Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
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Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

connection

Margaret Burns Vap Margaret Burns Vap yoga instructor. entrepreneur. latte-lovin' montana cowgirl.

Margaret Burns Vap is a yoga teacher and entrepreneur in Bozeman, Montana. She's a former city-girl fashionista transformed by yoga and motherhood into an outdoorsy Montana cowgirl who still loves a latte. [www.cowgirlyoga.com]

Connection is the craving behind all human existence. In the words of T.S. Eliot, “Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing.” We’re healthy when we connect with others in meaningful ways and when we connect with animals, nature, and what’s going on inside ourselves.

As a yoga teacher and entrepreneur, I’ve witnessed the awakening of connection in myself and in many others. People wonder why yoga feels so good. There are many reasons, but consider that the word yoga means union.

Despite the Internet, Facebook, and Twitter, we live in a disconnected culture. In an ironic twist, technology has caused us to become disconnected from ourselves in ways that threaten our humanity. Whether we realize it or not, we crave connection on a more simple, primal level. This means enriching our lives by spending time with other people, spending time outdoors, and reveling in the basic processes of moving and breathing – as we do in a yoga practice.

The evolution of my yoga practice and teaching has led me to this one word: connection. And my thoughts about this are still evolving. After more than ten years of doing my own yoga practice and teaching hundreds of others, I’ve had many warm, fuzzy moments that have sometimes been hard to define. Yoga is so appealing because it is cumulative and because there are connections forged through yoga. Every time I’m on my mat I connect to something inside myself. Every time I teach or touch someone, we connect. It all adds up.

About five years ago, my family and I moved from a big city to Montana and I started a yoga retreat business founded on connecting yoga to the benefits of being outdoors in one of the most wildly beautiful places I’d ever seen. Bringing together yoga and the outdoors has created connection on a much deeper level for me. It’s evolved into my life’s work to share that with others.

I see disconnection as the biggest life challenge we face in our culture at this time. Whenever we get on a path of disconnection and continue down it, we move away from an understanding of what we need to create meaningful connection in our lives, and we lose things: perspective, physical and emotional health, relationships, and our potential for happiness.

Reconnecting requires effort and energy. For me, reconnection comes from yoga, horses, and being outdoors. Without those connections, I feel like my soul is starving.

– Margaret Burns Vap

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