EMPOWER Yoga Teacher Conf Chicago Logo



EMPOWER Your Yoga Teaching and Life

TBD 2023  |  Chicago, IL

The Yoga Teacher Conf was a fun way to explore more about the yoga we love and connect and collaborate with others who share that love.

Alaina Patton - YTC ELEVATE 2022

These were our classes from our 2022 conference. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect in 2023!

Friday Classes

Opening Class | Friday 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Join Allison Rissel & Crystal Gray for an EMPOWERing yoga flow. Together, we will dive into your personal practice, set your intention for the weekend and create community together.

Taught by: Allison Rissel & Crystal Gray


Dinner + Networking | Friday 5:00 - 6:45 PM

Join us for a light vegetarian/vegan dinner, a chance to hang out with your yoga friends and shop our incredible wellness vendors.

You must RSVP by September 9 (check your email after you register for the RSVP link)

Empower Yourself to Overcome Imposter Syndrome | Friday 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough, or shouldn’t be teaching/training? Is imposter syndrome holding you back from shining your light in the world? In this session, hear how Amy has gone from barely surviving to fully thriving! Amy began her yoga journey in the 90’s during college, traveling on several yoga retreats and working closely with a favorite teacher. In 2014 she suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall on the ice. This injury led her deeper into her yoga practice to help her heal her body, mind, and spirit.

Taught by: Amy Zellmer

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Living Your Yoga According to the 8 Limbs | Friday 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Don’t just teach yoga – live it! In this workshop you’ll learn how to weave yoga’s foundational precepts into your teaching and daily life so that your teaching is fully authentic. We’ll also do a short practice, so that you’ll leave feeling the inner peace that is your birthright.

Taught by: Kali Om

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

WE HEAL TOGETHER :: Building and Sustaining Community Healing Spaces | Friday 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Aya-Nikole Cook is an artist, yogini, reiki master, spiritual herbalist and Founder and Wellness Curator of Haji Healing Salon, a vibrant social wellness enterprise located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood. Haji’s motto is WE HEAL TOGETHER because the majority of the healing classes and services are offered within communal space. At Haji, there are no separate rooms because the community and the power of being witnessed in the healing process are central to the practices. Aya joyfully curates communal space for healing and transformation and in this special workshop, she will share the Haji Ethos, her sacred space-making methods, Haji’s tenets of community healing and inspiring anecdotes that speak to the success of the practice. In this open forum workshop, yoga teachers and healing practitioners who want to activate the power of community in their classes and hold space for the building of relationships that heal, will be inspired to expand their offerings and deepen their collective connection. Ample time will be allotted for questions, answers and discussion.

Taught by: Aya-Nikole Cook

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Saturday Classes

Haji Healing Outpost | Sat 11AM - 6PM

We don’t want you to just learn about self-care, we want you to PRACTICE self-care.  On Saturday, indulge in a variety of self-care practices to help nurture you as a teacher.

Community Shamonic Reiki
If you have been feeling sluggish, run down, blocked and burdened or otherwise in need of a pick me up, this is for you.

Candle Dressing Station
Infuse a candle with prayer adding herbs & crystals. Take it home and burn it as a prayer for 4 days.

Recline in our zero gravity chairs as practitioners place up to five small, sterilized disposable needles into specific sites on each ear. The NADA protocol helps restore your nervous system so you can relax and let the healing begin.

Self-Care Station
Indulge in a variety of self–care tools like self massage, coloring, foam rollers, blankets, rest, tea and more.

All services provided by the practitioners from Haji Healing Salon, a sanctuary space on the south side of Chicago activated by our tribe of teachers, healers, mystics and the community we serve. Learn more at www.HajiHealing.com

*Cost: $33

Hands On Adjustments & Modifications | Sat 8:30 - 10:30 AM

Feel unsure of how to get your students into the correct pose alignment? Want to keep your students safe while helping them advance their practice? Concerned you don’t know how to make your classes accessible for students with varying levels of ability? I hear you, I’ve been there, and I’ve got you covered! In this workshop, you’ll learn my method for making your classes accessible, fun, and challenging for varying levels of students. You’ll also learn how to use your verbal cues and physical adjustments to safely guide your students into the proper alignment for THEIR body. After this workshop, you’ll feel empowered and ready to start implementing these techniques right away so your students will keep coming back to you for more!!

