Hi! My name is Christel and I’m a certified yoga instructor, artist, intuitive, recovering addict, and near-death survivor. I was given my spiritual name, Shakti, when I graduated from the Sivananda yoga teacher training program in 2010.
My personal ‘healing journey’ started in 2004 after a near death experience. At the encouragement of a friend, I started going to yoga and Buddhist meditation classes. And I noticed, as I continued these practices, that I was changing. Most noticeably, my anxiety and depression were slowly but surely getting better. What was happening here? I felt that I was onto something and had to go deeper! So I kept going to yoga and meditation classes, usually 3 times a week.
By 2010, I was so impressed with what yoga and meditation had done in my life that I was ready to take the plunge and start sharing these amazing practices with others. So I signed up for a 30-day yoga teacher training immersion program at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas. It was truly LIFE CHANGING! And my thirst for knowledge about these ancient practices deepened even more. I dove into Ayurveda, Vedic Astrology, Reiki, Feng Shui, sound healing, and natural health remedies of all kinds (including, most recently, nutritional genetics).
I love to keep learning and discovering new tools for health on this life-long healing journey. I still use art as a therapeutic tool and I believe that with the right diet and lifestyle practices, I can choose to die with ease and grace, and not go out because of a long painful illness. That is my hope for all of us, actually, which is why I do what I do.
I currently offer private healing sessions in the Lancaster PA area. Because of my personal history, I have a soft spot in my heart for recovering addicts and those struggling with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Lastly, I want to thank all of the teachers and guides that have touched my life in their own unique ways. Swami Swaroopananda from the Sivananda Yoga Retreat, David Frawley from the American Vedic Institute, Kam Thye Chow from the Lotus Palm School, Hari Kirin (Art + Yoga), Snatam Kaur, Dolores Cannon, Shiva Rea, Jeffrey Armstrong, Simrit, and Yogi Amandeep, to name just a few. I am truly blessed and indebted to all of them! Thank you!
Trainings & Certifications
March 2020: Yoga Psychology 101
Melissa Scott • Online Course
May 2016: The Breath Center Teacher Training Series #1
Michael Brian Baker • Joshua Tree, CA
November 2013: Thai Yoga Massage Levels 1 & 2 Certification
Kam Thye Chow • Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat • Nassau, Bahamas
November 2013: Ayurveda Body Treatments Certification
Lalita Devi • Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat • Nassau, Bahamas
June 2013: Yoga & Ayurveda Wellness Consultant Certification
David Frawley • American Institute of Vedic Studies
November 2012: Art & Yoga Teacher Certification
Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa • Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health • Stockbridge, MA
June 2012: Reiki Levels 1 & 2 Certification
Suesie Hartman, Reiki Master/Teacher • Bowmansville, PA
November 2011: Vedanta and Silence Certification Course
Swami Sitaramananda • Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm • Grass Valley, CA
April 2010: Chakras & Asanas Certification Course
Shari Friedrichsen • Himalayan Institute • Honesdale, PA
July 2010: Yoga of Recovery Counselor Certification
Durga Leela (Catherine O’Neill) • Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch • Woodbourne, NY
February 2010: Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Certification, 200 hr
Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat • Nassau, Bahamas
Mar 2010 – Present: Independent Yoga & Fitness Instructor
I have experience working in studios, at ashrams, resorts and in other settings. I’ve taught private and group classes (small & very large), with young & old people of varying levels and physical abilities. Past employers include (most recent first):
• Shakti Healing Therapies (Marietta, PA) my personal in-home studio
• Sway Yoga Studio (Columbia, PA)
• SoulShine Yoga Studio (York, PA)
• Santa Fe Divine Healing Center (Santa Fe, NM)
• ElleWell (Santa Fe, NM)
• The Carnelian Center (Dixon, NM)
• Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat (Paradise Island, Bahamas)
• One&Only Ocean Club Resort (Paradise Island, Bahamas)
• Garth (Columbia, PA)
• Yoga on Orange (Lancaster, PA)
• Renaissance Yoga Studio (York, PA)
• Lotus Moon (York, PA)
• Yoga Home (York, PA)
• 8 Stones (York, PA)
Jun 2013 – Present: Yoga & Ayurveda Wellness Consultant
I offer lifestyle coaching based on the principles of yoga and its sister science, Ayurveda.
Jan – Jun 2016: Santa Fe Life After Death Meetup Group
Founder of a monthly Meetup discussion group which focuses on the topic “Life After Death” and other paranormal experiences.
Aug 2015 – May 2016: Jump Start Santa Fe Fitness Instructor
Personal trainer, fitness instructor, weight loss coach, and hiking guide at the Jump Start Weight Loss & Wellness Retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe, NM.
Jun 2012 – Aug 2012: Omega Teen Camp
I worked as a Teen Counselor, leading hikes, teaching art, yoga, yoga nidra, partner yoga, Reiki, and craft projects
April 2018: Sat Nam Fest West Volunteer (Joshua Tree, CA)
August 2017: Sat Nam Fest East Volunteer (Lenox, MA)
Feb-May 2012, Feb-Apr 2013, Jul-Aug 2014: Advanced Karma Yoga Program (Sivananda Ashram, Paradise Island, Bahamas)
May 2012, 2016, & 2018: Shakti Fest Volunteer (Joshua Tree, CA)