We are happy to announce the winner was for Pranashama Yoga Institute

Pollyana will be joining us in Bali 2013!

Click HERE to read the essays of others who entered. 

The 1st Annual Pranashama Yoga Scholarship Contest was a Great Success! 

Thank you to all the applicants of the Pranashama Yoga Institute's 1st Annual Scholarship Contest 2012! There were 85+ entries and each of them was more inspiring then the next! It was a very tough selection process which kept us up late at night for many weeks. We are so proud of our Pranashama Yoga family and the transformations they have experienced over the years!

Congratulations to our winners and great job to everyone who was also awarded $500 scholarship just for entering! That is our way of saying, keep up the great work. You are just beginning the journey and are on the right track.

We look foward to meeting you all at a live 30 Day Yoga Training Transformation retreat program in 2012!

Looking for Inspiration to Begin Your Journey with Us?

Read some of the thousands of success stories and testimonials from past 30 day yoga training participants.

CLICK HERE to read hundreds more success stories...

:: 2012 Yoga Scholarship Grand Prize Winners ::



Amanda Flaker

I use to hate myself. I used food to numb my desires. I cycled through the trinities of drugs, sex, alcohol, and then religion, fasting, and chastity. Ad nauseam. Nothing seemed powerful enough to touch my heart. I vacillated between indulging in my flesh, and clinging to rigorous programs that helped me feel I had somehow transcended any psychical need. And all the while I had no concept of self-love. No idea that it was possible to heal, to feel whole and accepted and beautiful, just as I was, whether heavy or skinny, indulgent or restrained. When I was 18 I bought my first yoga video. I had no concept of yoga philosophy on a heart level, but physically, I began to feel felt a shift. It was about a year (after various yoga classes at my local gym, but no real introduction to philosophy) I was led me to one of Dashama’s YouTube videos. I remember it was raining outside and I had been crying. I was greeted with Dashama’s contagious smile and the words “Namste. You are loved.” This video led me to sign-up for her 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and for an hour every day I nurtured my body in practice, and my soul through her “Journey to Joyful” book. The time was ripe and I was ready for real change. I cried every day of practicing. I shed weight. I shed layers of emotional wounds. Long-forgotten desire came to the surface, and began to feel – for the first time in years – alive. After the 30 Day challenge and much healing, I knew I would further my practice. As yoga expanded my own self-love,I felt desire to serve others expand. My own path began to blossom, and I felt a gentle, yet certain call to Dashama’s 200 hour training program. I trust that the Universe knows what is best for me, and my healing will continue to unfold in perfection. This is merely my way of affirming my own heart – my own desires, by sending my intention out, and waiting in joyful expectation for the next journey LOVE calls me to. Namaste.

 

Dawn Hale

The Divine Love of the Universe reached out a hand in the form of yoga to rescue me from a 20 year addiction to drugs an alcohol. Yoga helped me find and value myself. I have been in recovery for over 15 years and for the past five years I've been employed as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I also volunteer at two local halfway homes for women suffering from addiction as well as speak and write on the topic. I reach over 200 people a year who suffer from dependency and have seen the miracle of recovery bring new life to many of them from all ages and backgrounds. As part of my curriculum as the Intensive Outpatient Co-coordinator I have incorporated both yoga and meditation as teaching tools and practices for healing. Sadly, I have not had the time nor the money to become a trained yoga instructor. I just pass on what I know. HOWEVER, my employer has offered to give me the time off for training IF I win this scholarship! I feel that once again Divine Love is providing an answer to prayers. I want to continue to help people discover and accept their true nature which is in itself Love. I am so grateful to yoga and to this opportunity to help change the world one addict at a time.  

::  2012 Pranashama Yoga Scholarship Panel of Judges   ::

:: Final Round of Contestants ::

Click Here to Review All 85+ Scholarship Essay & Breakthrough Stories!

