Desert Song Healing Arts Center
Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Desert Song Healing Arts Center · 3232 North 20th Street Phoenix, AZ 85016 · (602)265-8222
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A true innovator envisions a need before the necessity is even apparent. Iyengar Yoga was that movement for Mary Beth when it changed her life as an interior design student at Arizona State University. The philosophy of physical space and the environment in which one lived was, to Mary Beth, an instrument to the health, happiness and balance of one’s inner space. It’s what drew her to the field of Interior Design to begin with and to becoming a Interior Designer. To her surprise, these two major presences in her life had a common theme: Beauty, both in and out, opens the heart. Yoga’s ultimate extension of the pose is to open the heart to the full expression of life and love. She was hooked and knew then and there that yoga was her calling in life. “If the practice does this much for me, it could do it for everyone.” Mary Beth’s received her first 500-hours certification at Ananda's Yoga Center in Nevada City, CA. Ananda is a residential spiritual community that teaches practices in Kriya Yoga which incorporate yoga techniques to prepare the mind and body for deep meditation. Here yoga became a spiritual upliftment, as well as a physical and psychological way of living. From there, she concentrated her studies in the healing art of massage. These two areas created a strong foundation to further her studies in the following fields:
Iyengar: a form of hatha yoga with emphasis on alignment and therapeutics
Anusara: focuses on the philosophy of movement and breath work supported by a set of Universal Principles of Alignment
Kriya: cleansing practices involving breath work intended to rapidly accelerate spiritual development and tranquility. Desert Song Healing Arts Center is the harmonious blend of these practices and philosophies to create a unique experience for all who pass through it’s doors; a communal focal point where integral beauty, physical work and spiritual awareness come to rest.
Meg is a certified Anusara yoga instructor and an E-RYT 500 with more than 20 years of teaching experience. She studies extensively and is committed to her personal and professional studentship. Meg's background in both nursing and holistic health, provide a foundation and framework for the group and private work she offers. Her teaching style is strongly influenced by concurrent areas of study including: yoga philosophy, depth psychology, Ayurveda and alignment-based elements of teaching.
"Inside this river there is a moon
which is not a reflection.
From the river bottom the moon speaks.
I travel in continuous conversation
with the river as it goes.
Whatever is above
and seemingly outside the river
is actually in it.
Merge with it, in here or out there,
as you please.
This is the river of rivers and the beautiful silence of endless talking."
Victoria has practiced yoga for over 40 years and has taught at Desert Song Healing Arts Center for 18 years. She took her yoga teacher training from Mary Beth Markus and has studied with Erich Schiffmann and Doug Keller. She continues to be inspired by a variety of teachers and enriched by a daily spiritual practice. She teaches gentle, all levels and intermediate classes.
Victoria is the author of The Art and Practice of Trust and co-author of The Way of Discovery Workbook. She is a professional certified coach that helps people navigate uncertainty, discover what has heart and meaning for them and create positive change. Along with individual coaching, she offers a variety of personal growth and Spiritual development workshops and classes at Desert Song and in the Phoenix community.
She is grateful to Mary Beth for her vision and dedication to Desert Song, her colleagues for their dear friendship and generosity and her students for their openness, commitment and playfulness.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this……..you haven’t! ” Thomas Edison
Anita began her personal yoga practice in 1980 to help her recover from a life changing car accident and to work through the daily stresses of corporate life. Now she is able to share these gifts with others.
Trained as a Life Coach, Anita weaves life's lessons and yogic philosophy throughout her classes. She is known for creating a nurturing class environment flexible enough to accommodate diverse needs while maintaining proper alignment based yoga.
"And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. Anais Nin
Mary began practicing yoga in 2003 and completed Desert Song’s teacher training program in 2005. She developed the Desert Song children’s program and offers a weekly class and private sessions for typical and special needs children. Additionally, she established a children’s yoga teacher training program at Desert Song. The program is certified by Yoga Alliance and is a comprehensive 95-hour certification program for individuals who want to be certified to teach yoga to children. Mary is a lifelong learner and continues to study with her two main Desert Song teachers, Meg Byerlein and Mary Beth Markus, in addition to other national teachers. She is a volunteer yoga teacher at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and also teaches a weekly gentle class for adults. Mary completed 50 hours of training at the Samarya Center in Seattle to further her work with special needs children. She is certified as an experienced yoga teacher at the 500 hour level through Yoga Alliance and is also a certified children’s yoga teacher. Mary is passionate about her spiritual practice and loves helping others with their personal journeys through humor, compassion, and loving kindness. Her family, friends, garden, poetry and art give her joy in life.
