About Pam

Pam has been teaching yoga for 37 years. She is a breath coach and a yoga educator, practicing and teaching ancient classical Himalayan pranic modalities.

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Her focus remains on the study and application of the breath and the interconnectedness of the full human potential through art, subtle sensory perceptions and cultivating the essence of prana. Pam’s focus taps into the subtle energy body through synchronized movement to the breath, specific pranayama techniques, bandhas and meditation to harness the mind for healing and longevity.

Pam continues to study Sanskrit, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Upanishads, Samkya, Vedanta philosophies, and many other ancient texts pertaining to all aspects of yoga. She is one of a few certified E-RYT-500 Senior teachers of the classical form of Krishnamacharya’s Vinyasa Krama yoga — a method of Astanga Yoga — which she has learned from her teacher of 37 years, Srivatsa Ramaswami. These teachings include the detailed use and healing properties of the breath, asana sequencing, chanting, and meditation.

Pam also has 7 years of advanced teacher's training in anatomy and body alignment from Tias Little, founder of Prajna Yoga based in Santa Fe, NM.

Pam is initiated into Kriya Vinyasa – advanced pranayama techniques, herbal cleansings, surya practices and esoteric meditations. She has been studying ancient philosophies for the past 9 years with His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda.  For the past 9 years, she has taught and continues to teach Yoga Vinyasa Krama asana for Swami Vidyadhishananda’s initiation camps, celebration retreats and on-going conscious living workshops.

In 2015, Pam studied  pranayama, chanting and yoga asana at The Krishnamacharya Mandiram, Chennai, India.

In 2017, Pam traveled to Kerala, Varanasi, Allahabad and Haridwar, India for 5 weeks with His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda and 3 other Giri Order monks. There, she received darshan and explored all aspects of pranayama and agnis related to the Surya practices.


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Heights School of Yoga

Pam founded the Heights School of Yoga as a studio dedicated to teaching techniques of cleansing the body, clearing the mind and sharpening the intuition; and to teaching techniques that open the practitioner to their inner pranic waves of light and healing energy. The Heights School of Yoga is dedicated to the ancient tradition of connecting teachers to students and students to teachers.

BREATH the Pulse of the Universe at MFAH

BREATH, the pulse of the universe

BREATH, the Pulse of the Universe, the creation of Pam Johnson and Lynn Birdwell, is a three-part experiential homage to the breath, beginning with a mesmerizing short film, followed by a mandala breath troupe performance and closing with a short, beautiful guided breath meditation. This multi-media presentation’s sole purpose is to bring BREATH awareness to all. 

Pam Johnson fMRI trial

fMRI trials

Pam is currently participating in fMRI trials measuring varied and advanced pranayama techniques on her brain.  Data to date shows: a profound change of brain perfusion and oxygenation, decreased flow to the frontal lobes of the brain, increased flow to the sensory cortex, in particular the visual cortex, and increased functional activation to areas in the insula (body awareness).

 

I have known Pam Johnson for more than 37 years now. She is one of my earliest yoga students in USA. As a senior student and originally as part time teaching help at John Coon’s Yoga Center in Houston she studied with me during several visits- running for several weeks- to the Yoga Center, Pam Johnson studied with me, in considerable depth, the vinysaskrama method of yoga practice, which I had learnt from my Guru Sri T Krishnamacharya. She has been very diligent and an exceptional student studying the Sutras and other ancient texts with me as well. Some of her exquisite pictures doing very important asana vinyasa sequences appear in my book, “Yoga for the Three Stages of Life”. She has also helped me with skillful demonstration of many asana sequences in conferences and workshops and hosted me in her studio for several years. She has for a number of years now been teaching Vinyasakrama in her studio and also nationally.

Pam is also a museum level fine artist, specializing in large-scale black and white drawings and biomorphic sculptures. For Pam these disciplines nurtured the creation of Breath the Pulse of the Universe. As an artist she has been able to combine yoga asana sequencing, breath and artistic movements into a unique and spectacular presentation Breath the Pulse of the Universe.

I wish her well.
— Srivatsa Ramaswami
Although I am a yoga beginner at 63, I am finding that my classes with Pam (in which we incorporate yoga breath work with the flow and grace of yoga movements) are unexpectedly spilling over into my daily activities. I am almost reflexively thinking about my breathing and body position as I balance going down steps and pivot into a low car. When I found myself in a long line at the store, I took a deep breath, aligned my posture and did slow focused  breathing instead of having my usual impatience. Even in my housework, as I struggled with my heavy vacuum, I was doing what came “natural” to me–exhaling on the pushing motion, and it was hard work. Then I remembered Pam teaching that in Yoga, generally, I should work on the inhale (push the vacuum) and do the exhale on the more relaxing part of the motion (pull the vacuum back toward me). Vacuuming became so much easier for me, just like some of the movements Pam was teaching me that were so much less difficult when I also did my breath work correctly.

I feel that in the short time I have been learning Yoga with Pam that I am improving my balance, muscle tone, posture, strength, and flexibility. Those things are fairly easy to see and measure. (My husband even noticed!)

But I am changing in ways much more difficult to measure as well:  my mood, my sense of well being, my sense of self… I can’t say where exactly all of these improvements have come from but I know Pam would say, ‘It’s in the breath.’
— Karen Davidson
Pam Johnson is a Master Teacher, a teacher of teachers. She stands tall amongst the rare few of humble modern yoga experts carrying authentic teachings and upholding the integrity of yoga.

Free from any contradicting and confusing practices of commercial and branded yoga, Pam brings a refreshing acumen of yogic training. Schooled for over twenty years by one of Krishnamacharya’s longest standing disciple’s outside his family, Srivatsa Ramaswami and realized Himalayan Yoga adepts and vedic scholars, I feel safe that what I receive from Pam is nothing I’ll need to “unlearn” later.

Being a yoga teacher, and a student under a Himalayan Master myself, I am cautious and discrimminating about who I study with. Pam is a gem, a humble transmitter of the Himalayan Vinyasa Krama system and an artist at articulating the energetics, physical intelligence and depth of this system in an accessible way. I’ve had so many “ah-ha” moments studying with Pam. She just knows how to bring it all together without watering it down. Besides new discoveries in my own practice, I’ve learned so much from her to share with my students. Plus she knows all the nuances of the system and maintains it’s purity without convoluting anything. I have yet to find anyone like her!
— Kara Weimer
Pam’s teaching and her personal practice are one of the finest I’ve ever come across in my quest to study the art of yoga. I’ve never encountered an instructor with such passion and willingness to share their knowledge. Pam’s unmatched lineage and wisdom from over 20 years of experience makes her one of a kind in Houston. She is truly one of few who still teach from a classical perspective: asana (always in sanskrit), pranayama chanting and meditation. I can’t recommend her enough!
— Michelle Bonich