With incredible tenacity, Nyla Jones, a graduate of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts’ Yoga & Mind-Body Wellness Practitioner programs, states: “In my mother’s death, she gave me life.”
At the tender age of twenty-four, Nyla stepped in to the role of family matriarch. Cancer had claimed her mother, placing Nyla as caretaker to her youngest siblings—her two-year-old brother and her three-year-old sister who was born with Down syndrome.
Instead of allowing herself to be consumed by anger and self-pity, Nyla felt that her mission was to become a vessel of compassion and help her family thrive—not despite the hardships—rather, inspired by them.
Holistic Nutrition Coach
Everyone remembers their first love. For Audrey Washington, that love was massage therapy.
In 2007, with eleven years of massage and entrepreneurial experience under her belt, Audrey moved to Phoenix, Arizona, from Detroit, Michigan, to start her own massage business, ALW Massage Therapy. Once in Phoenix, she found that she preferred to hire graduates of SWIHA’s Massage Program to work as Licensed Massage Therapists on her staff. Although she was not yet formally acquainted with the school, she could tell that the curriculum taught there was strong. “They had more knowledge of anatomy, as well as the ability to do energy work and follow their intuition when working with clients,” she says. “I trusted the school and how they trained their LMTs.”
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.
Yoga Teacher Training,
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.
Yoga Teacher Training,
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.
Yoga Teacher Training,
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.
Mind Body Wellness,
Mind Body Transformational Psychology,
mind-body wellness practitioner,
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!’”
Single Mother Yoga,
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.”
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.”
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.