June18t – Dallas Yoga Magazine . Everything Yoga Wed, 05 Jun 2019 12:08:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.9 /wp-content/uploads/2016/11/DYM.png June18t – Dallas Yoga Magazine . 32 32 Yoga Sanga with Lavanga /yoga-sanga-with-lavanga/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:24:09 +0000 /?p=3100 Yoga Sanga with Lavanga Understanding the Hare Krishna Community       Photos: Lavanga singing Kirtan with friends at Atma Bhakti Center   Laura Lavanga Schlette holds a special place in Dallas Yoga Magazine’s heart. She is a sweet and loving soul who has found her passion and calling in the Hare Krishna community. Lavanaga’s […]

The post Yoga Sanga with Lavanga appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Yoga Sanga with Lavanga

Understanding the Hare Krishna Community




Photos: Lavanga singing Kirtan with friends at Atma Bhakti Center


Laura Lavanga Schlette holds a special place in Dallas Yoga Magazine’s heart. She is a sweet and loving soul who has found her passion and calling in the Hare Krishna community. Lavanaga’s commitment to her practice and guru is pure love. We are honored to share her interview with our readers.


Photo: Lavanga with her harmonium


DYM: Where are you originally from?


Lavanga: I was born in Denton and grew up in Grand Prairie.  I’ve been in the Dallas area my whole life, with the exception of 1 year in New Mexico when I was 11, and a few years in Los Angeles in my early 20s. What can I say…Dallas is home.

DYM: What do you do as a career? Explain.


Lavanga: Well, I’ve been a licensed massage therapist for 24 years, and in that field, I’ve made my living in many ways – from working for others, doing outcalls, owning my own studio and teaching at a massage school for a while.  But I’ve almost always had income coming from more than one source, which I like.  Things like doing Reiki attunements, reading tarot cards or making jewelry.  Even though massage is truly my dharma and I love it (and I’m really good at it, I’m told), my goal for the future is to further diversify how I make a living by developing other talents and interests and really putting myself out there.

DYM: Did you grow up in a religious home?


Lavanga: Oh my yes, I did.  Born and raised Roman Catholic.  Went to Catholic school from 1st-5th grades….taught by pre-Vatican 2 nuns, blue plaid uniforms, the whole bit!  It was my identity up until I was 15 years old, when suddenly it all began to feel very hollow to me.

DYM: You are a Hare Krishna now. That is a huge jump from Roman Catholic, what lead you to that path?


Lavanga: Okay, I have to make this the Cliff Notes version…..let’s say it was a lifelong process.  I remember at 8 years old beginning to doubt the Catholic Church had all the answers for me.  I can see now that’s when things really began.   By the time I was 15, I no longer internally identified as Catholic.  My first encounter with the Hare Krishnas was the summer I turned 17, and my friends and I first stepped in to the Dallas temple in December of 1986.  I immediately felt most everything about the philosophy to be true, but I was in no place to take up any kind of serious practice.  After all, I had just recently shed an identity that had felt kind of forced upon me for my entire life up to that point.  So, over the next 17 years, I studied and participated in all kinds of paths – New Age, Pagan/Wicca, Buddhism, Native American studies…you name it, and now I’m really glad I did that.  But in 2000 when my mother passed away, I began feeling the need to give up the “little bit of this and that” mentality.  I realized that no matter what tradition I followed, the only way to experience the deep connection I was looking for was to pick one and dig deep.  Though I never 100% abandoned the Hare Krishna/Bhakti tradition, at that point, it was very obvious which path I had to dive into, and spent the next 2 years re-connecting with the practices and the people.  In 2002, I met my Guru and that sealed the deal completely.  I took formal vows of commitment in 2004.

DYM: That is so wonderful to find your passion and your path. People are always curious about the Hare Krishna’s. I know it’s difficult to explain religion, but can you share some of the philosophies you love about it.


Lavanga: We’re called “Hare Krishnas” because that’s what we chant.  So, Krishna is a name of God that means “all-attractive,” and “Hare” is a way to call on the feminine energy of God. I like that part of it – we recognize ultimately God is as much Female as Male.  We call what we practice “Krishna Consciousness” because the goal of our lives is to become conscious of a reciprocal relationship with God we’ve always had but forgotten.  To do that, we learn how to spiritualize all of our daily activities.  It is so practical!  We all want happiness, right?  The root cause of our suffering is feeling separated from God’s love.  And no matter how much we try otherwise, nothing else but God’s love will fill that hole in our hearts, because it is unlimited.  So, the goal is to remove the barriers the barriers which are blocking us from experiencing the happiness that only comes from loving exchanges with God.   And to start this process, you take what you already do, but just switch the reason you’re doing it. That’s really magical, because with this mentality you’ll see how God’s loving hand is directing everything in your life.

DYM: Tell us something about the Hare Krishna’s most people would not know.


Lavanga: The term “Hare Krishna” is not really the name of what we practice.  I don’t think most people know that.  The actual tradition we follow is called “Gaudiya Vaishnavism.” which is referring to our teacher lineage which actually pre-dates Hinduism, making Hinduism an off-shoot of our tradition, not the other way around.

DYM: The temple has an amazing vegetarian restaurant and one of my favorites… Kalachandjis, they have the best food! Are you a great vegetarian cook?


Lavanga: I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but yes… I’m a great cook!  My love of cooking began at a very early age helping my father in the kitchen.  He was an amazing cook, as was his mother…so I come from a good lineage there too.  We grew up eating Asian style – my father was raised in Indonesia – rice and veggies were always the centerpiece of our meals.  I adore everything Asian – Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese.  I’m more picky about Indian food but I do love South Indian dosas and idlis.  I cook all styles- Mexican, Italian, etc., I love to bake, especially cookies and muffins.  I’m also really good at cooking without grains and beans.  Twice a month we observe days of fasting for health and spiritual benefits.  It’s really fun figuring out how to how to make the things we usually eat from different ingredients.  For instance, if you look in my pantry, I have a half a dozen or so different kinds of non-grain flours that I experiment with….I love it!

DYM: How long have you been a vegetarian? Was changing your diet hard when you first became one?


Lavanga: I became a vegetarian about a month after first going to the Hare Krishna temple, so that was 32 years ago.  I had actually toyed with it a couple of years earlier when I learned Paul McCartney was a vegetarian, but alas, that wasn’t enough to keep me at it!  But when I met the Hare Krishnas and learned about spiritual reasons to not eat meat, it was easy to make the switch, and it’s been an easy thing to maintain.  Not in the sense of there’s always plenty to eat in all situations, but in the sense that I don’t feel tempted because it’s connected to my deepest spiritual convictions.  Plus, when you hang around the Kalachandji’s community, there’s so much good food around, there’s no reason to eat anything else!

DYM: I have to agree. I could eat at Kalachandjis every night. If I remember correctly, was your guru in town recently? How did this person become so important to you and how has he impacted you?


Lavanga: He was here recently. I’m super lucky because he spends at least 3-4 months in Dallas every year, so I get to spend a lot of time with him.  By the time I met him, I had been around the Hare Krishnas for almost 20 years, but I had a deep fear of committing myself fully, and I beat myself up internally about that for long time.  Spiritual life to the degree I wanted to take it seemed difficult and unattainable.  But when I met him, it all of a sudden didn’t feel difficult anymore.  There’s no other way to describe it.  It was like a light switch got turned on and those fears totally dissolved.  Suddenly taking vows to become his formal student became the only thing that mattered in the whole world.  He’s like a father and a best friend all in one.  He teaches so much by his example, and encourages me in the things he sees me enthusiastic about.  Plus, he’s so funny and sweet.  Just ask anyone who has met him!   He also gave me my name, which is super special.  You get a spiritual name at the time you make the formal commitment vows.  So, every time my name is used, I get a chance to remember something he gave me.


DYM: That is special. We are looking forward to meeting him someday. Can you explain to the readers the tradition of changing Kalachandji’s clothing and what it means to you to be able to do this for the temple?


Lavanga: Like I said before, Krishna Consciousness is about re-kindling our relationship with Krishna because ultimately God is a person.  Changing someone’s clothes is a very personal and intimate thing.  Spiritual life is very alive and dynamic, and when I’m up on the altar I can feel love emanating from Kalachandji.  I do a lot of praying and meditating up there.   I’m artistic, and it’s a really good outlet for my creative side, coordinating the jewelry with the outfits, etc.  But even more than the pleasure I get from it personally, I love how people react to the Deities when I dress them.  I love when visitors come to the temple and take photos of the altar.  I feel like I helped them have a lovely experience they get to take home with them.  The other thing that makes it special is in order to do this service, you have to be a priest.  Being brought up a Catholic girl, becoming a priest was something you could only dream about.  But in our tradition, it is open to everyone who wants to take up the extra vows that go with it.

DYM: The altars are so amazingly beautiful at the temple. I bring my friends of all different faiths to experience it. The feel and the beauty of it is extraordinary. Tell us about your daily spiritual rituals.


Lavanga: Mantra meditation on a mala is my main practice and the primary vow I made to my Guru. Private meditation like that is called japa. The mantra I chant is the maha-mantra, you know, the Hare Krishna mantra….Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.  They are all various names of God we chant in the mood of offering ourselves in service.  That is the meaning of Bhakti, offering your entire heart to God.  It takes me about 1-½ hours a day.  Chanting them all at once in the early morning is the goal, but not always the reality!   Also, all the food I cook at home is blessed with mantras before we eat.  I don’t even taste while I’m cooking, because God gets the first taste.  This is a skill that takes some trial and error to get right.  This is also one of the secrets as to why the food at Kalachandji’s is so amazing.  They do it the same way.  Chanting and eating are the two main practices of Bhakti Yoga.


DYM: You plan and organize events at the Atma Bhakti Center in Dallas. Tell us about the place and some of the events you have there. Do you have any upcoming events?


