Dakini Yoga with Yoga Master Zena Ursuliak, Reiki Master, Honorary Doctorate of Dance, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
 

Meet Zenna!

Announcement: As of March, 2016 Zena Ursuliak has now legally changed her name to Zenna T Ariel. Soon the website will be changed to acknowledge it. Zenna is ready for the next adventures of life!

In June, 2015 Zenna was ordained as an Interfaith Minister by The New Seminary of Interfaith Studies (New York). She is now Reverend Zenna Ariel.

In 2009 Zena was conferred with Honorary Membership status on the World Yoga Council of the International Yoga Federation and is now an International Advisor for them.

Zena Ursuliak"Yoga is a magnificent gift and I have had the honor of teaching it for over 40 years. I love it! My goal is to help people become the true lights of consciousness that they are, through practising yoga as a healthy lifestyle."

"Zena is a very talented and compassionate yoga instructor. Her expert guidance in the practice of yoga has helped me overcome
a severe bicycling injury involving a shattered shoulder blade and a 30% compression of my T3 vertebrae. Zena has helped me with
improving my flexibility and strength with yoga. When I ride my mountain bike now, I 'flow like a river' over challenging terrain!"
-Michael Dube

Yoga Teacher Certifications:

International Yoga Certificates: from Ananda Ashram, (ECYER, India, 1971) and from Patanjali Yoga Center and Sapta Yoga (Kathmandu, Nepal, 1989-1996).

Canadian Yoga Certificates: Yoga Association of Alberta Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher and Senior Teacher for their program; SOYA (South Okanagan Yoga Academy Teacher and on their faculty); Prenatal Yoga Teacher Certification.

Zena was the Assistant Yoga Teacher and Administrator at Patanjali Yoga Center in Kathmandu, Nepal for over seven years, helping to teach twelve one month International Yoga Teacher Training Courses. For ten years she taught at the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts in Penticton, B.C. She in an International Teacher and has taught numerous yoga classes and workshops in Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, India and Nepal. From 1998 to 2002 Zena was Secretary of the Yoga Association of Alberta.

Titles Received in India from Vishwa Unyayan Samsad (World Development Parliament)

1987 Yogacharini (Yoga Master)

1989 Yoga Maha Ratna (Great Jewel of Yoga)

1989 Karma Yogini

1989 Honorary Doctorate of Dance

1990 Mantra Guru

1990 Yoga Shiromoni (Beauty of Yoga or Supreme Teacher of Union with the Self)

   

Names Zena has Received

Tenzin Padma (Lotus Protector of the Dharma) from Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

Nritya Yogini (Dancing Yogini)
from Yogacharya Dr. Sushil Bhattacharya

Sumangala Devi (Auspicious Goddess) from her mantra guru, Swami Divyananda

White Buffalo Woman
from a Cree elder in Saskatchewan

Zena quit university in 1969 and followed the Beatles to India! She traveled overland by bus
from London to the Punjab, then took one year to explore, from Kashmir to the southern tip of
India. She was fortunate to study Raja Yoga (classical ashtanga) and yoga therapy in South
India in 1971 with Dr. Swami Gitananda, receiving her International Yoga Teacher Certification.
Zasep Tulku Rinpoche trained her in Tibetan Buddhist meditation practices in Nelson, B.C.
from 1980-89. She has undertaken many meditation retreats; the most extensive was for six
weeks, when she meditated from nine to eleven hours every day.

In exotic Kathmandu, Nepal, for over seven years Zena was administrator and assistant teacher
at Patanjali Yoga Center, where she helped teach twelve one-month International Yoga Teacher
Training courses and one Sapta Yoga International Teacher Training course with Yogacharya Dr. Sushil Bhattacharya. Zena was also co-founder with Sushil of the Kotalghosha Village Project to help children and poor people 100 miles northwest of Calcutta. While living in Kathmandu she learned ancient sacred Nepalese Buddhist dances from the 8th century, which she now teaches and performs.

When Zena returned to Canada from Nepal, she studied the Native traditions with a shaman (Eagleman) for over three years and received the gift of her own sweat lodge. She has also been a Reiki Master for many years, and helps people heal from old emotional issues as well as teaches them to strengthen their bodies and their spirits.

