SWIHA Blog

Never Give Up: How Nicole Fonovich Turned a Life of Pain into a Personal Revolution

Posted by Alexandra Comeaux on 5/24/18 2:00 PM

For Nicole Fonovich, life was looking increasingly bleak. Born with two autoimmune diseases, a softball-sized fatty benign tumor between her shoulder blades, and a degenerative disc ailment, Nicole was struggling to tread the gray waters of her faltering health. Not only were her maladies causing her immense physical strife—including two surgeries on her lower back, another two surgeries to deal with the tumor, and a spinal fusion—they were also creating immense personal and emotional loss in the form of two miscarriages.

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Topics: Sound Healing, hatha gong, yoga, Meditation, Yoga Teacher Training, healing arts, Illness

A Spiritual Star is Born: Thalia Ayres Randolph on Finding the Light Within

Posted by Alexandra Comeaux on 5/17/18 2:00 PM

Thalia Ayres Randolph wants to set the record straight: she never set out to do any of this. Not the international travel, not being featured on one of the most popular reality television shows in America, not the dedicated work as a spiritual leader and teacher…

Exit, Stage Right

As a young woman pursuing a career in musical theatre in Toronto, Canada, Thalia was convinced that the performing arts were the foundation of her identity and would always serve as her path. Yet, performing on a professional level wasn’t exactly leaving her with a lasting sense of happiness, and she found herself pursuing solace through yoga and Reiki; as she strived toward the spotlight, her spiritual gifts were coming to light as well.

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Topics: Reiki master, yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Yoga Teacher Training, spiritual studies, Interfaith Minister, Ordained Minister

Why I Teach Yoga

Posted by Kate Shipp on 4/16/18 2:00 PM

I still remember the first time I took a yoga class. It was February 2007, and my husband had presented me with a gift certificate for classes at a local studio. He had hoped that yoga would release my anxiety over being a new mom and alleviate the constant state of stress that overwhelmed me with every breath. I, too, was excited to try this new way of exercising. My daily workouts had left me feeling physically strong, so I had myself convinced that I would be “great” at yoga. Little did I know that my ego would be knocked down on its knees as soon as I stepped on the mat!

As I huffed and puffed through the poses in that first class, I struggled to understand the foreign guidance to “allow your breath to guide the movement of your body.” Finally, after much shaking and panting to force my hunched over body into triangle pose, the teacher approached me and gently asked, “Where are you trying to get into? Please come down into child’s pose and breathe.” Reluctantly, I listened. As soon as I followed her instructions, I was hit by a wave of peace and a softening in my mind. “What?!” I remember thinking. “I can rest? I’m receiving permission to rest, relax, and breathe?” In that moment, I knew the practice of yoga was going to change my life.

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Topics: Meditation, Yoga Teacher Training, Holistic wellness, exercise, yoga, chakras, Savasana

Healthy Happy Healing People: Tory Dube Talks Overcoming Body Shame

Posted by Kitt Keller on 3/22/18 2:00 PM

For Tory Dube, life before SWIHA was a matter of constant performance. As a struggling professional dancer, actor, and comedian, Tory found herself trapped in the cutthroat entertainment industry, constantly facing the judgment of strangers. “I was an anxiety-ridden people pleaser who was hiding a nasty eating disorder,” she recalls. “My self-worth was defined by the people who decided whether or not I booked a job.”

Desperate for a change, Tory booked a space on a yoga retreat in the Bahamas, where she was introduced to meditation. While she found the demand of being totally present painful, it was exactly the spark she needed to start pursuing a new way of life. It was time to conquer her anxiety and food obsession once and for all.

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Topics: Holistic Nutrition, Mind Body Wellness, Meditation, Acupressure, anxiety, Mind Body Transformational Psychology, mind-body wellness practitioner, Eating Disorder, Transformational Pychology, Body Shame

Living Large: How Deena Gregory Left Behind a World of Luxury for the Call of the Great Outdoors

Posted by Alexandra Comeaux on 2/16/18 11:12 AM

Deena Gregory has always been a “seeker”—a woman with a self-described “natural curiosity about self and spirit” who in quiet moments often found herself gazing upward at the night sky with a deep sense of awe. Yet, after years of looking to institutions—from organized religion to the halls of academia—for the answers that could only be found within, Deena got caught in a spiritual drought, convinced that there was nothing else bigger “out there” than the humdrum of everyday human life.

“With a new reliance on my own thinking came what the Buddha referred to as ‘Dukkha,’ or suffering,” she explains. “I have always been hailed as a ‘critical thinker.’ Now I laugh and say, ‘Yes, as soon as I start thinking, things get critical!’”

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Topics: Life Coaching, Toe Reading, Intuition, Meditation, Hypnotherapy, Holistic wellness, yoga, soul coaching, NLP, Camping, Single Mother Yoga, Online student, Transpersonal Psychology

Authenticity Takes Practice: Coach Bill Gisclair-Sullivan on Living Our Own Truth

Posted by KC Miller on 1/10/18 8:00 AM

According to Life Coach and meditation teacher Bill Gisclair-Sullivan, authenticity requires practice: “It is a conscious choice that we must make about how we want to live our lives every day. It is a collection of our choices and decisions, and it requires us to show up, be present in the moment, and to be honest with ourselves.”

