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Breath Centered Viniyoga: Weekly Class

10:00-11:15am, Weekly Thursdays at Cedar Sanctuary

Women’s Circle at Cedar Sanctuary

2nd Wednesdays: May 8, June 12 & July 10
6-9pm (doors open at 5:45pm) at Cedar Sanctuary
Email Elena Payanen at with questions
Investment: $30 (pre-registration required)
Save-your-spot for each month here: May 8, June 12, July 10

Do you hear the Call of the Sisterhood? Are yearning for deep, meaningful connection with other women? Do you wish to take the time off from the ordinary to slow down and to create or co-create the Sacred?

When women get together to create a sacred space to compassionately see and hear each other, to honor their stories, their bodies and the natural cycles, they magnify the power of their intentions and prayers. They energetically create a web of support for not only themselves but for the women everywhere.

Women’s Circle at Cedar Sanctuary is based on the ancient practices of a Native American tradition of a Talking Circle. When women sit in the circle, they are all connected, and they are all equal. Sacred Medicine Bowl is used as a Talking Object and the main agreement is that whoever is holding the Bowl has all the attention of the Circle and can share from the heart. The others have an excellent opportunity to practice deep and compassionate listening. In the Circle women are healed, nurtured, comforted and truly seen.

Women’s Circle at the Cedar Sanctuary are always done in the spirit of the Beauty Way. What to expect:

  • To be welcomed into a safe and nurturing space of Cedar Sanctuary.
  • To spend several hours in the magical Circle Space lovingly adorned in the Way of the Beauty: luxurious textiles, candles, twinkling lights, flowers, nature objects and art.
  • To be safely and lovingly held in the strong container of the Women’s Circle to connect, share, and learn.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes – we will be sitting on the floor (back jacks, yoga mats, cushions and blankets will be provided), and adorn yourself.
  • Top grade essential oils, flower essences, incense or medicinal herbs (Mugwort, Sage, St. John’s wort or others) might be used during the Circle.
  • Drumming, dancing or creating art might be part of the Circle experience.

The Flow of the Evening:
5:45 to 6:30 – Teatime & Socializing (please eat dinner before arriving).
6:30 – Opening of the Circle (doors will be closed around 6:15 and there are no late arrivals – Thank you!)

  • Cleansing/Smudging and Settling in – Opening Directions – Setting Intentions for the Circle
  • Agreements for the Circle
  • Gratitude Prayer
  • Introductions – Red Thread Connection – Bringing in Ancestors
  • Theme Introduction
  • Sharing Circle
  • Self-Care Break – Movement – Singing
  • Guided Meditation – Journaling – Sharing
  • Closing of the Circle, Closing the Directions, Closing Prayer

9 pm – Tea (optional) and farewells. Please be respectful of the time and space and plan to leave by 9:30pm as Cedar Sanctuary is in a residential area. Thank you!


Yoga Nidra

Last Fridays Monthly, 6:30pm-8:00pm at Cedar Sanctuary
Sonia Weirich of One To One Yoga
Investment $25. Space is limited and reservations required.
Reserve your spot for 5/31 at or email Sonia at
What to bring: Please dress comfortably and bring a pillow for your head while lying in Savasana.

Constant mind chatter keeping you awake is no match for the healing experience of Yoga Nidra. An ancient practice, Yoga Nidra, is a guided meditative inquiry into the states of being, and what is beyond these states.

In an hour and a half group session, nothing is expected of you, no need to be a meditator, bendy, or even fit. You’ll be guided into a resting position while suggestions and prompts guide your mind into relaxation.

This program is on Facebook at

Break Through Your Personal Glass Ceiling(s) to Thrive

Monday, June 17, 7-9:30pm at Cedar Sanctuary
Laureli Shimayo:
Investment: $35 online ($45 at door)
Save-your-spot here


How much of a good (and great) time, how much success and fulfillment, are you willing to have? How much are you willing to manifest in 2019?

