Having spent a childhood living all around the world, Sun Yoga Founder Michele Lowchinovscy Santos found a special connection to Hawaii while attending Hawaii Pacific University. The light and warmth of the islands spoke to Michele and guided her to make Hawaii her home. Upon graduation with a BA in Psychology, Michele spent the next seven years dedicating herself in the mental health field as a therapist for special needs children here on Oahu. Grace, her first client, would prove to be a pivotal force in guiding Michele to her path of yoga.
Grace was a little girl diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a condition that left her unable to speak or deliberately move. However, as Michele would soon come to learn and love, Grace had an immense capacity for communicating love and strength from within, a quality that Michele over the years would draw upon as inspiration. Understanding the hardships Grace's family sometimes faced surrounding the care of their daughter, Michele asked Grace's mother how she coped with the challenges that would invariably arise. Her response was simple: Yoga. Soon after, Michele was given a hot yoga class package as a gift from Grace's family. It was love at first practice.
From that point on, Michele immersed herself in hot yoga. Having been a serious athlete in high school and college, Michele was initially surprised at the level of physical and mental intensity that was required in each and every class. Soaked in sweat, the heat echoed the hot summer days in Brazil where she played soccer; the sheer mental fortitude that was called upon reminded her of the final moments of the game when all she wanted to do was give in but instead pushed herself further. Michele marveled at hot yoga's demands of focus and commitment to herself and those around her. Somewhere deep inside, the initial stirrings of what would become Michele's true calling began to surface: She knew that one day she would become a yoga teacher.
During this period, Michele experienced new levels--She felt amazing and in the best shape of her life physically, mentally and emotionally. Hot yoga became her anchor and served to clarify and cleanse her body, conscience and soul. Hot yoga allowed her to melt away any feelings of anger, frustration, fear and anxiety she harbored. Each class demonstrated the need to have determination, concentration, patience and most of all...Faith. Michele appreciated that she could draw upon these strengths outside of the class and in her daily life if she wished as well.
Slowly, career, marriage, and motherhood began to play larger roles in Michele's life. Suddenly, it felt like there was no time for yoga and Michele felt lost. It was then Michele decided she needed to find a way back to her practice and finally answer to her calling. In the Spring of 2007, Michele began her Bikram Teacher Training.
Soon Michele realized that although she enjoyed her career in psychology, the pull of her path was too strong. Michele focused on teaching yoga to others and received great joy in fostering connections with her students. Again and again, she realized her purpose was to share the gift that she herself had been given years before. With the birth of her second son, Michele found renewed strength to fulfill her dream of deepening her knowledge and sharing the practice of hot yoga. Her meditations increased, her practice of deep relaxations grew--and with it came a new clarity of what was to be. The light and warmth of the sun in Hawaii, her home, lit her heart and threw open a spark: Sun Yoga Hawaii was born.
Sun Yoga Hawaii is the culmination of all Michele ever wanted to experience in a yoga class. Sun Yoga is her labor of love, a calling that came from her heart, a unique practice she hopes will help others fulfill their desires to feel happy and fit, to experience peace and personal growth, to heal oneself, and to feel union. Sun Yoga is dedicated to Grace, the little girl that taught Michele the importance of locating and communicating the love and strength within.
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