Meditation

The Power of Ritual and Intention

Authored By: 
Tracee Stanley

What are your rituals? How do you consistently invoke a feeling of sacredness and meaning into your life and yoga practice? How can you connect to your intentions and goals in a meaningfuland powerful way?

About the Author: 

Tracee says:
I have been studying Yoga and Tantra since 1995. My introduction to yoga was through the practice of Kundalini Yoga where I was fortunate enough to practice with Yogi Bhajan on several of his visits to Yoga West in Los Angeles. Being in the presence of this great teacher gave me a glimpse into the true power of Yoga. Soon after I was introduced to the practice of Hatha yoga and became passionate about sharing how yoga had changed my life with anyone who would listen. At the time I was a high level executive in the film industry and my practice provided the balance, clarity and perspective that I needed to stay calm in the midst of chaos. After reading a translation of the Yoga Sutra's, I went on a quest for a teacher who could impart the deeper teachings and the promise of Yoga. It was then that I met my teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker and was initiated into the lineage of Sri Vidya.

Since 2001 the focus of my teaching has been empowerment, sankalpa (intention), self-mastery and healing. The teachings are sourced from my many years of practice with Yogarupa, study with Gary Kraftsow and my personal journey and study. As a ParaYoga® Level I Certified Teacher and a Certified Four Desires Trainer I utilize the unique practices of the  ParaYoga® and the Himalayan traditions to guide students towards the door of awakening to their true nature, creating positive momentum and accelerating the trajectory towards fulfilling their destiny for an empowered life that is full of purpose and joy. I enjoy sharing the profound practices of Yoga Nidra, Meditation and Self-Inquiry informed by wisely sequenced asana, mantra and kriya practices to create a fertile environment and safe container for transformation and growth.

It is my greatest honor to be on the faculty of Esalen Institute and to teach at festivals like Wanderlust, Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle and Bali Spirit Festival. I love leading teacher trainings, retreats and holding space for you to remember your radiance and power!

Qi Gong (Chinese Yoga)

Authored By: 
Nena Watkins, LAc

People have many questions about acupuncture. Most people ask how the ancient Chinese figured out where to put the needles. Great Question! It turns out that the oldest tradition is through meditation, known as Qi Gong. These ancient meditation practices were passed down to interested persons, mostly those who study martial arts or the healing arts.  The health benefits of Qi Gong have been long recognized in China.

About the Author: 

A native to Dallas, Nena received her bachelor degree in chemistry from UT Austin. Then she completed her Masters in Acupuncture at Bastyr University. After a full-time practice outside Seattle for several years, Nena is excited to bring the beauty of Chinese medicine to the Dallas community.

You were made for this...

Authored By: 
Mary Bruce

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing.

About the Author: 

Mary Bruce is an internationally beloved yoga teacher and educator who creates sacred space and presence for her students. Mary is a torch bearer. A beacon of light. A rare guide that is breaking the mold of the modern climate of yoga. Her teachings light us up and help us manifest our deepest desires.

Through a deep connection with each of her students, Mary expresses and teaches in a way that has been described as “pouring the goddess” straight from her mouth. She has an organic, poetic language for her teachings so students find their own inner truth of yoga and living. By being gifted with the ability to be both rooted and wild, gentle and fierce, joyful and deep, Mary’s teaching style integrates all energies so students can truly intersect light and shadow, the god and goddess. Her gentle and calming attention help her students find comfort in the moments of discomfort and to build confidence while challenging the edges of their self limitations.

Mary teaches all levels with an emphasis on the philosophical teachings of yoga that remain true to her linage. You will not find her classes “dumbed down” or diluted. She trusts her students' ability to understand the essence of yoga. While she pays honor to what has been passed onto her, she also stays true to herself and most importantly- true to each student, meeting them all exactly where they are. She guides her classes through all layers of yoga- from the flesh to the bone to the soul. She brings attention to detail (alignment), awareness of breath (pranayama), connection with divine source (bhavana), intelligent sequencing (vinyasa krama),
as well as, Ayurveda, visualization, meditation, mantra and more to each and every one of her classes.

