Parayoga Photo

Rod Stryker, the founder of ParaYoga and one of the most respected Yoga teachers in the country is coming to Annapolis, Maryland: February 29th – March 4th. 
I didn’t feel I knew enough about Para Yoga to do this post justice, so I asked Lynn Matthews, one of my teachers, student of Rod’s and host of this workshop to do a ‘guest post’ about the event.  She started with a quote….

“There is a pristine place in each of us that is of the same stuff that lights the most distant star. Recognize it and discover a power and insight that will guide you to flourish in every area of your life.” –– Rod Stryker

What is ParaYoga?

ParaYoga is one of the country’s fastest growing most respected styles of Yoga today. Developed by master teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker, ParaYoga links students and teachers of all levels to the power, spirit, and tradition of Yoga.  ParaYoga is dedicated to sharing the essence of these timeless teachings in ways that enhance all aspects of modern life. ParaYoga provides students the rare opportunity to experience a complete approach to practice.  “Para” means supreme, ancient, highest, the culmination of all effort. ParaYoga offers students of all levels access to the entire range and sacred power of Yoga.

ParaYoga is based on the Six Gems©, ancient teachings that unlock “supreme” accomplishment in practice and life. The authoritative ancient texts of the Hatha Yoga tradition describe Yoga as a journey that culminates in sublime success and happiness. That is what ParaYoga offers….the perfect alchemy of Asana, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra, Visualization, Meditation, Chanting, Kriya, and Mantra.  More and more students are finding that not only are the techniques “other than Asana” accessible, but in the hands of a knowledgeable ParaYoga teacher, they link one to the very heart and true power of Yoga’s potential. That’s the eye-opening experience that ParaYoga provides. Suffice it to say: experience leads to understanding.

Rod Stryker

The founder of ParaYoga, Rod Stryker, is widely considered to be one of the preeminent yoga and meditation teachers in the United States. He is renowned for his depth of knowledge, practical wisdom, and unique ability to transmit the deepest aspect of the teachings and practices to modern audiences and students from all walks of life. Rod has taught for more than thirty years, training teachers, leading corporate seminars, yoga retreats, and workshops throughout the world.  Rod is the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity and Freedom. He is on the advisory boards of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, the Give Back Yoga Foundation and Yoga International magazine. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Himalayan Institute.

My first meeting with Rod…

I met Rod in 2002 when I took a weekend workshop with him.  Although I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, there was something incredibly profound in his teachings.  In 2004, Rod became my teacher and four years later I became one of the first Level II Certified ParaYoga teachers.  His teachings transformed my life and the way I teach.  I am thrilled to host him in the Annapolis area for the sixth consecutive year.  Rod is as dedicated to his family as he is to his teaching and as his children grow, he is traveling less and less.  I urge everyone to take advantage of this unique opportunity to study with a true master.

The training

The five-day training (8:30 am – 5:30 pm) starts each morning with a practice devoted to unfolding a particular teaching of the Yoga Sutras.  The afternoons deepen our exploration through lectures, additional practices, and Q & A sessions. The focus is to outline Yoga’s path toward self-mastery, and how Yoga can, if properly understood and practiced, remove those things that keep us from experiencing our highest aspirations. As a whole, the Training aims to exalt teachers and non-teachers alike by providing a vision to see oneself and one’s practice (and/or one’s students’ practice) with sublime understanding, compassion, and crystal-like clarity.

I have been teaching in the ParaYoga tradition for eight years and have watched it transform the lives of my students.  Yoga’s ultimate goal is to remember and reconnect to your true self and to thrive in every aspect of your life.  ParaYoga, with its focus on cultivating stillness and awareness, empowers students to shape their lives and live life more fully.

Cost for the training is $695 for the entire 5-day training – $650 early bird if registered by January 29th. After your enrollment, you will be added to an invitation only, closed Facebook group where you can seek or offer room shares and ride shares with other students in the training.  This group also serves as a forum to continue discussing the teachings after the training.

1/30/12 Update:

Early bird savings have been extended through February 4!
If you can’t participate in the full 5-day training, limited space has been opened for students to participate in the morning asana practices.  The investment is $65 per morning and sessions are from 8:30-11:30am daily.
You MUST be pre-registered to attend.  Please contact Lynn Matthews, for more information and to register.

About Lynn Matthews

After graduating from the University of Virginia and pursuing a career in information technology, chronic back pain led Lynn to yoga in 1997. Lynn has more than 3,000 hours of training and 5,000 hours of teaching experience and is both ParaYoga and Anusara certified.  She has created comprehensive 200-hour and 500-hour teacher training programs and has been training yoga teachers since 2006.  She directs and teaches her programs locally and nationally.  Co-founder of Golden Heart Yoga in 2004, Lynn sold the studio in 2009, but continued to teach her classes and teacher trainings there until recently.  She now teaches at Prana Studio and in Davidsonville overlooking the South River.

She is partnering with Anne Arundel Community College to continue to offer her Professional Yoga Instructor program in the county at both the 200 and 500-hour levels. The trainings explore the richness of the yoga tradition, allowing students to expand their knowledge, deepen their practice and enrich their lives.  The programs begin June 2012.

Lynn is very accessible and asked me to include her e-mail address ( so that students and teachers could e-mail her directly.  To stay up to date with Lynn’s classes, yoga vacations (including Costa Rica, Southern Spain and Sedona, Arizona), workshops and trainings, be sure to ‘Like’ her Facebook page at:  You can also visit her web site:


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