I first heard this quote from Barbara Holt, my first teacher at Desert Song. I return to it often when I need inspiration: "Work. Keep digging your well. Don’t think about getting off from work. Water is there somewhere. Submit to a daily practice. Your loyalty to that is a ring on the door. Keep knocking, and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there." — Rumi
A life-long explorer of yoga, belly dance, Eastern philosophy and Buddhism, Alisa's teaching style blends her eclectic background with her love of teaching and connecting with students. While managing a busy law practice, Alisa was drawn into a devoted yoga practice and completed Yoga Teacher Training at Desert Song in 2010. Alisa loves having fun and exploring yoga with her students. As the mother of two teenagers, she brings a different perspective to new mothers and a reassuring tone to prenatal students.
Alisa loves writing, cooking, gardening and playing with her Tarot cards.
Nicole’s yoga practice deepened in 2009 after the birth of her first son. As a new mom, Nicole found that she could turn to yoga to help find balance amidst the busy demands of parenthood and work. She’s been exploring this balancing act and learning to live with more ease and joy ever since. Nicole completed her 200-hour teacher training at Desert Song Healing Arts Center in 2012 with Mary Beth Markus. Described by her teachers as “radiant” and “steadfast,” Nicole welcomes students to experience yoga as a calming and energizing practice for the body that also encourages us to nurture our inner lives. Nicole invites her students to work with synchronized breath and slow movement to feel confident, focused and aligned.
For Anna, yoga is a transformation of the body and mind inside and out. She began practicing in 1998 at Desert Song Healing Arts Center. Under the guidance of Mary Beth Markus, she received her teacher training certificate from Desert Song in 2001 and is currently teaching at various locations across the valley. She enjoys sharing the journey with others. Now Anna is on a new journey, that of cancer, which was diagnosed in Nov 2015. Her intention is to not only heal herself, but to inspire others that are also on this journey.
Jan handles the accounting, computer systems and graphic design.
Evon started her yoga practice in 1999, which was the same year she became a licensed massage therapist. She relocated to Arizona from New York in 2001 and her work in massage at Desert Song led her to realize her ambitions to teach yoga. She was blessed to receive her 200-hour yoga teaching certification through Desert Song's program in 2003 under Mary Beth Markus.
Becoming a mother to Sam in 2005 brought her the opportunity to deepen the lessons of her yoga practice. Motherhood provides constant opportunities for self-study! Yoga has brought shifts into her life on many deep levels. Her hope is to create a space for her students where they can let down their guard and realize their fullest potential. Her primary yoga influences are Erich Schiffmann and Meg Byerlein, and she is committed to continuing education through workshops with various instructors. She finds deep inspiration from music, community, the ocean, traveling and laughter.
Debbie began practicing yoga in 1999, completed the 200 hour teacher training at Desert Song in 2003 and has been teaching for 12 years. She continued her education to earn both her 500 and 1000 hour certifications through Integrative Yoga Therapy in 2007. Debbie completed all Anusara Immersions in 2010 and in 2012, 100 hours of Anusara teacher training with her teacher Meg Byerlein. With a depth of knowledge in Integrative Yoga Therapy and the principles of alignment, Debbie’s classes are safe, grounding and healing. Most recently in 2015, Debbie became a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner through New World Ayurveda. Debbie also has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and worked in the human services field for over 17 years. All aspects of Debbie’s education and training compliment each other and support a holistic approach to health and healing in her classes and work with students privately. http://www.heartful-ayuryoga.com/
“Choose love over fear, trust in the flow of life, and let love be your guide.” Unknown
Kelly enjoys assisting others to help and enable themselves. Kelly completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Desert Song and received her certification in massage therapy from Rainstar University in 2003, at which time she joined the Desert Song Family. She received her certification as a Reiki Master in 2011. Besides massage for relaxation purposes, she utilizes many massage modalities and energy work to remove and alleviate chronic pain and repetitive use injuries. Her vocations enable others to find health, balance and wellbeing on every level.
Liza completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Desert Song in 2014 and her prenatal yoga teacher training in 2017 at Yoga Garden in San Francisco. She is drawn to yoga's ability to help improve our lives off the mat. Liza has been working in education around the valley since 2007 and can be found "volunteaching" yoga to high school teachers and students in the west valley. Liza's teaching is an exercise in learning together as a community and she aims to create a space where everyone can enjoy the benefits of yoga.
Pam has been interested in alternative methods of health and wellbeing in mind, body and spirit all of her adult life. She graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Psychology in June, 1976. While raising her two children, she became a 1st and 2nd degree Reiki Practitioner. Pam began studying yoga in 1993 at A Desert Song with Mary Beth Markus. Pam has been teaching since she became a certified yoga Instructor in July, 1999. She has studied with many teachers in the alignment-based yoga traditions but has concentrated on the Anusara method. Pam’s classes reflect these methods of correct alignment, while focusing on inner awareness through a heart-centered practice. In addition to Mary Beth Markus, she has studied with Rama Vernon, Erich Schiffman, Rod Stryker, Suzi Hurley, John Friend, Doug Keller, Desiree Rumbaugh and Meg Byerlin. Pam has been a Registered Yoga Alliance teacher since December, 2001. While studying the chakra system (energy centers in the body) in the course of yoga training, she realized that semiprecious stones affect the energy body, just as yoga does, to bring about balance and a greater sense of health and wellbeing. With this realization, she began to experiment with the combination of different semiprecious stones in making jewelry. In an effort to explain the impact that the combination of various stones have on the chakras, she created “blessings” that accompany each piece of jewelry. Pam has her own line of beautiful chakra jewelry, Blessed Beads, which is on display in our Yotigue. For more information on Pam’s jewelry, go to her website at azblessedbeads.comor e-mail her at email@example.com.
GENTLE: Thursday 10:15 a.m.
Heidi Lichte, received her certification from Desert Song Yoga in 1999. She is a full-time yoga teacher with over 9,500 hours of teaching experience. From personally living the "pain for gain model" for many years, Heidi now has a passion for finding strength and transformation from a philosophy of ease. Her classes focus on creating a safe environment for inviting well-being, longevity, and space for each student to practice self-mastery. In each class, Heidi shares her love of anatomy, physiology, breath work, healthy posture, meditation, and spirituality. Her eclectic style is deeply rooted in the alignment based teachings of Doug Keller, and the philosophy of Erich Schiffmann, Nischala Joy Devi, and Rama Jyoti Vernon.
Michelle has made movement an essential part of her journey through wellness for over ten years. She first started in her early twenties committing regularly to weight training, kick boxing, running, spinning and Yoga. It was first through the discovery of Pilates how she found a deeper connection to mind body wellness. She says, "In my experience, Pilates is an intelligent and well integrated form of exercise that can be tailored to every fitness level. From athletic conditioning, to post rehab training, or to improve posture...everyone can benefit! And it is a great way to be present in your own body and in the moment, which then leads to reduced stress and connectedness, for a stronger mind and body." In her thirties, after going through major life changes that left her feeling lost and depressed, she found refuge and nourishment in the healing science of Yoga. Mindfulness became her everyday practice. Learning how to take care of body, mind, and soul became her focus. Michelle says: "In order to make it through life's challenges we must be present in everything that we do. Mindfulness is about awareness and tuning into our own true self. This is where we make the most lasting changes, and find the power within". She now spends her time enjoying nature, trail running and hiking, practicing Yoga, Pilates, meditation, trying out simple recipes made from organic whole foods, spending time with loved ones, always in search of connectedness and balance.
Michelle is a Stott Pilates certified instructor trained in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels. She has experience working with injuries and special populations. She holds a Mind Body Wellness Practitioner diploma from SWIHA in Tempe, Arizona, with a focus on holistic nutrition and Yoga, CYT-200.
After leaving the corporate world behind, a bad back brought Ellen to Desert Song in 1998 and it was love at first down dog. She completed her 200-hour training in 2001 with Desert Song and her 500-hour training through Anusara Yoga® in 2007. In addition to her classes at Desert Song, since 2005, she has practiced yoga therapy at Arthritis Health assisting patients to see their own light and to manage or overcome any "limitations." Having studied extensively with John Friend, Rod Stryker, and Doug Keller, she continues to train to always learn more. By embracing the vastness of yoga, she creates an inclusive style without adhering to only one system. With concise instruction, every class is entertaining, challenging and new.
Peri graduated from Desert Song Yoga Teacher Training in 2007 and the Desert Song Kid’s Yoga training in 2012. Her gift is helping students connect with their own “True Self” through breath and conscious awareness. In her Mommy & Me Yoga classes, she enjoys seeing new moms connect with their babies through song, movement and yoga. In addition to teaching to yoga she has a career as a watercolorist, and web & print designer. For fun Peri enjoys growing food, studying herbalism, biking, hiking, reading and socializing at coffee shops.
