Owner & Founder of Yogalution Movement
Yoga Instructor | Aryuvedic Practitioner | Pancha Karma Specialist | Licensed Massage Therapist | Kirtan Wallah | Owner and Founder of Yogalution Movement | Creator of Free Yoga on The Bluff
DHARMA'S JOURNEY INTO YOGA
Dharma Shakti received her 200 RYT through a month long training immersion at the Sivananda Ashram in 2005. It was there that she received her spiritual name from Swami Sitaramananda. Having deep connections with the spiritual aspects of yoga and its philosophies, Dharma was moved to begin the propagation of yoga and all it had to offer. She started teaching soon after her return from the ashram, and has been leading classes ever since. Dharma also graduated from CCA and earned an ayurvedic degree, becoming a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner in 2007.
Dharma's classes are influenced by her ayurvedic knowledge and each class is adjusted to who is there and the time of day and and the time of year so that our yoga practice is balanced for what we need in the moment.
Having obtained an E-RYT 200 through yoga alliance in 2011, she continues teaching, and also studying. You will find that Dharma's classes are infused with the philosophies she learns in the ancient texts, because yoga isn't just a physical practice, it is a lifestyle, and her aim is to help guide each student in a way that inspires them to enhance their lifestyle physically, mentally and most of all spiritually. Jai Sri Radhe!
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WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
Dharma’s journey down the path of healing arts started in 2000 at the age of 19. She began learning and practicing Massage Therapy at a tiny holistic school in San Diego called Body Mind College. While working part time as a Massage Therapist and working full time at a trucking company, she continued her studies. She dabbled in many different teachings and modalities of natural health ranging from aromatherapy, shamanism, herbalism, acupressure, iridology, naturopathy, energy work, Traditional Chinese Medicine and much more.
Her massage practice led her to asana to manage the tension she was feeling in her hands, wrists, shoulders, and back, from being overworked at the spa where she was employed. As she deepened her asana practice things began to unfold naturally for her; physically, mentally and emotionally. She was prompted and guided by teachers and mentors to study Ayurvedic Medicine. Heeding the advice, and the intuitive calling, she decided to enroll at California College of Ayurveda and began her studies. Soon after her CCA enrollment, she completed an intensive yoga teacher-training immersion at the Sivananda Ashram in Grass Valley, Ca. Upon her return she started teaching yoga asana in Nov. 2005.
THE UNFOLDING JOURNEY
While studying at the Ashram she received a spiritual name from Swami Sitaramanda, according to her vedic chart. Her given name was Dharma Shakti, which means: Righteous Strength or She Who Has The Strength to Fulfill Her Purpose. Being at the ashram had deeply shifted her awareness and changed her life forever. It was a VERY challenging time but the outcome was a rebirth of her self. When she returned to Southern California she was an eternally transformed being, her life was about to embark on a whole new journey!
Having taught at many yoga studios in long beach and seal beach since 2005, as well as co-owned and operated Trilogy Yoga for 2 and a half years (2010-2013), she now has her own sacred space to facilitate the power of yoga: Yogalution Movement and Ayurveda. She teaches weekly yoga classes, leads RYS 200 hr teacher trainings, organizes “free yoga on the bluff”, as well as hosts events, workshops kirtans and retreats all year round.
Dharma continues her studies with her many mentors and spiritual teachers, having a deeply rooted foundation in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Tradition, an ancient lineage, she studies and finds knowledge and wisdom in Vedic Sciences such as Bhakti and Jnana yoga, Spiritual Scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita and ancient Yogic Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are her biggest influences. One of her many teachers, Tukaram Das Prabhu, whom which she studied with for 10 years, has had a very big impact on the way Dharma teaches Yoga and the way in which she delivers Yoga Philosophy in her classes. Without his guidance, she would not be the teacher she is today.
AUSPICIOUS TRIP TO INDIA
In 2013 Dharma travelled to India with renowned yoga teacher and spiritual enthusiast, Raghunath Cappo, Visiting holy sites, ancient temples, studying the Mahabharat, deepening her yoga practice, learning harmonium, chanting mantras, hearing past times of the deities, singing praises of the creator, meeting wandering sadhus on the streets, receiving blessings from the Divine!
For Dharma, it was truly an aupsicious trip. She received so much clarity about her life and grew very deep roots into her spiritual practice. Waking up to the sound of bhajans from local temples, chanting 16 rounds of mantra everyday, taking darshan at a variety of temples, meeting swami's and hearing their lectures and stories of divine pastime, Dharma was inspired and once again, forever changed for the better!
Deeply inspired by Raghunath Cappo, on the trip in india, Dharma has begun singing and playing small kirtans in class and sharing the Joy of NamKirtan with anyone willing to sing!
Dharma had the auspicious blessings of spending quite a bit of time in India with H.H. Radhanth Swami and was deeply impacted by his spiriutal teachings. She reveres him as a saintly transcendental being who offers valuable and applicable teachings. Her time with him and his words shared with her have profoundly affected her path as a bhakti yogi. Dharma considers Maharaj to be one of her main Teachers/ Gurus, and has a deep love, respect and appreciation for Radhanath maharaj and his non sectraian non dogmatic apporach to yoga and all things bhakti! Dharma continues to study with Maharaj Radhanath Swami, and take his counsel for all things spiritual.
~ Jai Guru Dev ~
GURU + THE SPIRITUAL PATH
STARTING BLUFF YOGA
Dharma graduated from California College of Ayurveda in June of 2007 as a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and a Pancha Karma Specialist, just weeks shy of giving birth to her first son in June of 2007, taking on a whole new role in life as a mother. Having had a natural home birth (unassisted) she became an inspiration for many other mothers in the community, leading by example, balancing work life and motherhood.
That same year of 2007, Dharma started offering a free class once a week to her friends out on the bluff, which is now known as "Free Yoga on The Bluff". What started out as one simple class for her friends tunred it a full week schedule and is now offered 7 days a week and highly attended by many people in the long beach community. Weekend class attendance is 200+ ! For many people it is their first intoduction to yoga, and "Bluff Yoga" was voted "Best Yoga in Long Beach" in 2013 by the Long Beach Post.