SWIHA Blog

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

Walking Through Fire: Yoga Teacher Gullveig Talks Claiming Her True Name and Higher Self

Posted by Alexandra Comeaux on 4/12/18 2:00 PM

The year was 2000, and Lisa Grunwald—who now goes by the name Gullveig—was facing her first year of college in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The stress of the transition from high school kid to university student was weighing heavily on her, and her normal anxiety had suddenly escalated to a whole new level. Some days, it got so bad that she would have dozens of panic attacks a day. To top it off, she suddenly developed lockjaw, a frightening condition which keeps the mouth from opening and functioning properly…

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Topics: Reiki master, 200 Hour Yoga Training, Advanced Yoga Training, Reiki, Yoga Teacher Training, yoga nidra, yoga, chakras

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

New Perspectives: How Licensed Massage Therapist Tim Barber Turned Pain into Perseverance

Posted by Fox Emm on 8/25/17 12:53 PM

It has been a long road to get to where Tim Barber is today. By his account, that amounts to somewhere around 2,300 miles and 15 years since the graduate of SWIHA’s 1000-hour Master Massage Practitioner and 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program first realized that he wanted to become a Licensed Massage Therapist.

Tim spent most of his life in New York. No, not that New York. “Everyone always assumes I mean New York City when I tell them where I am from, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” he laughs. Born and raised in the Central New York region, most of his life was spent surrounded by forests and water— not skyscrapers. Houses were often a half-mile to a mile apart. The town he grew up in was so small that there wasn’t even a four-way stop in it. His graduating class consisted of about 60 people. A trip to the mall would take about 45 minutes of driving to get there. The nightlife in his town consisted of crickets and lightning bugs. No, it definitely was not THAT New York.

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Topics: Polarity, Reflexology, Yoga Teacher Training, Hypnotherapy, Licensed Massage, yoga, Acupressure, Cranial, deep-tissue-massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Master Massage Practitioner, Thai Massage, cranial Sacral, back pain

5 Culprits Behind Energy Leaks (and How to Use Holistic Healing to Feel Better Now!)

Posted by Jessica Davis on 8/23/17 3:37 PM

Energy is everywhere, from the air you breathe to the life force that surrounds your body. Your energy, or lack thereof, affects every dimension of your life, including your mind, body, and spirit. Energy leakage can take shape in many ways: physical or mental tiredness, loss of motivation, frustration, and/or feeling stuck. These symptoms may be confusing for some, especially if you’re self-aware and cautious with your health. However, even if you have positive energy flowing in, that energy will continue to leak if you are not healed.

Of course, in order to heal yourself, you have to know that you are leaking energy in the first place! In my case, I was in Bali and was drawn to seek out some advice from a spiritual healer. Since this wasn’t my first time receiving guidance from a healer, I sort of knew what to expect during our meeting. However, she brought up a topic I wasn’t quite expecting: my energy. She explained that my energy had been leaking due to my inability to let go of a past relationship. This leakage was negatively affecting my energy levels and my current pursuit of love and happiness. This information came as quite a shock, yet made a lot of sense. My energy had been leaking for years, impacting my whole well-being, and I never once made the mind-body connection.

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Topics: Life Coaching, Hypnotherapist, Polarity, Holisitc Nutrition, Whole Foods, Polarity Therapy, Hypnotherapy, yoga, Chakra Balancing, smudging, clean energy, energy balancing, Affirmations, Energy leaking, Negative Energy, whole food

Why Certain Yoga Poses Make You Cry

Posted by Kate Ferguson on 5/1/17 3:29 PM

If you’ve ever found yourself suddenly moved to tears in yoga class, you’re not alone. The sensation can be a little alarming if you’re not used to crying at the gym, however, rest assured that it’s a sign of good things happening. Our bodies tend to hold onto a lot of tension that’s both physical and emotional at its root. Just like our shoulders can tighten up when we’re hunched over the keyboard day after day, our hips can tighten up from emotional stress as well. Certain yoga poses unleash the tension and suddenly make you feel something that you haven’t felt in a while.

When you’re holding a yoga pose you’re often attempting to balance as well as stay strong and support your own body weight. (Our egos fight pretty hard to avoid being the person who topples over onto their mat.) These moves are using a variety of muscles at once, require concentrated breath, and also physically stretch us in new ways.

