News from the Edge



Yoga & Wellness Festival

The second annual Yoga & Wellness Festival will take place November 8-9 at the Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, featuring demonstrations, lectures, authentic cultural entertainment, meditation, massage and bodywork, tai chi, acupuncture, holistic health, wellness educators, exhibitors and much more. This event is free and open to the public. The festival is intended for those who want to learn how to achieve wellness and peace; those who are seeking ways to maintain or enhance their yoga and other wellness practices. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9. "Ahimsa is the practice of non-violence to oneself and one’s community. The practice of yoga and the modalities of wellness available today engender ‘ahmisa’ within and without, mentally and emotionally, and individually and globally. The time is now, to put our practice into practice!" says Gaia Richards, community Yoga advocate. Midtown Global Market is an international collection of nearly 50 independent and local vendors offering the finest selection of produce, delicacies, prepared foods, grocery items and unique gifts from around the world, seven days a week. Please visit or call 612.872.4041. Festival sponsors are SoyJoy, The Sheraton Midtown and Nokomis Chiropractic.

Northland Bioneers Conference

The Northland Bioneers Conference, intended to help people understand how they can shape a healthy, sustainable future for themselves and society, returns for the third time to Minnesota November 15-16 at the University of Minnesota’s Willey Hall on the west bank. The event gives people across political, cultural, economic and faith perspectives a place to learn and work together. Vonda Vaden, conference director, says, "We’re sure real solutions show up when there’s an effort to fully understand each other and the common concerns we face." The event will be guided by emcee Nina Rothschild Utne, artistic director Marcela Lorca and conversation guide Yogiraj Achala. Featured will be screenings of the national Bioneers plenary sessions, which took place October 16-19 in San Rafael, Calif., as well as locally produced programs on regional issues, with a focus on creating community dialogue, a space for networking, entertainment and an exhibit hall. A full list of national sessions shown via DVD and local workshop speakers and presenters can be found on the website, Twenty-seven percent of capacity is reserved for scholarship registrants. Weekend rates for the conference are under $60 for early-registrants. Advertising inquiries should contact the Northland Bioneers Conference Director at 612.247.0781 or [email protected] Conference sponsors include 10th Dot, Eureka Recycling, Air America and Sunday’s Energy.


One Yoga: A Celebration Event

One Yoga, which has been part of the yoga community in the Twin Cities since 2002, is hosting A Celebration Event from 3:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, to launch its new outreach to individuals who traditionally lack access to the benefits of yoga through new and innovative partnerships with organizations, institutions and communities. A non-profit organization, One Yoga provides a setting dedicated to meeting people where they are. It encourages the exploration of yoga to support a lifelong personal practice to promote health and well-being. The public is invited to One Yoga for yoga practice, refreshments, conversation with like-minded yogis, and a special evening of music and chanting. The event is free to the public. The following is the schedule of event:
• 3:30-4:30 p.m. – Free Introductory Yoga Class
• 5:00-6:00 p.m. – Social Hour
• 6:00-6:30 p.m. – Presentation
• 7:00-8:30 p.m. – Chanting with Shakti Chant Band

One Yoga is located at 2100 B Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. For more information, call 612.872.6347.


Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.822.4611

• Saturday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. – Seven poets published by the independent Red Dragonfly Press will read from their work. Lyle Daggett is the author of five books of poems, including the forthcoming The First Light Touches Me. His literary blog A Burning Patience is at Larry Gavin is a writer, editor and poet whose first collection of poems Necessities (2005) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His second book of poems titled Least Resistance was published in 2008 and nominated for a Minnesota Book Award. Vicki Graham teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Her book, The Tenderness of Bees, is just out from Red Dragonfly Press. Athena Kildegaard’s poems have appeared widely in such journals as Faultline, Willow Springs, Tar River Poetry, Puerto del Sol, Cream City Review, The Seattle Review, Malahat Review, Valparaiso Review and Poetry East. Joe Paddock is a poet, oral historian and environmental writer who tends toward narrative in his poetry. His forthcoming book from Red Dragonfly is titled Dark Dreaming, Global Dimming: poems written in apprehension of the big story – the fact that humanity is pushing beyond global limits – that now underlies almost everything we do. Nancy Paddock’s book of poems, Trust the Wild Heart, published by Red Dragonfly Press, was selected as a 2006 Minnesota Book Awards finalist. Her poems have appeared in To Sing Along the Way: Minnesota Women Poets From Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, The Writer Dreaming in the Artist’s House, Common Ground: a Gathering of Poets from the 1986 Marshall Festival, As Far as I can See: Contemporary Writing of the Middle Plains, Warm Journal, Sing Heavenly Muse! Milkweed Chronicle, Grain, Feminist Studies, and many other publications. John Calvin Rezmerski is a co-editor of County Lines, an anthology of 130 Minnesota poets published in honor of Minnesota’s Sesquicentennial. He serves as Poet Laureate of the League of Minnesota Poets, and is a member of the poetry performance group Lady Poetesses from Hell.

• Wednesday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. – Chris Dorsi will discusses his new book Homeowners Handbook To Energy Efficiency, which is written with you in mind…whether you never lift a hammer, or you’re highly experienced in home repair…whether you’re tightening up your old house or building a new home…whether you’re ready for a small project on a tight budget or about to tackle a major renovation. It explains how to plan, where to start, and how to proceed with easy-to-understand instructions. Learn how you can improve your home and increase its value. This book will show you the path to a more efficient, more enjoyable and less-costly home. Dorsi is a managing partner with Saturn Resource Management. He has 35 years of experience in construction management, 20 years in the energy conservation business, and thousands of days of technical training.

