Natalie Valle

Background:

My background includes Sound Healing training through Soundology, as well as Yoga Instructor (RYT 200 in-progress), and meditation. Since I was very young, I knew I had a deep connection to spirit, but it wasn’t until I was older that I discovered my true roots and all of my ancestor spirit guides who provide me with guidance and wisdom.

Why I practice meditation:

I’ve battled the darkness that stems from the human condition, and through yoga and meditation have found my way back to the light. My own life experience taught me the beauty and art of loving yourself, how to heal from negative patterns, and truly manifest the life of your dreams.

Why I teach meditation:

I feel called to offer people a healing experience that will help them transmute any negative patterns that are holding them back from feeling light, aligned, and empowered. Using sound and meditation, along with other modalities that have helped me along my own journey, I help people create an experience that fits their unique needs and styles.

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Alex Joy Pucci

Background:

Alex Joy is a meditation teacher with over 8 years in the wellness and fitness industries. Alex Joy is an actress, and graduated for Columbia University with her MFA in Acting,. While she studied acting, she found another passion while developing her "side hustle"; as someone who was always committed to health and food, she received her Holistic Health Coaching certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and picked up a volunteer job coordinated events at The Open Center - NYC's biggest holistic learning center. While she was there she took classes in Chinese Medicine, Aryuveda and mediation. After a meditation retreat with Kripalu's founding member Thomas Amelio, she was hooked. She continued health coaching and later took to teaching indoor cycling all over NYC and later Asia, as she felt that pushing limits in one's body is its own kind of mindfulness training. Finally, after years of a personal practice, she decided to take her studies to the next level and enrolled in the Interdependence Project's Meditation Teacher Training and simultaneously received her Reiki certification and taught at lululemon athletica's HUB seventeen community space. Alex Joy can now be found teaching at spin at Flywheel in NYC, meditation to private clients, corporate clients through Journey Meditation, and is now thrilled to now be working with Unplug as part of their NYC team.

Why I practice meditation:

Why not?! Just kidding. My practice had help me find a deep level of compassion, has made me better able to regulate my emotions and stress, allowed me to see the beauty of impermanence in all things, and has helped me realise that true happiness and peace isn't reliant on anything external - everything we need we have, in each new moment, with each new breath. What greater gift is there?

Why I teach meditation:

I want to share the fruits of this practice with the world. It really needs it right now.

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Elena Safavi

Background:

Elena began her meditation journey at age 5, trained by her team of U.S. National figure skating coaches to visualize and find stillness to maximize performance. Living, training, and playing around the world, she has worked with mindful artists such as Dai Zaobab, Fawnia Dietrich, and Sofia Thom, gaining experience teaching mindful body movement. After completing undergraduate studies in Buddhism and Traditional Chinese Medicine at UC Berkeley, Elena expanded her area of experience, training under Debra Silverman as a certified astrologer, completing the Unplug 200-hour Meditation Teacher Training, and working with renowned sound healer, Andrew Clark. Elena’s mission is to bring a gentle, safe, and simple approach to a variety of intertwining and complex physical and energetic bodily systems that work together to bring out the highest version of each individual.

Why I practice meditation:

I practice meditation because it allows me to show up as my best version for those around me, as well as for myself. I feel calmer, happier, and am able to find more clarity in my thoughts and ease in my articulation.

Why I teach meditation:

I teach meditation because I wholeheartedly believe in these tools as necessities in a modern, digital society. The diagnosis numbers of depression and anxiety are rapidly increasing, as our society moves faster, grander, and more disconnected. Meditation has the ability to profoundly shift the world to a place of calmer peace, forming a community of happy, inspired, and empathetic individuals.

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Eric Ajna

Background:

Eric Ajna began his journey in 2007 after a near death experience that brought him into a deeper understanding of the nature of the mind and spirit, which dramatically altered the trajectory of his life as an LA based ambient music producer. Eric turned to clinical Hospice work and end of life care as a way to deliver higher spiritual counseling to terminally ill patients in their final days. He integrated various eastern wisdom teachings with alternative healing modalities as a way to alter the relationship patients have to the dying process. Sound and vibration played such an integral role in his own death that it inspired him to study the therapeutic effects of vibration on the mind and body. Eric uses a mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments along with his own voice to bring a more subtle, soothing and meditative quality into the lives of many.

Eric received his mastery in Reiki with the International Center for Reiki Healing and a secondary certification in Integrative Shamanic and Shakti Reiki as taught by Andrea Stark of The Tree of Life Healing Center in Pasadena. He holds residency at several yoga studios across the Southern California region and has also performed at festivals like Lucidity.

