How Yoga Can Improve Metabolism And Your Overall Health

AN ARTICLE FROM FREELANCE CONTRIBUTOR SALLY KEYS

Photo by Gleren Meneghin

A growing number of people all over the planet are discovering the benefits of yoga for their physical and mental health. According to the UN, two billion people around the world practice yoga “because it works.” In the U.S., it is estimated that there are more than 36 million individuals who practice yoga on a regular basis which resulted in the tremendous growth of the yoga industry in recent years. Most people prefer to do yoga than any other form of exercise as it can improve flexibility, strength, and can lower stress levels. But more than being able to perform impressive yoga poses, practicing yoga can also improve keep you at a healthy weight and even strengthen your body’s immunity to fight disease. Here are all the ways yoga can improve your overall health.

 

It improves your metabolism

There’s a reason why people flock to yoga or silent retreats as doing yoga for several days in a tranquil setting can have multiple benefits for one’s health. One way that yoga can benefit your well-being is that it can improve metabolism to help you maintain weight within a healthy range. Though some may argue that doing cardiovascular exercises is the only way to burn fat, doing yoga poses can actually help to improve digestion, boost metabolism, and create lean muscle. Certain yoga poses that focus on the core, such as planks, can help the digestive organs function better. Meanwhile, yoga poses target different muscle groups to create strong and lean muscles. The more muscles you build, the more calories your body can burn, and this eventually results in a leaner and more toned physique.

 

It can boost immunity

Yoga is one of the most natural and effective immunity boosters that you can adopt. Because it fights stress, yoga can help to lower your risk of certain diseases. Stress is one of the common causes of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and fertility problems. As you go meditate and go into different yoga poses, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed as the tension melts away. With continued practice, your stress hormones are lowered, which allows your organs to function better and keep you free from disease.

 

It can lessen pain

Instead of reaching for a pain reliever, try doing yoga regularly as a way to manage pain. The relaxation and breathing techniques that you use in yoga can lessen severe headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, and pain from arthritis.

Aim to practice yoga on a regular basis to keep your body healthy. Doing yoga will not only benefit your health, but it can lead to a more fulfilling and happier life in the long run.

Behind The Asana: Episode 42 - Feminine Radiance (The Orgasm - Part 4)

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Erin unearths the most potent and most highly controversial orgasm.

Behind The Asana: Episode 41 - Feminine Radiance (The Orgasm - Part 3)

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Erin dives into the depth of emotion held within the cervical orgasm.

Behind The Asana: Episode 40 - Feminine Radiance (The Orgasm - Part 2)

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Erin uncovers the bliss held within the second type of feminine orgasm, the sacred spot orgasm.

How to Reawaken Your Spirit and Connect with Nature

An article from freelance contributor Sally Keys

Photo by William Farlow

The Unique Benefits of Teaching Outdoor Yoga

If you are all packed for your journey into the heart of the enlightening Teacher Training Program at Passion School Yoga, then you probably already know of the powerful transformative effects of yoga. This practice is currently in use to battle PTSD, anxiety, depression and many more conditions, but ultimately, yoga is ideal for everyone. As a deeply spiritual practice that enables us to achieve desired equilibrium, it can help us feel stronger, happier, and and more peaceful yet energetic at once. When you return home from your course, you may wonder what the ideal setting is to teach the skills you have learned. If possible, take it to the Great Outdoors, to reap the unique benefits Mother Nature has to offer.

 

Why Outdoor Yoga?

While honing your skills in the midst of breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes in Costa Rica or India, chances are, you felt more focused and balanced than ever. In part, this is because nature works in similar lines as yoga does, instilling a sense of mindfulness from the moment you step into the lush wilderness. Nature lowers levels of (stress hormone), as does yoga, and can also help battle anxiety and depression. Time spent outdoors also lifts the mood and enhances vitality; interestingly, studies have shown that outdoor exercise is generally more satisfying than the indoor variety. If you could choose between practicing yoga in a crowded gym with music blasting from the speakers, or a silent forest graced only with the sound of rustling leaves and birds in the trees, which do you think you would choose?