Lavanga: Atma Bhakti Center is my little home away from home.  It is a renovated duplex that’s only a block from my house, which is right on the border of Hollywood Heights near Lakewood in East Dallas.  One side has a full kitchen with tables and a little sitting area where we host Ayurveda and vegan cooking classes.  The other side has a large empty room with high ceilings where mostly yoga classes take place.  Behind the yoga room is a small room that’s my primary place of doing massage and healing work.  We recently took the word “yoga” out of our name because we are more of a community center than what people normally think of as a yoga center.  The hatha/asana yoga we do have is mostly gentle and restorative, though we have recently added a Sivananda style yoga class on Saturdays, as well as a Kundalini class.  We also of course offer a lot of bhakti yoga. We have weekly Bhagavad Gita readings and host kirtans (the yoga room has amazing acoustics).  We regularly rent out the space for workshops and classes too.  There is a real need in the community for an inexpensive space for those who want to teach their healing or meditation classes and events.  We’ve found that’s a niche for us.  As far as upcoming, we always host a summertime community market with local vendors, though we haven’t set a date for that quite yet.  If anyone has an event that they need a space for, let me know!

DYM: You play the harmonium! How did you learn to play it?


Lavanga: Honestly, primarily YouTube videos!  You can really go down a rabbit hole if you start looking for kirtan tunes there.  I also subscribed to something called the Bhakti Breakfast Club for a few months, which is a really great resource.  They teach you basic techniques and theory plus they share how to play popular kirtan tunes by people such as Krishna Das and Jai Uttal, so you can start kirtan-ing right away.  I’ve been playing guitar off and on for years, so having a basic working knowledge of music helped, but if you learn a couple of chords, you can go a long way with just that.

DYM: When you play the harmonium, you sing Kirtan. Can you explain to our readers who don’t know about Kirtan what it is and why it’s so important to you?


Lavanga: As I’ve mentioned earlier, my main practice is mantra meditation.  So, if chanting alone is powerful (which it is) then chanting with a whole bunch of other people is even more powerful!  It really amplifies the power of the mantras, not to mention the fun of adding music to the mix.  What does it say in Psalms… “when two or more people are praising my name, I am present…” that’s what Kirtan is.  The classic format is there is a leader who will sing the melody of the mantra, then everyone else sings in response, then the leader will sing it again, then response again…and so on and so forth.  What this does is generate an exchange of love between the “leader” and the “responders” which raises the vibrational energy and really opens the heart.  The key in kirtan is participation – it isn’t a musical performance, it is actually prayer.  My desire when I lead kirtan especially, is to simply be a channel for this perfect spiritual energy to come through.  When I sing in that mood, you can feel that kind of energy coming back from the responders.  When a kirtan really gets going and everyone is singing loud and from the heart, it transports you into another world.  Oh, and then dancing can happen too!  Dancing and singing as prayer….yeah, there’s nothing else quite like it.

DYM: You are speaking at the Cosmic Yogi Festival about the importance of mantras. Will you share why you use mantras and can anyone benefit from it?


Lavanga: The best thing about using mantras is they are so practical.  And when I say “mantra,” I don’t mean an affirmation, I mean the potent spiritual sound vibration that is present in Sanskrit mantras.   Mantra meditation can be done anywhere, anytime in any circumstance by anyone.  The word itself is broken down like this – “man” refers to the mind and “tra” means ‘to free’ or ‘to deliver.’  We’ve all had experience where our mind takes us all kinds of places we don’t want it to go.  Or we may be in a situation we can’t physically get out of, but we can mentally get out of that space.  Either way, the “mind-freeing” mantra can get us out of that and take us to a safe, spiritual place.  You can say it silently or scream it from the rooftops…it all works the same.

DYM: You make “prayer boxes” decorated with Krishna, Buddha and other spiritual leaders. We have one you made on our altar. They are so colorful and joyous. They are filled with so much positive energy! Can you tell everyone what makes them so unique?


Lavanga: My altars and prayer boxes are an extension of what I do on the altar at Kalachandji’s.  Not everyone can go up on the altar, so I bring Kalachandji to you!  The Deities are decorated with costume jewelry which over time breaks.  Because the jewelry has touched the Kalachandji who has been the recipient of so much love, that energy, that Shakti becomes a part of the jewelry.  Every altar I make has quite a lot of this broken jewelry incorporated into the design, so you get the energy too!  I like making altars with personalities other than Krishna such as Buddha, Saraswati, Ganesha, St. Francis, Archangel Michael etc., because people resonate with different spiritual energies and I want to honor that.  They are also made with various crystals and semi-precious stones which enhance the beauty and energy of the altars.  They are so much fun to create, and most of the time I’m listening to spiritual music and singing while I’m making them, so they get infused with mantras and a lot of love.  I also make custom ones by request.  Those are the most fun to make.   Co-creation is something I’m really in to.

DYM: How do you see yourself as part of the larger yoga community in Dallas and what do you hope to bring into the Community?


Lavanga: What’s super exciting now about the yoga community is that it’s really starting to expand into “the rest of yoga.”  So many people have started, as most do, with the physical part –  the asanas.  Now those same people have been practicing that for a while, and it’s a very natural next step to become open to learn about the whole lifestyle and philosophy side of yoga.  To learn more about vegetarianism, meditation and yogic texts such as the Bhagavad Gita.  So, that’s where I and the Atma Bhakti Center come in.  We want to be resource for those who want to learn more about yoga “beyond the asanas.”  My personal desire is to see aspects of Bhakti yoga incorporated in to more and more classes, and kirtan spread wider.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if a short kirtan after class was kind of “the norm?”  I think it would be amazing!  So, one way that I’m personally going to do that is begin offering what I call “Yoga Sanga with Lavanga.”  It’s a class that offers a complete yoga experience.  We’ll start with some intentional, prayerful asana, then have a short kirtan.  After that, we’ll discuss a verse or concept from the Bhagavad Gita.  We’ll end the gathering with a vegan, sattvic meal.  What’s a sattvic meal?  Come to one of the classes and find out!  I don’t have dates yet, but they will be popping up on the Atma Bhakti Center calendar (and other yoga centers calendars) later this summer!


DYM: Count us in! Your journey is remarkable, and we so appreciate you sharing it with us. Thank you. Namaste.

Contact Information for Lavanga: Website: www.atmabhaktiyoga.com Social Media:

Facebook:  Atma Bhakti Center

Facebook, Instagram and Etsy:  Lavanga Latika (personal page for altars, etc.) Email if you desire:  lavangala@aol.com (I do love email)

Address for the Atma Bhakti Center:  6315 Lindsley Ave., Dallas, TX  75223

The post Yoga Sanga with Lavanga appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Studies Confirm Yoga Offers Arthritis Relief /studies-confirm-yoga-offers-arthritis-relief/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:19:54 +0000 /?p=3098 Studies Confirm Yoga Offers Arthritis Relief Tibetan Yoga Can Too!   Introduction Over the past thirty years, an increasing number of studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly can offer relief to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or even osteoarthritis.  A new study just published in April 2018 in Complementary Therapies in Medicine now shows […]

The post Studies Confirm Yoga Offers Arthritis Relief appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Studies Confirm Yoga Offers Arthritis Relief Tibetan Yoga Can Too!



Over the past thirty years, an increasing number of studies have shown that practicing yoga regularly can offer relief to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or even osteoarthritis.  A new study just published in April 2018 in Complementary Therapies in Medicine now shows that regular yoga practice can even be more beneficial than just engaging in manual therapies such as massage therapy alone.  An ancient Tibetan form of yoga, which emphasizes continual movement combined with breathing, may be more accessible to people suffering from arthritis who do not have ready access to more traditional Hatha yoga classes, although the two forms of yoga complement each other very well.

Arthritis and Yoga

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US, causing an enormous economic impact, as well as untold impact to peoples’ lives.  Over 55 million Americans having been diagnosed with arthritis, with 2 out of every 3 of those diagnosed being between the ages of 18 and 64.  There are over 100 types of arthritis, with no known cures for any of them.  Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type, affecting more than 31 million Americans, followed by rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  Arthritis is considered to be a chronic disease that can at best be managed through pain killers, anti-inflammatories, diet, and exercise.

In the past several years, a growing number of studies have emerged showing that regular yoga practice can help reduce pain and inflammation and enhance function in those suffering from arthritis. In fact, the American College of Rheumatology states that exercise and physical activity is a necessary part of an effective treatment program for patients with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The growing body of evidence from studies suggests yoga is a reasonably safe and feasible option for many people living with rheumatic conditions. This holistic approach to exercise with an emphasis on mindfulness and stress reduction may also offer additional opportunities to enhance psychological well-being, reduce pain and enhance function and participation, as part of a comprehensive disease management approach. – “Yoga in Rheumatic Diseases”

For example, numerous clinical studies of those suffering from arthritis have been conducted in which some patients were put through an eight week yoga practice program, while others were placed in a control group and did not go through the yoga program.  Those who practiced the yoga experienced less pain, increased energy, better sleep, and a wider range of movement after only eight weeks.  For many who practiced the yoga, the effects were still present even nine months after the study had concluded!

“My doctor thinks I have an incredible pain tolerance, but really it’s the yoga. I don’t know if I would be mobile right now if it weren’t for yoga. I can’t help but think: It has to be the yoga.”

– Virginia McLemore, Yoga teacher and Occupational Therapist, Roanoke, Virginia

Why Yoga Works

If you’re wondering why yoga works to help relieve pain in arthritic patients, there are a couple of different explanations.

Loren Fishman is a physician at Columbia University and specializes in rehabilitation medicine.  She is co-author of the book Yoga for Arthritis.  She says “Yoga’s extreme range of motion sends fluid into the obscure corners and crevices of each joint.”  Her other co-author, Ellen Saltonstall, is a certified yoga teacher in Manahattan and also suffers from arthritis.  Ellen says “I find a daily practice helps the most.  When I skip a few days, I feel like I’ve aged 10 years.”

Another possible explanation is related to the relaxation induced by the slow movement and rhythmic breathing of yoga.  “Yoga not only safely exercises the muscles, ligaments, and bones in and around the joints, but also triggers a relaxation response that can help reduce pain and improve functioning” says Sharon Kolasinski, a Rheumatologist at the University of Pennyslvania’s School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Latest Research

Yoga constitutes an active movement therapy that the participant is actively involved in doing, much like Tai Chi.  Other practices that doctors sometimes recommend to people with arthritis, such as massage and chiropractic therapy, are referred to as manual therapy and tend to be more passive, although they can also be helpful.  Now a new study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine in April of this year, found that adults with arthritis who engaged in movement therapies such as yoga, overall got more benefit and saw slightly better results than those who only used manual therapies.

