yoga teacher training costa rica

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/

Student Spotlight : Sarah Albert

Passion Yogis - Where are they now- (4).jpg

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Sarah: March 2016

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

Sarah: Since graduating from Passion Yoga School, I have been living my yoga practice on and off the mat, in the kitchen, at new studios, through different employment opportunities, and as fiercely as possible!  I still chant the mantras we learned and have continued to read our texts and notes to stay connected to the jungle goddess you groomed me into.  From making malas, to fermenting foods, I strive to stay present, without attachment.  My understanding of yoga is that as soon as I feel I've mastered something, I become a novice all over again.  It's rocky and awesome.

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

Sarah: Perhaps the largest shift I have witnessed since returning home is my blind faith in following my heart.  I quit my salary job, changed my diet, and have noticed my social groups changing immensely.  I've taught over 115 hours these past  7 months, and last week alone I reached over 70 students. I immerse myself in the conscious community, volunteer for retreats, and participate in more spaces.  Since leading a ceremony for the full moon in Costa Rica to pray for clean water, I've conducted two hour gatherings for the summer solstice and fall equinox.    I'm working with the energy body and trying to keep myself accountable to be a student of the world.  Kundalini has called my name, and I've been meditating to the Japji for the past 47 days, with a commitment to add another 20 minute global sadhana to my daily practice to praise universal oneness.  Whenever I slip up and notice the negative chatter coming back to gossip or self-harm, I reach for the skills on my yogi tool-(festival, sparkle, feathered)-belt.

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

Sarah: I don't have a website just for teaching yet, but I do have some links to other endeavors:


http://www.newrealityproject.com/#about-1
https://www.instagram.com/improbablereality/

Student Spotlight : Sarah Hardy

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Sarah: August 2016

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

Sarah: Wow, everything in my life has changed so much. Not just my yoga practice as in asana but my spirituality. Passion yoga has helped take me to the next level.
Other than the obvious teaching Monday nights to a group of incredible beginner women and men who I get to help shape into rad yogis and share some teachings and practices of YOGA... every day i do my best to choose LOVE over fear and hate. Love above all else. I recognize patterns in myself that without Passion Yoga school i would have never been able to realize and move past. I have a daily asana practice and i do my best (although there is room for improvement) to nourish my body and mind with healthy choices.... but honestly sometimes you just need to watch reality TV and sometimes you need ice cream for supper. Everything in moderation. ;) <3

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

Sarah: My confidence. I am not afraid anymore to ask questions, I am not afraid to put myself out there to the world.
Before Passion Yoga School I compared myself to EVERYONE every pretty girl i saw on instagram or google, and i judged (myself the hardest) and now i have learned that i don't need to do that, i can love myself AND everyone else <3

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

instagram is richsoulyoga_ (my website for my retreats isn't live yet when it will be i will let you know, its www.richsoulyoga.com) for now my insta is perfect
insta @theprairieyogi Facebook @theprairieyogi

 

Student Spotlight : Beth Ryan

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Beth: summer 2016

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

Beth: I take class every chance I get and teach 5 classes a week, but I'm mostly living my yoga practice in my relationships-- with other people and with myself.  I'm working on being more compassionate and more calm, I find myself doing pranayama breathing several times a day if I feel overwhelmed or if I just need a moment to myself!

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

Beth: My perspective and my emotional maturity has changed.  After Costa Rica, I feel like I've been born again and I'm seeing things more clearly.  It's only the beginning and I'm excited for my future.

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

Facebook.com/BethRyan, www.BethRyan.tv.

Beth: I'm currently running an interview series on my Facebook page called "Purpose" talking to women in Omaha about issues that are important to women.  Meeting the extraordinary women in Costa Rica helped inspire me to keep my word, finish this project, and get it out into the world.  There is much work for us women to do in the world, no more time for holding back.

Student Spotlight : Lesley Sawyer

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Lesley: March 2016

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

Lesley: I incorporate yoga into every aspect of my life now. Whether it be cooking, teaching, laughing, breathing, everything is yoga. I travel and teach workshops at various festivals and am doing community donation based classes in my hometown. I'm seeking to open my own studio in the near future.

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

Lesley: I am more aware of myself and my surroundings and how I react to situations. I have more control of my heart and mind and it is more difficult to shake my peace.

