Yoga for Transformation

Yoga for
Transformation

Join me in the life changing study and practice of yoga.

“Taking Summer’s Yoga for Transformation course was a watershed moment that fundamentally and positively altered my life.” -DA

Yoga teaches us the science of personal transformation. It gives us the tools to uncover our true nature. And it offers us a wildly open system of spiritual practice.

The ancient teachings of yoga are a gift for those of us trying to live well in the 21st century.

How often do you feel anxious, stressed, and tired?

Life can be hard. And it’s difficult to know how to deal with it all…

You read self-help books. You try a little of this, a little of that. And maybe something helps… for awhile.

But then your mom calls, your kid freaks out, your boss piles on the workload, or worse, somebody gets sick, your best friend moves away, or you lose your job, and then you freak out.

Or maybe it’s just a traffic jam or (another) sink full of dirty dishes that sets you off.

Life can feel so out of control. But it doesn’t have to.

We can’t control life. And we can’t stop the reality of change.

But we can learn to affect the direction of change in our lives.

You can learn to respond to your life with intention (rather than just reacting on autopilot to everything that comes your way).

Wouldn’t it be nice to feel like you have a choice in how you emotionally react to things?

You don’t have to live at the whim of your thoughts and emotions.

You can learn to regulate your energy.

You can learn to react to life with ease rather than stress.

You can learn to reconnect with your inner sense of joyfulness.

I’ll teach you how.

But I have to warn you…

What I’m offering isn’t a quick fix solution.

It’s about creating actual, sustainable change in your life.

It’s about creating meaningful practices that lead to a life lived on purpose (rather than out of habit). A life with depth, tradition, and a sense of spirit.

Yoga is the science of transformation and this course will give you the tools you need to support yourself physically, energetically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It did for me.

Meet Your Teacher

Summer Cushman, M.Div., E-RYT500, C-IAYT

I honestly don’t know who I’d be without the practice of yoga in my life. I found it at a time when I was confused, angry, and disconnected from my body and inner voice. The deeper teachings of yoga have utterly transformed my habits of thought, feeling, and behavior. This practice has changed my self-understanding, my relationships, my life.

When I say this, please know I’m not talking about yoga postures. The practice of yoga includes postures, yes, but it’s SO much more than that.

I created the Yoga for Transformation courses in order to make the deeper teachings of yoga more easily accessible to anyone interested in changing their life. If you know how to read the ancient texts and apply them to your life, you’ll discover how simple and practical these teachings are. In these courses, I’ll teach you how to bring the fullness of this ancient practice into your daily life.

I’ve been lucky to study with master teachers. I received foundational training and my 200hr Hatha Yoga Certification from CITYOGA School of Yoga and Health in Indianapolis under the direction of Nikki Myers and Marsha Pappas. I received advanced training and certification as a 500hr Viniyoga Teacher under the direction of Gary Kraftsow at the American Viniyoga Institute in California. And training and certification as an IAYT accredited Yoga Therapist under the direction of Robin Rothenberg of Essential Yoga Therapy in Washington State.

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in printmaking and art history from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. And my Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in spirituality from Earlham School of Religion (a Quaker seminary) in Richmond, Indiana.

I’ve been teaching yoga full time since 2010. And have led retreats and workshops throughout the country on such topics as spirituality, creativity, and embodiment.

I look forward to studying with you!

Introducing

Yoga for Transformation | A Series of Online Courses

  • These courses will teach you how to create simple, meaningful practices that lead to a life lived on purpose (rather than out of habit). A life with depth, tradition, and a sense of spirit.

  • Through these courses you’ll build yourself a jam packed toolbox. A toolbox that will help you learn to respond to life with intention–not habitually react, but respond (do you hear that important difference?).

  • Lasting transformation is a slow, intentional process and this course will give you the time and tools you need to actually start moving in the direction you want your life to go. There’s no rush in this study. You can work at your own pace and return to the teachings as often as you need to.

We have a beautiful, easy to use online classroom.

There are 12 modules spread over several courses that each include:

  • Teachings (video, audio, and text) grounded in the wisdom of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita,
  • Guided practices that integrate the many tools of yoga (asana, pranayama, mantra, mudra, inquiry, guided meditation, ritual, and prayer) to help you digest and embody the teachings,
  • A printable packet that includes support and ideas for your personal practice, journal pages for your continued self reflection, and handouts to support your work with the teachings,
  • A list of recommended readings for continued study,
  • And discussion boards for ongoing shared group reflection and questions.

In these courses we explore the complex reality of who we are—body, energy, sensory mind, personality, emotional heart, and spirit. And we study the individual tools that support us on each of these levels.