Clinical studies continue to show that a regular practice of yoga can greatly improve the quality of life of those who have been diagnosed with arthritis.  Those who practice yoga consistently have greater energy, more elevated moods, more mobility and less pain than those who do not.  Thus, practicing yoga on a daily basis can become an integral part of managing arthritis effectively.  However, researchers are also noting that there can be socio-economic barriers to practicing yoga regularly.  In their studies, researchers have also noted that the majority of those who practice yoga regularly tend to be highly educated white women.

Tibetan Yoga as a Viable Alternative

There is a little known Tibetan form of yoga that has existed for at least 2,500 years, as part of the Kum Nye Tibetan practices.  This form of yoga consists of five different movements – some of which resemble Hatha yoga stances – but which emphasize slow continuous movement, combined with rhythmic breathing.  Because there are only five motions, this form of yoga is often referred to colloquially as just The Five Tibetans.  Altogether it takes less than fifteen minutes to do a full set of all five exercises.

Almost anybody can do the five Tibetan yoga exercises, and they can be done alone from the comfort of one’s own home.  Thus, those who cannot afford to attend Hatha yoga classes, to go to a gym, or who just don’t have the time or resources, can still benefit from Tibetan yoga to help relieve their arthritis symptoms.  Testimonies from people around the country attest that practicing Tibetan yoga every day for just fifteen minutes a day is just as effective in alleviating the symptoms of arthritis as practicing Hatha yoga for an hour several times a week is.


For those who have the time and resources to practice Hatha yoga, study after study has shown that regular practice can be an integral part of an arthritis pain management program.  However, Hatha yoga is not the only type of yoga that has been shown to be effective in managing arthritis pain.  For those who cannot practice Hatha yoga regularly, there is also an ancient Tibetan form of yoga which anyone can practice from their own home daily in less than fifteen minutes a day.

Additionally, someone who practices Hatha yoga in a class setting several times a week, cannot also benefit from practicing Tibetan yoga from their home every day.  Both forms of yoga have been shown to be effective in managing arthritis, so practicing both can only be even more beneficial.


 “Movement and manual therapy for adults with arthritis: 2012 National Health Interview Survey”, by Elise Pure, Lauren Terhorst, Nancy Baker, Complementary Therapies in Medicine April 2018, volume 37, pp 96-102

“Medical Yoga Therapy” by Ina Stephens, Children 2017

“Yoga in Sedentary Adults with Arthritis: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Trial” by Susan Bartlett et al, J Rheumatol, April 2015

“Yoga in Rheumatic Diseases” by Susan Bartlett et al., Curr Rehumatol Rep, Dec 2013

“Yoga for Arthritis: A Scoping Review” by Susan Bartlett and Steffany Haaz, Rehum Dis Clin North America, Dec 2010

About the Author

José de la Torre and his wife live in Euless, along with their two beautiful daughters.  When he’s not working with clients as a holistic life coach, he is teaching Qi Gong, as well as The Five Tibetans.  To find out more about José, you can connect with him on Facebook at @BeatPeaceCoach, or online at http://www.jose-delatorre.com.  If you would like to learn how to do The Five Tibetans for yourself and see how they can benefit you, you can take his online course at http://www.the5tibetans.com.

The post Studies Confirm Yoga Offers Arthritis Relief appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Kaiut Yoga for Biomechanical Health /kaiut-yoga-for-biomechanical-health/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:18:57 +0000 /?p=3096 Kaiut Yoga for Biomechanical Health Christina Siepiela Yoga Journey   Above Photo: Christina Siepiela and Francisco Kaiut Dallas Yoga Magazine is thrilled to learn more about Kaiut Yoga Instructor, Christina Siepiela and the Kaiut method. Christina has an incredibly diverse background and has practiced yoga throughout the world. She has an incredible story of how […]

The post Kaiut Yoga for Biomechanical Health appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Kaiut Yoga for Biomechanical Health

Christina Siepiela Yoga Journey


Above Photo: Christina Siepiela and Francisco Kaiut

Dallas Yoga Magazine is thrilled to learn more about Kaiut Yoga Instructor, Christina Siepiela and the Kaiut method. Christina has an incredibly diverse background and has practiced yoga throughout the world. She has an incredible story of how she followed her heart to find her passion with Kaiut Yoga.

DYM: How long have you lived in the DFW area? Where are you from?

Christina: I have lived in the DFW area for 14 years. I was born in Curitiba, a city in the South of Brazil

DYM: Tell us something about yourself most people wouldn’t know.

Christina: I am a former family law attorney and a college professor in civil law. For 11 years, I practiced law in Brazil until I moved to the USA in 2004. That summer, I was in Mexico for vacation and I brought home “love as a souvenir”. (Smiling) I met my husband, Mark, who is from Texas, at the beach in Cancun and it was love at first sight. We have been married for 14 years and we have two beautiful daughters. I am also an author of two books published in Portuguese. The books are about DNA and paternity in the Brazilian legal system.

DYM: That is all so fascinating! You have such a diverse background. What was your first yoga experience like?


Christina: My first yoga experience came from a sciatica pain in 2001. I discovered Kaiut yoga in Curitiba, Brazil, with Francisco Kaiut, and I practiced regularly for about 4 years until I moved to the United States. It was a life change for me: from physically, to mentally, to emotional aspects. Yoga since then, is the main alignment of my life. It’s like the habit of brushing my teeth…I can’t live without it! Without yoga, I can honestly say, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I give the credit to my practice.


DYM: When did you decide to become a yoga instructor?


Christina: I decided to become a yoga teacher in 2016 while I was writing a website called “privilegedhome.com“.  I wrote about my personal journey as a mother and a yoga practitioner and I realized how much the yoga practice had contributed to a happy and healthy motherhood and everything that goes with it. At that time, I told myself… besides being a mom, I would love to have another job and call myself a yoga teacher!


DYM: What kind of training have you had?


Christina: I practiced in Dallas for a while and had different experiences until I found the right calling for my teaching journey. I started with Core Power Yoga and did a short training with them in Sculpt Yoga. But that did not touch my heart, so I decided to pursue something deeper. After talking with Kendal Inmann, a good friend and amazing yoga teacher in Dallas (now in Mexico), she listened to my thoughts and recommended Psychoterapeutic Yoga at Lispy School in Dallas. I gradutated from Lispy in 2017 and became a 200hr PY teacher. During my journey with Lispy, I reconnected with my Brazilian teacher, Francisco Kaiut, who now is well known internationally, and he invited me to explore the idea and dream of becoming a Kaiut teacher. I reflected… and it was the right call for my heart. I became a 200hr Kaiut teacher in April of 2018 and I am now teaching the Kaiut method in Dallas. In September, I will be going to Toronto, Canada, where I will be training with him again to achieve my 300hr Kaiut teacher certification.


DYM: Are you a yoga teacher full time or do you have another occupation?

Christina: I am a wife and a mother full time. It’s my priority to set the tone in my home, that I call my sanctuary. I want to be sure that my husband and our children have all that they need to feel good and happy. I teach yoga two times a week and being a yoga teacher is something that I love as much as I love to devote my time to my family.

DYM: Where do you practice and teach?


Christina: I believe that a good teacher is the one that practices daily, so I practice 4-5 times a week in my home. I have a special spot in my bedroom where my mat, my bolster, my block and my strap are always there for me. I teach at Bent Tree Country Club on Wednesdays 12-1pm and Saturdays 10-11am

DYM: Other than yoga, what do you enjoy in your spare time?

Christina: I enjoy traveling to different places, eating delicious foods at my favorite restaurants, celebrating good moments with my family and enjoy life with my friends. Also, reading good books always takes me to my dreams, feelings and thoughts.

DYM: What qualities do you feel are important for a wonderful yoga teacher?

Christina: Practice, practice, practice! Have a connection with the students and integrity with the method. Be punctual for classes and have a positive tone of voice and energy.

DYM: Explain to everyone what your classes are like?

Christina: The Kaiut method is a very unique yoga method. We call it yoga for biomechanical health. Classes are 60 minutes where we work on a sequence designed by Francisco Kaiut that includes 7-8 poses. There are 100 sequences during our 300hr teacher training. We work on the floor basically using the gravity to our benefit. We always use props or walls and we hold poses for a few minutes. The joints and nervous system are the main focus with the Kaiut method.

DYM: What makes your class unique?

Christina: We believe that the Kaiut method, as unique as it is, promotes longevity, mobility, state of presence and relaxation. Because of the way that the sequences are designed, the joints and the nervous system receive the benefits that, with time and practice, will transform our bodies and minds in a way that we makes us realize “I don’t want to live any other way”.

DYM: What has surprised you the most about being a yoga instructor?

Christina: What surprised me the most is the love I have for teaching a Kaiut method class. The moment I see my students melting in Savasana on their mats… that makes my day. I leave the room always better and happier than I came to it.

DYM: What do you find most challenging about what you do?

Christina: The knowledge never ends. It can be a challenge in a way that when I think I understand the practice, the sequence, the pose, the benefits… that’s when I question myself about my own understanding. It’s a never-ending journey.

DYM: What do you find most rewarding?

Christina: When I see that my students are feeling better because of the practice. When I see their commitment to be there, to stay there, to practice for them, and see their transformation for the better, for healthier and for happier.

DYM: Yogis need a sense of humor, are there any humorous situations that stand out to you in class?

Christina: Oh yes! Some of the sequences and poses can really be hard in a way that brings a lot of tightness (or lack of mobility) in our shoulders, hands, and feet… that’s when we, teachers, need to work with our sense of humor to keep the students focused… and not let them get out of the work!

DYM: There has been a lot of controversy about yoga in the news lately, what do you wish other people knew about yoga?

Christina: I wish people understood that yoga was designed 5-8,000 years ago and it was designed to extend our lives, it was designed to promote vitality and relaxation, it was designed to operate a change in our brains. I also wish people understood everyone is welcome and able to practice yoga. There is no competition, there is no right or wrong, there is no certain clothing brands, there is no female only or male only, there is no body types. It’s for everyone here, now.