1-Name Heidi parkinson
Email Heidiparkie@gmail.com


Essay Pranashama yoga has brought more happiness to my life than I can truly share. It is the Pot of gold at the end of my rainbow :) Has brought me home to myself. Given me back my body, freed the shackles of my mind, lifting my spirit towards enlightened heavenly shores of golden flowing oceans. Visions of which I have seen & felt like the radiant sun shining through the oceans surface. I have re-found my faith, through physical practice I have begun to overcome an 8 year battle with ongoing chronic pain, I have been filled with pure bliss at the beauty of creation in action. I love feeling Sooo alive as if liquid diamonds course through my veins, my heart. I love the gentle fight that can only be won with stillness of mind, golden radiant heart & strong physical pose. I cannot Thank you enough for bringing this gift to me, nothing can ever repay the gift I have been given except to be able to give such a gift myself. I am humbled, honoured & awed. Finally there is light at the end of my tunnel, so dark & long after these soul destroying years from being only 28 where everyday has been a living hell on earth :(. Only now do I see the first light of heaven. I want nothing more than to teach, to spend my life immersed in yoga & so iimmersed in love. Namaste
3-Name Varuna Shunglu
Email varunashunglu@gmail.com
Code Word "Bali"
Essay Yoga has been an essential part of my life since I was all of three years old. As a child i suffered many illnesses and was extremely weak. There was a point of time where the doctors had given up hope of my recovery. My parents come from a spiritual background in India and as a consequence of their understanding, decided to put me into a Yogic School thinking it might improve my health condition. After that there was no looking back!My life has never been the same. Yoga as a subtle force has always guided me in every decision I have made in life. It gives me a certain determination and resolution to move from strength to strength. By profession i am a lawyer, yet the magnanimity of Yoga pervades me and has pushed me to become a Yoga teacher two years back. I love sharing this joy with all my loved ones and travel and teach within India. My journey now leads me to enhance these very skills and go deeper by pursuing the Pranashama course and when i saw this opportunity i simply had to apply because i know this is just what i need. Thank you.

 

 

2-Name Beth Gordon
Email beth.j.gordon@gmail.com
Code Word Integrated Journey
Essay Since 13 I wanted to be a psychologist. Studying the mind and our actions have always been of interest in that it became clear how we chose our suffering and struggles. Daily I am made to be conscious of this choice and look at how fear can embody the tinniest of my detailed existence. When I first became Reiki attuned at 20, I had the opportunity to receive Yoga from my Reiki master. During those sessions it became clear that the road to healing was also a choice, a difficult one, but far more valuable than the place of suffering and insecurity upon which I was 'living.' Furthermore, it was evident to me that the mind is whole when in union with body and spirit and the essential tenant of Yoga was a living meditation for my life. I wanted to shout from the mountaintops...WE CAN HEAL OURSELVES! I graduated with a PsyD in clinical psychology and have yet to be able to sustain myself. Currently at 31, I am working for a farmer selling his local, organic beans and grains at the farmer's markets in NYC. The pay barely covers anything and I am supported graciously by my family. The goal of receiving this doctorate was to utilize my Western education and integrate Eastern philosophy, and homeopathic medicine into my professional practice. After completing my dissertation on Reiki and Yoga, my journey has been starved as I am unable to integrate these practices into my work, as I am not working in the field. I have been met with a lot of fear and conservatism. Sure, I can branch out on my own, but the entire purpose of this education was to change already established systems into working more efficiently! Such systems are a plague on our society, and keep us in the feared unknown and ability of taking control of our health and well being. This is the change I feel called to do. I have been unable to afford an appropriate Yoga training, and in my search have been trading my services for this sacred knowledge, sporadically and with mediocre success. The opportunity to become Yoga certified would engender the chance to blend my degree and transform this sacred tradition into our modern society. I envision changing healthcare and school systems, hospitals and VA centers. As a Yoga instructor I can incorporate my sound education in psychology and conduct research to reach such systems of 'care' and actually change them in a way that empowers each individual to change themselves. I know that this is a long road, and every step has been met with challenges, but I remain inspired by the force and committed to the process. My seeking spirit will not abandon it's cause! I know our healthcare is to be integrated and power is to be given to its people! WE CAN HEAL OURSELVES, and the tools of Yoga, meditation, homeopathic medicine and humanistic psychology are to be the warriors of this mission! Please, join my cause and allow me to make such a necessary step not for myself, but for all of us. Thank you for reading. Blessings and love for you. Dr. Beth Gordon, PsyD

