Half Bow Pose on a Dock
Photo Credit: Hannele Lahti Photography

Philosophy & History

Since 2006 ShivaShakti has been an international traveling yoga school offering trainings, retreats, workshops and classes at enchanting locations worldwide with our home base in Maine. Our training courses include 200 and 300-hour Yoga Alliance approved Yoga Teacher Trainings and a variety of certification courses with the option of continuing education credit for yoga teachers and body-workers. Retreats, workshops and classes focus on teachings of Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra and Meditation. Therapeutic massage, Asian bodywork and Ayurvedic consultations and treatments are provided in midcoast Maine or via Skype for distance consultations.

ShivaShakti Yoga is an integral approach to yoga, cultivating harmony within the body, mind, and spirit. Rather than being a style, ShivaShakti Yoga is a methodology based on traditional teachings suited for householders of today’s world. The name ShivaShakti represents the balancing of masculine and feminine polarities, guiding the principles of hard and soft, and cultivating yin and yang energies. The heart of ShivaShakti Yoga is based on this concept of unifying the energetic polarity within, which leads to the awakening of consciousness of the true Self.

ShivaShakti Yoga offers the jewels of Classical Yoga in a manner that can be integrated smoothly into modern life. As Yoga is defined as “union,” the teachings of ShivaShakti Yoga faciliate the harmonizing of mind, body and spirit. The yoga sadhanas (practices) taught at the school are derived from Patanjali yoga, hatha yoga, tantra, bhakti, kundalini and Ayurveda. The asana we teach is a Hatha form influenced by the meditative qualities of Sivananda yoga and the purifying, strengthening, flow sequences of Ashtanga. ShivaShakti classes reflect the dynamic polarity of nature, varying from vigorous, flow classes to more restorative, introspective routines.

The intention of sadhana, or the spiritual practices, at ShivaShakti are to create a healthy environment for self-care, self discipline and self inquiry. We address the health of the physical body through asana and Ayurvedic dietary recommendations. Further care of the physical body, and in turn the whole being, is accomplished through practices to relax and focus the mind. Breath, the bridge between the body and mind, regulates the prana (life force) which opens the door to the interior of the spirit. The mind is developed through the internal practices of contemplation, self-inquiry and meditation and the external practices of devotion and selfless service. ShivaShakti presents the subtle practices of yoga, including pranayama (breathing exercises,) along with chanting and meditation in a way that facilitates a deeper knowing of one’s own authentic self. This in turn leads to the unfolding of the heart through which one’s joy and love can shine.

Teachers

Krishna Perry portrait

Krishna Peter Perry, E-RYT 500, LMT, CAy

Co-founder ShivaShakti School of Yoga and Healing Arts and 300-hour AYTT Co-Director

Krishna lives a yogic lifestyle and is devoted to making the ancient wisdom teachings of yoga accessible to the householder life of modern yogis. He is grateful for the blessings of his teachers who have guided him along the path. He has been practicing and teaching yoga for over fifteen years.

As an internationally-trained yoga teacher at the 500-hour level with several thousand hours of teaching experience, his studies and travels in yoga have taken him to India, Nepal, Thailand, Central America, and the Bahamas. As a lifelong student, his studies in yoga have included Sivananda, Ashtanga, Iyengar and Yin Yoga. His teachings are influenced most notably through the allied spiritual sciences of Tantra, Vedanta and Ayurveda. He is also a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner through the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and a NAMA member. Krishna offers Ayurvedic consultations and body treatments as well as private yoga sessions both in midcoast Maine and abroad.

For Krishna, bodywork and yoga have been two constant companions, and the complement of the two fields imbues his teaching and healing with a deep grounding in the functions of the physical body; a clear understanding of the ancient spiritual teachings; and a compassion for serving humanity. Along with yoga, Krishna is a long-time bodyworker and has studied and practiced Ayurvedic, Swedish, Neuromuscular, Shiatsu, and Thai massage. He has studied Thai massage in both the US and in Thailand and is certified to teach Thai Massage. In addition, he has studied Yoga Nidra both in India and the west and is a certified Yoga Nidra instructor in the Shivananada and Himalayan lineages.

