• Teacher Spotlight: Zofia Alia

    Zofia Alia

    2,000 hour Purna Yoga Professional

    Practicing Yoga since: 1995

    Teaching at ASC since: 1998

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    One of the reasons I love teaching yoga is I really enjoy connecting with people. We are all soooo different and yet so alike! Another reason I love teaching yoga is the ability to empower someone with health, strength, and flexibility. Because these qualities do not just rest in the muscles, when practicing yoga they become a part of your mental, emotional and psychological bodies as well. When humor is applied to this process, the body opens with joy, bringing an overall sense of well being along with a good sense of humor. 🙂

    What is your favorite quote?

    “Let Thy Light be in me like a Fire that makes all alive; let thy Divine Love penetrate me. I aspire with all my being for thy reign as sovereign and master of my mind and heart and body: let them be thy docile instuments and Thy faithful servitors.” – The Mother, from Prayers and Meditations: November 3,1912

    I really enjoy this quote because the ignorance in me is turning to the wisdom in me asking for guidance, surrendering to wisdom instead of staying in ignorance.

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    Enjoy the process! When I feel gratitude, joy, a beautiful feeling, my body opens more quickly and allows me to live a happier life.

    What benefits have you received from Purna Yoga?

    The greatest benefit I have received from Purna Yoga™ and Heartfull™ Meditation is connecting with my Soul. This has brought a tremendous sense of renewal in my body, my life, and my relationships. I feel younger, more flexible, stronger, more emotionally balanced than I did when I first came. I know my life has changed because of Purna Yoga, Heartfull Meditation and Alive & Shine Center.

  • Teacher Spotlight: Aadil Palkhivala

    Aadil Palkhivala,

    Co-Founder of Purna Yoga College & Alive & Shine Center

    Practicing Yoga since: 1966

    Teaching Yoga since: 1974

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    I love teaching yoga because it is very rare to find something that works. Purna Yoga works. Having taught Iyengar yoga for almost 30 years, I realized the power of the physical body. But it is only in Purna Yoga that we found the total power of the mind, body, spirit connection.

    What is your favorite quote?

    “How you do anything is how you do everything”. – unknown

    This quote teaches me to be present in every moment of my life.

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    Never give up! Come to classes regularly, rain or shine. No matter what, never give up. When it is difficult, you need it; when it is easy, enjoy it.

    What benefits have your recieved from Purna Yoga?

    I am able to be completely functional despite very severe injuries physically. I have a calm and focused mind and, even at 58, I am totally focused, clear, and able in my mind. Spiritually, Savitri’s Heartfull Meditation makes life worthwhile and meaningful. The work on yoga philosophy from Sri Aurobindo keeps me happy and smiling. Without Purna Yoga life would be a drudgery. With Purna Yoga it is a joy and an adventure!

  • Meditation to Cure Loneliness

    Savitri taught a beautiful Heartfull Meditation workshop at the NW Yoga Conference last month. The focus was on conquering loneliness by tapping into the “Master Chakra” in our hearts.

    One of the workshop participants, Jacqueline Quattrocchi, wrote an article about the experience, including the technique called “Mental Centering.” Check out the full article here , and posted below!

    From Peaceful Dumpling :

    Why The Heart Is The Master Chakra & A Meditation to Conquer Loneliness


    In this heart-centered season of February and March, I was so pleased to get the chance to take a “heart-focused” workshop at the 2017 Northwest Yoga Conference in Lynwood, WA last month. At the conference, Savitri (wife of Aadil Palkhivala and co-founder of Alive and Shine Center in Bellevue, WA) spoke about the heart chakra as a place in the body “designed to tap into our own cosmic intelligence.” Savitri pointed out, however, that many yoga gurus often have a lackluster attitude towards this access point in the body, favoring instead more popular areas like the head, pelvis, belly button, or root survival chakras.

    We’re best served when we don’t ignore the heart chakra, though. Savitri says that accessing the heart chakra was her saving grace in handling life’s catastrophes, and she believes the meditations she’s devised around the heart helped cure the breast cancer she had in her twenties, as well as chronic fatigue and the effects of a severe head injury. On an emotional level, her focus on the heart helped her cope with the grief she felt after her only sister was murdered. It also helped her mourning process after the largest plane crash in history killed both of her parents when she was a teenager.

    Savitri describes this chakra as the “ master chakra ” to combat the perpetual loneliness people feel today–a loneliness that’s indelibly shaped by modern living. She believes her meditations can also counter the numbing techniques people use to handle loneliness, such as food, cell phones, sugar, stimulants, music (that’s too loud), books, and violent TV programs.

    “Cell phones are dangerous because you are immediately turning to others to not be lonely, “she says. As a teacher of yoga, I believe that yoga teaches us how to live life from the inside out, but numbing practices leave little room to be reflective or access the heart since our numbing vices are typically outwardly focused and external.