DYM: Tell us about someone who has influenced you on your path?

Christina: My forever teacher Francisco Kaiut. He has guided me in a such kind way to show me life has to have a great sense of joy, otherwise there is no sense. With very few words, he has always told me what was necessary for me to receive as a message, process and make the change, at the right time, at my time. He has always been an inspiration of how and why we should pursue our dreams. For all that, I am very grateful for him and that life put us together almost 20 years ago and we continue our journey together.

DYM: There are so many places offering yoga teacher training including online. What suggestions do you have for those trying to make a decision where to take their training?

Christina:  Check, check, check, and do more checking. Find out who the teachers are, who has done the teacher training there before, the school credentials and who their students are.

DYM: What advice would you share with a person who is just starting yoga?

Christina: Ask yourself… Why yoga? Why is yoga for you? What do you want from yoga?

DYM: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Christina: After becoming a Kaiut teacher,  I feel I want to do this for the rest of my life!  I want to become the most desired Kaiut teacher in Dallas, co-owning a Kaiut Yoga School where everybody wants to come and join because they feel happy and joyful there!

DYM: Thank you so much for sharing with us today. We are looking forward to you teaching at class at the Cosmic Yogi Festival and more people learning about Kaiut Yoga.

You can reach Christina Siepiela:

Email:  christina@kaiutyogadallas.com

Phone: 972.746.5991

Website: www.Kaiutyogadallas.com

Social Media:

FB @kaiutyogadallas IG: kaiutyogadallas

LINKEDIN: Christina Siepiela


The post Kaiut Yoga for Biomechanical Health appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Essential Oils in Yoga Practice /essential-oils-in-yoga-practice/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:14:26 +0000 /?p=3094 Essential Oils in Yoga Practice   By: Katherine Pye, Young Living Essential Oils   Essential oils have been used to ground and find peace for thousands of years.  Ancient meditation practitioners valued the use of Earth based materials to bring them into connection with themselves and their practice.  In our fast-paced world, being able to […]

The post Essential Oils in Yoga Practice appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Essential Oils in Yoga Practice


By: Katherine Pye, Young Living Essential Oils


Essential oils have been used to ground and find peace for thousands of years.  Ancient meditation practitioners valued the use of Earth based materials to bring them into connection with themselves and their practice.  In our fast-paced world, being able to escape the busyness and focus on your practice can be difficult.  Enter essential oils – old elements we can use in new ways!


Essential oils are pure plant essences, distilled through steam and cold-pressing from the roots, stems, flowers, and rinds of various plants.  Sourcing and testing are of great importance when choosing essential oils, as the industry is not uniformly regulated.  Great care should be taken in finding a company whose oils can be traced from seed to seal to ensure the land the plants were farmed on was pure and no additives or fillers were added to the oils.


To experience grounding and centering, consider the following essential oils: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Cedarwood. Ginger, Patchoili.  To help bring awareness to your breath, use oils with high menthol levels which open our airways and stimulate blood flow in our respiratory system such as Peppermint, Eucalyptus Radiata or Globulus, Basil, and Rosemary.  These oils encourage oxygen flow to the brain and can be smelled with the changing of poses as well.  Specific essential oils can also be used to expand chakras in practice.


I have been an avid user of essential oils for over five years and have enjoyed specifically Young Living oils for their wide array of blends and high quality of production.  They produce a beautiful blend known as R.C. that contains Northern Lights Black Spruce, Cypress, and Pine which will make you feel like you’re standing in a deep forest, cooled by the freshness of Peppermint and three types of Eucalyptus oils.  Lavender, Myrtle, and Marjoram sweeten the scent.  Bergamont is great for uplifting and invigorating.  Citrus Fresh Essential Oil Blend and Purification Essential Oil Blend are two other options for purifying and cleansing mind and body before practice.


You can experience these plant essences in many different ways.  A simple cold mist diffuser is the best option for multiple people to enjoy the benefits of the essential oils.  You can also make mists for your yoga mats and towels – adding oils like Tea Tree for added health benefits!  Diffuser jewelry made of wood, leather, or stone are great options for inhaling the aromas throughout your day.  Using oils can be as simple as putting them on natural cotton balls and smelling them throughout your practice to enjoy the benefits.


I discussed essential oils in yoga practice with a local studio that uses them daily.  This is what they had to say, “Essential oils have played a role at Yoga Synergy for the 12 years we’ve been open. I add them to the towels prior to class and it’s a nice way to help relax us with the added health benefits. We are a Young Living Studio and love our oils!” Kristina Bauer, YogaSynergySpa.com


You can use oils in your practice and then the same oils later in your day to generate an olfactory response to bring the peace and invigoration you feel through yoga into the rest of your day!  The olfactory bulb has access to the amydala and hippocampus in the brain, which stimulate emotions and learning.  The human brain is an amazing puzzle that we can use scent to unlock a small piece of.


Please contact me with any questions.  I would be glad to guide you in the incorporation of oils in your yoga practice.  Namaste.


Contact Information:

Katherine Pye

Young Living Essential Oils










The post Essential Oils in Yoga Practice appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Yoga and Supplements: Understanding the Pros and Cons /yoga-and-supplements-understanding-the-pros-and-cons/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:11:50 +0000 /?p=3092 Yoga and Supplements: Understanding the Pros and Cons   Above Picture Source: pexels.com   A lot of people think that supplements are just a natural and harmless way of getting healthier or relieving various health problems, but that is not always the case. There are many benefits of taking supplements, and there are many benefits […]

The post Yoga and Supplements: Understanding the Pros and Cons appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.


Above Picture Source: pexels.com


A lot of people think that supplements are just a natural and harmless way of getting healthier or relieving various health problems, but that is not always the case. There are many benefits of taking supplements, and there are many benefits of practicing yoga, but do those two things play well with each other? That is what we will be taking a look at today.


Why You May Need Supplements


There is a long list of reasons why any person may need to be taking supplements on a regular basis. However, in terms of yoga specifically, the issue of supplements can be broken down into two main categories: diet, and exercise level.


Let’s take a look at diet for a start. Many yogis tend to be whole foods vegans, compared to non-yogis, and this may lead to problems with nutrition. For example, if you stop eating meat, dairy and eggs all of a sudden but everything else about your diet remains the same, then you will most likely be lacking some crucial macronutrients, vitamins or minerals after a certain period of time.


Now, on to the issue of exercise and supplements. For many people, when they start practicing yoga it is the first time in years that they have done any real exercise on a regular basis. This increase in the level of exercise will obviously lead to an increase in the need for energy. If your diet is already fairly poor, or when coupled with a change to a plant-based diet, you may not have enough energy. This can be remedied by taking the appropriate supplements as well as fixing up the holes in your nutritional intake.


Popular Supplements for Yogis

Picture Source: pexels.com


There are many supplements that have become popular in the world of yoga, for both newcomers and veterans alike, so we have put together a list of some of the most talked about.


Protein – Despite what you may have thought, and despite what you see in much of the advertising, taking a protein supplement is not just for bodybuilders or those looking to put on weight and / or muscle. Vegetarians and vegans in particular may find that they need to take a soy-based protein supplement if they are not getting enough from their regular food. Vitamin B12 Complex – Basically, the “complex” part here means that the supplement contains all of the necessary B vitamins that work well with each other when taken in a combined form. These vitamins include folic acid, thiamine, niacin, and more. Some of the popular brands of supplements will also include vitamin E in their B12 complex formula. Vitamin C – You have probably heard of the benefits since you were a child, but the fact is that today’s vitamin C is even better for you. If you take quality supplements like liposomal vitamin C that come in liquid form it will be absorbed in to the body much more efficiently. Glucosamine – This supplement has been used for many years as a treatment for people suffering from osteoarthritis and joint pain. However, because it was almost always made from shellfish in the past it was not suitable for vegetarians. Now it is possible to buy glucosamine supplements which are made from vegetarian and vegan-friendly ingredients. Glucosamine is one of the essential substances in your body that, when coupled with protein, create the structure in cartilage so it can help your flexibility in yoga. Detox – In the philosophy of yoga it is important to cleanse the body of toxins, and there are some supplements that can help with that. Look for these detox or cleanse products that are plant-based and have contain protein, fiber, and antioxidants.


The Problem with Supplements

Picture Source: freepik.com


Now that we have gone over some of the benefits and uses of various supplements, we should talk about some of the problems.


For a start, it is always recommended that you talk to your doctor before you start taking supplements on a regular basis. There is a small chance that the particular supplement you have chosen could interact badly with a prescription drug that you are currently taking or exacerbate a health condition.


Another problem with supplements is that they can give you a false sense of security and cause you to continue eating a poor diet. In other words: if you are taking a bunch of healthy plant-based supplements, you may think you can skip eating a salad. Try not to fall in to this trap!


So, in summary it is safe to say that taking supplements can be beneficial for those practicing yoga, as well as just about anyone else for that matter, but it is important to be mindful about what you are putting into your body.

The post Yoga and Supplements: Understanding the Pros and Cons appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

The Euphoric Yogi /the-euphoric-yogi/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:09:07 +0000 /?p=3090 The Euphoric Yogi Marisol Bazaldua   Dallas Yoga Magazine is so happy to be have Marisol Bazaldua as part of our magazine this month. Marisol is a beautiful soul and is known for her euphoric groovy vibes that you can’t help feeling during her class. The best yoga teachers are continual learners and Marisol believes […]

The post The Euphoric Yogi appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

The Euphoric Yogi

Marisol Bazaldua


Dallas Yoga Magazine is so happy to be have Marisol Bazaldua as part of our magazine this month. Marisol is a beautiful soul and is known for her euphoric groovy vibes that you can’t help feeling during her class. The best yoga teachers are continual learners and Marisol believes in learning as much as possible to enhance not only herself but also her students. She says, “I’m a student of life.” Let’s find out more about her.

DYM: Are you originally from Dallas? If not, where are you from?

Marisol: I’m from South Texas. I was born in Harlingen, lived in San Antonio for a little bit but grew up in Corpus Christi. I’ve been in Dallas for some time now, it’ll be 19 years in August.

DYM: How do people react or what do they say when you tell them you are a yoga teacher?

