Sarahjoy Marsh (USA)
MA, E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, Author
Through her decades of work with a wide variety of people, Sarahjoy has created an accessible library of tools that develop the life skills people need to re-create health (both physical and mental); to internalize their sense of worth, belonging, and capacity; and to thrive emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
A sought after teacher of teachers, she leads multiple retreats, immersions, and trainings in the Pacific Northwest and internationally, and is a regular instructor at Kripalu Yoga Center and Breitenbush Hot Springs. Sarahjoy has been teaching retreats for 25 years. She also teaches 200-, 500-, and 800-hour yoga teacher and yoga therapy trainings in Portland, Oregon; as well as a 200-hour teacher training program in prisons for incarcerated adults to become yoga teachers on the inside.
Her book Hunger, Hope & Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Relationship with Your Body and Food outlines her unique approach to yoga for recovery; integrating powerful yoga and mindfulness tools with modern day psychological modalities for an effective and comprehensive approach to healing.
Committed to supporting marginalized populations and using yoga for social justice Sarahjoy founded Living Yoga and the DAYA Foundation.
Why do you practice yoga?
Yoga is an entire perspective, a life, a love, and a longing. Living in the longing, specifically, to help heal and nourish humanity (at least for the short time that I’m here), is definitely nourished by a daily physical yoga practice. The body simply wouldn’t “keep going” without it. With yoga, there is a deeper vitality available - supported by life and nature and love and grace. Every time I am on my yoga mat, this is revived. There hasn’t ever been, in 30 years of yoga, a practice in which this didn’t occur.
Yoga is also the call to daily service, kind of like going upstream in a rushing current of commercialism. I need my physical and pranic yoga practices to help me while I “swim against the currents” toward a wiser shore.
Yoga is the daily refreshing of our perspective amidst the madness, the chaos, the surge of the unconscious, in humans everywhere, to express suffering rather than to help relieve it. Yoga helps me to stay true to my life’s purpose: alleviating suffering when and where I can.
What mantra/quote/belief do you live by?
Metta: May all beings be free from unnecessary pain and suffering. May all beings, everywhere, be safe, nourished, and remembered.
There will always be people who need loving-kindness prayers from us. And, loving-kindness frees us from the temptations of frustration with or disappointment about humanity.
What’s been your biggest life challenge and how did your practice get you through it?
My biggest life challenge was definitely my eating disorder, and its accompanying self-hatred and shame. How I got through it? Check out my response to this in Hunger, Hope + Healing: A Yoga Approach to Reclaiming Your Life. (and your relationship to food and your body) It’s all in there!
What’s #1 on your bucket list currently?
I don’t have a bucket list. I don’t have any buckets. I do have several hammocks and I love international travel and service.