HOW I STARTED WITH YOGA
Back in 1997, I signed up for a class called “Yoga and Meditation,” unaware of the impact it would have on my body, mind and spirit. I noticed the benefits immediately, the stilling of my thoughts, the expanding awareness of my body and my growing faith in something greater than myself. My interest in Yoga and Meditation had been sparked and I knew this was only the beginning of a very long journey. After the course finished, I tried most styles of yoga. It was the positive, subtle changes that led me to unroll my mat day after day.
That said, I took a hiatus from Yoga in 2000 to travel in Europe and live in Italy. I will wholeheartedly admit that drinking wine and eating gelato became much more important than deepening my yoga practice. However, upon my return I dove back into yoga during a time when I needed it the most. During a period of my life marked by chaos and uncertainty and feelings of depression and anxiety, it was my yoga practice that helped heal my body, mind and heart. Somewhere between deepening my breath and holding downward facing dog, I started to feel okay in my own skin. Dedicating myself to a practice of balance, awareness and compassion helps me handle the emotional stresses of life and pursue a life of health and joy. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for this practice and have devoted myself to learning how to use the practice of Yoga to heal, empower and inspire others.
Trainings and life experiences
After years of developing a consistent practice, I earned my 200-hour teacher training certification through Integrative Yoga Therapy with Joseph & Lillian LePage. From there I dove head first into numerous other trainings to deepen my knowledge and understanding of this practice. Some of the trainings that most deeply shifted me as a teacher include, Shiva Rea’s “Embodying the Flow” teacher training course, Ana Forest’s Advanced Yoga Teacher Certification, Ananda Yoga’s Prenatal and Postnatal Teacher certification, Jill Miller’s Yoga Tune Up Training, Jason Crandell’s 100 hour advanced teacher training, Janet Stone’s Yama and Niyama training, Jane Austin’s Pre and Postnatal Teacher Training, in addition to various workshops, continuing education and conferences along the way with teachers such as Bryan Kest, Paul Grilley, Seane Corne, Maty Ezraty and Kathryn Budig.
In 2006, I became a therapeutic massage practitioner, certified by the Body Therapy Center. This training expanded my knowledge about anatomy, therapeutic touch and the connection between the body and the mind.
Earning my teaching credential with the state of California helped prepare me in ways to teach Yoga I never quite imagined. I taught Kindergarten and 4th and 5th grade. Experiences such as managing a class full of students and developing lesson plans has contributed to me confidently sequencing Yoga classes and being able to hold space for my Yoga students.
Since the completion of my Masters degree from Santa Clara University in Counseling Psychology in 2005, I earned my license by the state of California in Marriage, Family Therapy. For several years I counseled troubled adolescents, working therapeutically with a wide range of disorders and difficulties. I'm currently not practicing but keeping my license current.
In addition to teaching Yoga, my husband and I are happily raising two little cutie-pies. My daughter and son are my biggest reason to sustain my practice. I want to be as present as possible to the special moments they create in our lives, to find my calm when things get chaotic so I can show up as the best version of "mama" for them and so physically I can lift, hold and snuggle them daily. They are also my biggest teachers in how to take my practice off the mat. They help me to stay playful in my Yoga practice, to giggle and try new things, to slow down and breathe, to embrace the moment and to love unconditionally.
Each and every life experience continues to lead me on my path as a teacher and a forever student. A deep bow to this sustainable, life long practice of Yoga.