Tell us about yourself, where you are from, currently reside, practice, etc.
I'm a yoga teacher originally from California, who learned yoga in Washington state, and now lives in Gulfport, Florida. I'm a mother of two boys and start every day with a strong cup of black tea. The yoga practice that lights me up is aqua yoga.
How and why did you start yoga?
I started yoga more than twenty years ago. I was a farrier, which is really hard on a person's back. I'd heard somewhere yoga is good for keeping your spine healthy, so I decided to try it. I've long since given up shoeing horses, but I've continued the yoga ever since.
Who was your great mentor/teacher?
I want to celebrate Camella Nair as a pioneer in the field of aqua yoga, and the person who originally taught me the practice.
Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method?
Aqua yoga is my focus because it is kind to people's joints and is so accessible. It's an easy way to start a yoga practice, it allows people who've lost a land practice to continue, and challenges people with an active land practice to explore their bodies in new ways.
What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?
I had arthritis for more than 20 years before my diagnosis, and had a hard time reconciling everything I'd achieved, with all my joint damage. I believe my success, and relative lack of pain was due to my yoga practice. The physical practice keeps me strong, the breath practice teaches me to manage my stress, and most importantly the philosophy and meditation help me keep equanimity in the face of chronic illness.
What is your mind set when you step onto the mat?
For my practice, stepping into the pool is my happy place. I get to explore as many movement potentials as I can come up with, my pool practice never hurts but still continues to challenge me, and the sensory experience of a floating meditation keeps me grounded in my internal reality.
When did you understand you wanted to be a yoga teacher?
I didn't enter teacher training intending to be a yoga teacher, it was about my practice. In the middle of training, my health diagnoses changed dramatically and it was a real challenge for me to come to terms with. I gave my yoga practice the credit for my success in life up to that point, despite everything I didn't know I'd been dealing with. If yoga could keep me that pain free despite everything, it held vast potential for others that I wanted to share.
What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher?
I work mainly with seniors. I love hearing how yoga is improving my client's daily lives. Being able to give up using a walker, or go down stairs, or get up and down off the floor is hugely transformational, and makes a tangible, real world difference in people's lives.
Why is yoga so important for the times we’re living in?
I think people long for communal spaces of support. Yoga classes provide people a place of solace, and connection with others. The practice makes people feel better in their bodies, connected to others who they practice with, and find some internal peace they can take out into the world.
Your favorite quote?
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." - JRR Tolkien
Anything else you want to share?
Where we can we find you? Instagram, website, etc