Most of us unconsciously sabotage how much fun, joy and success we experience day to day in leadership/work, life and love. When we hit our self-imposed glass ceiling or Upper Limit (UL) of having a good time, we subconsciously create drama and problems to bring ourselves back down and create what is called an Upper Limit Problem (ULP, sounds like gulp) by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks,

Every egoic being has an Upper Limit. We got our first one installed by our family of origin, and our opportunity in this life is to continuously break through and raise it. Likely you have raised yours. And it’s also likely that you’ve still got a limit that’s lower than your soul can reach. Imagine having everything, absolutely everything your higher self wants, right now – do you start to get a bit fuzzy and dizzy? – if so, that is your UL in action.

Learn to identify your ULPs, your habits and patterns, and to shift them, in friendly and fun ways. After all, blaming yourself for not raising your UL is really just an ULP too!

This workshop will be held on Monday June 17, 7-9:30pm at Cedar Sanctuary, 21407 NE 6th Pl, Sammamish, WA 98074.

The 2.5-hour workshop is $25 if paid in advance at or $35 at the door. If you prefer an invoice, reach out to or 720-352-2434.

Laureli Shimayo has been teaching and coaching people for 10+ years. She is a graduate of Gay & Katie Hendricks’ 2-year Leadership & Transformation program. Laureli is a Body Psychology Coach, Intuitive Eye Reader, and Emotional Energy Healer. Learn more at

This program is on Facebook at:

Restorative Rolling with MELT

Saturday, Jun 29, 10am-12pm at Cedar Sanctuary (Sammamish, WA)
Investment $40 (pre-registration suggested)
Save-your-spot here email to pay via check/cash

Move and feel better. Improve your body’s stability, mobility, balance, and fun-factor with restorative foam rolling. Using a specialized soft foam roller and small balls for feet and hands, these easy self-care techniques release tension, stuck-stress, aches, and pain, decompress the joints, and help us move with greater ease from head to toe. Sound awesome? You bet!

Whether you’re an athlete or someone simply looking to move with greater ease, restorative rolling using a soft MELT roller is complimentary to any wellness program, and a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. We will review the “MELT For A Happy Back Sequence,” including Mini Hand & Foot Techniques and a Rebalancing Sequence on the roller.

Bonus: Appropriate for all levels, no pain, and MELT feels great.
Equipment: Provided for class use, and available for optional purchase by cash or check.
Wear: Comfy exercise wear such as layered tops, yoga pants or sweats, wearing socks or barefoot.

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Meditation Series

4 Saturdays, Sept 7-28, 11am-12:30pm at Cedar Sanctuary
Sonia Weirich of One to One Yoga
Investment $100 for Series (limited to 12 participants)
Save-your-spot here or email Sonia at

Whether you are looking to find more peace in your life or are ready to transcend the self altogether, this series will introduce you to the art of meditation as well as practices that will meet your intention. Over the course of four weeks, various types of meditation will be explored as will the stages of meditation. Physical movement, mindfulness and breath awareness, will be explored as preparation for mediation.

Each week you will go home with a practice to engage, and in the end you will have the tools to establish your own meditation practice. Mediation cushions and chairs will be provided.

Questions? Email Sonia at

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Move&Groove Community Dance: Celebrating Welcoming America Week

Saturday, September 21, 6:30-8pm at the Bellevue Family Y
Bellevue Family Y: 14230 Bel Red Road
International Dances • Family friendly Free to all • Dance with us!
In the words of Hans Christian Andersen, “Where words fail, music speaks.”

Sponsored by Wellness Connects and the Bellevue Y, Move&Groove Community Dances are an opportunity for awesome people of all cultures, races, faiths, ages, and gender identities to come together, support community wellness, and have a great time together.

This program will be part of annual Welcoming America Week efforts to connect new and long-time residents in a spirit of unity.

