SWIHA Blog

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

On the Road: My Cross-Country Journey to Yoga Teacher Training

Posted by Tristen Reis on 5/14/18 2:00 PM

In 2007, I was introduced to yoga by a friend who directed me to take a class in Kundalini. Little did I know that the place where I would first step foot on the mat would be the same place I would train to become a yoga teacher myself nine years later: SWIHA.

 

A Rough Start

Back then, it felt like so much was happening physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually that I was not sure what to do or how to process what was coming up for me. While I dabbled in yoga since that fateful class in 2007—taking an occasional class and attempting to join Instagram yoga challenges—it wasn’t until 2015 that I finally committed to seeking yoga as a way of healing.

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Topics: yoga, 200 Hour Yoga Training, Advanced Yoga Training, Yoga Teacher Training, 800 Hour YTT

A World Away: Teaching Yoga Nidra in India

Posted by Laura McKinzie on 5/7/18 2:25 PM

India gets into your soul. Seeing it is like meeting again with an old friend—a re-acquaintance with a land that is transformative, inspiring, and pure magic.

India is also vast and profoundly diverse in its landscapes, languages, customs, and clothing.  The big cities, and even some small towns, bustle with activity 24/7. It is said that India can be an assault on the senses and can lead to a feeling of “culture shock,” yet I feel otherwise. India touches a place within you that is as old as time itself. It reminds you that you are infinite. It reminds you of your Truth.

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Topics: Yoga Teacher Training, yoga nidra, yoga, spirit of yoga, India

The WHY of Yoga: What Heals You?

Posted by Will Zecco on 4/30/18 2:00 PM

Those who know me know that my journey into yoga started very late in life. While I had always had an interest in yoga, I usually ended up feeling disheartened whenever I’d venture to an actual class. Time after time, I’d find myself in the same chaotic environment: a room full of sweaty people jumping through the poses at lightning speed while an instructor stood at the front of the room, barking out the moves like a drill sergeant! Leaving the studio after these experiences, I’d wind up feeling uneasy with the same thought plaguing me the whole journey home: “Well, that was not what I expected...”

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Topics: Advanced Yoga Training, Yoga Teacher Training, Transformation, Yoga Sutras, yoga

Carrie Guthrie-Gray: Hatha Gongster Goddess and Future Death Midwife

Posted by Alexandra Comeaux on 4/19/18 2:00 PM

Before SWIHA, Carrie Guthrie-Gray was doing a job that would frighten most people to death: drawing blood. As a phlebotomist working for the same company for 15 years, she had great pay, great bonuses, and paid time off. Yet, despite the nobility of performing a service that is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions, Carrie found herself bored by performing the same task day-in and day-out with little variation.

“When working in the medical field, you are only allowed to spend a certain amount of time with each patient,” Carrie reflects. “It was like moving cattle. I was unable to connect with people, or if I did connect with someone, I had to usher them out of the room shortly after. When I worked in the oncology department, there were many occasions when I was the first person that the patient saw after being diagnosed with cancer, and they would literally start bawling in my chair. I wanted to spend more time with them. I wanted to listen and hold space for them, yet I wasn’t able to do it in that setting. It broke my heart. It was draining the life out of me to be so pulled to hold space, yet not allowed to do so.”

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Topics: hatha gong, western herbalism, Holistic Nutrition, Yoga Teacher Training, Holistic wellness, cancer, Alternative healing

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

Tuning In: How Leah Baguet Transformed from Mathematician to Workplace Yoga Star!

Posted by Alexandra Comeaux on 4/5/18 2:00 PM


Like so many graduates, Leah Baguet’s path to holistic wellness began with a journey. She was surrounded by stress at her job, working through a series of medical challenges, and coping with the premature death of a close family member.

So, what makes Leah’s journey so different? Well, it was a literal one!

“I realized that life is just too short,” Leah shares. “I decided to quit my full-time job and travel the world with my husband. Upon returning, I didn’t want to go back to the regular hustle and bustle of a 9 to 5 job. That’s when SWIHA came into my life.”

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Topics: Vegetarian, Holistic Nutrition, yoga, 200 Hour Yoga Training, Yoga Teacher Training, Work Yoga

Open Letter to our Massage Therapy Students & Graduates – Do the ‘Right’ thing!

Posted by KC Miller on 12/18/17 3:07 PM

Our hearts are extremely heavy as we read the news about the massage industry and those who have experienced misconduct and sexual assaults by Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs). As a nationally accredited college with a 25-year history of providing massage therapy education, we believe it is our responsibility to take a clear stand on sexual harassment, violations of personal boundaries, and the kinds of unconscious behaviors that are how coming to light in the massage community.

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) is resolved to be on the forefront of reminding, retraining, and encouraging all massage therapists to honor and recommit to the ethical oaths they took when they became an LMT.  We seek to remind them that at each step of their journey toward becoming an LMT – from their first class, through graduation and licensure, and investing in massage liability insurance – they made and affirmed their commitment to ethical practice.

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Topics: ethics, Massage, Massage Therapy, yoga, Yoga Teacher Training, Massage Therapy Ethics, Boundaries, LMT, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Yamas, Sankulpa, Niyamas, Yogic Philosophy, Massage Therapy CEUs, Professionalism, Consciousness

Lessons from LEGOLAND: Be N.I.C.E.

Posted by KC Miller on 10/24/17 11:18 AM

Having recently completed a two and a half week assignment of being granny-nanny to my three youngest granddaughters (ages 10, 8 and 3 years old) while my daughter in-laws served in Africa, the words to the LEGOLAND theme song “Everything Is Awesome” will be forever etched in my brain. Nominated for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards, the LEGO Movie song is infectious with its catchy rhythm; it’s difficult to not start shaking from side to side as if your body has turned into a little block-like-structure, bouncing around uncontrollably, when the words flow through your mind:

Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team!

Everything is awesome when you're living out a dream!

Was I living out a dream while spending 16 non-stop, action-packed, emotion-filled days dedicated to childcare… days which could easily be likened to one of the roller coasters at LEGOLAND, where we spent part of a week? Certainly… if this adventure was designed to assess and define the progression of my mindfulness practice!

How did I not lose my mind? By consciously and mindfully choosing to use as my sanity mantra the words, “Everything Is Awesome!”

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Topics: Life Coaching, Mindfulness, Yoga Teacher Training, Stress Management, Emotional Release, PTSD, Mindful, mantra, non-judgment, Anger Management, Non-resistance, granny-nanny, childcare, grandparent, parenting, Mindfulness Training

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