Her wish for each student is that they practice expressing who they truly are. To radically embody that truth. And that their truth bring greater peace, to themselves, to this world. A yoga teacher since 1997, Mary considers herself a forever student and began her journey in 1995 with Julie Crutchfield. She was so inspired by what she learned with Julie she continued her studies with her Teacher Yogarupa Rod Stryker in 1998. Mary Bruce is now a senior student of Rod Stryker’s and is Level II ParaYoga® Certified, a Certified Four Desires Trainer and a member of the Para Yoga certification board. She is also a 500 hour E-RYT Yoga Alliance teacher, a Relax and Renew trainer under the mentorship of Judith Lasiter, a certified Yoga Nidra Facilitator and a Reike Master. Mary directed the Yoga Teacher Training program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Arizona from 2004-2008. She also co-directed the Yoga Teacher Training program at Practice Yoga in New York City in 2009 and co-directed the Yoga For Life 300 Hr. Master Immersion into The Yoga Tradition Program from 2011-2014. She currently trains teachers in Arizona, California and Switzerland. Mary has written for internationally known magazines such as Yoga International, Origin and Mantra Magazine, and is featured on Gather Yoga. Mary occasionally travels with musicians such as Jennifer Nettles and the band Sugarland to bring yoga and wellness on tour.

Mary currently teaches throughout the United States and abroad, dedicating her life to spreading her love for yoga and all the ancient wisdom in a new and radiant light.

Discovering the Sacred Within

Authored By: 
Yogarupa Rod Stryker

Tantra as Science

About the Author: 

Founder of ParaYoga® and author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom, Rod Stryker is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on the ancient traditions of yoga, tantra, and meditation. Rod’s teaching weaves together his depth of understanding, experience, and ability to make the ancient teachings and practices accessible to students of all levels. Rod has trained teachers for over 25 years and leads retreats, workshops, and trainings worldwide. He lives in the mountains of Colorado with his wife and four children.

Ayurveda Basics – learning to understand, love and heal

Authored By: 
Kirsten Joy Burch

The life science of Ayurveda explains that we are born perfect creations, with a unique balance of space, air, fire, water, and earth – the 5 basic elements of all things. This is our Prakruti. Then life happens, - the food we eat, coupled with our activities and environment skew that perfect balance. This is our Vikruti. Imbalance leads to illness, and when we can’t curb the illness, it can lead to chronic disease that we are taught to live with, such as arthritis, allergies, thyroid problems and inflammation.

About the Author: 

Kirsten began studying ParaYoga in 2013 and was initiated into the tradition of Himalayan Masters in October 2014. She continues her training at the Himalayan Institute and as a student of the ParaYoga Masters program. She has earned specialties in Yoga for Anxiety & Depression and Yoga4Cancer.

Certified as an Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor through NAMA recognized Om Yoga Journey, she continues her studies with Master Teacher, Arpita Shah.

Kirsten is the owner of Living Yoga Dallas, founder of Prani Lifestyle Consulting, and a member of the Modern Widow's Club. She provides private yoga, meditation and ayurveda counseling, and teaches public classes at Sync Yoga & Wellbeing and Oak Clif Aikikai at Tyler Station.

In Search of Sattwa –or- The Evolution Revolution

Authored By: 
Kirsten Joy Burch

The Bhagavad Gita tells us that humans, as well as all other things in Nature, have a mixture of Sattwa, and its companions, Rajas and Tamas. These three Maha Gunas (qualities) determine our behavior, actions, thoughts and emotions.

Sattwa is clarity, light, purity and wakefulness. It is stability, essence, compassion and love. Sattwa is required for our mental and physical health, and is the path to personal evolution and spiritual maturity. 

About the Author: 

Self described Green Thumb, Poet Seer, Sun Worshiper, Sitter, Thinker, Writer, and Embodiment of Light, Kirsten is the owner of Living Yoga Dallas, a student of the Himalayan Institute and ParaYoga, and is a Certified Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor.

She teaches public classes at Sync Yoga & Wellbeing and enjoys helping people find health, happiness and transformation through the practice of Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra and Vedanta.

Beginning Meditation – Month 1

Authored By: 
Kirsten Joy Burch

Learning to sit….

1. Environment matters
Find a clean, quiet space in your home where you can sit undisturbed, away from the distractions and pressures of the external world.
The air should be clean, fresh and well ventilated but not breezy.

2. Cleanliness is a factor
Your face, hands and feet should feel clean and fresh, adding a certain respect and vibrancy to your practice. If you practice meditation in the morning, you will want to evacuate your bladder and bowels first.

About the Author: 

Kirsten is a teaching practitioner of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda. She teaches public classes at Sync Yoga & Wellbeing and can be contacted for private consultation. She studies under Yogarupa Rod Stryker (ParaYoga) and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science & Philosophy.

Try her guided Breath Awareness Practice for free - a great way to relax before sleep!

Steps for Creating Your Own Happiness

Authored By: 
Kirsten Joy Burch

Modern society is so super advanced - we can thank science & technology for so many inventions over the past 200 years! However, our personal and spiritual evolution, our ability to be content and fulfilled hasn’t growth past our ancestors from the Stone Age. We still exhibit anger, greed, jealousy, ego and insatiable desires. Our mind constantly spins with anger over past experiences, anxiety and fear over what may come to pass. We have lost sight of the beauty that exists, ever present, in the here and now.

About the Author: 

Kirsten Joy began studying with Rod Stryker and was initiated into the tradition in October 2014 after retiring as a corporate finance executive after the death of her hisband from brain cancer. She studies under the tradition of the Himalayan Masters, and enjoys practicing Tantric Hatha Yoga, Vedanta and Ayurveda to support personal development and evolution. 

She supports her students' and clients' physiological and hormonal balance through Traditional Yoga, Meditation, and Guided Relaxation.

She is a certified Ayurveda Lifestyle Counselor, member of the Modern Widow's Club, and teaches public classes at Sync Yoga & Wellbeing off Sylvan/30.

Contact her at kirsten [at] livingyogadallas [dot] com or via personal email Kirsten_J_Burch [at] yahoo [dot] com for questions or scheduling.

A slice of PY (Psychotherapeutic Yoga)

Authored By: 
Adriana Speiker

I have been dancing with yoga for over a decade and still don't know who is leading! It brought me out of a depression in college when I struggled to get out of bed. It kept me moving (through breath focus) when I was standing at attention in Army Basic Training. It held me accountable when I cut off my own body's needs to get the mission done. Yoga saved my humanity in war.

About the Author: 

Adriana grew up a little north of Texas – about 939 miles north – in the mythically cold state of Minnesota. After an entire childhood of brutal winters, she inexplicably continued to brave the weather in college, attending the University of Minnesota in Duluth and majoring in psychology. She then spent a year studying in England, which thawed her out a bit and kindled an insatiable desire to travel.

Her love of travel and her interest in helping others led her to enlist in the US Army after college. In the military, she functioned as a Psychological Operations soldier, working with diverse populations around the world. She deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, where she worked with multiple high stress situations, seeking resolutions through collaboration, intelligent dialogue, and responsiveness. She implemented psychological interventions and crisis management techniques throughout her time in the service. Adriana has been honored to work as a leader and a mentor in the military and the Army Reserves, and has a deep desire to continue her work with veterans and other populations affected by trauma, PTSD, substance abuse and adjustment issues.

Personally, she experienced the healing powers of the mind-body connection after her deployments. During her military career, Adriana was able to lead a Sunday morning yoga class on base, where she worked on balance (literally and figuratively). This was a time for recovery, which sparked a commitment to yoga and holistic health. She received her yoga teacher training in 2012 with an emphasis in therapeutics and is continuing her journey through LISPY’s advanced psychotherapeutic yoga training.

Adriana is proud to be a part of the veteran community and is committed to her work with others who have served.

When Adriana decided to leave the service, she knew that she would continue working in psychology. Having failed to learn her lesson in Minnesota, she moved to Chicago, where the winter winds blow and where she received her graduate degree in counseling psychology from Adler University, specializing in forensic studies. After graduating, Adriana moved to Texas to become a counselor … and to escape from the cold at last.

Adriana is lucky to have friends in the area who are helping her discover new adventures in DFW. When she is not LifeWorking, you will find her combing the Trinity Trail on her bike, horseback riding, cooking up new recipes, and enjoying the relaxation of yoga classes. Family is another important aspect of her life. She makes it a point to spoil her many nieces and nephews with laughter and love.

Adriana is excited to join the team at Lifeworks! She loves Fort Worth because it combines her love of the city and the warmth (!!) of the country.

How To Be Body-Positive With Yoga

Authored By: 
Ronald Mccarthy

Everyone has a self-image or self-concept about themselves that either presents them in a positive or negative light. What you think about yourself is ultimately portrayed on the forefront as your body image. As the term suggests “body-positive” basically means having a positive perception about your body. However, people of various body types exist and hence the definition may vary from person to person. What it all boils down to is the fact that you love yourself and accept oneself as the way you are, believe in yourself with compassion.

About the Author: 

Ronald Mccarthy is a passionate blogger who loves to write about latest trends in the fitness and health industry. Follow @Ronald Mccarthy more updates.

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