The words of the teacher who led the morning yoga practice at the Wanderlust Mindfulness Marathon in Denver, Colorado still ring in my awareness:“What do you need to put down that was not yours to pick up in the first place?
Chelsey Korus is quickly becoming one of yoga's foremost teachers and philosophers. She's been featured in PopSugar, Prevention Magazine, Yoga Journal, Women's Fitness, Mantra Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Shape, and is one of the top teachers on Yogaglo, an online venue for the top yoga teachers in the world to offer video-based asana and philosophy classes.
It’s no surprise that the California-based yoga teacher has been traveling the country as part of the Wanderlust staff. She's been teaching yoga since the age of 15 and has been a lifelong student of various yoga practices, including Anusara, Power Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Acro, as well as martial arts, free form dance, and ballet. The surprise was the way she cued and invited deep inquiry in the middle of the mile-high park setting.
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Alexis Holland grew up in sunny, humid Florida and has spent years bouncing around the country with her husky, Kiya, gaining integral life experience and wisdom. Sometimes she barters musical entertainment for a place to sleep, like the time she stayed in a Vedic Temple in Sedona, AZ in exchange for playing Kirtan (a Sanskrit word for a musical form a narration). They love to set up camp, especially in the mountains, with as little as a tapestry, her blanket, food, and instruments. In the midst of her nomadic lifestyle, her love of music from various cultures began to grow, as well. She found herself attending lots of drum and music festivals, from a Sufi ceremony called a Zikr (sacred ceremony of divine rememberance), to Rainbow Gatherings, a drum and dance festival called Paralounge (northern FL), and a handpan retreat called Hangout USA (Asheville, NC). Along the way she learned to play an array of instruments, trombone being the first in grade school. Since then her collection has grown; she plays the handpan, crystal singing bowls, tuning forks, guitar, cajon, drums, and digeridoo. She reflected, “Music was all around me, in many different forms… wherever I went, there it was…and there I was, fully immersed.”
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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“I can’t believe the year is almost over!” Has this thought crossed your mind lately? It seems that during this time of year people start to wonder where they’ve been over the last couple of months. With the world becoming more hectic, with more responsibility, more stress, more technology, and less time to take care of ourselves, mindfulness can help us by become consciously aware of the present moment. Adding the practice of mindfulness to our daily lives can give rise to a happier and more vivid life.
Mindfulness can be described as a delicate and continuous act to be present with each moment. In the book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh, one can find many different acts that can be practiced during the day to have mindful moments. There are three that are simple to do every day, no matter where you are.
Walk in the moment.
Move more, think less.
Try conscious walking. When walking from point A to point B, our minds are usually cluttered with thoughts of the past or the future. By opting to take those moments during the day to be mindful, our stress levels will reduce and our minds will be clearer. To be mindful while walking, become consciously aware that you will be walking from point A to point B. Before you take the first step, take a deep breath and while exhaling, take the first step. As you continue to walk, take your awareness to the soles of your feet. Notice the heel touching the ground and notice how that feels. If you become aware of thoughts that are distracting you from the conscious awareness of walking, acknowledge them and bring the focus back to your feet. Continue to focus on the soles of your feet and when you arrive at your destination, take another deep breath, and continue with your day.
It’s just one of those days.
The sudden death of Janet Ellis’ only sister in 1998 brought her to her knees and was the catalyst that ultimately brought her to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). “When I am emerging from a crisis, my usual response is to embark on some learning journey. In December 2006, I was completing what I thought would be my last semester at ASU. I had earned a bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Development and a minor in Psychology and Gender Studies. I then decided that I wanted to apply to their Marriage & Family Therapy program,” said Janet.
While her application was being processed, Janet decided to indulge her curiosity and find out what SWIHA was all about. The school had a great reputation for powerful classes with great experiences, and she had a personal interest in the newly formed Life Coaching program. One evening in January 2006, Janet attended a Gifts & Graces, facilitated by KC Miller. Janet said, “That experience so powerfully confirmed what I felt as a deep calling, that I enrolled in the Life Coaching – Foundations class, and I’ve never looked back!”
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When it comes to discovering Southwest Institute for Healing Arts (SWIHA), Antonieta Hensley has Google to thank! “After I saw all the courses, programs, and classes they offered, I was sold. It sounded like a temple or a mystery school available in the states and I knew it was calling for me before I ever stepped foot on the school grounds.”
Antonieta graduated from the 600-hour Mind Body Wellness Practitioner program. She also went through the Yoga Teaching Training, Transformational Life Coaching, and Hypnotherapy programs. She went on to share how her time at SWIHA dramatically changed her life for the better:
“The laws of attraction, eastern philosophies, energetic body healing, taboo subjects, and spirituality have always fascinated me. But that is only about 10% of what the school has to offer. It surpasses your expectations on both what you can learn and whom you can meet. There is no need to search for a guru in India or Thailand. With SWIHA you can become your OWN guru.”
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By Jenna Zizzo
Stress is one the biggest issues plaguing most Americans
Today’s fast-paced world can have a multitude of effects on us, ranging from physical effects such as high blood pressure or insomnia, mental or emotional effects such as high levels anxiety, and even spiritual effects, by bringing us further away from whichever spiritual connection we choose to attain. According to a July 2014 article from NPR, in which more than 2,500 adults across the country were surveyed, 49 percent reported to have had a “major stressful event or experience in the past year.”
We need a method for calming our minds,
healing our bodies and freeing our souls