I’m a dreamer. I’m risk-taker and I’ve failed brilliantly, quite a few times. A New York City museum dweller from a young age, I studied art at Columbia University. I stumbled upon the law, and my life took some exciting and daring turns. A Manhattan District Attorney – A Wall Street Banker – An Artist – A Model – A Fashion Designer – A Mother – A Yogi.
There was a pivotal moment in my life, when “stress” became a constant roommate. I’ve worked 100s of hours in deadline-driven and often hectic workspaces. Its became clear to me that “you can have it all – but at what cost?” Fast-forward 10 years – to now. Many people still ask me – why did you drop the fancy suits and open – of all things – a yoga studio? 3 years later, it’s still a simple answer: self-care isn’t just something that makes you feel good it’s a critical factor in happiness and sanity. Living your best life now, should be a global priority.
Before landing a teaching gig at Bliss Yoga Accra, my yoga odyssey began in 2006 with an invitation from a friend to join her in a yoga class at a Manhattan gym. At the time, yoga was relatively unfamiliar to me. However, I had heard that it might just improve my flexibility and boost my stamina. As a competitive cyclist and part-time triathlete, I figured “why not.” Let’s just say that this might have been one of the most important decisions of my life! Yes my flexibility improved and I immediately noticed how much stronger I felt on my cycle. But, what the practice of yoga gave me was so much more than just physical. Yoga has given me the space to cultivate joy, grace, and mindfulness. I was fortunate enough study under incredible Acro-Yoga teachers in California, seasoned Hatha teachers in New York, and teachers in Hawaii who drew from the Ashtanga tradition. All empowered me to extend the teachings of yoga to all areas of my life. As a yoga teacher, I try to create a challenging and comprehensive asana practice. My classes incorporate strong vinyasa sequencing, attention to precise alignment, deep stretching, meditation, and music that enhances the experience. Yoga sustained me through a hectic career as the program director of a social service agency in New York City and through the peaks and valleys of my personal life. I will always be a firm believer in the power of a regular yoga practice as the foundation of self-healing and transformation.
Atsu is an instructor at Bliss Yoga Accra. He brings with him the love of dance and Ashtanga Yoga. His practice is diverse and beautiful and he brings a grounded and pure energy to the Bliss teaching team. We love Atsu! His spirit and love of yoga is simply magical.
I have been practicing yoga for many years and love the sense of wellbeing and tranquillity it brings to my life no matter where I am or what else may be going on. My job with the United Nations takes me to different places and I love finding a yoga studio as soon as I go somewhere new (I was at Bliss Yoga the morning after I arrived in Accra!). In Italy, I did Bikram and Ashtanga Yoga, in Sri Lanka Hatha Yoga, in the USA Power Yoga, and everywhere I have benefited not only from wonderful yoga sessions but have met great people as well. In my classes, I bring elements of the different styles I love, with a focus on strong vinyasa sequences and good balance and alignment.
David, from Lotus House of Yoga is our super hero yogi from Nebraska. He joins us each year for our 200-HR 8 Week yoga alliance teacher training and leads our foundational sessions. We love him. As he says, “Love Always Wins.”
I have been teaching yoga since 2011. I completed my 200 and 500 hour trainings at Lotus House of Yoga and have studied extensively with Lotus founder MC Sweet. My practice has been influenced by Astanga, Brock & Krista Cahill, Cameron Shayne, and most recently Libba Harmon. I am the father of 2 boys who are my greatest teachers.
Yoga has changed my life. My transformational journey was not easy or short. I didn’t get it right the first or second time, not even close. But through the daily practice of yoga and the support of yogis and gurus I am making it. This is what I offer to you: All of my experiences; All of my support; and All of my LOVE… always! My intention for each practice I lead is to challenge you to become a stronger person both physically and mentally (and to sweat a lot). Peace + Love + Namaste.
Private Jikiden Reiki® and Access Bars® Program
Maya will be available for private sessions at Bliss Yoga Accra, by appointment only.
She facilitates people to change their life in ways and with tools that work.
Maya’s first experience with Reiki was in 2000, when a colleague at work gave her Reiki during lunch break. Reiki relieved her back pain so she decided to learn it herself in 2000. In August 2008, she took Jikiden Reiki® seminars in Holland and seriously started practicing on people. She completed her Jikiden Reiki® teachers training in 2009/2010 in Düsseldorf with Mr. Tadao Yamaguchi, president of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto Japan. Practicing Reiki, directly or distant, is part of her daily life. Maya is accredited to teach Jikiden Reiki® Shoden and Okuden (Level I and II) by the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Japan.
