When did you start practicing yoga and why?
I started practicing yoga in 2002, mainly to stretch out my running legs. I soon realized yoga was way more than trying to become flexible. There was a connection that started to grow inside me and with the people I practiced around, even if I didn't know them personally.
What got you hooked?
The feeling I had during and after yoga was what hooked me. I've always been very active having been a runner and swimmer most of my life, yoga seemed like a missing piece of the puzzle. It was and is a way for me to express myself physically (through asana) and get in touch with myself mentally (through asana and meditation).
Where did you do your training?
I completed my 200 hour RYT at Vertical Soul Yoga in Flagstaff, Arizona and shortly after began my 300 hour RYT at Inner Vision Yoga In Tempe, Arizona. I have also attended multiple yoga trainings for teachers in Northern Arizona.
Who was your great mentor / teacher?
One of the most influential teachers during my teacher trainings was Geoffrey Taylor in Northern Arizona. His classes and trainings allowed me to gain more insight and advance my own practice so I could be a better teacher. Since then I have found inspiration in other teachers I follow through his/her website or virtual studio.
Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method?
The main style of my practice and what I teach is Vinyasa yoga. I have always been a physically active person who enjoys strength training and cardio activities. Vinyasa yoga has helped me bridge the gap between physically demanding exercise, strength and flexibility. I feel the most relaxed during and after Savasana when I practice a more active type of yoga. Yin yoga is also part of my weekly practice, as well as teaching. It was introduced to me during my first teacher training and I was hooked right away because I love how I feel a relief after a full hour of Yin Yoga. It's like having a massage!
Tell me about the studio you currently teach at.
I currently teach with Ompractice, which is an online platform for live group classes. I teach five yoga classes a week including yin, flow to yin and a core focused vinyasa. I also teach locally in San Diego via private/semi private and pop-up classes at local parks. Plus I teach two classes a week at Wild Island Collective, which is a plant and healthy living store that has yoga and fitness classes. It's just a cool and inviting space.
What is your mind set when you step onto the mat?
Every day is a little different when I step on the mat. Some days my intention is to be present and forget about things that happened before or will happen after my practice. Other days I just want to move my body in a different way from running.
What’s your favorite pose and why?
It's a little cliche but I love head and handstands. Getting my feet up and being upside down is fun and challenging which is exactly why I like yoga. Plus you have to be totally present and concentrating to keep the pose which helps me focus on things when I'm off the mat.
What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher?
I was a school teacher for 8 years before teaching yoga and I had many days where I was stressed and unhappy. Since teaching yoga to groups and individuals, I have those days where I'm stressed and sometimes with I didn't have to teach but as soon as I get in front of my student(s) everything melts away. The energy and willingness of my students to challenge themselves lifts my mood and amazes me every single day!
Why is yoga so important for the time we’re living in?
In the world we live in so many people spend hours sitting behind a computer and commuting. Living this way can be stressful and toxic to the body and mind. Yoga helps relieve stress and allows us to make connections with the inner self and others in the yoga community, which is important outlet for the stresses of today's lifestyle.
Your favorite quote?
"You can't change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it." -Mahatma Gandhi
I love that quote because I have struggled with feeling anxious about what others think about me. As I've aged and become more dedicated to my yoga practice, I've stopped caring so much and it's helped reduce my anxiety.