Dr Raphael Gunner
When it came time for me to write my dissertation in psychology I decided to combine my love of yoga and psychology. I noticed that the relationship between yoga teachers and students resembled the relationship between psychotherapists and patients. But while psychology had lots to say about the therapeutic relationship, yoga had little to say about the teaching relationship. My dissertation looked at yoga through the lens of psychology. It became the basis for an article on the subject in Yoga Journal and for workshops at Santa Monica Yoga and Yogaworks. Though my study of yoga began with Kundalini, I soon moved to Hatha, and then to Astanga. I spent ten years studying with Chuck Miller at Yogaworks and taught classes at Santa Monica Yoga and at Yogatime in Beverly Hills. I currently teach private one-on-one sessions by appointment.
This training in meditation proved invaluable to me. It taught me to notice my sensations, emotions, and thoughts without judging them on the one hand or trying to change them on the other. It enabled me to help my patients learn to quiet their minds, to settle their bodies, and to make space for their emotions. And it allowed me to guide my patients toward compassion and acceptance — for themselves, for their loved ones, and for the challenging people around them.