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

Facebook.com/sunshinemermaidkat

 

Student Spotlight : Shelby Burnsed

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Shelby: March 2016

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

Shelby: Through intentional living, I am able to live yoga on and off the mat. I get to share my heart by teaching weekly, donation based classes in my community and creating space for education, inspiration, and connection with God.

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

Shelby: The awareness of my purpose in the world was brought to life after Passion Yoga School. I discovered true self-love and the importance of self-care. The best and biggest change I've noticed is my ability to recognize God in myself and every person I meet.

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

FB: Health Works
IG: @shelbeachyogi
Website: http://shelbyburnsed.wixsite.com/healthworks

Student Spotlight : Danielle Walter Nolan

PYS: When did you complete the program?

Danielle: July 2016

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

Danielle: I immediately followed my yoga teacher training with a thai massage course taught by Julie Hickey. I actually just had an interview today and will soon be teaching yoga at a local studio and Thai Massage at the same place. Before I came to this teacher training I had already begun implementing more yoga into my daily routine, which definitely lead me to the Passion Yoga School. Now that I've taken the training I am continuing to implement ALL forms of yoga into my life, not just asana, but pranayama, chanting, reading sacred texts, etc. And some days it may just be breathing deeply when writing emails but I feel SO much better and more mindful about my life, journey, and work. I am also excited to be continuing my yogic path with more training in the future!

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

Danielle: The biggest change I see in myself – what a loaded question! Before I came to Costa Rica I thought I had already gone through hell, not that we went through hell, but it was an emotional hell, emotional love, and everything in between! LOL, and well, I guess for me, I had to step back and look at myself head on, square in the eyes, to begin my transformation, and I had not done that before. It was always other people looking at me with questions, answers, reason’s why, etc. This program taught me to do my own dirty work, and without judgment. It's a continual process but I am forever grateful for the journey we all took together. I'm seeing now with BOTH eyes open, I've learned there's a much larger world out there that I’m ready to fully dive into. The vision that I see for me now is much different, but it's actually much better that I had ever imagined.

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

DNK Presents:
https://www.facebook.com/dnkpresents/
https://twitter.com/DNKPresents
https://www.instagram.com/dnkpresents/
http://dnkpresents.com/

Live Adventurously Film:
https://www.facebook.com/liveadventurouslyfilm/?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/LivAdventFilm
Website (coming soon): liveadventurouslyfilm.com

Adi Shakti's story of the heartbreak of humanitarian service

...the following is an excerpt from Resilience Through Yoga and Meditation, a book Adi co-authored with Denita Austin and other global yoga leaders. It is available at Amazon here. 

I am a blessed soul.  I have been given opportunities, hand over fist, to expand my consciousness, connect with my sisters all over the globe, and to actively pursue stillness in the nosiest of places.  I am a yoga student and teacher, committing my life to expanding my capacity for bliss, to healing the traumas of this life and others, and to supporting others in that same journey.  


In a few short years, I have traveled back and forth from India, Thailand, Cambodia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the US, and more.  I have led groups of inspired philanthropists and yoga practitioners into corners of the globe that needed love, presence, and financial support.  I watched my efforts positively impact others, a dream, at 24, for a young professional in the nonprofit field.  I felt that my spiritual practice was growing, and that my capacity for responsibility, work, and service was infinitely expanding.  But then, there was a shift.  I would like to share my story, to illustrate how I arrived where I am, in my process of awakening.

Costa Rica 2011

The sun slowly begins to rise and the howler monkey calls shatter the stillness of dawn.  The loud morning ritual, accompanied by a steamy early morning tropical downpour, is my jungle alarm clock.  I am in Puerto Viejo, Talamanca, Costa Rica, an Afro Caribbean beach town that has recently become a magnet for backpackers, hippies, healers, and peace seekers from every corner of the Earth.  Italians, Argentines, Chinese, Canadians, Israelis, Frenchmen, Americans, and more, mostly speaking English or Spanish as the language of commerce.  The beaches are gorgeous, the jungle is full of wildlife, and the Rasta surfer men attract women from all over the globe to engage in wild partying nights of who knows what.