THE COURSES:

Wrestling with Big Questions

  • Question #1 | Who am I?

    • We human beings are pretty amazing! We’re made up of body, breath, senses, mind, heart, spirit…
    • In this foundational module we begin our practice of awareness and dive deep into two ancient teachings (from the Yoga Sutra and Taittiriya Upanishad) that help us understand who we are.
    • This module includes a slow moving, quiet practice that helps us connect with the many layers of our being.
  • Question #2 | Why do I suffer?

    • This module is jam packed with teachings designed to help you explore the seeds of suffering (ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion, and fear) in the context of daily life.
    • This module includes a powerful practice with teachings from the Yoga Sutra and the Chandogya Upandishad. Through movement, breath, meditation, and an altar to the 5 great elements, you’ll explore your relationship to the world, your senses, your elemental nature, and the seeds of suffering.
  • Question #3 | What’s stronger? My will or my habits?

    • In this always popular module we begin our exploration of personal practice, intention, and will power.
    • Our practice takes us deep into the three aspects of Kriya Yoga (self-discipline, self-study, and self-surrender).
  • Question #4 | How do I live in right relationship with myself and others?

    • In this module we deepen our exploration of attention and investigate what yoga teaches us about ethics and right action in relationship to others and ourselves.
    • We study the first two limbs of the 8-limb path of practice: the Yamas (behaviors we observe) and Niyamas (personal rituals we enact) from the Yoga Sutra-s.
    • And we work through a short, powerful practice (that among other things includes study, mantra, and mudra) that can be done 10-ways (depending on the yama or niyama you want to focus on).

Register now for Wrestling with Big Questions

Because I’ve witnessed how powerful personal support can be for people doing this transformative work, I’ve included options for one-on-one yoga therapy sessions. So if you’re ready to really dig in, let’s work together!

*Wrestling with Big Questions – $200.

*Wrestling with Big Questions + 2 Yoga Therapy Sessions $350 ($50 savings)

*Wrestling with Big Questions + 4 Yoga Therapy Sessions $500 ($100 savings)

Click here to register for Wrestling with Big Questions

Build Your Yogi Toolbox (5 Courses Opening Soon)

  • Toolkit #1 | We are Body & Movement

    • As one of my first teacher’s likes to say: “The issues live in our tissues.” This powerful module invites you into deep exploration of your reality as an embodied being. This module is about connection, healing, and learning to listen to the voice of the body.
    • In this module we explore the annamaya kosha–the physical sheath of our being and the practice of asana (posture).
    • Our practice is a slow moving meditation designed to help you learn to more deeply listen to the experience of physical sensation.
  • Toolkit #2 | We are Breath & Energy (Prana) 

    • This toolkit includes two modules! We all know how important it is to have enough energy to meet the demands of life. And these powerful, transformative teachings will give you the tools to balance and regulate your energy with ease.
    • First we’ll explore our physiology, the pranamaya kosha and the 5 pranas (energetic processing system), the cakras (energy centers), and the nadis (energy channels). Our practice will help us connect with the reality that we are energetic beings.
    • Then we’ll explore functional breathing, the autonomic nervous system, and the yogic practice of pranayama (intentional breath control). Our practice will help us better understand our breathing habits and how they impact our nervous system and thinking patterns.
  • Toolkit #3 | We are Senses & Thought

    • Do you ever get distracted? (The answer is so obvious it’s laughable right?). We live in a culture that seems driven by distraction…
    • In this module we explore what the ancient yogi’s had to say about patterns of thought and we do some serious self-reflection on how our minds work. This deeply practical module will help you get real about the connection between what you feed your senses and your mind’s ability to focus.
    • In this fun practice we explore how powerful mantra and chanting are for the mind.
  • Toolkit #4 | We are Character & Stories

    • In this module we dive deeper into the mind. We go past the senses and into our conditioning, habits, stories, and wisdom.
    • Through teachings and practice we explore our highest values, our truth, and our faith. And we bravely move toward unraveling the deeply held stories that keep us stuck in unhelpful patterns.
    • We explore what meditation actually is and talk about how to begin or deepen a focused and transformative practice.
  • Toolkit #5 | We are Joy & Spirit

    • This beautiful, healing module is an exploration of joy! The deep, lasting joy that is an inherent part of our being. We explore our relational heart, our longing for deep connection, our sense of delight and fulfillment. And our Source. We wonder about Divine Mystery and dive deep into the practices of prayer and ritual.
    • In our practice we explore the ancient tradition of Manasa Puja, an internal journey of ritual and adoration.