Maya learned about the Bars® in Capetown In 2014. That same year she became a certified Access Consciousness® Bars Facilitator. The tools of Access changed her life. She gives private Access Bars® sessions, teaches how to run the Bars® and also facilitates people using the Access Consiousness® tools for verbal processing / clearing sessions, directly or via Skype.
What is Jikiden Reiki®?
Reiki is a therapy often described as hands-on-healing or energy-healing in which a practitioner places hands lightly on a client’s body in order to facilitate the client in boosting the body’s own healing ability. Founded in 1922 by Mikao Usui in Japan and spread around the world in the eighties.
Jikiden Reiki® is the purest, traditional, simple and yet effective Reiki grown and practiced only in Japan, so there has been no westernization. Late nineties people from the West got to know about Jikiden and invited the Yamaguchi family to teach outside Japan. Jikiden Reiki® can help you heal and handle several physical and mental issues and can also be performed on absent people.
What is Access Bars®?
The Bars® are 32 points on the head which are connected to different area’s in your life. There are bars for money, creativity, communication, healing and many others. Founders Gary Douglas and Dain Heer created Access Consciousness®, a program that offers pragmatic tools to change things in your life that you haven’t been able to change until now. During a Bars session a practitioner lightly touches the 32 points on the head over the course of an hour or an hour and a half. Touching the Bars® allows for the electromagnetic charge that holds thoughts, feelings, and emotions in place to dissipate, allowing you to perceive and experience more ease and space in your life and body.
Nirmaldeep Kaur is a Kundalini Yoga teacher. She is also certified by the Radiant Child Yoga Program to teach children’s yoga. She is a regular contributing faculty member for Bliss Yoga Accra’s 200-HR teacher training program. She is happy to offer individual sessions to those interested.
For Sarah, yoga was a vehicle for transformation. In Denmark, she studied Early Childhood and Social Education and soon after arrived in Ghana, landing a position as a Nursery School teacher. Never actually considering a job as a yoga instructor, Sarah found herself a student at Bliss Yoga where she was inspired by the studios energy. Needless, transformation was in motion. Sarah is now a RYT 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified instructor who uses the practice as a foundation to connect mind, body, and spirit. Formally trained in pole fitness, which combines dance and acrobatics, Sarah brings a keen sense of alignment and strength to the mat as a yoga teacher. Her classes will lead you through creative vinyasa sequences, with special attention given to alignment and developing flexibility. Sarah believes that yoga is most rewarding when we come up against our edge and feel challenged, but also when we leave time to let go and restore
I first realized yoga was more than stretching in 2006 when I was invited by a friend’s mother, who happened to be a yoga teacher, to a Kirtan chanting practice outside Chicago. Immersed in the joyful singing, movement and community, I experienced how yoga has the ability to penetrate the soul and heal when you are taken outside your comfort zone and look inward. Since that fateful yoga chanting night, I have continued to explore different styles of yoga ranging from restorative to sunrise flows, kundalini and meditation from my hometown in Illinois, in a town near the Dalai Lama’s temple in Dharamsala India, backpacking in Montana and ultimately where I settled and call home in Vermont. Yoga has helped to calm my restless mind by returning to the breath and has enabled me to recognize the simple notion that nothing is permanent and everything will pass. We have all the tools we need to experience the awesomeness of life and to take on its challenges.
Joan is a beautiful soul and recent Bliss Yoga Teacher Training grad. Co-teaching the gentle sunset yoga flow on Sundays @ 5pm (class starts on Feb. 5th), her teaching style is joyful and soothing.
Meet Bernice Awuraesi Yalley, a yoga practioner who incorporates prayer of heart, body and mind into her gentle flow. Bernice was initially attracted to the elegant and intentional strength of yoga, when her capoeira studio began sharing space with a yoga class. The quiet energy was a lovely disruption. Eventually trained in classic vinyasa flow, Bernice has also studied and practiced Ashtanga, Jivamukti and Hatha yoga styles and has learned to incorporate mediation and breath as key components of her physical and mental practice. A 200 registered yoga teacher, Bernice is proud to have trained under Faith Hunter whose Spiritually FlyTM practice celebrates yoga as a unique expression of the individual. Bernice shares her yoga practice in churches and yoga studios in the United States and Ghana, and enjoys practicing with beginning adults. Bernice currently works in Ghana for a water and sanitation nonprofit organization that provides access and services for people living in poverty.