Years ago, I thought that yoga was just a wonderful class that I could attend a couple times per week. I felt better physically, more peaceful and energetic. After a few years of practice, I was in a bad car accident. I tried to return to the class but was unable to participate in the same way as before. My wonderful ashtanga teacher tried to give me modifications but to no avail. I thought my time with Yoga was over.
A year later, after finishing my masters degree in Chinese Medicine in China, I travelled to New Zealand. There I found a week long "Explore Yourself" Yoga retreat. It sounded perfect! After so much studying I desperately needed to get back into my body and thought Id give it a try once again. What I experienced truly changed my life!
There were different classes during the day exploring different branches of Yoga I had never heard of! These included Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Asana, Pranayama, Meditation and Jnana Yoga. Each branch incorporates the benefits of Yoga- Union with body and mind, into chores/work, music to open the heart, self study and of course the traditional practices we in the west think of as "Yoga". Yoga became more than just a than just about the it is now a lifestyle that I take with me daily wherever I go, no matter what I am doing.
I found that though I may not be able to stand on my head due to the neck injury, I can still enjoy the many benefits of Yoga :)
This center was connected to a direct lineage in India. I travelled there the following year and became even more enlightened to the myriad of benefits, depth and profound nature of Yoga. I attended a four month immersion at the Bihar School of Yoga in northern India. There I learned many asana that were strong yet gentle enough that my injured body could practice, pranayama, mudra, bhanda, sanskrit mantras and many other things. With attention I became much stronger and aware of my body's needs and aware of myself and my environment.
India feels like a second home to me and I have been fortunate to return every couple years to deepen my practice and immerse in Ashram life. I am so grateful to be able to carry forward the teachings from their source. I love sharing these practices and spreading the message that Yoga is for EVERYbody! Regardless of body type, age, physical or mental challenges. Join me to experience this beautiful and unique style called Satyananda Yoga.
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