Through the universal languages of music and movement, we build connections, strengthen a sense of belonging for everyone, and celebrate our richly diverse community. Your dance. Our dance.

Questions? Contact Susan Creighton:

May 2018: We celebrated community connecting and multiculturalism through a variety of superfun cultural dances, including an impromptu participatory Persian dance!

January 2018: Included 14 cultural performances and participatory dances from around the world and was attended by over 140 people. (Pics/videos on Facebook at Wellness Connects.

Sept 2017: To celebrate and support Welcoming America Week, the Wellness Professionals Network and Bellevue Y sponsored a free community dance to support community diversity, bridge communities, and connect new and long-time residents in a spirit of unity. Through the universal languages of music and movement, 100+ dancers strengthened connections and a sense of belonging, celebrated our richly diverse community, and had a great time dancing together!

April 28, 2017: We danced and raised over $1500 to support ERIC (Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition) programs to support welcoming, inclusive, and equitable communities for people of all backgrounds and abilities.


Move Your Body. Dance Your Dance.
3rd Thursdays, 6:30-8pm at
Cedar Sanctuary
(Repeats 3rd-Thursdays. Program on-hold for summer and will resume 10/17.)
Investment: $20 (limited to 10 participants and pre-registration required)
Contact Brenda Loukes to save-your-spot: or 425.435.9498

We were born to move, and SoulDance is a safe and creative space to dance your dance ‘like nobody’s watching”. Dancing with no judgment of ‘right’ ways to move, this is a place for you to be you. To dance your soul with a freestyle movement experience that will light up your body, your smile, and your life. Come as you are.

“In a society that worships love, freedom, and beauty, dance is sacred. It is a prayer for the future, a remembrance of the past and a joyful exclamation of thanks for the present.”
-Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

(Co-ed. No fitness or dance experience is necessary. Dance barefoot or wearing socks.)

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Brenda Loukes-Johnson creates a juicy free-flowing journey for each SoulDance session using voice and soul-stirring music, while drawing on her experiences as a dance instructor, Kahuna transformational bodyworker, and holding space for creative Soulpainting programs.

Perfect Health Weekend Retreat

Friday, Oct 11 7-9pm (optional pampering add-ons before 7pm: stay-tuned for details)
Saturday October 12 8:30am-5pm & Sunday
October 13 9am-3:30pm
(optional pampering add-ons after 3:30pm)
Location: Cedar Sanctuary (21407 NE 6th Place, Sammamish)
Tammy Steele of Fully Present Living
Reserve your spot at
(We hosted this  program at Cedar Sanctuary in March 2019, and it was a fabulous and enriching experience!)

Based on the bestselling book “Perfect Health,” by Dr. Deepak Chopra, this retreat is led by Chopra Center Certified Instructor Tammy Steele who studied Ayurvedic practices at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Tammy is also Reiki Master and a professional certified holistic work/life flow Coach.

Got stress?

  • Are you experiencing sleepless nights?
  • Do you have digestion or weight problems?
  • Are you experiencing emotional turbulence?
  • Do you have physical aches & pains?

These are all imbalances and stressors in your life. You are inundated with 100’s of quick fix solutions and are probably overwhelmed with it all! You know if you don’t figure it out, you may end up with a serious health problem, but how can you figure out what will work for you? This 5-lesson course: The Chopra Center’s Perfect Health Program is a path to finding the answers.

You’ll find out how to reduce or eliminate the effects of stress. You’ll understand what foods help your body and which ones don’t. You’ll feel more emotionally and physically alive than you’ve felt in years!