 

Nature Enhances Spirituality

From before the times of the ancient Aborigines and Native American Indians, humanity has been aware of the important link between nature and the spiritual world. Carl Jung espoused a fascinating theory about the bond between our psyche and Nature, He said that our psyche comprises various levels, including conscious awareness, unconscious awareness, and collective unconscious. The latter is the deepest level of our psyche; it is made up of images, emotions, behaviors and patterns that are common to all humankind. In order to delve into this level, he noted, we need to spend time in verdant areas, for they are the perfect settings in which our inner world can find fulfillment. Within the arms of Mother Nature, we witness perfection and keenly feel our need for greater spirituality.

Yoga in nature has many benefits that have been documented repeatedly in studies; these include the lowering of our blood pressure and heart rate, stress reduction, and cognitive improvements that enable our brain to work more efficiently. Outdoor yoga is equally powerful in its ability to connect us with a a part of ourselves we are often unaware of: our need to enter a more spiritual frame of mind, one that we have in common with every single human being.

Womban Wisdom: Your Menstruation & The Moon - Part 2

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Every human is born with an inherent connection to powerful spiritual forces that speak through the actions, words, and energies of the body. The woman is a portal to the intimate workings of the Universe. The wisdom of the woman is hidden in her ever changing cycles that flow with the luminous light of the Moon. This post is part two of four, and builds on the wisdom share in the first post, which can be found by clicking here in case you missed it.

 

The Ovulatory Phase - Inner Summer

The second phase of the four phases of the menstrual cycle is the ovulatory phase, or ‘inner summer’. Just as the hot sun illuminates the blossoming, fertile flowers in summertime - the heat and fertility of the woman’s body blooms to it’s fullest potential during this phase.  Most women experience this phase for 3 - 4 days. This time represents the most fertile, radiant, and juicy phase of the four phases of the menstrual cycle.

 

Your Hormones & The Ovulatory Phase

Each phase of the menstrual cycle is connected to specific chemical messengers, known as hormones, that influence the process of transformation in the body. The ovulatory phase represents the time when the woman’s body glows with radiant fertility, thanks to the rise and peak of the ‘beauty’ hormone estrogen. The focus of the body during this time is to build and release juicy cervical fluid that helps the sperm to stay alive in the womb long enough to get the chance to meet with the egg for possible conception. Most women will experience a radiant glow during this time as the hormones work to illuminate her skin, eyes, and face. Women even experience a slight change in their scent during this time, as nature works perfectly to attract possible soul connections to the blooming, fertile body of the woman. The cervical mucous of the vagina also shifts slightly to reflect the hormonal changes during this phase, many women may experience a clear, sticky, egg yolk-like texture to their mucous during this time. This is the peak time of fertility in a woman’s cycle, so if you’re having intercourse - it’s a good idea to use protection during this time.

 

Emotional Wisdom & The Ovulatory Phase

This time represents the blooming potential of the luminous fertility inside of the woman. All cells are vibrating with excitement and openness as the woman utilizes her fertile energy to give, receive, and connect with the abundance of love all around her. As the rise of sensual energy flows throughout the woman’s body, her creative energy also reaches it’s peak. This time is highly coveted in the woman’s cycle as she interacts, creates engages in the world in a powerful way. Many women may experience a rise in energy, a feeling of divine sensuality, and a desire to connect with the beauty in the world.

 

Harnessing Your Power in the Follicular Phase

The body and energy of the woman is pulsating with the rhythm of fertility during this time. As women, it’s always been acceptable for us to give more, do more, and pour out more of ourselves into the world as an act of devotion. What if you changed this pattern? What if you used you fertile, sexy, creative energy that’s freely available during this time and bathed in self love? Can you see through the illusions of societies programming and truly ask your body what it needs during this phase (and every phase)? Use the passion of the cycle to express deeper inner love and self acceptance. Through honoring yourself during this time, you awaken the inner Goddess that simmers deep within you, waiting to be birthed into this world.

Behind The Asana: Episode 39 - Feminine Radiance (The Orgasm - Part 1)

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Erin talks about the first and most physical type of female orgasm - the clitoral orgasm.