In Edmonton from 1997 to 2004 Zena taught for the YMCA, The City of Edmonton,
(Commonwealth Sports & Fitness Centre), Metro Continuing Education, and at Workers’
Compensation Board. She has also taught at women’s retreats for the YWCA.

From 2004 to 2008 she owned Dakini Yoga Centre and is now free. Zena teaches yoga classes
and workshops in Canada and internationally. She also offers private sessions.

Teachers

Swami GitanaNear Pondicherry, South India in 1969 Zena studied with Dr. Swami Gitananda, who was a disciple of Ram Gopal, the Sleepless Saint, mentioned in the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. With endless energy and enthusiasm Swamiji taught Raja Yoga, the royal path, or, as he called it, Rishi Culture Yoga. It included Hatha Yoga, Pranayama (the science of breathing), Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Mantra, Mudras (energy controllers), Yantra (Mandalas), Chakras, Yoga Chikitsa (therapy), Laya Yoga Kriyas (advanced techniques for longevity), Hindu Numerology, and more. Swamiji has passed away and his system of yoga is now called Gitananda Yoga. His talented, dedicated wife Yogacharini Meenakshi Bhavanani and his son, Dr. Ananda Bhavanani run ICYER (International Centre for Yoga Education and Research). www.icyer.com

Zasep Tulku RinpocheZena's next teacher came nine years later. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche was born in Tibet and is the thirteenth incarnation of the Abbot of Zuru Monastery. She studied with him in Nelson, British Columbia from 1980 to 1989 and he introduced her to the intricacies of the mind and Buddha's path to enlightenment. Two of Rinpoche's teachers are the Dalai Lama and the late Ling Rinpoche who was the Dalai Lama's teacher. Rinpoche's' supreme wisdom, patience, perseverance and fun-loving, childlike attitude showed her the blending of Buddha's great teachings with lightheartedness. His teachings of Buddhist Tantra gave her the discipline that is needed to pursue the spiritual path. At the end of great retreats with Rinpoche, rainbows appear. He has twelve centers around the world and he gave Zena the name "Tenzin Padma" (Lotus Protector of the Dharma). www.zuruling.org/spiritual-director

Nine years later in 1989 Zena was invited to New Delhi, India to receive the titles of Yogacharini (Yoga Master), Yoga Maha Ratna (Great Jewel of Yoga) and an Honorary Doctorate of Dance from Vishwa Unnyayan Samsad (World Development Parliament). Dr. SwamDr. Sushil Bhattacharyai Gitananda had recommended her for the honors. At the conference in New Delhi, she met Yogacharya Dr. Sushil Bhattacharya, who was also a student of Swami Gitananda. In 1983 Sushil won the All-India Yoga Competition and in 1989 was second at a world yoga competition. Zena was administrator and assistant teacher at Patanjali Yoga Centre in Kathmandu, Nepal for seven and a half years, where she assisted in teaching twelve one month International Yoga Teacher Training Courses and one Sapta Yoga International Teacher Training Course. The classes included beginner, intermediate and advanced asanas, Sun Salutations, Pranayama, Mudras, Kundalini Chakra Meditation, Shat Kriyas (Six Cleansing Methods), Fasting and Sapta Yoga Therapy and massage, Bhajans (devotional songs), and Yogic vegetarian cooking. Sushil gave Zena the title "Nritya Yogini" (Dancing Yogini). www.saptayoga.com

The sage and yogi Swami Divyananda Saraswati Maharaj came into Zena's life in 1997 in Canada. He was 85 years old and had spent 40 years in the Himalayas in a hut at 12,000 feet. Before his renunciation he had lived and worked with Mahatma Gandhi. Guruji's wisdom and joy were amazing. He had few wrinkles and said that he never invited wrinkles into his life! Guruji expressed love and respect for all of life and could speak on any topic very eloquently. Zena received mantra initiation from him and the name "Sumangala Devi" (Auspicious Goddess). He died in 2000.

For over three years Zena studied with a Cree Shaman and in 1998 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan with three elders in attendance, she received the name "White Buffalo Woman". On her 52nd birthday she received the gift of her own sweat lodge. She was taught that gifts do not come from a person, they come directly from Creator. When Zena went to visit Whitehorse, Yukon in 1999 she was invited to lead a sweat lodge where Cree, Iroquois and Dene elders confirmed that she was qualified.