Yoga Retreat

Spring 2024

Date - Saturday, March 23

Time - 9:00am - 3:30pm

Fee - $70


Non-MSU employees register - Hatha Yoga Retreat

Employees, who want to use their non-credit fee waiver, can register through My Learning Connection:

  • Please register using My Learning Connection:

    • Login at My Missouri State.
    • Go to the “Learning and Development” card.
    • Choose “My Learning Connection”.
    • Once there, type Nutrition Talks - Virtual into the search box at the upper right of the screen.
    • Follow the prompts to checkout and complete payment process

Schedule - TBD

8:30 - 9:00am: Check-in (in front of Ballroom - PSU 3rd floor)

9-10am: Welcome & Teacher Intros and Morning Hatha Yoga Stretch and Breathwork with Angie Snyder (Ballroom)

10-11am: Break Out Session I (choose one) 

  • Mindfulness Meditation with Rhonda Lesley (317)
  • Hatha Flow with Courtney Pinkham (Ballroom)

11-11:45am: Break Out Session II (choose one)

  • Yin Yoga with Rhonda Lesley (317)
  • Yoga for Core Strength with Loa Freeman (Ballroom)                   

11:45am-12:15pm: Break and participants grab lunch in Union or Dining Center and bring lunches to PSU 315

12:15-1:45pm: Lunch and Conversation with Judith Hanson Lasater

1:45-2:00pm: Break

2:00-3:00pm: Break Out Session III (choose one)

  • Yoga for Healing with Aracelli Kenyon (Ballroom)
  • Architectural Structure and Geometric Design of the Body in the Pose with Loa Freeman (317)

3:00-3:30pm: Closing with meditative/restorative yoga practice with Rhonda Lesley (Ballroom)

Meet the Instructors and Learn about thier Classes

Rhonda Lesley

Rhonda Lesley has enjoyed teaching Yoga and Mindfulness for more than 20 years and has been student of Yoga and Mindfulness for over 35 years.  Additionally, Rhonda has served as the MSU Counseling Center Director and has over 30 years of practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Missouri, focusing her career primarily in higher education mental health and private practice.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the National Yoga Alliance, a Certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Teacher, and she provides yoga and mindfulness classes to the MSU campus, as well as to employees at a local corporation.  Rhonda credits yoga teachers Judith Hanson Lasater, Max Strom, Esther Ekhart, Christy Burnette and Emily Darling as inspirations for her own practice and teaching style, with the foundation being Iyengar Yoga.  She is passionate about sharing Yoga’s many benefits, as she encourages students to honor the uniqueness they bring to their own yoga practice. In her spare time, Rhonda can be found training her horses, hiking with her beloved canines, cooking a plant-based meal, playing the piano, or enjoying a campfire with family and friends.


  • Yin Yoga (Deep Stretch): “Let go” is the theme in this slower paced, deep stretch class.  Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body and helps regulate the flow of energy. Yin postures increase mobility in the body—especially the hips and joints, inviting greater flexibility in the muscles and connective tissues.  The experience brings a calming balance to mind and body.  Yin Yoga is practiced mainly on the floor and is a more passive process.  Students are asked to relax, breathe deeply and soften the muscles in the poses. Holding poses for up to three to five minutes, this experience provides a more meditative quality to yoga practice than traditional Hatha or Flow classes.
  • Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation has been shown to enhance the overall wellbeing of those who practice it on a routine basis.  Additional benefits include improved focused attention and a sense of inner calmness.  Learn the foundations and practice mindfulness meditation in this calming and centering class.

Angie Snyder

Angie Snyder began her yoga journey in 2002, by attending a very gentle community class held in an elementary school library. From that moment on, she was hooked. She began teaching in 2005 and is RYT-200 certified. She appreciates all styles of yoga and recognizes that not every style is for every body. While she loves a good vinyasa class, or a nice stretchy relaxing class, she also loves Iyengar style with a focus on proper alignment. And she's a big fan of props! Props make our bodies happy, so be prepared to play with them when you come to her class at Wellness Collective!


