"We're all just walking each other home."
~ Ram Dass
Sarah Jane Dicken, CYT
I took my first yoga class 11 years ago on a beach in Goa (India) during a very difficult time in my life. After that practice, I had a profound meditative experience while walking along the shore for a couple of hours, and I knew then that I had found something incomparably powerful that would forever change my life.
Upon returning home from India, I searched for a practice that would suit me best, and I found my way into a Bikram Yoga studio. I loved the intensity of the practice, and I continued exclusively with this style of yoga for several years. In the fall of 2011, I travelled to California to complete the nine-week intensive Bikram Yoga Teacher Training program. I fell in love with teaching yoga after my first couple of classes and I was eager to grow and develop as both a teacher and a student, so I travelled between Canada, the US and Australia over the next few years, teaching at a number of studios to a vast range of yogis.
However, I began to realize that I was limiting myself as both a yogi and a teacher by not exploring the depths of the practice and instead maintaining such a narrow focus and unwavering loyalty to just one lineage and method. Four years after becoming a yoga instructor, after many changes both personally and professionally, and having taught the same sequence of asanas the entire time, I decided to take a new direction; early in 2016, I founded SARASPONDA YOGA: private yoga in Southern Alberta, with a focus on personalized programs, tailored to the individual. After many hours of research and development - continuing ed modules, independent study, online training and certificate courses - I developed a diverse library of asana sequences and yoga programs, based on the unique needs of my clients.
My yoga practice has been transformative and life-saving, and my mission as a teacher is to empower others to develop a practice of their own that enables them to more fully explore the depths of their experience, on and off the mat. In my day-to-day life, I do my best to follow Patanjali's eight-fold path, and my personal approach to yoga instruction tends to focus on mindful movement, deepening awareness, anatomical and energetic alignment, breath integration, and deep relaxation - a healthy combination of asana (the physical practice), pranayama (the breath practice) and dhyana (the meditative practice).
As a survivor of domestic abuse and having relied heavily upon yoga in my own healing journey, I have a particular interest in trauma-informed and therapeutic yoga practices. I completed a 20-hr TSY training through the Trauma Center at JRI in 2017 and now offer progressive Yoga for Healing series in non-clinic settings.