I have over 30 years of professional dance training of which 20 plus years have been practicing Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Iyengar, Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, and Kundalini Yoga. Throughout my dance career I embraced Siddha Yoga, Buddhist and Hindu spiritual practices and a personal fitness regime incorporating yoga and Pilate’s classes. The discipline of my background affords me the beautiful results of a body well maintained and healthy. I would like to share this joy and opportunity with many facing physical challenges or autism.
I have had the pleasure of working with to these special needs young people in play creating and movement classes. The special needs child or autistic young adult has challenges with social, emotional and typical dance classroom etiquette. With yoga movements, some have and can demonstrate an increase of attention, body awareness as well as feeling inspired to be more creative. Similar to theatre dance, yoga’s isolated techniques offers the student the accessibility to express their behavior, become more flexible, and experience a “healthy feeling” and to feel how much fun yoga can be. Yoga class gives off a happy chi that exudes through the class collectively with others who practice it. I connect with the immediate gratification of knowing that yoga rejuvenates our self-healing power, humbles us to give freely to ourselves and others.
There are so many schools and communities that don’t offer or teach physical fitness based on low budget and cuts. Very few school programs demonstrate how to calm, focus and invigorate our young people’s minds through yoga-dance classes! I would like to be a driving force to promote more yoga awareness in this direction for awakening happier people. A few years ago I worked on a cardio workout tape (still on Amazon) as the dance leader but the tape I really enjoyed was being in the demo for a yoga instructor who was11 years ago doing her second video. I knew why, yoga was becoming more popular and contagious; due solely to it’s feel and look good results anybody could achieve. I was starting then to incorporate teaching yoga with my dance classes.
Who your favorite yoga teacher is and how did they inspire you?
Currently I take yoga classes through Exhale spa located in Venice, CA. I love Shiva Rea’s classes especially because of her Prana Flow classes; of which she is a pioneer of this unique style of the mind-body or “dance of breath” practice. She chooses awesome music usually with live musicians. Shiva Rea promotes “opening your heart, and igniting your inner fire.” She is very rhythmical in transitioning you from one pose to the other and you almost forget you’re learning yoga while easily challenging yourself.
Your overall body and your center (core) become really strong from her workouts over time and she is a great physical model of you are what you practice. Her way of instructing and gentle hands on is very good while aligning the body during the Vinyasa flow. It’s beautiful to experience for all levels making everyone feel comfortable to be in her classes. She exudes happiness also through her smile and sonorous voice.
Why do you want to take a yoga teacher training with the school you have chosen?
Previously traveling internationally with Alvin Ailey’s Dance Theatre and starting out as a young ballerina growing up in the southeast, being flexible and loving dance came easy. There were challenges because of the times and location for accepting diversity but I still chose to study ballet. Some time ago and even now I am inspired to study and learn yoga instruction in the styles as I’m most moved by with instructors, Shiva Rea and Saul David Raye’s classes. In order to share diversity you have to familiarize yourself with what is unfamiliar and different. In observing different schools my body feels most at home with the mentioned instructors above.
There is a Yoga Trance Dance which is the perfect match for my soul yet not until I moved west did I experience it. I am choosing Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow Certification Program. I would like to study the 300 Hour course if possible. The different exotic places would be fantastic to return to traveling while I study and share with the native people in their countries this type of yoga movement. One quote really speaks to me: “Yoga is the means of yoking our awareness to the deep rhythms that heal and integrate us in an age that challenges our inner compass to stay in the flow.” Shiva Rea has a very thorough outline of her modules to be studied in order to become certified and her DVD’s are an excellent source for visual aids and repetition. I would be very excited and honored to be awarded the opportunity to study with such a master!
How do you plan to make an impact in the world as a yoga teacher?
I would especially love to lead up to teaching internationally both children and adults the beautiful joy and healing power of Prana Flow Yoga. The impact in a local society I would enjoy most would be working with autistic, deaf and Asperger syndrome young adults. I would make time to participate as an Energy Activist to help spread Shiva Rea’s sacred activism projects providing large scale good energy towards our planet. I identify with these type of projects strongly based on my background and abilities to be a leader and a team player. I started practicing eastern philosophies/religion early on in my life.
These practices have supported and shown me reciprocal positive benefits deriving from a daily mind-body discipline; through years of loyalty. And more important, I am infused with the desire of service to help others become happy. It’s a happier body when inspired to move and sway to music or vibration for those with hearing impaired. I co-produced a choreo-play with deaf and oral actresses on stage together in identical roles. During the warm-up for the non-hearing ladies I was incredibly fascinated to witness their movement in sync with us solely on their visual and vibration awareness. I fully understand the unity of many in mind, but ONE in body which comes forth (temporarily) while on a yoga mat that collective feeling of a divine power. My yoga teacher experience would allow me another link in contributing to the good fellowship of the yoga communities worldwide for much bigger causes still yet to be designed.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Beth Lane
If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!
Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.