written by Lydia Merl

Friday July 21, 6-9pm
Saturday July 22, 12-7pm
Sunday July 23, 12-6 pm

Connection Coalition (CoCo), the non-profit formerly known as Yoga Gangsters, works with youth organizations to share yoga, mindfulness and meditation to populations that wouldn’t otherwise have access. CoCo instructors visit aftercare programs, impoverished schools, drug rehabilitation centers, shelters, foster homes and jails around the country teaching these practices that calm the nervous system and improve decision making. Yoga practitioners from all walks of life have experienced these benefits first hand and the scientific research to back up these claims mounts exponentially every day.

Jodi Weiner, executive director of Connection Coalition, is the facilitator for this weekend and we are super excited to have her. Jodi’s passion for service in general, and spreading yoga, meditation and mindfulness in particular, is infectious. It is virtually impossible not to be moved by her enthusiasm. When asked what motivates her she says “it’s the awakening in the eyes of the kids, the trust and opening in their body language… When you finally make eye contact with the kid who walked in with shut-down, hunched shoulders, too fearful to look up; it’s that moment, that awareness, that these kids see you as safe. It’s truly an inspiring sensation that I hope to support others to find. Serving kids is a gift that needs to be felt to fully understand how much joy there can be in service”.

Promoting the benefits of yoga, meditation and mindfulness is a privilege and offering these tools to communities that have never experienced the empowerment, joy, awareness and self-control that they instill is beyond fulfilling. You do NOT need to be a yoga teacher and you do NOT need to be an “advanced” practitioner. All that is required is enthusiasm, a willingness to learn how to best serve and be sensitive to the unique needs of this population along with a desire to go out into the community and share.

This is Yoga Journey’s fourth time hosting this training and we are extremely excited to announce that we are joining CoCo’s Adopt-A-Yoga-Program. We already have many teachers/volunteers working with at risk youth in our community, but through this program we will start and support our own program at Wayne Barton Center for a full year. Yoga Journey strives to raise the vibration in Boca Raton and to give back to our community. The Adopt-A-Yoga-Program provides an immediate forum for attendees to apply what they’ve learned. We hope you will join us in supporting this incredible program.

Jodi insists that “once that flame of service is lit, it’s hard to ignore”. Jodi intends to ignite and stoke those fires. We at Yoga Journey are happy to be a part of CoCo’s mission and Jodi’s vision and we hope to be instrumental in stoking those fires of service within you, too. The CoCo training takes place over one weekend but the wisdom gained lasts a lifetime and the ripple effect on the community goes on forever.

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Saturday July 9th Mary Ann Morgan-Fried will be offering a workshop on Empowerment and the Shadow at Yoga Journey. The workshop will focus on personal growth, shadow work and the third chakra, which is the seat of the emotions. It is also the heart of personal power and has to do with how we identify ourselves in the world.

Mary Ann says it is important to explore those parts of ourselves that we have shame about or have kept hidden.

“When we embrace the challenges that we’ve had in life, instead of trying to suppress things, we allow them to be something we can learn from, something we can grow from. When we make peace with our shadow side it really changes everything so much.”

The workshop, a Vinyasa flow, is for those who want insight into understanding their shadow parts and living a more authentic life.

“If we continue to live in fear and if we continue to relive the bad things that happened in life it really blocks us energetically. That’s why I feel so passionate about teaching the chakra workshop because it gives us so much insight about where we are and how we can make the change and make a shift. It becomes such a sense of freedom when we start to recognize, let go of, and make peace with the shadow side.”

Yoga Journey student Teresa Trunzo has taken many of Mary Ann’s classes and workshops. She says this about her teaching style,

“Maryann has a welcoming energy about her that wraps around you like a big hug that says I know how you feel, I’ve been there, and you’re safe here. You can relate to what she saying. No judgement, just be…she radiates love.”

Mary Ann encourages students, to “Be real, be you, be authentic.”

Sat: Date: 7/9/2016


Investment in your self – $45 Sign up here!


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Sunday, July 10th Anna Crane, certified yoga instructor and meditation guide, practitioner of meditation for over 40 years, will lead a workshop at Yoga Journey.

