Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), E-RYT 500, M.S.
I am a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) and an experienced 500-hour yoga teacher, and have taught yoga since 1999 and practiced yoga for 29 years. I greatly draw from both classical yoga philosophy and techniques as well as from my own experiences with yoga for guidance with my work. I was trained and worked as a research scientist for over 18 years before I transitioned to yoga therapy, and I strongly rely upon these skills to help me ask questions and set goals of how I can best help my clients. My background also allows me to stay up to date with and participate in current research in yoga therapy enabling me to offer my clients and students the most appropriate techniques for their specific conditions. I strive to help others learn how to help themselves with whatever they are facing in life becoming strong advocates for their health and learn how to partner with health practitioners along their path to wellness finding greater ease, confidence, and well-being.
My early years of yoga practice focused on using yoga to calm my mind and strengthen my body. In my late teens, I suffered from severe anxiety, and yoga immediately helped me so that I could function better in my life. For the first time, I felt grounded and calmer in my body and mind and I was learning how to befriend and empower myself. The more I practiced, the more I fell in love with how I felt and how my perspectives were changing helping me be more physically and emotionally stable and confident. I started studying with renowned teachers including Richard Freeman, Sarah Powers, Max Strom, and Mark Whitwell to continue my yoga studies and provide a broad backdrop for my exploration of the body and mind. I wanted to share yoga with others to help them experience what I was witnessing in myself so I started teaching yoga in 1999 with the intention of offering ways to spark awareness and self-investigation in my students’ lives through movement and inquiry. Later that year, I was involved in a car accident sustaining life-changing injuries including a traumatic brain injury, extensive neck and shoulder injuries, and post-traumatic stress. I could not practice as I did before the accident, but this experience steered me to explore other yoga techniques and ways of practicing to help me manage and recover from my injuries. After I learned more about how to help myself using my practice, I changed course and pursued yoga therapy and individualized yoga and focused my practice and teaching within the Viniyoga lineage. I earned my RYT200 in 2007, my E-RYT 500 in 2009, became a Certified Yoga Therapist under the tutelage of Gary Kraftsow through the American Viniyoga Institute in 2013, and was certified as a C-IAYT through the International Association of Yoga Therapists in 2016.
In 2014, I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome after several years of feeling extremely tired, experiencing chronic pain, and noticing decreased brain functioning. I used my yoga practice in conjunction with working with a functional MD to help me cope with and manage my symptoms. Through my yoga practice, I learned how to use and adapt tools and techniques to help with symptoms, how to tailor my practice and outlook for a specific moment as symptoms can shift rapidly, and to create spaces of wellness, joy, and meaning living with the uncertainty and symptoms of chronic illness. Even though my symptoms have now decreased, I still have to manage them, and my experience taught me how to live more fluidly with things that change. As I continue to use my yoga practice for my own path of healing and wellness, I am even more inspired to help others do the same. I understand the power of incorporating yoga into our lives has to help support us through painful and uncertain times in our lives and create a wholeness of health in all parts of ourselves. All things change in our lives, and I have found yoga to be the best tool for me to anchor myself as I ride the waves that inevitably come, helping me find stability, ease, and confidence in life.
I am also an avid student of yoga and other contemplative philosophy from multiple sources of inspiration and teachings, and I incorporate these into my work as appropriate. My goal is to continue to merge the Eastern and Western mind-body philosophies of wellness together to offer a broader and more comprehensive experience for my clients and students. Self-inquiry is paramount to yoga work, and I offer clients and students the ability to do this through classical yoga techniques and contemplative and reflective practices.
I enjoy spending time with my husband, dog and cat, and friends, and I love being outside. I feel there is a lot to learn from the natural world, and I am at home in a garden as well as on a mountain trail or river. I love to travel to learn about new places and cultures as well as visit with my family who are spread throughout the country. I continue to study yoga and yoga therapy as well as spiritual contemplative practices from various religious and secular backgrounds, and I find great joy in learning how to cultivate and deepen positive and meaningful relationships to myself and others. I strongly believe and hope that my background and personal relationship to my practice will help support my clients and students through their healing journeys in life.