Joyanna Maria has been a dedicated practitioner of the Vedic and Taoist yogas for most of her life. She was just 17 when the first wave of yogi gurus began arriving into America. Inspired by reading Swami Satchadanada’s “Hatha Yoga”, one of the first yoga instructional books published in America, she was introduced to the practice of yoga. Then, the words of Paramahansa Yogananda in “Autobiography of a Yogi” opened the door to an expanded dimension of life and possibilities.
Her enthusiasm for movement and the body led her to apprentice in a Swedish clinic in Fair Oaks, California in 1971 where she learned hydrotherapy and massage. Here, she experienced the power of hands-on healing as a transformative force and wellspring to health, with a growing vitality of body and mind.
She moved to Maui in 1979, an apex for many great yoga teachers. Her meeting with Patabi Jois introduced her to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, and she was fortunate to spend many hours studying and practicing under his guidance. She continued to study Ashtanga with Tim Miller, and Iyengar with Aadil Palkhivala , Rodney Yee, Rod Stryker and Desiree Rumbaugh. She has completed over 1000 hours in yoga teacher trainings including Integrative Yoga Therapy with Joseph Le Page, and Maya Yoga with Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini.
After moving to Maui she was licensed as a massage therapist in 1982. She has maintained a continuously developing therapeutic massage practice, first as co-creator of the Grace Clinic, and then the Dragon’s Den Healing Center and Herb Shoppe in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii. She currently operates Laughing Mountain Yoga Dojo in Kula, Maui.
She continued to explore the Taoist healing arts by undergoing training programs in Qi (energy) cultivation with many notable teachers. Her interest in the Chinese art of Qigong led to travel to China where she trained in the hospitals in the art of Chinese massage, tuina, as well as Qigong healing. She has learned from esteemed Chinese Taoist Masters, including Stephen Chang, Li Lao, and Zhong Xian Wu.
After completing many hours of specialized study, she began offering her knowledge to others. For over 30 years she has served the community by offering therapeutic massage as well as education in the areas of qigong and yoga, and women’s and youth groups with the focus of empowering self care, health and conscious lifestyle awareness.
“We nourish ourselves by being conscious and developing loving awareness for ourselves and others. When we inwardly smile, move in grace and with intention, we can breathe deeply and relax, connecting with our natural rhythms which are nature’s rhythms. Through practice we cultivate and empower true healing and vibrant health.”