ARDEN SUNDARI PIERCE – yoga therapist

Early On

Arden grew up in rural New England as part of a loving, rollicking family and, as a young child, sometimes practiced Yoga poses alongside her mother. In fact before Arden was born, she experienced Yoga in the womb directly through her mother’s practice.

At the age of twenty-two, Arden developed debilitating chronic back pain and she re-discovered the Yoga practice to overcome it. At that time, Arden was managing an advertising career and lived abroad. During this decade-long international adventure, her Yoga practice blossomed, increasing her mental clarity, discipline and well-being.  These experiences fostered powerful growth in her and within a few years, she realized that her life’s calling was to share Yoga with others.

teacher training

Arden started her Yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Center in New York, where she earned a teaching certificate in 1992. She began teaching immediately in the Pioneer Valley, moved by a passion to help to cultivate a healthier and happier community.  In 1997, while working on a degree in anthropology and South Asian studies at Mount Holyoke College, she traveled to India. She conducted research on Yoga therapy and studied at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, and Kaivalyadama in Lonavla.

Through out the 1990’s Arden studied with a lesser-known Indian yogi, Carmon Coutinho, a master of Yoga and Shiatsu.  Through him she advanced her understanding of how to practice and teach Yoga.  He taught her the subtle energy meridian system and how to apply this understanding to therapeutic self-massage. Self-massage has been an aspect in her yoga classes since then.

serving at the hospital

Starting in 1999, Arden trained as a birth doula and developed and currently runs the prenatal and postnatal Yoga programs at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, in Northampton Massachusetts.   Arden was also the Yoga therapist at the former Center for Complementary Therapies at CDH.

yoga therapy training

Arden wanted to adapt Yoga to more individual needs and especially to people who had limited range of motion. She began formally studying Yoga therapy and Ayurveda with Mukunda Stiles, the author of Structural Yoga TherapyTM, an internationally renowned guide for adapting yoga for individual needs. She studied with Krishnamacharya lineage holder, T.K.V. Desikachar, and an American instructor of that lineage, Gary Kraftsow.   Arden became a certified Structural Yoga Therapist in 2003 and continued to train with Mukunda for several years beyond her graduation.

Arden has been building a meditation practice since the mid-1980’s based on teachings from the traditions from Yoga and Buddha. Since 1999, she attends retreats at the Vipassana Meditation Center in Shelburne, Massachusetts.

at present

The gift of different trials and tribulations in Arden’s life was and is a catalyst that creates in her a life long desire to regain and sustain her well-being through Yoga. Awakened through Yoga, she finds it is a natural and universal way to help others on their own unique paths to higher states of well-being. She is a helper and a teacher at heart. Her sense of integrity requires a personal commitment on her part to continue to learn, grow and serve others.

Arden lives with her life partner and has her private practice and studio in Northampton, Massachusetts. She travels regionally, nationally and internationally to teach at retreats and conferences.

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