The truth is that authenticity usually has to be re-learned because so much of our lives have been spent mastering the many masks we think we must wear to be approved of or to fit into what we imagine is expected of us. A quote from Coach Bill’s website captures his life coaching mission, which emphasizes how we can step into our truest self: "Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we truly are."

Bill is so passionate about this work because it mirrors his own life journey. “It took me many, many years to discover my authenticity,” Bill explains. “I spent most of my adult life working in management in the hospitality field. After making some dramatic mistakes and trying to climb the corporate ladder, I lost some important parts of myself along the way.”

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Topics: Life Coaching, spirituality, Mindfulness, Meditation, Psychology, Nutrition, Hypnotherapy, fitness, clinical hypnotherapy

Listen Up: Laura Barnes Talks “Tuning In” to the Sacredness of Life

Posted by KC Miller on 1/8/18 8:00 AM

Tune-in! Tune-up! Attune your life to your true passions! These are often the themes for a life coaching session, especially the ones offered by longtime life coach and instructor Laura Barnes, who is a true fan of tuning forks.

A tuning fork is a fork-shaped acoustic resonator that can be used to produce a very pure tone from which others can harmonize. Similar to adjusting a piano, the body and mind can be tuned to achieve optimal physical and mental balance by tapping two tuning forks instantaneously, altering the body's biochemistry and bringing the nervous system, muscles, and organs into harmonic balance. In seconds, the body and mind enters a deep state of relaxation once it experiences the non-judgmental, non-directive, gentle vibrational energy from the tuning forks.

This is a perfect metaphor for life coaching. Laura Barnes, who has taught Life Coaching online for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts for over seven years, explains, Life coaches help their clients ‘tune in’ to the sacredness of life by being with those they serve in a non-judgmental, non-directive, gentle way! The goal of a coaching session is to bring balance to body, mind, and spirit. It’s known as creating ‘sacred resonance’ with another.”

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Topics: Life Coaching, Mindfulness, Meditation, Breathing Techniques, mantras, Tuning Forks, Body Awareness, Imagery, Profound Questions, Storytelling, Symbolism, Sound Therapy

Stacia Aashna: Detoxify Your Body and Mind for Wellness in 2018!

Posted by KC Miller on 1/6/18 8:00 AM

According to Life Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist Stacia Aashna, one of the best ways to start the New Year is with a detox of body and mind. In fact, she is offering a perfect prescription for wellness in 2018 with Hypnosis, Meditation, Booch at The Kombucha Room in Chicago in mid-January.

For those who don’t know, “booch” is the term for a fermented tea beverage that detoxifies the body and builds the immune system. It is an ideal companion for those brave souls who are ready to detox their mind of old “personal lies”– that inner dialogue of unconscious, reinforcing statements that keeps you from evolving into your best, most confident, happiest self.

Yet, drinking tea is not the only way to “clear” yourself internally in preparation for what 2018 will bring! This graduate from SWIHA’s Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnotherapy program firmly believes that hypnotherapy is one of the oldest proven detox tools available today and an incredible asset for life coaches to use with their clients.

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Topics: Life Coaching, yoga, Hypnosis, Meditation, Hypnotherapy, Self-Esteem, Detox, clinical hypnotherapy, guided imagery, Affirmations, Self-talk, Pre-Induction, Codependency, Kombucha, Greek Mythology, Hypnos, Self-Hypnosis, Support Groups

Reine Matthews: Thriving After Lyme Disease with Holistic Nutrition

Posted by Tim Barber on 12/27/17 8:00 AM

Reine Matthews is a SWIHA graduate both doing great things and writing great things! Her first book, Thriving After Diagnosis: Instead of Merely Surviving, was just published… and she is already working on a second! Hailing from Northern Idaho, Reine received an AOS Degree in Mind Body Transformational Psychology from SWIHA, with concentrations in Holistic Nutrition and Wellness, Life Coaching, and Urban Farming and Conscious Living.

Reine chose to get into the field of holistic wellness because of her personal journey of being diagnosed with (and thriving beyond!) Lyme Disease. According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the United States, with 25,000 new cases being reported every month for an estimated 300,000 new people being affected per year (25% of which are children). This illness is typically transmitted through a bite from an infected deer tick and has been reported in all 50 states and on every continent, excluding Antarctica.

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Topics: Life Coaching, Holisitc Nutrition, Mind Body Wellness, yoga, Holistic Healing, Meditation, Urban Farming, Lyme Disease, Mind Body Transformational Psychology, conscious living

Lessons from a Yoga Teacher: The Art of Letting Go with E.A.S.E

Posted by KC Miller on 8/7/17 1:55 PM

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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Topics: Life Coaching, Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga Teacher Training, Mindful, yoga teacher, yoga classes, transformational yoga coaching

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