Womban Wisdom: Your Menstruation & The Moon - Part 1

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The physical body of the woman represents all the power of creation, the force of sacred intuitive energy that connects us to ancestral knowing.

Shakti, the creative and manifesting force in the Universe enlivens the body of the woman, making her the fertile ground for all of creation. The body exists in cycles, growing and transforming with the changes of Mother Earth &  Grandmother Moon.

As women, we receive the powerful deep messages of wisdom through the physical cycle of blood, the menstrual, or Moon Cycle. Just as the Moon pulls on the tides and transforms the Earth’s water, she too guides the body back to balance with her luminous light.

The sacred ritual and ceremony of a lunar calendar has been hidden from many who live in ‘modern’ patriarchal society. For too long, our female cycles and rhythmic way of living have been forced into a linear, 9 - 5 way of thinking.  The moon cycle is a raw, messy, and stunningly potent part of the woman’s experience and connection to her natural creative flow of energy, spiritual guidance, and bodily awareness.

The seasons of the Earth and their deep wisdom are also manifested in the physical form of the woman.

Together, we will journey into the 4 seasons embodied in the feminine cycle. We will learn about the physical anatomy of the hormones, as well as the spiritual and emotional components held within each phase.

Reconnecting with these cycles is an essential part of creating a balanced world. A world where the cycles of both the man, the woman, and all things are honored.

Through honoring the cycles of the woman’s body, we honor the cycles hidden within all things. As women, it is time to reclaim the sacred space of our bodies. It’s our birthright to be madly, deeply, and unapologetically in love with our bodies.

 

The Follicular Phase - Inner Spring

The first phase of the four phases of the menstrual cycle is the Follicular Phase or ‘Inner Spring. This phase highlights the time after the blood and cleansing power of the Menstrual Phase. When the blood stops, the Follicular Phase begins. Many women experience this phase for 6 - 10 days before cycling into the next phase of the cycle. Just as the plants begin to blossom during the fresh energy of spring, the woman’s body begins to bloom in the new energy offered by this phase.
 

Your Hormones & The Follicular Phase

Each phase of the menstrual cycle is connected to specific chemical messengers, known as hormones, that influence the process of transformation in the body. The follicular phase represents the time before the release of the egg and is supported by the rise in the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone during the end of this phase. These hormones help to build the lining of the endometrium, which helps to build the cervical mucus to support the sperm in swimming up the walls to meet the egg. In other words, the last few days of this cycle your body is at one of it’s most fertile times in it’s cycle - so it’s a good idea to use protection and caution if having unprotected sex with a partner.

 

Emotional Wisdom & The Follicular Phase

The emotional wisdom brewing deep inside of the woman mirror the hormonal changes happening at the physical level of the body. Many women experience a ‘freshness’ during this time as ‘Inner Spring’ begins to take place inside of the body. As the energy of the hormones focuses on the building of cervical fluid, the emotions of the body focus on building energetic power and radiant fertility. You may experience heightened states of energy during this time as the body enjoys the new, sparkling energy after the cleanse of the menstrual blood.

 

Harnessing Your Power in the Follicular Phase

Every phase offers a powerful energy that can be harnessed using specific practices to sync with the rhythm of your body. The fresh energy and new ways of thinking that come with the Follicular Phase makes this time a great time in the cycle to take on new projects, form new relationships, and set intentions for the lunar calendar ahead. Another way to connect deeper with the wisdom of this time is to use this fresh energy to nurture yourself. You are not what you do, and your worth does not reside in what you create. This phase of the cycle offers a fresh perspective on life, including a new chance to treat yourself with deeper self love and compassion through all phases of your cycle. Use the heightened energy during this time to practice self care like yin yoga, time in nature, journaling, or spending your time EXACTLY how you want to. When women take the time to heal themselves, the whole world heals with them.

Behind The Asana: Episode 38 - Feminine Radiance (Yoni Steams)

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In this chapter, Erin discusses the sacred power of womb rituals using the ancient healing remedies of yoni steams.

Behind The Asana: Episode 37 - Feminine Radiance (Flower Essences)

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During this chapter, Erin dives deep into the hidden wisdom + potential healing found within the essences of flowers. Erin explains how this radiant medicine can be used for pregnant women and children or those who have high sensitivity to other types of stronger uses of herbs.

