Category Archives: Retreat Info

Thank you for making a donation!

We really appreciate your good thoughts, time, and consideration. The Black Lotus Yoga Project offers classes and annual retreats teaching stress reduction through yoga and complementary methods. Our workshops and retreats are targeted at under-served and much deserving groups. This includes but is not limited to First Responders, War Photographers, Veterans, Active Duty, and Military Families. No Goods or services were received by donating to Black Lotus Yoga.  A 501 (c)(3), your donation is tax deductible. Please contact your account for the amount lawfully allowed.   Follow our daily yoga schedule and find upcoming events at

Individual Donors

The War Photographers’ Retreat wishes to thank our individual donors.

Kim Haegele

Pamela Hart

Susan Gibbons

Amanda Peters

Catherine Iannuzzo

LTC David Anderson & Kanani Fong

Amy Sun & Everett Go

Kelly Connolly

Margaret Emerson

Mike Kamber

Katherine Gamble

Emily Brand

Jill Frankfort

Natalie Rusk

Erica Magliaro

Terry North

Jill Lichtenstadter

Katherine Greeley

Zan Barry


“…there’s a feeling  of life force increasing, of working with love and an open heart.” -Steve Ross, Happy Yoga

The Schedule

Thursday, August 25th
Meet at Black Lotus Yoga, 91 Sidney Street, Cambridge MA

Black Lotus Yoga

1:30-2:45pm –  Pre-retreat Yoga (Stretch those travel-weary muscles!)
3:00-5:00pm – Welcome & Orientation
7:30 – 9:30pm – Small Gathering, Meet & Greet (Location announced during orientation)

Friday, August 26th

9:30-11am – Group Yoga
1:00-3:30pm – Individual Acupuncture
4:00-5:00pm – Group Yoga
Evening free to yourself, to meet up with friends and colleagues in the Boston area, or join Jillian & Kanani for some aimless fun.

Mats will be provided!

Saturday, August 27th
12:00-1:15pm – Group Yoga
1:30-4pm – Individual Massage
3:00-4:00pm – Optional Yoga
6:00-9:00pm – Celebration Group BBQ & Ceremony (Casual) Location TBA.

Sunday, August 28th
9:30am-noon – Individual Massage
1:00-3:00pm – Group Yoga & Final Words

As you can see by the schedule, there’s plenty of time to make plans with friends and colleagues who live in the Boston area. Or take in the scenery of Cambridge, shop, browse a few bookstores, take in a fine meal. The time is yours to choose to do what you want.  On Saturday, Kanani & Jillian will be embarking upon the Sarah Palin tour of Boston to find the church and ring a few bells.

Acupuncture 101

Another fantastic addition to the Om Team is Liên Zayhowski, an incredibly educated and talented Licensed Acupuncturist. If you were following the blog a few weeks back I talked about Kathleen Hamel and her use of Acupressure Therapy and Massage, which is one part of the retreat. Acupressure uses some of the same pressure points as acupuncture, but it does so without the use of needles.

Liên Zayhowski
Liên Zayhowski

Liên is our very skilled Acupuncturist, which does require the use of needles. Acupuncture is used as an effective form of treatment for many different physical symptoms. In an overview article by the Mayo Clinic it is explained that acupuncture is most often utilized for symptoms such as:

  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Labor pain
  • Low back pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Migraines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Postoperative dental pain
  • Tennis elbow

However, acupuncture is also being studied and used in both the military and civilian settings as an alternative treatment for individuals with PTSD and combat related trauma.

If any of you are like me and the idea of acupuncture makes you a little nervous (I know my idea of a good time does not involve a needle!), I recommend you take a look through these articles and links to learn a little more about the process and benefits of acupuncture. Similar to the yoga practice or acupressure, acupuncture may be a completely new idea to you, but just like the other alternative therapies, we have included them because we believe in their benefits.

So just take some time, look through the provided resources or doing some googling of your own, to decide if this is something you are interested in.

Medline Plus through the National Institutes of Health

Mayo Clinic article on what to expect with Acupuncture

Article on the Military’s use of Acupuncture

Books, books and…some non-books!

Some of the books…and my puppy.

While sorting through all of my “stuff” preparing for my move, I realized how many books I have. My mom asked me if I really need all of them and the truth is there is important tidbits in all of them. So in between sorting through my personal collection (which is almost worthy of a Hoarders episode),  here are some awesome resources that I would recommend adding to your personal collection.

