Hi there, I'm Sarah.
I'm a certified Yoga Therapist / Body Mind Therapy Practitioner (C-IAYT), Yoga Teacher (RYT500), and a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor (AHC).
My love and enthusiasm for sharing the transformative practices of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Body Mind Therapy stem from my own experience with illness, stress, and grief. Though I first started practicing yoga in 2006, it wasn't until later, when an illness left me so weak and fatigued I could barely walk for a minute without taking a break (I'm not even exaggerating here), that I really started progressing in my practice.
Daily Yoga and Ayurvedic practices allowed me to manage what was diagnosed as a chronic illness, normally managed with multiple medications (all of which come with an array of side-effects), completely medication and side-effect free. As I continued integrating my practices into my life, fine tuning them to fit my unique needs, and making real change, real transformation...I started on my path to becoming really radically well... a state of being and a feeling that I had never experienced.
And thus began my love affair with these intuitive sciences.
And that's the short of it... read on if you're interested in the long ;)
Feeling so excited and so healthy after so many months of pain and weakness, I wanted to deepen my yoga practice, so I took my first 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. It was there that I finally really realized that the healing I needed wasn't just physical and energetic, but psycho-emotional too. I realized how tightly bottled up and emotionally stressed and fatigued I was. I had always been a stoic person...not that I didn't feel deeply, I just had a very hard time showing and sharing it, and thought of myself as "strong" for keeping it all in...for being able to "handle anything". I didn't realize what a toll it had been taking on me all those years, and didn't realize how reactive and distant I'd been in my relationships, and even with myself because of it.
I didn't realize that I was so scared of showing my feelings, of being "weak", that I needed to be in a safe space with a group of strangers to allow myself to really be seen.
So, scared of emoting as I was, that's what happened- 200 hours of yoga training came along with 200 hours of weeping and processing and being witnessed in doing so. And in that, it also came with 200 hours of radical growth and change. Being witnessed in my expression, being heard, and being truly seen was more therapeutic than I understood at the time, and was the catalyst for the trajectory into practicing Body Mind Therapy. The body-based meditation practices that I learned in this training helped me to dive into my study of myself, my relationships, and my place in this world. Later, I enrolled in an Ayurvedic Health Counselor program and became a full-time student again.
Not long after I dove into my studies, my father was diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer's. It was far enough in that he could no longer manage his life on his own, and so I took on the role as caregiver for him. The relationship I'd had with my dad made this one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, but I felt that it was what I had to do, that it was in my dharma, so to speak.
The decision came not from my mind, but from my body- heart, gut, whatever you want to call it...that visceral place that doesn't need to think and mull things over, it just knows.
The amazing support of my family and partner made it all a little easier, but I still had no idea what I was in for. This role of caregiver brought so many thoughts and emotions and feelings on so many levels that I never could have imagined or anticipated. It was the most difficult transition, the most difficult period of time that I've ever been through. Had I been in the mental/emotional place I was before I had the tools of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, I don't know that I would have been able to handle it at all.
To help myself process all the things that were happening in my life and all my feelings surrounding them, I took on my own practice of, and then later the study of, Body Mind Therapy. It allowed me to get to the depths of what was going on inside, and then keep going. To acknowledge and accept my whole self, unpleasant, shadowy bits and all, and to truly exist in the present moment. The changes that happened, and are still happening inside me are the kind of changes that impact your whole life. They've allowed me to live my life more fully, to love myself and others more, to understand myself and others on another level, to show up more fully, and to be present- to be here now. When I found Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, I knew the method was exactly what I was looking for, and I began my formal studies of Body Mind Therapy/Yoga Therapy with them.
Understanding the healing potential in Body Mind Therapy, Yoga, and Ayurveda, through first-hand experience, I've dedicated myself to spreading their wisdom, hoping to help others help themselves through these practices. Life circumstances have me globe-trotting quite a bit for now. I live and work in Los Angeles, CA., but also frequent Washington D.C., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. I do in-person Body Mind Therapy, Yoga, and Ayurvedic Health Counseling sessions in the area I'm physically in, and online sessions when our locations don't match up (or if you'd just prefer to be in the comfort of your own home). If you're interested in a session, or in scheduling a workshop or course, contact me and we'll make it work!