Upon leaving the coast and heading inland, the “real” Costa Rica is found.  Banana and pineapple plantations, large families living in small houses, children in tattered hand-me-down clothes, and farm workers earning 2$ an hour for their hard labor while enduring the many dangers of commercial agriculture.  I was contracted by a nonprofit to start an English and Enrichment program for this community.  At 22, I entered the community with an S on my chest with high hopes of saving the world.  Starting work at the local elementary school, I was frustrated and confused that the Director of the school was not receptive to my save-the-world attitude (Gasp!).  About a month or two into the project, once I spoke Spanish and was able to understand the children, I found myself having second thoughts about the meaning of what I was doing.  Who am I to assume that English is an intrinsic good?  Was my time and energy just an imperialistic effort to convert the native people into ‘better’, ‘easier to deal with’ workers for the people who are already oppressing them? This hit me hard.  Really hard.

Let me be clear, Costa Rica has identified learning English as a value.  Tourism is one of the top sources of income for the country, and an English speaking Costa Rican will most likely make more money in their life than one who only speaks Spanish. The public school system requires that the high school students pass a very challenging English competency exam to gain their diploma.  The majority of the elementary schools have English teachers, but the Limon province has typically been left behind by the Costa Rican government (a topic worth researching for an interested party).  They lack the funds to offer preparatory English classes for the elementary  school children.  

Many of my children share rooms and beds with their siblings.  Many of their parents can’t afford the $300 to buy the necessities to send them to school.  None of the parents can afford cars, few can afford bicycles for their children.  Many of their parents are illiterate.  My kids were so happy all the same. 

It was a constant battle for me to consciously check my intentions as to why I was teaching them my language.  Are my intentions to help my children live happier, more fulfilling lives?  Or are they to help my children understand that it is important to always want more, strive for more, have more, be more?  To be happier and more fulfilled, is a common human goal.  To be constantly hungry for more, is the projection of my American made, tortured brain’s struggle with inadequacy.  I did not want to push this onto my children.  Imposing the ‘grass is greener’ complex in no way helps me fulfill my goal of making them happier and more at peace human beings.

Due to my inner struggle, and outer conflict with the director at the school, I moved the program to a private center in the same community.  It is a completely voluntary program for the children.  I was there with them after school, every day.  Those who wanted to learn English and engage in the other activities I offer (yoga, art, etc) were welcome to come and play.  This allowed me to create the program more in line with my ideals, without the hoop jumping of the Costa Rican school bureaucracy. 


This experience was a struggle in keeping a constant check on my intentions.  I developed this program to fulfill a need for the community, but I must fulfill their need, not my idea of their need.  My advice for grassroots soldiers?  Empower the community leaders to be the initiators of the shift.  To be of any good to any community, you must come in wide open and ready to listen.  From that place, you can use your knowledge and experience to create a model that will work for them and with them.  


After the program was established, I moved back to my hometown, Indianapolis, Indiana to work for a company specializing in conscious international travel and global service. 

India 2013


India.  Sweet mother India.  I was heading back for my third time this year, though that was never my intention, and there are few things I crave more than the vibrant colors, foreign smiles, and polite namastes.  I journeyed with a group of 20 practitioners, who were able to meet their goal, into the red light districts of Kolkata. Collectively, the initiative raised over one million dollars to support the work of various organizations working to protect young women in Kolkata from the brutal sex trafficking industry. 


The vivid memory of the Bow bazar drop-in center will haunt me for as long as I live. Bow bazar is one of the many red-light districts sprinkled across Kolkata.  We journeyed from our air conditioned tour bus into the depths of the district, walking past brothel after brothel, seeing the vacant faces of the young women I had only dared to read about.  Their bright lips and skeptical eyes scream panic and indifference in the way that extreme contrast weaves its way throughout all of India.  I felt as though I was on a movie set, and I have never felt so removed from my own experience.


From the men smoking their cigarettes, glaring at me in a way that made me want to jump out of my skin, to the emaciated dogs hungrily grazing the piles and piles of filth lining the streets – I was removed. Then, we approached the center.


Typically, children stay in the room with their mothers while they are forced to commit unspeakable actions.  I have read that it is the equivalent of $1 for sex with a condom, and $2 for sex without.  The youngest of the girls would have been locked up in the brothels we passed, raped nearly 30 times a day by the same men that will go home to their powerless wives.  These drop in centers have a noble purpose, to give the children of the women a relatively safe place to go while their mothers are working.