Krishna teaches yoga internationally in both retreats and the ShivaShakti yoga teacher trainings, of which he is one of the co-founders. He considers his various pilgrimages to holy sites in India and Nepal influential in offering the sacred flame of yoga in an authentic manner. His personal loves also include chanting, Sanskrit, meditation, writing, hiking and travel.

Aiyana Athenian portrait

Aiyana Athenian, E-RYT 500, RPYT, LMT, CAy

Co-founder ShivaShakti School of Yoga and Healing Arts and 300-hour AYTT Co-Director

Aiyana firmly believes in the saying, “We are not humans beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience” (Teilhard de Chardin). It is this life-long dedication to the spiritual path that initially drew Aiyana to Yoga years ago. She was called to the yogic path because of its balanced approach to the body, mind, and spirit. She has studied various styles of yoga, including Sivananda, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Yin, and many more all around the world and is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-Hour level with Yoga Alliance.

Aiyana offers deep gratitude to her inspiring teachers, who include Sabu Chaitanya, Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa, Prahlada, Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Claudia Welch, Scott Blossom, Denise Jasmine, and many others. Repeated visits to India have also shaped her teaching, as Aiyana believes the shakti (divine creative power) from the homeland of Yoga has transformed her being, lending a depth and authenticity to her teaching.

Aiyana is co-founder of the ShivaShakti School of Yoga and Teacher Trainings. Aiyana truly loves teaching yoga and training yoga teachers, for she believes there is no greater gift than to facilitate the deepening of one’s connection to Self, to share universal truths, and to encourage others to do the same. She actively promotes the practice of taking Yoga off the mat and into all aspects of one’s life, for she believes that Yoga is really about serving the world with the deepest compassion possible.

In addition to teaching yoga, Aiyana co-teaches Thai Yoga Bodywork training with Krishna and offers massage (both Western and Asian styles), Shiatsu, Ayurvedic consultations, and body treatments. Aiyana is a long-time licensed massage therapist, a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA) and an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. She is also a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher having completed a Yoga Alliance approved Prenatal/Postnatal certification and is a trained Birth Doula (DONA).

Aiyana finds the healing power of touch, the transformational spiritual practices of Yoga, and the lifestyle wisdom of Ayurveda to be an inspirational union. Aiyana received her massage and Shiatsu education from Downeast School of Massage and has studied Thai massage at ITM in Thailand. She is a graduate of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda and also studied psychology and yogic studies at Goddard College. Aiyana loves to hike, garden, chant to the Divine, play with her daughter, and help the Earth through various sustainability projects.

Mara Crans portrait

Mara Crans, M.D., RYT

Mara is a local yoga teacher who moved to the midcoast Maine area 10 years ago. At that time she left her busy medical practice to slow down and enjoy her four boys. She’s had a daily yoga practice for the past 8 years and completed her Yoga Teacher Training with ShivaShakti School of Yoga. She wanted to share the benefits of yoga with others and she has a special interest in yoga therapy. She has taught children’s yoga and adult yoga for years and has worked one-on-one with special needs children. She has an interest in Structural Yoga Therapy and enjoys teaching Anatomy and Physiology as they pertain to asana and pranayama for the ShivaShakti 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. Mara also offers an Applied Anatomy and Physiology Intensive for Yoga Teachers for the ShivaShakti Advanced 300-hour YTT. She lives in Camden with her husband and four boys.

Amanda Barrows portrait

Kamala Amanda R. Barrows, B.S., LMT, RYT

Administrative Director and 200-hour YTT Director

Kamala Amanda Barrows has been on the yogic path since 2001, having answered what she felt to be a clear call from the universe. She was first drawn to yoga from the path of teaching. As a fitness instructor/trainer working her way toward a degree in Community Health Education, Kamala felt drawn to the movement and deeply connected awareness that the practice of yoga presented to her. After years of study, practice, and teaching in the more physical aspects of yoga, while simultaneously studying and practicing in the field of holistic healing arts, Kamala attended and completed the ShivaShakti School of Yoga 200-Hour YTT in 2009. Here she discovered the deep well of spirituality and philosophy she had felt herself yearning for in conjunction with a deeper understanding of the physical practice. Directly after graduating from this program, Kamala became a member of the faculty for the 200-Hour YTT and also took on the role of Administrative Director for ShivaShakti, helping to sustain the structural balance for all of the trainings being offered through the school. In 2011, she achieved her dream of opening her own yoga studio in her hometown of Union called Bliss Yoga & Healing Arts. Kamala continued her studies with ShivaShakti and completed the 300-Hour Advanced YTT in 2016, achieving the status of RYT-500. Since this time she has also taken on the role of 200-Hour YTT Director for ShivaShakti.

“One of the greatest gifts I have received from these teachings is the gift of Self—the gift of recognizing the spirit within, of re-connecting with my authenticity and realizing that I have gifts to share and inner divinity to be expressed. This realization, earned slowly through time, continued practice and dedicated study, has empowered this shy, introverted being, to allow her inner light to shine, and has inspired her to share this experience with anyone who is seeking this kind of liberation for themselves. It is my wish to hold space for your process of learning and discovery, to offer guidance and knowledge gained from experience on this path, and to empower you to share your own divine light with the world, whether through sharing the teaching of yoga, or from sharing the gifts that come from applying these practices to your own life. I am honored to serve in the capacities I do, and look forward to sharing in much more growth as the path continues.” -Kamala

Melissa Farr portrait

Melissa Farr, MSW, RYT

Melissa’s journey into yoga began after a day in grade school when she ran home to catch yoga on public television. Stepping onto the yoga “blanket” that very first time, she knew she had found her path and her home. She fell in love with the grounding practice and it quickly became her way of life, allowing her to more deeply connect to herself and the world around her.

In the years following, she has traveled to study with great teachers and completed the 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training with ShivaShakti School of Yoga as well as many other teacher trainings in Hatha, Ashtanga, Children’s, Yin, and Vinyasa yoga. Very grateful for and inspired by all of her teachers, she continues to pursue additional knowledge and certification at the 500-hour level. Melissa’s passion is creating accessible opportunities for those who would never see themselves practicing yoga. She loves to work with beginners, those with chronic illness, and those who emphatically state that they will never be able to practice yoga. Her greatest teachers continue to be those that are unexpected and those found in Nature. Her classes are infused with a passion for life, breath, play, and connection to our inner teacher.

After many years of social work practice, Melissa (MSW, RYT) is currently a Training Coordinator at the University of Vermont, working with, coaching, and training child welfare social workers in the state of Vermont. She strives to practice joy, alignment, and balance on and off the mat. She is grateful to offer Understanding Beginners in the ShivaShakti 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training as well as to be part of the primary 200-hour YTT teaching faculty.

Jessica Shepard portrait

Jessica Shepard, BA, RYT, (CRYT)

Jessica Shepard is a ShivaShakti School of Yoga & Healing Arts graduate, a practitioner of Mindful Life Yoga for Kids, and a CRYT (Children’s Registered Yoga Teacher) with a Yoga Alliance Children’s Yoga Certification from Grounded Kids: Yoga, Laughter, Elevation. Her love for teaching children began when she filled in for an after school yoga program at a local high school once a week and immediately saw the benefits that yoga had on teens. This is where her journey into teaching yoga to kids began several years ago. After seeing how quickly and profoundly yoga made a difference in these kids’ lives, she expanded her offerings to children from two years up through teens in personalized classes, at yoga studios, libraries, workshops, and community centers. She also works with moms and children together.

Feeling blessed that her journey has brought her to children, she now shares this joy with adults, teaching them the skills they need to navigate through the developmental stages (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) of children so they can help young people become healthy, happy, and grounded yogi(ni)s.

Jessica also has a BA in Psychology and a passion for good food and healthy living. She is a guest teacher in the ShivaShakti 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and is the lead trainer in the ShivaShakti Children’s Yoga Teacher Training.

Antonia Small portrait

Antonia (Toni) Small, RYT

First, as a student of dance, Antonia (Toni) Small found solace in motion. Later, as a student of mime Marcel Marceau, Toni cultivated a fondness for the meditative quality of silent storytelling. Over time her interest in movement studies led her to explore the healing modalities of Alexander Technique, Zen Imagery Exercises (Makka Ho), and Yoga.

Initially introduced to yoga in 1987, Toni has continued her practice on and off the mat ever since. Her more recent commitment to yoga came on the heels of a long care-giving episode for her father that took its physical and emotional toll, but also set her on a course to make movement classes available to the older student.

Toni received her 200-Hr Yoga Teacher Training in 2012 with the ShivaShakti School of Yoga and Healing Arts in Union and is currently pursuing her 500-Hr teacher certification, due to finish in October 2017. A certified Integrative Yoga for Seniors Instructor with Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff, Toni offers weekly yoga and dance fitness classes for seniors in Mid-Coast Maine.

Toni makes her home in the fishing village of Port Clyde with her husband, her mother, and three highly evolved dogs, where she can be found gardening, making art, and more recently, starting an oyster farm.

Dawn Tassi portrait

Dawn Tassi, RN, CYT

Dawn has enjoyed a career in all areas of Women’s Health for over 22 years.  For the last 15 years she has worked as a nurse at PBMC in Rockport, ME in the OB unit. She loves teaching women and their partners prenatally at her HypnoBirthing classes, then supporting them later through labor and birth as their nurse. Dawn is also a certified Lactation Counselor, helping new mothers and their babies learn the skills they need for a comfortable breastfeeding experience. As a 200-Hour graduate of the ShivaShakti School of Yoga Teacher Training, Dawn has brought the beautiful benefits of asana to small groups of her fellow nurses and co workers. She is a teacher in the ShivaShakti Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training.

Colleen Duggan portrait

Colleen Duggan, Certified Iyengar Teacher, CYT

Colleen is a certified yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and a certified Iyengar teacher who has been studying yoga for over 15 years throughout Asia, Europe, and the US. She has taught locally in Camden and Islesboro since relocating here in 2001 to start a family. Her passion is Iyengar yoga, which focuses on alignment and precision in the poses. Colleen commutes regularly to Cambridge Mass to study with her mentor Patricia Walden. She has taken multiple trips to India to study Iyengar yoga from its source. She has studied intensively with the Iyengar family in India on multiple occasions. Colleen teaches the Intro to Iyengar Yoga for the ShivaShakti 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and the Advancing Asana, Alignment, Sanskrit & Patanjali Yoga Sutra Intensive.

Prem Sadasivananda portrait

Prem Sadasivananda

Prem Sadasivananda, a scholar of Vedantic Philosophy, Hindu Scripture, and Sanskrit, is well-known for his lively and humorous talks, his accessible teaching style, and his unique ability to bring the ancient Yogic scriptures and texts to life in the modern world. A trained musician, his Satsangs and Kirtan (chanting) are uplifting, thought-provoking, and inspiring. Formerly known as Swami Sadasivananda, Prem Sadasivananda’s spiritual journey began as a sannyasin (monk) for 24 years in the Sivananda Organization where he has taught hundreds of Yoga Teacher Training Courses and Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Courses for the Sivananda Organization at their Centers and Ashrams throughout the world. Prem Sadasivananda is a direct and long-term disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda, the disciple of Swami Sivananda, and through his teachings of Yoga and Vedanta he continues his service by helping others in their spiritual pursuits. He teaches the Bhakti Yoga and Bhagavad Gita Intensive, which is part of the ShivaShakti 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training.