Marisol: The most common reactions I get are; “So that’s why you’re so fit, good for you!”, and “I can see that about you.”

DYM: Do you have another career?

Marisol: I’m currently working in corporate world. My current position is in the accounting department for a law firm. When my co-workers discover I’m a yoga teacher, their responses are; “Well that makes sense, you’re very calm and positive!”

DYM: What prompted you to attend your first yoga class? What were your thoughts about it at the time?

Marisol: I didn’t take an official yoga class till a few years back. Instead I bought relaxation yoga & Pilates DVDs for the days I wasn’t working out at the gym. When I did take my first yoga class, it was at a holistic festival. And at the time I was researching the teachers and where to obtain my 200 YTT.

DYM: What lead you to the decision to become a yoga teacher?

Marisol: It was a few months before my 36th birthday, and I was wondering to myself, “What’s my next move? Do I go back to school to obtain my LPC? Do I become an RN?” I began to meditate and just listen. Then the words “yoga instructor” popped into my head. That was the second time it came into my head and it stuck. I thought “Ok God I hear you, Thank you!”

DYM: What certifications do you have?

Marisol: I obtained my 200 YTT in February 2017 from Dhyana Yoga Center.

DYM: Is there a specific style of yoga you prefer to practice?

Marisol: I love Hatha yoga and I’m studying Kundalini. My preferred style of yoga is Traditional Hatha sprinkled with my euphoric groovy vibes. I’ve noticed Vinyasa or flow is pretty much taught at all studios/gyms which is great. I just tend to enjoy Hatha more. Hatha yoga is not always moving to each breathe you take but instead, stopping to marinate in that asana (pose), just breathe into your body and make space. In life I’ve found we’re so frequently on the “go, go, go” mentality. I like to slow it down by being present in the moment. But that doesn’t mean you won’t sweat in my class. Each class is different, and the direction of the class is entirely dependent on the energy. Sometimes in classes, you need a little more. I’ve found from time to time less is best and that’s okay.

DYM: Do your friends and family support your dedication to yoga?

Marisol: Yes definitely! My friends and family have been 100% supportive of my yoga journey. It took me a good while to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up but when it came to me, it was with lots and lots of knowledge. Thanks to my teachers Peggy Breeze and Anju Parihar whom were not greedy with their knowledge and willing to share.

DYM: What can someone expect when they go to your class for the first time?

Marisol: I studied from BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga and proper alignment is the foundation. This can a bit tricky at the same time. As we are learning more about the human body we are also learning how much there is still left to discover.  And not everybody is made the same, so it’s important for one to listen to their body. Biomechanics is debunking some of the information we have been taught about asanas. So, if I see my class consists of new students, (which I love, they’re a clean slate to teach), I take the time to give cues when needed and assist with the necessary adjustments in order to ensure my students learn the asana correctly for their body type. By doing this my students can take the mental notes so they can practice correctly and most importantly without risk of injury. Ever go into chaturanga dandasana too quick and incorrectly? I have, and it wasn’t fun.

DYM: What do you want your students to accomplish or “take away” from your class?

Marisol: My teachers taught me an important lesson. If I was going through something in life, they would encourage me not leave it at the door, but to bring it to the mat and work it out. I have experienced healing moments of releasing fears and frustrations through my tears on my mat; and it’s refreshing. As a teacher one of the many goals is for students to feel welcome and safe so they too can heal/release, whether it’s through sweat or tears. The classroom is an opportunity to heal, ground, balance and connect. Together we can spread the light and high frequency vibrations.

DYM: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a yoga instructor?

Marisol: To anyone considering becoming a yoga teacher, I would strongly encourage researching all your options and taking the time to find the right school. Take classes with the teaching instructors so you can get a feel for them and their energy. Do not jump into a program because it’s the closest or cheapest one. I live in Oak Cliff, and I took it upon myself to commute to North Plano for my yoga school because it was the right fit for me at that time. Before you walk into a studio, ask the universe to give you a sign if this is where you should be. Also, there are a lot of yoga instructors and I believe there are plenty of students for us to teach and learn from. So, to anyone considering becoming a yoga teacher, be genuine, caring, and thoughtful, have a practice and stick to it. That will make you unique.

DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had in your personal yoga practice?

Marisol: Adho Mukha Vrksasana! Aka Handstands of course, this asana is fierce. It’s upper body strength and not so much core which I thought it was at first, its shoulders, deltoids, traps and forearms. My shoulders are tight and it’s due to the jobs I’ve held. It’s difficult to sit with the correct posture and open my shoulders while I’m working. Also, the more advanced binds, those are my hurdles in my personal practice. I will get there in time and completely okay with that. I practice patiently and lovingly. I will not force myself and run the chance of injury. Yoga is not a competition; it’s listening to your body and practicing with self-love.

DYM: What was the biggest hurdle you have had as a yoga teacher?

Marisol: My biggest hurdle is figuring out when & where to open up a studio. I have an idea of the location, but the timing just isn’t right at the moment. I work full time and have a son in college. But when the timing is right, I have full faith the universe will present to me the opportunity I’ve manifested, or better!

DYM: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in yourself since you started practicing?

Marisol: The biggest change is my Zen/Dhyana. Life/people can test you and I’m human, so I’ve found that by slowing down to come back to my breath makes all the difference in how I’ve changed. I’m a lot calmer, easy going which has shifted me to a positive outlook on life. Not to mention my digestion is healthier, and I’m getting more flexible.

DYM: Sometimes humorous situations happen in class, can you think of something that you have seen or experienced?

Marisol: (Laughing) That was me at Yoga on the Bridge last month. If you smelt sage on the bridge before class, that was me! It was a bit windy that day compared to the year before and it was so cold. I was in Salamba Sirsasana II (tripod headstand) and the wind pushed my legs back. I immediately engaged my core to the max, hinged at my hips and brought my legs down into tripod egg headstand. Otherwise it could have been dominos on the bridge.

DYM: We were there also! It was windy…I think everyone was wobbling that day. Do you have any favorite mantras you use?

Marisol: OM was my first mantra to learn and it’s my go to. It’s easy and everyone can chant or use it in their daily lives. When you feel yourself getting frustrated or unbalanced, simply chant OM 3 times on 3 long exhales. Sanskrit is a vibrational language, so it makes sense that chanting mantras can calm, cleanse and balance an individual. OM Namah Shivaya is one I’ve started to practice chanting. It’s a mantra for transformation, shift and change. I feel it’s appropriate for me as I’m entering this next chapter in my life.

DYM: Do you have other practices you add or incorporate with yoga to enhance your practice?

Marisol: I do! I love to balance the energy by burning sage. I balance and activate my chakras with holistic tools provided by Mother Earth such as crystals, oils and sound vibrations. In my private sessions, I can really add in two or more into their practice. There’s still much out there for me to learn and enhance my teaching so if it’s holistic you can bet that in time, I’ll learn and practice it. I’m all about expanding my knowledge in an effort to enhance my teachings. I’m not quite sure who originally said it but I love the saying “I’m a student of life.” And I’m here to learn as much as possible so I can share with others.

DYM: If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?

Marisol: Euphoric. It took me years to understand that happiness is achievable, and we can be happy without feeling guilty. I’ve worked hard to heal from my past and I’m at peace with my life. I’ve come to accept happiness in all forms; from a feather landing at my feet, seeing a beautiful flower return every year in my lawn, a butterfly coming to visit my garden beds, sharing a smile with a complete stranger, or soaking up the full moon’s energy. I wake up and choose to be euphoric and when I’m teaching my euphoric vibrations radiate the brightest. I am the travelling Euphoric Yogi.

DYM:  That word does describe you perfectly. You have happiness exuding from you. It’s apparent the first time we met. If you could be on the cover of Time Magazine, what would be the reason?

Marisol: I’ve always felt a calling to work with kids, at-risk kids in particular. More so because I can relate to what it’s like to be a teenage mother myself. The odds most definitely were not stacked in my favor. Therefore, I studied and graduated with B.A in Psychology, intent on further pursuing my LPC or PhD so I could be of service to the youth community. Life however had different ideas and took me in another direction, and ultimately it wasn’t in the cards. Instead, I’m on the holistic path to fulfill my dreams, and I’m determined to accomplish my goal this time around. It’s now more than ever, that we must shine the light for our younger generations.  My feature in Time Magazine would be for my movement of integrating meditation into the school systems. Our generation Z, and those to follow need positive influences and meditation is a powerful passage. By teaching meditation to our younger generations, we can go back to what’s important; being true to yourself, being humble, and kind to one another and Mother Earth. My movement will not stop till the school systems have added meditation into their daily curriculum.

I’m currently in the preparation stages of a meditation workshop for college students. And youth meditation workshops are next!

DYM: That is incredible, our youth need positive messages and to be shown how to live life differently than on technology. What advice would you give someone new to yoga?

Marisol: The same I tell myself; yoga is my own journey and it’s not a race or competition with others. We achieve our yoga goals with careful practice and discipline. It’s one’s path to a healthy life style, inner peace, and self-realization.

DYM: Let everyone know where you teach so everyone can find you.

Marisol: I’m teaching my yoga in the park charka series on Saturdays. The time, location and dates are on my website. I’m available by appointment for sessions. I have a small personal studio for private sessions. And I love to teach classes outside with nature. As we enter into Texas heat, I’m looking for a location to teach classes. Once I do find a spot, I’ll post all the information on my website.

DYM: What else would you like to share about yourself?

I’m very grateful for everything in life. I can’t help that I’m a big kid at heart. I believe humor is great medicine. I love music and I’m a huge Above & Beyond fan. My favorite form of cardio is dancing, and you won’t see me all dressed up either! Instead I’ll have on a pair of converse, shorts, and a cut up shirt customized by yours truly when I go to see my favorite DJs. I also love to travel. My energy and vibrations are of love, light and joy. I practice Karma Yoga daily. I’m a believer in holistic medicines and practices. I practice energy work through cleansing, balancing and activating chakras. Yoga is endless and each class is new opportunity to share what I’ve learned so far, and I’m just getting started! Ask yourself; have you have started your yoga journey? If you’re unsure about the answer, I’m the Euphoric Yogi, and I’m here to help everyone who feels there ready to take that first step! Namaste

DYM: Thank you so much Marisol for sharing about yourself. It has been an honor to have you as part of the Cosmic Yogi Festival and Dallas Yoga Magazine. We are looking forward to having some workshops and classes with you.

