1. What inspires you to teach yoga? (sva dharma)
2. How has the practice of ParaYoga transformed your life? (tantra)
3. In what way have you seen the principles of ParaYoga help to transform the life of your students? (parampara)
4. What type of practice and/or study is informing your teaching the most right now? (brahmavidya)
5. What obstacles have you had to overcome and how has this made you better and brighter as a teacher and in your life? (agni/sri)
Meet a new Certified ParaYoga teacher every month. Previously featured teachers are archived in the column to the right.
What inspires me to teach yoga?
My connection to and love for the sacred in all of life inspires me to teach yoga. I have found yoga (union) in dance, in song, in plants and in being in really amazing company. I have found yoga helps me connect to the vast parts of my own Self and awakens within me a burning fire to experience and share the richness of life. I see that this flame burns brightest when I practice and when I teach. In order for me to stand strong in this light, my highest and brightest self leads me to connect to and awaken that same potential in others. This is what inspires me to teach yoga.
How has ParaYoga Practice changed my life?
ParaYoga organized the sister sciences of yoga and ayurveda in a way that my mind could comprehend, my body soaked up and as a result my life changed drastically. I feel that this unique (and yet ancient) approach to yoga practice- focusing on breath, energetics, constitutional balancing and meditation-was the answer to a HUGE problem I was facing. Before ParaYoga I was a ‘Whitman’s sampler’-type yogini and had tried many styles of yoga in search for my Self, life direction and peace of mind. The workshops and drop in classes served a surface need but lacked depth and clarity.
In finding ParaYoga I found my long lost roots. Practicing under the tutelage of Yogarupa (live and on CDs) put my body and my brain back in order. The direction, success and happiness in my life and within my family is a testimony to this practice. Hidden within me was a performer that was too shy to get on stage. My commitment to this practice has given me (and thus trickled down to my husband and daughter) the focus, strength, energy, clarity and shakti for my whole family to travel the world spreading intelligent, positive family hip hop music with our band Secret Agent 23 Skidoo! Thats how ParaYoga practice changed my life!
How has ParaYoga changed the life of my students?
My students are a bit shocked when first experiencing this practice. Most have no idea that such an amazing gift is out there and feel balanced, clear, supported and connected after practice. I have taken on the style that Yogarupa offers, which is recording the practices in my workshops for my students to study further at home. I get huge feedback from this, how life changing it is to be guided through different practices (I teach a course called the Roots of Yoga and Ayurveda, similar to Vinyasa Krama) that they can refine and adjust to their needs. Many of these students are diving so deep into yoga now that they are healthier in body and mind and a finding a higher purpose in life. I find private sessions also incredibly valuable, helping clear deep seated issues that they have been struggling with for awhile. This practice truly is a panacea.
What practice/study is informing my teaching now?
I am currently engaged in a SKYPE Sangha (community gathering) with other ParaYogis. We have committed to studying Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras weekly for the next year. This is a huge blessing as the sutras largely focus on the mind...a favorite topic of mine due to the complexity, the mystery and the importance the role of the mind has in life. Each week we cover 5 sutras, which allows me to marinate in the teachings and once I have them assimilated I express them through my own means in my classes, in my blog and with my family.
My other focus is dedication to Dinacharya and my Sadhana. I find that traveling so much and living with artists can be incredibly ungrounding. It takes a lot of focus and strength to make it in the world as artists and yogins. So I oil and do neti pot every morning, get back in bed to do yoga nidra and then either take my daughter to school and then do my sadhana, or if on the weekends I get to roll right onto my mat. My practice (sadhana) consists of asana to support me in whatever life has in store for me at the moment (twists/forward folds if I need to ground, etc..) and then pranayama and mantra meditation. This last part is the gem, never to be skipped in my day. I know that it is the pillar that supports my world both inside and out!
Obstacles I have had to overcome:
Hmmm. The year I met Yogarupa, in 2008, I was suffering from adrenal burnout so bad my hair was falling out. I also had serious digestive issues, subclinical Hashimoto’s, chronic insomnia, depression, some addictive behaviors and anxiety. Mentally I was distracted, confused and full of doubt. Working diligently to cultivate a daily, supportive practice literally brought my adrenals back from the dead (a feat that astonished my acupuncturist as to the speed and depth I was able to recover!) I have no issues with my thyroid, anxiety is gone, I sleep most beautifully and the addictions that haunted me are in the dust!!! My doubt still rises but I practice Vichara (a process of self reflection) with a buddy & hurdle over that obstacle each time I am on stage or in front of an audience.
For those who know me, my life is a testimony to these practices, which have helped me overcome both physical and mental obstacles. I feel that one of the biggest blocks I have faced in life though, was not knowing my purpose. I wasted a TON of energy bumbling around to find it. My practice not only has clarified this purpose, but steers me back on track when I get distracted. It is a practice that connects me to my highest Self, my innermost Teacher and the Love that supports and guides me-- a powerful trinity that can transform any obstacle into a gateway for clarity, growth and positive change.Read more about Brooke.