Soul Body Blog
Twelve years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I was lost. I was self-loathing, I was drinking too much. I was in a dark place. It was at that point when I first discovered yoga. Little by little I started to step into my light. I stopped drinking. I found Kundalini. I can truly say it saved my life. Through practicing yoga, I was able to love myself. I lost weight, I started to feel better about who I was on the inside, as well as the outside.
My transformation and experiences led me to obtain 200 hours of yoga Kundalini TT and 200 hours of Hatha TY instructions as well as become a Reiki healer (certified level 2). I am a Level 2 Kundalini instructor with added certifications in Conscious Communication, Vitality & Stress, and Mind & Meditation.
Today, I am more than a yoga instructor, I am a deeply caring teacher who uses the Kundalini system to impart the same gifts of strength and awareness that Kundalini has given me to all of my students. I teach yoga to show people their inner strength and that all they need to overcome challenges in life is within them already. I show people how to go into themselves to find light and self-love. I also use sound healing, movement, and meditation techniques to offer holistic and substantial methods of self-care to my students, or as I lovingly call them “my people.”
With much gratitude~
This month we have 3 techniques that when practiced regularly support you in seeing life’s miracles within the challenges, releasing expectations of what we thought life should be, learning how to surrender to the present moment and how to access a knowing deep within yourself that you are taken care of and worth all the universe has to offer you. As you practice these techniques your dream life begins to take shape and your resilient and radiant presence becomes a beacon of light in this world.
- Embrace Community – Find a community that supports, elevates and inspires you. These could be people you’ve just meet or that you have known forever but what is important is that when you’re in their company, you feel like your living your best life.
- Prayer – Prayer is a beautiful way to begin or end your day. When you ask for help from the heavens and hear answers from GOD, your angels, and ancestors you feel strongly supported by something bigger than yourself. You feel showered with love and deeply supported from above.
- Meditate – Meditation helps you to connect to the heavens that exist within you. It is a precise technique for resting the mind and clearing both the concious and unconscious thought forms that cumulate and often clog our intuition. When your own trash is emptied you are better able to access inner peace, clarity and your intuitive knowing.
Our free gift this month is meditation with a mantra. We promise that 11-62 minutes of this will help you to embrace your intuitive superpowers and remove obstacles from your life. It is a meditation that should be done with reverence. The mantra:
God and We are One. I know this by the Grace of the True Guru. I know this by the Grace of the True Guru. God and We are One.
Yoga has been in my life longer than I realized. The more I’ve learned about yoga and meditation, the more I see that some poses and desires to meditate innately came to me as a child. My first yoga class was lead by a sweet soul named Chris Prewitt at Foothill Technology High School my freshman year. Although Mr. Prewitt is no longer with us, I am forever grateful for his yogic influence in my life. My affinity for metaphysics took root in my first philosophy class with Kevin Bortolin at Ventura College. At the same time I started hatha yoga classes with Sally McNally at Tu Vien An Lac Temple in Ventura, and as an athlete I was hooked! Enamored by how she said what I needed to hear right when I needed to hear it, I felt a calling to become a yoga instructor. At the time I was so invested in college that my dedication to higher education remained my priority. Still dedicated to healing, I chose landscape architecture with the intent to create places for people to feel at peace by connecting to art and nature. In the meantime I continued to study eastern religions and Za Zen meditation with Kevin.
In 2016 my brother and I chose to do a sibling trip to Northern California for the Enchanted Forest Gathering Festival. It was there that I was first introduced to Kundalini Yoga. Captured by its mysticism, I immediately felt changed. A year later while living in Santa Barbara I sought out Kundalini classes. I had an awakening at Divinitree in Mitsuko’s class and again, felt called to do a teacher training. This time it was different, it was a much stronger pull as I realized what I wanted to accomplish with it. The alignment had begun when my plans to move out of the country suddenly changed. Shortly after, I found a teacher training in Ojai with Tara Matthews, Adarsh Kaur, Nam Joti, Hansu Jot, and Mehtab Benton. Although I originally did the training for myself, I felt that teaching Kundalini Yoga was something I needed to share. So here I am, teaching at Soul Body on Tuesdays at 7, volunteering at Fire Camp once a month, hosting Sadhana every other month, and teaching at The Space Ventura on Thursdays at 6:30.
In addition to teaching Kundalini Yoga, I work full time in landscape design-build for Landscape Development Inc. I continue pursue my dream of creating sacred landscapes for people with my company, Omni Grace.
Thank you for investing your time in getting to know me a bit. I am looking forward to seeing you in class, or even helping you design your desired place of peace.
Sat Nam, Love, and light,
Rachel – Deg Sita Kaur
Over the years of navigating my own personal healing journey and supporting others in navigating their paths towards deeper wellness, I’ve noticed that one of the most impactful practices for creating powerfully positive life shifts is the cultivation of deep authenticity.
So much of the discontent and dis-ease that I see in my clients and have experienced in my own life has been rooted in a fundamental disconnection from one’s inner truth or the belief that, for some reason, we can’t or shouldn’t live in a way that honors that truth.
What I see again and again, in my own life and in the lives of those around me, is that the more people live from a place of authenticity, meaning that they live in a way that honors their truth, their unique gifts, and their deepest desires, the more they heal from the inside out.
And it makes sense really. Of all of the factors that can create illness in our bodies, research is increasingly pointing to stress as one of the most nefarious culprits. And what is more stressful than living a life that, at best, feels lackluster or, at worst, leaves you feeling so miserable that you feel the need to numb yourself, in ways big or small, just to make it through each day?
