Utah Valley’s First Yoga Center
Teaching the practice of awakening your mind, spirit and “Bodhi”, since 1998
Bodhi Yoga™ is a therapeutic style of yoga that benefits beginners and challenges advanced students of any age or ability. The Bodhi Yoga style is an evolved way of understanding what yoga is, and what it can do for you, as well as, how to use that knowledge:Using time under tension
Bodhi Yoga™ is a slower paced yoga, where we teach you to pay as much attention to how you move in and out of the yoga poses, as being in the postures themselves. Our focus is on creating the space for increased stamina, resilience and awareness in your practice and your life. When we slow down our breath and movement together, the intensity and focus of your practice deepens into something brand new; a style of practice that fosters both emotional intelligence, maturity and appreciation.A Practice of Abundance
“Bodhi” is a sanskrit word that means “Awakening”. At Bodhi Yoga™ our practice is designed to help you be more aware; better able to notice and understand how your yoga moves your body, mind, emotions and spirit toward a place of balance and abundance. Over time, the result is that you are able to naturally increase your tolerance for that wonderful awareness. We honor your yoga practice as a great tool to bring the abundance you learn in class, outward to enrich every other area of your life.Sanskrit for “Completion”
The Bodhi Yoga™ logo is a mandala, based on the center of the “Wheel of Dharma” (one of the oldest symbols for spirituality) with spokes that bring truth from all directions into its center wheel. Using mandalas as a focal point in meditation, is said to activate, re-pattern, and connect-up a psychic blueprint for balance and awakening.
- The Bodhi mandala not only represents a Lotus (traditional Yoga symbol for infinity), it also resembles the retina of an eye; as Bodhi is the Sanskrit word for Awakening.
- The parallel line border represents the logic aspect of the mind. The points of the twelve petals represent the dynamic, fire aspect of the personality.
- The curves on the petals represent the soft, watering flow between the conscious mind and the psyche, the physical world and the Absolute reality of the realms of the Spirit.
- The garland of 24 small circles (two for each petal), represent a bright outlook and joy in completion-coming full circle in every aspect of interplay between masculine and feminine, yin and yang, ebb and flow.
- The center ring of circles are a reminder that time is not a linear line but a never-ending spiral through consciousness.
Combined, these various aspects become a symbolic, visual template for a complete human being, who can live balanced in the healthiest way possible between the spiritual and physical world…lending value and authenticity to both.
We offer four separate styles of Bodhi Yoga™ classes to give you the greatest opportunity for developing a long-term, well rounded personal practice. Click here to learn more
Syl Carson, Bodhi Yoga Founding-Director
Syl began doing yoga over 18 years ago. When she first discovered the practice, she was excited to find that many of the things she learned to be “yoga”, she had been practicing her entire life.The need for a therapeutic approach
Syl’s personal practice took on a therapeutic flare, in 1998 when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, while living in Texas.
At the recommendation of her doctor, (who was from India), she sought out a teacher with a broader understanding of the Yogic lifestyle. Under the guidance of Wendy Logan, (the woman she considers her first traditional yoga instructor), Syl began using her Yoga practice as a complimentary therapy for her new health challenges. She realized, through deeper study and guidance, that there was much more to yoga than just a great way to stay in shape.Teaching what we know so far…
In 1998, Syl returned to Utah Valley, to find that there were no yoga classes available to attend. She spent many hours studying the practice on her own, delving deep into Yoga’s history and wisdom as a body/mind practice. This same year Syl was approached by several residents of Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort to teach what she had learned so far, an early experience that “lit her fire” as a teacher. Since that time she has been teaching classes at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, where she was born.
A lesson Syl learned from BKS Iyengar, is in keeping a beginner’s mind, yoga will always stay fresh for you. Though she never planned on teaching yoga to others, this early invitation, is a sincere mantra that is followed today a the Bodhi Yoga Center. We are still, simply teaching what we have learned so far; open to the limitless possibilities and approach in the practice.A Pilgrimage in the Practice
During this early time in her teaching, Syl also traveled, studying with many enlightened yoga teachers, from Ashtanga’s Richard Freeman, to Rodney Yee, Ganga White (also called the Architect of American Yoga, author of “Standing on the Shoulders of the Past”), and many others. On this path, Syl was also introduced, by Wendy, to the best-selling author, Pema Chodorn, a Buddhist nun who established the first monastery in the West (located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia).
Syl’s exposure to Pema, helped her realize that she was using Yoga as a catalyst for something called: “Bodhi”, the Sanskrit word for Awakening. Her practice began with awakening to where she could take her yoga poses, then branched out into how she could improve her physical and emotional health, by raising her level of awareness.
In the practice of yoga she was awakening to the emotional and spiritual conversations of living with chronic pain, as well as increasing her ability to be more fully alive and vital with in her unperfected body. Teaching yoga to students gave her the chance to serve others, through the same practice. Yoga had spilled over the edges of her yoga mat, and into her life’s work, where Bodhi Yoga™ was born.
