May our yoga practice bring health, vitality, simplicity, and a feeling of Oneness…

…with each other and with Everyone and with Everything.

May our practice Be a Celebration and an Offering.

May we measure our progress by the degree to which our authentic compassion and courage increase.
May we cultivate ourselves through patience, introspection, meditation, & dedication.

May we understand the teachings of Yama & Niyama and the 8 Limbs of Yoga more and more deeply over time.

May we Breathe and Move in unison, like an intuitive, unifying and meditative Dance, Bringing Our Full Presence to these movements in a room, together, making the practice an Offering to each other, to All Beings, to The Universe, to God.

May our practice and time together bring us closer to each other.

May we take care of each other and those in our lives, as we live on and off the mat.

May our creativity and work spring from a place of genuinely knowing and intimately feeling what matters most.

~Om Shanti~

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More about me than you ever wanted to know:

In 2010, I became a disciple of Mata Chandra Om, who I met for the first time two years prior.  What can I say about my Guru?  I don’t know how to put it into words.  She touched my head one day and years later, all I can say is that I know I am changing, growing, and learning how to Love and Be Loved… to Be Receptive to Love and Grace.  On a more “tangible” note, I completed the 200 hour & 500 hour yoga teacher trainings** at the NC School of Yoga, mostly under the instruction of my spiritual sisters, senior disciples of my Guru, Padma Om, and Lakshmi Om (who is now the Director of my spiritual home, the Shanti Niketan Ashram in Cary, NC).

I lived in very rural central California for most of my childhood, and then moved to the Silicon Valley for high school.  Quite different experiences, for sure!  My mom got a job in Greensboro, NC my senior year of high school, so I moved here to NC with my family.  I attended Appalachian State for two years, and then (barely) graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2000, with a Bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages & English Literature.

I worked for the local coffee company, Joe Van Gogh, for over 9 years, doing almost every job there besides roasting coffee.  I then worked at Guglhupf for 4 years as the Office Manager.  I’ve spent the last few years doing odd jobs such as bookkeeping, watering plants in office buildings, and being a personal assistant to Elder friends of mine.

I am moving toward teaching Yoga full-time, especially as I have been more and more inspired by the beautiful people who seem to have found their way to my classes.  I hope to continue learning how to be a better teacher, and for all of our yoga practices to deepen together over time.  I hope to gradually share the wide variety of practices and information I’ve learned from trainings and time I’ve spent in an ashram setting, including information about lifestyle that is conducive to yoga practices.  This includes work (Karma Yoga), as in Labor, and also as in Listening.  Many things I’ve learned are not things I have fully mastered long-term, but I have experienced the benefits first hand, and hope to create an atmosphere of solidarity and support amongst students and myself.

The world is not set up for us in a way that makes any of this easy, but I know we can do it together.

I have lived in Durham since I graduated from college.  I have learned so much from my community here in Durham, especially in the last couple years after taking the Dismantling Racism Workshop through dRworks.  I have also attended a couple yoga & social justice workshops with Michelle Johnson and Patty Adams, and am so grateful for my connection to these two women in my community.  I consider myself incredibly fortunate to live here.  These trainings have really changed my life in many big ways, and have been where my yoga studies and practices have really been put to the test– as a friend of mine said, “this is where the rubber meets the road.”  So true.

In addition to the above, I have spent most of my life working through my own C-PTSD from long-term childhood trauma, which obviously has a long story behind it.  I mention it here, because it is a big part of what I have been working on all my life, and I hope to bring whatever wisdom, kindness, and presence I have to share from these experiences, to class.  And I guess it’s just a big part of who I am, yet where does that fit in with my story?  Well, I guess right here. 🙂

I like to garden, and I like to sing.  I love reading the poetry of Hafiz.  I love the sky, day or night, the moon, the stars, the clouds, and also just observing nature.  I especially enjoy encounters with squirrels, snakes, birds (including vultures), butterflies, and other critters in my yard.  I live with my two dogs and seven fish, Tiny, Finn, Stripey, Shy Guy, Frilly, and “Little Perfect Skirt”.

**Other trainings I have completed at the Shanti Niketan Ashram include Children’s Yoga, Gentle & Restorative Yoga, Yoga for Seniors, and an additional course in Yoga Anatomy & Therapeutics

(updated 1.3.17)

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Sarah Waggoner - Yoga Teacher in Durham