It will focus on three aspects of meditation. Mantra: The first entry into meditation, helps clear distractions and help our minds become quiet. A specific mantra (a word or sound) will be used at the workshop.

Mindfulness: The Bhuddist practice of mindfulness offers another way of responding to whatever is going on in our lives. We bring compassion directly to the core of the issue. This is the first step towards healing and releasing distress, whatever is going on.

Raja Yoga: The king of all yoga, focuses on the breath. Anna’s intention in leading the workshop,

“I hope participants come away with a profound experience of what a meditation practice can bring them. The word meditation means concentrated focus, getting used to something, and in this case, becoming familiar with the breath.”

She adds, “Meditation to me, means an experience of peace. Peace is within each and every one of us.”

If you’d like tools to bring more calm to your life, consider attending and learning from Anna’s wealth of knowledge.

The workshop is Sunday, July 10th from 12-1:30PM.

Investment in your own well-being, $20.00

Sign up here! 



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The following is a repost of blog written in December 2014. Mary Ann Morgan-Fried will be teaching a two hour yoga chakra flow workshop this Saturday from 12-2PM. Sign up here! She also teaches a beautiful all-levels Vinyasa class on Wednesdays at 9:15AM. 


Mary Ann Morgan-Fried got into yoga at her doctor’s recommendation. She was in the corporate world, and was experiencing a lot of anxiety. Her doctor gave her a choice, anti-depressants or yoga. She chose yoga. That was about 15 years ago.

At first yoga was sporadic for her. On the one hand, she loved it. On the other hand it often unleashed emotions that left her feeling shaken up after practice. She had been a self-described party girl, using drugs to numb feelings that were painful to deal with, and had been through the 12-step process in her 20’s, but there was still a lot of stuck energy inside her.

“What 12-step gave me was an understanding of my journey, of my family, of my life, but energetically I still had a lot of unhealed stuff from my childhood and I didn’t know how to channel that energy. I started reading Wayne Dyer and began seeing things differently, and I began to be more serious with the yoga and it’s been an incredible journey,” says Mary Ann.

It was in 2010 that she started teacher training with Leslie Glickman.

She says yoga helped her untie the energetic knots that were holding her back.

“I’d done well professionally, but in my personal life I was always stuck. And I didn’t know how to get out of that. Now that I understand it and now that I look back I see it was so much energy that I was carrying through my life and I never expressed it and never learned how to talk about how I felt growing up. There was a lot of stuff that I protected in my life. We get so tangled with our emotions whether it’s an addiction to drugs or an addiction to something else, we are so tied up in those knots and yoga helps unravel them.”

Mary Ann teaches chakra workshops. She says chakra work has helped so much in untying those knots.

“The yoga is one of the limbs of the practice but it’s the chakras that help bring an understanding of who you are, your journey and bringing you a lot of transformation. When you understand the chakra work, you start understanding your journey and you start understanding yourself and where things come from in your past.”

Mary Ann says yoga has helped liberate her.

“After all the years of taking yoga classes and teaching yoga classes, I feel such a sense of freedom and peace, and every once in a while something will come up that just gives me more understanding of my journey, and my shadows. Not to go back to my past, but integrating all the parts of me, letting them come up so they can be released and healed. In my practice, the last few years I feel like I am one, meaning I didn’t used to share that I was in the 12-steps because of shame, and Leslie really helped me with that because I didn’t realize how I was keeping myself separated. When really, as a result of my sharing, it has allowed so many people to share their own stories and to know they have support. I understand the process and the journey because it can be very difficult and the challenge is…when you go through the 12-step program, now what do you do? You did all the work, and it’s very challenging for people after. Where do you go from there?”

Now, with that shame in the past, she finds great meaning in sharing her story with her students.

“I am beyond grateful for so much, and that’s why as a teacher I just want to share my journey and everything I’ve learned from so many amazing authors and teachers. I just want to help people have the courage truly to look at themselves. Taking that inner journey of self-discovery, self-healing, self-forgiveness…. that truly is my intention as a teacher…to bring that, so they can feel peace and love.”

