My mother gave me the gift of yoga by taking me to a class while I was in college. As a theater major, I was more comfortable with the faster pace of a Broadway musical than a yoga class. Nevertheless, I was so blown away by the sense of peace at the end of class that I did not want to rise up out of the final relaxation. I wasn't asleep, but my mom actually had to touch my arm to bring me around!
After college I taught aerobics and yoga in Manhattan health clubs, continuing to sing, dance and act around town, until a serious injury ended my dancing and aerobics teaching career, and started the deterioration in my hip joints. While living in Colorado, I discovered Beryl Bender Birch's book Power Yoga and began to practice again, using that as a guideline. I became a serious student in 1997 when I learned that I had arthritis in my hips. I was inspired to become a teacher after injuring my hip during a yoga class because the teacher, as fine as she is, couldn't help me.
My husband and I moved to North Carolina in 1999 to be closer to my family, and to the ocean. I earned my first yoga teacher certification from the Asheville Yoga Center in 2003, where I studied several methodologies, including Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga and Anusara Yoga. During that year I met Desiree Rumbaugh and fell in love with the Anusara method. The combination of precise alignment principles with the uplifting philosophy that supports the practice resonate deeply in my heart.
That same year, my mother lost her long battle with breast cancer. My deepening into the practices of asana, pranayama and meditation enabled me to be fully present through that painful loss, and to share with her the gift of yoga at the end of her life. She is still my greatest teacher.
I have continued my yoga studies, earning certifications in Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga from the Aura Wellness Center, and in Itsy Bitsy Yoga for babies and tots from the program's creator, Helen Garabedian. I started teaching mommy and me classes in 2004 and have combined baby yoga, early childhood development and massage with postnatal yoga in a program I call Wee OnesTM Yoga. In October 2011, I attended Grounded Yoga teacher training, a yoga program for kids and teens, and began offering Grounded Yoga classes to kids, teens, and families.
In 2006 I received my Anusara-Inspired Yoga Teacher designation and spent 6 years working toward full Anusara teacher certification. (I relinquished my license with the Anusara organization in 2012 due to a conflict between my personal beliefs and those of the founder, but I remain true to the method.) In 2008, I earned the E-RYT (Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher) designation from the Yoga Alliance. I study locally with other teachers who offer classes in a style that is similar to my own, and am also inspired by William Mahony, Paul Muller-Ortega, Douglas Brooks, Desiree Rumbaugh, Martin Kirk, and many others, whenever I am fortunate enough to be with them.
After suffering severe whiplash and a crushed pelvis in 2 auto accidents, I began a regular restorative yoga practice as a counter-balance to the more active asana practice I was used to. In late 2006, I began to share the benefits of this quiet practice with clients and in workshops. I also started a regular practice in ball release therapy, using small balls up to 10" to release and work muscles using one's own body weight. In 2010, I attended Thai Yoga Therapy training with Deon De Wet. I incorporate all of these techniques into private sessions with clients for their multiple therapeutic benefits. Please visit my private sessions page for information about private sessions.
In December 2012, I had total hip replacement. All of the aspects of yoga practice (the poses, the breathing exercises and meditation) kept my hip stable and relatively pain free far longer than my surgeon had expected, nearly 15 years after my first visit. My yoga practice also led to a much speedier recovery than even I expected.
When not on the mat, I enjoy spending time with my husband (a project manager and fabulous cook), our two precious cats and our extended family and friends. They have all taught me much about yoga. I also enjoy crafty goodness of all kinds. I love creating things with my hands and gathering with friends to create together. I enjoy sharing the joy of knitting, crocheting, needle tatting, making jewelry, handmade paper or books, and mixed media collage. I am finally learning how to draw and paint with the help of several online art classes. I am a rock star in my car and sometimes while vacuuming.
On or off the mat, it's all yoga.