Meet our Student of the Month for September: Diana Christopher! Diana is beautiful inside and out, and has a rich story to tell.
When she was 20 (she is now 72), and studying art, dance and humanities in Los Angeles, Diana had bouts of depression and lived with deep grief and anxiety. Serious spinal muscular-skeletal problems brought on an episode of extreme debilitating pain. She was diagnosed with scoliosis, an arthritic spur, a flattened disc, chronic muscles spasms/an unstable spine and pinched nerves. She was told that the surgery available at that time was likely to make the conditions worse, and so was not recommended. Decades of intense chronic pain followed.
Already a spiritual seeker, sorting through the world’s religions and philosophy, Diana began to seek pain relief and healing. This led her to her first yoga class in the early 1970s, and exposure to the philosophy, principles and practices of yoga through asanas, meditation, prana yoga, bhakti yoga/kirtan, jnana yoga, and karma yoga. A life-long journey had begun.
In the next 40 years, Diana studied diverse spiritual and holistic practices including psychic healing and reading, Esoteric Christianity and healing, transpersonal counseling psychology, transformational hypnotherapy, massage, Reiki and other deeper energy healing practices. In California, in 1992, she founded The Institute for Soul Healing and Spiritual Psychology, a platform which allowed her to ordain my students as Interfaith Ministers and provide certificates in clinical hypnotherapy and soul healing arts. In 2000 she worked at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, which led pioneering research into healing and consciousness. By 2003 Diana was living in Hawaii working with a pioneer of wild dolphin swim retreats! Also in 2003, Diana received this mantra through direct transmission:”Believe in the Love; Be anchored in the Love; Be the Love.”
These years of spiritual adventuring also included divorce, losses, failures and plenty of big trials and huge stresses. Her physical yoga practice was off-and-on and chronic pain continued to plague her periodically, but little by little her consistent work paid off and her health on all levels steadily improved. About 2 years ago, Diana started coming to Asheville Community Yoga, and this is what she has to say about her current practice: “I’ve sought and followed the guidance of our excellent teachers. This, along with remembering to utilize on myself other healing practices I have learned through the years, has allowed me to deal very effectively with the old and any new challenges. Now, at 72, I am healthier on every level, vastly more at peace and happier by far than I was in my 20s! I am incredibly grateful to our wonderful teachers, kind staff, loving community, and visionary founders of Asheville Community Yoga.”
Since Diana has joined this community, we have come to love and deeply appreciate this amazing woman. She has the glow of one who has devoted her life to spiritual practices. She gracefully volunteers at every opportunity, including offering her invaluable help at our recent Yogathon fundraiser.
Thank you Diana, for including us on your rich journey through life! You inspire us every day.