How I came to Yoga?
“I am thankful for being introduced to the great science of yoga at age 9 and thankful for being a personality that was receptive to the concepts and philosophies. When I think of those early years, I think of my mother/my Teacher–and her unwavering patience in teaching me with love and persistence.
Influenced by Krishnamacharya’s teachings and Krishna Murti’s philosophies, I was brought into this beautiful lineage of yoga. When I think of yoga, I think of life. Through my life with yoga, I began to refine my awareness, my choices. I experienced moments of yoga–true integration beyond the limited body/mind. These moments were so potent that I felt compelled to practice more–to learn more. By age 14 I was practicing 3-5 times a week with my meditation teacher Dr Clayton McCracken.
As I continued to practice and sensitize, I felt a strong awareness of energy within me and around me yielding complete connectivity. This was the beginnings of Lila Yoga®. Lila Yoga® explores the possibility of living in brilliant ease by rejuvenating self-trust, awakening energy pathways within the body, and uniting them with the currents of energy around us. Using the body as a tool to understand the mind, Lila Yoga® is a philosophy in motion—a meditation in motion.” –Erica Kaufman
Bio: Erica Kaufman, MFA, E-RYT500+
Erica is a dancer, choreographer, yogini, and a Contact Improviser.
- Krishnamacharya’s teachings and studies at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India
- Krishnamurti’s philosophy and studies at Krishnamurti Foundation
- Florence Kaufman, her yogacharya mother who introduced her to yoga
- Dr Clayton McCracken, meditation teacher
- Founder of Lila Yoga®
- Holds the Highest Level of Registry with Yoga Alliance
- Practicing since 1975, teaching since 1984 since
- Yoga Journal noted Erica’s Lîla Yoga classes with its signature Karma Credit.
- Shambhala Mountain Center faculty since 2005 —offering annual Lila Yoga Retreats
- Formal studies in Body Mind Centering, Contemplative Dance, Authentic Movement, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Mindfulness Living, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique.
- Teaching Contact Improvisation since 1989
- In 2008 worked with Nancy Stark Smith to coordinate CI36 — the international, once a decade, celebration commemorating the inception of Contact Improvisation.
- India (2-3 months a year–teaching in Chennai, Bangalore, Goa and Rishikesh), USA, Europe, and Israel teaching seminars on Creativity, Improvisation, Movement & Reconciliation, Mindfulness, Dance, Contact Improvisation and Lila Yoga
- Pennsylvania State University
- Shambhala Mountain Center in the Colorado Rockies
- Lila Yoga Studios
- Conservatory at Point Park College
- Carnegie Institute
- University of Denver
- Visiting Professor: University of Marburg in Germany (visiting artist Fall ‘05)
- Guest Artist: Bewegungs-art in Freibrug
- Juniata College
Fun Fact: Since 2006, she has taught Lila Yoga, in its basic form, to Pennsylvania Deputies Sheriffs as part of their physical conditioning program.