My formal study of Yoga and Pranayama (breath work) begin in Mysore, India in 1999. Over the two years that followed, I earned teaching certifications in Hatha yoga from Darren Main, studied the Anusara Principles of Alignment with Katchie Ananda, and completed the Greenpath Yoga teacher training with Clayton Horton, in San Francisco, CA. During that training, I met Ayurvedic doctor and teacher/acarya Dharma Bodhii, and began a seven year course in Tantric studies through the Trika Institute, now part of Dharma, Inc., headquartered in Kailash Akhara, Northern Thailand.
I earned my Thai massage certification in Chiang Mai, Thailand in January 2000, with adjunct tutelage from Pichest Boonthumme also in Chiang Mai. And, I have California state certification in both Pregnancy massage with Mahriah Blackwolf through Alive & Well in Marin, and Prenatal Yoga with Britt Fohrman through the San Francisco Yoga Tree. My level 1 Reiki certification comes from Reiki Masters Adine Joy Michaels and Kerstin Marie Wheale.
I (more than) once visited a very skilled Jyotisha, a vedic astrologer, who looked at me point blank and said "you'll never do only one thing." It was a relief to hear that the cosmos was on my side! Because I was in transition to becoming a psychotherapist, and couldn't imagine leaving behind the Yoga teaching and Thai massage professions that I'd been cultivating since early Y2K.
Now a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT), I am deeply enjoying the complementarity of these professions:
For some clients, because of the therapeutic nature of Thai massage, I work with the body, and they leave having changed their minds about this or that.
For other clients, because of the efficacy of body psychotherapy, I work with the whole gestalt of the body and mind, and they leave feeling more at ease in their skin.
My work teaching private and public yoga is well informed by my visceral understanding of anatomy through my history with touch
The fact of body-mind interconnectedness informs just about everything.
For more information about my psychotherapeutic work with clients, please visit www.umakahntherapy.com.