Can you imagine, one day looking back on your life of over seventy-five years, and realizing you have walked a parallel path with extensive history? It is so important for every human being to realize that with life comes the constant ebb and flow of change, and if you are the type to resist it….maybe find a Life Coach and do some work around your resistance, if you’d like to experience more ease! Said in jest, but this week’s graduate has a compelling story of change, dreams, and blessings that created a lifetime of memories and experiences. This is the epitome of “living life”.
Llewellyn D. Howell grew up on a farm in western New York where hard work was the only mode of life he and his family knew. His father always worked a minimum of two jobs, which required him to work days and nights, so sometimes he wouldn’t even see his father. Although Llew developed many life skills as a farm boy, by the time he was seventeen, he was ready to move to something else.
His first dream was fulfilled when he earned two college scholarships, including one from Bakery Confectionery Workers Union of America, one of the few union scholarships given in the country at that time. This allowed him to escape to the University of Michigan! While he was there, he realized his next two goals. One was to teach abroad and the other was to find the small town of Bavaria. He shared a memory of keeping a photograph in the back of a boring German book, and he would often come to that page and hold the photo and think, “Someday, I’m going to go there.” At the beginning of his junior year, he transferred to the State University of New York at Brockport. He developed another dream: “I wanted to be a teacher. I loved being in the classroom, being with children all day, helping to shape their lives. I finally developed some steam in my academic work.”
Georgia Nelson spent over thirty years in the medical industry and remembers, as a little girl, that she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up. While in this field, she noticed she always got pulled back in to dermatology. When her sister was seventeen years old, she was in a horrible head-on collision that split her face open, leaving her face severely scarred. Georgia shared how this trauma affected both of them. “When you’re a teenager, damaging your face can seem like the end of the world.” Though her sister continued to have surgeries and as a team of doctors worked to diminish the scarring, Georgia noticed a transformation in her sibling that inspired her to help others with their skin problems. She has wondered if this was one of the reasons she found herself working in the dermatology departments throughout her career. Georgia became intimate with her own physical struggles, as she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and then later, basil cell carcinoma. This struggle also made her passion for oncology and hematology grow, as she came out a cancer-survivor!
At the age of 50, the pull toward dermatology and skin took over. Georgia decided to take a leap of faith and follow her dream into aesthetics. Her journey began with searching for a beauty school in Arizona. She had four schools lined up to tour, and Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) was the first one on her list. Commuting forty-five minutes from Cave Creek, she showed up at SWINA and remembers this, “I walked into the school and immediately knew my search was over. The staff offered me a facial and that experience was the solidifying factor that showed me I was where I belonged. That was September, and by December, I was enrolled, going to classes, and graduated in June 2016 with a Natural Aesthetics Practitioner diploma!”
The monthly event, Gifts and Graces, is initially what brought Tara Walker-Munroe to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). That evening led her to enroll in the 800-hour Yoga Teacher Training program at Spirit of Yoga (SOY), SWIHA’s extended yoga school and studio. Now that she has graduated, Tara reflected that the first 200 hours of her Yoga Teacher Training were actually her favorite part of the entire program.
“There is such a sense of community that is built. So much love and compassion shared all while learning how to help others find themselves, find stillness, and cultivate peace. It's a beautiful experience. Even if someone is not interested in teaching, the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program is great for self discovery, self growth, self knowledge.”
During her yoga training, Tara found that her favorite teachers were Laura McKinzie, Duane Armitage, Aradhana Kaur, and India Bee. She shared that they all taught with compassion and grace. During her training, she learned the tools needed to succeed and were instilled with the confidence needed to face self-doubt. “I also have to say my fellow classmates inspired me. When you embark on such a journey, the opportunity for learning is all around you.” Tara wanted to add that she also loved her Polarity teachers- Gilad, Tracy, and Dina. In all honesty, she knows there are people she is leaving out so she shared that it's safe to say that she loved all her teachers at SWIHA/SOY.
