About Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
SERVING WORLDWIDE FOR OVER 30 YEARS
We provide certification for two career paths — as a Therapy Practitioner working one-on-one with clients or as a Yoga Teacher leading therapeutic yoga classes that incorporate the Phoenix Rising Approach. The first step for either certification path is Phoenix Rising Essentials. Many people choose to complete certification in both to build flexibility and variety into their professional practice.
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a holistic healing art. Using age old yogic and modern therapeutic approaches to deepen awareness and presence, we are able to help others accept themselves more fully. Out of this acceptance they are more easily moved to embrace the opportunity for change, growth and enhanced well-being in body, mind, emotions and spirit.
A Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy one-on-one session (featured in this video) consists of practitioner assisted yoga postures and a dialogue process that is client-centered, open-ended and non-directive. The client is facilitated through an experience of him or herself in the present moment. And what ever happens in the present moment — physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually finds richness in relationship to the bigger picture of how that client is being in the world in daily life — work, play, family and relationships.
While a series of sessions are often most helpful, profound change has been know to occur in a single session. A series of theme based Phoenix Rising Therapeutic Yoga Classes or 8-Week Group Series achieves a similar result. Our mission is to support people with moving in the direction of a life worth living – a purpose driven and meaningful life experience with less stress and anxiety and with fulfilling work and relationships.
Take a test drive: Experience Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in Private Sessions, Therapeutic Yoga Classes, Themed Group Series, or Therapeutic Life Mentoring Sessions. Find a Phoenix Rising Professional near you in our DIRECTORY.
There’s some very important reasons why we’ve been around since 1986 and have certified over 2,000 Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy professionals.
First, it’s our process which is kind of like embodied mindfulness on steroids. Once clients “drop in” during a Phoenix Rising session or class they are able to tap into their body as a source of awareness and tap into body wisdom. Neuroscience explains it as experience-based attentional plasticity. When we practice focusing our attention on breath and internal bodily sensations, it changes our brain, strengthening the experiential attention neural pathway. Perceptual experiences are heightened. And, it gets easier to access these pathways and we integrate attention to internal experience into daily life.
Second, it comes down to how we engage people in our programs. More to the point, we are educators, as opposed to trainers. Training often implies following a protocol or format –a set of processes and procedures in a step-by-step fashion. Education, on the other hand, involves tapping into wisdom from within and discerning moment-to-moment choices based on skills, knowledge and experience. These are all essential competencies for those who want to work in a field that helps people changes themselves for the better and become empowered to live more authentic and meaningful lives.
Third, we have a fully accredited IAYT program track and have years of experience and credibility not only in the professional yoga world but also in the medical and psychotherapy communities nationally and internationally.
Our graduates work with a wide and varied population serving many needs including relationship issues, cancer survival, work stress, trauma, PTSD, ADHD, dealing with change, aging, menopause, empowerment and life enhancement, and many more. Ninety percent of our graduates say that their Phoenix Rising education was one of the most transforming experiences in their lives as well as setting them up for a solid and rewarding career.
Farb, Norman, Segal, Zindel, Mayberg, Helen, Bean, Jim, McKeon, Deborah, Fatima, Zainab, and Anderson, Adam (2007). Attending to the Present: Mindfulness Meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2(4): 313-322.
THE BIRTH OF PHOENIX RISING
by Michael Lee founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy
The greatest gift I received from my father and mother was their listening. As I was listened to — and heard, my ability to listen to my own truth and follow what was in my heart developed. So, when I became aware that I was not happy, although I had a successful academic career, a family, a home, and all the external features of a happy life, I chose to take time out in search of my soul and my Self.
Having practiced daily yoga for several years, I was inspired toward that discipline. So I did the logical thing. I visited several ashrams and spiritual communities, experiencing different teachers and yogic practices, finding that I did indeed discover my self best through the wisdom of my body.
Yoga became my path.
I followed my intuition to the Kripalu Ashram in Lenox, Massachusetts. The wisdom in the teachings of my new teacher, Yogi Amrit Desai, resonated profoundly with my own inner truth, and I became even more aware of the transformational power of yoga.
