“Love the people that wanna see you be successful and help you with nothing in return. That’s priceless. Those are real friends.” – Mark Patterson
I have been so excited to write today’s post for a while now! Part of my plan when starting this blog was to introduce my readers to people I know who are doing badass things. I have somehow managed to surround myself with incredible people, doing inspiring things, and lifting others up on the daily.
Today, I am excited to introduce you to my dear friend, Deb. Deb and I met during yoga teacher training at Inner Vision in Chandler, AZ. I was instantly drawn to her positive energy. Plus, she was a yoga fan, longtime blogger, and talented artist. Friendship was immediate!
Over the last few years, I have watched Deb become a talented teacher, take bold steps to leave her corporate career, and build a network of students and followers who are as eager as I am to see what she does next.
I hope you take the time to read Deb’s interview. She is full of magic and wisdom and I guarantee it is worth your time!
Meet My Yoga Friend Deb
Deb, I’m so excited to share the incredible things you are doing with my readers! Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your passions?
D: Thanks, Taryn. It’s an honor to share my journey with you and your readers.
I live in Chandler, Arizona and I’m passionate about helping people heal through the practice of yoga. My advanced yoga teacher training is in the field of yoga therapy, and almost all of my activities revolve around sharing yoga with others in some form. I love this season of my life! It’s such an honor and joy to witness the healing that takes place on a yoga mat – this is my passion.
This would be a very lengthy interview if I talk about all of my passions, but I’ll also include that I’m fascinated with astrology. I love creating mixed media canvas art (mostly mandalas), baking, growing my own veggies and flowers, writing, painting, photography, sewing, all the colors and smiling.
We instantly bonded in yoga teacher training when we discovered that we were both into crafting and blogging. Since then, you have really directed your love for art into a passion for mandalas. Can you tell us more about your journey into teaching mandala workshops?
D: I love that our connection through yoga teacher training is at the heart of our friendship, Taryn.
You know, the studio where we studied had a big, beautiful mandala painted on a wall in one of their practice rooms. From the moment I saw it I was mesmerized by the design. I loved the repetition of patterns and colors, so I asked our teacher what it was called. I later looked up “how to draw a mandala” online and my mandala journey had officially begun.
As part of our yoga teacher graduation requirements, we were tasked with demonstrating how we practice “yoga off the mat” and I chose to lead our group in a mandala drawing session. Having the opportunity to teach others how to draw this simple design, and witnessing the focus and relaxation as my yoga friends drew and colored mandalas was amazing! I knew that I wanted to create more opportunities for others to learn the practice, so my mandala workshops were born.
Part of your mandala workshop includes a yoga practice, usually done in a circle, which I love! What other yoga classes and workshops are you currently teaching? Are you finding that you are more passionate about any specific styles of yoga?
D: This is a great question, Taryn. My own yoga practice has changed so much over the years, and I love this current season of my journey. I find that I enjoy teaching the “softer side of yoga” in an effort to make it more widely achievable, accepted and embraced. I am very interested in the therapeutic aspects of the practice, and I love having the opportunity to help my students heal from past trauma –physically, emotionally and energetically.
I lead several regular weekly classes through my local Parks & Recreation Department. It’s an honor for me to be of service to my community that way. In addition to my weekly yoga class schedule, I also lead a few different workshops related to yoga therapy.
My mandala workshops combine yoga and art therapy as I teach students how to draw their own mandalas and use them as meditation pieces. We focus on creating a practice that is meditative and calming, and I also incorporate affirmations and validations that enhance the healing process. I love combining a gentle yoga practice with the lightheartedness of art therapy. The two feel like a match made in Heaven.
Also on the yoga therapy front, I lead a workshop called “Yoga for Grief.” Having lost my mom four years ago, I became curious about the lingering effects of grief in the body and mind. I discovered that yin yoga poses designed to balance the meridians were extremely helpful, so I created a six-week workshop to share with others who are dealing with loss and change. It’s so rewarding and beautiful to witness the healing journey of others. I feel grateful and blessed every time I have an opportunity to lead these classes.
Just recently, we sat down to discuss something completely new and exciting for both of us: astrology! I was mesmerized when you took me through my chart and feel like I have learned so much about myself. Can you give an easy explanation of astrology readings and what got you interested in it?
D: Oh, astrology!!! My new love! I was inspired to learn more about astrology after my daughter started dipping in to it. I was so fascinated with how my astrology chart seemed to be a perfect blueprint and description of my life’s journey.
One of the great things about astrology is that it pairs well with yoga as we learn to become the observer of our thoughts. When I read astrology charts and share them with my clients, there is always validation for the ego (sun sign), the way we process emotions (moon sign) and our soul’s journey (rising sign). When we learn the inner workings of our astrology chart, we understand ourselves on a deeper level. We can put the puzzle pieces together and be really clear about our life’s purpose and journey – a valuable tool for personal growth.
I also combine astrology and yoga for my clients by designing yoga practices related to healing opportunities specific to their chart. This includes grounding postures to enhance the earth element, breathing techniques to stimulate the fire element, and heart-opening poses to release emotion.
You have done an incredible job of following your passions over the last few years. What advice do you have for others who might be hesitant about chasing their dreams?
D: Oh gosh, it seems cliché to say, “Just do it!” or “Leap and the net will appear.” – all those catch phrases about moving past fear and following your passion. It happened slowly for me, but once I finally did take the leap (I left the corporate world after 35 years of desk jobs), the Universe really did provide. Truly, my own yoga practice is at the heart of my entire journey.
My advice to those who are hesitant about chasing their dreams is this: Imagine and visualize what you want to manifest with feeling. I would imagine myself feeling satisfied and jubilant, leading classes and helping others heal with yoga. Eventually, I did have to leap and trust that the net would appear – and it did! I’m leading lots of yoga classes now, I have mandala workshops booked every month this summer, and my Yoga for Grief workshop is scheduled to run again in September. I’m able to be of service to my community and I love that!
Learn to become the observer of your thoughts so you don’t get lost in them. What old stories are you stuck in that are holding you back? Start to create a new habit of directing your thoughts to what you want instead of what you don’t want. For example, instead of “I don’t want to work here,” create a new and current affirmation. For me it was, “I teach yoga as a full time job.” Bam!
I love it! I have always said that it is important to commit to your intentions daily, which is exactly that!
Last but not least, for my readers who are local to the East Valley, where can they find information about your classes and readings? For those who are not local, is there a way for them to connect with you on the web?
You don’t have to be local to book an astrology reading. My readings are done via an internet or phone connection, and the call is recorded so you can listen again later. Readings typically last for 30 minutes. You can visit my astrology page for more information and help with scheduling a reading.
Local friends can practice yoga with me during the week at Chandler Parks & Recreation locations. You can see a list of my weekly offerings on my website.
Information on my workshops and specialty classes can be found on my website. Workshops include mandala meditations, yoga for grief, yoga for stress relief, chair yoga and private sessions as requested.
Thank you Deb! I hope my readers are just inspired by you as I am!
D: Thanks so much for inviting me to share my journey here, Taryn. I want your readers to know that the friendships we form through yoga are some of the most endearing relationships we’ll ever have. I witness friendships being formed all the time among students who attend my classes regularly. Friendships born on a yoga mat are some of the best I’ve found.
I love that you’re my yoga friend, Taryn. Stay awesome!!! xoxox
Deb is the best! So happy to have her on my site and in my heart <3
Questions for Deb? Comment below!
Much love, Taryn