200 Hour Yoga Training,
Yoga for Recovery,
Yoga Teacher Training,
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.
200 Hour Yoga Training,
800 Hour Training,
Advanced Yoga Training,
Yoga Teacher Training,
Life Coaching Program,
Anita Tanjutco was working for UPS’s pre-load shift, and she had 100%-free health benefits. One day she decided to take advantage of her benefits, so she found a chiropractor for routine maintenance. Her massage therapist was a graduate of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). They became friendly and would always chat during their treatments and one day the massage therapist said, “You would love SWIHA! I think you should check it out!” Anita was twenty-three at the time and not exactly sure which direction she was heading in her life and career. Actually, she had toured another Valley massage school a few years before, however it didn’t feel like the right place or the right time. She decided she was open to suggestions, especially since this topic was coming up again for her. A week after this SWIHA chat with her MT, she called the school and set up a time for her to tour of the campus. The moment she arrived on campus, she fell in love, and she knew she was exactly where she needed to be! This felt right: when the timing is right, you just know. So she enrolled in the next available Master Massage Practitioner program.
Each class and teacher had something so unique and special to offer. From start to finish within the massage program, Anita’s interests seemed to evolve. At first she loved Myotherapy, however towards the middle of her studies her passion was energy work, which is working with meridians (energy pathways across the body) and the metaphysical body rather than the physical tissue. Then she found Release Point Therapy and absolutely fell in love. In 2008, these classes were taught by Dr. Henele and deeply impacted Anita’s life and her future success. The series of classes really took students through a step-by-step journey of healing the body and layers, one by one. “In massage school, you give and receive each treatment during class: it’s how you learn the skill. Every single day, we watched our classmates have these breakthroughs, and each of us were witnessing how fascinating and powerful the human body really is. Everyone in the program experienced at least one, huge emotional breakthrough. To have the opportunity to assist my fellow classmates in achieving such magical releases, is why I’d say it was my favorite class. Now that I get to watch the same in my clients-- it is such a blessing.”
India Lee Benedetto, also known as India Bee, made her way to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) at the perfect time in her life. She officially began her studies at SWIHA in the Yoga Therapy program in 2011 after she had connected deeply to yoga eleven years prior, just as she was graduating from Arizona State University and was preparing to live abroad for the first time to work as a Peace Corps volunteer in the countryside of Bolivia. Shortly after her arrival, a fellow volunteer went missing and was never found. Less than nine later, 9/11 shook the world, and everything changed. “Through all of this transition and unrest in the world, yoga is where I found myself again and again.”
India knew she wanted to do something in the field of yoga which allowed her to share her passion with others, yet she just didn’t know how to make that happen. So she began building a career in corporate America where she worked to diversify law school classes and law firms and empower women, globally. After traveling on business to Washington D.C. and then to Peru, she returned home after three weeks to an unsettling feeling. She decided the life she had created was not in alignment with her values, and it was not sustainable for her. Just one year later, she found the courage to make the decision to embrace and walk her destined path.
Yoga in Action,
India Bee Yoga,
Yoga Teacher Training,
Off the Mat,
With the saguaro cacti in bloom, I am reminded of the very first floral essence I created. It was a memorable experience that produced a potent brew! I’d love to share my story with you:
First of all, I am a Cactus Whisperer.
I have had a connection with plants my entire life. It’s a gift that was given to me by my mother. Since I love plants so much, I took the Flower Essence Course at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in July of 2014. I loved the class and bemoaned the fact that I would have to wait almost a year to create a flower essence from my favorite of all cacti, the saguaro, since their blooming season is in the April-May time frame.
Before I continue with my story, you might be wondering what a flower essence is. A lot of people mistakenly believe that flower essences hold the fragrance of flowers, when in fact flower essences actually contain the vibrational energy of the plant. They are taken orally (a few drops in a cup of water) versus a topical application, and they hold no fragrance.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts,
Dr. Edward Bach,