    So what can you do to turn inward and explore the beautiful feeling of accessing your heart–your “Soul Energy” as Savitri describes? First, Savitri suggests that physical, mental and emotional pain are alarm systems created by the body to warn you that your soul is not guiding your life story. Savitri says to look at these alarms as “blessings” and appreciate them, so that we can better understand what feelings such as depression, loneliness, hate, anger and jealousy are telling us. All pain and these negative feelings are the universe indicating to us that we are going off course.

    Second, we can practice heart-centered activities. As we commemorate the start of spring, we can direct our attention to the element of wood while cultivating heart-centered activities such as nurturing blooms, family, and friends through picnics and other activities. We can invite the spirit of spring into our homes as we open blinds and bring in light.

    Finally, we can spend a few minutes of each day practicing the following meditation technique called Mental Centering™ created by Savitri. She has generously shared her Heartfull™ Meditation with Peaceful Dumpling.

    1. Sit erect with your eyes closed. With the middle finger of each hand touching the front of each armpit, trace a horizontal line to the center of your chest. With the middle finger of your right hand touching your skin, you will feel a sensitive area on your sternum. Massage gently for a few minutes. This is your Heart Chakra, the doorway to your Soul. Imagine light glowing lovingly in your Heart Chakra.
    2. Next, place your hands with the sides of your fingers together, slightly cupped, on the right and left sides of your head, facing your ears. Your hands should be approximately three inches away from your head.
    3. Exhaling, move your hands forward and together in Namasté, not more than one inch away from your face, with the tips of your thumbs at the same level as your eyebrows.
    4. Inhale. On the next exhalation, move your hands down slowly to your Heart Chakra. As you do this, imagine your mind following a straight line in the center of your body, and offer your mind to your heart.
    5. Say inwardly, “I offer my mind and senses to my loving Soul within.”

    Do this technique three or more times and breathe slowly and peacefully. Benefits: Increases pratyāhāra (withdrawal of the senses), concentration and focus, enhances intuition, self-love, and respect while awakening your conscience. The increased awareness of your Soul’s presence brings calmness to your mind and body.

    Notice that at the end of this technique, your hands end up in Namasté. Savitri explains that when this mudra is taken, your mind withdraws its ego perception of others and returns to the Soul self. Her suggestion is to do Mental Centering as often as you need throughout the day.

    This meditation is also available on Savitri’s website, HeartFull.Life , and she will be teaching a course on Heartfull™ Meditation on March 11-12 at Alive and Shine Center in Bellevue, WA.

    © Copyright 2017 Heartfull™ Meditation and technique trademarked by Savitri.

  • Teacher Spotlight: Marchella


    2,000 hour Purna Yoga Professional

    Practicing Yoga since: 2003

    Teaching at ASC since: 2007

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    I love teaching yoga because it allows me to work with people in a deep and profound way that is very fulfilling. Purna Yoga has helped me heal and grow in so many beautiful ways that I naturally wanted to share this with others. It is an honor and true joy to guide students through the process of loving their body, focusing their mind and opening their heart. As I teach, I also grow as an individual and as a teacher. ​

    What is your favorite quote?

    There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. – George Sand.

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    Enjoy the process and trust that you are making progress even if you can’t see it. Don’t force your body and self through this process. Let yourself unfold one breath at a time, one pose at a time, and one moment of love at a time.

    What benefits have you received from Purna Yoga?

    Purna Yoga has healed me of back pain, depression, and has balanced my relationship with myself and others to name just a few. The biggest benefit Purna Yoga has given me is the gift of understanding and knowing myself as an eternal being of Love and Light. It has given me an open minded perspective from which I can understand my body, my feelings, and my thoughts. My teacher Savitri, through Heartfull Meditation (a petal of Purna Yoga), has given me clarity that everyone on earth has a purpose here and when we connect with this purpose, loneliness disappears and we can live our life with clarity and love.

  • Aadil & Savitri on the Dr. Pat Show

    Savitri and Aadil were recently invited to the Dr. Pat show to share their inspiring journey over the last 25 years. Savitri, creator of Heartfull® Meditation, and Aadil Palkhivala, renowned yoga master, are owners of our yoga home- Alive & Shine Center. From the show:

    “There are some people out there who have a message that transcends…all things that get in the way of joy. Today we are talking to them.”

    Listen here .

  • Teacher Spotlight: Angelica Rose

    Angelica Rose

    2,000 hour Purna Yoga Professional

    Practicing Yoga since: 2003

    Teaching at ASC since: 2006

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    When I came to Alive and Shine Center in 2003, I was very stressed and unwell and the only time I felt good was after yoga class. When I healed myself from several physical issues and started feeling better emotionally and mentally as well, I knew that I had found something so special, that all I wanted to do was to be able to share it with others. I left my career at Microsoft to become a Purna Yoga™ teacher. I love being able to share my love of Purna Yoga™ and Heartfull™ Meditation as it opens my heart as well as the hearts of others.

