Cherryl Duncan has been inspiring change for over 10 years. An internationally trained and recognised teacher of yoga, eastern philosophy and a catalyst for authentic living and expression, Cherryl created her own method of yoga called dharmaKaya. After years of teaching as an 800 hour Advanced certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher, Cherryl refined her own style to include the 12 years of study in other fields such as Tibetan Buddhism, Western Philosophy, as well as the close and brutal study of her own psyche.
dharmaKaya yoga was born in Munich, Germany, where Cherryl teaches a regular schedule and teaches others the method where licences are granted to teach the method on an international scale.
The physical practice can be described as slow, focussed and challenging. Suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners in that it is slow enough for beginners, intense enough for the more experienced.
By teaching the physical practice together with philosophical elements, the student is trained in the ability to more effectively observe their own bodies, thoughts and feelings, which leads to a greater understanding, acceptance and ultimately love of their own life and their place in relationship; relationship to Self, others, and the environment.
You can expect to find the following elements in every dharmaKaya Yoga Class
Breath practiced in conjunction with movement will be used as a purifying tool, essentially as a moving meditation that helps to build heat. This has a detoxifying and uplifting effect on the body and mind. Natural breathing technique is used as a way to truly feel the more subtle, energetic aspects of the practice.
Movement and Stillness:
DharmaKaya yoga uses a combination of flowing movement as well as an opportunity to be still. Both elements are essential for experiencing that in us which changes and transforms, and that in us, which is forever constant, and without change.
You will learn how to use Prana (our vital life force) in a way that encourages deeper experiences of the nature of the mind and that which is beyond the mind. We all have Prana but we don’t all know how to cultivate, protect and channel it properly.
The whole purpose of practicing yoga asana (the physical form) is to prepare us for meditation. It is only through stillness that we are able to gain access to greater awareness and a deeper, more fulfilling experience of life – not only on the yoga mat, but in our life.
Philosophical Element: You will be exposed to the philosophy of yoga. Thought that has been handed down from ancient lineages as well as by modern mystics. Thought that is both uplifting and helpful with a focus on belief in Self, Authentic Expression, Connection and Evolution of the individual Spirit.
The dharmaKaya method is based on 5 key anchors that comprise the entire philosophy not just for yoga but for living
It’s only when we observe ourselves without judgement that we are able to bring unconscious habits that are no longer serving us into our field of awareness. And once we’ve done that, are we able to start to change and shape the lives we want. This observation can be done through a few different ways.
Authenticity is the heart of this method. Based on a book I wrote called Magnificently Real, I encourage people to develop the courage to be completely authentic in not only their decisions and what they do with their lives, but more importantly, in the way they communicate with others. And how this leads to creative and authentic and liberating expression.
Based on the Buddhist principle of Karma and Emptiness. It’s about ultimate responsibility. We are the ones ultimately responsible for our lives. What happens and how we choose to respond to all situations. It’s about taking ourselves out the blaming habit which is about being a powerless victim and rather empowering ourselves with ultimate responsibility. But then, paradoxically, also understanding that the whole world is not within our control and finding the balance between the two. See notes on Karma and Emptiness.
This anchor is about acknowledging that we are not just one thing at one time. It’s about starting to see the world in it’s many wonderful and colourful contradictions, and that starts with ourselves. Accepting that we can be many things at the same time. Understanding that nothing is wholly bad or wholly good. Appreciating the fluctuating nature of good things gone bad and bad things turning good. The Yin and Yang symbol is a very good representation of this.
5. Belief in Self
This idea goes against the idea of following a guru or dogmatic system blindly. It's about cultivating a deeply personal belief in one's relationship to God/Consciousness. Realising that while others can certainly inspire us along the path, no one else possesses the power to do it for us.
Cherryl was born into a yoga environment. Her mother, a health food and wellness addict sent her to school with tomatoes and apples instead of sandwiches in her lunch box. Cherryl would watch/sleep on the floor where her mother taught aerobics and yoga and would spend hours paging through her mother’s yoga books from the 70’s trying to imitate the leotard-clad women. However, like every rebellious child, Cherryl abandoned the life of health and yoga and ended up pursuing a career in advertising. It was only after years of long hours and high stress that Cherryl came back to yoga. It, naturally felt like coming home for her. She dropped everything to return to what felt like her roots; she gave up her job, cashed in her pension fund and travelled to India to study yoga. That was in 2005. Since then, Cherryl continues to study and teach and has never looked back.
She has certification from the Yoga Vidya Gurukul in India, from the Asian Classics Institute of Arizona, having studied Tibetan Heart Yoga 1 and 2, Meditation and Tibetan Buddhism. She holds an 800 hour advanced certified Jivamukti Yoga certification and served on the Board of Directors in Berlin in 2012. Cherryl opened and ran her own yoga studio called Living Yoga in Johannesburg in South Africa for 7 years before moving to Germany in 2012. She has taught 11 yoga teacher trainings to date and continues to teach teachers at the foundation and advanced level. She also teaches retreats and workshops in and around central Europe as well as Bali, India, and South Africa.
Cherryl attended and continues to attend 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreats, a technique she incorporates into her the DharmaKaya method.
She's been featured in the following publications
And interviewed on radio: