“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ― Rumi
Alexis is a bhakta and a yogini. Bhakti is the yoga of love and devotion. The devotion is in every step, every movement, every breath. When you surrender yourself to the moment and accept it as it is, it opens up and lets you inside. Time expands, space expands, love expands...you expand. Change your body and your mind will eventually follow. Change your mind and you will change the world.
"What you seek is seeking you.” ― Rumi Education
She began her formal study of yoga in India, after 10 years of practicing in Los Angeles. One day she had an unshakeable feeling that she had to go to India. It was set already, she just went through the motions. She quit her job of 5 and 1/2 years and bought a ticket to Mumbai. She told her long-time boyfriend whom she lived with plus their 2 dogs, she "had to go to India" and alone. After the initial shock of landing in Mumbai wore off, and she learned how to hold a scarf to her nose and mouth to breathe, her journey began. She didn't even know what she was looking for, or where she was going for that matter, but she found that Mother India was as ready for her as she was for it! It took her in and embraced her as she learned how to get from point A to point B, slowly but surely. "The point of the journey is not to arrive." -Rush. Somehow, she did arrive, in Rishikesh, at the foothills of the Himalayas, dubbed the "yoga capital of the world." Here, she learned in the traditional way of a teacher (guru) passing the information to a student (disciple) one to one from Swami Anandadevananda Saraswati in his tiny ashram in Lakshman Jhula. She learned asana, meditation, philosophy, chanting, and pranyama (breath control exercises). She spent every day in this world, for 10 hours of practicing and learning and meditating. She would sit by the Ganga for release and rejuvenation. Soon after, she made her way north into the young mountain range. After a month in the holy town of Manukaran, she found herself in Dharamsala, the home of the Dalai Lama, gifted by India to the Tibetan refugees. Here, she met Shiva, a South Indian sadhu and healer who taught her Reiki in his treehouse in Baghsu, just outside of town. She was amazed at how this powerful, healing energy can work and how easily she can be a conduit for it. She continued her practices and traveled forward, learning from a beautiful array of sadhus and women, medicine men and travelers, children and the poor and rich alike. After 2 years of exploring herself and the world through the vast landscape of India, the unkempt fortitude of Crete and the hopeless possibility of America, she returned back to Los Angeles, the city of Angels, the city where she grew up and spent her adult life. Wanting to continue her yogic education, and specifically wanting to teach. She found herself at the door of yet another small ashram, this time in Santa Monica, a city that has more yoga studios than anywhere else in the world. Bhakti Yoga Shala. A studio in the heart of this beach city's promenade, it's owners Govind Das and Radha are bringing back the love movement through yoga and its musical sister, kirtan. She enrolled in Govind Das' Bhakti teacher training and her evolution from student to teacher began. She continues to further her education in a mindful manner, building her blocks of knowledge carefully on the solid foundation she has built. She has since completed her Master Reiki training with Kerri Draper at Huntington Beach Reiki and her Advanced Yoga and Ayurveda Certification at Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda with Mas Vidal. She brings the science of Ayurveda into her life as a way of approaching diet, asana, and lifestyle with balance being the ultimate goal, and carries this knowledge into her classes and private yoga instruction. A true lover of the Vedic sciences, she has taken the next step to understanding these integrative sciences the rishis, or ancient seers, left us with through the world of Vedic Astrology or Jyotish. She is certified through the American Academy of Vedic Art and Science, and is currently continuing her studies with Sam Geppi, the founder of this institute. She has also studied both Kundalini yoga from the Hindu tradition, pre-dating the Sikhs, and Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan here in the West, and has had the honor of furthering her bhakti practices of kirtan, learning mantras and knowledge of the Hindu archetypes that represent different aspects of all of us, sargam (Indian musical scales), and how to play the harmonium with both Govind Das and Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band.
Alexis has been fortunate to have amazing teachers of all kinds in her life and considers each student in front of her to be a teacher also. Forever growing, learning and listening (sometimes, just learning to listen), she has found that however far off the path she might think she has gotten, it is always right under her, waiting to meet her outstretched foot.
She would like to humbly thank all the people who have helped her along the way, be they formal teachers or not, gurus or children, Westerners or Indians, and people she has known for a long time or people she has never met but have influenced her just the same. Especially, she honors and gives thanks to those who are walking the path ahead of her and have taken the time to stop and offer a hand or some words to help her take one more step forward: Govind Das, Guru Singh, Sam Geppi, Mark Whitwell, Mas Vidal, Sean Johnson, Swami Anandadevananda Saraswati, Shiva, Ranji-baba, and His Holiness Radhanath Swami. Thank you! It is by sincere teachers that the knowledge is passed on, and it is by sincere students that the knowledge is carried forward. May we all be blessed on our paths. May all beings everywhere be happy and free. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. Hare Aum.
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