Experiencing Ancient Arts with Aiyana Athenian and Krishna Perry: Spotlight Q&A
1. Please share what you do in 10-15 words:
Aiyana: I teach yoga and meditation retreats and trainings and serve clients with Ayurvedic diet/lifestyle consultations and body treatments.
Krishna: As Co-Director of the ShivaShakti School of Yoga, I am a teacher and practitioner who loves sharing Vedic astrology and Ayurveda, yoga and meditation, and yogic philosophy with my students and clients.
2. Why do you do what you do?
A: From a young age, I’ve felt it’s my dharma is to share universal wisdom. I first came to yoga nearly 20 years ago and it has been a wonderful path to share with others. I’m also continually amazed by the depth and efficacy of Ayurveda as a healing art and science. I find joy in witnessing clients experience profound transformations.
K: In being a teacher, healer, and guide, I always seek to inspire the spirit of the Vedic wisdom and yoga in the hearts and minds of the people whose lives I touch.
3.What are you currently fascinated by in your work?
A: I am fascinated by prana. While in India recently I received wonderful Ayurvedic treatments and was amazed to see how the effects of the herbs, body treatments, and b vastu-designed center worked wonders on my pranic body. I then took a marma course there and was further inspired to see how prana can be guided within the body with proper applications.
K: I am currently inspired by the emerging field of Vedic counseling in the West. After many years of study and practice, I realized how Vedic counseling beautifully blends Jyotish, Ayurveda, yoga and meditation. This synthesis has been an important one for me to understand.
4. How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?
A: At age 15 I began a meditation and Qigong practice through a holistic martial arts program. These two practices have been regular companions of mine since that time.
Also, when I took my first teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas many years ago I was deeply touched by the Bhakti practices and daily chanting. It helped me to open my heart in a deeper way. My influential teachers include Sabu Chaitanya, Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa, Prem Sadasivananda, Dr. Lad, Dr. Svoboda, and Dr. Claudia Welch.
K: I first discovered yoga in my early twenties. I recall opening a copy of Swami Vishnudevananda’s Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga and feeling awakened by the asanas he was demonstrating. Along the spiritual path I have had the blessing of studying with many beautiful teachers, but Swami Sivananda in his own way has impacted me the most. Swami Sivananda's writings and commentaries have been guiding me for more than twenty years.
5. What book(s) did you like reading this year?
A: Wisdom Rising by Lama Tsultrium Allione has taught me about the sacred mandala from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective. Nourishing the Essence of Life, a book on Qigong by Eva Wong, has reinvigorated my Qigong practice this year.
K: The Art and Science of Vedic Counseling by David Frawley and Suhas Kshirsagar was really meaningful for me this year.
6. If you’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat before, what is one surprising thing about the experience for you?
A: I'm always happy to see what an international audience is present at the ashram!
K: We recently had the opportunity to teach an Ayurvedic program at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, and during our stay I crossed paths with Suhas Kshirsagar, who recommended his book to me. Reading it allowed me to take another step along the spiritual path.