200 E-RYT, 300 RYT
BITING THE HOOK
One day at the library, I found two curious books - Power Yoga, and Beyond Power Yoga by Beryl Bender Birch. Those books sent me to the yoga mat with real devotion and focus, and something inside of me began to function for the first time. There was an incredible, unnamable, compelling something about this intense Ashtanga practice that I couldn't quite put my finger on. It showed me parts of myself that I didn't know existed. It left me feeling beautifully cracked open, awake and curious in a whole new way. I wouldn’t call it a transformation, but rather an uncovering of what was already there. It’s this process of discovery that hooked me on yoga, and keeps me returning to the practice.
THE POWER OF AN EXCELLENT TEACHER
As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I was fascinated by the discipline, rigor, and rhythm of the Ashtanga Yoga Practice. I began the primary series at home, using Birch’s books as my teacher and commuting to Oakland and Piedmont for weekend classes. In the summer of 2003 I discovered the next best thing to running away from home and studying with Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. One of Jois’s approved Ashtanga teachers was offering a teacher training program nearby. And so I earned my initial 200-hour Yoga Teaching Certificate with Clayton Horton, and became an officially legit teacher.
As a teacher and practitioner, I was pretty fearless back then. Clayton Horton, Laura Camp and Rusty Wells fired up my practice in the early days. I regularly studied through workshops, yoga conferences and meditation retreats, experiencing a wide range of methods and philosophies.
In an effort to refine my teaching skills, I completed the 50-hour Bridge Program and 300-hour Professional Program at YogaWorks. The YogaWorks training offered me a unique connection to the lineage of Krishnamacharya through its sophisticated blend of Ashtanga, Viniyoga and Iyengar yoga methods. It was here that I had the privilege of studying with a team of skilled and authentic teachers: Lakshmi Norwood, Mynx Inatsugu, and Melanie Salvatore-August.
Annie Carpenter’s weekly classes in Oakland rock my yoga world and allow me to challenge myself in a purposeful and intelligent way. Immersions, workshops and Mysore Practice with Maty Ezrati have offered a deep level of integrity to my practice and teaching. Melanie Green of Berkeley Yoga Center has been an important teacher in recent years, reigniting and guiding my Ashtanga practice with sharp eyes and smart hands. I value my teachers, and the depth they bring to my practice. I send big gratitude, kudos and recognition to them all.
My goal as a teacher is to help bring this practice alive for those in my classroom. When I’m teaching, I strive to offer indivudal and personalized attention to each student in the room, and to see each individual practice as clearly as I can.
I’m passionate about my work as a teacher trainer: developing a comprehensive and inspiring curriculum, helping upcoming yoga teachers master a solid set of teaching skills, encouraging them to find their unique approach, voice, and a sense of confidence. It's a privilege to give these upcoming teachers a solid launch pad into the world of professional yoga teaching. Through it all, I feel crazy blessed to show up at work and witness the focus, grace, and mindfulness of the students in my yoga classes.
AT THE RISK OF BEING TOO PERSONAL
I’ve found that the most profound moments of my yoga practice happen at the collision of the mystical and the mundane. More accurately, for me the mundane is the mystical. I see proof of this as I attempt to keep my sanity as a yogini mom of three growing kids, a partner to my husband, a professional photographer, and a pet and foster kitten care giver, all while balancing the needs of a home and the many people we call family. What I know is that living mindfully day-to-day is when yoga practice really matters.
I adore a strong cup of coffee, kids who do homework without being asked, and well-timed sarcasm. If heaven exists, I’m positive that there will be a no-shoes-allowed policy, and that my beloved California coastline and redwood forests will make up the scenery. I'm a big believer in loud, irreverent laughter and the healing power of a snuggly kitten.