As we approached the center, we went through an alley and were escorted into the room by what appeared to be a security guard.  We then entered a 15X15 room packed full of young children on the floor with their school work.  We sat and listened as the children went around the room introducing themselves to us in English, and I looked to my right to see one of our passengers allowing the tears to fall down her face.  They offered us a Bollywood dance, putting the entirety of their tiny hearts into expressing themselves through the music, and I remember the faces of pride as we offered them applause as they finished.


Of the thirty children in the room, I recall only three of them being girls.  Looking around, I couldn’t help but wonder in terror.  Where are all the little girls?


This was just one of the many afternoons I spent in Kolkata.  Most of the time, I was dancing, laughing, and learning with young girls who have recently been rescued from the industry.  There are several facilities that house and protect the girls, so that their pimps are not able to steal them back into the underworld.  The majority of the funds raised supported these centers, basically orphanages, for the vulnerable girls. 


Playing with the girls, I would be in a moment of joy, connecting with their beautiful innocence in a pure and loving way.  Suddenly, my mind would be interrupted by the thoughts of what has happened to this child and the pain and loneliness they must feel. There are no words.
In Yoga, we are taught that we are one.  Sitting in the comfort of my living room, I was able to make these girls separate, those girls, in that far off country, with those strange and foreign circumstances.  There is something that washes over you as you hold THAT girl to your chest.  You are ignited, furious, peaceful, wounded, and healed.  I am still working on processing this experience.  There are so many complexities in this line of work.  I want to connect, to heal, to understand, and to love women from all across the world.  At the same time, I want to connect, to heal, to understand and to love myself.  Svadyaya, or self-inquiry, is a continued practice for me in my work abroad.  I must work from a divine place in my heart and resist the ego-driven attachment to outcomes that haunts my dreams.  I am still learning, and every day I am thankful to those wise and beautiful women I encounter out in the world who laugh at me lovingly, as a I stumble through their culture and do my best to learn, love, and heal.

Diversity


I believe in living on purpose.  I have had the privilege and joy of teaching, living, traveling and serving in many corners of our majestic planet.  This is what empowered me.  I wanted the rich variety of culture, art, food, nature, mountains, beaches, architecture, and more. Variety and diversity inspired me.  I felt that I was learning, expanding, growing.  Every new step on fresh soil was a symbol of my freedom. Every time the plane hit the ground in a new country, I was filled with excitement, gratitude, and awe.  Yes, I have been granted this gift in seeing the world and expanding my awareness, but it comes with its share of trauma, loss, and burden.
I cried alone in my hotel room after playing with young girls recently rescued from prostitution rings in India.  I was physically sick after spending a day in the torture camps and counting skulls in Cambodia.  I was tearful as I sat before a little girl in Guatemala and told her that she was beautiful, smart, special, and powerful.  I wondered if that was the best thing to do as her parents were unable to put her into school or meet the hygiene requirements of the local programs.  Was I providing false hope?  In Ecuador, I watched in horror as we scooped oil from the surface of the Earth with our hands.  I felt sick and powerless knowing that I would inevitably head back to the United States to fill up my car and continue to exploit the Earth.  In Costa Rica, I traveled deep into the village of Dururpe, where I met with community leaders to discuss what they needed to support the health and culture of the BriBri tribe.

Absence of Home


One of my first deeply rooted spiritual conflicts was in the disappearance of ‘home’.  After living in Latin America for several years of my life, traveling to India a handful of times, leading groups of Westerners into horrifically heart wrenching zones of human rights violations and more, I can’t walk into my Grandpa’s kitchen in Clermont, Indiana as the same charming Indiana girl.  Things have shifted.  I am not the same in my head or heart, and my family, friends, and even husband can’t begin to grasp the extent of the pain I have witnessed or fully understand my world view.  I come home and I sit with my friends and family, listening to them talk of politics, movies, sports, music, T.V. shows and I feel drowned in indifference.  It’s hard.  Very hard.


