My Story & Teaching Philosophy
When I first started doing yoga, I never thought that I would be able to teach it because I wasn't very flexible. Even though I had played sports and worked out throughout my life, I could not bend myself into postures like others could easily do in yoga class. I also have scoliosis and sensitive knees, both of which made some yoga poses uncomfortable.
I began to notice that I would get frustrated with myself whenever I needed a block or a modification of a pose that other students were doing with ease. I worried about the possibility of an awkward moment when a teacher wouldn’t have an appropriate modification for my body and I would be left standing with nothing to do but wait for the class to explore something that I couldn’t do. When I look back now I see that I was trying to make my yoga practice look like someone else’s practice and I used negative self-talk to drag myself through yoga classes.
Thankfully although I was mentally struggling with my performance in vinyasa classes, I found kundalini yoga and it help me let go of the mental chatter. Kundalini yoga has so many elements (breathing, movement, eye focus, chanting, and hand positions) that I did not have time to doubt myself. Although I could not always do a pose to its full expression or for the duration of time that was called for, I began to shift my energy and my mental focus during class. The focus became about the process and about being in the moment while doing my best - not making myself move like other people.
Because I loved how this new outlook made me feel, I pursued a 200-hour kundalini yoga teacher training program. From there I realized that I could bring this positive energy to all the things that I loved about vinyasa yoga, so I got a 200-hour teaching certificate in vinyasa yoga. Today, I teach both styles of yoga to private clients and in group classes and I allow the benefits each style influence the other.
I am grateful that I did not give up my passion for yoga because it changed my life in so many ways and it is now my full-time pursuit. I teach private yoga lessons, group yoga classes, and do group and individual sound healing. As I work in all of these yogic capacities I realize that what I used to think of as limitations in my own yoga practice have turned out to be assets in my teaching.
Since I have experienced my own challenges and discomfort (physical and emotional) while doing yoga, I know that there are people out there who could benefit from yoga, but are letting their fears or limiting thoughts hold them back. When I tell people that I am a yoga and meditation teacher they are often interested and say, “I need that!”. But this interest and excitement is sometimes followed with, “but I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible” or “I’m too out of shape”.
I understand their reservations about yoga and this knowledge is what drives my love of teaching people yoga and introducing them to the many benefits of this varied practice. When I first meet with a private yoga client I want to learn her story. What brought her to try yoga, why is she interested, what is holding her back? People’s stories are not just physical, but also mental and emotional and I strive to provide a warm and caring atmosphere where they know that I understand where they are in their bodies today and I will help them grow to where they want to be tomorrow. I work in partnership with clients to design a yoga and meditation program that provides positive benefits for their busy lives.
My truest gift as a yoga teacher is my ability to hear each person’s story and work with him or her to find ways to enhance that story through yoga. I look forward to the unique challenge that each new client brings as we explore the journey of yoga, which is so much more than bending into postures - it is coming into your true self physically, mentally, and emotionally. I hope to meet you on your journey.