This past March I had the opportunity to attend Envision Festival.
I experienced amazing concerts, ecstatic dance, sound workshops, and some of the most life changing yoga classes! A few of those classes were led by international yoga instructor, Sianna Sherman. Sianna’s class challenged the students to dive deep into Mantra and learn that we are all interconnected on this Earth and in our yoga practice.
Meet Sianna Sherman, Envision Festival yoga instructor and founder of
What is your biggest joy of teaching at Envision Festival?
The interconnection, the interrelationship and intersection of yoga, the healing arts, the music, the eco-awareness, the sense of collective empowerment, family, and really honoring the earth.
The feeling of respect here and openness and receptivity of the radical inclusivity. Spiritual activism within the yoga and festival scene and that it’s for the evolution of who we are on the planet.
Why do you teach yoga? What inspires you to teach?
The great mother, the holy mother and the holy father. The Intermingling of god/goddess. A vessel of love and to be here to serve. To strengthen the alchemical vessel of who we are then getting out of our own way so spirit can move through us.
Tell me about your upcoming 300-hour teacher training in Bali. What should we expect and who is it for? Is there a theme around this training?
It is a Rasa Yoga 300-hour training. Anyone who has a 200-hour that wants to go deeper and wishes to learn the whole alchemical spectrum of yoga. There will be mantra, mudra, pranayama, shadow work, leadership, conscious communication, emotional intimacy and the relationship with our emotions that weave the tapestry of our being. The students come if they’re called from the spirit or want a refresh and rejuvenation.
We chose Bali because it is a sanctuary within nature. Another part is Ceremony and Rituals with the Earth and ocean. It has the land and the trees and is run consciously by people who very much care about Bali. We become part of it together.
If someone has never practiced Rasa yoga before, what could you tell them about it? Where does the energy flow with it?
It’s the whole body, but it’s physical and subtle. That’s a big thing. We dial into the intelligence, the creativity and the functional anatomy and biomechanics. It’s also about the whole magic of the subtle body working together. The flows are Fire and Nectar flows. The Fire stands for the governing origin of transformation. That kind of energy moves us. Then Nectar is what baths us and heals and rejuvenates. The way I teach in Rasa is that you want the energy of the practice to transform you, but not burn you out. You also want it to rejuvenate you without condoning your laziness or complacency. If you don’t move it you come into a place of dullness and stagnancy. The power of fire is to transform and distill so that the nectar can nourish, heal and restore you.
What is your modern day mystery school for women Ritual about?
It is a 13 moon mystery school for women who wish to serve the goddess and priestess. I train women as a priestess. A priestess wheel that moves through the moon. And how she learns ritual and ways to work with magic and ways of working with that part of her life so that she can really cultivate herself in this way. They learn medicine songs and a whole lot of things through empowerment, sacred tools and symbols of the priestess. I do this to lead moon circles and to bring community and women together.
On your website you wrote that yoga saved your life. Could you dive a little deeper on this?
It did. I’m 50 now. Ages 13-18 were super intense self sabotage on every level kind of years. I hit the underworld. Substance abuse, Anorexia, suicide thoughts and eventually attempts were part of this. At the same time, I was very academically accomplished which is how the world saw me. But I was dying on the inside. There were a lot of deep prayer and visions with the mother Mary. Back then, there was no way of understanding this experience as I grew up in a very conservative world. I was in a big confrontation but spirit made me see. Later on, I was in medical school and pulled out. I knew I wouldn’t last much longer so at 19 I sold everything.
I worked for the Nelson Mandela campaign. I had a meltdown at a 2000 person vigil where a photographer came and took photos with very loud shutters. It snapped something inside of me and I broke out into tears. I realized I was in prison and had to free myself out. Right after that, the Berlin Wall came down and everything in me cracked because of walls around my heart. I eventually went to work with teenagers and helped them through these tough times. Yoga came into my life and by 21 I started traveling to India and all over the place.
Then I met my Irish teacher (A Celtic Priestess) and I became happier and happier.
Why do you bring chanting into your classes?
And how do you think chanting highers the vibration within the yoga student and within the class as a whole?
Everything is energy, frequency, and vibration.
Songs, sound and using our voice is connecting the whole gateway of our being physically and subtlety. Even if people have never done it before or resistant, it will start to sync up and change the vibrational field as a collective and recalibrate our cells and dna. It is healing our bodies.
It will open up the mind body connection and the neuroplasticity within the body and the intelligence within the cells over time if we step into mantra.
Man- To think and to feel.
Tra- A device, a tool, and an instrument.
Traverse- To connect them so they’re integrated into their whole beingness.
Mantra- A tool and instrument to heal and protect the mind and heart.
Mantra is medicine. Very specific mantra is very different medicine. Mantras all have medicine and are connecting the field in an interrelated way.
When we awake the heart energy and touch on the ancestry in our blood lines, we start changing our life through the mantra and the practice.
Do you have a prayer or mantra that you’re currently bringing into your own practice?
Abundance which is called: Flame of Love Community
This is to help people align and recalibrate with the codes of abundance within them.
Om shreem maha lakshmiyei swaha
(Prosperity of the heart and being. Love and harmony with all beings. And True abundance)
Yoga is an invitation to the soul, not an obligation. It’s beautiful to be alive. Let’s practice and let’s sing, chant, evolve and change the world together! We gotta call everyone home again. Mantra does that.
What do you feel your purpose of being at Envision Festival is?
I come because I’m invited and I love it. I genuinely love Costa Rica and have taught here for 23 years in a row. Costa Rica is home for me and my purpose is to serve however that might be. Right now I’m being asked to serve through the teaching of yoga and I’m so happy to serve. To help people remember the whole alchemy of the practice of yoga and for the artistry of our lives. To honor the inner tug on our souls as devotional beings.
How do you see your feminine energy or presence expands Envision Festival?
One of the empowerment’s of feminine energy whether it comes through a man, women or however someone identifies is the energy of embrace and of real respect. And listening in such a way where we honor the depth of the soul beauty in other people. Blessing the energy of all of us and the interrelationship of how we’re all connected. I always say we all belong to each other to bear witness together and to be part of the transformation together.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring yoga teachers or studio owners, what would it be?
Truly practice whatever it is you’re called to practice and be committed to practice. To trust your embodied wisdom and trust the wisdom that’s coming through. Your practice is going to source you to real wisdom. Don’t worry about impressing, getting it right or about the agenda. But do plan, show up and do your own shadow work so you can be an accountable leader and teacher. Also when stuff comes up with students and when projection hits, you won’t take it so personally. Accountability is essential for leadership. Be willing to be able to say sorry. Trust your embodied wisdom. Keep practicing, keeping growing and learning. The more that you learn and embody and the more that the wisdom comes through, the more you can share that. It never ends.
Connect with Sianna Sherman