I’ve always been interested in expressive movement. When I was young, I’d dance alone in my room to heavy hip hop beats. My body craved the process of creation and release, and dance became the driving force of my life (and remains a lifelong love I continue to teach).
Yoga came less organically. When I was 19, I took a break from dance. But I missed the flow state. So I popped into a group vinyasa class at a 24-Hour Fitness one night. The movement felt at once familiar and challenging—and addictive combo—so I went back. I thought this yoga thing could make a tidy parallel practice for all my dancing. It could help me rehab my back from all the thrashing, and keep me strong.
It did that, and beyond. But it took years for me to notice what all yoga could offer, aside from sweat and a sense of release.
I kept practicing, even after dance came back. I started teaching, too. And slowly, I started to listen. Not just to the needs of my body, but to the fluctuations of my frenetic mind.
I began to practice asana in a more integrated way—a way that respected how my unique parts fit together to form a unique whole; a way that respected how the connection’s always shifting.
My intention started to shift, too—toward balance. Not the balance you work when standing in tree pose, but the balance you honor when you finally soften your effort into ease, and release your mind’s death-grip on cyclical negative thought.
Yoga continues to help me be more patient and compassionate, especially with myself; more accepting of what is; and more awake to my own experience.
Asana—the physical practice, or yoga postures—initially got me on a mat. It brings me back there daily. Meditation in motion will always get me blissed out.
But Yoga, as a holistic, life-long journey to refine intention and expand consciousness, is what truly inspires my teaching, keeps me dedicated. The why, rather than the what, I now find much more intriguing.
My classes, like most you’ll find in a studio, are movement-based. I incorporate flow with sustained holds, and strive to refresh, energize, and nurture the body and mind with feel-good movement.
But Yoga’s much more, and I’d like each of my classes to reflect that. I encourage my students to honor their bodies with compassionate movement that makes sense—whether or not a challenging or recognizable pose is a part of it—and to listen to their unique experience. It’s my hope that these moments of play and learning on the mat will trickle out into my students’ lives and help them create positive change.