“The Primary aim of yoga is to restore the mind to simplicity and peace, to free it from confusion and distress.” BKS Iyingar Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, Eds. Ranjana Sengupta, Dapali Singh, Sheema Mookherjee, Prita Maitra
My name is Hollie Hirst and I live to serve! I grew up running in the cornfields, hard wod forests and cow pastures of central Indiana. I spent my childhood climbing trees, singing and dancing, canoeing, riding horses, water skiing, wading in creeks and working in the family business.
My introduction to yoga asana was in the early 1980’s. My dance teacher had done some exploring of yoga and thus brought some of the practices back to the studio with her and shared them with us. Shortly after this introduction I began reading Yoga Journal and doing some exploring of my own. After being introduced to the transcendentalist writers, in a high school English and Literature class, I began my exploring meditation in order to support me in overcoming my troubles with insomnia.
It was in high school that I also began writing. I my first published pieces were poetry, in my high school literary magazine. I have recently had my writings on insights garnered from meditation and yoga published in Boulder Women’s Magazine and Elephant Journal online..
In recent years, as I have deepened my yoga practice I have come to realize that as a child, dance was my yoga because when I was in the studio dancing I was in the studio dancing. My mind was not wandering, I was not worrying about the past or stressing over the future. I was in the studio, in the moment, nowhere else.
After a few years of practical life experience I returned to Indiana and enrolled in Indiana University. Being a creature of diverse interests my studies were diverse, ranging from comparative religion, cultural studies, journalism, psychology, sociology, literature, political science, environmental biology, etc. In 1992 I studied for a semester in Costa Rica where I s tudied international relations, Latin American Literature, Spanish and the like. I earned a BGS with a concentration in Human and Behavioral Sciences.
After earning my BGS I continued on with post-graduate studies, in 2007 I earned a graduate level certificate in Organizational Management and Development with Fielding Graduate University. During this time I was also a volunteer Rape Crisis Hotline counselor for Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA)
It was in Boulder that I decided to revisit the passions of my youth and my love of creative movement. After reconnecting with my yoga practice I realized that yoga is where all of my strengths come together into a meaningful whole, thus I decided to study for my yoga teacher certification, which I earned in July of 2008.
Since then I have taught yoga at Boulder Quest Center (where I studied To Shin-Do from 2007 to 2010), but my most meaningful work is teaching asana, pranayama, and mindfulness meditation to survivors of trauma and violence. From 2008 to 2011 I was a volunteer legal advocate for the organization, Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN). I also taught yoga at the women's shelter during that time. In addition was also a member of the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) from 2010 to 2011. (Please do not hesitate to contact SPAN for references.)
It is my intent to continue to work with survivors of trauma, sharing the healing powers of yoga and mindfulness, especially with those struggling with post-traumatic stress. Because of my own experiences I bring a great deal of empathy, compassion, and formal knowledge to my clients. In May of 2010 I attended an intensive training through Bessel van der Kolk's The Trauma Center in Boston and earned my certification in Trauma Sensitive Yoga.
In addition in 2011 I received my Reiki Level One certification.