Manduka Yogi of the Month: Keely Burke

We’re so excited to announce our yogi of the month for March: Keely Burke.  Keely is a long time Namaste student (and all around awesome lady) that maintains a consistent practice with a full schedule. Read all about her below and send her some love in the comments!

Occupation:

I am an Expressive Arts Psychotherapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  That means I use the arts: drama, movement, visual art, music, poetry, etc, as part of the way I help people heal their emotional, psychological and spiritual wounds.  My healing work is with adults, couples, families and children.  You can find me at Center for Creative Growth, in North Berkeley. 

Fun Fact About You?

I’ve been studying the fiddle for the last two years learning to play Oldtime, Celtic, Country and Bluegrass music…and I got to play at the Freight and Salvage last May for Manning Music Studio’s student concert.

What inspires you?

My joyful, sweet, loving and playful 12 year old Cairn terrier, Molly, and 2 nieces Collins and Talbot, are great sources of inspiration helping me in my Metta practice very much to love myself and bring more of my loving heart to the world.

When you aren’t on the mat, where can we find you?

Hiking in the hills or redwoods, walking Molly at Point Isabel, blues dancing at La Pena, fiddling at Manning Music, with friends making local veggie filled meals, or traveling – I made it to South India last fall.

Favorite East Bay business?

Besides Namaste?!  Vics Chat Shop, with delicious Masala Dosa, just like what I ate when I was in India in October.

How has your yoga practice shaped who you are?

My yoga practice has influenced every area of my life.  I’ve been practicing for nearly 20 years now.  I started in my teens as a way to exercise.  Over the years, yoga has helped me to focus, soothe, calm and strengthen my body and subsequently heart, mind and spirit.  Being able to do this for myself has made me a better person, friend, partner, family member, healer and citizen. Yoga has taught me to stay with my inner experience, to keep breathing in challenging poses or through sometimes very difficult emotions on or off the mat.  By breathing and staying with my experience in yoga, I always again find peace, connection, bliss and union with the Divine.  Then I can act from that place, with a clear, warm, deep heart.  These gifts of my practice I can then give to my clients and all people in my life. 

Favorite Asana?

Do I have to pick just one?

I love Arda Chandra Chapasana or Half Moon Pose with bow.  I love the combination of balancing on one leg, while doing a hip and heart opener.  I feel like my body can shine out in this pose.  I can never get enough of Viparita Karani (legs up the wall), though. My body loves to sink deep into the ground and get still.

Why do you love Namaste?

I can’t possibly name all the reasons I love Namaste.  Primarily it’s the community that creates such a healing, warm and loving space.  My primary teachers: Kimber, Margi, Abby, Elana, and Alexis, help me love my body and connect to my deepest, highest self.  Through an immersion with Kimber, I got to know deeply a large group of fellow yogis that I get to gets hugs and brunch with regularly.  The managers Christine and Tosha are such sweet and kind lights welcoming me to my classes or my massage.  I’ve gotten fabulous massages, especially with Nathan.  Overall, everyone is so kind!  I don’t know Kimberly well, but under her guidance, all three studios have such a calm, kind, and professional presence that create a regular place for me to tune in.

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