Kim Nixon portrait

Kim Nixon, LMT, RYT 500

Social Media Assistant

Kim is our Social Media Assistant at ShivaShakti School of Yoga. She has been practicing yoga for 10 years, doing massage and energetic bodywork since 2009, and teaching yoga since 2012.

Kim retired from a 29-year career in State Government in 2008 to begin her second career. She received her massage certification from Spa Tech Institute in Westbrook in 2009, completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with ShivaShakti School of Yoga in 2012, and completed her 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training in 2016.

Kim teaches a variety of weekly yoga classes in the Central Maine area and is the Manager of the River Studio in Hallowell. Her passion for teaching yoga stems from her own personal experience of the healing benefits. She describes yoga as “powerful medicine.”  She believes that yoga is for EVERY body and is passionate about sharing gentle movement, meditation, and breathwork. Kim’s current plans include ongoing study with ShivaShakti School of Yoga and continued study in Yin Yoga.

Ajeet Hari Kaur, RYT 200, Ph.D.

Director of Online Learning

Ajeet Hari Kaur serves as our director of online learning. Her background in curriculum and instruction includes over 10 years of research specifically in educational technology and online learning. She holds a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Florida and is the director of Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, the research division of a nonprofit focused on studying K-12 online and blended learning. More about her background in educational technology can be found on her website.

Ajeet Hari has been practicing yoga for 20 years. Yoga and meditation have been and continue to be places of refuge, solace, peace, self inquiry, and exploration. She chose to pursue teacher training so that she could share this transformative practice with others. She earned her 200 RYT and Yoga Nidra certifications from Aiyana Athenian and Krishna Peter Perry at ShivaShakti and Yin Yoga Certification with Sagel Urlacher. She is currently pursuing her 300 RYT at ShivaShakti; KRI Level One training in Kundalini with Hari Kirin, Gurucharan Khalsa, and Ajeet Kaur; and will start her 800 RYT Integrative Yoga Therapist certification at Kripalu in 2018. She currently teaches slow flow, restorative, yoga nidra, kundalini, and yin classes.

Sadie Landry portrait

Sadie Landry, CYT

Shihan Sadie Landry is a 7th degree black belt, Chief instructor and owner of Pelletier’s Karate in Lewiston. She has been teaching martial arts and fitness classes for over 20 years. She has her 200 hour certification from the ShivaShakti School of Yoga and has been teaching a variety of yoga classes for adults and children for over six years. Currently she has been in the public schools teaching mindfulness and meditation to students. Sadie is instructs in some of the ShivaShakti Thai Yoga Bodywork trainings and is on faculty in the ShivaShakti 200-hr YTT.

Melissa Urey, RYT

Melissa began her work with children in 1996 with the Gymboree play program in NYC while studying theater. She was constantly amazed watching the tiny milestones of discovery dawn on children’s faces week after week. After some studies in child development, she became a lead teacher trainer and curriculum designer for the program. Since then, Melissa has been continually drawn to the union of mind and body in the present moment and the learning that can take place there. Coming from a background in theater and dance, she began sharing this as an important life skill with children of all ages through those mediums.

Finding yoga while in recovery from a surgery, she realized that everything she loved most about teaching theater she could share even more deeply through yoga. She received her 200HR YTT from ShivaShakti School of Yoga in 2016 and is currently pursuing her 500HR. After completing her teacher training she has found a new love for teaching adults as well. She runs caregiver/child and family yoga classes at Spiral Tree Yoga in Portland and recently began offering workshops for teachers wishing to incorporate yoga and breath work into the classroom. Melissa is honored to be a part of the ShivaShakti Children’s Yoga Teacher Training.

Melissa lives in Portland with her husband and two amazing daughters. Recently she noticed a quote one of her daughters had posted on the refrigerator that sums it all up for her. “Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

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