  • photo credit Lew Lautin

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Brought back by popular demand, Nadine Wolff will be leading students in a second Yamuna Body Rolling (YBR) workshop at Yoga Journey, June 4th from 1PM-4PM. YBR involves using 6 to 10 inch inflatable balls to help break up fascia, lengthen muscles and improve the skeletal structure. It combines the benefits of weight bearing exercise, (great for those with osteoporosis) with the alignment techniques of yoga. It is a core and upper body workout, but most importantly it gets to the source of pain, tightness and muscle spasms. Working with the balls, YBR lengthens muscles and connective tissue, and breaks up adhesions between the muscle fibers, decompressing the entire body and restoring space in the joints. It is great for breaking up scar tissue from injuries, and it is also a wonderful modality for those working on getting their bodies back into alignment post-partum (three months out). Also, the structural work done on the pelvis during YBR often leads to the relief of lower back pain.

Nadine says of YBR exercise,

“You work not only along your limbs, your legs your arms, but along your whole spine and also internally. The groups that have several muscle heads that converge to one, they often get adhesions and stick, and that often tightens the muscle and even though you lengthen the muscle you still have adhesions. With the balls you actually cross fiber and release the adhesions and then you gradually get more length. With this practice, over a very short amount of time you can help some very problematic issues. You can actually transform your yoga practice by doing this work.”

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Results are often immediate, and Nadine says people walk away with an incredible feeing of well being, lightness, and freedom of movement. She adds, “Yumana Body Rolling is a phenomenal adjunct to yoga, allowing students to relieve tight areas, to understand better how the body works, and to correct imbalances on their own. It is a great means of self care, self maintenance and body sustainability.”

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Nadine will have balls for sale at the workshop and has offered to email workshop participants routines to use at home.
Aside from toning and elongating muscles, improving alignment, and breaking up scar tissue and fascia, other benefits of YBR include:
Increases Body Circulation
Develops and Maintains Core Strength
Stimulates Nerve Roots & Orgrans
Increases Metabolism
Relaxes the Nervous System
Expands Lung & Breath Capacity
Increases Body Awareness
Investment – $50
Sign up here! Space is limited.
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When deciding how to celebrate her birthday this year, Leslie Glickman couldn’t think of a better way than to spend it with the Yoga Journey community, at one of the world’s most beautiful spas.

“You’re my peeps! I’m bringing in a DJ, and we’re going to do ‘glow your flow,’ so that makes it a little different and fun. The mat doesn’t always have to be a serious solemn place.”  

All are invited. The more the merrier! There will be black lighting and students are encouraged to wear white or fluorescent colors. Glow sticks will be provided for wrists and ankles. Imagine 100 +  people flowing and glowing on a Friday night!

The Vinyasa practice will start at 7PM. After which, participants have private use of the spa until 10:15PM. And what a spa it is! The first time I went to an event there, I felt like I’d truly stepped into a magical world of luxury and beauty! I’d never seen anything like it.

Leslie says,

“I love that moment when we get out of our yoga clothes, and we’re all in bathing suits and and we’re sitting around the spa in our bathrobes, a little cupcake, a little champagne, spa time! It’s one of my favorite things to do!”

BTW, those chairs in the photo below? Heated tiles. So soothing!

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Barbara Alfonso, Wellness Events Coordinator at Eau Spa says she invited Leslie to teach at an Eau Spa event after taking her Saturday morning yoga in the park class at Sanborne Square about three years ago. “I thought she was a fabulous teacher. It’s the vibe that she brings, and the vibe of her tribe follows her here!”

Barbara describes Eau Spa as a playground for adults,

“The theme is pause, play, and perfect. We encourage you to take a moment to really pause and take in all the amenities. It’s truly luxurious and beautiful. Take time to play in all these amenities. Go into the jacuzzi, go into the sauna, go into the shower, go into the garden, play in the swinging chairs and then feel perfect. And just perfect your day, and relax. While here, take time to pause and reflect on your life, but also don’t forget to play and enjoy life!

BTW, dangling your feet in the water as you lazily swing in these basket chairs? Hypnotic.


Room service can be ordered and delivered to the spa cabanas after practice, but food must be ordered by 9PM, so order early, if you plan to eat at the spa.

The birthday girl says,

“I love the Eau Spa and for my birthday I thought it would be a really fun way to spend it, with all my friends, my community, just having a good time.”

