Jenna Gully was doing the same thing many high school graduates end up doing: going to college for something she had an interest in without knowing where it would lead her or how she would use the skills she was learning in a practical way. As is often the case without that big “end picture” goal—without the drive of a vision to work towards—college had become more of a vehicle for social interaction than for personal growth. Jenna soon came to realize that she wanted more out of life… that she wanted to do something that supported a healthy and active lifestyle, something that would spark her growth as a person, that could give her direction and the motivation of working towards a career she could be excited about. In 2013, she dropped out of college and started moving in that direction.
Yoga has always been a part of Jenna’s life. Her mother had been sharing the experience of yoga with her since a young age, giving her the gift of a physical practice that was sustaining and ever evolving. After witnessing her mother’s own experience as a student in the Yoga Teacher Training program at Spirit of Yoga, Jenna realized she was being drawn to the program herself, wanting to expand on the physical practice she had enjoyed throughout the years by adding the technical, philosophical, and energetic components and developing her gift of healing touch. In 2014, she enrolled herself in the 200-hour YTT program at SOY.
Yoga Teacher Training,
Sarah Whiton tends to take her interests, passions, and hobbies and turn them into careers. Constantly evolving and developing new skills, she recognizes that her life has been a path that has taken several different directions, each one a step forward into the successful career she has today.
Sarah has been working in the Health and Fitness Industry as a Certified Personal Trainer for a several years. The focus of her work is to inspire women to make peace with their body-image, to embrace every unique inch of themselves, to find self-awareness, and ultimately to discover self-love. Describing why she is so passionate about her work, Sarah says, “What I have loved the most about this job all along is the opportunity I have to inspire and encourage others. It’s not only listening to people, it’s holding space for them, being the person they feel they can come to, and being a source of positive energy.”
Certified Personal Trainer
Kevin Williamson had been working the 9-5 daily grind for ten years. Employed in the credit card department of a financial institution, his life was beginning to feel like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. “I felt no real personal significance in the work I was doing,” he shares candidly. His job involved sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day with minimal security; the very real possibility of lay-offs lurked around every corner.
Kevin was feeling discontented, frustrated, robotic, and unhappy with how he was participating—or not participating—in his own life. Ultimately, this led to a mental and emotional burnout. Looking for options, he sought out hypnotherapy. His hypnotherapist was a graduate of SWIHA and ended up sharing information about the school. Kevin had heard of SWIHA previously and decided to take an opportunity for self-healing and self-discovery by attending a Gifts & Graces event for the first time.
Certified Massage Therapist,
Yoga Teacher Training,
lomi lomi massage
It has been said that, “All that wander are not lost,” and that certainly applies to Alexandria Cordero, a graduate of SWIHA’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program.
Alexandria had begun to feel stifled in Chicago and was seeking a fresh start, so she packed up her life and moved to Arizona with the intention of attending veterinarian school. Yet, after arriving and truly thinking over the prospects of paying over $200,000 for that schooling, she decided to take a year off and explore the new state which she had chosen to call home. Thinking of that time, she jokes, “My yoga practice was taking off with all of the free hot yoga on my patio every morning!”
After being encouraged to do so by a friend, Alexandria found herself attending an open house at SWIHA. “I knew that this was where I was supposed to be,” she says. “I decided to start with the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training fast-track to see how I liked teaching yoga... I LOVED IT!” In the program, she went through deep personal transformation and found connections to yoga and the community of SWIHA unlike any she had ever experienced before.
Yoga Teacher Training
There is a certain strength both required and gained from picking yourself up off the ground and starting anew. Some people are fortunate enough to never have to lose it all; their path has different challenges to face and overcome. Others find themselves facing a life-changing event, requiring them to choose how best to move forward. Rima Desai, a graduate of SWIHA’s Transformational Life Coaching program, has had a lifetime of such changes, spanning the globe, which have shaped and reshaped who she is and given her new and unique talents every step of the way.
When Micah Lunassential speaks, she immediately commands your attention. Warm, kind, smart, and engaging, she brings experience, understanding, and enlightenment to people with her successful YouTube channel Ms.Micah. With a focus on love and relationships this channel embraces the discussion of uncomfortable topics that so often hold us back, like fear, forgiveness, addiction, and trauma.
Micah grew up knowing trauma, having PTSD as a child from a serious accident and later getting complex PTSD from abuse as an adult. These experiences dramatically affected her view on love and on herself. After years of feeling hopeless and being trapped in a victim mentality, Micah went to a Holistic Gathering at SWIHA in October of 2012 where she had a Toe Reading that would change her life.
“I was being mentored by the then Director of the Psychology department at Ottawa University for a class I was taking entitled Trauma Psychology,” Micah shared. “The Toe Reading reminded me of what I was avoiding because I was trapped in a victim mentality. True healing was learning to feel safe in the body after trauma or domestic violence.”
Author and Life Coach Loree Bischoff was always intrigued by what makes people tick, why they think the way that they do, and what motivates them. In 2007, she and her sister noticed that many of the mothers they knew were struggling on some level to find balance in their lives. Recognizing a need for moms to have access to new tools and strategies for achieving a more balanced and fulfilling life, they developed a special event called “Motherhood Redefined”— a weekend seminar for mothers consisting of speakers, interactive workshops, and fun for everyone in attendance. What she didn’t expect was that her event to help others find balance on their path would lead her to the beginning of finding a new path for herself.
“Motherhood Redefined” was extremely well-received, and Loree knew then and there that what she really wanted was to begin her own private coaching practice. “I was not familiar with life coaching as a profession at that time. One of the speakers we hired happened to be a life coach and suggested I check out SWIHA,” she says. “I had begun studying spirituality in the early eighties (thanks to my mother)… being an important aspect of my life, it was a priority for me to find a life coach training program where spirituality wouldn’t be excluded.” To her delight, that was exactly what she found when, in the spring of 2008, she enrolled in SWIHA's life coaching training program. Loree feels that, “There couldn’t have been a more perfect fit.”
High in the mountains of Northern Arizona, in a little town called Pinedale (population: 588), you’ll find SWIHA graduate Lisa Kaiser carving out her dream of a self-sustaining community.
In 2015, Lisa graduated from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts with a degree in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology and a diploma in the Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner program. The focus on body energy work, Ayurveda, aromatherapy, urban farming, raw food preparation—as well as the tools and support she got from entrepreneurial classes—provided the foundation of success that led to the beginning of Lisa building her dream.
Mind Body Wellness,
Mind Body Transformational Psychology,