Adam is an experienced tai chi and meditation teacher as well as a certified yoga teacher. Adam has studied Yang style Tai Chi 108 long form, Cheng Man Ching 37 Short Form and currently Chen Style Practical Method. Adam was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and started learning mind and body methods through martial arts at the early age of 7. He earned his black belt in Tang Soo Do when he was 18. Since 1996, Adam has been researching and deepening his understanding of meditation, chi kung, yoga, and tai chi. He uses the principles of balance from tai chi as a foundation for other mind/body disciplines such as meditation, chi kung and yoga. In 2007, Adam was certified as a yoga teacher through Desert Song Yoga & Massage Center's 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program. He currently teaches his own tai chi method that integrates many styles of tai chi through mindful movements. Adam also teaches restorative yoga and intro to meditation classes.
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts, that hope always triumphs over experience, that laughter is the only cure for grief, and that love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulgahm
Deb left her picturesque hometown of Exeter, New Hampshire, to attend ASU where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition. She began practicing yoga in the mid-nineties and credits numerous instructors for inspiring her to continue her spiritual journey. She completed the Yoga Teacher Training program at Desert Song in August 2007. She enjoys hiking beautiful trails and playing at the park with her husband (Troy), son (Emerson) and dog (Ollie).
Living and teaching yoga is Ann's calling. Drawn to yoga as a young child, she often practiced with an inspiring television yoga teacher alongside her sisters in her parents' living room. Her interest in yoga continued throughout the years and the practice has helped with stress relief and low back pain.
Ann is committed to personal and professional development through diligent practice and on-going study of asana, yoga therapeutics, philosophy and Ayurveda. She completed Desert Song's Yoga Teacher Training in 2003 and Anusara Yoga Teacher Trainings in 2006 and 2012. In 2012, she also completed her 500 hour advanced studies training through Desert Song Healing Arts Center. Ann is grateful to her teacher Meg Byerlein, for her wisdom, generous heart and example of yoga as a way of life.
Ann's strong conviction that yoga is a living practice provides the foundation for her teaching which blends down-to-Earth practicality with playful, light-heartedness. She enjoys the challenge that comes from a wide-range of teaching experiences; several weekly studio and workplace classes, therapeutic yoga classes and private instruction.
Her yoga is enriched by the fullness of her eclectic background: a degree in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, park ranger for the National Park Service (National Mall, Washington D.C. and Grand Canyon), outdoor education counselor, a ten-year career in Girl Scouting and a short stint as a river guide.
Ann is currently reviewing the direction and offerings of her business, Exuberance (www.exuberanceevents.com).
Diana discovered yoga in 2001 while in graduate school for physical therapy. The profound joy she felt upon leaving her first class led her on a lifelong path of yoga practice and study. In 2003 she began her 200-hour yoga teacher training through Integrative Yoga Therapy.
Diana enjoys integrating the subtle teachings of yoga with the science of Western medicine. She runs a private PT practice in Phoenix, AZ specializing in women’s health and pelvic rehabilitation. Out of the office and off the mat, she can be found playing with her husband, two young children, and menagerie of fur-balls.
In her yoga classes, Diana weaves a balance of structural alignment with the philosophic teachings of yoga to create a safe, heart-centered space for bodies and minds to unfold. Her intention is to empower students to discover their personal yoga path, and hopefully, have a taste of that profound joy that is all of our true nature.
Penny Peterson has been practicing and sharing yoga and meditation for over 25 years. Her yoga teacher training was through Desert Song and she holds a 100 hour Yoga Nidra certification through Kamini Desai. Penny credits her Yoga, Meditation and Nidra practices for keeping her in balance throughout her 30 year career in Human Resources in the financial services industry. Now retired, her focus is on sharing her experiences to help others integrate these yogic practices into their daily lives.
Judy Pyanowski is an AZ nationally certified massage therapist as well as a certified registered yoga teacher with over 15 years of experience in therapeutic massage and bodywork. After 25 years as a professional dancer, she became a physical therapist, manual therapist and Feldenkrais teacher, in Germany, where she practiced for 7 years. She returned to the US in 2006 and received certification in massage therapy and completed the Desert Song Yoga Teacher Training in 2007. Judy continues her studies of yoga, massage, Ayurveda, and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
Anna Blocher-Rubin earned her 200-hour yoga certification through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in 2007. She is also a special education teacher for a local middle school. Prior to teaching special education full time, for 7 years she had been working with children with special needs, particularly children with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other types of needs through teaching yoga at different private schools in the valley. She has been teaching children’s yoga for over 9 years, family yoga classes for 5 years, and from time to time, she steps in to teach adult yoga classes. Currently, she is enrolled in Desert Song’s 300-Hour Advanced Studies Program to bring her certifications up to the 500-Hour Master Level. Anna also teaches yoga at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. She had volunteered at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital teaching yoga for a couple of years, but had retired when she had a new baby. When Anna is not teaching yoga, she spends her time with her husband and three kids. She enjoys reading, traveling, running, playing with her dogs and furthering her studies in yoga.