I’m not home out in the world, either.  In Costa Rica, I am a Gringa.  In India, I am a spiritual tourist.  In New York, I am there for a weekend long conference.  It is difficult to feel fully seen.  Sometimes I wish I could go back.  I wish that I didn’t see the Amazon forest floor poisoned by petroleum mining from the gas and other products that I mindlessly enjoy.  I wish I didn’t hold that little 8 year old girl to my heart, knowing that she had just recently been rescued from an environment where she had been raped 20 plus times a day for pennies on the dollar.  I wish I hadn’t spent so much time living in the jungle, where I see what intentional conscious living could look like and the work that is involved in truly unleashing my potential for greatness. 
I was working so very hard.  My life was a continuous stream of airports, hotels, buses,  computer screens, and conferences.  It wasn’t possible for me to separate the suffering of those we met from my own suffering, and I was incurring more and more trauma as I moved throughout the world.  I heard myself selling my work and using it as a tool to build my ego.  I became ashamed.  Abroad, I was a foreigner.  At home, there was no way for me to meaningfully express the experiences that I was having abroad. Those that I grew up with and that loved me seemed so far away.  Travel does that.


I was in an identity crisis.  I was watching all of my greatest dreams manifest before me, much earlier than I had expected.  I was trusted with large sums of money to make a big difference.  I was traveling to exotic locations and serving as a leader for other women.  I was becoming the world changer that I had dreamed of being since I was a little girl.  But there was an emptiness.  Still.


In an effort to re-assert my freedom and commitment to the path, I moved back to Costa Rica. Our little jungle town is full of exotic wildlife, incredible beaches, and warm soothing Caribbean waters.  We have a wellness community here unlike anything I have ever experienced in the world.  Every moment is an invitation for awareness.  We keep each other accountable in how we spend our time, the economies that we participate in, how we make our money, and how we treat our bodies.  It is incredible, heaven.  But I was still feeling lost.


I had set my life up in a way that my external surroundings matched exactly what I wanted.  I live in paradise.  I make my money as a full time yoga teacher and conscious entrepreneur.  I travel here and there as I please.  I don’t have an alarm clock.  I live in a place of extreme beauty and have incredible friends that support me.  I have an incredibly supportive and loving husband who cares for me deeply.  I had the courage to follow my heart and create the life of my dreams.  And still empty. 

The Spiritual Path


I believe that there is a state of expansion and working towards the light where you become consumed by the dark.  Your shadow surfaces, and as you shine more light into your soul, you have no choice but to love yourself in your shame.  It is not easy work.  I am in the process of confronting my own shadow, of finding my own unshakable home and connection to God within myself, and this is where I am in my teachings to my students.  I can only offer what I have experienced myself, and I offer my programs as an opportunity to begin these deeper inquiries into the source of our suffering.


In 2015, it became clear to me that my work was to dive directly into my own healing, rather than unsuccessfully working to heal myself through changing others. I know that international service will always be a part of my work, but it needs to manifest from a place of wholeness within my own heart. Reaching outward to fill an inner gap is not the path, and my career shifted. I began a Yoga Teacher Training and Self Empowerment Course here in Costa Rica that allows me to support other women in working towards wholeness. We work together as a community to heal our own hearts, so that we can become clearer about our own life’s work. This clarity brings a significant transition in our lifestyle, and after we fumble through this transition - we are in an empowered state of living. We can offer to the world from a place of divine inspiration, rather than a confused muddled attempt to heal ourselves through unconscious service to others. 


With deep spiritual inquiry, we begin to understand the potential of our own vital life force energy.  Are we using this energy to promote our deepest purpose?  Are we fulfilling our duties in this life to the best of our ability. We begin take responsibility for our internal condition.  Beginning to ask ourselves these questions can lead to a bit of a spiritual crisis, and only those willing to evaluate their life’s journey in a profound way should begin this work.
We do deep work here.  During teacher training, many students connect at a soul level with their teachers, fellow students, and with themselves.  There is a shift that happens when people come together with a goal like spiritual transformation, and it can be difficult to integrate into your previously normal life once you return home.  It is difficult to share the experience that you had with the people you love, and this could create a challenge for you to work through. 
People often ask me if yoga is in conflict with their religion.  I think that yoga can fit harmoniously within any faith, with one catch.  If you believe that your dance with God is the only path to peace, you will be forced to surrender this, as you walk down the path of Yoga.  If you are prepared to welcome everything into your heart as a reflection of the divine, then this could be a path for you.  The most important thing that you learn as you evolve along your spiritual journey is that we are all one.  We live in an existence where we are all a manifestation of the same divinity, and it is only our human confusion and illusion of separateness that breeds pain, isolation, and suffering. 