Taught by: Crystal Gray


All About Chakras! | Sat 8:30 - 10:30 AM

The class provides an overview of the subtle energy system within humans such as Nadis, Kundalini and Chakras. Our subtle, energetic body contains several thousand Nadis, dormant Kundalini energy, and 7 major chakras which are energy centers. Ancient wisdom of Yoga explores chakras in depth and reveals fascinating information about these mystic wheels. These whirling centers within us are unique gifts for humans to achieve physical-emotional health, peace and joy! This class will offer an overview of subtle energy systems with special emphasis on Chakras. 

Taught by: Kalpana Nimkar


Considerate Conduct for Yoga Teachers | Sat 8:30 - 10:30 AM

 As yoga teachers, we have the opportunity to be constantly evaluating and upgrading the way that we interact with students in order to facilitate spaces that are safe and accessible. Discussion about how we can adapt our own speech, thoughts, and actions to be more welcoming.

Taught by: Nicole Sopko

The Art of Private Yoga | Sat 11:00 - 12:30 PM

In this workshop discover the five most powerful shifts that must happen in order to grow your business outside of the studio. Learning how to teach private yoga is an art. Instead of fumbling your way through your business learn the tried and true system from one of the leading private yoga teachers, Jennifer Pansa Rohr.

Taught by: Jen Pansa Rohr

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Bliss Within: A Retreat on Yoga Nidra | Sat 11:00 - 12:30 PM

The technique of Yoga Nidra allows the body to relax deeply while the mind is still awake. During this time, the brain waves move from the active – beta waves, pass through relaxed – alpha waves and eventually enter the frequency of deep sleep – delta waves. This state allows one to access the subconscious mind, suppressed memories and experiences.

You will learn the following:
• Transforming and restructuring the whole personality from within.
• Absolute deep relaxation
• Withdrawing the senses from the outside stimuli and bring positive effects on your entire being
• Abandoning the old restrictive habits and creating the new
• Reaching a blissful meditative state without having meditated
• Progressing to higher practices of Yoga
• Developing an ‘inner source’ to anchor yourself
• Welcoming all emotions and fully accept them

You will achieve:
• Understanding of the self and separation of the ego
• Gaining surety in who you are and will be able to accept yourself
• Releasing long-held emotions almost immediately
• Releasing tension of the body & mind and poor sleep
• Feeling more joyful in everyday life
• Experiencing a rush of creativity within you
• Obtaining new information more easily
• Correcting deep-rooted mental and physical imbalances
• Overall, an improved quality of life

Taught by: Swami Yatidharmananda

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Āsana: a Metaphor for Life | Sat 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Śiva manipulated his body into 840,000 ways, each representing a different bird or beast. He said, “Āsana, energize the body, revealing the pulsating animal instincts within, the ones that have to be brought under control.” Paraphrased from the Śiva Purana.

In other words, āsana are not about perfect alignment or flexibility, āsana are guides to the evolutionary path of awareness. Āsana names correspond with plants, animals, structures, warriors, sages etc. and when practicing, the prānavāyu open the nadī channels within the body. This supports moving towards personal alignment. This encourages the body to re-remember its natural Spiritual vibration.

We will explore āsana names and their stories. We will practice some āsana, exploring embodying the sensation of the āsana, journal and finally share our personal experience.

As you grow your tool box for self care, mature your yoga practice and choose more than a physical āsana practice. Embrace the Spirit of āsana as a tool for self awareness and self care.

Taught by: Hansa Knox Johnson

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Leadership for Yoga Teachers | Sat 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Where does “yoga teacher” end and “leadership” begin?
In this course we are going to cover how we as yoga teachers can become skillful and effective leaders for our sacred communities. This will cover what our own skillsets and strengths are, how we can foster the best in others, and perhaps most importantly…how we can deeply and skillfully care for ourselves.

Taught by: Rebecca Sebastian

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

The Heart of Yoga: Teaching Pranayama | Sat 4:30 - 6:00 PM

As a yoga teacher, teaching asana is only the beginning. Pranayama, the practice of controlling the breath, lies at the heart of yoga. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to: teach pranayama as a powerful, healing yogic force; use asana to explore and deepen pranayama practices; and experience a variety of essential breathing techniques to help awaken and balance energy, steady emotions, and clear the mind.

“Asana will develop your body but pranayama will develop your mind.”

