Mary Johnston-Coursey first experienced yoga by jumping into a daily Astanga practice in 1980. She was swept away by the practice, which has been her physical and spiritual foundation ever since. Over the years she has studied in numerous styles and with many amazing yogis, including Donna Farhi, Judith Lasater, Jenny Otto, and Richard Miller. She is deeply grateful to all of her teachers, and is especially honored to be a part of the Sri Vidya lineage of Para Yoga – a lineage that offers a path of continual growth and thriving.
Mary first met her teacher, Rod Stryker, in 2004 and began studying with him in earnest in 2008. Since being initiated into ParaYoga, her meditation practice has been utterly transformed, and her asana practice has gained a whole new meaning. It has been an amazing journey and it has just begun! Mary is level II certified in Para Yoga, as well as being certified in Yoga Therapy through Body Balance Yoga Therapy. She works with students individually as well as in group classes to support their healing and empowerment.
Mary also holds an MFA in dance, and spent over twenty years as a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. Her dancing has deeply informed her yoga: dance for her was a spiritual investigation, an exploration of moving energy, plus it inevitably offered multiple injuries - opportunities to practice healing through yoga. Mary also performs as a singer in two bands and as a storyteller, and has taught movement, music and art to kids. She sees creative impulse, in all its many forms, as the source of our joy, and the path to discovering our authentic self. Yoga is an opportunity to engage the outward self towards an inward focus, to seek and discover the essential seed of our creative impulse from within. She is both delighted and humbled to share this work with her students.
Mary lives in Salt Lake with her wonderful husband Jeff, and two amazing daughters, Kate and Maura.