My name is Kasey Anne Barbey Sallurday and I’m happy to share some bits of my path with you to give an idea of where I come from and what I’ve gathered through my experiences.
I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania (USA) and lived in the better-known city of Philadelphia during my years at Temple University (2005-2009). Although it was in 2008 that I really began to discover yoga as a philosophy and physical practice, it seems relevant to mention that prior to that I studied and performed classical ballet for 13 years while also experimenting with jazz, modern, tap and lyrical styles of dance. In my teenage years I was assisting with teaching introductory ballet classes to children. Dancing has been and is still a precious vehicle for me to develop greater awareness of my body, posture, movements and breathing while offering the ability to closely observe and mirror alignment and choreography as well as the invaluable outlet for artistic self-expression and authentic soul exploration with body and music as the mediums.
I entered university without knowing which studies or career I wanted to pursue but I finally decided that Public Health (within the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences) was the most appropriate for me and my personality as it offered a whole array of interesting subjects with the common thread of helping others and being of service to health and well-being which is essential for everything else we do in life. It was enriching to explore the physical, physiological, mental, sexual and environmental factors contributing to personal and public health.
Thanks to internships and work study opportunities I dove deeper into the mechanics of the body and healthy movement as I became an instructor for group fitness classes and gained experience in lesson planning and nutrition education to children in parts of the city where access to fresh, nutritious foods was a challenge. My inner traveler brought me overseas to study both in Rome, Italy as well as in rural Jamaica. In retrospect these choices reflect the multi-passionate personality that I’ve learned to identify and value. Even today, that natural desire to be creative and actionable in many complementary ways comes through me and my work.
In January of 2009, I participated in my first weekend teacher training for teaching basic hatha yoga. I dove right into guiding these movement meditation sessions to family, friends and fellow college students. I continued following yoga classes whenever I could and it was the vinyasa-style sequences, linking movement with breath in a fluid and dance-like exploration in and out of postures that spoke to my dancer’s heart the most.
Beyond the opening offered to the physical body, the philosophy of yoga as a way of perceiving life, and therefore living life, was like a broadening of my horizon with a much wider lens. The invitation to turn inward and strengthen and clarify the mind-body connection through breathing felt revolutionary. Yoga, like the other ancient wisdom traditions of the world, tends to a precious component of the complex human organism that is inherent to health and well-being - it unveils the calm, clear and creative nature of the mind and it’s brings us in direct contact with the spark of spirit that is at the very heart of our being, the core of our existence.
Upon completing my studies in public health, a new chapter began. My free-spirited nature was ready to break out of any self or socially-imposed cage and so I flew across the Atlantic and met Geneva, Switzerland for the first time. It became my base camp and where I met what would become my heart family abroad. Travels all across Europe and throughout North, Central and South America between 2009 and 2012 helped me to flourish and fed me all sorts of unique experiences and rich encounters in nearly 40 countries between mountains, jungles, coastlines, villages, cities and natural reserves.
I continued to take yoga classes wherever I found them along the passages through mountains, jungles and coastlines, between cities, villages and natural reserves. As scenery, languages and cultures were ever-changing, my yoga practice became my personal rock, that element which was reliable, accessible and dependable. A path that offered a point of access to regularly meet myself, notice my feelings and find again and again that inner place of stability, calm and centeredness.
In the summer of 2012, I settled in Geneva for the seeable future and in January of 2013, I made my own leap of faith and began dedicating my time, energy and resources to a new full-time professional venture as a self-employed multi-passionate entrepreneur ! Although I had already gathered some teaching experiences in the past and had been through a number of my own “initiatory” experiences during my twenties, my inner compass and true north always seemed to send me down the paths less traveled. This translated into me convincing myself that I could (and would) make a living doing what I felt passionate about, in other words, following my heart path and fulfilling my soul’s calling. It felt impossible to default into a rhythm of working, in a static way, from 9-5 each day. What seemed like the most obvious first step was to continue practicing yoga and to share that practice with others in service of the gifts that it brings to the individual and, in our interconnected system, inevitably reaching the collective. So I created “Be Ananda” as an invitation to each one to experience their own radiant heart and bliss-filled nature.
During my pregnancy in 2014 - and specifically during the Sacred Pregnancy retreat I joined with the visionary Anni Daulter in Venice, Italy - the next step on my path became apparent and so I embarked on my journey as a spaceholder and facilitator for circles and workshops. These intentional spaces were organized primarily for women and mothers and I felt a vibrant fulfillment by bringing tools and practices around meditation, creativity, authentic self-expression, movement and ritual to the palette of self-care. There’s incredible nourishment and empowerment that’s enabled and activated when we create the time and space for meeting ourselves and others in a mindful, heart-centered way.
As I write this in 2020, it’s been 7 years since I began on this path of service to that infinitely creative and love-filled, radiant Bliss within each of us. I can count more than 1,600 hours of teaching yoga experience and countless circles, workshops and gatherings sprinkled with incredible retreat experiences and beautiful rites of passage supporting all in involved move through the cycles and seasons of life with stability yet fluidity, courage and confidence, insight and inspiration and a peaceful surrender to the magic of being alive in the here and now. A wonderful part of the journey is returning to the larger rhythms of Mother Nature where we can be supported and inspired to give, receive, create, share and rest with grace as well as a deep respect rooted in the felt-knowing that we are each weaving our own golden thread into this beautiful web of life, this tapestry of existence.
The next stepping stones on this sacred spiral path are taking me toward unknown territories and at the same time echoing bits and pieces of prior experiences. Regardless of how my future projects and offerings take form, I place my energy and intention in service of cultivating that true bliss nature within each of us and a moving back out into the world ready to deeply nourish our relationships & with a renewed connection characterized by respect and appreciation of our planet and all of Mother Nature.
I'm still based in Geneva along with my beloved Laurent and my sun Caelan who bring me infinite love, support and opportunities to grow into my best and most radiant self. I'm grateful to my family, Friends and sister tribe near and far and each preson who shares a bit of this journey with me.
Thank you each and all ! xx
“ If you do follow your bliss you put yourself
on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you,
and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.
Follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else. ”
― Joseph Campbell