Leela Devi, was awarded the title of Yoga Siromani (the jewel crown of yoga) in June of 1997 upon the completion of a month long intensive at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram, in Grass Valley California. Immediately after the Teacher’s Training Course, Leela became a full time yoga staff at the newly opened Sacramento Sivananda Center, where she remained the primary staff person for six months. Leela then expanded her yoga teaching to several locations in the Sacramento area including the Sacramento Yoga Center. Leela is an official Sivananda Affiliated teacher. In 1999, Leela began to study Ayurvedic medicine with Candis Cantin.* She studied for 2 years, completing beginning & intermediate Ayurvedic herbalism classes. The following year, she completed the advanced practitioner intensive, and received her Ministerial Ordination as a Wholistic Lifestyle Pastoral Counselor. Leela is a native of West Monroe. She began studying dance at the age of six and spent numerous years performing with the Twin City Ballet Company, under the direction of Mme. Cecilia Kelly. After graduating from West Monroe High School, she attended Northwestern State University, where she studied dance and technical theatre. She then transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi for 3 years to complete her BFA in dance with a minor in technical theatre. The dance curriculum at USM required 2 semesters of nursing anatomy and physiology, as well as, an extensive course in kinesiology which included a cadaver lab. These courses helped Leela develop a deep understanding of the complexities of the musculo- skeletal system. Leela spent 15 years working in professional theatre, after the completion of her bachelors’ degree. While working as a lighting technician in Chicago , she studied yoga with Swami Vishnuprim at the Sivananda Yoga Center. In Chicago, Leela became a practitioner level 1 & 2 of Reiki healing. After moving to California, she completed Reiki level III and is currently studying to become Reiki Master Teacher, with Barbara Mariano of Nevada City, CA. In June of 2005, Leela was awarded a California Teaching Credential and received a Masters of Education Degree in Cross-Cultural Teaching from National University, Sacramento. After which, she returned to Louisiana in order to be near her family. She has continued to teach yoga in Ruston & West Monroe, since her return to Louisiana.
When Leela is in Sacramento, she spends time dancing with the Gabrielle Roth's 5-Rhythms Dance Tribe lead by Stacy Dreizler & Micheal Stone of the Nevada City Tribe. *Candis Canton of Evergreen Herb Garden is a nationally recognized herbalist, author, & artist, who studied under Dr. Vasant Lad. Dr. Lad is recognized, as the leading practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine philosophy in the United States. Candis has collaborated and illustrated the Herbal Tarot Deck with herbalist & author Michael Tierra.