Tell us your story
I grew up in New Hampshire and Massachusetts practicing dance and athletics, but it was not until I walked out of my first yoga class did I realize my fullest potential. The yoga class changed my mind, body and spirit. I dabbled in Kripalu, Bikram and Restorative Yoga styles for years but landed at Living Yoga in Concord, NH for my RYT200 studying Ashtanga principles. While in graduate school for health management, during my final semester in Science of Integrative Health, I learned of the Chakra System and has been entrenched ever since.
When did you first get into yoga?
I first got into yoga about 8 years ago, I took a class at a gym for the stretch to counter my heavy workouts. I was shocked at how stretched I felt but more importantly by the fact that it was so focused around our breath. I then dabbled in other types including Bikram which gave me an appreciation for strength, however, it wasn't until I found vinyasa which helped me cultivate patience and restorative that made me slow down that I realized I want this. Yogic breathing is my go-to in times of stress or anxiety. There is nothing more amazing than feeling completely connected, centered and energetically balanced.
What is your greatest weakness? What are you doing to improve it?
My greatest weakness is self-imposed pressure to do more, be more. It took me a long time to learn that I don't need to push so hard, I don't need to work each and every day. When we open ourselves up and live as though we already have what we need, guess what? You get more of it. I've always been an incredibly hard worker and successful at it, I believed for a long time that that was the way to "life". When I finally started to acknowledge these feelings inside of me, or times of stress and pain nudging for my attention I actually had an a-ha moment-this is not the way to life (for me). Life is enjoying life, being present and detachment from "stuff"; mental and tangible. Detaching from what we think we should do and actually doing what our souls are screaming for. I'm practicing this every day and so far it's getting better every day.
What types of Yoga do you have the most experience instructing?
What do you like most about yoga?
This is not a one answer question for me! Love is more appropriate:
Feeling my emotions
Growing mentally and physically
Self-respect for my mind, body and soul
What did you want to be growing up?
I wanted to be a model and own a farm of rescued animals. I will still do the farm part, I'm sure of it.
Three words that describe yourself
Student-I will never stop loving to learn
What do you value most in people around you?
I love how different each and every one of us is! I learn from others and vice versa. I value most importantly authenticity; always, always be yourself.
What's your favourite meal?
This is hard!!! I love soba noodles with pan seared tofu and broccoli smothered in coconut oil, garlic and fresh squeezed lemon.
What was your biggest challenge when you first started practicing yoga?
Being where I was. I wanted to go further, faster. Slowing down has always been more challenging for me. So naturally it lured me in even more. I began to focus on introspection and learn pets of myself that I had apparently stuffed deep down inside.
What else do you enjoy doing in life?
Be with my dog, Merci
Sitting under the stars and moon
Driving back roads with no destination
What's your advice for someone that's just starting to do yoga?
Allow yourself to be exactly where you are. Create a mantra that you believe, feel it and repeat it, the more good you put out, the more the universe repays you.
How do you take your yoga off the mat?
I love early am stretches in bed to slowly wake up. We quickly jump out of bed with an alarm which is a hard adjustment on our mind coming from a deep sleep so slow, gentle movements help to adjust and just get the body moving. Besides the physical, I practice Ahimsa; non-violence. I believe in Ahimsa for our selves, our peers, our Earth and every creature walking Mother Earth. Think of how much peace we could all have if we all practiced non-violence.
What's your all time favourite yoga asana? Why?
Paschimottasana, seated forward fold. It is not only an amazing stretch for my hamstrings and back but it is supportive and grounding. I find comfort and steadiness here and really focus to incorporate my breath filling my lungs into my back and experiencing a deeper fold with each exhalation.
What's your mantra?
Om Sri Ramaya Namah
Restoring my inner focus to happiness, peace and balance. I often repeat my mantra in meditation or during challenging asanas.
What posture is the most challenging for you? Why?
King Pigeon! It is so beautiful and opening, yet so challenging. I have the back flexibility but struggle with tight hips so it is a daily work in progress.
Fill in: I teach yoga because it changed my life. Period. No words can describe the immense amount of thankfulness that I have inside of me for this practice. When I teach I feel it, I own it. I like to create a space where each practitioner can be true to themselves. If you want to add a stretch to your cat/cow please do! Honor your body. I love seeing people grow into themselves and just love absorbing the radiant energy that they expel.