All of the teachers at Bodhi Yoga have a great story, and have learned through a wealth of life experience to share the best possible nuances of the practice with you!
- Bodhi Yoga was born from the personal evolution of the early students that have graced our presence over the years. Many of them are still at practice in the Bodhi Yoga center today. It is through their inquiry, that we have become what we are…so far…and your presence that will determine what we each become, from here.
This High Place
On the journey of awakening through her yoga practice, when Syl would come out of a deep back-bend, or strong primary series, she experienced a sense of euphoria. In her practice with Rodney Yee, she learned to call this a “white-out”. Through her early days of teaching and practicing, this euphoric space of safety and peace amidst intensity felt familiar; almost like a nostalgia, but from no where she had ever been.
She described her experiences in savasana that followed practice, like a white field high on a mountain, surrounded by the unseen presence of all sorts of family she had never known. From this intuitive sensing, discovered in the depth of her yoga, Syl named the studio White Mountain Yoga-dedicated to “Bodhi”, the Sanskrit word for Awakening. White Mountain Yoga L.L.C remains the parent company of Bodhi Yoga today.
The slogan for the first yoga center opened in Utah Valley in 1998, described this healing euphoria, that new students can often experience in the practice:
This High Place
this high place
like a whisper from childhood
and the clear white light
of a snow covered mountain peak
presence of heart
openness of space
more real than memory
Today, it is our assumption, that the familial presences Syl experienced in her early practice, were those of the many students, who continually pass through our doors.Answering the Call to Mentor
In 2002, several students again asked Syl if she would consider certifying them as teachers. Like her first invitation, she was asked just to teach them what she had learned so far, and certify them to pass along what they learned from her to others. She contemplated these requests mindfully, as she began writing six yoga series of study, filming a series of DVDs and CDs, facilitating workshops and appearing on morning television. Over the course of a two year time-frame, an initial teacher certification curriculum was written that would give students an immersive mentoring experience.
In 2005, Syl lead the first yoga teacher training in Utah Valley, and began pre-development of several other programs, that would also fit well with the concept of an awakening style of yoga practice.Yoga is the Guru, the teacher is the guide
In 2007, after using a variety of locations, the current Bodhi Yoga facility was opened. This same year, Syl had been invited to be an annual guest speaker at the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, at Brigham Young University. The experience of teaching students participating in the Marriott School of Management MBA program, was again pricking her consciousness.
As a result from several of the students questions that arose in her lectures at BYU, Syl was motivated to sit in a series of personal meditations. The inquiry she took to her meditation pillow, in the new CottonTree facility, focused on how, both the yoga center and her life’s work, were to evolve. She was surprised at the inspiration that not only directed her to take on the primary name of “Bodhi Yoga” for the yoga center, but also as an appropriate description of the style of yoga she had evolved into teaching others.
The students and teachers at Bodhi Yoga have mused often, at the ancient yogic practice of a student receiving a new name from his or her Guru. Traditionally, a student would be given a new name at the time when strong “Tapas” (a fervor for practice and study) had tempered and matured their awareness into a new and more authentic identity. Anciently, taking on a new name on the yogic path, was a rite of passage, a natural evolution. The new name would represent the essence of who they had always been, revealed over time, through their journey; and so it is with Bodhi Yoga™.
At Bodhi Yoga, by simply showing up to classes, workshops, certifications, etc., students and teachers alike, give ourselves permission to mature in the practice. If you are interested in delving deeper into the wisdom and traditions of yoga, we invite you, to learn more about our certification programs HERE
Our vision is to create a yoga community of like-minded teachers, students and apprentices, that approach yoga from an awakened perspective. At Bodhi Yoga, our primary intention is to facilitate your personal yoga practice, within the walls of the center.
As yoga has come west, the modern approach to this ancient practice has added all sorts of commercial aspects, to make offering this wonderful modality more profitable. While we understand the paradox of return on assets in the business culture, at Bodhi Yoga, our primary aim is to preserve the essential aspects of the practice, with as few commercial distractions as possible.
We do our best to retain the feel of the neighborhood yoga studio, no phones, or cash register; just a sacred space, and the echo of an OM, where the essence of who we are, deep inside, is allowed to surface.By setting the external distractions aside, we foster the ability to lace the peace in the present moment, with the potentials of the rest of our life. Patanjali, the father of yoga , put it like this:
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds, your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world…Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive in you, and you discover yourself to be a greater person, by far, that you ever dreamed yourself to be.”We’re honored by the opportunity to serve as guide, while the Guru of yoga teaches you how to feel more healthy, happy and vital. Each yoga experience you have here is as individual to you as your own finger-print. We cherish the opportunity to assist you in discovering the wisdom and power of yoga, as you develop a supportive and life-long practice.
Everything we offer is simply a suggestion. Our desire, is that through your practice at Bodhi Yoga (whether in person, or online), you find the support that benefits you in ways that bring renewed depth and breadth to your life.