Yoga for Transformation

Yoga for

The 2019 Cohort is under way!

And registration is closed for the year.

Make sure you’re on the mailing list (you’ll get the Yoga Church Sunday Sermons!!) and I’ll let you know when registration opens up for the 2020 cohort.

Feeling Anxious, Stressed, and always 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 course 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 this course, 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!


The Yoga for Transformation Online Course

  • This course 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.

  • This course gives you a full year of teachings and support. Lasting transformation is a slow, intentional process and this year-long course will give you the time and tools to actually start moving in the direction you want your life to go.

  • In this course you’ll build yourself a jam packed toolbox—so you can respond to life—not habitually react, but respond, (do you hear that important difference?)—to anything life throws at you with intention.

We have a beautiful, easy to use online classroom.

Where every month you’ll get a brand new module that includes:

  • 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 this course 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.

In this course we go deep. Together we’ll explore:

  • Module 1 | Who am I? | February

    • In this foundational module we explore two ancient yogic ways of understanding ourselves from the Yoga Sutras and the Taittiriya Upanishad.
    • Our practice helps us to explore the Pancha Maya Kosha model (the five sheaths of our being).
  • Module 2 | Practice & Intention | March

    • We continue building our foundation with an exploration of what personal practice really is (probably not what you think!).
    • Our shared practice takes us deep into the three aspects of Kriya Yoga (self-discipline, self-study, and self-surrender).
  • Module 3 | Suffering | April

    • In this packed module we explore the seeds of suffering (kleshas), karma, metaphysics, and wisdom.
    • Our practice focuses on how we fit in the world through an exploration of the five great elements.
  • Module 4 | Relationship & Ethics | May

    • With a strong foundation we’re now ready to dive into the more practical tools of yoga. We begin with a study of ethics and our relationship to others and to ourselves.
    • Our practice focuses on the Yamas (behaviors we observe) and Niyamas (personal rituals we enact).
  • Module 5 | Body | June

    • With this module we come to the study of asana (the postures of yoga) and explore how it fits into the larger practice of yoga.
    • Our practice is focused on connecting with the reality that we are embodied beings.
  • Module 6 & 7 | Prana (Energy Systems & Breathing Patterns) | July

    • This month you get two modules!
    • In module 6 we’ll explore our physiology, 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.
    • In module 7 we’ll explore functional breathing, the autonomic nervous system, and pranayama. Our practice will help us better understand our breathing habits and how they impact our nervous system and thinking patterns.
  • Module 8 | Sensory Mind | August

    • In this module we explore the habits of our thinking minds and the influence of our senses.
    • We explore the practice of mantra and chanting.
  • Module 9 | Personality & Stories | September

    • In this module we get deeper into the mind. We go past the senses and into our conditioning, habits, stories, and wisdom.
    • We explore meditation and the Cave of the Heart.
  • Module 10 | Joy | October

    • This module is about our inner joy! The deep, lasting joy that is an inherent part of our being.
    • This beautiful practice is centered around the practices of prayer and ritual.
  • Module 11 | Integration & Personal Practice | November

    • We’ve laid a strong foundation. We’ve studied and explored a vast array of tools. Now it’s time to put it all together.
    • 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.
  • Module 12 | I AM | December

    • 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.

Bonuses (this isn’t your normal online course!)

You won’t be on your own

  • This is not a self-guided journey. I’ll be with you every step of the way.
  • I’ll send you weekly emails to help keep you engaged, inspired, and motivated.
  • I’ll be on the discussion boards with you—responding to your comments and answering your questions.

We’ll have live connection calls as a community

  • Every month we’ll have the opportunity to be together in real time!
  • These calls will include guided meditation and journaling, chanting, community check-ins, and Q&A.

You can schedule discounted private sessions with Summer

  • If you’d like even more connection and support, you can schedule regular private sessions (we can video conference, have a phone call, or meet in person if you’re in my area).
  • And you’ll receive 10% off regular prices.

You’ll have lifetime access to the course

  • As I’ve already said, true and lasting transformation takes time. Once you’re in the course, you’re in for life. You can continue your study as long as you want to. And as the course grows, you’ll always get the new connect.
  • You can work at your own pace and return to helpful teachings as often as you want to.
    • This course is 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 monthly modules in a single day, dive in once a week, or sprinkle them throughout the 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 course will help you cultivate grounding personal practices. Practices that you can feel authentic about. Practices full of depth and meaning.

In this course 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.

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 this course 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.

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 this course 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.

Make sure you’re on the mailing list (you’ll get the Yoga Church Sunday Sermons!!) and I’ll let you know when registration opens up for the 2020 cohort.