Get in touch with Marisol Bazaldua:


Email: Marisolb@euphoricyogi.com


Website: euphoricyogi.com

Social Media: FB & Instagram @ Euphoric Yogi


The post The Euphoric Yogi appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Black Swan Yoga Arrives in Dallas /black-swan-yoga-arrives-in-dallas/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 21:05:34 +0000 /?p=3088 Black Swan Yoga Arrives in Dallas       By: Marie Williams, Contributing Writer Dallas Yoga Magazine & Yoga Enthusiast   Black Swan Co-Owners, Joy, Claire & Noah (Marie is in the white shirt)   When people think of traditional yoga, they may envision one instructor teaching a class full of yogis, doing set postures […]

The post Black Swan Yoga Arrives in Dallas appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Black Swan Yoga Arrives in Dallas




By: Marie Williams, Contributing Writer Dallas Yoga Magazine & Yoga Enthusiast


Black Swan Co-Owners, Joy, Claire & Noah (Marie is in the white shirt)


When people think of traditional yoga, they may envision one instructor teaching a class full of yogis, doing set postures in a hot room. Surprisingly, yoga is changing again and now, instructors are starting to get more creative with their sequences and music selections. Today’s yogis are requesting more diverse song choices, wanting harder sequences provided in their classes, and willing to give more energy to stay engaged, while sweating it out on their mats. Most importantly, everyone is encouraged to develop creativity in their practice.

Black Swan Yoga is Dallas’ hottest new yoga attraction! The three co-owners: Kimberly Joy Lipson, Claire Asmann and Noah Villalobos traveled from Houston, Texas to carry out their dream of establishing a Black Swan Yoga location here in the metroplex.

Construction started in early spring. Inside the 5,000 square foot building is a yoga practice room, a teacher training room for workshops and teacher training, men’s and women’s locker rooms, a lounge area, retail space and a front desk for customer check-in, as well as cold food and drinks for purchase. Most recently finished is the teacher training room, complete with brightly colored walls, cubby space for storage and two windows that provide excellent lighting. Blocks and straps are stored in the yoga practice room and provided for student use before or after class.

BSY embodies the concept of “Free Expression.” Within this concept, all instructors are encouraged to express themselves through their own interpretation of the practice. This gives any yogi an authentic connection to that instructor’s unique journey. BSY honors all yoga styles, practices and philosophies. By doing this, the company is promoting two important principles: acceptance and diversity. Acceptance is necessary for growth in a yogi’s practice, both on and off the mat. Diversity involves keeping sequences, practices or events fresh and original. Different events give yogis countless opportunities to explore Dallas, while meeting and networking with other yogi friends or instructors. BSY does a great job of showcasing its degree of diversity.

The company has three mandatory goals that help acquire good business: accessibility, being down-to-earth and remaining community-focused. Accessibility is a key component for any new yoga business just starting up. BSY Dallas is one of the few yoga studios that provide classes all day long, open to all skill levels. Classes begin at 6:00 a.m. and end at 11:00 p.m., which is a Candlelight Flow, starting at 10:00 p.m. Affordability is also important because people will most likely take classes that are reasonably priced within their budget. At BSY, yogis can register and pay for any class online by setting up an online account. They can also drop-in, check-in and pay on the spot. Payment is donation-based, so yogis do not feel obligated to pay a set price. The suggested donation amount is between $10.00-$20.00, cash or credit. For example, I usually double up and take two classes, so I will pay $20.00, $10.00 for each class. Each time a cash payment is made, the individual will receive an e-mail receipt confirming payment for the class. Mat rentals are $5.00, but yogis also have the option to purchase a mat for $15.00.

Memberships are $88.00 a month, providing any yogi unlimited classes at all BSY locations. Yogis can auto renew or cancel their memberships at any time; however, they must email BSY to inform the company of the cancellation in advance.

Promotion of events is done via social media using Facebook, Instagram and their website. Yogis can RSVP to all events online. This method of advertising helps to instill another concept, which involves being community-focused. “Free Expression” is interconnected because it aids in building a community of yogis that are accepting and loving. Yoga instructors demonstrate this philosophy in their teaching.

One new perk affiliated with BSY is BSY TV. Yogis can have access to unlimited streaming yoga for $8.00 a month. They view the instructors on their laptops or mobile devices anywhere at any time. Before they decide to commit to payment each month, they can have a free trial for eight days.

BSY focuses on creating a fun, creative teaching environment that includes bright lights, upbeat jams to practice yoga to and energetic, passionate teachers who bring their own styles to the classroom. Each teacher is different in their delivery of a sequenced class, music selection and overall message or intention for the students.

BSY offers two types of Flow classes. The Powerful Flow class allows a yogi to connect movement to breath and emphasis is placed on being able to balance between quick movements and steady pose holds. Each class offers an exclusive combination of poses, while optional arm balances and inversions are suggested throughout class. The class is open to all skill levels.

The Beginner Flow class is perfect for yogis just starting out who are new to vinyasa style or more experienced yogis who want to slow things down a bit without the inclusion of more complex postures. This class provides any yogi the chance to go back to the basics, but at the same time, teaches newcomers the necessary fundamentals for a healthy start. Both classes involve breaking out a good sweat in 90-degree temperatures!

Joy Lipson is one of three co-owners at the BSY Dallas location. In June 2001, she was living in San Francisco, California. The temperature was an adjustment for her, yet she found that she was always cold and could never get warm enough to be comfortable. To resolve this issue, Joy found herself going to a Bikram studio three times a week to get warm. At first, she just sat in the room for 30 minutes to warm-up, but after a while, she became interested in trying out the postures other yogis were doing. Bikram yoga is an intense style of yoga where specific postures are done in a set sequence in a room at about 102 degrees. Joy hated Bikram because she felt it was challenging, but she loved how she felt after taking the class each time.

In 2003, she took her first vinyasa flow class at At One Yoga in Phoenix, AZ from Alex Austin and was hooked. By falling in love with vinyasa style flow, this led her to decide to go through teacher training and become certified to teach yoga. Joy completed her yoga teacher training at Urban Yoga in Phoenix during the months of June—August 2012. She earned a 200- hour RYT certificate and has been teaching for six years, while practicing yoga for 15 years. She enjoys practicing both vinyasa and yin yoga, formerly known as restorative yoga.

Later, Joy moved to Houston in 2014, where she met Claire Asmann. Claire wanted to open a BSY studio in Houston. With hard work, dedication and goals, the ladies made it happen in September 2017.

Joy says she decided to become a BSY studio owner because it is her passion and she wants to take everything to the next level, rather than just teaching classes and leading teacher training. She said, “The most fulfilling part of becoming a BSY studio owner is the ability to express yoga in the way that resonates with my personality and vibe.”

Murals are a huge part of the BSY name. At every studio, students can expect to find painted murals, showcasing a variety of colors and designs. The Dallas location is no exception. The first mural is located inside the yoga practice room. On the back wall, large, multi-dimensional pictures of an elephant and a lion stand out. Upon walking into the studio, a pair of beautiful blue angel wings pop out on the side wall. The third mural is a Buddha head. Each mural is created, using geometric designs and bright colors with shading to bring out distinct lines for specific facial expressions and detailed features. Derek Nemo, a Dallas-based artist, is responsible for painting BSY Dallas’ murals.

Claire Asmann was already working as a manager at a fitness gym in her hometown of Wichita, Kansas long before her dream of co-owning a BSY studio would become a reality. She was a serious runner and enjoyed it, but unfortunately developed pain in her knees, which hurt all the time. Her personal trainer at the time suggested she try yoga. After that, she continued to practice regularly.

Claire first heard about BSY from her friends at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, where she was studying to receive her bachelor’s in Communication Studies. She was curious, yet so excited that she would often find herself making the 90-minute commute on the weekends to Austin, where one of many BSY studios would eventually be built. BSY first opened in 2009 and the original location was on West Fifth. Michael Gray founded BSY.

Eventually, Claire ended up completing her teacher training at the West Fifth location, receiving a 200-hour RYT certification and teaching there for a year and a half. She has been teaching for six years and practices vinyasa and Acro yoga. Her passion for teaching led her to open two other BSY studios in Houston, where she would settle before coming to Dallas. She says she wanted to become a studio owner and spread the love so that people could experience BSY for themselves and be transformed. She wanted people to feel the magic and find their purpose.

Claire feels the most fulfilling aspect of her yoga journey has helped her stay internally focused, rather than getting caught up in external situations.

“No matter how much chaos is going on around me, yoga provides me with the tools to find calm in the eye of the storm. Yoga ultimately allows me to accept the present moment as is, while staying in a peaceful state of mind.”

Just recently, BSY Dallas had their Soft Opening event on April 28, 2018. The theme was “Free Yoga All Day at BSY Lovers” and was an all-day extravaganza that lasted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guests had the opportunity to partake in free yoga classes taught at various times. Joy, Claire and Noah taught the opening class, in which 70 people packed themselves in the yoga practice room to sweat it out!

Following the first class, there were three other Powerful Flow classes taught at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. One Beginner Flow class was taught at 2:30 p.m. I chose to double up and take the first two Flow classes given by the owners and the second one, by a friend. JuiceLand supplied free juice samples throughout the day to keep thirsty participants hydrated in between classes. This event was advertised on Facebook, Instagram and BSY Dallas’ website. Individuals were encouraged to create an account and RSVP online.

Noah Villalobos had an unlikely start towards practicing yoga. At age 16, he was in a serious car accident that broke his jaw, caused internal bleeding and left him with a lacerated spleen. In addition to this, he also lost 25 percent of one of his kidneys. Noah was a football player at the time and could not afford physical therapy, yet he wanted to remain athletic. Even though the accident left his body in a bad state, Noah believed healing was possible and was willing to try something new.

In college, at The University of Texas at Austin, Noah says he took free yoga classes around the city because he refused to pay for them. As a result, he learned about BSY and the various locations in town. He never practiced at any of them but managed to sign up for teacher training. Having signed up, Noah completed a nine-week program done during the weekends in the summer of 2013. He earned a 200-hour RYT certification from BSY. He has been teaching for five years but practicing for eleven.

