Teacher Bios

Loving Kindness Teachers:

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  • Ti Harmony
  • Chrysecolla Taico
  • Liz Harden
  • Kathy Therber

Ti Harmony: Loving Kindness Yoga School’s founder and main teacher

Ti Harmony

Around 1989-90, I had a lot of time and a great library to choose from, and I read, among many other things, The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda. I had enjoyed stretching for exercise and thought, “Great! Organized stretching.” and started practicing 2 hours every day from that book. I had other spiritual practices at the time that were separate, apparently. Two years of practice later, I got my first teacher who encouraged me to do yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center where she had trained. About a year later, in November of 1992, I took the month-long training and loved it and started teaching shortly after that. I have been teaching, and practicing of course, since then. Now my spiritual practices are all integrated, and devotional practices are the biggest components of my practice time. I do hatha yoga and chanting and meditation daily and it all complements the whole picture.

My main influences in my hatha yoga are Kripalu Yoga, where I was originally trained and still very much informs my teaching, Iyengar, Anusara, Integral Yoga, Erich Schiffmann and Yogi Hari. I still say, though, that my main yoga teachers are Angela Farmer and Victor Von Kooten, , though my style of yoga looks very much unlike their’s. I call them my main teachers because they were the first people who I saw as healers who use hatha yoga as their mode of healing, and they use and teach the practice as a way of finding, healing and integrating all the lost, scared, alone, hurt parts of ourselves. I also call them my main teachers because their main focus in the practice is energy and because they are very much about making your yoga your own and finding how to make it come from inside; and because they were the first teachers who I felt safe enough with and who were strong and grounded enough in themselves that I could confront them in class with challenging and personally difficult questions for them and they could not only take it, but thank and reward me for it. I hope to be the same kind of teacher as them in all that.

In 1995, I completed my Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT) training and practiced that for about 10 years. When I started offering a yoga teacher training, I dropped my PRYT practice since yoga teaching was, and is, taking all my time. For about two years I was involved as a mentor in the training.

In 1997 I met my Guru, Amma or Ammachi, who in the west is often referred to as “The Hugging Saint” since she gives a hug to everyone who comes to see her It’s amazing and humbling to see this small, loving woman hugging thousands of people for hours on end without tiring. (At her 50th birthday celebration in India, she hugged about 45,000 people from about 1:30 in the afternoon until 8:30 the next morning. In the US, big crowds so far are only about 7000 people in a night.) I give her credit for taking me deeper on the path of yoga than I had ever dreamed I would be able to go. And I know I still have a lot further to go!

In 2002, Nikki and I had Bodhi, our first boy, and in 2005, Forest came along. These beautiful beings have offered countless opportunities for continued learning and testing of the spiritual growth and insights that I have received on my mat and meditation cushion. My family continues to help me to be a better, more grounded and real person.

In 2004 year, due to the repeated requests from long-time students, I began teaching Carrboro/Chapel Hill’s first yoga teacher training. It is amazing and wonderful to see all the great students over the years becoming great teachers in their own right. The training is a 9 month course, and new trainings begin in September.

In my spare time (yes, I do have a LITTLE), I love to garden, play with our two young boys and take walks in the woods with our dog while repeating my mantra with my footsteps.

My personal practice on the mat aims at uncovering the love and bliss that resides in the heart, so works a lot with the mind and its hindrances. In practice and teaching this comes out as, hopefully, encouragement to focus deeply, accept deeply, and tune-in to the subtle messages of our own inner guidance. I like to work “hard” and deeply and be rigorously attentive, peaceful, honest, energized, loving and thankful. I am also a Lover of the Power of Mantra and am devoted to the use of mantra in my daily practice which includes chanting Sri Lalita Sahasranama, the 1000 Names of the Divine Mother and japa (mantra) meditation. I encourage everyone to use a mantra for inner and outer peace. Pick a mantra that you like and repeat it mentally (or out loud) 3000 or more times per day. (that’s not as many as you think). Watch the effects!! I also love leading kirtan every week and my heart and fingers (I play the harmonium, a small pump organ) miss it when I am away and not leading it.

My intention in life and in my teaching is usually very simple: that the One who Dwells in the Hearts of All Beings express Itself through this body and life and guide “me.” In this light, I generally have no plan when I walk into a room to teach and go as the Spirit guides which usually comes from who is there and the mood in the room, including my mood. I like to keep a sense of humor and to connect with my students. I tend to give a lot of hands-on assists and am open to students letting me know that they don’t want it.

