I took my first yoga class in 2010. I was overweight, over-stressed and in a constant battle with depression.
My very first class was hot, sweaty and all around painful. But then it was over and I felt amazing. I went back the next day... and then the day after... and then, without realizing it - I was hooked.
Slowly, the weight began to come off and I noticed strength, flexibility and fluidity returning to my body and mind. Panic attacks that used to plague me daily became less and less frequent until they eventually disappeared altogether.
I drifted in and out of a regular yoga practice for the first few years before it became clear to me that when I was drifting in yoga, I was much more able to steer in my life. I knew yoga was a way of living, and becoming a teacher was my path.
My first teacher training changed the way I practiced yoga. I learned how to teach the disciplined practice of ‘Bikram’ yoga with compassion; learning how to soften into an otherwise rigid yoga practice. This work transformed my personal yoga practiceand also enabled me to bring a unique perspective of ease and breath-guided movement that I still offer in my more ‘Bikram’ style hatha yoga classes.
As I became more focus on the internal practice of yoga, so did my training. I completed a 200 hour teacher training program through Lotus Yoga in Columbia City, Seattle with Megan Carroll. This program exposed me to the philosophical side of our yoga work. I began to embrace the deeper aspects of yoga and understand that my yoga work was both on and off the mat. I developed a strong interest in yoga as therapy and how deep healing could be possible through a better understanding of the Chakra energy system of the body.
In addition to my traditional yoga group classes, I am Co-owner of Adaptive Yoga Northwest. We are a group of teachers dedicated to bringing the healing benefits of yoga to students living with mobility restrictions. Our work is inspired by Matthew Sanford and all that his team is doing at Mind Body Solutions in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Working with students living with disability continues to inform my teaching. It has helped me see the more subtle energy body that exists in us all and can be activated through the practice of yoga. While I do hope to bring the insights of adaptive yoga students to my 'traditional' yoga classes; my stronger desire is to help promote that yoga is for Every Body and continue to learn the best ways to prove that to be true.
My time off the mat has, and continues to influence my teaching. As a hiker and climber, I have found some of my best teachers while outside. My adventures have led me across the deserts and canyons of Arizona, to the highest peak and lowest tide in Washington, over Andean mountain passes and deep into the Peruvian jungle. Through my time 'on the trail' (or bus, or boat, or horse) I have been exposed to the deep healing that comes through intentional introspection and meditation. I am continually reminded of how important our connection to nature and to all that is around us is to our well-being as humans. Every time I return from these adventures, it is with a renewed sense of connection: to myself, my environment, my community and my desire to share as I learn.
I love to meet new people and learn how yoga has or can impact your life. If you are interested in taking a class, studying privately, or want to chat over coffee – send me a message!