come curious leave strong.
What drew you to yoga?
The year was 1995 and I was an angsty lonely teenager who was in desperate need of some spiritual guidance, and a physical activity that wouldn’t wreck my body any more than I already had at the time. For years my mother had risen before dawn and padded down to the family room in her slippers and robe to engage in what she referred to as “my stretching”, a series of yoga postures and breathing exercises that, by all appearances, was effectively keeping her from going postal daily on me and my two older siblings. Exasperated by my eternally gloomy mood, she dragged me to a free yoga class at our local YMCA. It was me, mom, and a bunch of grandmas in sweatpants, and we were practicing on smelly thick wrestling mats on a basketball court, but I reclaimed a precious piece of myself that day. Each movement felt like coming home to a place I didn’t even know I had missed. After the class, I excitedly pressed the teacher, a tiny older woman, for more, and she recommended some instructional texts to get me started. I spent the next few years diving headfirst into the practice, taking what worked for me, (the breath, the moving meditation, ayurvedic diet/rituals), and leaving what didn’t resonate, (umm chewing up a long rag and pulling it out through your nose?? Yeah, NO)...Yoga has been a constant in my life ever since, in some form or another, and my desire in 2013 to complete a year long teacher training and share my joy with others felt organic.
Why do you practice?
I practice because it’s part of my journey to be a better human. I practice to come back to the essence of who I am- that part of me quietly waiting beneath the surface, unchanging amidst all of the swirling circumstances. I practice to touch into joy, to find balance, to play with the abandon of a child, to challenge my body, to be in communion with something bigger than myself, and because it’s EVERYTHING.
(Life+) How does yoga change you off the mat?
Yoga for me is less of an activity, and more of a series of lifestyle choices. It’s MY church, my spiritual practice, as well as a physical discipline. I think the real “practice” happens off the mat, it’s that place where rubber meets road- sure it’s easy to touch into peace and calm in savasana, but what about when someone unjustly cuts you off in traffic, or your family triggers you? It’s those strategies you are cultivating on the mat that you take with you, that help you navigate life, THAT’S the change.
What is your style?
My style as a teacher and practitioner is a blend of strength and ease. I’m always striving for a balance of levity/playfulness and depth/intensity. As our moods and needs change from day to day, so too does the yoga practice shift and adapt to meet us where we are at. To this end, I seek to create a space for students in which the somatic experience of the poses/breath in their bodies is the focus, as opposed to trying to make oneself mold into a posture. That said, I do love a good asana apex pose, and surprising transitions.
Where are you when you’re not teaching?
When I’m not teaching I can be found pouring over cookbooks and creating delicious food, wandering around in nature, singing and dancing with wild abandon, loving on animals, cleaning my house, dreaming and scheming up my next adventure, and reading voraciously.
What illuminates you?
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau