Contributors

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Archived Contributors of the Months

September 2012:  Danielle Stimpson

Danielle is a Shamanism & Reiki Instructor based in Philadelphia and State College, PA and is the host and content producer of Healing Arts Radio on Para-X.com. She is a New Jersey native who holds no degrees, has never sought higher education, and has no plans to do so. As a recovering anorexic and domestic abuse survivor, she often finds spiritual clichés trite and dismissive. While Danielle celebrates your connection to your yoga practice, she enjoys her asana-free lifestyle and feels no need to justify it to anyone else. She is a proud nerd, tattoo and piercing enthusiast, avid book reader, and animal lover. Find classes with Danielle at www.learnreikiphiladelphia.com, read her blog at www.daniellestimpson.com, or download past installments of Healing Arts Radio Free on ITunes (link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/healing-arts-radio/id525325553?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4).

Read all Danielle’s stories

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August 2012:  Shana Sturtz

Shana Sturtz is a certified yoga teacher and survivor of the exploding Portland, Oregon yoga scene. She currently lives in Guadalajara, Mexico with her husband, Tom. She continues to teach yoga and tutors in English. She has practiced yoga for 15 years, and yes, she is older than most yoga teachers. She is currently looking for more ways to occupy her time in this new land where she hasn’t quite grasped the language, and she is too scared to drive. Coming from Portland, you only learn to ride a bike. While no longer living in Portland (where a new yoga studio opens every hour) she is forced to practice her yoga within the comforts of her home, often with her cat looking on admiringly.

Read all Shana’s stories

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 July 2012: Toni Grates / Toronto

Toni Grates opened a yoga studio because she thought it would solve all her problems.  After 13 months in yoga hell, she shut the doors and peacefully went back to the real world.  She’s a mom and bonus mom (so much nicer than “step-mom”) who loves all things creative.  Post-studio, she has gone back to her love of writing with more material than she ever thought possible.  You can follow her adventures at www.namastebitchesblog.com.

Read all Toni’s stories

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June 2012: Louis Cortese / New Jersey

 

Lou , in his life, has been a precocious young boy in an anachronistic town in the mountains of Sicily, an immigrant at the age of 8 arriving by way of an ocean liner to the shores of the west side of Manhattan, a guido from the Bronx, a hippy, a Zen Buddhist, a businessman, a yogi and a conventional family man with three sons and two grandchildren, among other things, none of which describes his true self and all of which in the aggregate do not give a full account of him. If his story is not he, then what is? He’s still looking.Lou’s musings can be followed on his blog http://louiebop.tumblr.com/

Read all Lou’s stories

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May 2012: Nadine Fawell / Australia

 

Nadine Fawell’s edit button doesn’t work: if there is something inappropriate to be said, she will say it. Often in yoga class. She drinks coffee and swears and sometimes she thinks deeply about life. You can find her at www.yogawithnadine.com.

Read all Nadine’s stories

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April 2012: Emelia Symington Fedy / Vancouver

Emelia Symington Fedy is a theatre creator, writer, yogi, friend and popular raconteuse. Her favorite quote at the moment is: “Live the light, spread the light, be the light” (found on a Yogi Tea teabag). This is probably because she has a penchant for darkness.

You can learn more about Emelia at www.thechoptheatre.com. Check out more of Emelia’s offbeat essays at tryingtobegood.com.

Read all Emelia’s stories

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March 2012: Scott Robinson/ Philadelphia

Scott Robinson heard Krishna Das say, “I don’t think my high school guidance counsellor had ‘kirtan walla’ on his list of professions,” and every day he feels better for having heard that. In his mid-forties, Scott gave up college music teaching and embarked on full-time a kirtan/spiritual direction/dad track in 2009. He is currently finishing up study in spiritual direction at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and has begun study at the New Seminary for Interfaith Studies in New York. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, two brilliant daughters and two incessantly shedding dogs. You can learn everything you ever wanted to know about Scott’s work and more at www.opentothedivine.com .

