Restorative Yoga and Gentle Yoga
Why I practice: The reasons I’ve practiced yoga have changed as much in the last 20 years as my body and mindset have. I began practicing in the safety and shelter of my home as a young mother. Yoga was just exercise initially. As I grew, had babies, lost over 100 pounds, yoga became something beautiful and powerful for me. It was the first time in my life that I’d ever felt graceful! Time passes, we gain weight, insight, wisdom and age and it shifted again. Yoga is much deeper for me now. I feel connected to myself, the world and those in it. My compassion and acceptance of myself and others has grown. My intuition guides me in my practice and my teaching, in my life both on and off the mat. Yoga is more than poses. It is breath. It’s is life. It’s is everything.
Why I teach: I teach because I want to make a difference in the lives of others in my community. Yoga and meditation have improved my own life and I want to share that with others. I’m many ways I feel that yoga has saved me. Through the practice of yoga my view of “otherness” has began to dissolve. One of my goals for teaching is to empower others to love and accept themselves exactly the way they are.
Qualifications: 10 years ago I received my first yoga certification through YogaFit. YogaFit is focused on safe, proper alignment, honoring and listening to your body and making the pose work for you and not the other way around. Moving forward with a 200hr course with Yoga Assets was a natural progression for me. I was able to dive deeper into many aspects of yoga, most that have little to do with asana. I have training in Yoga for Athletes as well and helping athletes is one of my passions.
Why I Practice: I found Qigong on my healing journey with a traumatic brain injury the summer of 2019. Little did I know how much I was holding onto that was keeping me stuck in so many ways. I have been able to heal from the brain trauma as well as childhood traumas that I didn’t even realize were holding me back. I am healing in more ways than I ever thought possible. Through Qigong I gain physical strength and endurance as well as calming the mind and creating more ability to focus. My connection to my own spirit and to Source as increased beyond measure. Qigong Exercises and meditations help me to release stuck energy and move negative, turbid energy out of my system so that I can heal and process the many challenges that come at me each day. I am able to live life more freely, fully and connected.
Why I Teach: I love connecting and giving light to others. Through teaching Qigong I get to assist others to connect to the powerful energy all around us and inside of us. Creating a safe space for trapped energy in the body to start to unwind and release is fundamental for healing and growth. I am passionate about facilitating the space and the unwinding with Qigong movements. If I can assist even one person to prevent a dis-ease in the body, mind or spirit through Qigong practice then I am doing what I am meant to do.
Qualifications: I have learned and continue to learn through my own personal experience in healing physically, mentally and spiritually through Qigong. I became certified as a teacher and practitioner through Blue Petal Foundation at the Center for Deep Healing with Ben King in Feb 2022. I continue to take classes with Dr. Jerry Allen Johnson (known as the Qigong Master of the West) and Dr. Chris Holder in California. I am currently on track to receive my License to teach and do clinical work through Dr. David Hone at Elements of Life Institute. I am also in a mentorship program with Dr. David Hone.
Why I practice: I found Tai Chi 10 years ago and discovered a deep sense of joy and peace the first time I took a class. Through the years, my Tai Chi practice has helped me create a mindfulness that has allowed me to fill myself first so that I am better able to help others be filled as well. This has evolved to a full mind and body approach with my 5 Pillars of Health Company. (Nutrition, movement, healthy relationships, quality sleep and stress management.) This practice has been a HUGE reason that the speed of my recovery from a recent traumatic brain injury is well ahead of “normal.” My practice helps me to grow through both the joys and challenges of life as I strive to live well and age gracefully one simple change at a time.
Why I teach: I am passionate about healthy living and empowering others to take control of their health. It is a joy to see those I interact with evolve from limiting stress and anxiety to limitless mental and physical transformational healing. It truly is never too late to make changes that will improve your life as you honor your mind and body during life in general, and as you recover and heal from physical and/or mental trauma as well. Over 500 medical studies have proven Tai Chi to help with both your mental and physical health. It promotes the calming of the mind, builds a sense of community, bolsters self-confidence, soothes symptoms of anxiety and depression, softens emotional frustrations, inspires mindfulness and self-awareness, develops stronger muscles, enhances balance and flexibility, relieves stiffness and tired muscles, eases body aches and pains, contributes to weight loss, encourages other healthy habits, creates new neural pathways, and rejuvenates mental clarity.
Qualifications: I am a certified Tai Chi Instructor and have provided a variety of healthy living seminars and classes in addition to teaching Tai Chi for the past 6 years. I am trained in 8 unique Tai Chi forms and weave Tai Chi into my keynote speaking, and seminars as well as teach Tai Chi classes.
Why I practice: While I first set foot on my mat seeking results in flexibility and balance, I continue to practice because, little did I know, life would continue to present new opportunities and understandings of “flexibility” and toss in more challenges for balance! So my journey of personal development and self-refinement continues. Attending fellow yogis’ classes and maintaining a “beginner’s mind” is essential to keep things flowing, juicy, and oiled! There are myriad pathways in this discipline and so many different ways to express similar principles, and I find that interesting and exciting. The goal? To obtain control over the body, breath, senses, the mind—not necessarily all at once, and is it even possible? As I attempt to figure that out, I stay curious, stay playful, and heed what Thích Nhất Hạnh said: “be beautiful, be yourself.”
Why I teach: I teach because, according to the sage Patanjali, asana, or yoga postures, is only one limb of the eightfold path of yoga. In my first few years of yoga, I did not realize yoga can be, and is, so much more than the poses. I wish to spread awareness of other aspects of this ancient discipline, such as pranayama breathing techniques and tidbits of its ethical and moral code—food for thought. In my classes, yoga is neither a performance art of contortion nor a competition. Instead, it is a way to create harmony and boost mindfulness and grounding while making us feel at home in our skin.
Qualifications: I have a certificate from Yoga Assets, where I completed 200 hours of training. Yoga Assets’ mantra is “teach yoga everywhere,” emphasizing accessibility for everybody and alignment and anatomy. One of my favorite aspects of the training was delving into philosophical texts. Yoga aside, I am naturally inclined toward lifelong learning and imparting knowledge. During my college career at the University of Chicago, I taught health education in Chicago Public Schools. Upon graduating in 2019, I lived in India, where I taught English in an open-air ashram Rabindranath Tagore founded. My experiences in education are a foundation for my pathway as a yoga teacher.
Why I practice: I originally began meditation to help me with sleep. Little did I know, how much it would truly change my life. I had avoided it for years because I thought that I had to stop my thoughts and I knew that my busy mind would never do that. However, that is not the point at all. We just observe without judgement and what is there to be there. It was quite uncomfortable at first, but little by little, I started to come home to myself. I realized that everything that I needed was already within myself. I no longer needed to turn outward. I could be more mindful in my everyday life and start to really listen to what my body had to say. It transformed the entire way that I look at life.
Why I teach: It is so wonderful to get to share with others something that is so meaningful to me. I have learned so many things through my own lived experience and through others on their journey as well. I have unique gifts and insights about how to be more mindful and to live with more intention. I want to help guide others to turn inward and listen to their own inner wisdom and not what everyone else is saying. To find what really works best for them. I also want to be able to create a truly welcoming community. That inner peace that we all long for resides within us already.
My qualifications: I have been meditating for almost 4 years. I was able to go a bit deeper as a practitioner with a community for about 3 of those. I have attended different mindfulness trainings and have learned from many different teachers and mentors. I am currently enrolled in a focusing course and hope to be fully certified in a few years. If you are interested to learn more about what focusing is, you can click here.