Yoga, Meditation & Mantras

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Elira Benavari

Director of Communications and Education

Elira’s 25-plus years of immersion in yoga studies and two international yoga Master teacher’s certifications has provided Elira a master level of expertise to share with you for better health, happiness and peace of mind. Since 1992, Elira has facilitated 1,000’s of classes taught to all walks of life from age 4-months to 104 years-old. Elira offers our EAP clients, and those in recovery participating in HIC’s aftercare program a deepened understanding of client needs.

In 1991, Elira began studying Raja and Hatha Yoga practices in Boca Raton, Florida. While completing college studies at Florida Atlantic University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in 1994, she became adept at various styles of yoga practices including studying Iyengar Yoga at the Yoga Room in Lake Worth, FL, Bikram Yoga at the Yoga College of India in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Kripalu Yoga, also in Lake Worth, FL.

In 1992, Elira began conducting in-home private and group classes. In 1995, she began studying in-depth with Bharata at Yoga & Inner Peace in Lake Worth, FL who specialized in yoga for golfers, paraplegics, seniors, as well as beginners. In 1996, Elira enrolled in a month-long residential teacher training program at the Sivananda Yoga Forest Academy,in Val Morin, Quebec, CA, receiving an international teacher’s certification. In 1997, she returned to Canada to complete the advanced teacher’s certification course, also a month-long residential course, in which

studies included learning the Sanskrit language from Sri Doshi, who at one time was imprisoned with Mahatma Ghandi.

After relocating from tent-living in Canada to Mount Dora, FL, Elira was employed as a staff writer, communications specialist and news correspondent for area newspapers, government agencies and educational institutions and continued home classes. In March 1998, she opened Yoga Central in Tavares, FL, with her business partner and close friend, Shata Ben-Avari, who now owns SamaCore Yoga & Barre. Yoga Central was the first yoga center established in Lake County, FL and was open for 13 years. Outreach programs grew from the establishment of the center, which included conducting yoga, meditation and fitness classes at Lake-Sumter State College, Mission Inn Golf School, 14th Street Athletic Club, Anthony House Homeless Shelter, Camp Challenge Easter Seals Camp, Sunrise ARC, Boggy Creek Gang Camp, Triangle Elementary E.S.E Program, City of Clermont Parks and Recreation Program, City of Mount Dora Martin Luther King, Jr. After School Program, senior classes for the City of Mount Dora. Elira and Shata were invited for numerous appearances at Lake County’s Health Fair and gave countless speaking engagements at public libraries, civic organizations and area clubs and still often co-instruct classes together. From 2008-2012, Elira was the fitness coordinator at Lake Port Square, a 400-plus occupant senior residential community in Leesburg, FL, where the average age of students was 87!

Still teaching group and private Hatha Yoga classes, Elira also specializes in Nada Yoga, or Sound Yoga, sharing the healing effects of soothing music therapy and ancient relaxation techniques, Sanskrit classes, Mantras, Mudras and more with practitioners in her Mount Dora location and throughout the state. With her band Elira-Hari, two full-length music CDs have also been created which are contemporary adaptations of ancient Sanskrit Mantras and sacred healing prayers from many ancient traditions. See to listen and for reviews.

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