about Deborah JOYa
Deborah Joya has been facilitating Yoga and Meditation since the year 2000 because she is passionate about sharing with others the many benefits she herself has experienced. Having dealt with several physical and emotional issues from a very young age, Deborah is able to relate to and intuitively guide people to prevent, address, and protect many issues. Deborah’s intuitive, meditative way of leading the practice has become popular with people from all over the US and Canada who come to Arizona or her retreats. She leads workshops as well as Yoga and Meditation retreats in Arizona and internationally. Recordings are available on this site.
Deborah’s teaching has a wide variety of influences, both learned and intuited. She received her Yoga Teacher Certification from the Pacifica West Institute in California, and is influenced by her teacher Vince McCullough’s Elemental Yoga, which emphasizes the Dance of Fire, the Flow of Water, the Strength of Earth, the Breath of Air, and the Meditation of Space. Gratitude, love, focus, visualization, imagination, and affirmation are woven into her yoga and meditations and she encourages feeling the body on a physical, emotional, and energetic level. Deborah emphasizes the uniqueness of each body’s anatomy based on her studies and experience as an instructor and massage therapist. She also incorporates her knowledge of Physics and Physiology including recent scientific research on the heart, brain, DNA, and body systems. Her background as a Scientist and Physics Professor enables her to complement her teaching with an understandable scientific explanation of the physics and physiology involved in the practice. Deborah publishes some of these teachings in her cartoon, “The Inner Piece of Yoga, Exploring the Healing Benefits of Yoga using Modern Science”.
Deborah JOYa is committed to inspiring JOY and wellbeing in herself and others, and sees the innate joy within as the ultimate source of wellbeing. She believes that joy is different from happiness and is always available for everyone no matter the situation or past. JOY lives deep in the heart, and we can cause it to spring forward through gratitude and love, creating an incredible peace within and amongst each other.
Deborah has undergone several shifts in her life which are shared here in hopes of inspiring others who have had similar issues and/or experiences.
Pursuing Passion / Life Purpose
People often ask why Deborah would leave a successful, lucrative, promising career as a scientist/engineer at a young age.
In her 30's, while working in a high stress international position, she suddenly developed intermittent but severe vertigo which was at times completely disabling – just a small turn or lift of the head brought searing pain. Deborah visited many specialists who tested her for a variety of conditions including brain tumor with no diagnosis or effective treatment. She became very clear that without her health she could do nothing, and it was completely up to her to create that health. She also realized she did not want to continue her current life of stress in a career that did not bring fulfilment. Miraculously she discovered the vertigo was an allergy to mold, which had been exacerbated by years of working with harsh chemicals. It was an easy fix to avoid mold, but by this time Deborah had made up her mind to leave engineering and began to phase out of her job. She was determined to find transformation, and began several months of attending personal growth seminars which helped her uncover her passion for life and making a difference in the world. Deborah defined her purpose to be an inspiration to others, knowing yoga would be a big part of that.
Perhaps it was the pain in Deborah’s life that most led to her passion, ability, and resolve. A difficult childhood led to symptoms that could be associated with a variety of emotional disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and ADD. She had gone to several therapists and tried multiple medications with no improvement. Yoga was the first therapy that helped her – a few months into practicing she realized she was no longer experiencing anxiety attacks and her occasional stuttering had gone away. Deborah discovered PEACE in her late 20s in that first Yoga class with Vince, HOPE in seminars in her mid-30s, JOY through meditation in her 30s, and continues these practices to bring peace, hope, and joy into life's struggles.
From a very young age, Deborah experienced a variety of physical issues including scoliosis, back pain, acid reflux, digestive issues, and severe headaches. By the time she was 20, she was taking 8 painkillers a day just to make the back pain manageable, and was addicted to sugar and caffeine to get through the day.
Within a few months of practicing yoga she noticed the back pain was diminishing, and Daily yoga continues to keep Deborah pain-free – sometimes the yoga might just be a few minutes at a time and Deborah loves to share these short practices that can be done just about anywhere. After about 10 years when she showed a chiropractor an old X-ray of her spine, he said he didn’t think the changes that occurred were even possible.
In her thirties, Deborah experienced other health issues including cysts and endometriosis, and was able to heal herself through alternative medicine and lifestyle changes. She enjoys sharing these experiences, as well as the healing that has occurred through her personal meditation practice which often includes movement.
Healing opportunities come up frequently, from injuries to life changes, and Deborah has learned to view them as opportunities to learn and share with others. She believes that we create our wellbeing most by celebrating all of the past and present challenges of life as opportunities for growth and part of the creation of who we are. For Deborah, the emotional and physical challenges have been gifts that allow her to relate to a wide variety of people who seek healing on any level.