Leslie says people should keep their eyes open for more fun Friday events offered by Yoga Journey,

 “We’re always tying to change up the programming for Friday nights. We want to have something going on in the studio or in the community. Last week Courtney had an event at Raw Juice in East Boca. I’m doing the Eau Spa event. Debra will be having a Friday night candlelit Yin coming up at the studio. We want to create those social opportunities and reinforce that feeling of community and connection and fun. That’s been my whole thing coming into 2016, just a little more joy, a little more happiness, a little more fun, a little more light.”

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For this event, you must call Eau Spa directly to register: 561.540.4960

Investment is yourself is $50. Includes class and access to the spa for the evening.

Hope to see you there!



Colleen Sturgess found breathwork at a time in her life when she really needed it. She took a workshop Denise Dobbs offered at Yoga Journey and said it changed her life.

“I cried like a baby for an hour and a half it was so releasing. I started working one on one with Denise and it became such a powerful healing tool. It liberated me from a lot of the lies I was telling myself. As you go into the subconscious, and you let go of stuff, you become lighter and lighter.”

Later, Colleen did advanced training with Sondra Ray, the founder of the re-birthing movement in the 70’s.

Colleen says breathwork is something she wants to share with people because it helped her so much. She’s calls her own version of the breathwork “Gateway to Your Essence” and describes it as a process of slowly peeling off layers until you find the core and the empowerment of self. The work requires a very specific breathing pattern which Colleen describes,

“It’s circular breathing with an active inhale and a relaxed exhale with no pauses in between. It infuses the body with oxygen. As you’re breathing it stirs up the subconscious and brings stuff that’s buried deep down up to the surface. It allows people to look at all the lies they tell themselves, the untruths they’ve collected throughout the years.”

She says for example, you received a message from someone in your childhood telling you you’re weren’t worthy. Or maybe you’ve convinced yourself you are not good enough. This work brings these untruths to light. But she says the work isn’t always heavy.

“Every experience is completely different. Sometimes it’s just pure bliss. I’ve had some really deep experiences where I’ve felt my whole body vibrate and it’s just beautiful. Each session turns up something different based on what your needs are at that time. I want to make it a joyful experience. Sometimes difficult things come up, but I don’t want it to be dark and negative. I really want people to find happiness through the process.”

Colleen says the prospect of breath work may seem daunting, but she encourages people not to fear what’s inside themselves,

“Nothing is ever as big as we think. Something as simple as the breath can heal you, and bring complete joy. All of the things I’ve had to uncover, they were never as big as I thought they were, and it was such a huge weight lifted to let them go.” 

Do you want to understand your purpose?  Heal old traumas?  Have healthier relationships?  Heal yourself and others at the same time?  Why not give breathwork a try?

The Gateway to Your Essence with Colleen Sturgess

Fri: 1/29/2016From: 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Investment – $35
Sign up here! 

heather egg

For me, in yoga, there is nothing better than an Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (up dog) using the Three Minute Egg (3ME) yoga props. My arms are on the shorter side, and the extra support the eggs provide, allows me to  feel the stretch from my pubis bone, all the way up through the crown of my head. Whereas without the eggs, the stretch starts from my ribcage.

Is this what people feel when they do up dog? Those lucky folk with longer arms? Sweet!

On Sunday, the 17th, Heather Berg will be leading a two and a half hour workshop to teach students how to use the Three Minute Eggs, to help them get more out of their yoga practice. She says,

“I learned about the Three Minute Eggs from a workshop at Yoga Journey given by Jason Scholder, the man who invented them. I love using props, whether they are bolsters, blankets, straps or regular blocks, but I just love the eggs so much! They are more versatile than traditional blocks because of the contoured edge. You can use them in almost every way you would use a block or brick, but you can also use them as you would a bolster or a rolled up blanket in many ways.” 

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Heather teaches many classes and private sessions and finds the eggs work for every body.

“Everybody’s arm length is different, everybody’s flexibility is different. Every body is different. Some people are hesitant to use the eggs because it’s not what they’re used to, but once they know how to use them correctly, the eggs really help people be in better alignment, and go deeper into their practice.”