The list is a mix of yoga, trauma, and self-care books, websites and such. Feel free to look through the list and use what resonates with you:)


 Learning About Trauma

 *Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body and Society– Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

* Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook– Glenn Schiraldi

*The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment– Babette Rothschild

*Coping With Trauma: Hope Through Understanding- Jon G. Allen

* 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery: Take-Charge Strategies to Empower Your Healing– Babette Rothschild

* In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness– Peter A. Levine Ph.D.

* Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body– Peter A. Levine Ph.D.

Incorporating Yoga

* Overcoming Trauma through Yoga: Reclaiming Your Body– David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper Ph.D.

* Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing-Yoga Journal and the Mind-Body Connection. Timothy McCall, M.D.

* Yoga Mind and Body– Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre.

* Posture of Meditation- Will Johnson

* Discovering the Body’s Wisdom– Mirka Knaster

* The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation– Thich Nhat Hanh


*Integrative Restoration: The Ancient Practice of Yoga Nidra for Easing Stress, Healing

Trauma and Awakening to your Timeless Presence– Richard Miller Ph.D.

*Resting in Stillness: Integrative Restoration – iRest Yoga Nidra Richard Miller Ph.D


Finding resources in your area:

* iRest teaches

* Yoga classes

* Massage and Acupuncture

* Acupuncture

Trauma resources:

* National Center for PTSD

* David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages

* Sidran Institute

* Jim Hopper, Ph.D.

* Dart Foundation, PTSD Information

Joe Longo: WWII Cameraman Who Left A Legacy

Joe Longo, WWII (and beyond) Cameraman 1924-2008

Interest and support for the retreat is high,  as evidenced by the organizations on the sidebar who have generously agreed to spread the word. The care giving team is growing –bodywork specialists have agreed to give massages and acupuncture appointments gratis to our participants, and organizations are telling their members to consider going.

We’ve also had verbal encouragement from a number of individuals working in public affairs with both the National Guard and the Air Force. We were discussing how it takes a certain kind of person to volunteer to go into a war, conflict or disaster with only a camera in both hands. In the blog, US Combat Cameramen:  “A friend of mine summed it up this way. His name is Joe Longo and he was a WWII combat cameraman.  He said “the brave ones were shooting bullets, the crazy ones were shooting film.”  Unfortunately Joe passed away a few years ago but he would have been a great advocate for this program.”  (Joe Longo was the founder of the International Combat Cameramen’s Association) 

The current generation of journalists who go to wars, conflicts and disasters, follow a long line of others who have come before them. Thanks to them, we have a deeper understanding of the world, one that comes at the expense of men and women who go over to catch a glimpse of an often terrifying and heartbreaking events, and share their insight. By reading what they have to share, we are transformed.

To read more about the role of combat cameramen from 1939-1945, please see this site: US Combat Cameramen.

Update 2013:  The photo above was posted in 2011, or Mr. Joe Longo (which appeared on, which is no longer working. To find out more about the late Mr. Longo, please read this obituary from the NR Today newspaper. Also, read a passage from this book, “Armed With Cameras.”

Welcome Friends: August is not so far away

John Davis, Jason Mace, David Kelso and Tim Hetherington

Idil Ibrahim, the love of Tim’s life, told me over breakfast: “Tim thought that strangers were friends yet to be met.”  And it’s true. Described as “The Prince” amongst NY journalists, Tim was one of the easiest persons to talk to. Or as a soldier wrote to me: “I used to try to talk to him every chance I had in the Korengal. We’d sit outside at night, and I’d listen to all of his stories.”

Tim and Idil with Sgt. Aron Hijar, Sgt. Misha Pemble Belkin, Daniela and Sebastian Junger at the Oscars.

In other words, people didn’t remain strangers for very long. The image  in the header for this blog is Tim with Sgt Marc Solowski, Sgt Tad Donoho in the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, 2008. It was taken by Sgt. Santana Rueda.  They embraced him as a brother, and he hugged right back. The military support community embraced Tim as a son as well. (If you want to know, Solowski is getting ready to go back to college, Donoho and Rueda are still in the U.S. Army).

On this blog you’ll find information about the upcoming War Photographers’ Retreat. Click through the menu items at the top.  We also have a swell Facebook page, we’ll be updating daily. If you’re with the media and want to contact us, please go to the top and click “Contact.” Thanks for stopping by. We’ve only just begun.