As you turn towards the light, you will begin to integrate spiritual truths.  You will inherently be challenged by this truth, and it can be a challenge to integrate new levels of awareness into your previous way of being.  This is why it is so very important to have a Sangha, or spiritual community, and a teacher that can guide and support you as you face roadblocks.  You are not alone, and you may be doing the best thing that you will ever do for yourself.  Just be aware.  Once you turn towards the light, there is no going back!

Practice and Resilience


The more that I travel, the more that everything looks the same.  I see God consistently behind it all.  The deeper that I dive into my spiritual practice, the more that I see the common denominator in all places.  Physical beauty, cultural beauty, you name it.  It is all of the same essence.  The work is inward.  I needed to create my dream life to recognize this, yet again.  I’m certain that there is nothing else that I could possibly ask for in this material world.  God has supported me fully in providing all of my needs so that I can focus on the spiritual realm.  What a gift. 


So I sit.  I pray.  I meditate.  I try to shed the layers of my personality that separate me from others.  I practice.  I teach.  The joy washes over me, and then it leaves.  It comes again, and then I am left hungry, angry, isolated, frustrated.  And then, the light comes back.  It is my work to build this light within my own soul.  To dwell in a state of knowing, abundance, and bliss.  Adjusting the physical world is not enough.  


It is said that as women we are the crystals of the planet. We absorb all of the negativity, the pain, the isolation of the injustices. It is then our work to filter that energy through our own energetic system to restore harmony in our own lives and around the world. A daily spiritual practice is our commitment to consistent renewal. We take what we absorb throughout our lives and commit to moving it through us. We must commit to taking our external lessons as tools for inner personal transformation. The work is internal. The change is internal. The freedom is internal. 

Bliss is an inside job. 

Behind The Asana: Episode 27 - Taking A Spiritual Name

When you take a spiritual name, you are undergoing a rebirth and committing yourself to your sacred path. Spiritual names are traditionally given as part of a ceremony, where your teacher gives you the name that will connect you to this sacred way of life. I was gifted my name, Adi Shakti, by my teacher Yogrishi Vishvketu, and it is something that I carry through life as I pursue my passion and my purpose. 

Going deeper into what it means to take a spiritual name and what my name in particular means, this video explores the meaning of my name and why people take new names on their spiritual journey. Please like, share this video. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or send me an email at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 26 - Three Primary Learning Styles

As a student, you might have an idea of what your learning style might be. The three primary styles most commonly found are auditory, visual and kinesthetic, and most people favour one of these. When taking classes, it’s good to seek out a teacher who uses your primary style in their teaching, so that your experience is one that is enjoyable and engaging. As a teacher, it is important to utilize all of these styles so that your students, regardless of how they learn, can engage in your class.

In this video, I go through the different ways that the three primary learning styles might appear in a class and some ways to engage them. Please like, comment, share this video! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out by email at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 25 - Three Types Of Adjustments

In the Passion Yoga School teacher trainings, we talk about the three different types of physical adjustments in a yoga practice - to correct, to deepen into a posture and energetically enhance a posture. By using these adjustments, teachers can help students in class to remain safe in poses, to engage in their practice and to make small changes, guiding students to deepen their awareness in the class.

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

Behind The Asana: Episode 24 - Chandra Bedhana

Last week, I talked about surya bedhana, which is the way in which we use pranayama to balance the solar energy in our body. This week, we are focusing on how to bring balance back to our bodies with chandra bedhana. Chandra bedhana is the lunar, or feminine, energy in our life, and in this video, I explore how we can bring more of it into our lives through our pranayama practice.

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

Goddess Rising: Loren Lotus

Every week, we get to feature an incredible woman from around the world who is part of the health, wellness or personal development community. This is our opportunity to reach out and connect with some of the amazing women who are out there doing great things. This week, we got Loren Lotus to answer our questions.

Loren Lotus is an international, Los Angeles based, passionate Yoga instructor inspired by the spiritual traditions and Yogic teachings of India. She received her certification deep in the Caribbean jungle of Costa Rica where she studied under a teacher of Akandha affiliate and was provided with a well-rounded and holistic approach to traditional Hatha Yoga.

