Wendy Brown- Founder and yoga instructor
People seek yoga for a myriad of reasons: joint issues, lower-back pain, depression, anxiety; or perhaps to increase strength, improve balance, coordination and flexibility. I sought yoga for a far deeper reason…to find purpose in my life and rediscover myself. If we engaged in a very intimate conversation, I would tell you that I sought yoga to save myself.
Before I came to the practice, I was drowning in a combination of self-condemnation and hopelessness. I knew I had the power to create my life, but I didn’t know how. Self-help books and books written by what we would call ‘spiritual masters’ gave me hope, but it wasn’t until I began to actively take action–moving from the power of the thought to the power of action–that my life began to change. I can’t explain how yoga transforms a life, it just happens. If one becomes vulnerable to the practice, Yoga will transform the physical body, crack open the heart, and expand the awareness. To sum it up: yoga has taught me to accept myself; and through the accepting there is allowance; and through allowance…freedom.
Yoga is like a black salve. It draws out the darkness–exposing our shadows and our physical and emotional pains–so the light can shine brighter and healing can occur. It’s a beautiful journey and one I yearn for others to experience; and like all journeys, it takes time to change our programming: those habits of thinking and doing, and our habits of response.
We all want to be at the finish line. We all want to live in a state of joy, unconditional love, and peace. The problem is we resist the experience of what many call ‘the struggle,’ but what I have learned to call ‘opportunity.’ Physical and emotion pains want to be experienced and deeply felt so they can move through. This knowledge alone teaches me that the only way to the ‘finish line’ is through–not over, under, or around.
And so I say to you: come as you are. Every day is a different day on the mat, and that’s what makes it a journey. Without darkness we would not understand light; without sadness, how could we possibly fully comprehend the essence of joy. We are here in this dimension to experience; and I find yoga provides the gift of helping us connect with our bodies, our emotions, and our timeless and limitless essence.
I was trained by Anjali Sunita at Baltimore Yoga Village. I am grateful for the strong foundation in which that training provided, and the beautiful group of souls who took that journey with me. The training provided exposure to a variety of yoga disciplines and the foundations of the practice, which are vast and deep. Yoga is far reaching and ever-expanding. Amongst its wondrous depth and countless layers, I would say that at its core, yoga is about freedom and love. Yoga is about coming home to yourself.
After my training, I went inward. I hibernated a bit. I went into the virtual child’s pose and delved deeply inward to discover my unique approach to the practice. And when I had found my center, my voice, and my authentic approach, I brought it forward. There is no one way up the mountain. There are many approaches, many methods. Part of the journey is finding what works for your authentic self.
Throughout my training and my inward searching, I suffered from many injuries. At times these injuries were so overwhelming that I actually wondered if I was making a mistake in my pursuit. Eventually I found the pearl of that suffering: my injuries were a blessing because they taught me the vital importance of not only alignment in a pose, but how my ego can very much get in the way of my practice.
When you come to one of my classes, I invite you to ask for what you need, tell me how you’re feeling, and always honor your inner voice. You are your greatest guru.
Off the mat, I am pursuing a literary career. One day I will get these books published. Similar to yoga, writing gives me breath, it gives me hope, and it heals.
In closing, I wish you love and light, and an abundance of everything good.
Bridget Strama has been a special education teacher for 20 years, working with children ranging in age from 3-21. After seeing children improve their focus and ability to calm themselves through some exposure to yoga in the classroom, Bridget trained to become a yoga teacher with a specialty in children.
After training through YoKid and Radiant Child in 2014, Bridget founded Child’s Heart Yoga. Child’s Heart specializes in classes for children of all ages. Bridget’s blend of breathing techniques, yoga poses, games and music make her classes fun for kids.
After more than 30 years of playing soccer and running, Bridget came to yoga to aid in injuries and increase flexibility. She jokes that she is the least “bendy” yoga teacher ever. Her own yoga practice is constantly evolving and growing.
In addition to running a business, Bridget is a wife and mother to four year old twins. She is also a co-founder of Karma Dogs, a local non-profit company that trains rescued dogs and their owners to work therapeutically with children in a variety of settings. She is looking very forward to both teaching and attending classes at EarthPulse Yoga.