Behind The Asana: Episode 36 - Feminine Radiance (Conscious Conception)

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In this video Erin, offers her insight into the importance and magic found within conscious conception and empowered birth.

Behind The Asana: Episode 35 - Feminine Radiance (Part 5 - Turmeric Root)

Turmeric Root

The turmeric root has been used for thousands of years in the Ancient East. It is a big element of Ayurveda lifestyle and diet.

The benefits are multiple and turmeric can be used on many different parts of the body, in many different ways. It does aid the moon cycle a lot in balancing the hormones but also has a direct healing effect on the body. It is great applied topically to heal cuts and wounds. On a hormonal level, it balances estrogen and therefore is great to soothe endometriosis. The curcumin, primary active ingredient of the turmeric, stops the proliferation of the cells, which helps to cause cell death and then soothe and heal. It is also a great anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and helps in the relief of polycystic syndrome. It will also help the liver release excess toxins.

The best way to use turmeric is with a healthy fat. We would recommend coconut oil or avocado to mix with turmeric when used in the preparation of a meal. Also a good tip, black pepper increases turmeric's absorption rate to 154%! To ensure that you prepare your cells and open them to the medicine of turmeric, sprinkle a little bit of black pepper in your meal or turmeric ginger tea. It will increase the efficiency of the benefits!

Bringing this beautiful and powerful knowledge to our world's daily rituals will help us achieve a deeper state of health and vitality!

Please like, comment and share! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at adishaktrirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 34 - Feminine Radiance (Part 4 - Red Clover Blossom)

Red Clover Blossom

This common but wonderful plant has many little known health benefits. It helps regulates and detoxify the body especially during a feminine cycle. It aids to ease the moon cycle at all stages and is very nutritive for the body. It decreases hormonal breakouts and soothes skin and inflammation during the cycle. Due to its high amount of magnesium and calcium, it is incredible used as medicine for cramps and spasms associated with menstruation. The plant builds the body up and lower the fatigue felt because of the blood loss. It is also helpful to lower PMS symptoms.

Very detoxifying, it is good for pre-conception planning. It cleanses the system of all environmental toxins and supports in shedding all the layers we don't need. As it get rids of the toxins, it prepares the uterus to welcome a baby in a new vibrant space, therefore helping in bringing a conscious child into the earth.

The red clover blossom has a good detoxifying effect on the kidneys and liver as well. It is also a great anti-cancer and tumor treatment. The studies showed great results in efficiency for the treatment of breast cancer and other female cancer. 

This very nutritive herb is great combined with nettle and raspberry leaves. Use 6 to 15 grams in one pint of water.

Please like, comment and share! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at adishaktrirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 33 - Feminine Radiance (Part 3 - Raspberry Leaf)

Raspberry Leaf

As you know from the name, the fruit of that plant is pretty common. Little known fact is that the leaf is the best medicinal part of the plant. Consuming the leaves in an infusion aids in all phases of a woman's moon cycle. It acts to ease uterine cramps and relaxes the uterus to get it into an ease. The raspberry leaves are recommended for women with excessive menstrual bleeding or painful cramps. It will calm the uterus and reduce the flow of blood.

The leaves are also amazing during the pregnancy for women who are experiencing cramping. It will help a healthy formation of the fetus and stop bleeding gums. It can also be used to calm contractions during labor and reduce the flow of diarrhea before the menstruation or during the pregnancy. Women have been using this plant for centuries to help bring healthy precious children into the world.

The raspberry leaf is a nutritive herb that has to be used on the course of 3 months or more to be effective. It is great combined with nettle to provide essential vitamins and minerals. It will help bring back the ease into the body, which is our birth right.

Please like, comment and share! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at adishaktrirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 32 - Feminine Radiance (Part 2 - Nettle)

Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

The nettle, or stinging nettle, is one of the most nourishing herb you can find. It has so many benefits on the  body, taking care of every system. The nettle nourishes the stomach, the lungs, and is also beneficial for your adrenal health. It does help the endocrine system and refills your body in iron, potassium and calcium. Plus, the production of white cells is increased, relieves menstrual cramps and helps women's general moon cycle. 