Read: Who do you think are? 

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February 2012: Kate Stone / Boston

Kate started taking yoga in middle school as a rebellious move against sports camp. After years of gymnastics, not having to flip over after a backbend was a relief, and the practice stuck. After college, Kate moved to Chicago to teach mean children how to read. She was marginally successful but felt severely, physically ill-equipped to deal with the fighting in her classroom. As someone who takes things literally, she became a personal trainer. Kate spent eight years in Chicago working in gyms, bars and museums, feeling like she was supposed to have a real job. Last year she realized she doesn’t ever want one of those. Kate spent all of her money on yoga training, and is now a yoga teacher, writer and bartender living in Boston.

Read all Kate’s stories

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January 2012: Laura Riggs / Denver

Laura started practicing yoga roughly ten years ago and began teaching five years ago.  She left a successful career in advertising to teach yoga full-time because she decided it would be totally rad to pretend she was 21 again. She managed two large studios for the past two years, led many teacher trainings, and enjoyed having her soul sucked out of her. Now that the LSD in the Kool-Aid they had her drink before each day has worn off, she is relieved to be rid of a company that believes first in money and second in “speaking your truth” — so long as it agrees with “our truth” because “our truth” can kick “your truth’s” ass!  She does admit there are days that she still checks the studio’s yoga schedule and experiences flashbacks – only to be grateful she no longer has to manage the severely undereducated teachers trying their best to fulfill the studio’s mandate to “Bring the Sexy Back” to yoga. Last time she checked herself, before she wrecked herself, yoga was never sexy to begin with…..

Read all Laura’s stories

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December 2011: Jordan Chaney / Eastern Washington

Jordan Chaney is a spoken word poet residing in Eastern Washington’s Wine Country. He writes for Winepress Northwest and is the author of Double-Barreled Bible, a collection of urban poems that blends Eastern and Western philosophies. He currently teaches poetry and communication skills at a local Juvenile Detention Center, helping youth find their voice.
Read: Holy shit!

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November 2011: Kirk Hensler / San Diego

Kirk Hensler was raised in metro Detroit on a steady diet of meat, potatoes and team sports. As a competitive athlete, he relied on his speed, power and dominant attitude to excel. Years later, when he took up martial arts, he was tossed around a sweaty dojo for months by various women and children. One day, while horizontal on the mat, he had the profound realization that their patience and finesse quietly trumped his strength and aggression. This led to an exploration of ancient Eastern philosophies, which, in turn, led Kirk to Taiwan, where he taught English, studied martial arts and ate a lot of delicious and strange street food. When Kirk returned to the US, he began applying what he’d learned to his Western, urban life and to his career as a wellness coach, martial arts instructor, and yoga teacher..

Read all Kirk’s stories

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October 2011: Lee Anne (LA) Finfinger / Pittsburgh

Lee Anne (LA) Finfinger is a full-time Yoga Instructor, born and bred Pittsburgher. She and her husband live with their rescued cat, Harmony. When she’s not in a studio, LA can be found baking, traveling, hanging with family and friends, mentoring in the community (yeah that looks like B.S, but it’s not!), reading, writing and knitting.  She can be found at: www.lafinfinger.com

Read: The 10 things you’ll do once you start yoga (that have nothing to do with yoga)

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September 2011: Don Ogata / Southern California

Don Ogata lives in Southern California and is gainfully employed. He doesn’t have a blog or website and he doesn’t run his own business. His current passions are Yin Yoga and contemplating his next RY sticker placement. He can be found on Facebook or wallowing in self-pity from the Corporate Wasteland.

Read all Don’s stories

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August 2011: Jade Doherty / U.K.