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Topics: yoga therapy, healing, Holistic Healing, yoga, Yoga poses, Reduce Stress, Emotional Release, Tempe, openhearted, Alternative healing, Namaste, Om, Emotions, Yoga studio, Stress Release, Emotional Healing

A Spiritual Life Coach Creates A Hirable Community of Holistic Healing

Posted by Anthony Scarpulla on 1/12/17 10:00 AM

About five years ago, Jonathan Siesel was struggling as a new resident of Arizona. He moved out here to be closer to his mom and to create a new life. His mom was actually working at SWIHA at the time, so naturally, he found himself roaming the campus quite a bit. Jonathan recounts his magical story of how he began his transformational SWIHA journey with us below:

One day, K.C. Miller saw me hanging out and approached me and said, "I See You." On the spot, she offered me an opportunity to take the Life Coaching program, and help me become the person we both knew I could become. Gratefully and humbly, I accepted her offer, and chose to take the Life Coaching program as my first class at SWIHA.

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Topics: transformational, holistic, SWIHA, entrepreneur, life coach, yoga, spirit of yoga, bambukah, Spiritual, national life coaching month

Weaving Massage & Polarity into a Basket of Holistic Health

Posted by Ravynn Rohner on 12/9/16 8:32 AM

Like so many other students that end up at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Steven Jaggers also found his way here through a need to find a holistic solution to an afflictive situation. Although he was originally born in Orange County, California, he spent the majority of his childhood in Arizona with parents who struggled with heavy drug addiction. After graduating high school, he entered corporate America, joining a microchip company. “I knew then that I wanted to help people because for me, it was more fulfilling than just turning a profit.” Almost like a consequence, he got laid off and his mother desperately needed help, so he moved in to take care of her. She was having difficulty with prescription drug abuse, and he knew there had to be another option to help treat her: “We needed a different way to deal with her underlying illness, rather than the ‘Western medicine approach’, which is to just mask symptoms. I began to search for holistic ways to treat her and the pills’ side effects which created even more problems. I knew there had to be another path. I really felt like we had been tormented by Western medicine." However, Steven had his own difficulties when he was diagnosed with scoliosis, and at one point, his doctor told him that we was going to need spinal surgery. He felt strong resistance to this treatment, as he did not feel surgery was the best option for him. Well, he was right. Today, his spine is healthy, and with the treatment of massage and soft tissue manipulation, most of which he experienced through his program at SWIHA, he was able to get out of pain and avoid surgery.

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Topics: Life Coaching, holistic, Massage, Polarity, Great Graduate, cranial unwinding, 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: transformational, Life Coaching, hatha, Yoga Teacher Training, Guidance, yoga

Exploring Her Greatest Potential Through Writing, Yoga & Massage

Posted by Kerry Burki on 7/29/16 8:28 AM

Prior to attending the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA), Trinity Songha was a certified 200 hour yoga teacher from Seattle, WA.  When she moved to Arizona in August of 2011, she decided that she would further her training in yoga teaching by enrolling in the 800 hour yoga program at SWIHA and she is very grateful that she did.

Trinity went on to graduate from 2 major programs at SWIHA. She completed the Yoga 800 hour program in May of 2012, and several months after graduating, she re-enrolled in the 1000 hour master massage program and completed it in April of 2013.

During her time at SWIHA, Trinity felt that she had many favorite classes. Few of which were Myotherapy, Aromatherapy - 5 Element Acupressure for Emotional Healing and Transformational Life Coaching. She liked Myotherapy because it was one of her favorite modalities to give and receive, and she liked the other two because they were transformative – both personally and professionally. One of her most favorite teachers was Pam. She had her for Anatomy and she made the class both fun and educational. 

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Topics: Life Coaching, Massage, Massage Therapy, Great Graduate, 200 Hour Yoga Training, Myotherapy, 800 Hour Training, Anatomy, Vulnerable, Advanced Yoga Training, Wholehearted, Yoga Teacher Training, Potential, Massage School, Massage program, Life Coaching Program, aromatherapy, yoga, Acupressure

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