 

4-Name Jennifer Anderson
Email jena_74@yahoo.com


Essay Here is a letter I wrote to a friend I lost to cancer. “Last year while living in the Sierra Mountains I chose to kick off your birthday with an early morning yoga class. At the beginning of the class the instructor asked us to think of a friend to dedicate the experience too. She told us to picture that friend floating on a fluffy cloud sitting at the front of our mat and to choose a feeling that we wanted to send them that they may be in need of. After manifesting the feeling in our 3rd eye chakra, we were told to push it down into our hearts, open our chest, wrap it in love and send it to you from our heart chakra as a beaming blue light. Many poses and some tears later, when the class was coming to an end, she asked us to remember that friend we dedicated this class too. ‘Now picture them again on that fluffy cloud at the front of our mats, but now look at their face and see that the corners of their mouths are turned up in smile, they have received our gifts’. She then asked us to send you back on your way to wherever you would be at that moment~ John, I sent you happiness, peace, rest and my love. I felt so lucky to have walked into that class, not knowing how to spend that emotional day and finding a way to feel connected to you. That instructor couldn't of known and yet said all the right things. I kept that feeling with me the rest of the day honoring you and your life~ Happy birthday John, love, your friend, JenA” Two yrs later, while visiting my stepfather in the hospital, also suffering from cancer, I saw a poster on the wall advertising Yoga Therapy for cancer patients. At that moment a light went on in my mind, and heart, and I found my desired purpose. The journey I’ve had with my yoga practice has helped provide clarity, strength and healing throughout my life. I would be grateful for this opportunity to deepen my practice and further my awareness and enlightenment so I can share and help others through the powerful benefits and love of yoga.

 

8-Name Amanda Flaker

amandaleigh80@yahoo.com

I use to hate myself. I used food to numb my desires. I cycled through the trinities of drugs, sex, alcohol, and then religion, fasting, and chastity. Ad nauseam. Nothing seemed powerful enough to touch my heart. I vacillated between indulging in my flesh, and clinging to rigorous programs that helped me feel I had somehow transcended any psychical need. And all the while I had no concept of self-love. No idea that it was possible to heal, to feel whole and accepted and beautiful, just as I was, whether heavy or skinny, indulgent or restrained. When I was 18 I bought my first yoga video. I had no concept of yoga philosophy on a heart level, but physically, I began to feel felt a shift. It was about a year (after various yoga classes at my local gym, but no real introduction to philosophy) I was led me to one of Dashama’s YouTube videos. I remember it was raining outside and I had been crying. I was greeted with Dashama’s contagious smile and the words “Namste. You are loved.” This video led me to sign-up for her 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and for an hour every day I nurtured my body in practice, and my soul through her “Journey to Joyful” book. The time was ripe and I was ready for real change. I cried every day of practicing. I shed weight. I shed layers of emotional wounds. Long-forgotten desire came to the surface, and began to feel – for the first time in years – alive. After the 30 Day challenge and much healing, I knew I would further my practice. As yoga expanded my own self-love,I felt desire to serve others expand. My own path began to blossom, and I felt a gentle, yet certain call to Dashama’s 200 hour training program. I trust that the Universe knows what is best for me, and my healing will continue to unfold in perfection. This is merely my way of affirming my own heart – my own desires, by sending my intention out, and waiting in joyful expectation for the next journey LOVE calls me to. Namaste.