Cindy (Kirtan) has been practicing yoga regularly since 2003, after initially being drawn to yoga in search of healing issues centering around anxiety and depression, including a state of complete disconnect with her body. She found the capacity to heal that she was searching for and she explored, and learned from, a wide range of yoga styles before attending her first Kundalini Yoga class in early 2009 – she was immediately hooked! She fell in love with Kundalini Yoga from her first class and adopted it as her daily practice. The combination of chanting mantras along with the (often challenging) postures, with the breathwork, mudras and energy locks, felt like ‘coming home’, creating a sense of connection as well as a greater degree of peace and ease. Discovering that each of us has the power to choose how we respond appropriately to any situation, rather than to simply ‘react’, was quite a revelation, coming from an emotionally reactive family. We all have the ability to discover the connection of our mind, body and spirit as well as experience our connection with each other and with the universe.
She is a RYT-200 certified teacher, having completed her Level I Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher training in 2016 at Radiance Yoga in Alexandria VA. She is currently working towards RYT-500/Level II and is grateful for her many teachers now and all along the way.
Kundalini yoga has made an enormous positive difference in her life, and she loves to share the many benefits that this wonderful technology has to offer!
When not teaching or practicing Kundalini yoga and meditation (or working), she enjoys creating art and music as well as reading books and chanting mantras (though not at the same time!), and can often be found walking in the woods enjoying the peace and looking for birds, with her husband of many years, or spending time in their beautiful garden.
Joanna spent ten years immersed in studying yogic practices and philosophy with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and became a certified teacher of meditation in 1975. As the paradigm of self-empowerment filtered into public consciousness, Joanna knew the time was right to empower others through her passion for yoga. She has been teaching yoga (asana) classes since 1999 and holds six yoga certifications. Her yoga-based programs include:
- yoga asana classes
- private yoga coaching sessions
- traditonal yogic meditation instruction
- yoga nidra (yogic sleep) meditation
- trauma sensitive yoga for recovery from PTSD
- Love Your Brain yoga for people with head injuries
My goal as a teacher is to live what I teach, blending technical skill with compassion and joy to inspire students with knowledge of their wholeness. This journey has taken me beyond the confines of a yoga (asana) classroom, to study how yoga’s many practices can be used for deep healing and transformation.
YOGA TEACHER CERTIFICATIONS
- Transcendental Meditation (1975): Maharishi International University, Zinal, Switzerland
- Advanced Cerification in Transcendental Meditation (1977):Maharishi International University, Arosa, Switzerland
- Kripalu-Style Ahimsa Yoga (1999):Ahimsa Yoga Center, Baltimore, Maryland
- Integral Yoga Therapy (2004): YAMA Studio, Baltimore, Maryland
- Nischala Joy Devi’s Yoga of the Heart (2004):Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Lenox, Massachusetts
- Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (2007): PRYT Training Center, Bristol, VT
- Trauma Sensitive Yoga (2013):Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Lenox, Massachusetts
- Love Your Brain Yoga (2019):Sponsored by Love Your Brain Yoga for the Traumatic Brain Injury Community, Baltimore, MD
Everyone has their own personal reasons for practicing yoga. Everyone’s story is different. Everybody is unique and every body is unique. And, I believe that any body can do yoga.
At age 12, after walking to the library and finding a book about yoga, I tried yoga for the first time. I started practicing in the privacy of my home. Many years went by and gradually I stopped doing yoga and most other physical activities. After years of focusing my attention on art & music, and spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen, I decided to start spending more time outdoors. The more time I spent in nature, the more I noticed a disconnect between my mind, my body, and my spirit. Yoga was, and still is the “medicine” that I use to heal my mind & body. It helps me to relieve anxiety, reconnect with my body, and it recharges my spirit.
It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s, when I first set foot in a yoga studio. I had read books and watched countless videos online. However, it wasn’t until this time that I started to understand the importance of community and the need for face-to-face contact. Yoga was no longer a hobby for me, it was a necessity; it was (and is) a way of living.
