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Todd Norian, the founder of a new form of yoga, says that for him it’s all about accessing the wisdom of the heart and mastering the art of life.

“I was really introduced to yoga by a friend,” said Mr Norian, founder of the ashaya style of yoga. “We both went off to college in our teens. When I saw him again he was glowing.”

Yoga was the cause of his friend’s new spirit, Mr Norian soon discovered.

The Massachusetts resident was then studying music in university. His friend had moved into a yoga retreat. Mr Norian intended to visit for a week, but ended up staying 13 years.

“I had a complete awakening of my heart,” he said. “It just ignited a burning desire to use this life to get free to actually master the art of living.”

He refers to ashaya yoga as alignment-based yoga with heart the positioning of the body takes on greater importance.

“Ashaya means ‘abode of the heart’ or ‘sanctuary of the heart’,” he said. “It is about creating a safe haven within, such that you access the wisdom of your heart. The belief is that everyone has a deep wisdom inside but we are blocked or veiled. There is a cloak there, but through the practice of yoga, breathing and meditation the veil is lifted and you get to glimpse your true nature.”

He described this as “an exquisite pulsing open sky space of awareness with no boundaries and limitations”.

“Just a glimpse of that is enough to change your life or help you make a better decision or give you insight into a challenge so that you can be free of your suffering. We are all seeking freedom from suffering in one way or another. That is ashaya.”

Mr Norian said creating ashaya seemed a natural progression of his life’s work.

“I have to say it was choiceless for me,” he said. “It felt like the culmination of my 33 years of training was just ready to burst forward as my own expression. It has really been a freeing and deeply enjoyable process of empowerment. My greatest joy is to be able to teach from my own experience to see how others can use these teachings to free themselves and live a lighter, healthier or stronger life.”

He teaches to all experience levels and said ashaya yoga is extremely therapeutic. It is a good way to correct muscular skeletal imbalances, strengthen muscles and work on balance.

While in Bermuda he will be teaching a weekend course for all levels at a workshop from March 1 to 3. Admission is $240 if you register before February 8 and $280 if you register afterward. To register e-mail kerrihowland@gmail.com.

Useful websites: www.kerrihowland.com; www.ashayayoga.com

Todd Norian in a yoga pose.
Todd Norian handstanding strong.

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Published January 24, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm)

Live a lighter, healthier and stronger life

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