- 200 hrs. Certification in Vinyasa (ParaYoga Rod Stryker lineage “Sri” Flow style with Jean Mezzei/Brenna Geehan 500 hrs. ERYT); ERYT Yoga Alliance Registry
- 500 hrs. Certification in Therapeutically Informed Niroga Advance Study;
- 500 hrs. Yoga Alliance Registry
- 800 hrs. IAYT
- Relax & Renew Advance Trainer – certified by Judith H. Lasater, PhD, PT, YT
- Mindfulness Trainer Certification – Mindful Schools, CA
The above is more or less the YOGA BIO – but as far as LIFE bio is concerned specifically in the professional/business world, I did my corporate gig worked my …. off to climb the corporate ladder and when I left it, I walked away from a title of Vice President and a Team Leader/Accounts Manager of a business group. For many reasons, I left it and never felt the need to go back. To me that corporate status, title , power? and the level of toughness that is expected of me is not what I want anymore. Harder, tougher and harsher a fighter I was, I garnered more respect and in many ways, I did not like what it takes. To do what it takes to be successful (sell your soul?) was taking a toll on my health, my family and what’s worst, changing my personality – in other words, it was a sacrifice. I no longer liked myself for what I had become – jumping higher and higher as the bar is set high and raised higher and higher – never enough, always living with high pressure and low grade anxiety – the agitation; Looking back, it was not a healthy way to live one’s life, when your moral compass and personality or character is not in alignment with your life’s work.
Luckily, other parts of my life has evolved to demand my attention. Parts of my life that’s more meaningful and rewarding. Finding my dharma, I like myself so much better today than back then. Maybe to my former associations, I am considered such a waste of my talents or need to come back (way past the flattering love calls) or just turned hippy, BUT I am … happier. I don’t look back but mention that phase only to say that I have made a life-changing positive transformation and Yoga has always served as a catalyst to spur that Transformation. Essentially, Yoga is about Transformation – and that is possible for everyone who feels she/he is not living up to their best version of Self and wants to make a change.
Been doing yoga off and on since Cal Berkeley days – my first official “class” must have been the generic Hatha Yoga class at the YMCA off University Avenue. For the last 15 years, been rather hooked on yoga and have tried all kinds of classes and styles and instructors … to find out more about myself. There are many superb teachers along this path and whenever I teach, all those teachers I had the honor to learn from have influenced and shaped the way I approach this work. In that sense, I count my blessings with how I fell in love with intelligence and the wisdom imparted by Judith Hanson Lasater, teachers’ teachers’ teacher? Quite easily into the third generation as she put it as far as yoga history in America goes. Then there are other key teachers who appear when you are ready all on this journey of “svadhyaya” I embarked. All teachers are gifted and they are each a gift when one is ready to receive their teachings.
While I still engage in Vinyasa flow dance-like style yoga for fitness in the mornings reflective of Vinyasa Krama (“intelligent sequencing” in vinyasa flow)from my initial 200 hrs. Yoga Alliance certification – with Sri (in Sanskrit “Sri has a core meaning of resplendence … or “as a feminine abstract noun, it has received a general meaning of “grace, splendour, beauty; wealth, affluence, prosperity” – wikipedia) ; since then, my practice has shifted and evolved. Love the sweaty fitness aspects (Yang/solar style), the HEAT that upps the happiness quotient releasing endorphin – like all great exercise program, AND the meditative juicy stretchy Hahhhh- pleasure in releasing tension kind of CHILL practice (Yin/lunar style) BOTH. In the seeming dichotomy, there’s that wholeness … oneness when you embrace both and all. Balanced yoga practice brings about alertness…AND You are clear-headed while relaxed. To not be agitated or anxious in any way and feeling the power and confidence within.
Just what you need living the today’s world for then, you enable yourself to live fully a more enriched world of today. Yesterday, it was more about surviving it, dragging through stress paved path of thorns. Taking pride in merely being BUSY or SUCCESSFUL (former “VP” in a corporate life – hah, so what – just an empty title – key word is “former”). With yoga philosophy as a guide, we can find the beautiful path, smelling the roses along the way. That’s the yoga that I live. Today. Success defined in your own terms when you know who you really are and why you are here living this life, leading your dharma. It need not be earth shattering – maybe you are here to love and be loved and make a difference in at least one person’s life – even more would be a frosting on a cake. And that’s … enough.
Just …” working-in”, ever more inward, easing into homeostatic state of being. Finding the child-like … joy …of having no purpose or agenda but living that moment. Blissful.
Summer 2015 at UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Here – sharing a gem found on the internet – more people should see this – I love this footage below of Maty whose intensive week I had the honor of attending. While her other footage of her doing Ashtanga with the boys in the past is awesome, she is one of grace and power even more today – whatever the change over one’s “rented” body over this life’s journey … it’s the blips on our timeline and best not to get too obsessive over what your body can or cannot do. It’s all about gratitude and kindness as we bow in reverence. So humbled.
So this is my motto taught by Maty Ezraty, another revered, legendary teacher seemingly diametrically different from Judith but …shared philosophy and wisdom you feel in their presence. To drive that point – sharing here one of many of her utube footages she freely makes available – so unlike many other well known teachers. She shares freely, never holding back – Such an Intensive hours learning – this footage is not mine but freely shared on the internet I just highlight as it shifted my perspective on this pursuit:
Maty Ezraty on “Advance” or “Sophisticated” student – that I aspire to.
“One who knows what to do to take care of herself”
with Harmony NOT Chaos. One who knows how to use the yoga practice to bring about relaxed state and mind at peace. “Relaxed” not in a Western way of thinking Relaxed = Lazy & Idle … no, no, Relaxed as in “Contentment” or “Sattvic” state living in pure awareness that comes with serenity… peace of mind and CLARITY. It’s not easy – As Gary Kraftsow says in his lecture, “Contentment…” (“SANTOSHA” Niyama #2)”it’s hard work” to master your mind. Overcome your persona shaped by ego(greed), thoughts, mood and … to find the original pure source. It takes practice to gain mastery as with any language or great art or music.
Lotus covering the mud but …no flowers? In time, in time – it’s not the season. Lots of mud; Lots of roots, green lotus – but no flowers? Wrong season – the right season will come. Lotus will blossom again.
Native American beauty at the botanical garden… carved out of wood. So woodsy here in Vancouver. This land is rich with Native American peoples – many tribes represented at First Nations in British Columbia. A reminder of what true beauty means…
Gratitude for the miracles taking place all around us.
Don’t ask me what’s next ? It’s all about what’s now. This very precious moment – Now is the time.