Her teachings incorporate the spiritual traditions of India and biomechanical alignment of Kinesiology to create styles suitable for every yoga practitioner. Loren began her own Yoga practice in college where she studied Kinesiology and her fascination of the human body first stemmed. Throughout her journey of self-study and self-realization she’s found her true passion through the teachings of Yoga and creating a space of healing and compassion for the mind, body and spirit of others. She believes Yoga is a practice not only on the mat, but also off the mat, in the kitchen, in our relationships and in everyday life. As a yoga teacher and student of life, Loren strives to share her teachings and awareness of Yoga by guiding and supporting her students through their own personal practice.

Loren currently teaches private, group and special event classes in Los Angeles, California. She travels frequently for teaching opportunities around the world and hopes to expand her practice and teaching worldwide.

Website | Facebook | Instagram

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

Loren: My work is a spiritual tool because it's also a part of the bigger practice of life!

Whether you're practicing Yoga, practicing the piano, or practicing other job-related functions, all of these items take dedicated time and expenditure of energy that require your attention. I use my work as a spiritual tool because I believe it's truly what I'm supposed to be doing here on earth, in this life, for this temporary amount of time. Just as you practice while you're taking a Yoga class, I've begun to find a practice each time I teach. Teaching and facilitating a class alone takes plenty of practice, piecing together poses, music, intentions, etc. and with each class I create, it's a representation of my being. With that, the most important part of this line of work is trusting.

Trusting that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Trusting that I'm capable of creating and manifesting whatever it is that I want and truly need to in order to be successful. And of course, defining "successful" to myself and not others. My idea of success may vary from someone else's in Los Angeles, but it terms of happiness, gratitude, and growth, I feel like the work I do is a huge contributing factor to my spiritual growth. 

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

Loren: Everyone has their cracks, weaknesses and wounds. It's getting through those times of challenge that create a more matured mind and soul. Whether I was a child living with my parents, in college living in a sorority, or in my 20's living on my own in a big city, each aspect of my life has come with it's own cup of tea. Most of my friends and family will probably laugh and agree that I've been (still may be) difficult, stubborn, selfish or hard to get along with at times. I realize it now looking back on some experiences and believe a lot of my past attitudes and behaviors were caused by a lack of self-awareness or respect for myself. They say how you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself so coming to terms with self-love, respect, awareness of myself and loved ones around me has truly expanded the purpose in the work I do now. 

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

Loren: My honest and absolute worst habit is spreading myself thin and not honoring my boundaries. Our world and culture has so much to offer that it's hard for the mind not to wander in all places wanting this and wanting that. I often find myself thinking "what if" or "what about that." Of course, this is a blessing and a curse because having this mentality has kept me driven and on the go in various aspects of my life. But to really hammer down on improving myself to be consistent and committed, I try to tune in to what my higher consciousness really needs.

It's tempting to say "Yes!" to every opportunity that arrises (and don't get me wrong, you absolutely should say Yes!) but there comes a time when you need to honor the energy and health of your body to find stillness and simplicity in your life. I really aim to be consistent by creating a schedule, sticking to it and trusting that where I am, right here, right now, is exactly where I am supposed to be. 

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

Loren: "Be your authentic self" because that's who you were meant to be in this lifetime. If you try to reach your potential by following in other people's footsteps, you'll certainly learn a lot from them along the way as they are resources, but the most crucial learning is what you learn from yourself. And when you learn new things, share that with others around you so they too can use you as a resource and learn things on their own! All we're really doing here is moving puzzle pieces around to find out our true purposes and maximize that potential in doing so. Also, wake up with the sun ;)

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Loren: Currently, my spiritual practice varies from day to day. While I do prefer routine, I've found that just went I start to build a routine, something will change and I need to reset my schedule all over again. I aim to commit my spiritual practice to sadhana first thing in the morning. Before I even walk into the kitchen for tea or breakfast, I roll out of bed and onto my mat on the floor. The first 15-45 minutes of my day consist of meditation, asana, pranayama and setting a conscious intention for the day. From there I'm off to teach at various studios, each studio offering a different class experience and varying encounters with people. Depending on how many classes I'm teaching that day, I've began to consider teaching as part of my spiritual practice as well. It's an opportune time for me to look inside of myself and share that with my students. Aside from my own personal asana practice on the mat, I try to remain tuned in throughout my entire day. Whether I'm eating vegetarian meals, humming mantras in Los Angeles traffic or going on a quiet hike by myself...again, I trust, what I'm doing is all apart of a higher practice. 