As we all enter into a time of email, social media, and constant texting, I feel it’s necessary to hit the pause button occasionally. Going to the yoga studio is my way of “letting go” or hitting the pause button. In the hectic, often chaotic, world we live in, I am grateful for places like yoga studios. During times of grief & heartbreak or rough & depressing times, I went to yoga classes to help me get through the day. Yoga gives me peace of mind; practicing yoga helps me to live a more balanced life and gives me peace of mind. Since I started practicing yoga regularly, I make healthier decisions about my body and wiser decisions about my life. Even little day-to-day things, such as my standing or seated posture, have improved
In 2017, after about 10 years as an art teacher, I decided to add Yoga Instructor to my resumé. I had spent years taking classes at the Baltimore Yoga Village, and chose to study under Anjali Sunita, owner of the BYV. During my teacher training, I volunteered at the studio as a work-study. When I completed the BYV’s Jeevan Yoga, 200-hour Teacher Training, I continued as a work-study and began teaching as a substitute yoga instructor. From then on, I gained experience as an instructor, subbing for yoga instructors at BYV, and Earth Pulse Yoga.
Currently, I am still passionate about visual art and music. I have been teaching art at the college level for over ten years. In my spare time I continue to make visual art & music, and think it’s important to spend time outdoors. I enjoy teaching yoga as much as I enjoy attending classes or practicing at home. Typically, I appreciate gentle, slow paced yoga. Occasionally I’ll practice standing on my head. However, most of the time I focus on Pranayama (breathing exercises), seated poses, and things that calm the mind & body.
Making art, spending time outside, and practicing yoga have all changed my life, and at times may have even saved my life. I am looking forward to teaching yoga to a variety of people, people of all ages. And, if yoga can help you, I hope to share that experience with you. In short, I look forward to meeting you, hearing your story, and practicing yoga with you.
Sarah Day-Boodhoo (RYT) 200 has been practicing yoga for over 15-years and in 2018 completed her certification through master teachers Amba Marci Wallace and Satya Loryn Riggiola, owners of Jaipure Yoga in Montclair, NJ.
She teaches in a variety of styles including vinyasa for beginners to advanced, gentle flow, restorative and kids yoga. During her training, she assisted Amba in teaching yoga to veterans in wheelchairs as well as participated in their karma yogi program as she believes deeply in the teachings and in giving back to the community. She is currently enrolled in a RYT 500 training program.
During any style of yoga class, Sarah will incorporate Bhakti and Jnana yoga through mantra or the sound and dharma (the teachings of yoga through story) as well as a bringing a strong practice in pranayama (yogic breathing). Classes are creative in flow and centered on connecting breath to movement.
She has completed training in meditation and is currently studying under spiritual gurus Sri Reverend Jaganath Carrera through the Krishnamacharya lineage as well as with Isha Sadhguru.
When Sarah’s not on her mat, she embraces being a mother of 2 vibrant boys, a wife, sailor, photographer, mom of a goofy puppy and feisty parrot. In each path she walks, she brings the yogic teachings as her way of life.
Katlyn was initially drawn to yoga during her time in college in search of the physical benefits of stretching and strengthening through asanas. It wasn’t until she began her career as an elementary special educator that she began consistently practicing- discovering a deeper connection to the pranayama and meditative aspects that allow for intuitive movement and strong mind-body connection.
Upon becoming pregnant in 2017, Katlyn’s yoga practice allowed her to foster a greater connection to her body and baby, feeling empowered and strong as she transitioned from maiden to mother. It was after giving birth that Katlyn completed her prenatal yoga teacher training at the Womb Room in Baltimore, Maryland, with the intention of learning more about the physical, mental, and spiritual shifts that occur during pregnancy in order to hold space for people in all stages of childbearing.
Learning to tap into inner wisdom and allowing oneself to enter the flow fosters greater confidence in decision making, which is impactful in pregnancy and birth.
“My goal as a prenatal yoga teacher is to empower my students to discover and cultivate their deep sense of inner-knowing, and allow for space to connect with others during the creative transformation of pregnancy.”