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Mary Johnston-Coursey

Level 3 ParaYoga Certified Teacher and Certified Four Desires Trainer Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Mary has found her passion and purpose in life sharing the deeper teachings of Yoga with her students. She first met her teacher, Rod Stryker, in 2004. Since her initiation in 2010, she recognizes that life has been guiding her towards ParaYoga all along. Her studies within ParaYoga have led her to also study extensively with Rod’s teacher, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. She is thrilled and honored to find her home within this Sri Vidya Lineage, a Tantric tradition dating back several thousand years. In Para Yoga, Mary is certified Level III, is a Four Desires Trainer, and is on the certification team. She is also certified E-RYT 500 through Yoga Alliance, and is a Yoga Therapist C-IAYT. 

Mary began to meditate in 1974, jumped into a daily yoga practice in 1980, and began teaching in 1981. Since then, she has explored numerous styles of yoga, including Para Yoga, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Restorative, and Yoga Therapy. She holds deep gratitude to all the amazing teachers she has worked with over the years. Mary leads teacher trainings at both the 200 and the 300-hour level. In addition to teaching four of the ParaYoga Master Trainings, Mary regularly offers The Four Desires, an intensive course based on the book by Rod Stryker. Other courses include a meditation series designed to support established meditators in deepening their practice and/or learning to teach meditation. Private sessions can be tailored to meet a student’s unique needs – emphasizing body, mind, heart, and spirituality as needed. Mary’s weekly classes combine precise alignment with deeply focused breath work, emphasizing both strength and ease. Mary especially loves guiding her students in meditation, and class sequences are designed to support the final seated practice.

In addition to yoga, Mary is a dancer and a singer. She holds an MFA in dance, and spent over twenty years as a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. Her dancing has deeply informed her yoga journey: dance was for her a spiritual investigation and commitment – an invitation to channel Divine energy and impulse. Inevitably, dance also offered multiple injuries – opportunities to experience healing through yoga. From her earliest memories, Mary has been a singer, and deeply relates to the notion that we are all somehow caught up in “the song of life”. She views yoga as a path of spiritual transformation which encompasses the deepest form of healing, as well as a path of celebration and growth, as we discover how we can all participate more fully in this song of life.