Chaya Sharon Heller - Ayurveda, Ayurveda
Total years in practice: 20
Chaya began looking at life from a holistic and artistic perspective at an early age, valuing her freedom and ability to live her purpose above all odds and against her circumstances. She graduated from Northport High School and after studying dance at SUNY Brockport, completed her degree from Queen’s College, making the Dean’s List, with a degree in Home Economics, specializing in food science and went to work at St. John’s Hospital and shortly after promoted to St. Vincent’s Hospital in NYC as a Graduate Dietitian. She was continually devoted to health and teaching fitness classes, transitioning out of the hospital work to return to dance classes, working as a professional dancer in NYC for over 10 years, traveling the world performing, and teaching dance at NYU and NYC dance studios, until overwhelmed by familial stress and physical limitations she made her way to yoga for healing physically, mentally and emotionally. Around 1995, she had a meditation experience where she realized she was more than her name and started using her other given name Chaya, meaning life. About a year later, she found Integrative Yoga Therapy, the yoga teacher training program that she now teaches, and Kripalu Center where she immersed herself in the culture, and absorbed herself in yoga, Ayurveda and massage and worked for 10 years. While living at Kripalu, Chaya had the opportunity to study and work with leaders in the field of yoga therapy, holistic health education and Ayurveda and also became a licensed massage therapist, and a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, and presented programs at Kripalu, Canyon Ranch and Omega Institute, in between working at a therapeutic boarding school as a house parent and yoga and health educator, and traveled to study in India several times.