1) How long have you been practicing yoga? Please give some detail.
I found myself in a yoga class for the first time in 2003, I was 21 years old. I had recently undergone a horrible anxiety attack and was hitting a bottom emotionally. My weight had been increasing due to overeating and I was overworking myself in school. The doctor wanted to prescribe me with medication and I was very averse to this approach. I was clear that the medication would only address my symptoms, not the cause of them. Therefore, I sought alternatives to his advice. I set up an appointment with the university counselor and he offered me a guided meditation tape. I took to this practice immediately, I was hooked. I listened to the tape daily and this began my journey towards and with yoga. Not long after being introduced to this meditation tape I began attending regular meditation sits with a community of people and a guru/teacher who was visiting from out of town. Additionally, I attended the on campus yoga class and quickly became aware that this practice was my path, I was deeply called to embrace and live a life guided by the principles and practices of yoga.
2) What drew you to yoga?
Initially, it was because I was suffering, and I was willing to make a lifestyle change. What kept me on the path? The healing benefits: the positive physical, spiritual and emotional impacts that it had on my life.
3) When did you decide to become a yoga teacher? What events lead up to it?
In 2005, two years later, after traveling to the middle east for 5 weeks and upon return attending a ten day meditation retreat I was clear that I needed to deepen my understanding of yoga. I was attending classes at the Karuna Center in Northampton, Ma and the director announced an upcoming teacher training. She offered an installment payment plan that I could afford and I signed up. I was very clear, again, that this was part of what I was destined to do, and so I followed my gut, I followed my heart's longing.
4) How do you feel that your teaching has helped others?
I have received such amazing feedback from my students, that is exactly what keeps me coming back to practice and to teach. I know that when I teach I am simply passing on principles and teachings that were passed to me, a lot of it has nothing to do with me as an individual, yet more about a universal truth/knowing that I do my best to consciously connect with. I have had students share that their body pains are relieved when they come to yoga; they feel happier; they feel more flexible and relaxed; they deal with stress better; they feel more connected to themselves and their wisdom. The list goes on, all the things my student's share with me are very much what I have experienced as a practitioner and student myself.
5) How has it helped you most?
Trusting myself. I trust my intuition more. I listen to my bodies cues. I balance my time better. It has helped me in so many ways it is hard to choose one. If I had to pick the most important one I would say that it has taught me how to unconditionally, with no exceptions, love myself, all of me, every single part of me, to love it deeply and completely. That is how it has helped me most.
6) What is your life/ yoga goal?
To teach yoga for the rest of my life. To integrate yoga, dance, surfing and occupational therapy. I don't have a precise and clear vision of exactly how I am going to do that just yet, but I know that as I continue to practice and listen to my inner guidance, this will become crystal clear over time. I want to share yoga with as many people as I am able. I want to continue devoting myself to the practice and to discover more ways to deepen my understanding of what yoga really is, the depth of this practice, to delve deeper and deeper each day. I want to touch peoples lives through these practices, while enjoying and playing with the other practices and professional work that calls to me. I want to integrate the principles and heart centered approach of yoga into all that I do. For yoga, I am grateful.