Jade is pretty clueless about life, but seems to have gotten away with it so far. She’s worked as a football coach and an English Teacher, but feels that her calling lies in drinking tea and laughing at herself. Having dipped her toe in the world of new age philosophy and yoga, she got scared and scurried back to her cave/bedroom. She can be found on a Facebook, and has aTwitter account but mainly uses it to pretend that celebrities are her friends.

Read all Jade’s stories

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July 2011: Brie Doyle / Boulder, Colorado

Though pretentious yuppies abound in Brie’s home town of Boulder, CO, she can’t seem to find another place she’d rather live. But she’s been fortunate enough to try many places. From NYC to New Zealand, SE Asia, Japan, Nepal and India, Brie has traveled the world seeking adventure and stories to share. Pre-babies, she was a
middle school and yoga teacher, but now that she is pumping out children, she stays at home and writes. She has written two novels, one based in India, one based in New York, and she is furiously seeking publication. In the meantime, she can be found making light of life here: http://www.realhousewifeofbouldercounty.com

Read all Brie’s stories

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June 2011: Shawn Radcliffe / Portland, OR

Shawn Radcliffe became a yoga teacher for the same reason as most: “I liked doing yoga and, um, well, it seemed like something fun to do.” After eight weeks of intense memorization of one yoga sequence (and occasional back stroking by his teacher), he added the 200-hour yoga teacher certification to his already-long-list of Exciting Degrees That Still Leave You Hungry (also includes Music, Creative Writing, and Clown). Shawn currently teaches yoga in Portland, Oregon, where according to his students he is the Senior Teacher of Mocking. He continues to write creatively, spewing forth his true divine nature on The Lost River of My Consciousness.

Read all Shawn’s stories

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May 2011: Kimberly Johnson / Brazil

Kimberly Johnson is a yogini nomad who recently put the earth boots on for motherhood. After a lengthy love affair with India, she was relieved to fall in love with Brazil—and a Brazilian—and now lives in Rio de Janeiro with her 3-year-old Brazilian daughter. She leads retreats on the most beautiful place on earth: Ilha Grande, an island with 100 beaches and no cars; leads teacher trainings; and tries not to pronounce Sanskrit with a Portuguese accent. Rearranged by childbirth in every way, she travels, teaches, and learns about what yoga has to do with womanhood.

Read all Kimberly’s stories

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April 2011: Matthew Teague Miller / Southern California

Matthew Miller lives in San Pedro, CA with his daughter, Lark. He is employed in the auto industry, a full-time dad and part-time yogi. He makes pretty good spaghetti sauce.

Read all Matthew’s stories

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March 2011: Vanessa Florence / Melbourne

Vanessa Florence is a 22-year-old-from-Melbourne chick, burning her way through life. She has studied art therapy, travelled to Africa, and worked briefly as a dating coach. With passions in the fields of sexuality, relationship, creativity, psychology, performance, and mental health, she is still working out what she wants to do when she ‘grows up’ She loves dancing, laughing, and new experiences.

Read: Free, like me

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February 2011: Kelsey Riley / Boulder

Kelsey is the creator behind NAYA Organics, a delicious line of organic skin care that is totally machine FREE. She also works part time as a graphic designer and marketing buff and drives a ’62 Ford Falcon named Bobby that she plans to refurbish and paint yellow. She also enjoys crafting, flea markets, drinking tea, bulldogs, letterpress, and has an obsession with the South of France. She has been teaching and managing yoga studios on and off for the last 10 years in Boulder, Hawaii, San Francisco, Marin County, and Berkeley. She now calls Boulder, CO home—where she is optimistically cynical about developing her yoga practice again some day. Follow her blog for free skin care recipes.

Read all Kelsey’s stories

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January 2011: Kris Nelson / Los Angeles

Kris Nelson is founder and principal at Krama Consulting and Development, Inc. Kris leads workshops internationally on spirituality for the modern world. He lives in Los Angeles where he can be found teaching yoga in jeans to Snoop Dogg. Find Kris on Twitter.

Read all Kris’s Stories

 

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