The Art of Personal Practice (Opening Soon)

  • Integration & Personal Practice

    • In this utterly practical module we explore the different reasons we practice. The different kinds of goals we might have in our practice. And we get down to the nitty gritty how-to of designing meaningful, personal practices that lead to transformation.
  • I AM

    • This module is not about new information. This module is about tying it all together and realizing the fullness of who we are and the fullness of this amazing system.
    • But we don’t tie it together intellectually here… We end with a long, retreat worthy final practice that takes us back through the entire journey.

Register now for Wrestling with Big Questions

Because I’ve witnessed how powerful personal support can be for people doing this transformative work, I’ve included options for one-on-one yoga therapy sessions. So if you’re ready to really dig in, let’s work together!

*Wrestling with Big Questions – $200.

*Wrestling with Big Questions + 2 Yoga Therapy Sessions $350 ($50 savings)

*Wrestling with Big Questions + 4 Yoga Therapy Sessions $500 ($100 savings)

Click here to register for Wrestling with Big Questions

Bonuses

You won’t be on your own

  • I’m always only an email away. In this course, you have access to your teacher.
  • And I’ll be on the discussion boards with you—responding to your comments and answering your questions.

You can add (discounted!) yoga therapy sessions

  • The work of transformation isn’t straightforward or easy. This course will provide you with heaps of guidance and support. But nothing compares to one-on-one individualized sessions.
  • Set yourself up for success by building accountability and personalized support into your course experience. Take advantage of deeply discounted yoga therapy when you register.
  • In these 90-minute Yoga Therapy sessions (via video conference, phone, or in-person) we’ll take the time to dive deep into what’s happening in your life, study, and practice. These sessions are powerful.

You’ll have lifetime access to the teachings

  • As I’ve already said, true and lasting transformation takes time. Once you register for any of these courses, you get them for life. You can continue your study as long as you want to. And as the courses grow, you’ll always get the new content.
  • You can work at your own pace and return to helpful teachings as often as you want to.
    • These courses are not about adding another pressure point to your already busy life. There are no rules, tests, or deadlines. You get to decide when and how you interact with the teachings. You can cover the modules in a single day, dive in once a week, or sprinkle them over a month… totally up to you!

Craving tradition?

Let me share one last thing with you (because I consider it a bonus!)…

We live in a somewhat rootless society.

Almost everyone I know craves a deeper sense of connection, tradition, and rhythm in their lives.

The study and practice of yoga has given me a container—something to hold all the various parts of myself together. It’s given me a way to understand myself and the world. It’s provided a grounding force that allows me to better participate in the ever changing reality of life.

The Yoga for Transformation courses will help you cultivate grounding personal practices. Practices that you can feel authentic about. Practices full of depth and meaning.

In these courses we’re not pulling together a random collection of ideas. We’ll be working through a time tested complete system of self-knowing and transformation (and I’m talking about thousands of years of testing here!).

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offer us an ancient, yet utterly relevant system for personal understanding and development.

Yoga is so much more than postures. Come build your spiritual practice.


Click here to register for Wrestling with Big Questions

You’ll still be you.

Only you’ll be a clearer version of you.

By which I mean you’ll have a clearer sense of who you actually are and what actually matters most deeply to you.

And you’ll feel like you have choice. You’ll have a better sense of your habitual reactionary patterns and you’ll have the tools to interrupt them. You’ll be able to pause in any given moment and decide how to act with intention.

You’ll recognize difficult emotions and thoughts for what they are (an ever changing part of your reality). And you’ll know they can’t control your reactions or behaviors. You’ll know how to stay in charge of your feelings and thoughts.

Please understand, I’m not saying these courses will take away all your pain and make life completely easy… (I wish!).

What I’m saying is that you’ll have the self-awareness and skill set to approach life differently. As I said above, we can’t control life and we can’t stop the reality of change. But we can decide how we react to life and participate in life.

With the right tools, you can learn to remain grounded and balanced no matter what’s swirling around you.

And this makes all the difference.

This is transformation.


Click here to register for Wrestling with Big Questions


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m happy to help!

When I say transformation, what do I mean?

We know from experience that everything is changing. But how is it changing?

Transformation is working to affect the direction of change in our lives.

It’s not about aggressive self improvement. It’s not about forcing ourselves into some imagined perfection.

It’s about taking the time to really understand who we are—to connect with our deepest sense of Self.

It’s about identifying the habits that keep us lost in our difficult thinking patterns and difficult emotions.

The yoga sutras teach us that future suffering should be avoided.

In these courses we study the tools that help us stay grounded in our True Self and more ease fully move in the direction we want to go.


Click here to register for Wrestling with Big Questions