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She likes the idea of a 3ME workshop for students, because it gives them the opportunity to explore in depth, how the Three Minute Eggs can work for them.

“In a crowded class, it isn’t always possible to show every person individually how to use the eggs, so I am excited to present this workshop. We will break down a traditional vinyasa class and also a yin practice. Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned practitioner, the Three Minute Eggs can help you go deeper into, and get more out of your poses.”  

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Three Minute Egg – Alignment & Flow with Heather Berg! 

Sunday: 1/17/2016

1:00 pm – 3:30 PM

Open to all levels.
Trend Tea will provide samples after class.
Investment – $35
Sign up here! 

austin amacker leslie

Many yoga teachers that have taken Leslie Glickman’s Yin training tell me it is now one of their favorite classes to teach.

Yin is a different kind of practice with different goals than a more traditional yoga class. Poses are usually simple, but holds are held three to five minutes. The long holds allow students to go deep, tuning in to themselves in a way that a Vinyasa practice doesn’t allow for. Class themes/philosophy can be expanded on, so students often walk out of a Yin practice feeling inspired. If done consistently over time, students practicing Yin often see great improvements in mobility and flexibility. As a teacher that is a joy to witness.

Join Leslie this Saturday and Sunday to learn how to teach this beautiful practice. The workshop will include theory, anatomy, sequencing and practice. You will learn the benefits of a long slow deep practice, understand how to create a safe and effective class, and delve into anatomy as it pertains specifically to Yin.

I personally loved taking Leslie’s Yin workshop and afterward felt prepared to instruct Yin, which I now teach weekly in a private setting. This is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to expand their repertoire, or for those already teaching Yin, to learn even more about the practice.

This program is for those who have already received their 200 hour registration.

Saturday 12/5
12:00-2:30 pm Theory and Practice
3:30-6:00 pm Anatomy for Yin

Sunday 12/6
12:00-2:30 pm Anatomy continued and sequencing
3:00-6 pm Sequencing continued and practice

10 Continuing Education Hours offered

Investment – $250

Register here! 


*photo credit Austin Amacker

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Sunday after Thanksgiving Denise Dobbs will be offering her Truth Within workshop at Yoga Journey. Denise’s workshops center around breathwork.

When Denise was in her early twenties her mother passed away. She says breathwork helped her heal from the emotional pain she experienced as a result. It also helped her to heal back pain that had plagued her for years. This inspired her to learn more and she’s been practicing breathwork since 2005 and has trained with many highly qualified breathwork teachers including Sondra Ray, Leonard Orr and Bob Frissell.

She says breathwork gives people a deeper awareness of what they are holding onto, and helps them get to the bottom of core issues they might not even know they have on a conscious level. Revelations about relationship issues, work issues, money issues, childhood issues, and more are common as people move through this work.

She says, “Doing this work you are able to gain a deeper awareness of your soul scars. If you don’t feel connected or relaxed, if your mind is always busy, it’s a fast modality to get down to the bottom of those core issues.”

How does it work? She describes the process, “We work with circular breath and focus on the heart center. That’s where we store a lot of our emotions. We block our heart chakra every time someone tells us something about ourselves and we hold onto it. Messages such as, you’re not good enough, or you can’t do it on your own. All that stuff gets stored. So we breathe a circular breath into the chest and people can start opening up the heart chakra. Then after about 30 minutes of breathing they go into the subconscious mind and all these thoughts and memories both positive and negative are able to rise to the surface.”

It’s a unique journey for each person. One woman that participated in a previous workshop with Denise at Yoga Journey speaks of her experience, “Prior to doing the workshop I had never done meditation so I had no experience with breathwork. That being said, I would venture to use the word transformative. It was the first step toward allowing self-forgiveness for some of my past actions.”

Denise Dobbs

Denise describes the work as “an exploration of your mind, body, and soul all at once. It’s a rebirth and a remembrance of your true self.”

Leslie Glickman adds, “I have done breath work with Denise many times over the years and each experience has been unique. All it requires is that you be open to whatever happens. I am planning to attend, and actually wouldn’t miss it. I hope you will join me.”  

Sunday, Nov.29th 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Investment – $35

Sign up here!