 

5-Name Cheryl
Email chezboo@btinternet.com


Essay When I opened this site I immediately went to the entries page to read other peoples applications - to determine whether I should bother doing one myself - would mine be enough? I doubted. This kind of says it all about me really and the journey I have been on for some time now. My struggles have been internal and over time yoga has slowly but surely been helping me with those. I practice daily as a reminder to myself that I'm worth the effort! even when I don't feel like I am. I guess that's what I want to share with others - self worth and a sense of 'lightness' and I really feel yoga brings that out of people - we all have it inside but I think it often gets buried. I am far from 'finished' where my journey is concerned (and my Inner-Yogi knows this is exciting!)so every day I practice and I try to be more accepting, more patient, more aware of the beauty of life and those moments where you think 'where the hell am I going?' 'What on earth am I doing with my life???' Yoga reminds me to keep breathing, keep smiling and keep believing that I'll get there. I hope we all get where we need to be. Namaste x x x x

 

6-Name Jaysun Melia
Email djjaysun@hotmail.com


Essay The word Yoga means to join and Asthanga represents the eight limbs of Yoga. In our culture and society most people only think about the asana practice when thinking about Yoga but that is only one of the eight all important limbs of yoga. I am currently a yoga student of about 8-10 years and I’m also a yoga instructor for 2 years. I have been running a homeless family shelter for 4 years and I’m working on completing my second master’s degree as a licensed mental health counselor. I mention this only because I feel as though I have 8 limbs which are constantly being tugged and pulled in all directions. Yoga is where my true self, my atman lies and it’s often times the first limb that I allow to be tugged off and I let slip out of my grasp. I know that given the opportunity to attend the Pranashama Yoga Retreat in Bali I would be able to join all eight of those limbs and truly reach Samadhi or divine consciousness. It is my goal to one day be able to incorporate all of my education and trainings and life skills into my one true passion Yoga. My heart smiles at the idea of being able to dedicate my whole self towards helping others mentally, physically and spiritually through the practices and philosophies of Yoga. I know after spending 30 days in Bali at the Pranashama Teacher Training with Dashama’s knowledge and instruction my feet would be permanently stuck to my sticky mat. This trip would give me the knowledge, inspiration and guidance I would need to make a giant leap forward on my yogic journey. I can not think of a better place than Bali or instructor than Dashama to truly experience the meaning of Yoga. We hear the word Samasthiti in class all the time but do we know the real definition, “A state of balance”. This retreat and glimpse in to paradise would undeniably give me and teach me how to show others what Samasthiti really means. Love and light to all, namaste.

 

10-Name Dawn Hale
Email dawnhaledesign@hotmail.com
The Divine Love of the Universe reached out a hand in the form of yoga to rescue me from a 20 year addiction to drugs an alcohol. Yoga helped me find and value myself. I have been in recovery for over 15 years and for the past five years I've been employed as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I also volunteer at two local halfway homes for women suffering from addiction as well as speak and write on the topic. I reach over 200 people a year who suffer from dependency and have seen the miracle of recovery bring new life to many of them from all ages and backgrounds. As part of my curriculum as the Intensive Outpatient Co-coordinator I have incorporated both yoga and meditation as teaching tools and practices for healing. Sadly, I have not had the time nor the money to become a trained yoga instructor. I just pass on what I know. HOWEVER, my employer has offered to give me the time off for training IF I win this scholarship! I feel that once again Divine Love is providing an answer to prayers. I want to continue to help people discover and accept their true nature which is in itself Love. I am so grateful to yoga and to this opportunity to help change the world one addict at a time. 

