AmarJyothi (Bonnie Pariser) is the founder, director and senior instructor at Yoga Loka in Frenchtown. She began teaching Yoga in 1998 and has taught in the Frenchtown area since 1999.
AmarJyothi took her first yoga class as a gym requirement at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC where she studied Fashion Design in 1985. A field trip to The Sivananda Ashram on 24th street, where her gym teacher studied, sealed her interest in the practice. It was at this Ashram that AmarJyothi met her future karate teacher, currently known for his work as “The Kirtan Rabbi”, and delved into that martial art for the next 10 years. Though a regular yoga practice took a back seat as she worked to earn her second-degree black belt, it never left her heart. “I incorporated much of the breath work and conscious movement techniques that I learned in yoga into my karate practice and teaching.” AmarJyothi had studied Tai Chi several years before; so the mixture of soft and hard and consciousness in motion were not new concepts.
AmarJyothi moved to the Delaware Valley region in 1996, and finally felt at home when she met Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati, founder of Saraswati River Yoga and Tantric adept. The whole concept of how the physical aspects of yoga were intertwined with the spiritual aspects became clear thru her continuing studies with Parvathi. She completed her initial Yoga Teacher Training and her first Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training at Saraswati River Yoga with Parvathi (Kirin Mishra). She continues her Tantric studies with Parvathi, completing a Bhairavi Training in 2006, and participating in ongoing studies in the Shree Vidyaa lineage.
In 2005 AmarJyothi was certified as a Structural Yoga Therapist under the direction of Mukunda Stiles, a world-wide leader in the field of Therapeutic Yoga, and the author of the seminal book, "Structural Yoga Therapy" and “Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy”. Her connection to Mukunda runs deep, and she remained a close student until his passing in February 2014.
From a young age, AmarJyothi has been interested in understanding how the body moves, and what the implications of restricted movement is. Through her work with Parvathi and Mukunda her investigation of how the body stores emotions, trauma and joy has penetrated to a deeper level. To facilitate her own understanding and personal practice, She has also studied with Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains, and Bessel Von De Kolk, world leader in research on trauma and its effects on the brain and body, Dr. David Bercelli, founder of TRE, and the study of ancient and modern texts.
AmarJyothi's teaching combines precision, playfulness, and down to earth philosophy, all extracted from the ancient lineage of her teachers and her own insights as a mother, student, teacher, and practitioner.
AmarJyothi has led more than 13 training and immersion programs at Yoga Loka and is a guest teacher in other training programs. She has presented classes at Kripalu, Integral Yoga NYC and Virginia, the Hunterdon County Library Lecture Series and the NYC Open Center. She is also a certified TRE (trauma releasing exercise) practitioner
Yoga Loka was opened in 2003 with the intention of providing a space for practices to be presented that can enhance the potential for self investigation and healing, on the physical, emotional and spiritual level.
AmarJyothi lives in Frenchtown New Jersey with her husband and her two children, Dominique, and Zachary, who are also very excited about Yoga.