In addition to the great tools, techniques and knowledge that you’ll be gaining, you’ll also benefit from:

  • Course workbook and handouts
  • Sun Salutation Yoga training
  • Meditation and breathing instruction 
  • Chopra Center gift
  • Private Webpage for course handouts and materials
  • Plus more – see course schedule info for details 

Seed of Potential Talisman Workshop

Saturday, October 19, 10am-4pm at Cedar Sanctuary
Titina van Hoorn of Soul Piece Jewelry
Investment: $195 if registered by July 31, $225 thereafter (includes silver precious metal clay, chain and findings, plus craft supplies for the creative exploration process)
No previous jewelry making experience necessary!
Save-your-spot now (Titina will be traveling from Idaho for this program, which we expect to fill quickly/)
The Seed of Potential workshop is a journey of personal and group exploration, a guided creative process, culminating in the creation of a jewelry piece in fine silver. 
If you are experiencing life-changing events, or wanting to embark upon a New Vision for your life, the use of a talisman  can be a very powerful way to anchor your transformational journey, and be reminded of those qualities you need to nurture in your “hero’s journey”. In many traditions, a talisman was worn for this purpose. I invite you to create your own Seed of Potential talisman.
In this workshop you:
* will be guided to do some PLAYFUL exploration that will include journaling, movement and a fun creative process to inspire you to design your unique piece
*will explore and be supported in identifying the “dragons” that stand in your way of becoming your magical self and how to use tools to face them on your path.
* will be taught a simple jewelry technique to create your own piece in FINE SILVER with a choice of additional materials
* complete your own, UNIQUE piece to wear and TAKE HOME that may serve as an inspiration for your daily life.
Titina van Hoorn is an artist, jeweler, life coach, energy healing practitioner, lover of words, dancer, mother and soul-seeker, who feels passionate about exploring the journey of the soul with all of its twists, turns and mysteries and supporting others who have chosen this rich path. More information at or visit the Soul Piece Jewelry page on Facebook.

Sage Woman Retreat

Empowering the Peri Menopause and Menopausal Years
2 Days: Saturday & Sunday, November 2-3, 9am-5pm at Cedar Sanctuary
With Suzanne Silvermoon & Asmita Runge of Om & Ojas
Om & Ojas
Investment: $309 for early registration by 10/12 using code “Sage.” ($362 after 10/12)
Save-your-spot here

As women prepare to navigate their 40’s, 50’s and beyond, they begin to recognize a time of huge transitions. Changes present themselves physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.  Shifting hormones create physical changes, while shifting roles (empty nest, care of elderly parents) create mental, emotional and spiritual changes. For many, we experience a time of re-evaluation of life’s priorities such as jobs, relationships, living with purpose, being more creative or becoming more spiritual. While it is a challenging transitional time, when embraced, can become a very liberating and empowering stage of life: A time of awakening to our sacred authentic self.  

We at Om & Ojas have created Sage Woman, a wellness program for women in their peri-menopausal and menopausal years. The teachings are rooted in ancient healing practices of Yoga and Ayurveda and supported by modern scientific research.  The communities of women brought together through our program cultivate a life path of health, happiness and wholeness.

During our weekend immersion, we share:

  • Practical and creative ways to create balance in women’s personal and professional lives

  • Modern medical information about hormonal changes and effects of stress

  • Ancient Ayurvedic perspectives on the menopausal transition in life

  • Sage Woman Power Tools whereby they can then take an active role in their health and wellbeing

  • Yoga asana and pranayama practices for meeting the challenges of menopausal symptoms

  • Meditation practices for envisioning self as a Sage Woman.

  • Practices to navigate the rite of passage from the Motherhood to the Master (Sage Woman) stage of life

  • A deep sense of mutual connection and support to foster a sense of sacred sangha that the cohort of women in the program can draw from

  • Ayurvedic inspired lunch each day

Register here for this fabulous deep inhale Sage Woman Retreat.

Happy Guts Workshop – Back by popular request!
With Kathleen Yow-Wells of Eastside Wellness Center
Stay-tuned for next program at Cedar Sanctuary (Sammamish, WA)
Investment $128 (limited to 12 participants and pre-registraiton required).