In 2010 I opened Open Heart Yoga School with fellow yoga teacher, Allison Dennis.  We were “business partners” for 2 wonderful years, and in April 2012, I left Open Heart to open Loving Kindness Yoga School to continue and deepen the work I’d begun at Open Heart.

Chrysecolla Taico, LCSW, RYT

Chrysecolla_Headshot-1I believe that yoga is a healing arts practice that can guide us towards living more wholeheartedly. My vision in teaching yoga is to create a safe space where every{body} can cultivate their own healing relationship with yoga. My classes are infused with intentions of practicing inward-kindness; gently supporting students to connect with themselves in more loving and accepting ways.
My main yoga teacher and style influence is Ti Harmony. I graduated from his 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2012 and continue to follow his teachings on and off the mat today. My yoga practice with Ti and my personal home practice both greatly influence my work as a psychotherapist for people who struggle with low self-esteem, negative body image, disordered eating and eating disorders. My work as a therapist also influences my yoga teaching style and class themes. I have studied with Anna Guest-Jelley, as well, and I am certified in Curvy Yoga. My time studying with Anna has guided my intention to offer safe and nurturing practice spaces to people of all sizes, shapes and abilities.

Contact Chrysecolla:
Website: www.colietaico.com
Email: chrysecollayoga@gmail.com

 

 

Liz Harden

LizI came to yoga over a decade ago, seeking much needed stress reduction and the ability to touch my toes, and have been hooked ever since. As a former runner, I was immediately drawn to the physical aspects of yoga as I began to see improvement in both my strength and flexibility. But over time, I found an inner-calm and peace within myself that I never knew existed, and this discovery is what has kept me coming back.

My yoga practice was transformed in 2011 due to the birth of my first child. I initially struggled to find an ounce of extra time for meditation or yoga, and my sanity suffered big time. I was thrilled to be a mother and completely devoted to my son, but in doing so had lost an important piece of myself. I eventually realized that with a little creativity and flexibility, I could maintain my yoga practice by doing yoga with my son. Yes, he might spit up on my mat or cry in protest, but I could at least give it a try. Alongside my little yogi, I discovered the joys of baby and kids’ yoga. After over a year of practicing at home with my son, I trained and became certified with Rainbow Kids Yoga in 2013 and have been teaching on the playground, in my living room, in schools, and studios ever since. In 2015, my second child was born, adding to the messiness and joy that is life. My two children are an endless source of inspiration, and a constant reminder of the beauty of living in the now. Babies and children are natural yogis, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn from their youthful wisdom as I lead yoga classes for youngsters of all ages.

I finished Ti Harmony’s 200-hour yoga teacher training in Spring 2015, deepening my own yoga practice and bringing greater depth to my work with children and their caregivers.

 

Kathy Therber

Kathy brings with her 20 years of a personal practice, 10 years of yoga teaching, a cancer diagnosis with subsequent treatment and recovery, and recovery from chronic low back pain. Kathy Therber, a E-RYT 500, Registered Yoga Therapist, started practicing yoga in 1992 in San Francisco, California. After a car accident left her with continued back pain, yoga provided relief. To this day yoga remains an essential part of her life for staying active, healthy, and pain-free. The stress relief and restorative nature of yoga continues to help Kathy every day since her diagnosis. Her inspiration to grow in the practice of yoga comes from students. Kathy is committed to passing on the teachings of yoga and helping students acquire a well-rounded understanding and practice.

Kathy has taught yoga since 2003. She is a certified yoga teacher who completed her 200-hour training through All People Yoga Center, Indianapolis, which is accredited and recognized by the national standards of Yoga Alliance. She carries her own Yoga Alliance certification and has met the requirements of the 500-hour certification program.

Kathy has participated in a number of studies that integrate yoga into well being and recovery. Her work in yoga therapy has brought yoga and healing to hospitalized veterans in Indianapolis and cancer patients at the Simon Cancer Center. She has taught yoga as a substitute teacher at Integrative Health UNC, and Cornucopia in Chapel Hill. Kathy has also worked one on one with people who suffer with chronic low back pain at Shamrock Wellness.

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