1301 Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

10329 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814

Phone: 260-627-YOGA (9642)

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Our Blog

Inhale, Ignite and Meet our New Managing Director, Firekeeper Haley Sonnigsen

June 13th, 2016


As Julia Haller,  moves forward into Director of Admissions at The Pranayoga Institute and working more in depth with the PranaYoga Foundation we are happy to announce Haley Sonnigsen as our Directing Manager. She will be stepping into the role of orchestrating all of the behind the scenes fire keeping our community requires to carry out our mission.

Haley is an senior Sattva Vinyasa teacher, who has been working as director of our kids and prenatal programs, which have grown exponentially since her envolment with them.

This is an organic move forward in growth and expansion for both of these powerful women and our entire School. We will be able to hold space and healing on a greater scale, in all departments. The three pillars that make up our yoga center are Service, Community, and Action as expressed in our 3 bodies,

  1. The Pranayoga Foundation: Our 501c3 Non-Profit that offers yoga to people suffering through cancer, trauma and chronic illness.
  2. Group Classes, Elevating Community Events and Yoga Series
  3.  PranaYoga Training Institute-Accredited by International Association of Yoga Therapy

Thank you for being a part of the tribe and please welcome these lovely ladies as well as the rest of the firekeeping staff and teachers that make us who we are!

“We are we and we are one.” wellness community
Love All Ways,

Get to know Haley and the mission she will hold for our community.

haley lotus
I first came to PranaYoga as a new student , and almost immediately felt an organic bond with the space and the teachers. I continued to practice, thriving on the clarity and balance I had rediscovered. I chose to further my path, completing the 200 HR Foundations program, the 300 HR Sattva Vinyasa program, the 85 HR PranaMommas Prenatal/Postnatal program, as well as continuing education through Lamaze and Childbirth International as an educator and doula, empowering me to reach a broad spectrum of students and discover a multidimensional approach to teaching. For the past two years, I’ve served as Prana’s Director of Prenatal and Postnatal Services, building community outreach to mothers and families through our in house programs.

haley headI am thrilled to step into the role of Prana’s Directing Manager, and continue to support a community that I love and has supported me in so many ways. Working in a space with powerful, dynamic women, inspires me every day to honor the paths that generations of women have paved before us, passing the torch to not only raise families, but to step into leadership roles that improve our communities. I will lead our staff in a way that is humble, honest, and most of all, empowering, encouraging our staff and teachers to show up with full hearts and clear heads to hold space for each one of our students and meet them where they are. Let’s all grow and thrive together.

Taming the “Monkey Mind” through journaling and Mindfulness

June 1st, 2016


i-J8t8bSh-XLEnjoy this monthly mindfulness post from Dave Johnson, PhD, RN, LMFT.

A few years back, I was involved in a near miss auto accident that I will never forget. I was driving my Fiat near downtown when a large stray dog ran out in front of my car. A young man in a Hummer was coming toward me a bit fast and decided to avoid the dog by switching to my lane. (Did I mention he was bigger than me … and going fast?) Fortunately, I noticed what he was doing and instinctively took my car to the sidewalk to avoid a head-on collision. What I didn’t notice in my peripheral vision was a young mother out walking her baby in a stroller on that same sidewalk. Thankfully, she was not distracted and, upon seeing my car approaching, she instinctively pushed the stroller and baby into a bush. We all paused. We all made eye contact. We were all safe, including the darn dog!

As I recounted my tense tale to my wife, friends, colleagues and attendees at my Stress Relief Mindful Meditation class at the Center for Healthy Living (as well as anyone else who would listen), I noticed that the stress response was similar to the day of the event. My heart would beat a bit faster, I felt anxious and stirred up emotionally, and I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude that no one was hurt. The pictures were vivid in my head – the exact location where the incident took place, the eyes of the on-coming driver, and of course the anxious, resilient, ever-present mother and her baby.

Often, stress events in our lives don’t end in such a positive outcome. And when we relive the pain over and over again we activate stress hormones that continue to impact our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Processing our feelings with a kind, compassionate friend, counselor, minister or family member can be helpful, but sometimes we just can’t break out of this ruminating state. We can’t stop thinking about the traumatizing event(s) of our lives. And so, as a therapist, I often talk about the “monkey mind” of stress, whereby we become entangled, swinging from branch to branch in our brain. It feels challenging just to sleep, eat, work or engage in life to the fullest because of the painful thoughts and pictures we encounter deep within our thinking and overthinking mind.

In addition to counseling and encouraging a mindfulness-based meditation practice for relieving stress, I often encourage folks to write in a journal to help them cope with life events. Journaling is an intentional pause to reflect on insights and life lessons through writing. This process is a way of sorting through and making a bit more concrete those thoughts or behaviors which can be elusive, confusing, emotionally overwhelming or a trigger for going on autopilot (stuck in the monkey mind). When we connect the journal with mindfulness, this multi-sensory writing experience illuminates and makes more tangible life’s transforming experiences (pain, loss, grief, fear, love, joy, gratitude, serendipity, serenity, etc.) and assists in promoting more intentional presence in everyday living.

We sometimes use journaling to process our pain but often journaling can enhance our health by connecting insights of life’s lessons along the way.

Here are my tips for getting started with the journaling process.

Ensure privacy. A journal is for your eyes only. Be sure to keep it somewhere safe, away from those who you don’t wish to have see it.

Flow write. If you are uncertain about what to write, consider just getting the pen moving across your page.

Don’t judge it. Sometimes writing about our thinking and overthinking brain can help us after we write by putting those worries and thoughts on a “shelf” and giving us a rest.

Consider the environment. Sometimes a calm, safe space with a candle, incense or music playing is nice. Sometimes a park bench or a church pew is great. The main thing is to write and for many of us, just get started.
Date your entries. You will want to review your writing sometime in the future and knowing when you wrote these thoughts may be of interest to you.

It doesn’t need to be daily. You don’t want to create a compulsive habit. Save your writing for times when life is stressful or when you have life lessons you don’t want to forget. Last year I think I personally only journaled three times. The year before that, I journaled almost weekly.
Journal gratitude. Be sure to occasionally review your life and all the folks and aspects that you are grateful for. These entries help us to heighten our awareness of life. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
Consider color. Try using colored pens, pencils or markers. Especially when you re-read what you wrote sometime in the future and a question, insight or emotion evokes. Jot them down in the margin.

Relax. Take a deep breath. Pray, meditate or find yourself just noticing using all of your senses (touch, taste, smell, etc).