A brief encapsulation of my personal and profound journey to yoga: As a child I played soccer and softball and other sports year round, as well as riding horses competitively. I continued playing sports in college at Chico State, walking on as a freshman to the softball team and joining the snowboard club. Through my graduate pursuits culminating in a Masters of Arts in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, I found other athletic interests to fulfill my inner athlete. From half marathon running to bikini body building shows, I worked passionately to reach these goals. Finding that with each completed goal a new interest was sparked. With an athletic background it was a very natural transition developing myself as a professional personal trainer. First training at Equinox in San Francisco, and then ultimately landing in Los Angeles and continuing to train for Equinox in Santa Monica until I retired to the private training arena.

It was in San Francisco that I fell in love with yoga and experienced my first teacher training. I practiced at Urban Flow with Rusty Wells, whose voice was as heavenly as his sequences were profound. I had never been so physically challenged and emotional opened by movement and chanting. My fascination with yoga led me to India for a summer intensive to study under the master Santosh Kumar. From cleanses and fasts, to sunrise and sunset salutations, India forever changed me, and I refer to that experience as my eat pray love trip. Most recently I participated in a week intensive at School of the World in Costa Rica, expanding my understanding of what yoga meant to me. I continue to practice regularly at Wanderlust Hollywood.

I found that underneath my love for yoga was my love for movement and my burning desire to dance. Maybe it was the confidence and grounding that my yoga practice blessed me with, or maybe it was the freedom in flexibility I was earning, but I found myself gravitating to the dance studios in Los Angeles. First at Your Neighborhood Studio taking fitness and cardio based dance classes, progressing rather quickly to choreography based hip hop classes, and then frequenting many of the top dace studios from IDA to Millennium. Surrounding myself with professional dancers inspired my need for technique and performance training. I am currently dancing for the company LA Unbound, performing twice a year in their showcases, and simultaneously I am enrolled at Los Angeles Valley College’s ballet classes and performing in their modern contemporary production piece. Both performances take place in May of 2017.

While I meander through the memories of all these experiences, wondering why I didn’t stay in a linear direction, I now see the culmination of all these pursuits as preparing me for my purpose: the creation of Provocative Power Yoga. A practice that combines conscious breath to the conscious articulation of body placement and movement. This practice encourages freestyle and intuitive movement, body control and release, and athleticsm that a dancer posseses. Provocative Power Yoga incorporates sensual and sultry musical scores to invite the deepening into the practitioners inner world, the opening and conditioning of the physical body, and the grounding to increase the capacity of mediation through movement.

 What exists in these pages is not only a collection of my many spontaneous moments of reflection and insights shared on my blog, but a commitment to my own continued transformation and transcendence of my body, mind, and soul. I hope to share resonance through my words and experiences. I hope to be a part of your your journey. I hope to meet you in a Provocative Power Yoga class.


Erika Straub