On a spiritual level, the energy of the nettle is like the one of a loving older sister. It takes care of you. The plant will help you build disease fighting agents and cleanse your body. It also has an impact on the sex hormone and the stress hormone. These two hormones have a very delicate and intricate relationship. With this plant, we can nourish these hormones and get balance back into the body. In this world, we are constantly facing stress for many different reasons and it keeps us out of our natural hormonal state, which would be rest, digest and reproduce. 

Using nettle infusions for 3 months is recommended for a cleanse or to balance your hormones back into natural state. 6 to 15 grams in a pint of water, 3 times / day. 

Enjoy!

Please like, comment and share! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at adishaktrirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 31 - Feminine Radiance (Part 1)

Damiana (Turnera Diffusa)

Damiana is a plant native from Mexico that grows into a beautiful fragrant flower that you can crush in your hands.

Used as a medicine, it is known to bring deeper awareness to cells and sensations. It is used also to stimulate digestion and eliminate the toxins from the digestive system.

On a spiritual level, it enhances creativity and eases sadness through the heart chakra. Used in a group of friends, it encourages the flow of truth through the body and helps communication.

2 ounces infused in a pint of water is good on a daily basis. Keep a pot on it as you won't want to lose the delicious volatile oils. Smell, enjoy the scent and drink a cup! Then slowly get back into that natural feminine state of ease that is our natural right.

Please like, comment and share! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at adishaktrirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 30 - Feminine Radiance (Intro)

Welcome to this six part series about Feminine Radiance!

We will focus on the secrets of Mother Earth and plant medicine in the next few episodes. We will learn how to reach and support this state of Feminine Radiance that comes from hormonal balance. The hormones are chemical messengers throughout the body. To reach that beautifully balanced fertility, we need to reconnect with that inner wisdom that flows freely through a perfectly balanced body. To get there, we'll give you some tips on how to use the  wonderful elements nature is providing us with!

Please like, comment and share! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at adishaktrirising@gmail.com.

Goddess Rising: Sierra Frost

Every week, we are unconditionally grateful to share this space here on the Passion Yoga School blog with the phenomenal ladies of the health, wellness and personal development community. This is our opportunity to connect and collaborate with these incredible movers and shakers, as they do amazing things, follow their passions, and make the world a better place. This week, Sierra Frost took the time to share her journey with us!

 

Sierra Frost is a graduate of the Healing Arts Institute in Fort Collins, CO and Passion Yoga School in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. She serves clients wanting to reconnect with their bodies and free their minds, to move onto more joyous, active lifestyles after trauma. Sierra uses a combination of modalities of yoga, massage therapy, mental health awareness, mindfulness, and neurolinguistic programming in her work. With previous experience in the field of education, she maintains an informative style of communication and enjoys clients of all ages. Sierra especially lights up when she teaches through speaking events and workshops. When Sierra is not teaching or giving bodywork, you can find her writing poetry, running marathons, volunteering, and traveling the world.

Facebook | Website

 

Passion Yoga School: How do you use your work as a spiritual tool?

Sierra: I believe we all have a spiritual compass. Sometimes we call this our core values, our religion, God, the universe, divinity, faith, and on and on. I believe by facilitating space for people to become aware of personal behavior patterns, we also uncover our own spirituality. When we become clear on what that is for each of us, we are able to design a lifestyle that supports our spirituality and connects us to humanity by way of knowing we ALL experience this deep essence as a compass. We can then honor our own actions, as well as the actions of others, knowing we are all doing our best with the resources we have. I practice every modality that I facilitate in my personal life. I believe to teach effectively, we need to be experiencing what we ask of our students. I know my work is a spiritual tool because I have faced my own struggles using the same practices and continue to go deeper each day. I will only ask of others what I am willing to do and be myself.

PYS: The cracks are how the light gets in. Tell us how your core wounds have inspired your work.