Noah specializes in teaching vinyasa yoga, but loves practicing Acro yoga with Claire, whom he met in Austin at BSY. He says that after he met Claire and saw the impact she was making upon the company, he realized that what she was doing was integral, so he needed to become more involved in BSY’s development.

Noah has worked for all three Austin studio locations: Westgate, Orchard and Anderson. He selected the Anderson location site and helped build it, while renovating the Orchard and Westgate studios. After detailed discussions with both Claire and Joy, the decision was made to move to Dallas and build a studio here. Noah has both a bachelors and master’s in Accounting from UT Austin.

Noah loves doing what he calls “Breath Hype,” or Kundalini exercises to hip-hop music. He says it helps him get fired up to teach his classes, while keeping his body properly oxygenated. He enjoys teaching yoga just the same.

“My favorite part is being a force of positive change. I love helping people out by bringing them together and inviting them to experience all of the healing benefits that yoga brought to me.”

Photo: Jennifer Carrera with Marie Williams

Jennifer Carrera is one of many yoga instructors at BSY Dallas. She is an excellent teacher, but her specialty is the ability to fuse guided meditative breathing exercises into her classes, while mixing in mudras to help direct energy flow throughout the body. The result is a Zen state before and after class and these elements have truly become a staple for my personal practice.

I first met Jennifer two years ago at the SunstoneFIT PFV location. She was teaching the 5:15 p.m. Hot yoga class there one evening. Afterwards, I remember her complimenting me on my seated forward bends and how I used my core strength to complete them. I decided to take a Power Flow class from her that same night. I was amazed at how she taught and the creative thought she put into her sequences. From that point on, I made sure to take doubles from her when she was scheduled to teach. In the classroom, we connected instantly through shared positive energy. After class, she always asked me how I felt and what I liked about her classes.

Today, we have become very close friends. We text each other several times a week to talk. I make sure to find time or a day in my schedule to take one of her Flow classes. We take yoga classes together, but most importantly, yoga continues to deepen our strong friendship. It allows us to give and show love to one another and others within the yoga community so that we can both continue to grow.

In 2007, Jennifer took her first yoga classes, held in the Recreation Center, while studying at the University of North Texas. Her practice was not consistent, but sporadic. Three years later in February 2010, she was involved in a serious car accident, in which she broke her neck, specifically the C2 vertebrae. She was not able to engage in any serious physical activity for nine months. Fortunately, one of her friends told her about Sunstone. She took her first class at the PTC location in Plano. This class was called Progressions, a series of three 30-minute classes taught back-to-back. Jennifer was drawn in from that point because yoga had become so much more than a physical practice. Initially, she started practicing consistently because she wanted to get in shape and look better.

Jennifer’s quest to become a certified yoga instructor began at the Sunstone Academy located in Addison, Texas during the summer months of June and July in 2013. She enrolled in an eight-week intensive program, which consisted of anatomy, asana, methodology and yoga philosophy, done within 14-hour days. Upon completion of the program, Jennifer earned her 500-hour RYT certification.

The Yoga Alliance is an organization that allows certified yoga teachers to become members through an accreditation process. Once companies go through the same process, they become registered yoga schools (RYS). Through the YA, Jennifer has taught over 1,000 hours. Just recently, she earned and paid for her E-RYT 200-hour certification.  This accomplishment enables her to be a continuing yoga education provider, meaning other yoga instructors can attend her workshops to receive their continuing education hours for renewal of their memberships with YA. She is also available to teach/assist in teacher trainings as well.

After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from UNT in December 2010, that next year, she embarked on becoming a middle school special education teacher and taught for five years from 2011-2016. Even though she loved her students dearly, Jennifer knew this path was not something she was truly passionate about. She felt a calling to learn more about and share her knowledge of yoga because this new-found knowledge helped her so much. Jennifer has consistently practiced yoga for seven and a half years and been teaching for five years since August 2013.

Jennifer is currently teaching at five studio locations, but also has two private clients she works with away from the studio. Although she is looking to grow her private practice, she says these two clients have become dear to her heart and she enjoys working with them each week.

When Jennifer is not “studio hopping” to teach classes, she gives time to her other passion—yoga therapy. She researched the topic online and is presently enrolled in the Integrated Yoga Therapy 1,000 Hour Program at the Kripalu Center for Yoga Health, located in Stockbridge, MA. Upon finishing this program, Jennifer will be a certified yoga therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She is halfway done with the program requirements.

Jennifer says the purpose of yoga therapy is to be able to use the five koshas to restore balance where there is an imbalance in the body. These ancient yoga techniques are used to look at the whole person through the lens of the koshas, which represent the five layers of the human body. The first layer is associated with the physical body, the second layer concerns the energy body, the third layer deals with the thinking body, the fourth layer focuses on the wisdom body and the fifth layer includes the bliss body. She further explains that bringing the body back to a state of ease whenever the body is dis-eased (diseased) plays a significant role in yoga therapy, which can be preventative, rather than responsive.

Jennifer began teaching at the BSY Dallas studio in May. She first discovered the company on social media, knowing there were already several locations in Austin. She is grateful for the creative freedom this specific studio gives their teachers and the support given to promote growth in any teacher’s individual style. The studio is all-inclusive of different lineages and styles of yoga, but also, appealing to new yogis or those desiring to deepen their practices. Jennifer tries to follow Patanjali’s Eight Limbs Path of Yoga and daily practice meditation, pranayama and mudras. Due to her busy teaching schedule that is different each day, she tries to get in time during the day to meditate whenever she can because consistency is important to her practice.

Jennifer defines a mudra as a gesture or seal that helps to move energy to different parts of the body. The type of mudra she uses depends on the effect she wants that day. For a more grounding effect, she will use apana mudra, but if she desires more energy, she will take bramhara mudra. She also noted that there are mudras that help with channeling the divine or for better concentration during meditation. Mudras and pranayamas can also be used for dealing with different illnesses or disease in the body.

When Jennifer is not teaching, she loves to explore all types of asana; moreover, it just depends on what she needs at that time or specifically wants to work on in her personal practice. She has an impressive handstand practice and will often cue an inversion as the “peak pose” in her Powerful Flow classes at BSY, encouraging students to go to the wall to play.

Jennifer developed a strong handstand practice by practicing consistently, getting out of her comfort zone and making herself practice away from a wall. Lately, handstands have been her favorite to play around with because she is starting to stick some away from the wall, but her favorites change all the time. Separate Leg Forward Fold is one of her favorite inversions. She feels that forward folds are soothing and likes them as well. Legs Up the Wall is another one of her favorite inversions to personally practice because she thinks it is beneficial to all systems in the body.

Jennifer feels the most fulfilling part of her personal practice has to do with personal growth.

“The most fulfilling part of my practice has been learning more about myself and growing towards self-acceptance and developing a connection to the Divine, my higher power.”

Ancient yoga techniques are a notable part of Jennifer’s personal practice, but she feels her students should benefit from them as well. She puts it this way: “The most fulfilling part of being a teacher is sharing ancient yoga techniques to help my students discover their inherent wholeness.”

Getting to know Jennifer these last two years has been a blessing. She has given me suggestions to further advance my asana practice, her guided meditative breathing techniques and mudras have helped calm my anxious mind and the mantras have always left me with a special message to take and use away from my mat. I truly have the utmost respect for her teaching style and what she brings to BSY and the yoga community-at-large. This respect also carries with it unconditional love that any student should have for a teacher she admires.

BSY acknowledges four necessary ideals that allow the company to successfully reach out and attract newcomers, seasoned yoga practitioners and those wanting to become yoga instructors. These ideals are passion, creativity, love and being a part of a community that treat each other as family.

BSY instructors bring passion to the classes they teach. It is evident that each teacher cares about his/her unique style he/she wishes to share, but also wants to make sure yogis are getting the most from each class taught. Without passion, there is no upbeat energy to keep each class popping!

BSY encourages all teachers to be creative in their delivery of sequences for each class they teach. The more creative and expressive the sequence is, the more playful any student can get once he/she is in a zone to learn. Creativity leads to authenticity and this element is what keeps the students coming back.

BSY is all about showing love to everyone who chooses to come out and share a safe space on their mats. The owners and teachers greet each customer who walks through the doors, but also make a point to learn each person’s name, establishing a friendly rapport.

Finally, BSY is all about growing the yoga community through hosting free yoga events so everyone can come out, make friends with other yogis, participate and have fun. By networking with others involved in the community, friendships are established, thoughts are expressed, ideas are shared, and a yoga family is born.

My favorite part of yoga class is at the beginning. Each teacher introduces his/herself and asks the students to do the same with one other student. Once settled, guided meditative breathing and the chanting of “Om” begin. The teacher then asks the students to set an intention before class starts.

Black Swan Yoga Dallas is located at 5118 W. Lovers Lane, adjacent to a flower shop near the parking lot. For more information, contact BSY at dallas@blackswanyoga.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram at Black Swan Yoga Dallas.










The post Black Swan Yoga Arrives in Dallas appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

5 Crystals ~ 5 Minutes /5-crystals-5-minutes/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:56:45 +0000 /?p=3086 5 Crystals ~ 5 Minutes Recovery Meditation   By: Michelle Welch, Owner SoulTopia Whether you have just completed a nice long run, lifted weights or are easing your way down into Savasana, your energetic and physical bodies need the signal to begin recovery. Taking just five minutes of meditation with five special crystals will help […]

The post 5 Crystals ~ 5 Minutes appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

5 Crystals ~ 5 Minutes Recovery Meditation


By: Michelle Welch, Owner SoulTopia

Whether you have just completed a nice long run, lifted weights or are easing your way down into Savasana, your energetic and physical bodies need the signal to begin recovery. Taking just five minutes of meditation with five special crystals will help this process. The meditation will help your entire body relax. Then your body will entrain to the fixed dominant oscillary rate (DOR) of the crystals which will initiate the recovery.

