Whether you are at the very beginning of your journey, are experienced in yoga and meditation, or are an established yoga teacher, bodyworker or therapist, I am delighted to welcome you aboard!
I have built a multi-faceted practice over the last two decades that includes yoga classes, Dance Tribe events, private bodywork, workshops, teacher training, and retreats —but behind the scenes of those offerings has always been a deeply personal experience that I would love to tell you a little about.
When I started my yoga practice in 1990 it was mostly as a way to try and make my aching body feel better. I was spending 8 hours a day hunched over a guitar, peering at chord charts on a stand at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood.
My girlfriend and I had taken a yoga book out of the library and were learning from the photos of a once-famous actress whom neither of us recognized. She gave up after a few sessions, saying that it hurt – we joked for years that I said “yes, but it’s a good kinda hurt!”
The truth is that it got me into really feeling my body for the first time in my life, it calmed my nerves, and got me in touch with my emotions in a way that i just knew was essential to my well-being. It also taught me that real change is uncomfortable, but incredibly worthwhile. On the other side of the discomfort of becoming aware of my tension, there was release —even pleasure.
After each session I felt like I was really at home in my own skin, and I never wanted to not have access to that experience. This was something I had always been seeking. I wanted to more out of my life and had always sought out growth experiences, philosophy, healing and inquiry.
In many ways I have my mother to thank for teaching me to meditate in South Africa at 15, and my father to thank for his penetrating intellectual curiosity and passion for ethical principles.
I learned some non-combative martial arts while living in London with my parents, and when I returned to LA would run on the beach at dusk, draw a large circle in the sand, and do my combination of martial arts and basic yoga moves before meditating.
I must have been quite the sight: 21 years old, thin as a rail, hair down past my shoulders, doing this very focused hybrid practice inside a circle on the sand.
During that time I found I had something special in my hands. Part of my highly experimental practice included really focusing on my hands and imagining healing energy coursing through them —who knows if this had anything do with it, but I started to find that people really responded to my touch.
When I massaged people I would just know where to go, and would intuitively sense and even see where they were holding emotional tension. They would cry and tremble, laugh and sigh, and then would thank me for the release and tell me their bodies felt better afterwards.
Later I would find my first mentor, Ana Forrest, in 1992 and start teaching at her yoga studio in 1994, do deep dissection with anatomist Gil Hedley, spend 15 years exploring the wonders of ecstatic dance as awareness practice with Michael Skelton and Jo Cobbett, and begin an ongoing intellectual/experiential journey into Somatic Experiencing, Transpersonal Psychology, Buddhist Meditation and neuroscience.
I would go to massage school at IPSB in 1997, and then study with various mentors like Vincent Saporito and Hugh Milne in deep tissue and craniosacral therapy, visit India and spend 3 months in an ashram, go on 10 day silent meditation retreats, and spend many hours unravelling my emotional knots with Holotropic Breathwork.
But it was in these early years that the essence of my passions was becoming clear to me, and it has not wavered. The body truly is electric, the mind is embodied and the wisdom of the heart is powerful medicine.
This feeling in my body, this respect for emotional intelligence, this deep curiosity about human well-being has remained constant as I have refined my knowledge through the last 20 + years of study and experience.
Most importantly, my life kept improving: relationships got better, the suffering of my all too common dysfunctional family patterns and traumatic experiences had less hold over my life, my capacity to meet life challenges and stress with skillfulness, courage and love kept improving steadily. Everything became more and more pleasurable and balanced.
All of this has translated into the work I share in my Yoga classes, Open Sky Bodywork sessions, Dance Tribe events, in the Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind teacher training, and on the Transformation Retreats.
As I sought to move forward at each stage of my own journey I discovered something key: the information and techniques I was learning were always partial, and benefitted immensely from integration, from finding the common threads as well as the complementary relationships between yoga, meditation, bodywork, psychology and science —even music, dance and poetry.
Each of these became an aspect of a larger picture I was beginning to see forming. I express this vision in my 8 CD audio program called Radical Transformation and in my book available digitally on Amazon, Awakened Heart, Embodied Mind.
This concept of integrating information from different fields and pursuing a deeply experiential path helped a lot with sorting out what was really effective and true, and what was just spiritual cotton candy that gave a brief sugar high but had no nutritional value!
What I would find again and again, was that the techniques I was developing, the creative and intuitive impulses I was following and the insights that rang most true for me would have the most beneficial impact on the people I worked with, whether on the yoga mat, massage table, meditation cushion or discussing life issues, growth and healing.
Weaving together the most effective practices and principles has become an art form I am as in love with as in those first moments of discovery.
The adventure of sharing my passion has taken me to Canada, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Idaho, Big Sur, Santa Barbara and Ojai, but I mostly am in Santa Monica Ca. for my regular yoga classes and the Awakened Heart Embodied, Mind Teacher Training.
There is so much I want to share with you. Sign up for a FREE first chapter from my book & FREE 10 day Meditation Video Course by subscribing NOW and Let’s Begin!
(All yoga photos on my website by www.saritphotography.com,)