Why I practice meditation:

I've spent a number of years meditating on the mystical experience, becoming more intimately connected with the subtle awareness which communicates a language and sense of beauty more pure and sacred than anything I can put into words. Our direct source of communication with our highest most authentic selves will be in this space between silence and thought. By creating space in the mind, we are given the keys to understanding the basic fundamentals of our role as contributors in this world, which is to be loving, peaceful and compassionate to all that occupy our space with us. As one re enters the meditative state, a deeper understanding of reality unfolds and we begin to understand meditation not as a destination, but as the truest form of our own being-ness.

Why I teach meditation:

By re entering the meditative state, a deeper sense of truth naturally unfolds in the consciousness of each individual. It is a truth that dispels any curriculum of study into the quality of meditation as a teaching. We begin to understand that meditation cannot be taught but only understood through simple recognition of what is. If it is to be called anything, it could be looked at as an un-teaching. It is a subtraction. By unraveling the layers of thought we quickly begin to realize meditation as the most natural state, which has not arrived, though has always been present in us. When one is meditating, one is alive, present and profoundly human. It is our own illusion that prevents us from such a simple recognition that we are already there. We are meditation.

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Elias North

Background:

ELIAS NORTH - Gold- and Platinum Award Winning Music Producer & Sound Healer. Initiated and Prof. Certified Healer and Teacher within the Lineage of King Salomon.

Why I practice meditation:

I practice meditation to be of the highest Service to myself and others. Only a still mind can receive higher messages and alignment that is needed to bring more Peace and Healing to our World. Meditation holds the key to be the truest and most authentic self you can be.

Why I teach meditation:

We all are here to share our Passion. My Passion is to uplift others in everything I do - be it through Music, Healings or Teaching Metaphysics and Meditation. Meditation holds the key to empty and quiet the mind & release Stress so more of our innate Truth can flow through us. When we then apply this truth in our Lives we can create a circle and uplift others.

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Gwen Gaydos

Background:

Gwen Gaydos, Pharmacist, Women’s Holistic Wellness Coach, Reiki Master, Yoga & Meditation Teacher, and Animal Rights Advocate, began her personal transformation journey while working as a traditional pharmacist over 20 years ago. After seeing a Naturopath who changed her life, she expanded her field of expertise and became a holistic health counselor, herbalist, iridologist, Reiki Master, Life Coach, & Yoga & Meditation Teacher.

Gwen has been passionate about Yoga & Meditation for 20+ years, and is excited to bring this powerful ancient healing art and practice to you, wherever you are on your path of personal transformation and growth.

Why I practice meditation:

I believe the ultimate expression of self love is to give ourselves time and space just to "be". I practice meditation because it allows me the time and space to do this, deeply relax my mind, and connect to my true self and intuition completely. I have found it helps with anxiety, stress, depression, focus and most immediately helps to calm my very busy mind!

Why I teach meditation:

I want to share this beautiful tool and teach others so they can eliminate anxiety and calm the mind chatter to connect with their truest selves, which I believe is the key to living an authentic, passionate, purposeful life! I love teaching in a classroom setting because, from my own experience, it has given me the time, space and permission to practice meditation for a longer period of time than I normally would give myself at home! It has helped me to drop in more deeply, and feel super blissed out the whole day. It has changed my life, and I want this for you!

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Dr. Nikki Starr, M.D.

Background:

I began my call to healing as a medical doctor. During medical school I began practicing yoga and meditation, which began to shift my way of seeing the world. Travel transformed my vision of life too and by the time I was 25 I touched every continent except Antarctica. After completing my internship at NYU Medical Center, I realized that some of best prescriptions for a healthy, happy life include love, self care and conscious living. This sparked my personal spiritual journey and shifted my focus to alternative healing. Naturally my work shifted more to holistic coaching and healing session. On my journey I've also completed two Vipassana experiences and continue to teach classes, workshops and retreats worldwide.

Why I practice meditation:

I meditate because this practice supports me in embodying my truest self, it connects me to my heart center and allows me to live my fullest potential. Meditation has also helped to awaken my intuitive and healing abilities.

Why I teach meditation:

My personal mission includes elevating love on the planet as well as supporting humanity in our healing and spiritual awakening. Meditation is one of the best tools to facilitate healing, transformation and awakening in people.