The key to creating a life that supports your ability to be present, joyful, and healthy is making sure that it’s one that deeply resonates with your values and dreams and allows you to be fully, unapologetically yourself. But where do you start if you’re wanting to bring more authenticity into your life?
Whether you feel like your life is in need of a little upgrade or a total overhaul, the number one place to begin when you’re trying to cultivate a life that feels truer to you is actively developing a more intimate relationship with yourself. So many people, when asked to describe their vision of their best life, find themselves at a loss, unsure of what that would even look like. In order to create a life that is a living embodiment of your dreams and values, you first need to hone in on what those are and engaging in mindfulness practices, meditation, and self-reflection can help you do just that. As you build greater self-awareness and strengthen the connections both with and between your mind, body, and spirit, you’ll naturally experience more clarity around how you relate to difference experiences and aspects of your life.
As you begin to tune into what’s happening in your mind, body, and spirit, you may notice some unexpected things. Hidden frustration or tension that had gone unnoticed previously. Joy in surprising moments. A sense of disconnection in places that had seemed to be comfortable or familiar. Unexplainable draws to new people, places, and opportunities. These are signs that you’re becoming more attuned to your own experience, so pay close attention. It can be alarming, at first, to suddenly realize that you don’t feel at home amongst some long-term friends or that you’ve secretly always wanted to pursue a different career path, so don’t pressure yourself to make any sudden changes. Simply allow yourself to stay present and curious about what’s coming up for you. Journaling or speaking with an objective and trustworthy person such as a therapist or a coach can be especially helpful as you process and integrate the insights that come forward during this time.
You may also want to consider taking a “life inventory” in which you examine each area of your life to determine what feels aligned and what doesn’t. Be as thorough as possible. Ask yourself how you feel in your work life, your relationships (including your relationship with yourself), your home, your daily habits, and any other areas that you invest your time and energy. Do these experiences light you up or leave you feeling drained? Do they bring you closer to the vision you have of your best life or are they pulling you farther away from that reality? What is working? What could be better? Again, this practice is about gathering information as opposed to judging or shaming yourself for not already having your ideal life. In order to find a route to a new place, we have to first figure out where we are, so do your best to be honest with yourself about where you’re at right now. Remember, it is only the starting point.
After you’ve gotten clear about what feels aligned in your life and what might not be truly serving you, you can begin the process of restructuring your life so that it is a more authentic expression of who you are and what you wish to create in the world around you. While some people might feel inclined to make dramatic, sweeping life changes, it’s often the subtle shifts that have more lasting impacts. Adding in activities that bring you simple pleasure or light you up with curiosity and inspiration, acknowledging and honoring your innermost desires in whatever ways you can, and allowing yourself to be more vulnerably honest about who you are with those around you can be the seeds that give way to profound changes. Don’t be afraid to be playful in this process and allow yourself to try new things. Your entire life can be approached like a piece of art, and as the artist, you can continue tweaking it and making adjustments until you absolutely love what you see in front of you.
In fact, because we are dynamic beings that evolve continuously, this process has no end point or finish line to get to and should be revisited consistently. Our inner worlds and bodily experiences are like neverending onions that only reveal countless new layers as each one falls away. Remaining curious about what comes up for us and open to change allows us to honor who we are in each and every moment, and that’s really at the heart of living authentically. This journey, as with all part of our healing journeys, is about progress, not perfection, so be gentle with yourself, take time to acknowledge how far you’ve come, and trust that your commitment to living your truth will always lead you right to where you’re meant to be.
Ashley Berry is an Ojai-based Breathwork Facilitator, Reiki and AromaTouch Practitioner, Wellness Coach, and Intuitive Card Reader whose mission is to offer heart-centered support for individuals and groups seeking healing in mind, body, and spirit. Click Here to learn more about Ashley.
I’m a sound healer and kundalini yoga teacher. I’ve been asked: “How does one get into this profession?”
It all started with the “Gong”. No, really, it did. After going to two critical sound baths and watching a gong documentary, I woke up to this idea that this was my destiny. Gong Master. Once I had my mind made up, the universe took over. Within a few weeks I was gifted a gong, and within a few months I was to be training with world renowned gong master, Mehtab Benton.
Little did I know that kundalini yoga and the gong went hand in hand. I had recently started practicing at home watching YouTube videos and witnessing my life suddenly transform. I attributed these changes to my new meditation practice called the Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. A powerful kundalini yoga meditation that claimed to turn any darkness into light.
I was determined to finish 40 consecutive days, it finally happened within 6 months of trying! From then on something clicked inside: this type of yoga CREATES MIRACLES or more importantly points a LASER FOCUS on exactly what needs to change in your life to help you achieve your goals.
Within two years I had certifications in Gong Playing, Gong Therapy, Kundalini Teacher Training Level 1 and one module of Level 2 completed as well. Today I’ve been teaching yoga for two years and practicing the sound healing arts in the form of sound baths and private sound healing sessions.
This path chose me. And as I continue down the rabbit hole, I am being challenged in ways that blast my heart wide open revealing the depths of my true self. If you’re reading this, I thank you and encourage you to listen for those subtle cues in life that inspire you to move towards your freedom and joy.
If you’d like to practice yoga and experience the gong with me you can find me:
Wednesdays 10:00 am at Soul Body Ojai
Fridays 10:30 am at Light and Space
I offer a monthly Full Moon Sound Bath on the Friday closest to the full moon. Check our event page for more details.
Ojai, CA 93023