• Friday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. – Tom Pilarzyk will discuss his book Yoga Beyond Fitness. An estimated 17 million people currently practice yoga and spend roughly three billion dollars annually on classes, products, and services in the United States. Yoga has become an unusual blend of ancient spiritual path from India and American commercialism, begging the question, "Is yoga merely a fitness industry masquerading as spirituality?" This issue is hotly debated right now in yoga magazines and at studios and centers across the country. Yoga’s widespread popularity means that more people are being exposed to the potential benefits yoga has to offer. And yet, yoga has expanded over the decades to become a full-fledged industry of the contemporary marketplace, filled with so many producers, sellers and consumers that they seem to outnumber the spiritual teachers, healers, devoted adepts and practitioners. Yoga Beyond Fitness captures the story of American yoga practice today, with special attention given to those who treat it with reverence and wish to explore it as a receptacle of transformative power, for which it was originally intended. Yoga instructor Tom Pilarzyk helps us restore the transformative center at the heart of yoga by showing how to bring greater intention, open-heartedness and peace into our practice both on and off the mat. Pilarzyk is a college administrator and registered yoga instructor who has practiced yoga for twenty years. With a doctorate in the social sciences, he has published articles in numerous scholarly journals as well as popular magazines including Yogi Times, Synchronicity Magazine, Sacred Pathways Magazine, and M Magazine.


Inner Strength Studio Moving to Uptown

Inner Strength Studio, a family owned, locally run boutique fitness studio that strives to provide an alternative to the big-box, chain gyms, is moving to Uptown Minneapolis at 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue in January 2009. The year-and-a-half-old business fosters a holistic approach to health and fitness. Although it is an authorized Spin Studio, its classes meld fitness approaches and styles to fit the needs of its clientele – Yoga & Spin, Spin & Core, Spin & Strength. Inner Strength Fitness opened in Spring 2007 at 5200 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis. For more information, call 612.644.1953 or visit


Gaiam Yoga Club

Renowned yoga experts, Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, a couple noted for their 25 years of individual practice and yogic expertise, have developed the Gaiam Yoga Club, a new innovative, online home-based yoga program created in collaboration with Gaiam, Inc., the leading distributor of fitness and yoga programming. The online club is designed to introduce beginners to yoga and inspire long-time practitioners to fall in love with yoga all over again for only $5 a week. It features: a comprehensive 12-week, self-paced online course enabling you to create your own yoga program; nine 60-minute online yoga videos that guide all skill levels step-by-step; more than 60 downloadable yoga and meditation practices on audio; and a supportive online community of fellow yoga students to share your experiences through online chats, blogs and community message boards. "We developed Gaiam Yoga Club as the perfect bridge between the class and home practice," Yee says. "It offers tools to segue between being instructed in class and finding a way to instruct yourself. The club is also a bigger community in which you can reach out to the other members and say, ‘This is what I am experiencing, are you experiencing the same thing?’ " Each week, Rodney and Colleen introduce participants to a category of yoga poses (forward bends, backbends, twists and more) with modifications for different levels, and sequencing principles for personalizing your own yoga program. Podcasts focus on refining the poses and principles, and include downloadable pose guides. The hosts also lead members through guided relaxation, breath work and meditation for enhanced well-being. Because of the self-paced nature of the program, members decide individually when they are ready to move onto the next yoga lesson. Rodney Yee has made guest appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, PBS and is one of the most sought-after yogis in the world, selling millions of yoga videos worldwide. For more information, call 1.800.869.3603.

• Feds slaughter of wild bison beats 20th century records – More than 1,000 wild buffalo have been slaughtered in the Yellowstone National Park area since November 2007, representing the largest kill since the 1800s. "It would seem as though history was not learned the first time, for here we are today, watching these same government entities enacting the same policy," said Nez Perce tribal member James Holt. According to those monitoring the situation, namely the Buffalo Field Campaign, the total kill-off number will likely exceed 2,000 for the year. While the government’s official reason for the slaughter is to prevent the spread of brucellosis from wild bison to cattle, no such transmission has ever been documented, and the bison being sent to slaughter are not being tested for the disease.

• Wal-Mart goes rBGH-free – Wal-Mart recently announced its so-called "Great Value" store brand of milk will no longer come from cows injected with Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered hormone, rBGH/rBST. Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), stated in an interview with the Toronto Globe and Mail that Wal-Mart’s announcement will likely serve as a tipping point for driving Monsanto’s controversial bovine drug off the market. Since its inception, the OCA has campaigned aggressively against rBGH, which is banned in Europe, Canada and most of the industrialized world. Wal-Mart’s move, according to industry experts, will likely dramatically expand market demand for rBGH-free and organic dairy products. According to Cummins, "After 14 years of of bullying consumers and buying off FDA and USDA bureaucrats, this is the beginning of the end for this cruel and dangerous drug."

• White House lies to the world about biofuels – A recent report from the International Monetary Fund estimates that biofuels are responsible for as much as 30 percent of the global food shortage. Despite this fact, at the United Nation’s emergency food summit in Rome, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Edward Schafer defended the U.S. government’s decision to spend billions of dollars subsidizing corn and soybean-based ethanol and biofuel, falsely claiming that biofuels contributed only 2-3 percent of the overall increase in global food prices over the past year. According to USDA spokesman Jim Brownlee, Mr. Schafer was unaware that his statistics were off by nearly 90 percent.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice and sustainability. For complete articles on all of these topics and more, and to subscribe, please visit

Copyright © 2008 Organic Consumers Association. All rights reserved.


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