Welcome to Selfless Lotus Sacred Movement & Healing. This page is to share a short version of my story and the creation of my wellness business. I hope to give you an idea of who I am personally and professionally so even if we have never met before you can feel comfortable in my care.
I have been a practitioner of the healing arts for nearly half my life. I came into these practices as an individual that needed healing from past injuries, previous traumas, and abuse. In 1992 I started work in a foster home with emotionally disturbed children that put me on a path of self-inquiry and healing. My journey exploring what it is to be human and what it means to heal, continues today.
The foster parents were trained in a touch based emotional release therapy or “holding therapy”. A condition of my employment was to experience the therapy being used with the kids. I needed to experience it to understand it, so I would be able to assist the parents with the therapy when needed. That moment changed my life. I had my first deep internal healing that shifted my perception and life experience. As I spent the next several years working in the home, the healing work and transformation continued.
Having had a personal experience with the transformational power of touch I enrolled in massage school. In 1996 I graduated certified in Therapeutic Massage and have been actively working as a massage therapist ever since. I have had years in practice with doctors and chiropractors, in spas doing wet-room treatments, on-site chair massage, plus the experience of running my own massage business. My skills have developed from hours of creative problem solving in the treatment room and years of on-going continuing education.
Understanding that the physical body’s issues can often be rooted in emotional and psychological problems has led me to study different forms of energy-body healing. I completed a four-year Qigong Healing program taught by Damaris Jarboux at the Body Energy Center in Boulder, Colorado. I have trained in China, courtesy of the World Academic Society of Medical Qigong, where many different Qigong masters and doctors shared their wisdom to increase my understanding of these incredible healing forms. I am also a Reiki master. Sharon Snir, a gifted Gestalt Therapist and author from Sydney, Australia initiated me into Reiki healing. Sharon also instructed me in her model of psychological healing she calls the ‘12 Levels of Being’. This education into the invisible part of our nature continues to be rewarding, expanding my scope of practice far beyond the limits of the physical body, and allowing me to work more consciously with clients.
Yoga became a passion of mine when I moved to Los Angeles, California in 1998. It gave me the tools to heal myself from the aches and pains caused by dysfunctional movement patterns, old injuries, my massage work, and daily life. Yoga helped to deeply ingrain my understanding of anatomy and physiology allowing me to be a safer and more effective bodyworker. In the rich and diverse Los Angeles yoga community, I was initiated into the style of Iyengar, and the discipline of Ashtanga practice. I spent several years discovering Anusara and even played a bit in Kundalini Yoga with the world famous Gurumukh.
In 1999 I found myself in practice with Shiva Rea and I knew I had found a great yoga teacher. After over a decade of dedicated practice with Shiva, I finished her 200-hour teacher training in Prana Flow Yoga. Shiva also introduced me to Kalaripayyattu, the ancient martial arts form of Kerala, India, where I spent a month of intensive study and practice in 2010. Despite all the time and energy invested in practice with Shiva my body was not reaping the rewards and benefits I had been hoping for and was occasionally irritated by old injuries.
Waking up to a need for change in my yoga practice, Annie Carpenter became my yoga teacher. She offers a potent understanding of alignment while in practice, which she brings to all her classes. She developed SmartFLOW Yoga and became the teacher I wished to emulate, a rock of knowledge and professionalism. Many of her strong, agile students are also yoga teachers. There is a loving discipline in her room and I often leave class with a greater sense of integrity in myself. I intuitively know, even though I am consistently challenged by her teaching style, that this is something I need regularly.
I graduated the SmartFLOW Advanced Teacher Training Program and I have chosen to teach this method because I believe it works. I feel SmartFLOW honors the tradition of yoga while blending current scientific knowledge and understanding of the present age. Learning to use a combination of muscular stabilization and skeletal leverage assisted by breath can open fascia and change and improve the human structure. It is this wisdom I hope to bring to my students.
Additionally, I have had many practical years of experience as an educator. More recently as a Massage Instructor for the National Massage Therapy Institute in Falls Church, VA, teaching a full menu of Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology, massage technique and more. Previously in Los Angeles, I taught massage and energetic healing for the South Bay College of Massage. I have also been instructing yoga for over a decade.
I work to integrate the best of everything I know and weave it into an experience that leaves you more open, centered and grounded on all levels of being. I offer you my passionate commitment to help you achieve radiant health and wellbeing.
Thank you for your interest and consideration.
Ryan Daniel Smith
Selfless Lotus Owner & Operator