Taught by: Nancy Gerstein

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Uplevel Your Online Yoga Teaching | Sat 4:30 - 6:00 PM

Join online yoga expert and founder of the online yoga platform YogiApproved Classes, Ashton August as she guides you through an interactive workshop on how to uplevel your online yoga teaching career. 

Uncover a more impactful approach to cuing and guiding students in a virtual setting, learn the best techniques for lighting and setting up your film space, equipment do’s and don’ts, how to connect with your students through the screen, and much more. Finally, you’ll put it all together with a movement practice to help you absorb all the information and also apply it on the mat.  Learn the key tenets and best practices of teaching online from an expert in the field who’s been doing it for 7 years. 

Taught by: Ashton August

*1.5 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Ten Gates To Heaven Essence of Sound Bath | Sat 7:00 - 8:30 PM

This Sound Healing class is a 1.5 hour journey through the depths of the Atlantis Gong, Thunder Sheet, Nepalese Singing Bowls, Droning Didgeridoo and a few other accent instruments.
This session will include the Sound of Water. Within any practice of meditation, it is essential to flow like water recognizing nothing stands still even in stillness. The water reminds us of the greatest source of life and intelligence or The Presence of The Source.
All you need to do is lay back, relax and explore yourself within this healing source of vibrations as it begins to vibrate you to the very core of your avatar.

Taught by: Jimmy Chan

Sunday Classes

Celebrate Your Wins | Sun 8:00 - 10:00 AM

Celebrate Your Wins is a MindFuel Workshop that focuses on how to be more aware of your daily small accomplishments and enjoy the process and journey towards goals and every day life experiences. It’s time to Celebrate you! During this MindFuel Workshop, we will move and bring breath and body connection, meditate, go on a sound healing journey, and dive deep with journaling activities.

Taught by: Leticia Apablaza

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s


AstroYoga Flow: Align Your Practice with Cosmic Order | Sun 8:00 - 10:00 AM

Join in on this workshop to understand the basics of AstroYoga as it relates to the placements in your astrology chart. Come with your birth information or your astrology chart to get the maximum benefit!

Taught by: Emily Ridout

Create Inclusive Teaching Environments | Sun 8:00 - 10:00 AM

Join Dr. Stacie CC Graham, author of Yoga as Resistance: Equity and Inclusion On and Off the Mat, for this session that will offer immediately actionable routes to a more inclusive class experience for students and practitioners of all backgrounds. What shifting needs have you identified since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic? How have you integrated these shifts into your teaching practice? If you have not yet integrated them, what is keeping you from change?

Deep dive into the role you play as a yoga teacher in creating an environment in which psychological safety allows people to fully show up and open to the practice and its potential for inner and collective transformation.

Taught by: Dr. Stacie CC Graham

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Ayurveda for Self-Care | Sun 10:30 - 12:30 PM

Swati will focus on
• Basics of Ayurveda
• History of Ayurveda and its significance
• The significance of the four pillars of life – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha
• The five elements, the doshas, and their role in Self care
• We’ll learn our unique dosha constitutions and cover how to keep them in balance.
• Also, we will learn some great daily life Ayurveda practices
• Dinacharya – Daytime Ayurveda practices, Ratricharya – The Night time Ayurveda rituals, Ritucharya – The Seasonal changes and the rituals to follow for self-care and wellbeing to practice every day.

Taught by: Swati Mhaske

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

Restorative Yoga with Just Your Blanket | Sun 10:30 - 12:30 PM

Restorative Yoga – using the props that are available and how to incorporate them into your classes. We will discuss some of the many benefits of restorative yoga and how you can teach a full class or use one pose in a class. We will learn how to get creative with our private students and on retreats with lack of props for this practice.

Taught by: Tami Galbreath

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s

The Intersection of Mindfulness and Spirituality with Business and Financial Success | Sun 10:30 - 12:30 PM

Join YogiApproved Classes founder Ashton August to explore the intersection of mindfulness and spirituality with business and financial success. How do we go about a real-world business approach with a yogic mindset? How do we maintain integrity and authenticity of our yogic path while growing a successful business? 

Deep dive the intersection of yoga and business, along with how to walk the line between the two. You will also learn ways to empower your personal practice in order to fuel your teaching. You’ll come away with new insights, fresh perspective, motivation and inspiration for your yoga teaching career. See you there!

Taught by: Ashton August

*2 Yoga Alliance CEU’s