Stefanie is a Registered Experienced Yoga Teacher, practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching since 2007. At Desert Song Healing Arts she teaches Basics, Intro to Yoga, Meditation and All Levels classes, while also offering workshops to businesses across the Phoenix Metro area. Her teachings focus on yoga and mindfulness in their day to day applications such as stress reduction, injury prevention and management, building confidence as well as creating emotional balance. Not only an instructor, but also a counselor, Stefanie incorporates her wide range of skills to provide a holistic approach to improving her students' and clients' quality of life.
Michelle is a yoga instructor, environmental educator and freelance writer. She enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her partner and their young son. She believes in the power of yoga, lovingly offered, to create positive change in both individuals and in the world. She earned a B.A. in art and art history from Rice University and a Master’s in Environmental Resource Management/Geography from Texas State University. She has been teaching yoga since 2007 and continues to study yoga philosophy, mindfulness and wellness. Michelle’s yoga classes encourage students to remember the peace and clarity that already resides within each one of us. She has an imaginative teaching style rooted in alignment-based Hatha yoga and an abiding gratitude for both the lineage of yoga and the wild earth. She is grateful to her teacher Meg Byerlein and to Wendell Berry for the wisdom and beauty that they have so generously shared.
“We celebrate again and again our lives’ wedding with the world.” – Wendell Berry
Ann receives the greatest enjoyment by responding to her clients’ specific needs with her nurturing therapeutic massage and gentle energy.
Ann has been a massage therapist at Desert Song since November 2005. She trained at the Arizona School of Massage Therapy in Tempe. Her training included shiatsu, acupressure, reflexology, and cranial/sacral therapy, and has received further training in lymphatic drainage massage.
She receives the greatest enjoyment by responding to her clients’ specific needs with her nurturing therapeutic massage and gentle energy. She finds joy in helping her clients to enjoy greater physical well-being, as well as finding freedom from pain and/or stress. Ann has practiced yoga since 1976, and is also a certified teacher of Integrative Yoga Therapy, receiving her training at Kripalu Institute for Yoga and Health. She also often incorporates her Reiki training into her massage sessions. Ann enjoys her yoga practice daily, as well as venturing outdoors for hiking and climbing. She also loves cooking, playing the viola, and growing herbs and flowers.
Michael Tucker began studying yoga in 1997 in the Kundalini tradition in order to add a component of physical movement to his devotional practice. He has also practiced intensively in the Bikram and Anusara styles, completing 200-hour teacher training programs in the heart-centered practice of Anusara yoga in 2006 with Christy Burnette and in 2007 at Desert Song Yoga. He is grateful for the wisdom and generosity of his primary teachers Mary Beth Markus, Meg Byerlein, Christy Burnette, and Hari Simran Singh Khalsa. His teaching weaves explorations of meditation and developing intuition with a challenging physical practice emphasizing strength, flexibility, and alignment. When not teaching or practicing yoga, Michael can be found working in his law office, cooking, gardening, telling people what to do, listening to opera, and walking his dog Jane Doe.
Jennifer received her yoga teacher certification in 2012 and has since completed extensive training, including the 95-hour Children’s Teacher training at Desert Song. She brings ten years experience as a Master's Level Social Worker to her offerings which provide a unique perspective for supporting students in valuing self care. She is passionate about sharing yoga as a tool to help others find their own answers to the important questions in their lives. Jennifer's approach to teaching has been influenced by the Iyengar and Anusara traditions through her primary teacher, Meg Byerlein. Growth and continued study are an important part of the Practice for Jennifer. She has seen the need for youth, teenagers in particular, to have something of their own that comes from inside to guide them in the discovery of their unique gifts. Yoga is one such tool to help young people, and people of all ages, recognize the light from inside their own hearts. It is Jennifer's intention to offer the same generosity to others that she herself has experienced through yoga.
Favorite off the mat practices: being in nature, digging in the dirt, gardening, sharing laughter and spending quality time with my furry canines, Lucky and Dharma.
Favorite pose as a teacher: Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge)…what a way to open your heart AND those rowdy quads!
“The heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam.” —Bhagwan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri