By India Powell
That’s one approach clients find when they see Wanda DeVaughn, psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker and registered yoga teacher. Wanda helps her psychotherapy clients, as well as a steadily growing group of yoga students, explore their own inner worlds and strike a healthy, harmonious life balance.
For the past decade, Wanda’s office has been in the serene Marietta Center for Yoga and Well Being, located just off the Square at 317 Alexander St., in charming house built in 1909.
“After growing tired of moving furniture out of my previous psychotherapy office for class, then moving it back in for clients, I wanted to expand. I found the house and fell in love with it. It had such good energy,” Wanda remembers. “Yoga and meditation classes were surprisingly full from the beginning—this was before yoga was offered at so many gyms, churches and workplaces.
Last year, Wanda traveled to India for a month-long study to complete her 500-hour certification through the Himalayan Institute. Her classes are a flow of postures, or asanas, sometimes held for several deep breaths. She emphasizes the importance of listening to the body, staying aware of what feels right in each moment. Her yoga classes begin and end with meditation.
Wanda uses her skill and expertise to help the community by donating her services as a therapist to Positive Impact, an Atlanta organization that provides mental health and prevention services to people affected by HIV.
She also serves the community by offering free meditation classes on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m.-noon. (If you’ve been thinking about sampling yoga or meditation, now’s a great time to try it out: September is National Yoga Month!)
Wanda earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arizona and her masters in social work from the University of Georgia in 1980. After 10 years as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals and community mental health centers, she entered private practice full time in 1990. She now works with people struggling with depression, anxiety, difficulties in relationships, addiction and co-dependency issues, abuse issues, grief and loss, life transitions, women’s issues, and blocks to creativity and spirituality.
“Blending conventional and alternative approaches, I draw on a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful for each client,” Wanda says. “I work with individuals to help them identify and achieve life goals, have compassion for themselves and others, and find a more peaceful balance within.”
If her therapy clients are interested, Wanda uses such non-traditional approaches as Neuro Muscular Technique (NET), which uses meridian access points on the wrists and muscle testing to rapidly remove blocks to being fully present in life; meditation; and integrative yoga therapy, which includes physical movement, breath awareness and exercises, philosophy and relaxation techniques.
For many of Wanda’s regular students, the serenity, focus and relaxation (not to mention improved muscle tone) they discover in her yoga class is therapy in itself!
To find out more about Wanda DeVaughn and the Marietta Center for Well Being, visit www.mariettayoga.com