YOGA, SPIRITUALITY, AND PERSONAL GROWTH - Metka Zupancic, PhD, RYT 500
Dr. Metka Zupancic is a long-time Yoga practitioner who finds her major inspiration in the extraordinary teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar and his family. Yoga as a body-mind-spirit conjunction, with the necessary commitment to practice and personal discipline, continues to stay at the core of Metka’s connections with the fields of growth, healing, and trust.
Metka first experienced the benefits of Yoga during her doctoral studies in France where she also discovered vegetarianism as a way of life and not just a choice of a diet. The ethical dimension of how we live in the world and the footprints we leave behind us remains Metka’s basic preoccupation. Healing and growing through the eight limbs of Yoga, to the best of her capacity (and time, considering her professional involvement in higher education), has led her to explore various Eastern traditions. She has studied Reiki, in Slovenia and in the United States, to become a Reiki Master, and later Spring Forest Qi Gong with the teacher Chunyi Lin), while continuing to honor the Buddhist wisdom and compassion, such as expressed in South-Asia and in the Himalayan mountains. Metka considers that the term Yoga (the connection with the Divine within us and around us) is best suited to describe her spiritual quest. Her interest in archetypal psychology, together with her love for etymology that shows common roots beyond separation, helps her find unity between disciplines, while she also acknowledges how different schools of thought and different approaches help develop a variety of skills and insights.
Metka’s Yoga credentials include her certification from Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (1997), during the time she lived in Canada. After moving to Alabama, she got certified with Betty Larsen and John Charping at their SIYI institute in Nashville, TN (class of 2002). Various workshops in the Iyengar Yoga tradition allowed her to study with Roger Cole, Judith Hanson Lasater, Dean Lerner, and Ramanand Patel, among others, while she also experienced Purna Yoga with Aadil Palkhivala, and was exposed to Viniyoga, mainly through teachings of Kausthub Desikachar and Gary Kraftsow. In France, she particularly cherishes classes and workshops with Lydie Drivière, in Tours.
Dr. Zupancic is a member of The International Association of Yoga Therapists (iayt.org), and a registered yoga teacher at 500 hours of certification, with the Yoga Alliance. The account of her Yoga activities at the University of Alabama has been published in a shortened version under the title “Teaching a Holistic Approach to Yoga in an Academic Setting” in Yoga Therapy in Practice, published by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2008: 10-14. The original longer version of the paper is available on this web site.