Los Angeles, CA
Currently Teach: Vinyasa Krama Yoga
Introduction: Tell us about yourself, your story, where you are from, practice, etc.
I’m a yoga educator living in Los Angeles serving a global community with a deeply spiritual practice on optimal wellbeing and the benefits of self improvement. I started practicing yoga at a young age and have since studied and taught all over the world. My mission is to lead with love but above all things to be a true leader in the community. I serve up a strong practice that is mentally and physically challenging and I always mirror the practice to our life circumstances. My classes fill up in seconds and are filled with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. When you walk into my room you are greeted like family and are expected to be a part of the community. It is not about YOU but what YOU have to do to tap into your fullest potential.
How long have you been practicing yoga and why did you start practicing yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga since I was a teenager and discovered the practice after my father died suddenly. While grieving I started studying religion, specifically Catholism, and became heavily vested in the community of church and commune. I was seeking explanations on life and death and why it all made no sense. However, while I loved the community that the church provided I had a hard time being told what to think instead of processing my own inner dialogue and beliefs. That’s when I started exploring Yoga philosophy and asana.
What is yoga to you?
A personal practice of transformation. It doesn’t matter what draws you to the practice whether it is physical, mental, spiritual - the magic is that all aspects of yoga include to help people heal, grow, evolve.
How did you feel after your first yoga class and how do you want students to feel after they practice with you?
I suffered from severe anxiety and depression after my fathers death in my teen years. I was in and out of the hospital and heavily medicated. After my first yoga class we participated in pranayama breathing and it was the first time since his passing that I felt a sense of ease again. I knew I had found the tools to help me start to heal from my own personal tragedies. That is what I want people to walk away with. That through this work, you can evolve, change, uplift and elevate your entire being. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes it takes years, but I’ve seen the greatest change in every single person who stayed patient with the practice and path of yoga.
Do you currently practice and teach? If so, where?
I teach at Equinox Hollywood and West Hollywood. I practice quietly at home where I can intuitively tap into what I want to create for my community. Messaging is so important to me and I work hard to live a life of simplicity so I can show up authentically with a sincere message every single class.
What impact has yoga had on your life? Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?
I have been blessed to find this practice at a young age so while I was an angst driven teen, through this practice I have learned to soften tremendously on not just myself but my expectation of those around me as well. I am far less judgmental and quick to compare contrast as I was beforehand. Yoga gave me optimism, hope, clarity and made me enthusiastic about life. I think what people see most in me is the work I’ve done on myself to be in this happy mindspace. It’s a daily ritual to stay this present and aware of things even when things feel so out of our control, there is always a lesson behind it.
Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what makes a good yoga teacher?
I started teaching yoga when my yoga teacher asked me to start subbing classes. Though I had already been practicing over ten years I found it important to be educated but had no means of teaching full time, just as a gratitude to my teacher. After I taught my first class, I couldn’t help but want to serve more!
What style of yoga do you practice and what makes that style most effective? Do you have a teacher in your style of yoga?
I teach very fun curated vinyasa krama classes. They are deeply spiritual, dance inspired flows that include dynamic movement sprinkled with anatomy, physiology and mythology. They are intense, expressive and all encompassing of everyone in the room.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?
Above all things, keep going. Repetition equals magic.
What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice?
Biggest struggle is staying deeply committed to having my own style/flow/spirit in class. I really try hard not to imitate anyone else in my teachings but to fully embody myself and my truth of why I practice and teach.
What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?
Captalism and the unrealistic imagery of yoga used in marketing.
What is your dharma, your life mission?
To cultivate compassion and change within my community. And to educate other yoga communities on the tools and resources they can use to uplift and elevate their communities as well.
How important is living a healthy lifestyle (clean eating/eating healthy for example) important to the yogi lifestyle?
When I think about health and wellbeing I don’t necessarily associate that with something as simple as clean eating. A healthy lifestyle includes so many variables and we have to be willing as yogis to truly dive into the deeper layers of our being to uncover murky habits that need to be reprogramed. Lack of sleep, overworking, procrastination, mental ruminations of the mind, unclean eating, lack of movement and exercise all lead to anxiety, depression and disease. Yoga is a simple practice for complicated people of removing obstacles that hinder us from showing up mentally clear and ready to receive. Sleep, meditation, movement, deep breathing, clean eating, right actions, being in community - these are all things we have to keep self-improving on in order to create lasting change in our health and optimal well-being.
Any natural ingredients and/or vitamins that you recommend? And why?
Potassium for replenishment to fight off fatigue, muscle weakness and to support your blood pressure and mood stability. Magnesium for blood sugar and regulating muscle and nerve functionality. Triphala for antioxidants and digestion cleaning and toning of the intestines.
How important is hydrating/water to the yoga lifestyle/your practice?
Water is vital for our internal landscape to stay healthy. All vital functions of the body rely on our body staying hydrated to function properly. Living in Southern California where it’s hot and I teach heated yoga means drinking water and replacing electrolytes 30 minutes after I sweat for replenishment. Regrettably, I have suffered from infections when not hydrating properly so I think it is incredibly important to stay regimented on your water intake.
Where can our readers find you? (Instagram, Website, etc)
Anything else you want to share?
Use your yoga practice not as a way to self promote but as a means to uplift and elevate the world around you.