There are so many people doing inspiring and heartfelt work in the world today. In observing these folks in their work, I have found that they are performing one essential task: Following their TRUTH or a path that makes their heart sing. They create space for themselves to become open to a level of challenge, self-discovery, and service to others that is necessary for moving this planet forward. I am grateful to have received the amazing opportunity to work with two individuals who are doing just that. At the end of August, I will be assisting a workshop with Annie Okerlin and Dana Moore at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, NC. This workshop will be experiential and highly informative in its nature and will demonstrate the ways in which Yoga and mindful living can support individuals and groups who have lived through traumatic and challenging life circumstance. For more information please check out youryoga.com and read Dana and Annies bios below!
Annie Okerlin, E-RYT 500 (application pending), is the owner of Yogani Studios, Tampa, Florida, and the president and founder of the Exalted Warrior Foundation (EWF). She has been teaching locally for 13 years and nationally with the foundation for 7. Since March of 2006, Annie and the EWF instructors have implemented an adaptive yoga program throughout major military medical and veterans’ hospital facilities nationwide. Annie designed the program to support the seen and unseen wounded populations; including amputees, burn victims, and those with orthopedic poly-trauma, traumatic brain and spinal-cord injuries, PTSD, and depression. Exalted Warrior instructors are currently supporting the recovery of United Sates Marine Corps Wounded Warriors. She is currently pursuing certification as an iRest® teacher.
Annie began practicing yoga in 1996. Deciding to deepen her practice led Annie to Bikram certification in 1999. Within three weeks she knew teaching yoga was her passion in life and Yogani Studios became the home for it. In 2001 she did a 200 hour teacher training with Shiva Rea. Annie’s energy and compassion have led her to working with everyone from professional athletes, home makers and those of different abilities. In 2005 Annie began a new path of working with wounded warriors. This path became official with the birth of Exalted Warrior Foundation in 2010 with Annie continuing to teach to all the wounded populations throughout military and Veterans hospitals. Annie and EWF support nationwide programs assisting the re-integration of the wounded back into civilian life, and have begun documenting best-practices to present in teacher training programs. This work has led her to be on the faculty of Warriors At Ease, teaching other yoga instructors how to teach adaptive yoga to the traumatically wounded in a military setting. Annie is also a founding member of the Military MindBody Health Consortium and advises many groups working with our injured service members and their families.
Dana Moore, MAR, MA, LPCC, is a therapist who uses elements of contemplative spirituality supported by neuroscience to treat psychological trauma. He is a founding member of the yoga program at the Trauma Center at JRI, and a regular faculty member at the International Trauma Conference. His approach to healing is informed by graduate studies in theology at Yale University and psychology at Boston College, along with training in Kripalu Yoga, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and auricular acupuncture. Dana trains mental-health professionals and yoga teachers in the United States and abroad. He was inspired to develop his approach to healing while on a monastic retreat in 1993.
For more about Dana and his work plaese visit: journeywell.org