 

9-Name Kimberley Martinez
Email kim@kimberleymartinez.com


Essay In 2007 my 3 year old son Isaac was diagnosed with Leukemia. My husband and I struggled to make ends meet, and stress and bills piled up. Our marriage ended and I didnt have a lot of family to turn to. My grandmother who was my best friend had passed a few years before, and my mother was a struggling alcoholic. On the way home from visiting her, I was in a bad car accident which left me in physical pain and physical therapy for six months. I could barely do wall push ups even at the end of treatment. My therapist recommended yoga and it helped me immensely. My stress reduced and my muscles grew stronger. In 2010 I lost my mom due to her drinking and a housefire. Emotionally, I was scarred but yoga and faith helped me through. I met Dashama on a project for her TV Show and she taught my son and I healthier eating and sparked his interest in yoga. He is now cancer free (one year Jan 2012!). Dashama was truly an inspiration and her teaching of yoga and the way it has literally transformed my life, and my sons life is proof that not only does it help you physically, but mentally as well. I am hoping to further my yoga training so that I may teach in an addiction treatment center and help those overcome their addictions by strengthening their mind/body connection.

 

12-Name Rachael Hayward
Email raehayward@hotmail.com
G'day Pranashama Yoga Institute, Since 2008 I have been following Dashama and her yoga via youtube. I have been doing Yoga since I was 16 but I didn't realise the importance and the advantages Yoga provides until I found Dashama. From then on, I have been practicing yoga as much as I can. I'm enjoying Vinyasa Flow and Bikram Yoga the most. Yoga has offered me balance, the practice of listening, breathing, focusing and loving more. After hearing the courses Pranashama offer I have prayed and dreamed that I would attend a Pranashama teacher training course, particularly in Bali for an additional reason that I have been studying Bahasa Indonesia for several years now and so this has heightened my passion and desire to be a part of this joyful experience of Yoga and Bali. I would have attended Dashama's Bali course this year however, I was unfortunate to join her due to financial issues and university. I have also recently come to the idea that I would love to hold yoga classes here in the western suburbs where I live since there are no yoga studios. You have to travel by 35-60 mins to get to one of the very few here. I live near the beach and so I am positive opening a yoga studio would benefit the people and myself. Having this opportunity to attend a yoga teacher training course with Pranashama would benefit me in more ways than I can imagine I'm sure but I also wonder how many more opportunities I can create after doing a special yoga course such as this for other people? I thank each and everyone for giving me this opportunity to write a small slice of my passion and desire to learn and teach yoga. All love, health and happineess Rachael Hayward 

 

14-Name Katarina Vitas

katarina.vitas@gmail.com

I discovered yoga when I needed it the most. I just looked for the place to be with my feelings and without any expectations, it turned out to be the greatest journey. It also helped me to dig deeper, within myself. I didn't really understand yoga and its connection to a spirit that everyone was talking about, but I still kept practicing yoga.Yoga helped me to learn how to use my breath, to guide it to the places in my body that had emotional holds and needed to be healed. I learned how to let go and to simply "be." Yoga helped me love myself more, and to be more acceptive of my self without judgment. Yoga is an ongoing journey and it changes my life every day. It heals me. I would love to help others and to be the part of their healing journey. I would love to help others discover peace within themselves, joy, to awaken all the hidden potentials within themselves and to discover the healing love of yoga.Getting the scholarship would help me financially to attend such an amazing training with Dashama and will help me on my path to heal others. And I thank you all who by voting for me and help me to achieve that.

 

15-Name Katherine Wooten
Email kwootang@msn.com



For most of my life I have been disjointed. I had always had strife within myself. My junior year of college I decided that the reason I was so angry was because my heart and my mind were always in a constant battle with each other, never agreeing on anything and always pulling me in two directions. This realization made it apparent to me that I needed these two very important parts of my being to start accepting, respecting, and loving each other. Otherwise, I knew I would eventually self destruct. This is when I started meditating and practicing yoga seriously. When I started this discipline I felt love and respect for myself for the first time. I felt like a fountain of love and compassion, flowing forth from me to the world and at the same time recycling back into myself. Through meditation and yoga I was finally able to become one being. My heart and my mind together, grounded as one entity like a tree. This is my meditation. I visualize my heart and mind connecting then growing down my spine and sprouting roots that grow deeper and deeper in the earth, so that no matter what storm comes across I will remain grounded in my being. I pray to receive this scholarship so that I can become a certified teacher, then being able to share my love and compassion with those who wish to better themselves. I want to become a teacher in order to share the great benefits of Yoga. I have been searching for one year for a school that I believed was right for me, and when I came to this site I felt that God wants me to go here. In his divine wisdom and grace I know that he will help me. Maybe through this scholarship program he will, and if not he will provide.

