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MINDfest Sessions

Xingona: A Journey of family, Community and Healing

Roxana Pardo Garcia

In this presentation, Roxana Pardo Garcia will share stories, truths, and Ancestral practices and strategies to facilitate the healing of our families, communities, and self in order to create the world we deserve. 

Family Corner

A safe quiet place for children & families to step away in a couple of locations during the MINDfest event.

There will be storytime, coloring and other activities.

The Heart Space Sound Bath with Manilai

Maniali playing crystal bowls

Experience sounds from crystal singing bowls as a full bodied immersive experience. You get to relax and let the sounds and vibrations and the healing energy integrate into your body and nourish all the cells of your being.

Sound baths have been relaxing and restorative for her, and she loves sharing this experience with others. You will be invited to relax during this session. Optionally you can bring what you like for your comfort such as a yoga or foam mat, pillows and blankets. Yoga mats will be provided on a first come first serve basis.

New to Sound Baths? Here is a brief overview from the Cleveland Clinic

Youth Activities

Group of youth walking together
  • 1:20pm Hearts & Crafts – Explore your feelings and create art to match and express them. Tweens & teens (middle school+).
  • 2:15pm Retro Rewind – Take a step back in time and remember the good times with classic games from childhood that inspire playful expression (ages 13+).
  • 3:00pm Silent Disco – Dance like nobody’s watching with special curated playlists. Pre-teens, teens, and adults (middle school+).
  • 4:15pm Reflections and RealizationsIntrospective journaling (ages 13+).
  • 4:45 Overcoming Obstacles Course – Gain a new perspective as you learn to overcome obstacles both mentally and physically. (kids/youth of all ages).

Snack Corner

Muffins with raspberries on top

Come and enjoy some free yummy snacks and drinks, located in the Elliot Ballroom.


Floor labyrinth

Explore wonderful labyrinths created by our own Dan Niven, one located outside the Elliot Ballroom and a Luminaria in the Green Room, next to the ballroom.

See other labyrinths designed by Niven at moderndaedalus.com.

Washington Therapy Dogs

Four trained dogs sitting

We spread joy, comfort, support and unconditional doggy love! Our amazing group of volunteers, sponsors, canine behaviorists and trainers contributing toward the success of our AAI (animal assisted intervention) program and therapy dog training curriculum, will collaborate in community through this venue.

Learn more about their amazing vision to make a positive difference in the mental wellbeing for those in need of comfort. Come get some canine love!

Heart Art

Cynthia Gahan showing samples of the wisdom cards that will be created during the workshop

Join Cynthia Gahan in this creative adventure. We’re going to be making these mini double sided wisdom cards based on any theme or topic that you choose. But we will be encouraging participants to focus on themes or topics that have been challenging or provided challenges in your life. And then we’re going to be taking them and trying to flip them in order to work on the flip side of the situation and also turn our mind to a more positive approach to the matter.

Food and Mood

Colorful appetizers

Join us to learn more about how food can affect your mood with dietitian Megan Ellison, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and founder of Sound Dietitians LLC.

Changing Our Mindset about Mental Health: Where Do We Go from Here? 

Richard Taylor Jr.

This powerful presentation by Richard Taylor Jr., will act as a compelling tool for those trying to break the stigma around mental health. It will also serve as a launch pad for those who may struggle breaking their own personal biases and stigmas. The goal from this talk will be to help attendees shift from conversations around mental health to mobilization in their efforts to help create better support for mental health!

Intro to Laughter Yoga

Two women laughing, one holding a laugh sign

Randee Young, certified laughter yoga leader, of LaughterGlow invites you to get your giggle on!

Laughter Yoga is the perfect way to improve your mood, increase joy and happiness while decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety or pain.

You will be guided into a gentle combination of deep breathing and laughter exercises that bring increased oxygen to your brain and body while releasing happy endorphins that make you feel amazing. No downward dog or twisting into pretzels required!

Please wear comfortable clothing you can move around in. No experience necessary, just a willingness to let go of your inhibitions.

Social Media and Mental Health

Outline of a young person's head showing icons for love, learning, ideas, etc.

Is there a Connection between Social Media and Youth Mental Health?While research has shown that social media can help increase feelings of connectedness, it is also associated with bullying, anxiety, and feelings of low self-worth. What can we do to help youth as they navigate the digital world we live in?

Join Dr. Lucia Magis-Weinberg, a psychologist and expert on social media and adolescent development, along with a youth panel to discuss the risks and opportunities afforded by digital technologies. Youth Panel participants: Natalie Lahr, Nadia Mazonson, Calvin Trinh, Dillon Gilden, and Jeslyn Kelso.

Yoga Nidra for Youth (ages 7+) and Adults

Children laying down on yoga mats and relaxing

Join Leslie Rowans, a Certified Reflexologist, Hypnotherapist, and I AM Yoga Nidra™ Practitioner in this session.

Yoga nidra, or yogic sleep as it is commonly known, is an immensely powerful meditation technique, and one of the easiest yoga practices to develop and maintain. It combines guided mental imagery with a specific yoga posture called Shavasana (or “corpse pose”). The goal of yoga nidra is to promote a profound state of relaxation, which differs from sleep inasmuch as there is still an awareness of one’s surroundings.

Intro to Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

Join us for this introductory session facilitated by Angela Zapata. Angelica believes that transcending the pain of life-changing events with mindful self-compassion is the portal to insight, a true opportunity for growth and transformation.

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