“I had a yoga teacher once, who would always say, 'There, do you feel THAT?!' when we were most obviously being challenged by a pose. It's difficult to explain THAT. It's the place right at the peak of your physical expression and mental concentration, where there is a shining moment of peace and one-ness with the universe, and it feels like the earth and air are lifting you up. Those are the moments I live for in my yoga practice. It's why I teach, so that I can bring students to those moments, too.”
What I loved about my very first yoga instructor, when I first started doing yoga in 2001, was that she didn't make a big deal about yoga. We always had some time before before and after the asana practice where she would talk about yogic philosophy, and then invite us to share how whatever yama or niyama or idea she brought up affected our own life. The asana part was pretty basic, but as a new yogi, it was still challenging and exciting to me. After I graduated college, and wasn't able to take her classes anymore, but I kept practicing here and there at home, using what I learned in class to stretch and move in ways that were still new to me. I loved my humble, free, self-created practice from those early days in my yoga career.
It was my first teacher's gentle introduction to the holistic benefits of yoga that eventually brought me back to regular yoga classes in 2004, and in 2008, I earned my RYT-200 through the Yoga Center of Columbia. It is there that I learned the rigorous attention to alignment offered by the Anusara and Iyengar traditions. I have broadened my studies to include Vinyasa training with Sadie Nardini, and have completed 30 hours of yin yoga and anatomy training with Paul and Suzee Grilley. It is from this varied background that I am able to design well-rounded, creative practices for myself and my students.
Guided by my teacher, Erich Schiffmann, I'm happy to say that my yoga practice has come back around to its freeform roots. I have learned to love my meditation practice, and from that place of stillness and union, I am able to create an asana practice for myself that is intensely personal and completely satisfying to my body and my spirit. Meditating and moving from an intuitive place on the mat gives me the tools to be more sensitive off the mat.
As a teacher, I empower my students to create a meaningful individual experience by providing a safe and nurturing space to explore the yoga practice. While I continue to use the alignment principles from Anusara and Iyengar traditions, I offer variations and continually guide students to become sensitive to their own bodies. To teach students to move in an integrated way, I focus on linking movement with breath, moving from the core, and I challenge them to look inside for inspiration to move them through the practice. I encourage my students to find simple moments of stillness in postures as a way of practicing meditation. It is my hope that little by little my students will find peace and a sense of well-being in the classroom that will inspire them to take their practice home, on and off the mat.
I've taught over 1000 hours of yoga classes and am registered as an E-RYT 200 through the Yoga Alliance. In addition to my extensive yoga experience, I am a member of professional bellydance troupes, Kallisti Tribal and Verve Tribal. I'm a member of the American Tribal Style® belly dance based collective, Transcendence Tribal, and a certified instructor in ATS®. I've passed Phase Two (Cultivation) of Rachel Brice's 8 Elements program. My yoga is essential cross-training to my dance career not only to keep my body dancing to its fullest ability for many years, but also to develop an alert and peaceful attitude that allows me to communicate more fully with my dance partners and radiate joy in performance.