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Joule L’Adara

Background:

Joule L’Adara, MFA, is an experimental vocalist, holistic vocal coach, and sound therapy practitioner based in New York City. 

Joule founded Sounding Circles LLC in 2009, through which she produces vocal empowerment and sound meditation play-shops for adults.  She created a unique group facilitation method which accesses the voice as a transformational tool, bypassing language in order to connect to pure emotional expression. In addition to being the US representative for German-based Therapeutic Instrument maker Feeltone, Joule trains sound healing practitioners internationally through live workshops, retreats, and an online certificate course. Her programs have been featured at the New York Open CenterIntegral Yoga InstituteBread & YogaThe Green Spa, Naturopathica Spa, The Dorot Institute, New York City’s Community Healthcare Network, The WOOM Center, Denver’s Samadhi Center for Yoga and Meditation, San Francisco’s Globe InstituteCommunity Arts Partnership (CAP)  of Los Angeles, and Kalani Oceanside Retreat in Hawaii. Joule has been producing her monthly series The Sound Soak - an immersive meditative live concert and “sound bath” - since the Fall of 2012. Most recently, she collaborated with Sound Meditation San Francisco, to launch the New York premiere of the Sound Healing Symphony: a large scale sound bath which 600 people were able to experience at Judson Memorial Church in June 2018. More large-scale events are in the works for the coming year. 

Joule recently launched her workplace branch Sounding Wellness which helps busy professionals access calm, increase their energy, and find balance through sound meditation. Sounding Wellness also offers team-building, leadership training, and vocal empowerment practices, focusing on the voice as a tool of influence, creativity, and authentic power. Joule’s team has worked with global firms including Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP, non-profits such as Planned Parenthood, and the start-up community through a partnership with WeWork Wellness. 

As a professional singer who has performed with The Metropolitan Opera and as a soloist in Carnegie Hall,  Joule is now Artistic Director of The Guided Imagery Opera: a classical vocal ensemble that performs experimental music-theater works incorporating elements of sound therapy and Guided Imagery and Music (GIM).  Joule’s original opera, Birth of the Wild Heart gave its premiere workshop production at New York City’s National Opera Centerin 2016 and received a developmental grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in a co-production with Stone Mason Projects in the spring of 2017.  Joule’s prior compositions include the electronic opera Das Inanna Project produced in Berlin, Germany.  As a recording artist Joule has been featured on several albums including the platinum-selling German group E Nomine released on Universal Music Germany. She has performed her original music in clubs and festivals across the US, Europe, and Australia.

Joule has invested many years in intensive training, developing a diverse skill set in various aspects of sound, voice, and self-expression. She holds a Masters of Music in Multi-Focus Voice and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a BFA in Theater from Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, and a diploma in Acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.  Joule developed her technical knowledge of the physics of sound through a diploma in Audio Engineering from SAE Australia. She holds multiple certifications as a sound practitioner from many institutions including: The Sound and Music Institute Integrative Practitioner Training at the New York Open Center, The Globe Institute for Sound and Consciousness in San Francisco, Vickie Dodd’s Sacred Sound School in the Pacific Northwest, Jonathan Goldman’s Healing Sounds Intensive Training in Loveland, Colorado, Acutonics Tuning Fork Practitioner Training: Levels I-V, Facial Soundscapes: Training Levels I-IV,  Harmonic Healing with Elfen Energy Chimes in Australia: Practitioner and Teacher Training, Feeltone Monochord Level I-II and Teacher Training.  She is a candidate for Fellow in the Bonney Method for Guided Imagery and Music (GIM), a multi-year training  from the Atlantis Institute of Consciousness and Music., and she is a Master-Level Reiki Practitioner. 

In September 2015 Joule gave a keynote speech at the Globe Sound Healing Conference in Oakland, California sharing the stage with top leaders in the sound healing community. In 2017 she was a speaker at the Emerging Women Live Conference in Denver and is currently a facilitator of Emerging Women Power Circles: an online intense group supporting women to grow their capacity for leadership, consciousness, and authenticity. Joule is currently working on Sounding Circles, the book: a guide for empowering communities through co-created sound. 

Why I practice meditation:

I practice meditation to come back to the deepest, sweetest, fullest, yummiest version of myself: the place inside where there is no separation, only wholeness; where I feel complete within and without. It's a tremendous relief and a glorious wonder to suspend all the doing and enjoy simply being.

Why I teach meditation:

It’s part of my life’s work to help people reconnect to themselves, their personal power, their body awareness, and access inner stillness where they can learn to receive unconditional support at any time!

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