with a gentle humbleness.
What drew you to yoga?
Well before my yoga obsession was my climbing obsession. I have always been drawn to things that challenge my mind and my body. I heard that yoga would help improve my climbing. My first class was at my college rec center and I remember the instructor cueing us into a posture that I had told myself was impossible, and then I could do it! He said something that stuck with me "yoga shows us that our bodies are much more capable than what our minds tell us." I was hooked after that.
Why do you practice?
Yoga is my daily moving meditation. My daily practice brings me home to myself. It is my time to be with myself and my breath and my body. It is a consistent place to bring me face to face with the parts that I sometimes don’t want to look at, and it empowers me to know that I have all the tools in myself. Working a pose and working my edge grows me as a person and makes me stronger, more resilient, more flexible - in mind and body. I consider it a necessary part to keep me centered and growing. And I practice because it makes me a better teacher. I learn more about teaching by practicing consistently than almost anything else.
(Life+) How does yoga change you off the mat?
My life and my practice are intertwined. When I first started practicing I was very insecure an I had been though some personal trauma that left me feeling very powerless. I didnt really know who I was or what I was capable of. I looked for things outside of myself to validate my existence. Yoga changed everything. It connected me back to my core and my true self, and empowered me to become a better person, a better friend, to be strong. It is work I continue to be in and why I visit it every day to remind myself of who I am. I am enough with what I have and who I am, outside of whatever external experience is happening or even what people think of me.
What is your style?
I practice Ashtanga Yoga on the daily, so you can expect my style to be heavily influenced by that. I am also passionate about alignment and teaching the person in front of me. I also love to teach meditation and pranayama and try to include that in every class I teach.
Where are you when you’re not teaching?
Outside of practicing and soaking up every resource there is on Ashtanga Yoga, I am hanging with my dog Truman or enjoying long conversations with friends over coffee. I am also going to Mysore, India to study with the source of Ashtanga yoga for a month in August so you can find me there and follow my journey on social media.
What illuminates you?
Seeing people change as a result of practice. Its one of those things that I know yoga works because of how it has impacted my life, but it lights me up when I see my students experience the same. I teach yoga for the Trini Foundation which offers classes to those who are recovering from addiction - and those classes are my favorite because I can see after one class how much yoga reconnects them with parts of themselves they have lost. In body and in mind. it is amazing and brings tears to my eyes. Yoga lights me up.