"Yoga, the union of mind, body and spirit, is for everyone," said Deni Roman, owner of Maui Yoga Path, where she is a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor with over 35 years of experience.
Located on the ground floor of the Mani Kai Resort in South Kihei, the beautiful environment is so close to the ocean that you can see and hear the waves.
"People from all over the world come together at the Maui Yoga Path for personal growth and transformation," said Roman. "Quieting the mind, focusing within and practicing asanas (postures) leaves students completely relaxed, renewed and rejuvenated."
“I’m a true Yogini by Indian terms, said Deni Roman. “I walk and live the path everyday. I take two steps forward and one back and continue until I have mastered the Art and Science of Yoga.”
Photo courtesy of Maui Yoga Path
Roman, who received a bachelor's degree from Emerson College in speech communications, is a former Fortune 500 ergonomics company consultant. She also has a strong background in dance, aerobics, bodybuilding, personal training and kundalini yoga.
Once she began yearly pilgrimages to India, where she studied at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, she experienced the humble, loving essence of yoga.
"Yoga is the conduit joyfully bridging the body, mind and soul," said Roman.
Her guru, Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar, was named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people and is universally acknowledged as the world's greatest yoga teacher.
Having found her true purpose and life passion, she opened Maui Yoga Path, a space of movement and peace that keeps students coming back. Roman's sole aim is to inspire and empower all students regardless of age and ability.
"It is my hope to bring students to a practice that they can develop on their own," she said. "It's a journey, not a quick fix."
Iyengar Yoga, one of the most widely practiced yoga forms, is Roman's specialty. It emphasizes correct alignment of all parts of the body within each yoga pose, paying close attention to spinal health and breathing. This precision builds strength and stamina, balance and flexibility, as well as a new sense of well-being.
"Achieving this meditation in action, students learn to exist fully and vibrantly in the present moment," she said.
Iyengar's invention of yoga props, now ubiquitous in yoga studios of all styles, revolutionized the art. As a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor, Roman modifies yoga postures to the needs of specific students using blocks, blankets, belts and other props.
"These props allow for a deeper penetration into the postures, as well as a longer stay and a more profound experience," said Roman. "Iyengar also revolutionized yoga therapeutics, gaining recognition for yoga as treatment for injuries and serious medical conditions."
With deep-seated knowledge of the yoga asanas, Roman teaches individualized approaches for each student. She makes special adjustments for various body types, injuries and conditions.
"I devise sequences of poses which build skill and understanding as students progress from posture to posture, class to class and year to year," said Roman. "We begin with standing poses and in time, other postures are added, including forward bends and back bends, twists, inversions and restorative poses."
Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder balance) is introduced as soon as students are ready because of its many therapeutic benefits. Each class ends with Savasana (corpse pose) teaching students to rest and relax profoundly, completely releasing the body while drawing the mind towards the peace within.
"Yoga to me is a daily practice in which I feel the entirety of myself being nurtured, centered, focused and challenged," said Kirstin Taylor, Kihei resident and Maui Yoga Path student. "This lifestyle allows me to directly cultivate and align with the divine within."
"I work very hard at being an entrepreneur and artist amongst many other things," said Britta B. Alexandra, owner of the Enchantress Boutique in the Shops of Wailea.
"Yoga was exactly what my body and soul was crying out for to create balance," she said. "I feel a sense of peace with more grounded presence in my choices and decisions."
Alexandra credits her yoga practice for helping her lose 20 pounds and gaining more muscle tone, better posture and some amazing friends, including Roman, her mentor.
Craig Hockmeyer, a student from Kihei, said, "While the physical benefits of yoga are beneficial, the cultivation of the mind is priceless. There are so many different ways to learn about your self through yoga. Connecting with your interior life beyond the physical is work, but it's good work."
Roman teaches classes based on traditional yogic principles connecting pranayama (breath regulation), meditation and powerful asanas to provide nourishment to the body, mind and spirit. In addition, inspirational messages throughout the class offer hope and peace to those in distress.
"Celebrating life, right down to the very second, is my philosophy," said Roman, who once asked her guru to give her a very simple and profound message for a happy life.
"Thank God every day you wake up," he told her.
"It's that simple?' she asked.
Maui Yoga Path and staff provide a variety of classes everyday for students of all levels. Transformation Program: Body, Mind and Spirit Workshops and Retreats are also available. Visitors are welcome.