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Many paths of yoga explored at Harmony

By Staff | May 8, 2015

The Harmony Healing Arts Center in Shepherdstown is reaching out to all practicing yogis in the Eastern Panhandle and beyond who wish to learn the complete system of this age-old healing modality or to become a nationally certified yoga teacher. The center will begin a five-month, 200-hour weekend training program starting Sept. 12.

“We’ve had a number of requests over the years to offer this training,” says Terry Lindsay, co-owner of Harmony. “And the timing couldn’t be better,” he adds. “All three of our trainers are advanced-level yoga teachers and collectively offer more than 30 years of teaching experience.”

Another reason he cites is the increasing popularity of yoga, reported two months ago by the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Latest statistics show a 10 percent increase in the number of Americans, including children and seniors, who have begun studying yoga in the past decade. An estimated 21 million people in the U.S. now practice yoga.

“We see that interest daily at our studio and especially in the number of people who stay with our program, ” Lindsay says. Since 2003, the Harmony program has grown from two teachers and about 25 students to 10 teachers and well over 100 students, many of whom take two or more classes each week.

Yoga, simply put, is a system of exercises for mind and body health. But underlying that simple definition is a comprehensive science with 3,000-year-old roots steeped in the desire for natural, peaceful living. Many students, Lindsay says, develop a curiosity about the classical concepts of yoga – philosophy, anatomy, and methodology behind the exercises that can’t be taught in depth in a one-hour, once-a-week class.

“There are so many paths, but there is one yoga,” Lindsay explains, adding, “We believe that students and teachers should follow whatever path suits them. Different backgrounds, body types, ages, energy levels: we feel all this and more demand an individual approach. And, in the end, it’s all classical, it’s all traditional, it’s all good yoga.”

Those “many paths” are reflected by the varying yoga backgrounds of the three lead trainers in the Harmony training program. Lindsay is an advanced-level Kripalu Yoga Teacher and a certified Yin Yoga Teacher. He has been practicing yoga for 14 years and teaching yoga since 2009. Gena Rockwell, a certified Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist and a licensed Massage Therapist, completed her advanced teacher training with yoga master Sri Dharma Mittra at the Dharma Yoga Center in New York City. Judy Jenner began practicing yoga in 1972, mostly in the Sivananda and Iyengar styles, and began teaching yoga in 1992. She studied extensively at the Satchinanda Ashram (Yogaville). Her advanced yoga education at Yogaville, Kripalu, the Himalayean Institute has been augmented by studies in Tamil Nadu, Jaipur, and Rishikesh, India.

Harmony’s seven other yoga teachers – Diana Brubaker, Lucy Jenkins, Melanie Climis, Peggy Meckling, Jenna Newsome, Jessica Glendinning, and Holly Williford – all come from different schools of yoga as well. Students in the training program will have the opportunity to learn from teachers certified in an array of yoga traditions, including Ashtanga, Dharma, Integral, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Nam, Restorative, and Yin.

“We are a ‘classical’ studio by reputation and in practice,” Lindsay says. “The fact that we may approach the physical exercises differently allows a student to discover what resonates most with them. Beyond that, all Harmony teachers convey mindful and meditative principles to instill a sense of peace and make the practice safe and easeful. And that’s something important to convey to prospective teachers and students who want to deepen their practice.”

The “In Harmony” teacher-training program has been certified by the Yoga Alliance, the national clearinghouse for maintaining stringent curriculum standards for yoga schools and teachers.

Complete details about the Harmony program are available on the Web, harmonyhealingarts.org or by email, harmonyhealingarts@gmail.com and telephone, 304-582-0179.