Svastha Yoga and Viniyoga trained Monique Parker, personal student of Indra and A.G. Mohan, the long-time private students of the legendary Sri Krishnamacharya and authors of Yoga Therapy and Yoga for Body, Breath, and Mind, launches website and monthly workshops at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, New Mexico. Her first offering, “Developing a Personal Practice” is scheduled for Saturday, January 27.
Parker’s objective is to transmit the teachings in a way that honors the individual needs of the aspirant, while adhering to yoga’s ancient and authentic principles. According to Parker, “Classic yoga has always been a highly individualized system of self-care that views each person as unique with recommendations for enhancing strength, flexibility, structural alignment, proper functioning of body systems, and mental steadiness.” The techniques she teaches are based on the teachings of the legendary Sri T. Krishnamacharya, as transmitted by the Mohan family of Chennai, India with the sole purpose of helping others achieve a state of complete health and balance, in body and mind.
“Many people think of yoga in terms of attending a class where students together perform the same postures or asanas. Everybody is striving to adapt their bodies to fit an idealized pose,” Parker continues. “But no two people are alike, nor are their needs for optimum health. An appropriate practice helps one break the auto-pilot tendencies of inattentiveness. Also, the right exercises, performed correctly, will create structural balance rather than exacerbating a pre-existing condition or repetitive use patterns. So many people perform exercises for the sense of accomplishment and feeling good. The goal of yoga is to resolve conditions of ill health by adapting postures to address the specific conditions within an individual. Yoga isn’t a one size fits all, cookie cutter fitness program. That’s a myth.”
Parker’s new website helps shed some light on the mainstream fitness phenomenon by offering monthly one-day workshops at Ojo Calinete Mineral Springs. The workshops cost $135 and include lunch prepared by the Artesian Restaurant and complete access to the mineral springs. “Developing a Personal Practice” will cover fundamental elements of yoga such as: the mind as the source of misperception, the yogic solution to breaking the pain/pleasure cycle, classic asansas, how to maintain spinal integrity, the relationship between breath and movement, breath as indicator of fitness, the art of awareness, and prerequisites to meditation. “Participants will come away with a refined understanding of the classic components of yoga and a carefully constructed personal practice they can do at home,” Parker says.
A practitioner of yoga since 1996 and a teacher for the past six years, Parker has also studied in-depth with a number of highly regarded Western teachers such as Senior Iyengar teacher Kofi Busia in Santa Cruz, CA; American Viniyoga Institute founder Gary Kraftsow in Maui, Hawaii; and Vedic Chant Center’s Sonia Nelson of Santa Fe. Parker regularly offers yoga programs and yoga therapy for guests of the El Monte Sagrado Living Spa & Resort in Taos, New Mexico. She also gives private consultations in North Taos, Santa Fe, and Questa. Many of her private students are members of the local community: the Latir Fire Department, Taos real estate agents and contractors, engineers, students, bankers, and artists.
“The majority of people come to yoga for exercise and relaxation, which I consider the doorway to yoga’s greater contribution. The psychological methodologies yoga presents supersede even its unparalleled contribution to fitness. With the right individualized practice, yoga can aid the practitioner in developing single-minded concentration and unwavering discernment. And while optimum health and well-being are vastly important, ultimately, the goal is in realizing a state of perpetual peace or contentedness.”
Parker also created The Yoga of Writing workshops and consultations for creatively blocked writers and artists. An active writer of fiction and creative nonfiction, she received an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University after earning a living as a copywriter in Silicon Valley for over fifteen years. She has served as the editor of Chokecherries, the annual anthology of the Society of the Muse of the Southwest for the past three years and develops web content for New Mexico Highlands University. She created The Yoga of Writing consultations, website, and workshops to help writers reconnect with their authentic voice. Parker advocates the practice of yoga and writing together to recharge one’s creative faculties and to bring greater alignment between body and mind, and ultimately, with one’s higher Self.
Best selling author Jennifer Louden, who annually hosts a writer’s spa at the historic Mabel Dodge Luhan House each summer, began hiring Parker two years ago to teach yoga to her writers. “Monique reaches out to our writers and helps them embody their creativity through yoga in a way that delights the beginners and gives something new to the more experienced yoginis. Her style of yoga is very suited to helping to dissolve creative blocks and increase creative flow.”
Anyone interested in participating in the January 27 event should contact Monique Parker for further information at 505.586. Her workshops are open to beginning to advanced yoga practitioners and anyone who has been reticent to give yoga a try.