With increasing awareness of the physical edge in my body, I began noticing emotions as they surfaced. I was drawn to explore this phenomenon further. I began to experiment. My experience with non-directive approaches to learning, active listening, and the strategic use of appropriate questions inspired me to combine these techniques with assisted yoga postures. I discovered that this powerful combination supports the emotional edge that surfaces when people journey deep within their bodies. The seeds of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy were planted.
In 1985, I was given an opportunity to put this into practice. Adjusting to life in the real world after two years of living in the sanctuary of an ashram was a new challenge. What would I do to support myself? How would I fulfill my desire to do work I love? Along with this transition, I found myself alone and fathering two teenage children when my marriage of seventeen years ended in divorce. All the known constructs upon which I had based my sense of self were no longer there for me. I felt lost, like a piece of me was dying.
Each morning I went into my body on my yoga blanket in search of — what? I let it be unknown. I let the yogic discipline of holding the posture be a metaphor for life. I didn’t look for answers or escape. I allowed myself to fully feel and even embrace the pain, hanging out with the discomfort I felt. Time and time again, often after tears had flowed freely, I found my center and knew with absolute certainty that I was safe; that the circumstances of my life were not only perfect, but indeed a gift from God.
Through the discipline of yoga, my body became my savior. As pain transformed to gratitude, I felt inwardly stronger than I’d ever felt before. The usual struggle was gone. I lost my need to know what was next. I trusted living in the unknown. There was just this moment and the next thing to do. The more I surrendered, the more I felt supported. I compared my process to the mythical story of the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Two things became clear: I wanted to share this work with others, and it would be called Phoenix Rising.
I began to work one-on-one with students from my yoga classes. My intention was to facilitate their empowerment. Typically, in the west, one would use verbal therapeutic techniques to do this, as I had done in my own previous work successfully. But while leading programs at Kripalu, I saw I was also able to facilitate empowerment through the body. I concluded a great deal of power must lay in the combination of these two effective modalities. Now that I knew that, the question arose — how?
I knew I could not plan an unfolding process of self-discovery, so I chose to come to sessions without knowing. I did not, however, come to sessions with nothing. I brought faith in my ability to be present, my education, and my experience. Techniques began to emerge that created a feeling of trust so that clients could surrender, and in doing so, discover their own power. I began to use these techniques in my programs and in time developed a thriving yoga therapy practice.
More and more I was called to teach others. My partner, and now wife, Lori Bashour suggested we start a training program. The first program, held in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1986, was sponsored by Suvarna Hannah, a wonderful being who believed in me and to whom I will forever be grateful.
In 1992, I was on faculty at Omega with Pat Rodegast who channeled and wrote Emmanuel. I was no stranger to Emmanuel, as I read generously from his words of wisdom in my programs. To my delight, Pat asked if we could exchange sessions. I gave her a Phoenix Rising session and then I received a session with Emmanuel. During my session I felt an instant recognition of truth and a profound sense of affirmation. Here is some of what he said to me:
Circumstances certainly announce that the time is very close at hand where humanity will have met the illusion of its own creation; where it will see in the manufactured God, no truth at all, but only the reflection of its own mistrust and fear…each human being, as you know, comes to that moment when they recognize…that within their own being rests the light of eternity. And when that realization comes, and it will, …that is when your work, [Michael], becomes very valuable. There is a calling within you that would say, ‘I know that moment. I know that moment of profound disillusionment and revelation. And it is at that moment that I wish to be the bridge, to take the hand of the desperate human being, and lead them gently into the truth of the greatness of who they really are.’
As I heard these words, they connected to a place within I had never voiced. I had sensed for some time that Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy provided a bridge leading to recognition that when the spiritual alignment of body and mind replaces fear as the motivating force in life, there comes a knowing that the bridge has been crossed. Increasingly I heard from clients, students, and the clients of students how they had discovered a power within; a power that was instantly recognizable as their own. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapists offer this gift to those they serve.
I am here in this world, in this body AND I AM HOME – home to ME.