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

Loren: I certainly have released several secrets through my practice in order to live fully in my truth. I love the concept of Satya, truthfulness, in not only your words but your actions and thoughts. Through this, I've found the most important part of being truthful to be with myself. I've fought through my fair share of jealously, betrayal, hatred and anger in an attempt to release negative past experiences and make room for new positive ones. I've let go of childhood traumas, past relationships and hardships, and taken on a more understanding, truthful, and grateful attitude. 

PYS: Who inspires you?

Loren: I'm inspired by so many people! I feel like each person I meet along their path has something incredible to share with me and I hope to give that back to them as well. I've surprisingly found a wonderful community of Yogis via Instagram with whom I've connected with. Kelly Pender, from Colorado is also a Yoga teacher, workshop facilitator, and lover of life upon her path!

Namaste <3

Behind The Asana: Episode 23 - Surya Bedhana

Surya Bedhana is the pranayama practice used to cultivate and balance our solar energy. As humans, we are made up of solar and lunar energy that ebbs and flows as we go through life. When it gets out of balance and we have too much lunar energy, we can use pranayama to reorient ourselves and bring that solar energy back into balance within our bodies. 

Please like, share or comment, let me know what you think! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Yoga in Action: BriBri Giveback Project

Passion Yoga School, in collaboration with The Village Experience and the BarnRaisers of Indiana, have been working on a Maternity Health Care Center, Pre-School and BriBri Cultural Education Center in the indigenous territories near where we hold our Yoga Teacher Trainings. The Center will offer services for 85 children - including educational activities, regular nutritious meals, and opportunities to learn about their native culture. 

The center was requested by the BriBri elders, and there is no 'mission' with our work there. Our intention is to uplift the BriBri in cultural preservation and basic health and education rights. 

We cut the ribbon in March 2016, and you can see the video here:

 

 

Behind The Asana: Episode 22 - Seva

Understanding yoga as “union” calls us to serve others, in selfless service - seva. When we begin to use our energy efficiently, we can begin to give back to others. On a small scale, seva can be done just in our daily lives - serving our friends, family, community selflessly - but it can also be done on a larger scale. Within the yoga community, it has been amazing to see how the social activism, but it is also important to remain conscious, and serve the community and projects through grassroots movements, so that we can avoid ahimsa.

Please like, share or comment and let me know what you think! If you have any questions, please email me at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 21 - Japa Mala Meditation

Similar to rosaries in Judeo-Christian traditions, japa malas act as a tool in meditation to maintain focus as well as having a tactile movement as you go through your mindful practice. I used a japa mala when I first began my meditation practice, and it is a great tool to use for mantra. 

In this video, I explain the japa mala and how to use them in meditation. Please like, share, comment and let me know what you think! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 20 - Sthira & Sukha

Sthira is structure - keeping alignment as you move through the asanas and keeping a routine in your daily activities. Sukha is softness, and it can be found in releasing tension in your poses or allowing for fun and freedom in your daily life. Sthira and sukha allow us to maintain balance in our lives, the structure and softness, that keep us growing, learning and enjoying our lives and our practices.

Please like, share or comment, let me know what you think! If you have any questions, email me at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 19 - Planes of Movement

In the physical practice of yoga, we move our body along three physical planes. In this video, I review the coronal plane, the sagittal plane and the transverse plane. By keeping them in mind throughout your practice, you are able to focus and understand the alignment as you move through twists, folds, backbends, and side bending. It will support you in doing the postures correctly and safely.


Please like, comment, share! If you have any questions, please email me at adishaktirising@gmail.com.

Behind The Asana: Episode 18 - The Anatomical Process Of Breathing

In yoga, we spend so much time focusing on our breath. This week, I go over the anatomical process of breathing. In this video, I explain what exactly happens to our body when we breathe deeply in our practice and the benefits of conscious breathing.  

Please like, share, or comment to let me know what you think! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at adishaktirising@gmail.com.