Of all things, it was three broken vertebra that lead me to Yoga. In January of 2007 I broke T7, T8 and T9 in my back while snowboarding. After a very lengthy recovery I was left with a decision as to how I wanted to live my life. Either I let my injury define me and restrict my activities or take an active role in my recovery and get back to living my life.
My recovery was a slow and humbling experience. After my physical therapy I joined a gym and slowly began to regain my strength and stamina, but still had very limited flexibility. I knew the gym offered Yoga classes and had seen people walking into the gym with rolled up mats under their arms. It seemed like a no brainer that it would help me, but I was daunted by visions of what I viewed as “yoga people”
In January of 2008 I nervously stepped into a yoga class for the first time. At that point I could hardly reach past my knees let alone touch the floor. I fully expected to hate the class, but hey at least I could say I tried. I was issued a stinky foam gym mat and quickly scanned the room, taking notice I was the only dude. So there I was in a dimly lit room flailing around and trying to mimic those around me. As out of place as I felt, by the end of class something had clicked, the stretching felt good and so I came back the following week.
My first year of Yoga was the roughest, but in small increments I was getting better. My biggest problem was myself. I approached yoga as I did most sports, no pain no gain. Though eventually I found this new sport of mine was not competitive and I could not force my way through it. I just needed to get out of my own way and practice.
As I began to find my groove and surrendered to the process, I noticed Yoga was carrying over into other aspects of my life. I am now stronger mentally and physically and recognize Yoga not just as rehab but a new way of life.
After 3 years of dedicated practice I decided to take the next step and get my RYT200 at Prana Yoga, so that I could teach others. My goal is to demystify yoga, making it more accessible and sharing its healing power with as many people, from as many different walks of life as possible.
Heather Duke – Wisely
500 hour certification – Shri Kali Ashram
Registered Yoga Teacher – Yoga Alliance
In 2002 I started practicing yoga postures with a video to alleviate muscle stiffness from snowboarding and to balance the unilateral movements of the sport. After months of combining snowboarding and yoga everyday I was amazed at how good I felt physically and mentally. In 2006 I finally gained the courage to go to my first yoga class at Green House Holistic in Brooklyn New York. Over the next couple of years I took a variety of different yoga classes including Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga , Jivamukti Yoga and Restorative Yoga.
Upon graduating from The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in the spring of 2010 I traveled to Goa, India to earn my 500 hour yoga teacher training. In Shri Kali Ashram under the guidance of Acharya Bhagavan Shanmukha Anantha Natha I studied many aspects of yoga. Yogic postures, binds, breathing techniques, meditation, and prayer were practiced everyday. Vedic, Buddhist and Tantric philosophy were discussed in detail and compared to modern psychology. Through practice, reading and conversation I continue to deepen my understanding of yoga.
My teaching philosophy is to share my yoga practice rather than to teach yoga postures. My class encourages balance and equality, never hierarchy. Personal strength and self reliance are gently encouraged. Therefore, most of the postures we teach don’t require props.I believe that each person knows their own body better than anyone else. Every person performs each posture in the most perfect way for their body on any given day.
200 hour certification – SLCC
Registered Yoga Teacher – Yoga Alliance
Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist – Himalayan Institute
I offer yoga as a therapy aid for the physical body as well as the mind. Yoga found its way into my heart in 2008 through the search for pain relief from a shoulder injury. After experiencing not only physical relief, but an even more profound mental development and honest insight into myself, I credit my continuous growth to my practice. I realized I wanted to pay it forward and share the capacities that these practices open us up to by teaching. I am an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, offering consultations and workshops, and integrating Ayurveda into my classes.
I happily found my natural niche in the Para Yoga tradition and will finish the rigorous certification process in this powerful mix of Tantra and Hatha by 2018. I am dedicated to creating harmony within our bodies, mind and spirit in order for us to blossom into our fullest potential. I combine anatomical alignment, controlled dynamic movements, Pranayama and Tantric meditations that make for unique asanas and cultivation of awareness. You can expect a balance of polarities in my classes; softness and strength, humor and contemplation, playfulness and yogic philosophy.
I believe in refuge for the soul, peace for the mind, harmony for the emotions, and vitality for the body. I believe in union, which is what yoga means, and I also believe in the life yoga can help us find. I believe yoga can offer a path to the place within us of constant solace through the ever changing seasons and flavors of life, and through the ever building complexities of experiences and memories.
Whatever you may be looking for from yoga today, I look forward to practicing together and I feel gratitude for the opportunity to assist and guide as you explore what yoga will continue to offer you.
I am a dedicated student of life married to the pursuit of truth, learning, and growth.
My training to become a yoga teacher was focused on providing safe and appropriate sequences for all levels of students and delivering influential classes to benefit the health of the body and mind. I’m passionate about continuing to learn and grow as a yoga teacher and as a yoga student. It fills my heart with gratitude to have the opportunity to teach and share happiness and health with others. My hope is that you step off the mat feeling balanced, nourished, and renewed.
I first explored yoga as a teenager. I didn’t know anyone who did yoga or knew anything about it. I still have the book that introduced me to my practice, Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan. It’s probably 40 years old, dog-eared and obviously read often. At the time, many of my friends thought it was weird. The pictures of yogis’ in strange bandhas and alternate nostril breathing. I didn’t care, I jumped in.
I practiced faithfully for quite some time and then I lost my practice. Not sure why, and I didn’t pick it up again until I attended Yoga Teacher Training at Integrated School of Yoga in 2010. I loved it! So much to learn, such great people. Yoga has changed my life. I find that I handle stress better and I definitely feel stronger. I enjoy teaching and I love meeting new people and helping them get healthier.
In addition to yoga, I am also a certified Yoga therapist. Yoga therapy is a gentle practice that helps people with pain or emotional trauma. A typical class includes a lot of relaxation, stretches, swara yoga (yogic breaths), which leaves the body restored and the feelings and emotions soothed.
Yoga has definitely helped me feel more calm and more focused. I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to learn and grow as a student and teacher of yoga. Namaste’
I have always been into fitness. I love to run, hike, and dance. Gymnastics has been a favorite hobby as well. I started practicing yoga in 2006 with my friends. We would take turns teaching it to each other. I found that I really liked yoga and the effects it was having on me and my friends. It enhanced all the other activities I was doing. I was certainly gaining more flexibility. I also found that I was feeling more calm and an overall sense of wellbeing.
I got busy with work, my three kids, and daily stresses of life, so I stopped doing yoga. I decide to make some positive changes in my life and come back to what I love. I signed up for yoga teacher training at Neighborhood Yoga. I learned in depth about yoga. It really opened my eyes to the practice and made me appreciate it even more. I’m excited for the opportunity to teach yoga and continue my yoga journey. ” Do yoga and enjoy life!” Namaste