Judy's Story Founder, Sweet Lovin' Yoga
This is my story.
I am passionate about the tradition and origins of yoga. I have nursed this passion since 1997 when my college girlfriend Kathy invited me to my first yoga class in a Denver studio. I focus on teaching the science and art of Viniyoga, a lineage that also contributed to the field of yoga therapy. The Viniyoga lineage can be traced back to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who was a pioneer of modern yoga to the Western world. His son T. K. V. Desikichar and later Gary Kraftsow created and refined Viniyoga into a science and art form for wellness and personal transformation. I learned from two teachers: Gary Kraftsow's student Tracy Weber and Tracy Weber's student John Wilson right here in Seattle, Washington. I feel immensely grateful that I received the purity of Viniyoga transmitted through these teachers.
If you're wondering what Viniyoga is, the simple answer is that it is yoga designed to be adaptable to you, the physical you, the intellectual you, the emotional you, the energetic you, the soul you, the entire you. The center of the Viniyoga model is the whole you. You can learn more by visiting the American Viniyoga Institute's website
I begin by learning about each client, and then teach Viniyoga exactly where the client is in his or her life's journey. Here are four examples illuminating how I use Viniyoga to help my clients, who range in age from 2.5 years old to 74 years old.
Atlas, 2.5 year-old Toddler
Atlas enjoys the fun movement and breath activities that I introduced in the comfort and familiarity of his home. We played with toys that led into animal poses and we moved into a story posing as that animal while imagining our way through a wild forest seeking a magical banana.
Arlene, 74 years old
Arlene needed confidence and balance in her inner life; I designed a personal home practice for Arlene that she continues to practice at home with the company of her cat Pearl while in isolation during the pandemic.
Bobby, 73 years old
Bobby needed rehabilitation after his knee surgery, and I introduced gentle and safe chair Viniyoga movements and breath practice. Bobby shared, "Judy helped me learn to enlist my entire body to recover my strength and balance. Also, she helped me re-center my life energy after a hectic time period."
Rikki, 29 years old
During the early period of the pandemic, Rikki sought my solutions at multiple levels. She requested, "[Physically] to release tension and tightness in my neck, upper shoulders, and hips; [Emotionally] to decrease anxiety, compassion fatigue & burnout, decrease sadness, increase joy & happiness; [Energetically] to relax, and to feel more energetic and equanimous. And to practice self-care and mindfulness." By our sixth session, we arrived at a 60-minute home practice that she would integrate while she was in a news-feed zoom meeting working from home. When the opportunity of integration was possible, Rikki placed her work laptop on the floor next to her yoga mat and practiced my prescribed Viniyoga sequence with expanded awareness, simultaneously tuning into her zoom meeting and her inner self.
I am a Viniyoga teacher, not a yoga therapist. Science has demonstrated that yoga produces encouraging efficacy when it is practiced as an augment to existing prescribed medical treatments. I highly recommend seeking the advice from your doctor about doing yoga to supplement your primary treatment(s) before doing it.
How did I get here? The year 2017 was significant in further defining myself. I resigned from my IT job and concentrated my life in helping others find peace in their inner life through yoga so they can be better equipped to handle disturbances. Prior to that, I partly measured my success by the accredited mainstream education I received. I have a bachelor's of science degree in Business Administration, Computer Information Systems from Colorado State University and a master's in Telecommunications from Denver University. In demographic terms, I am a female Vietnamese immigrant who has been exposed to early childhood trauma, refugee conditions, domestic violence, addiction, and living with family members who suffer from PTSD and violence. I have found yoga to be healing and I teach it to others to help them heal. Currently, I am continuing my education in trauma-informed yoga, non-violence communication, and permaculture design that integrates a place of teaching Viniyoga to my neighbors and local community.