I am a body person, meaning, so much of the joy in my life comes from the physical experience of being in my body. Body people tend to be the runners, the yogis, the athletes, the massage therapists and more. It makes perfect sense for a yoga teacher to be a body person. In spite of all my body knowing, it is only in the past few years that I have come to understand that the experience of trauma can drive us out of our bodies. That there are those of us that are as disassociated from our bodies as possible, disconnected because the pain of physical, sexual, mental and verbal abuse that has been received makes it too painful, too dangerous to really inhabit the body anymore. These are some of the kids I do yoga with.
Asheville Yoga Center runs a sweet little feature on a different teacher each month. This month, it's me. You can check it out
- or, below.
Why do you teach yoga?
It seems to me that we are yoga; that the union of body, mind and spirit is our true state. If we are lucky, the time on our mats is a remembering of a way back to our true selves, a way to experience our infinity, as well as our accord not only with ourselves but with all life. Yoga has been the path to the altar within my own heart- to think that I could illuminate that path in any way, however small, for another person is my reason for teaching.
What is your teaching history?
I began sharing the practice at Ahimsa Ashram in Washington, DC in 1992. We left DC in 1994 adn did some traveling, arriving in Asheville in 1995. I have taught in various studios in Asheville over the years, as well as Warren Wilson College. I have been with Asheville Yoga Center since they opened, in 1996.
What is your favorite pose at the moment?
I give my best effort at loving which ever pose I am in, at any given moment. With that said, I am experiencing a special fondness for inversions lately.
What's your sign? (astrological)
Gemini #AirSign #AirIsLife
What is your most challenging pose?
Kurmasana. I am somewhat resigned to never experiencing this posture in full, along with a few others, due to shoulder injuries.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
Since sometime in the mid-eighties. Then it was quite sporadic and more of a gymnastic mind set for me than the way I've viewed my practice since 1992.
Describe yourself in three words:
Learning, Loving, Grateful
What is your favorite quote?
Aadil Palkhivala said this and it inspires me every single day: "True yoga is not about the shape of your body but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn't care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied."
What is your favorite word?
Always changing. Right now it is luminous.
What are you reading right now?
Love Letter to the Earth
by Thich Nhat Hanh;
An Open Heart- Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life
by the Dalai Lama;
The Radiance Sutras
by Lorin Roche. I've just finished
Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age
by Clark Strand and it was an awesome read!
What are some favorite songs on your playlist?
both by Rising Appalachia, off their newest release,
Wider Circles. Nectar Drop
by DJ Drez, and re-appreciating Krishna Das, all songs.
What is your favorite food?
I really love leafy green salads and smoothies with superfood add-ins
What is your favorite movie?
My absolute favorite movie is
I heart Huckabees
What inspires you?
Kindness, Compassion, Authenticity, all efforts to participate in co-creating the more beautiful world that we know in our hearts is possible.
Sierra's classes at Asheville Yoga Center happen:
Mondays 10:15 am & Thursdays 7:00 pm
here you will find support for continuing the practice of the Guru Gaitri Mantra and the meditation to embody the 3rd sutra.
the third sutra is "when the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off"
a sutra is a thread or knot. sutras are dense, sometimes just a few words, sometimes 2 or 3 short sentances. a sutra is meant to be "unpacked" with a teacher. we sit with the sutra, turn it over in our minds, discuss it & attempt to live it.
the meditation is sweet & simple. take a comfortable seat- perhaps easy pose. spine is straight, eyes are closed, no specific mudra.
chant the mantra: Gobinday, Mukanday, Udaaray, Apaaray, Hariang, Kariang, Nirnaamay, Akaamay. this mantra is considered the 8 names of the divine & can be translated: sustainer, liberator, enlightener, infinite, destroyer, creator, nameless, desireless.
chant & focus on the sound for 11 minutes.
this meditation is said to bring stability to the hemispheres of the brain & works on the heart center to develop compassion, patience, & tolerance, uniting one with the infinite. it is noted for the capacity to break through deep-seated blocks.
follow this link here to watch an instructional video to practice the meditation
follow this link here to purchase an mp3 of the music for meditaion
see if you can practice this meditation for 40 days in a row ~ giving yourself the chance to really take the change in deep
Like the recipe for Yogi Tea, I learned this recipe from Yogi Bhajan. Golden Milk is every bit as delicious and nourishing as Yogi Tea. Golden Milk is the beverage to drink that will address those aches and pains in your body. Yogi Bhajan taught that this recipe is good for the spine as well as all the joints in the body.