The Happy Guts class is based on the practice of Chi Nei Tsang developed by Taoist monks in ancient China. Modern Chi Nei Tsang is abdominal organ massage meant to aid elimination & detoxification while building gut health and vitality, stabilize our emotions, and has a grounding effect on our well-being.

We live in a fast-paced stressful world. Fast food, prolonged sitting, and forever ‘to do’ lists, undigested ‘emotions’, and chemicals everywhere play havoc with our nervous and digestive systems. Overtime, our overall gut functioning, health and vitality are greatly affected. Gut function directly affects our basic levels of health, and we must become aware of ways we can maintain it ourselves.

During our time together, you will learn a deeper understanding of how the digestive system works, what can go wrong, and how to support your own digestive health through manual self-care techniques of belly work. We will learn and experience the power of breath, gut awareness, and purposeful abdominal self-touch to reduce tension, pain, and discomfort. You will learn a ‘your hands on your gut’ self-care routine for daily use. This can be wonderful for family members, young and elderly alike. Learning resources will be provided.

This self-care class by a licensed massage therapist is not meant as medical advice or as a substitute for medical care. please consult your health provider for advice on specific conditions. if you want to learn life-long tools to take care of and love your guts and diminish symptoms such as bloating or belly discomfort this class is for you.

Kathleen Yow-Wells, LMT has been practicing therapeutic bodywork since 1982. She brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, passion, and humor to her teachings. Kathleen loves to teach self-care techniques to help people build their own little black bags of healing techniques. /

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REMEMBERING ME: An Introduction to Expressing Life’s Magic Through Story

Stay0tuned for a repeat of this fabulous program!
Barbara Krauss of The Centre for Organic Yesipes

Everyone has a story… what is yours?

• When was the last time you stopped to take stock of your awesomeness? To pause and celebrate yourself and your journey?
• How often do you acknowledge yourself and the gifts that you have shared with others in the milestones of your life: the highs, the lows, and all points in between?

Imagine what it would feel like to grant yourself permission to rest, reflect and express yourself creatively. REMEMBERING ME is a three-hour experiential workshop when you get to dedicate an afternoon to remembering how remarkable you really are.

During our time together, you’ll have an opportunity to:

• Connect with a community of like-minded women, listening and deeply sharing from the heart.
• Experience meaningful insight through guided meditation, journaling, and potent conversations.
• Easily create a piece of art to express your story – no previous art experience needed.
• Express yourself in writing with effortlessness, ease, and joy…whether you’re a seasoned writer, or this is your first time writing a story about your life.

Create this time for yourself. Give yourself the gift of exploring the stories of your life and connecting the dots in your experiences and gifts!

Barbara Krauss is a STORYOGRAPHER. Her work is an organic blend of creating and writing stories, gathering stories of others, and giving them a voice. Combining her expertise in coaching/mentoring, inspirational teaching, motivational speaking and facilitating workshops, she powerfully holds space where creative engagement thrives. She is most alive when enraptured by the organic flow and freedom of immersion in creative expression, and invites others to join her in this realm.
More info: /

Relax & Renew Mini-Retreat

A mixed-modalities afternoon of necessary indulgences and modalities. Our most recent program included Aromatherapy, MELT Method, Gyrotonic, and a Gong Sound Bath. Heavenly! Schedule your own Relax & Renew Mini-Retreat.

Join our mailing list for updates or contact Susan Creighton to schedule your own event.


February 2018: Do you believe that kindness rocks? This Community Matters program was a crafternoon of community connecting through art.

Kindness Rocks is a fun project that’s spreading all over the country. Here’s the idea: you paint rocks with positive and encouraging images or messages; then inspire others by dropping the rocks in random places for them to find them and play it forward.

We connected as a group, included a meditation to inspire creativity and inspiration, created uplifting treasures to share in our neighborhoods, and had a great time together!

