I began studying yoga in 1989 after the birth of my daughter Brittany. A neighbor asked if I would like to take a yoga class at our local Parks and Rec. Center and it sounded like fun. I took a basic Hatha yoga class from a woman riddled with Arthritis but refused to let it over come her body. It started a whole new shift in my life.
In 1990, shortly after my practice grew, I went to Yogaville where I met my Guru, Shri Gurudev, Sri Swami Satchidananda. He became my guru and gave me shaktipot, my primordial divine feminine life force energy. He told me my name meant ‘warrior woman’ and that I possessed great strength. He said “Think of my teachings and try to apply them in your life. I am always with you. It is the teachings that are the teacher. The rest is up to you. True peace is possible for every one of us.” I honor that place in him of love, light, peace, joy and pain. His spirit is forever in my heart.
After moving in 1993 I had to relocate my practice and found Health Advantage Yoga in Herndon, Virginia where I began classes with Betsy Downing and Kevin Perry. I began studying Iyanger Yoga and then decided that I wanted to teach so I took my first Teacher Training with Bob Glickstein in Columbia, Maryland.
After getting certified in 1996 I began teaching at Health Advantage Yoga Center in Herndon, Virginia. I studied with John Friend for many years and received Teacher Training in the Anusura Style of Yoga. I am still currently teaching at Health Advantage Yoga.
During my teaching career at HAYC I have studied with numerous well known yoga teachers who have all been a gift to me in shaping my path to what I feel is a safe and gentle yet progressively active yoga practice. I recently received my Teachers Training Certificate from her on March of 2010 in Singapore. I am also working on my practicum at Duke University for my TTC in Teaching Yoga To Seniors.
In the Fall of 2011 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for a second time. It has been a journey full of compassion and exploration. Luckily I had been introduced to a wonderful line of pure essential oils called doTERRA. They became instrumental in my recovery from double radicle mastectomy and the reconstruction surgery. I continue to explore these oils and other holistic styles of healing. I honor my teachings by giving FREE classes each Tuesday and Wednesday in my home. I hope you will join me!
Recently I have noticed a big shift in my yoga practice and have been studying with Sarah Powers in the Yin Style of Yoga. It has been a journey full of compassion and exploration. I begun to study Energy Medicine in the fall of 2011 with Donna Edan and then with my personal instructor Eduardo Bernal What a gift it has been. I also began to study the Feldenkrais Method in 2011 with Chrish Kresge () and the Change Your Age series by Frank Wildman. This style of deep Awareness Through Movement (ATM) has taken me to places in my body that I never knew I had! I will intertwine both of these modalities into my classes.
My dream is to help restore health and well-being to people who neglect to put themselves first. We all think that the more we do the better it is for us, when actually it is in the surrender of the self that our bodies are craving. I played extremely hard as a child and still in my later years. My body has been through extreme injuries which I am paying dearly for in my later years. Broken arms, legs, feet, ACL replacement, lyme disease, breast cancer, blood clots and the dissolution of
All of this trauma brought me to a better place and it is through my yoga practice, the use of essential oils, some great energy work and the grace of God that I am still here to teach. I find it a huge honor to pass these teachings on. My studies for meditation and Buddhism continue to grow as well as my deep anchor in Christianity.
I try to remain humble by helping others and have become involved with an girls school in Liberia, West Africa called Bromley. I have been there three times and I cannot begin to explain how immensely this mission helped me to grow in body, heart and mind. My heart of deep compassion will forever belong to these girls and I hope to go again to teach them more yoga. Ten percent of all my proceeds go to the girls for scholarships or clothing. See more in my website here.
I also have three beautiful and wonderful girls of my own who continue to inspire me and two grand daughters and one amazing grand son who fill my life with wonder and joy for life. I have been truly blessed and I always try to remember the gratitude for all that life has bestowed me, even in the darkest of times!
How you climb up the mountain is just as important as how you get down the mountain. And so it is with life, which for many of us becomes one gigantic test followed by one gigantic lesson. In the end it all comes down to one word.
It is how you accept the winning and the loosing, good luck and bad luck,
the darkness and the light.
I hope you can come and develop your own insight to finding that peace in your own body, heart and mind. May the entire creation be filled with peace, joy and light.
OM Shanthi, Shanthi Shanthi OM
Kelly M. Cleveland