    What is your favorite quote?

    I don’t have a favorite quote; I like many! Here is one I use often. It is from the book Savitri by Sri Aurobindo: “Awakened to the meaning of my heart, that to feel love and oneness is to live.”

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    Don’t be concerned with whether or not you are “good at yoga.” Notice how you feel. If you are feeling better, if you are feeling a larger capacity to love, then that is what is important.

    What benefits have you received from Purna Yoga?

    I could never list all the benefits. Purna Yoga™ and Heartfull™ Meditation have changed my life so fully that a list would be a mighty undertaking. Here are a few highlights: Better relationship with myself and others, being part of a beautiful community, getting to study with Savitri and Aadil who are two exceptionally wonderful teachers, ability to love more through a more open heart, ability to have my daughter and to have confidence raising her as a healthy and loving person, fully healing from scoliosis, having an easy and powerful way to manage stress, and a much healthier lifestyle (and therefore a much healthier body).

  • Teacher Spotlight: John Davie

    John Davie

    4,000 hour Purna Yoga Professional

    Practicing Yoga since: 1989

    Teaching at ASC since: 1992

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    I love teaching yoga because yoga can bring out the best in each of us. Helping others find the best parts of themselves is very satisfying. Encouraging others to make progress and supporting them to realize their wholeness is one of the best jobs that one could have. ​

    What is your favorite quote?

    Two of my favorite quotes are:

    “The time is always right to do the right thing.” – Martin Luther King.

    “The Truth shall be the leader of their lives.” – Sri Aurobindo

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    Feel love as you do the poses. Feel a Beautiful Feeling as you meditate

    What benefits have you received from Purna Yoga?

    I have become part of a community of people whose joy is inspiring and whose struggles have helped me grow. I have leaned to become more humble. As my body opened, so has my mind, for it is often the case that we start out thinking we know everything and are not as open to instruction as we think we are. We come to class and with our own agenda and lose sight of the wisdom that others have to offer. As I’ve grown in yoga, I’ve learned to become more receptive. I have come to love myself more and more as I have learned to be more and more inside my body.

  • Teacher Spotlight: Sandra Storwick

    Sandra Storwick

    2,000 hour Purna Yoga Professional

    Practicing Yoga since: 1983

    Teaching at ASC since: 1994

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    The practice of Purna Yoga and Heartfull Mediation has had a profound effect on my life and the lives of my children. It has given me the ability create a relationship between my mind, body and soul. Teaching Yoga has become an expression of that sacred relationship. Teaching yoga gives me the opportunity to give back. ​

    What is your favorite quote?

    “If mankind could but see though in a glimpse of fleeting experience what infinite enjoyments, what perfect forces, what luminous reaches of spontaneous knowledge, what wide calms of our being lie waiting for us in the tracts which our animal evolution has not yet conquered, they would leave all & never rest till they had gained these treasures. But the way is narrow, the doors are hard to force, and fear, distrust & scepticism are there, sentinels of Nature, to forbid the turning away of our feet from her ordinary pastures.”

    – Sri Aurobindo

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    • ​Don’t give up
    • Be patient with yourself
    • Try not to compare yourself with others
    • Try not to be afraid when you begin to feel your body, or feel your body changing as a result of the work you are doing. You may feel feelings that you have never felt before.
    • As you become aware of your body through the lens of the yoga poses, try not to judge but see it as a starting place.
    • 10 years of aging will go by anyway
    • ​Read the above quote. There is a gem inside of you waiting to be discovered. ​

    What benefits have you received from Purna Yoga?

    Countless benefits. To know myself as an eternal being with a purpose – to be the Light in this physical form. ​

  • Teacher Spotlight: Mana Iluna

    Mana Iluna,

    2,000 hour Purna Yoga Professional

    Practicing Yoga since: 1963!!! I was 28 when I started doing it from a book.

    Teaching at Alive & Shine Center since: 1993

    Current class times:

    • Gentle Yoga on MWF at 11:15am
    • Spa Yoga on Fridays at 7:30pm

    Why do you love teaching yoga?

    I love teaching yoga because I love seeing positive mood changes, body changes and life changes as students continue taking classes.

    What is your favorite quote?

    My two favorite short quotes are:

    “Courage has no age.” – Anne Fortier, The Lost Sisterhood

    “Carpe Momentum!” which means “Seize the Moment!”

    If you could give one piece of advice to yourself as a new yoga student, what would it be?

    Do yoga with a sense of love for your body and giving it what it wants and needs…do it consistently and persistently and never give up!

    What benefits have your recieved from Purna Yoga?

    Purna Yoga has taught me how to live my life in the best possible ways, philosophically, emotionally, mentally and physically. It has given me the gift of knowing that I am living my purpose.

  • Alice Evans: Coming to class when you think you shouldn’t!

    Should your practice Yoga when you wake up with low back pain? Words of wisdom from long-time student, Alice Evans.