This program was sponsored by Wellness Connects Providers Susie Hindle Kher, Susan Creighton, and the Redmond Library to support community connections, wellness, and a sense of belonging for everyone.

 Join our mailing list for program updates or contact Susan Creighton to schedule your own event.

What We Have In Common: 3 Faith Traditions

November 2017: This Community Matters panel discussion was sponsored by Wellness Connects Providers Debbie Lacy and Susan Creighton, Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition, and the Redmond Library to support community wellness by building connections and bridges, and creating a sense of belonging for everyone.

At a time of growing divisiveness and misinformation in our country, this program was an opportunity to learn more about the commonalities of three Abrahamic faith traditions, and how these faith leaders are driven by their faith toward good works, unity, and justice for all. Panelists Aneelah Afzali (MAPS), Pastor Ellie VerGowe, and Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick shared thoughtful, brilliant, and funny responses to questions about their roles as women in faith leadership, feminism, cultural oppression of women, the percentage of women/men in attendance, God’s love for non-believers, the concept of an angry and wrathful God, common incorrect assumptions about their faith, welcoming all in a non-binary world, science vs. religion, mystery of the divine, responsibility toward those who are vulnerable or suffering, and controversies about Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holiday greetings and Starbucks holiday cup designs. This video is an of excerpt on the topic of masculine associations with God.

Interfaith Leaders:
Aneelah Afzali, Interfaith Leader, Director at Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS)
Rev. Ellie VerGowe, Pastor at First Covenant Church
Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick, Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Am

A supportive community is vital to a healthy society. Community Matters gatherings are opportunities for people of all cultures, races, faiths, and gender identities to connect and converse about wellness and everything that entails; personal wellness, family wellness, and wellness in the world.

The Redmond Library hosted this free program in Sept, 2017.

You belong. Whether you’ve lived somewhere your whole life or just recently arrived in your new home, a sense of belonging can be hard to come by. This sense of belonging isn’t just good for personal health and happiness; it’s critical for community health as well. How can we create a stronger sense of belonging for ourselves and others?

During this evening of conversation we explored how to overcome challenges that can keep us isolated and even divided from one another, and:
· Brought people together who may not normally get a chance to know each other
· Engaged in meaningful conversation that honors our diverse perspectives

· Inspired small, but powerful actions that strengthen our sense of belonging and the health of our community

Event sponsored by the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition (ERIC), Wellness Connects providers Debbie Lacy and Susan Creighton, and the Redmond Library as part of Welcoming Week, a national celebration that brings together U.S. born residents, established immigrants, and newcomers to increase awareness and to build stronger unity across differences.

SoulCollage for Community Wellness

SoulCollage is an opportunity to foster community wellness with a creative, fun and meaningful art activity. Meet new people and learn an art form you’ll be able to easily do on your own whenever you feel the urge to create.

We’ll gather together to identify internal resources to build the kind of community we want to live in. You’ll then leave with a visual representation and reminder of your gifts – gifts you can consciously draw upon to strengthen community and your connections with others.

Making SoulCollage® cards is a creative and intuitive practice. Using found images from magazines and an easy cut and paste process, you’ll create a unique collage card that supports your goals and desires. No prior experience necessary. (Note: We won’t be teaching the pure SoulCollage method originally created by Seena B. Frost, but we’ll use SoulCollage techniques.To learn more about Seena’s method and to view a sampling of SoulCollage images, visit


Debbie Lacy is a certified life coach, community facilitator, and Director of the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition. Debbie learned about SoulCollage from Noelle Remington, a certified SoulCollage facilitator, and has been incorporating SoulCollage techniques in her workshops for 15 years.

Susan Creighton is the Chief Inspiration Officer for our event sponsor, Wellness Connects. WC practitioners provides a network of support services from a wide range of wellness modalities. Members focus on creating, restoring and maintaining wellness through professional service and tools, cross-referrals to complementary practitioners, and public programs for education, outreach, and community connection.