I am certified and trained in the Ashtanga vinyasa yoga primary series. Ashtanga yoga, meaning ‘Eight limbed’ yoga, was developed by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and his student K. Pattabhi Jois. This tradition of Ashtanga yoga focuses on asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath). Pattabhi Jois was an innovator; he was among the first to open the practice to the West and the first to encourage women to practice. His carefully sequenced series of postures coordinated with breath is the basis for most forms of yoga practiced today. From kundalini to Iyengar to power yoga, the purpose and style may differ greatly, but all movement shares the same lineage.
I acknowledge and respect the Ashtanga vinyasa series, but I believe in an unbounded personalized practice. This is why I teach Hatha vinyasa flow, restorative yoga and meditation, yogalates, and strenuous sequences that could very well be described as power yoga. My classes often feature a sense of spontaneity and creativity, influenced by the energy of the group. I always offer my students many options, enabling them to take yoga to whatever level they’re feeling in that moment. Want to challenge yourself? I will help you to do so safely and with body integrity. Need to nurture yourself? I will encourage you to rest, restore, and gently stretch yourself back into alignment.
I’m grew up with a background in dance, music, and theater and I stumbled upon yoga my first year in college (I was in my Zen phase then). I’d like to say it was love at first stretch, but that would be an exaggeration. Sure I liked it; I loved all forms of exercise indiscriminately. And why the weird breathing and chanting, anyway? To tell the truth, Yoga 101 was the only class I ever got an "incomplete"grade in college, as I stopped going due to a conflicting musical rehearsal schedule.
No, it took me years to fall in love with yoga. It wasn’t until I lived for a year abroad in Ghana, West Africa in 2004 that I really connected to the practice. Though profoundly inspired by the culture and lifeways of the Ghanaian people I lived and went to school with, I was always hyper aware of just how much I did not belong. I wore my strangeness on my skin, within my voice, and during my many cultural blunders. I wanted some form of daily exercise, but obviously there were no gyms, and I soon found that crazy Oborunis (white people) jogging around was quite the spectacle. So, I began to practice one the few forms of exercise that required only about 5 feet of space and could be done in the privacy of my tiny dorm room: yoga. And my practice quickly evolved beyond exercise. Every morning as the sun rose and before the wet heat of the day soaked the earth I did yoga. Every time I had access to an internet café I looked up more poses and more meditations. With yoga I created a space every morning that was uniquely mine. I find that same private solace every time I step onto my mat and close my eyes. Yoga has been a perfect embodied form of mindful solace for me during my travels abroad and all throughout graduate school, and I'll continue to cultivate this space for the rest of my days.