First, a webpage all about me is super humbling and hard for me to digest, let alone a whole page dedicated to getting to know me better! But let’s dive in a little, shall we?
One of the biggest things I love, and that yoga seems to just create and feed on, is connection. I love making connections – in classes, at the grocery store, through organizations,walking my dog, etc. I love that everyone has a story and we can all be part of each other’s story in one way or another. Yoga has created and continues to create those connections in my life. And when we meet on the mat, each practice and practitioner inspires me to be mindfully present and to maintain the role of a student, continuously learning and teaching cohesively. We have so much to learn from one another.
I was first introduced to yoga in college when I was training to be an RA (Resident Assistant). I was on crutches because I dislocated my kneecap a week before returning to school and part of the RA training was a team building exercise at a yoga studio. As everyone was picking out yoga mats and finding a spot on the floor, I sat myself in a chair feeling pretty down about not being able to participate. The yoga teacher, whose name was Sudharman, had a long white beard and was an energetic force to be reckoned with. He looked at me and told me I needed to find a space on the floor. I tried to explain about my knee, but he told me he was sure my body would do what it could do and it would protect itself. As the practice began, I realized I was more capable of participating than I had originally told myself I was. My mind had quit before I even allowed it to begin. I practiced the entire hour.
I left that practice feeling euphoric and understanding I had just unlocked something special. I knew yoga would come back to me when the timing was right.
I began an almost daily practice in 2014 as a way to combat the anxiety and stress of life, children, marriage and medical diagnoses. An at-home practice became a calming lifeline for me and the journey toward becoming a teacher was illuminated when I experienced my first retreat deep in the redwood forests of Santa Cruz in 2018. I traveled by myself, shared space and broke bread with people I didn’t know and left having a newly intimate connection to myself. I firmly believe spending time with the Redwoods alone will give you many insights, but combined with yoga, it was mind blowing and truly life-changing. The connected energy between strangers in a collective space inspired me to delve deeper into the intricacies of yoga. I knew, after leaving that retreat, that becoming a yoga teacher was in my future. I completed my 200-hour with Savasanation Yoga Academy in 2021.
I am a learner by nature, so jumping into a 30-hour Meditation course and a 20-hour Postnatal Yoga course seemed like a logical thing to do! These are both areas I am passionate about and the more knowledge I attain, the more knowledge I can share. Having gone through postpartum depression myself, if I had been given the complete tools of yoga to assist me during that time, my journey would have been very different. If I can provide an outlet for one mom to avoid that pain, I will take as many courses as are needed.
Since becoming a yoga teacher, I have taught over 300 hours throughout the Northern Virginia area, including teachers at elementary schools, Workplace Wellness events for the Navy, Guilford Elementary School and All Traffic Solutions, community classes at Faith Chapel Gathering Place and the Loudoun County Public Libraries, weekly classes at Sthira Sukham Yoga and Samskara Yoga and Healing, private classes, preschool/kids yoga, Field Day at elementary schools and lots of places in between!
I have hosted workshops on reducing stress, developed a pranayama workshop for teens to help reduce stress and anxiety, taught guided meditations, hosted small women’s retreats and continue to learn and grow through my own practice by taking classes at local studios and online. I have loved every minute of these opportunities!
My favorite style of yoga to teach is Slow Flow (sometimes called Hatha Flow or Vinyasa Slow Flow). I think it is accessible to all levels of practitioner and really offers space to connect to the mind and body. To me, there is no such thing as being bad at yoga. Yoga is a way to connect an individual’s breath and spirit to the breath and spirit of the universe. Utilizing movement in the body to shift the energy is essential to deepening these connections both on and off the mat. I really try to offer space for students to come as they are and take what they need from each practice, because every day is different. I also work to ensure my classes are a safe and supportive space where community and connection can be cultivated and always welcome feedback.
With Peace, Love, and Light, I will see you on the mat!