The Five Crystals

The five crystals you need for the meditation are Ametrine, Fluorite, Bloodstone, Calcite and Smokey Quartz. For purposes of workout recovery, these crystals help in the following ways:

Ametrine – Ametrine is a two for one crystal. It naturally combines Amethyst, a master healer, and Citrine a revitalizing crystal. The combination helps emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. It stabilizes any dysfunctional energy and promotes stability, strength and uplifting energy. It also helps you quickly ease into your Five Crystals – Five Minutes Recovery Meditation.

Rainbow Fluorite – Fluorite brings order out of chaos. As humans we all have a non-fixed DOR which causes entropy (chaos). The fixed DOR of the Fluorite brings balance and coordination not only physically, but also mentally. While any color of Fluorite will work, Rainbow Fluorite covers all the bases.

Bloodstone – Bloodstone is a form of Green Chalcedony with spots of Red Jasper. It is a purification and courage crystal. It eliminates any unwanted toxins and builds up strength. Once things that no longer serve you (toxicity) are released you will then have the courage and motivation to move forward in great strength and tenacity.

Calcite – Calcite is found in a variety of colors but all help to strengthen muscles, ligaments and tissues. Yellow and Red Calcite both provide strength and energy, but you may choose whichever color you are drawn to for your practice.

Smokey Quartz – Smokey Quartz will not only ground you during Savasana, it will clear your aura of any lingering negativity. It will dispel that which does not serve you and send the unwanted energy to Mother Earth to be recycled for good.

The Five Minutes

Place the Smokey Quartz between your feet, the Ametrine at the top of your head (crown chakra), the Bloodstone on your navel, and hold the Calcite and Fluorite in the palms of your hands.

Begin to sink into Savasana as you get in touch with your breath. Bring your attention to the Smokey Quartz between your feet. Allow it to help you become one with your mat and Mother Earth. Visualize roots extending out from the soles of your feet. They grow down into and around Gaia’s core anchoring and grounding you. Ask Gaia to take any energy that does not serve your highest good. She will draw out that which is not serving you and will recycle the energy for good.

Slowly draw your attention to the Ametrine at your crown. Visualize its beautiful purple and orange colors as the Ametrine connects your upper chakras to your lower chakras. Now feel the energy rise to the top of your head (crown chakra). Imagine the purple and orange flowing in a lemniscate (infinity) shape all the way from your crown to just below your feet. As the flow of energy circulates, invite any potential healing or recovery that might be needed.

Become aware of the Fluorite and Calcite in your hands. The Fluorite calms you and balances you even more allowing any remaining stress to melt away. Invite the Calcite to begin strengthening your muscles, tissue and ligaments while also infusing you with vitality.

Next allow the Bloodstone to enter your journey. As it purifies and eliminates any toxins (that which does not serve your highest and best good), it will replace that energy with courage, tenacity and motivation.

Stay a moment longer to soak in the frequencies of these crystals. You are very relaxed but also feel energized, restored and revitalized. You have a calm, focused zeal for life.

Travel deep into the core of Gaia and see your energy securely rooted to Mother Earth with the help of Smokey Quartz. Pull some of that energy all the way up through your root, sacral and solar plexus. Now travel out into the heavens with the help of Ametrine. Pull some of the sparks of light down through your crown, brow, and throat chakras.

Bring your hands together in a prayer-like position at your heart chakra and give gratitude for the time spent in your practice.

When you are ready begin to gently wiggle your toes and fingers and when you are ready rise up in strength and recovery.

More About Michelle:

Michelle Welch is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Management, Baylor Law School with a Juris Doctorate, and is pursuing a Doctorate in Philosophy. She is Owner and Founder of SoulTopia, LLC, owner of SoulTopia Academy, host of SoulTopia Shenanigans on YouTube and is a regular guest on FOX Radio. Her own life transformation from successful attorney and law school adjunct professor to passionately assisting others on their life path through her ownership of SoulTopia gives her unique perspective and insight.  She utilizes her entrepreneurial skills, extensive community service work, and years of experience in mentoring and teaching to help others reach their full potential. She specializes in helping people gain clarity, discover their soul’s purpose, overcome trauma, and claim self-empowerment. She is an Ordained Minister, Reiki Master/Teacher and a Crystal Healer Master/Teacher and holds numerous other certifications in various healing and intuitive modalities. As a “reformed attorney”, she decided to pursue her soul purpose and is passionate about her calling to assist others in gaining clarity and self-empowerment. In Intuitive and Healing Sessions, Michelle receives clear messages for you and has a direct, yet compassionate, form of delivery. As an empath and “clair-blend” she utilizes “modality-matching” to determine the best tools suited to meet her client’s desires or needs. She is also available by appointment for Intuitive Sessions and Healing Sessions at SoulTopia. Website: www.soultopia.guru Social Media: www.Facebook.com/soultopiaholisticboutique

SoulTopia is located at 3414 Midcourt Rd #100, Carrollton, TX 75006

Michelle will be speaking at the Cosmic Yogi Festival on June 2, 2018.

The post 5 Crystals ~ 5 Minutes appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Move Energy with Acupuncture & Heal with Chinese Herbs /move-energy-with-acupuncture-heal-with-chinese-herbs/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 20:53:49 +0000 /?p=3084 Move Energy with Acupuncture & Heal with Chinese Herbs Interview with Nena Watkins   Dallas Yoga Magazine is a huge supporter of holistic approaches to health and medicines. This is one of the many reasons why we asked Nena Watkins to take the time for an interview with us. All of us here at Dallas […]

The post Move Energy with Acupuncture & Heal with Chinese Herbs appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.

Move Energy with Acupuncture & Heal with Chinese Herbs

Interview with Nena Watkins


Dallas Yoga Magazine is a huge supporter of holistic approaches to health and medicines. This is one of the many reasons why we asked Nena Watkins to take the time for an interview with us. All of us here at Dallas Yoga Magazine go to Nena for acupuncture on a regular basis for a variety of reasons. The experience is always beneficial, and we keep going back for more of her magic touch (pricks:-)

DYM: Tell us about yourself, did you grow up in Dallas?

Nena: I grew up in East Dallas. I attended Booker T. Washington High School and I graduated from The University of Texas in Austin.  Then I received my Master Degree in Acupuncture from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

DYM: Can you give a brief overview of what acupuncture is for the people who know very little about it?

Nena: Acupuncture is part of Chinese Medicine, which is a complete medical system that treats non-emergency conditions using acupuncture and Chinese Herbs.

DYM: Tell us about the first time you went to acupuncturist? What was your first impression?

Nena:  Good Question!  I was 23 years old. I went to an acupuncture school clinic in Austin, Texas.  It didn’t seem scary or weird, or remarkable really.  My feet felt different after, less cold. (Laughing)  I went back for a second treatment and then applied to acupuncture school.

DYM: That was a quick decision! What lead your desire to become an acupuncturist?

Nena: My desire to help people and herbal medicine. I wanted to be able to help people in the moment. Not run tests and prescribe medication to wait a few weeks to see if it works.  I like that people leave acupuncture feeling better than when they came in an hour before. I was pre-med in college. I took a Biochemistry class which taught us about how many pharmaceutical drugs are copied off of naturally occurring herbs, but when reproduced in a laboratory, they breakdown wrong and cause side effects.  I was originally drawn to Chinese medicine because of the significant use of herbs, the acupuncture grew on me very fast though.

DYM: Many people don’t realize the intense training you have to undergo to be an acupuncturist. Will you explain the education process to become a licensed acupuncturist?

Nena: Acupuncture school is medical school, we study Chinese Medicine. It is very comprehensive.  It lasts 4 years, we study herbs too. The Herbal training includes over 800 hours and several clinic shifts to be proficient to prescribe herbs.  We have to pass national board exams as well, for both acupuncture and herbs, also biomedicine, which means we are proficient at understanding western diagnosis and emergency symptoms.  In Texas, we are licensed through the Texas Medical Board.

DYM: Very impressive. That’s a lot of experience and training. Explain the different ways acupuncture can help someone. Why does it work?

Nena: I don’t really know how or why it works but I know it does work!  It accesses the energy inherent in a living being and helps it function properly.  It treats the energy that is life.  People are healthy when the energy of life circulates properly through the body.  From there, it is basic physics.  The acupuncture needles are metal for a reason, to move the body’s energy. Once the life energy is moving through the body, symptoms are reduced and people feel better.

DYM: What are the most common reasons why people come to see you?

Nena:  Mostly people see me because of pain (low back, sciatica), digestive issues, allergies, trouble sleeping, and anxiety.

DYM: How can acupuncture help children?

Nena: It helps them feel better.  It is often used for colds, diarrhea, bedwetting, ADD, and eczema seen in children.

DYM: What can someone expect when they come to you for their first visit? And what is the most common misconception people have about acupuncture?

Nena: They think it will hurt.   It does not.  It is not like a shot or having blood drawn.  People rarely feel the needles and most the time they fall asleep.

DYM: What do you say to people who are afraid to come to acupuncture?

Nena: Acupuncture is very good to reduce fear and apprehension. Also, Chinese Herbs can be used for most conditions. Chinese medicine is more than just acupuncture.

DYM: Does acupuncture work immediately or do people have to see you for a period of time?

Nena: It works immediately, however, it can take a few treatments to resolve an issue.  We recommend 4 visits.  Most people feel significant relief within that time.  Chronic issues can return or take longer to resolve.  Sometimes as long as a month for every year you’ve had the problem.  Most people come for a few treatments, feel better and come again for a treatment or three when it or something else pops up.

DYM:  What herbs do you recommend for overall health and why?

Nena: That depends on one’s constitution.  In this case, what’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander.  It is best to take herbs for one’s particular pattern.  People go out of balance differently. That’s why they have different symptoms.  We give herbs to get people better and balanced, and we also give herbs to maintain that balance.

DYM: How would someone take the herbs?

Nena: Herbs are taken as a tea.  I use a powder form that can be stirred into hot water.  We also have pills for patients who prefer that approach.

DYM: We appreciate you so much for taking your time for this interview. We are huge fans of acupuncture and love you personally and professionally.

Nena Watkins can be reached at the following:

Email: nenawatkins@yahoo.com

Phone: 214-840-3445

The post Move Energy with Acupuncture & Heal with Chinese Herbs appeared first on Dallas Yoga Magazine.