Dharma Yoga Syracuse
Driving through Liverpool and passing Heid’s corners, its hard to miss the triangular building with the word YOGA in its windows. Dharma Yoga Syracuse has brought a wide array of teachings to many dedicated students in its 15 year lifetime. The center offers many different types of classes all rooted in yogic teaching. An early class known as “how to veg” evolved and became a 3 week long Conscious Eating workshop. For many years it was the only place outside of Dharma Yoga NYC to offer their 200 hour teacher training. There is a vegan cookbook club and potluck on the first
Saturday of every month. Sound journeys, consisting of gongs and crystal singing bowls being played during relaxed meditation, over time gave way to training in both of these instruments. Of course, the key focus of the center is yoga!
Saraswati Om finds Dharma Yoga
Long gone are the days when yoga students practiced on cut out rectangles of carpet. In early years yoga mats were not widely available and yoga specific centers were few and far between. The roots of the center trace back to 1996 when Saraswati Om began teaching, moving between community centers and other rentable spaces. As her following of students grew, she was eventually teaching 18 classes a week. In 2003 a series of unfortunate events would lead to the need for a real building, bringing about the creation of the CNY Yoga Center. Saraswati Om continued looking for a master yogi and in 2005 an article in an international yoga publication lead her to Sri Dharma Mitra. Saraswati was drawn to the teachings of Dharma, from his belief in veganism and ethical alignment, to his poses which were of the master level she had been seeking. Over the years between 2005-2009 many short classes and an 1000 hour advanced teacher training lead Saraswati to become part of Dharma’s staff.
Saraswati’s Path to Veganism
It was shortly after this time that CNY Yoga became Dharma Yoga Syracuse and joined this international yoga family. Dharma Yoga Syracuse’s owner and director, Saraswati Om has been a face in the vegan community since the early 90s. Her introduction to veganism was brought about by a few different life events falling perfectly into place. Starting with the first yoga class she took in 1990, where among many other limbs of yoga the ethical idea of Ahimsa was presented. Ahimsa is derived from Sanskrit and means “not to injure” and “compassion.” Around the same time, she read the book “A Diet For A New America,” by John Robbins. This book outlines how the meat industry is a detriment to animals, humans and the planet.Both of these events could have been enough to launch anyone on the path to veganism, but life would present one more opportunity. Saraswati would find support and solidarity in the hardcore music scene of the early 90s. Prime with social awareness, it also promoted a vegan straight edge lifestyle, which was a relatively new ethical stance that would grow into a national underground movement.
Dharma Yoga Syracuse Celebrates 15 Years
Dharma Yoga Syracuse will be holding its 15 year anniversary celebration on Saturday, September 8, from 11am until 4pm. There will be free 30 minute classes, workshops and food from vendors and a trained Ayurvedic chef. Finally wrapping up the day will be a donation based Sound Journey, with the proceeds to benefit Mockingbird Farm,Sanctuary.