SWIHA Blog

Born to Lead: Jenna Gully’s Path to Empowerment through Yoga Teacher Training

Posted by Tim Barber on 9/8/17 4:00 PM

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.

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Topics: Yoga Teacher Training, Healthy, healthy lifestyle, healthy living, yoga, hatha, hatha gong, yoga nidra, Reflexology, Polarity, bhakti yoga, Vibrational Energy, vibrational healing, entrepreneurship

How Yoga Teacher Training Transformed Former Design Student Natalie Hewitt into a True Yoga “Freq”

Posted by Zoey Sigmon on 5/12/17 12:00 PM

After several years of emotional and physical struggle to complete her Bachelors from ASU in Design Studies, Natalie found herself sinking into a feeling many recent grads become mired in. She was uncertain of her path, worried that she had wasted mountains of money and years of her life on an unfulfilling career path, and couldn't see through the fog of fear that began to form around her. She knew on a visceral level that her soul longed to express itself creatively. However, no plan that she was able to forge in her mind painted a picture that she felt truly passionate to pursue. The only thing she knew for certain was that Corporate America would never be her home, and that she was determined to become her own boss. Sadly, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, Natalie wound up in a call center after graduation and could feel her happiness slipping away each day.

Later 2011, after a series of “rock bottom moments,” Natalie decided to turn her attention toward her health and wellness to try and recalibrate, by participating in a 30-day hot yoga challenge with friends. Though she had previously practiced informally, this was her first fully-immersive experience into the world of yoga.

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Topics: yoga, Sound Healing, aromatherapy, hatha, hatha gong

Leading the Way and Finding Your True Self Through Yoga & Meditation

Posted by Ravynn Rohner on 8/26/16 8:34 AM

A Story from our Great Graduate Deborah South-McEvoy

Deborah South-McEvoy happily admits that something bigger than herself brought her to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). She had heard of the school and was intrigued by it, and she even said that she fought the urgings to enroll. After three years of thinking about it, she finally enrolled in the Yoga Teacher Training 200-hour program along with Yoga Nidra and Yoga Gong.

Yoga was not new to Deborah. She had been taking yoga classes off and on for the six years prior to starting her teaching training. During those six years, this Leo-Lioness started to yearn for more knowledge. “I was on fire with passion and know I needed to pass the information on to others through teaching.”

Since completing her training, Deborah has gone on to create Dare to Soar Yoga, LLC . She is passionate about bringing affordable yoga to the people of Casa Grande, as well as building a yoga community in the town she has resided since 1980. She now teaches beginner and intermediate yoga classes at Central Arizona College. She also facilitates a chair yoga class and a yoga nidra and gong class at the local Cancer Support Center in Casa Grande, AZ. It is the lack of yoga studios in Casa Grande that fueled her passion to go into business for herself. She rented a space at first and is now thrilled to be offering yoga at these two facilities. She still rents a space when she has opportunities to work with private clients. Her services include Beginner, Advanced, and Chair Yoga along with Gong Meditation and Yoga Nidra. Her teaching has a strong emphasis in alignment; breathing and meditation; and also integrating the physical, mental, energetic, and spiritual teachings of the tradition. Deborah believes that yoga enhances the balance between body, mind, and spirit, bringing health to the body and soul through movement, meditation, and the use of breath work as a way of relaxation and gazing inward.

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Topics: yoga, yoga nidra, Yoga Teacher Training, hatha gong, hatha, Gong, Gong Meditation, Meditation, Yoga for Cancer, Chair Yoga

Discover Self-Awareness in the Asanas

Posted by Ravynn Rohner on 8/8/16 1:00 PM

Most students who have signed up for Transformational Yoga Coaching (YO-506), show up Friday night at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts thinking, “I’m not sure what this is all about, however, we get to go hiking and do ceremony with the owner, KC Miller!” While this is a fair statement, what makes this work so powerful is the fascinating correlation between the body’s physical messages (ie, pain, tension, or disease) and the ancient metaphors within the asanas, or yoga poses. Coaches learn to master the Inquiry, or facilitated dialog, which brings awareness, release, and healing to their clients.  In TYC we call the coach the “Guide” and the client the “Seeker”.

My personal process with this type of coaching has been very cyclic. First, I was in the seat of the student, then the seat of the teacher, and then back to the student and back to the teacher, and well… you see the pattern. What I have learned is that the student is the teacher and the teacher is the student.  There is always something to learn and the beauty in my opportunity to teach these classes, which happen twice a year, is to be a witness of the cosmic union between students. They arrive together, learn this work by coaching each other, and then they leave, newly transformed, lighter Beings. There is always an energy between the classmates that is unique and special to their own experience and it is so rewarding to be part of it.  To watch a person’s eyes literally lighten and spark with new exuberance, after just a few sessions, speaks to the importance and effectiveness that transformational yoga coaching offers.

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Topics: yoga, Guidance, Life Coaching, hatha, Yoga Teacher Training, transformational

Keeping Life Positive with Yoga & Life Coaching:  In the Now and Moving Forward

Posted by Kerry Burki on 6/10/16 10:30 AM

Orlando Green was employed as a Student Advisor at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) when he completed his Yoga Teacher Training (200-hour level) and Life Coaching Program. He considers himself a continuing student having also completed the Hatha Gong program with Duane Armitage. His move to Puerto Rico has put his work towards becoming a  Yoga Therapist on hold.  However, his life has not been on hold, for even a minute, since arriving on the tropic paradise!

When asked about his favorite class while studying at SWIHA, Orlando shared that his favorite class was not actually in his Yoga Teacher Training program, rather in SWIHA’s Spirit of Yoga (SOY) studio: “My first step into SOY was on a Saturday Intro to Yoga class taught by Aradhana Armitage. I had been very reluctant to do yoga due to my back injury – yet after some urging from several colleagues at SWIHA that included a ‘double dare ya’ – I attended Aradhana’s class. She was very aware of my limitations and made me feel welcome in spite of what I perceived as limitations. After the first four weeks of yoga, I returned for an additional four weeks—and then I was hooked.   I began my Yoga Teacher Training shortly thereafter.”

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Topics: yoga coaching, yoga therapy, hatha gong, Life Coaching, Gong, yoga, yoga therapist, hatha, Yoga Teacher Training, life coach training, Natural Healing, Holistic health

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