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Natural Awakenings Austin

News Briefs for February 2020

Jan 31, 2020 01:00AM ● By Cat Carrel

Level One Reiki Class Offered

 Heather Rider, The Energy Synergist, will present a Reiki 1 Class from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on February 8, at her studio in Austin.

Reiki is an energy healing modality that is easy and accessible to all. With a primary focus on self-healing, the Reiki 1 class is a powerful tool to learn to heal mind, body and soul. In this class, participants will learn: What is reiki and the history of reiki; the degrees of reiki; reiki hand positions to use on self and others; and techniques for giving reiki to yourself and others during a session.

Participants will receive four attunements, which open them to be a conduit for the healing energy of reiki. They will have an opportunity for hands-on practice with classmates.

Cost: $275. Location: The Energy Synergist, 4210 Spicewood Springs Rd., Ste. 201, Austin. For more information, email Heather Rider at [email protected], or visit


Book Signing with Award-Winning Food Author

 Deborah Kesten, MPH, will discuss her new book Whole Person Integrative Eating at 7 p.m. on February 27, at BookPeople in Austin. The book outlines a groundbreaking dietary lifestyle to help transform relationships with food and eating to promote weight loss, health and healing.

One in two Americans—over 133 million people—suffer from chronic health conditions, many of which are linked to food choices. After 25 years of research, Kesten and Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D., discovered that the optimal healing diet is not only about what you eat, but also about why, how, and with whom you eat. It is about developing a relationship to food and eating that nourishes your physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being.

Kesten is an international nutritional researcher, award-winning author and medical and health writer with a specialty in preventing and reversing obesity and heart disease. Author of the award-winning books Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul and The Healing Secrets of Food, she currently is a VIP Contributor to

Kesten will be a featured panelist at the Yoga and Science Conference on February 29 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church. See related news brief below. 

Free. Location: 603 North Lamar Blvd., Austin. For more information about Kesten, visit For more information about the event, visit


Yoga and Science Conference Lands in Austin

 For the first time, the Yoga and Science Conference will occur in Austin from 1 to 6 p.m. on February 29 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church.

The conference brings together thought leaders from various disciplines. Panelists at the conference will share their years of research and experience in explaining the underlying physiological mechanisms that make yoga an effective practice for health and wellness. The Conference will include experiential exercises and a joint panel Q&A to be moderated by Eddie Stern.

The panelists include David Ring, M.D., Ph.D., Larry Scherwitz, Ph.D., Kristin Neff, Ph.D., Marshall Hagins, Ph.D. and Deborah Kesten, MPH.

Kesten will also give a discussion about her book, Whole Person Integrative Eating, at 7 p.m. on February 27, at BookPeople in Austin. See related news brief, page X.

Cost: $95. Location: 4700 Grover Ave.  For more information about the speakers and to see detailed bios, or for information on prior and future Yoga & Science Conferences, visit For questions about the conference, email Priya Jhawar at [email protected] To register, visit


Poet Naomi Shihab Nye Offers Antidote to Divisiveness

 Award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye, featured in Awakening to Compassion for Self and Others, will present a day of exploration around divisiveness and compassion from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on February 22 at Abiding Love Lutheran Church, in Austin. The workshop is sponsored by Eremos, a Center of Contemplative Life.

Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Middle East, Shihab Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity.

Shihab Nye’s perspective can awaken and deepen compassion for those who see the world differently than us and for ourselves as we navigate the divisiveness of our world. She offers a new way to view what’s happening in the world around us. The workshop is an invitation to pause and access the deep inner wisdom within us during these stressful times.

“Eremos has previously hosted spiritual thought leaders and poets, including Marianne Williamson, Andrew Harvey, Mirabai Starr, John Fox and Fr. Ron Rolheiser,” says Dianna Armonde, executive director. “We look forward to another rich day of wisdom-sharing,” she adds.

Cost: $95 for the workshop, $125 for the day, including lunch. Location: 7210 Brush Country Rd., Austin. For more information, visit


Art From the Heart, For a Cause

 Susan Korsnick, a Pennsylvania artist, writer and coach, is selling prints of her most recent work, Family, with 100 percent of the profit going to the Port Macquaries Koala Hospital, in Australia. The hospital provides for the “rescue and treatment of sick and injured koalas and release back to their home range if possible.”  Korsnick shares, “as bushfires rage across Australia, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the devastation and unfathomable loss of life. Courageous men and women are on site doing what they can. Those of us far from the tragedy feel it deeply and long to help in any way we can.”

In describing her work, she notes that the image represents all of us holding the koalas with love in our hearts. The wavy symbol in the lower background is the Australian Aboriginal symbol for fire, smoke, water and blood. The larger symbol in the upper right is their symbol for family. To Korsnick, the definition of family extends beyond bloodline to include all beings the world over.

Cost of a 10 inch by 14 inch print: $35. For more information or to make a purchase, email [email protected] or visit


Wellness Expo Returns for SXSW 2020

 The SXSW Wellness Expo returns for 2020 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 14 and 15 at the Palmer Events Center, in Austin. Created to fuel the mind, body and soul, this exhibition gathers thousands of SXSW attendees to explore and interact with this rapidly growing field. The event is sponsored by Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits.

The SXSW Wellness Expo Stage features sessions, group health activities, demos and workshops. The Stage lets SXSW Wellness Expo attendees expand their wellness knowledge by participating in discussions and classes relevant to the industry.

The Fitness Stage lets attendees experience free classes from world-renowned instructors. Classes are for all levels and include yoga, boot camp workouts, strength and circuit training and more.

Conscious Conversations provides highly interactive wellness-focused activities including meditation, dynamic workshops and more with industry professionals.

In 2019, the SXSW Wellness Expo showcased more than 150 enlightening companies from the wellness industry.

Location: 900 Barton Springs Rd. For more information or to register, visit


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