About

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Hi there! I’m a yoga teacher and craniosacral therapist building a yoga retreat center in the hills above the beautiful Kern River valley in southern California. I am also an aspiring web writer specializing in yoga, spirituality, and wellness content.

On the Path

In 1994, shortly after earning my undergraduate degree in Religious Studies from California State University Bakersfield, I turned my lifelong passion for yoga into a small home based business by earning yoga teacher training and certification at Center for Yoga in Los Angeles. Converting my double car garage into a studio designated a space and inaugurated Yogaya (pronounced Yo Gaia, named for the integration of yoga with the earth – Yoga Gaia) where I continue leading small group classes today. I also teach yoga for the Physical Education and Kinesiology  department at California State University Bakersfield and occasionally lead classes for community events or professional athletes.

Healing Touch

In 2002 I earned training and certification as a massage therapist at Massage Training Institute in Bakersfield, CA and provided orthopedic massage for a physical therapy center and a chiropractic office for nearly two years before leaving to work for myself in my home based studio. In 2010 I began studying cranioSacral therapy with the Upledger Institute and earned certification as a craniosacral therapist with Upledger in 2012. I continue to enjoy a robust clientele interested in the therapy.

Embodied Wisdom Ministry

My career goal was to be a religious studies professor for higher education so I enrolled in a graduate program in philosophy and religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and concentrated my research in the field of Women’s Spirituality. I wrote and successfully defended my original Masters thesis titled “An Ecofeminist Appreciation of Yoga, Its Matristic Roots, Nature Based Ethos and Power to Heal,” and graduated with a fully accredited MA in Philosophy and Religion in 2006.

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Yogaya Retreat Center

By that time I had also obtained a conditional use permit with Kern county officials to build a geodesic dome on a picturesque site in the hills above Bodfish, CA. The dome would house a yoga retreat center and institute where I could teach larger yoga classes since budget cuts had closed the yoga classes at the local junior college where I taught for nearly 15 years.

The dome is up with doors and windows installed and British builder John Cunliffe is laboriously attaching the giant roof panels to the outside. The retreat center is not yet viable and I am turning my attention to marketing my business online and expanding my skill set into the various modalities featured on this website.

Crack into Corporate

One promising direction lies in marketing my services to corporations considering workplace wellness through features like lunchtime chair massage or yoga classes to address any identified needs in that field. Health care reform will help Americans embrace preventative and integrative therapies.

Complimentary Therapy

Partnering with physical therapists congruent with complimentary alternative medicine could provide additional clients for yoga or craniosacral therapy. Yoga therapy is a cost effective healing technology based on postures and breathing. In many cases, it works as good as medicine but it is non-toxic and all the side effects are good ones. CranioSacral therapy renews the central nervous system upon which all other systems depend.

Personal Retreats

For deeper immersion in these transformative therapies clients can book a personal retreat from half day to a weekend and address their health concerns from myriad vantage points. Retreats are held at Yogaya Institute in the Kern River watershed and involve extensive interface with the natural environment.

Vegan or Vegetarian Cooking Classes

Cooking is an art and food is my medicine. While following a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for most of my life, I have enjoyed hosting friends and family for festive vegetarian feasts. Throughout the years I have prepared an array of vegetarian food that is nutritious, tasty, quick and easy to prepare, using sustainably priced and easily available natural foods.

In August 2014 I participated in a 10 day vegan chef school immersion taught by renowned vegan chef Mark Reinfeld. We learned all aspects of vegan cooking and raw food preparation. I embarked on a vegan diet due to the compelling research presented in the book The China Study which establishes the link between diet and cancer and is written by nutritional scientist T. Colin Campbell.

If you are interested in learning more about my work, subscribe to my email list where you’ll receive my quarterly newsletter, workshop announcements, seasonal specials and current promotions. Contact me at 760.379.1587 or shaktideva@mchsi.com for a free consultation relating to your concern.