Sierra: I grew up being sexually abused and was put in the position of learning how to care for myself almost immediately. I experienced how our interactions with other humans can affect our lives and understanding of the world as a young child, which translated to learning what kind of world I wanted to live in and how I could use my interactions to create that world with other people. I learned to practice radical empathy through vulnerability, curiosity, and forgiveness of my family members, and ultimately myself. Upon adulthood I wanted to understand how I became a statistical anomaly in a clearer way. This motivated me to immerse myself in tangible self care skills, human development, brain science, physiology, anatomy, and philosophy of yoga. I wanted to know how stress travels through our mental, emotional, energetic, and physical bodies. I wanted to understand how divinity showed up in my personal life. I wanted to believe that I was not alone. I wanted to find the path that pushed beyond trauma, beyond what I was told, even beyond social normalcies of happiness, and into bliss. I know now this is possible. The reason behind anything I do in life is rooted in my belief that humans deserve to feel safe and have tools to create joy in this life.

PYS: What is your worst habit and what are you doing to improve it?

Sierra: My worst habit is piling on tons of commitments until I have no time or balance in my life. Sometimes it is related to attaching my worth to my accomplishments instead of knowing that I am valuable simply by being still and breathing. I have a system I created for myself to have one task per day for each facet of life. I have specific boundaries for how much time per day or week I am spending on a topic or task. This creates a space that I can address my needs in all areas, then triggers me to check in with myself and see if I am called to do more or to stop and have space. I ask people I know to hold me accountable for rest, art, and dancing because those activities rejuvenate me.

PYS: What advice would you offer to other goddesses working to actualize their potential?

Sierra: The advice I would give to other goddesses would be that no other outcome is possible besides success. When you run into an obstacle, ask everyone you know about it, research it, and use these connections and resources to move through it. We have service all around us, if we are willing to be vulnerable to say we need help, accept nobody does this life alone, and receive what is offered. The world needs your authentic passion and purpose; anything less serves no one. Be huge!!

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Sierra: Each evening I make sure to check my schedule for which tasks I have the next day. I plan into my schedule a grounding space where I do yoga practice, affirmations, connect to spirit through music, breath, and gratitude (mindful minutes). I revisit my spiritual plan every 3 months to rotate tools, affirmations, and mindful minutes to what serves me best according to my target goals for that season, knowing these goals are guided by my personal spiritual practice.

PYS: What secrets (past or present) have kept you from living in your truth?

Sierra: We often hide our shame and shadows from others, when these experiences are very often the fuel that manifests our destiny. Have you hidden from anything within you that has held you back in actualizing full self love?

I hid my experience of being abused for almost 20 years. It was only when I became so physically ill that I did not want to live anymore that I felt forced to share my true story with the world. I felt shame that I was not worthy of safety or love and that I needed to maintain indifference in my emotions so that I could save the world. I believed the only path to being loved was to hide what I saw as flaws. When I sense shame now, I immediately tell someone so that nothing remains secret. This is a difficult practice sometimes and I believe it grounds me to my spirituality and lifestyle.

PYS: Who inspires you? Who should we interview next?

Sierra: The people who inspire my work include Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Louise Hay, Bessel Van Der Kolk, Jim Henry, Thomas Meyers, and the eyes of children and puppies. You should just post a lot of photos of the eyes of children and puppies looking into the reader believing that they are limitless to be anything they choose.

Student Spotlight : Margherita Feldman

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Margherita: July 2015

PYS: Tell us about how you're now living your yoga practice.

Margherita: I live my yoga practice by constantly striving to be the best version of myself. I strive to help others reach their own self-realization of greatness and wholeness.  I am always looking to expand and grow toward love and light. I share my passion for personal development with my students, friends, and family.

PYS: What was the biggest change you saw in your being after the experience?

Margherita: I feel like I have an elevated and expanded consciousness and awareness with myself and others. I am seeking growth in all areas of my life. I used to let myself feel small and feel defeated by situations that would arise. Since attending PYS, I feel more aware of myself, and I know the tools I can use to conquer any  challenges.

PYS: Please share with us your social media links and / or promotional material that we can share with the post.

http://www.facebook.com/yogamargherita
instagram: @yoga_margherita
web: http://www.margheritayoga.com/