIFE purpose in sharing McGriff’s Unique Approach to Harmonious and Productive Communication, a facilitated discussion method for effectively sharing sensitive ideas, confronting implicit bias and resolving conflict. Alfonso will lead a series of community conversations on a range of topics and will serve as the Spirit Festival Ombudsman. What do you want to talk about?

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Dr. Brandon Nappi

Brandon is a spiritual teacher, speaker, and writer who passionately believes in the capacity of the human spirit to flourish. While pursuing doctoral studies in spirituality, he experienced a profound awakening through the practice of mindfulness. Ever since, Brandon has dedicated his life to sharing the transformative power of meditation with thousands of seekers from every conceivable background. Brandon founded the Copper Beech Institute, a retreat and training center which brings mindfulness and spiritual practice to the greatest challenges of our age. A lifelong student of many spiritual paths, he shares perennial wisdom that supports the freedom, joy and peace that all of us are designed to know.


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Deb Orosz

Deb is a deeply intuitive and compassionate Iyengar style yogi and certified Reiki Master in the Usui tradition. Her decades of study, practice and instruction follows a corporate career as a Chemical Engineer. As a licensed clinical nutritionist with an emphasis on Herbal Medicine, Deb is committed to providing each of her students with tools that will enable them to find more peace, health, and a better understanding of themselves. She even custom-blends herbal wellness teas for clients and serves these before yoga class. Deb has a deep understanding of using holistic health practices for grief and mental health and credits her yoga practice with helping her to keep her heart open and living a healthy, connected life. Come and be restored!


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Randolph Osgood

A daily practitioner of Ashtanga, Randolph Osgood excels in small groups and caters to the individual. If you are fortunate enough to be one of his students, you will learn the Ashtanga practice with an emphasis on the foundations to the practice—Breath, Asana and Dristi. Recovering from addiction and committed to a large family Randy brings the “stuff” of real life to his heartfelt and soulful teaching. He has trained with Manju Jois, trained by Valerie Schneiderman. His most significant influences include Peter Marchand, Nykki Poole, Ramaswami Srivatsa, Stan Woodman (The Yoga Shala). Randy keeps it real!


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Gerardo Sorkin

Born in Argentina, Gerardo combines the multiple dimensions of Tango with self-knowledge practices to produce a participatory group activity, to foster mind-body balance, mindfulness in movement and skills development. He is the co-founder of Meaningful Exchanges LLC, “experiences that transform” and he has facilitated “Tango Todo Terreno” in Argentina, México and the United States.

Gerardo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in NY and CT. He works as a psychotherapist, coach and group facilitator and is also a Master Certified Oasis® Trainer for stress management.