Vancouver Yoga Conference Materials

Below are the resources I prepared for my sessions/intensives at the 2014 Toronto Yoga Conference. Enjoy!

PDFs of Handouts/Slide Shows:

The Science of Meditation Lecture:

SciofMedToronto2014COLORSLIDES (best format for viewing on a screen/device)

SciofMedToronto2014SLIDESHANDOUT   (slides in printable, 6-slides-per-page format)


Guided Meditations/Practice MP3s/Written Exercises:

Breath Focus MP3 (instructions for practice followed by 3 5-min intervals marked by meditation bowl ringing, for up to 15-min practice)

Listening to Your Body MP3 (5-min meditation/reflection)

Befriending Your Body Body Scan & Gratitude Practice MP3 (20-min meditation/reflection)

Self Compassion Letter Writing Exercise (word doc)

Values Affirmation Writing Exercise (word doc)

Yoga for Chronic Back Pain Relief handout: 2012HandoutMcGonigalYogaforBackPain


Links to Relevant Readings/Organizations/Resources:

The Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (includes many videos of compassion-related talks, research papers, and other resources)

Global Learning Partners — one of my favorite web resources for information on transformational teaching (see downloadable resources, which includes podcasts). I also highly recommend the books on teaching by the site’s main author, Dr. Jane Vella.

Teaching Mindfulness — a book designed to support the how of teaching mindfulness. I use this as a recommended reading, along with Dr. Vella’s work, in our compassion meditation teacher training at Stanford. (includes many readings on self-determination theory, although it’s a maze to sort through)

The Yoga Service Council (our third annual conference will be held at the Omega Institute in New York, May 2014)

The Compassionate Mind Foundation (includes scales/surveys for practice and research, published studies, training manuals, and more) (the website of self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff, which includes a page with links to all published research on self-compassion)

The Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic (includes research papers on mindfulness, along with resources for providers and patients)

The International Association of Yoga Therapists


“Boost Your Willpower: 28 Days to Create the Change You Want” A Free 4-Week Online Program through

Through this exclusive Yoga Journal program, created by Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal, you will learn to identify what you really want and gain the tools and skills needed to reach those goals. You can do this program anytime, at your own pace. Includes 4 videos of asana practice (1 restorative, 1 gentle, and 2 active, all-levels flow) and 4 guided meditations.

If you are interested in extended guided meditations (mindfulness, self-compassion, etc.) as well as the science of self-compassion, meditation, and behavior change, I recommend my 6-session audio course with Sounds True, The Neuroscience of Change: A Compassion-Based Program for Personal Transformation.

I also taught a 6-session live video course through Sounds True called Choose to Change, and you can now access the on-demand version of all class materials (videos, 6 guided meditation MP3s, and self-reflection/”homework” exercises) through Sounds True. Healthcare/psychology professionals can receive 6 hrs of continuing education for taking this course online.

The Willpower Instinct (Avery 2012) describes the science of self-control and how it can be applied to you own goals and challenges. It is based on my Stanford University course “The Science of Willpower.”

If you are interested in sample yoga sequences and scripts for meditation/breathing exercises appropriate for beginners, people dealing with physical pain or health challenges, or those interested in cultivating mindfulness and self-compassion through yoga practice, I recommend my book Yoga for Pain Relief (New Harbinger 2009).



Leave a Comment

  1. Hi Kelly – I loved your talk at the Toronto Yoga Conference! Even more then that, I love the resources you provided us. Your meditations are clear, simple and the shorter lengths (as little as 5 minutes) are wonderful for days where I don’t think I have the time. Who doesn’t have 5 min? lol! I found your own research and the research you talked about very interesting. At times I didn’t follow a few of the graphs but I understood your explanations very clearly. Thank you again.

    I wanted to ask if the link for the on-demand access of your course “Choose to Change” could be fixed? When I click on it it doesn’t open anything. Are the 6 meditations you speak of in your “The Neuroscience of Change” audio course in addition to the ones you’ve provided to us? I would love to have my own copies of your quick meditations for my phone or ipad….instead of having to keep clicking on this link…do you have the files to download or just the link? I don’t mind paying I just don’t see how I can do that.

    Thanks so much for your help! You are an inspiration to me. You seem multi-talented and are a very poised, clear and confident speaker with a light-heartedness that I really enjoyed. Best of luck to you in life!


    • Hi Karen,
      I’ll fix the link, but try:
      They are all different meditations; the ones I have on the site are ones I recorded at home. The two Sounds True products (audio series and the class) all have different meditations.

      You should be able to download the files on the page bu right clicking (on a PC) or control-clicking (on a MAC) and saving link as. That will let you download the MP3s!


  2. Hi Kelly,

    What a pleasure it was to be a part of your sessions at the Toronto Yoga Conference. I attended your back to back Heart Opening Yoga Practice and The Science of Meditation. You are one tapped in woman my friend! Thank you for your generosity and sharing your information with us!

    Are you sharing your Heart Opening Sequence with us? I did share with you, that was one of the most amazing yoga classes I had ever experienced. You are very intuitive and have an organic way of getting to the heart of each asana…I aspire to lead my yoga classes with the same flair. Thank you for modeling that for me. If you are sharing it, where might I find it?

    I look forward to perusing the rest of your offerings on this page.

    God Bless you Kelly as you continue your amazing journey.

    Respectfully, Teri Gyemi

    • Hi Teri,
      I do not have any written notes for that practice, which drew from my usual approach to blending various practices. However, the yoga journal series I mentioned, with a link on this conference resources page, contains 4 videos with some similar practices, including the mudras.

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