  • Morning Hatha Yoga Stretch and Breath Work: Start the morning off right with some gentle stretching and breath work to wake up the body and warm up for the day. This session will have us ready to enjoy everything the day has to offer!

Aracelli Kenyon

Aracelli Kenyon is a mom of 3 dogs and 6 chickens. If she could open up her home to all animals, mammals, and reptiles, she would!  She is a business owner of Diverge Wellness: helping clients release overworking muscles and activate underworking muscles to find pain relief and gain functional mobility.  Aracelli is one of the teachers leading yoga classes downtown at Wellness Collective for the MSU Employee Wellness Program. 


  • Yoga for Healing: A deep dive into stillness to quiet the mind, observing your deepest self, and allowing your breath and energy to heal and strengthen your inner beauty. 

Courtney Pinkham-Martin

Courtney Pinkham-Martin is an RYT500 certified instructor through Yoga Alliance. She started practicing yoga in 2013, prior to the start of the Covid pandemic she had her own studio, Mayura Studio that she ran as a not-for-profit offering "pay what you can" classes. In Courtney's classes, she focuses on breath work as a way to help quiet the brain and let the mind heal. Outside of practicing yoga, she works for a not-for-profit housed by MSU, and she also helps her husband with their family business, Gilardi's Ristorante. You can find Courtney's classes on the Wellness Collective schedule.


  • Hatha Flow, Flow or Vinyasa, Yoga: Uses the synchronization of breath and movement. This class offers an opportunity to focus on the natural pace of the breath within the sequences and helps bring awareness to the power of moving within the rhythmic cycles.

Judith Hanson Lasater

Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., Physical Therapist, has taught yoga since 1971 on six continents and in most states of the USA. She is one of the founders of Yoga Journal magazine, and is the author of 11 books on yoga, her latest being Teaching Yoga with Intention: The Essential Guide to Skillful Hands-on Assists and Verbal Communication (Shambhala, 2021).

 Loa Freeman

Loa Freeman is the Founder and President of Success Naturally Inc. She has 48 years of practice, leading and teaching in the field of mind/body connection throughout the United States (Alaska, Hawaii, and New York), as well as internationally.  She is recognized nationally as a leading yoga practitioner and teacher, traveling to India to immerse herself in the practice of therapeutic yoga, and holds an international certification in Relax and Renew Therapist from Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD in East/West Psychology.  Loa has been recognized by her community and state for playing a major role in the “ahead of the pack” wellness community that exists in Springfield and southern Missouri.  In addition, she presents programs to corporate America concerning non-verbal and non-violent communication, wellness management, and executive development.  These programs were part of the educational program for the Justice Department of Missouri, (Office of State Court Administrators and the Court Clerk College of Missouri.)  She has been named one of the “Most Influential Women” in 2001 by the Springfield Business Journal and was given the distinction of “Woman of the Year” in 2002 by Today’s Woman Magazine. She and her company, Success Naturally Inc. were recognized and awarded the “Ethics in the Marketplace” by the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Missouri in 2013.  She is a C-IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists); (RYT) Registered Yoga Therapist 200, 300, 500 (Pre/Post Natal Cert.); (RYS) Registered Yoga School 200, 300, Pre/Postnatal and is a trained/certified DONA (Doula).


  • Yoga for Core Strength: Lengthen the psoas to strengthen the abs (abdominal muscles).  Drop the crunches and the sit ups. The psoas and the abdominals should have equal tone, flexibility and strength. If they are imbalanced that spells pain and misery for the back.  Core strength from the yogic path of balance and non-violence.
  • Architectural Structure and Geometric Design of the Body in the Pose: The practice of Hatha Yoga is not about flexibility, but it is a by-product of the Practice.  Hatha Yoga is the architectural design and functional structure of the body.  Within the geometric design of the poses, space is created in all aspects of the human form.