July 7th - 14th JIVAMUKTI RETREAT: Bakti Yoga week cultivating Love, Grace and Devotion into your practice
with DURGA DEVI
Durga Devi, the name given to Denise by her beloved teachers, Sharon Gannon and David Life, is a former dancer and competitive gymnast who grew up in New York City. After secondary school, she studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and hung out in Manhattan’s East Village soaking up the downtown music and art scene. This compelled her to take up the guitar and become a singer/songwriter. She spent ten years performing as the lead singer for several bands, including Lady Luck, releasing an EP and a full-length album and touring Europe and the United States.
She was introduced to yoga in 1994 by close friends. Asana practice felt very natural to her, but it was the chanting, the philosophy and the ancient and holy teachings of yoga that really hit home.
Durga is one of the original teachers of the London Jivamukti Yoga Centre. She is Advanced Certified in the Jivamukti method and taught at the Lafayette street New York Centre for over three years before moving to the UK to assist with opening the centre. She also completed teacher training at the Laughing Lotus Yoga Centre in New York City.
Kirtan training with Jai Uttal influenced her chanting which is a very important component in her classes. She is also impassioned by Bhagavan Das and Krishna Das for opening up the doors of bhakti, uniting song and heart.
Durga is especially grateful to Sharon Gannon and David Life, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Ammachi, Ruth Lauer-Manenti, John Friend, Yogeswari, Joan Suval (direct disciple of Shri Brahmananda Saraswati), Umananda Saraswati and most recently Shri Narayani Amma who she met in India in 2009.
She will continue to inspire and uplift the lives of all whom she meets and teaches knowing that this practice goes well beyond the mat.