 

11-Name warren lindsey
Email warrenlindsey@yahoo.com
Began practicing Yoga February 2009 entering post-surgery rehabilitation. Considering injuries sustained over the years, overall health is outstanding. I believe this recovery can be attributed to yoga. The effects were immediate, contributing to a shift of body, mind and spirit. Being struck twice by cars while riding a motorcycle, I developed a rotated pelvis and experienced chronic pain since early seventies. 2003 was involved in a motorcycle accident, sustaining three cerebral hemorrhages and severe facial injuries (crown, third eye Chakra). Surgeries over next five years would include tracheotomy (throat Chakra), right arm, hip, facial and urethral reconstruction, and recovery from brain injury. A period of uncertainty, insecurity, instability. Depression crept in. In particular, 2008 during last surgeries to complete urethraplasty (root Chakra). Fitted with Foley and super-pubic catheter(s) (Sacral Chakra), I became bedridden. Breathing seriously compromised; weight dropped to 150 lbs. Serum Testosterone was zero. Prognosis regarding reproductive organs looked grim. Beginning rehabilitation, advised I had failing liver.  Yoga classes were offered.  Yoga class woke me up. Believe that was due to stimulation of neurotransmitters. Having been incapacitated, my mood changed immediately. Began eating five meals building metabolism. Within two weeks was near pain free. Becoming more proficient reading and writing, comprehension increased.  Being inspired I became hopeful.  Securing Miami apartment began follow–up on medical concerns.  Pulmonary examine demonstrated lung capacity at 41 %. Prognosis? Condition would grow worse. Follow-up was 59 % and today near 100 %. Doctor could not account for this, Acknowledged yoga/breathing as factor, encouraged to continue practice. Liver now shows complete regeneration. Healing in regards to Urethraplasty is phenomenal. Testosterone presently high normal.  All functions happily are normal, Brain MRI(s), .EEG reveal no damage.   Subscribing to Dashama’s challenge, am inspired by her spirit. Continuing practice at Life’s Journey Yoga/Wellness is encouraging. Recovery attributed to yoga practice. Deeply inspired, knowing  wonderful enthusiasm, I enjoy a growing knowledge, insight and intuition in regards to Yoga. I do not presently feel qualified to act as an ambassador. Being fulfilled by the Pranashama teaching experience would lend genuine experience and credibility to that journey. 
13-Name Erin Morgan
Email erinmorgan3122@gmail.com



Life is about healing. I want to learn how to heal myself. Then, in turn, I want to be able to help others to learn how to heal as well. I feel as if I have been slowly learning how to heal my own self. Line upon line my answers have come. Learning I have severe food allergies came over time. Realizing that my back problems were affecting my whole body came gradually. But finding that love can heal was the connection that began to move my mountains. Yoga has been my quiet place. Prayer and meditation bring me to a greater understanding of this life and the people within it. And in slowing down, I feel as if I can begin to move forward at a steady pace. Health is a gift. And I am beginning to see and feel that gift with a new illumination. My awareness of self has taken me to a fresh place and I want to be able to continue this journey. Whether my love for healing takes me to Texas or to Bali, I will continue searching. My heart is open and my glass is half full. To have the opportunity to remove myself, for a time, from the sound of this cage, and to give my ears a chance to hear a different kind of peace--- that would bring more than a new light. The experience would be life altering. I hope for a chance at this opportunity. A crossing of self discovery such as this could help me to really find that rest that I am searching for.