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Lions Roar : July 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2009 50 Yoga Journal, Tricycle, and Yogi Times. She has made two instruc- tional dvds, Yin and Vinyasa and insight Yoga, and she has a new book, also called insight Yoga. in 2007 she co-founded Metta Journeys, an organization that offers yoga retreats to help wom- en and children in developing countries, and in 2010 she plans to establish yoga institute, a teachers’ training program. From this vantage point, Powers looks back at the little girl she was at the birthday party. “it’s as if that little girl was being held by some inner spirit that would grow later,” she says. “but first she’d have to go through the sadness of many more events like that.” Sarah PowerS waS born in 1962 in arizona. when she was two years old, her upper-middle-class family moved to cali- fornia, where she was raised with her two elder brothers and her younger sister. “we had freedom to explore,” Powers says. “our parents allowed us a lot of room to make our own choices.” but her parents were not happy, together or separately. they seemed to be coping with life rather than—as she puts it—“juicy with life.” her father was often angry and her mother, though more loving, was at times withdrawn. in an effort to save the marriage, her father went to his first and only aa meeting. af- ter that, he never drank again. nonetheless, the couple separated when Powers was eleven. her mother now felt free to explore who she was, which paralleled and complemented the future yogini’s own adolescent experiences. “My mom was becoming inquisitive about the same time i was. we were just twenty-four years apart!” laughs Powers. “So my young years were full of being in hollywood and venice and exploring all kinds of people and attitudes—exploring what it means to live a life that feels connected and worthwhile. at that time—the early seventies—that was something everybody was exploring.” the challenge for Powers was learning how to channel the ques- tion in wholesome, healthy ways. “i wanted to push the boundaries of what was acceptable and expected,” she says. “i was really interested in boys and psycho- tropic drugs, and i loved colorful scenarios. My more intellectual side started to be nourished in college.” Powers started out studying psychology, but she was unfulfilled by the approach taken by her professors; she wasn’t interested, she says, in “trying to figure out how you can get a pigeon to peck at a light.” Powers changed her major to english literature because writers, she felt, were constantly engaged in questioning what is meaningful. She fell in love with william blake and, after that, she became obsessed with nineteenth-century writers who spoke about interconnectedness. but that’s hardly a surprise. intercon- nection, integration, and synthesis, after all, are key concepts in her life and are today the hallmark of insight yoga, her yoga style, which weaves together taoism, yoga, and buddhism. left to right: Sarah Powers with her mother, Mimi; by the pool with her sister; and with her husband Ty, 1985. Meditation continually helps me discover greater potential for seeing and listening in a way that’s more aligned with deeper truths, rather than my conditioning. that informs every moment, so my yoga practice is much richer.