Sasha Ann Larkin
Balance, it’s a word that gets thrown around a lot in the yoga world, from classes that promise to help you balance on one leg, one hand, or even your head. Some yoga schools even offer students a way to find a balanced diet, balanced workout, or even the ever so sexy, Chakra Balancing! After over two decades in law enforcement though, balance means something so much deeper, richer and more fulfilling to me, but that reveal only came after immersion and dedication to the Sri Vidya lineage and the teachings of Yogarupa Rod Stryker. I found Yogarupa at a Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park, Colorado in 2000 while taking his twist class, and knew my soul was home. Over the last 20 years, steeped in the Parayoga practices, connected to the powerful sangha, and protected by the profound wisdom, I have found peace and balance in some of life’s most mind blowing atrocities. I have spent many years working the worst neighborhoods in Las Vegas as a police officer that are over run with crime, violence, poverty and horrific suffering, and the greatest gift I was ever given was the power to assimilate all negativity, and the subsequent ability to find stillness.
In 2004, I was involved in a deadly officer involved shooting, and Yogarupa gave me the guidance, support and love to transition through it, and ensure that it would not define me, or limit me in anyway. Since then I have had the honor of promoting through a few ranks and now am the Captain of Las Vegas’s largest area command servicing over 100 square miles, 385,000 residents, and countless visitors every year. I would not be here without Yogarupa, ParaYoga, and our sangha, my ParaYoga friends have carried me through the darkest of hours of my life, my practice has given me indomitable will and strength when I have needed it the most, and the lineage has given me protection so tangible I can feel it. I love everything about ParaYoga and know that teaching and sharing it’s wisdom the last 18 years has been my balance, while having the pleasure of living my dharma as a police officer and serving my community. The gift of balancing a demanding career in law enforcement, my three young children, teaching yoga, a physical practice coupled with meditation, time with my husband and friends, and still feeling grounded, has given me clear insight into what yoga really is and why it has existed for so many centuries.