Have you ever met one of those people who just radiates all things beautiful and good from the inside out? Someone who makes you feel happy and energized, yet relaxed, just by being in his or her presence? That’s Liana. I first met her one evening at Temple of the Lotus. She had an air about her that was so genuine and inviting, and as soon as she mentioned hoop and fire dancing, I knew I had to learn more.
I made a visit to her adorable home in Philadelphia, and she had me looking at my life with a new light within minutes of even being there. We sipped tea (Lilavati’s tea!) and lounged on her balcony with the subtle sound of wind chimes in the background… talking about relationships, time, life… and bits of Liana’s journey to where she is now. Every word she spoke had a certain wisdom about it – a young wisdom. The type of wisdom that makes you realize that maybe you already hold all the answers you’re looking for… you just have to tap into them.
Liana is a woman of many talents, and there are three main aspects to the work she does currently. First, there’s yoga, which helps to free us to live within our physical bodies. Liana describes this as helping us to “move through all the programs that we’re operating in that are limiting us… like self-imposed cages” – which I think paints quite a vivid picture. She’s taught classes and workshops all over the place, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art all the way to Montezuma Gathering in Costa Rica, but you can find her most often at Dhyana Yoga, as well as her home studio — both right here in Philly. Dhyana and Lilavati have both been paramount in Liana’s yoga and healing journey.
Next, there’s Access Bars — a concept that was completely and utterly new to me, but now I’m very much intrigued. Liana has been exposed to holistic healing therapies for quite some time, through her mom, who also does energy work. There were many she could have gotten deeply involved with – like Reiki or EFT – but each time she was introduced to a new method, although she thought it was great, there was always something inside of Liana that said “there’s a quicker, more efficient way to do what this is doing.” Achieving maximum benefit for minimal effort has always been a common thread in Liana’s life – not the easy way out, but more of just the best, logical way to do something — so when access bars crossed her path, it felt like a total match to the way she’s always viewed things.
According to Liana, “Wherever we’re holding beliefs and judgments and points of views, they become polarized, either positive or negative.” And since that puts us on one side or another, Liana says this is a limitation of wholeness, or oneness. What Access Bars does is brings us back to neutral, so to speak. It “releases you from those programs so you can access more of your consciousness; you’re able to see more. You don’t get stuck as much to right, wrong, good, bad. It allows you to have more space in your brain, and since our thoughts become our reality, our reality changes. Now we have more space, we’re not holding close to us the manifestations of those limiting beliefs.”
So how does it work? You first lay down and relax on Liana’s table. She touches your head in 32 different points, and your own energy runs through points, creating something like a bar of energy. Liana can feel vibrations and pulsations at these spots, so when she’s at the right spot, she knows. She’ll hold that spot for however long it needs to run, and as your own energy runs through those two points, it seems to clear out that which does not need to be there – like deleting excess files from a computer.
“It’s actually a really great complement to yoga,” Liana says, “because if you’re doing the asana practice, which is an amazing way to keep the physical body, the glands, everything working in balance… during that whole process we’re working on our mind, too. Bars assists with that because Bars assists with that because it helps the mind become more flexible and deals directly with our samskaras.”
*”Samskara” stems from the Sanskrit word “sam” (complete or joined together) and “kara” (action, cause, or doing). Samskaras can be our own personal patterns, as well as the singular ideas or actions that, together, is what our conditioning consists of. The more samskaras are repeated, the more naturally they come — making it harder to break a certain pattern.* (Source)
After such a treatment, Liana’s clients leave feeling a lightness and sense of space they hadn’t felt prior… “It’s as if you were in a small room before and now you’re in a big room,” she says, adding that everybody’s face always seems to have a glow to it afterwards.
Then there’s fire dancing and hoop dancing, which Liana first discovered just two months after moving to Philadelphia, in 2007. She walked into a party and was immediately drawn to a guy named Lucky, who was beautifully fire dancing – it was as if the music was dancing him. At that very moment Liana knew that this was something she wanted in her life. This fire dancing man soon after brought her to a spin jam… The garage door opened to the party and Liana could not believe what she saw inside: “There was a DJ spinning music, there were lights all over, there were people spinning fire, spinning hoops… Everything that you can spin was being spun – by these beautiful people,” and Liana thought to herself, “You guys are just hanging out right now – this is amazing!” This was all happening at an incredibly hard time in Liana’s life, where she describes herself as a “shell of a person.” It was as if the music and fire literally ignited a flame within her. “It really was what brought me back into myself,” she says. And many of the people she met that night became part of her soul family here in Philly.
Liana does hoop and fire dancing performances often – I can’t wait to see her in action. She also co-founded Hoop Vinyasa, which is a fusion of hooping and Vinyasa – her big project at the moment. She and her two partners are looking to get teachers all over the place – they actually just did their first teacher training. Incredible. I had her show me some of her moves, and I was just in awe at how gracefully she moved about, as if the hoop was a physical part of her.
For one person to be so involved in such a multitude of things and still float around with such positivity, such a sense of calm, just totally blows my mind. “I want to be like you,” I admitted to Liana, as I was packing up my things. And you know what she responded with? “I want you to be like you.” Of course that’s what she said… going on to add that we’re all a reflection of one another. What a beautiful soul.
One more thing. If you ever find yourself at Down Dog Healing Café, make sure you try one of Liana’s Lil Devis cookies: vegan and gluten-free… and absolutely to die for.
Liana is also an Access Bars facilitator and holds classes where you can become a certified bars practitioner. Her next one is on 12/1. She also has a bunch of Hoop Vinyasa workshops coming up at Dhyana Yoga – go here for details!
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