I began my yoga practice after my 2nd knee surgery in order to heal my body to continue distance running. In my first Ashtanga class I found that yoga offers so much more than just physical benefits. Since then, I have studied Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga and Meditation, completing three teacher trainings and countless workshops to further my understanding of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of yoga.
My daily practice has taught me to be mindful and compassionate on the mat in order to take these qualities with me off of the mat. I have studied under many talented teachers and feel that what they have shared with me is a gift that can transform.
I feel very grateful to share this gift with others.
I can thank one of my oldest friends for my introduction to yoga. Friend + Groupon = 2013 first practice. I was enthralled and haven’t stopped since. My practice and teaching are inspired by humor, strength, persistent tenacity and connection.
The opportunity to explore teaching came at a time of transition. I was going to tackle something and had to choose between something with which I was familiar and something entirely new. Many, many hours of training later I can thank the experience for deepening my yoga practice and improving how I communicate, both inside and outside of the studio. I enjoy learning from every yogaRIOT instructor.
I’m trying everyday to be a better person and leader and I’m grateful for the opportunity grow along with the yogaRIOT community!
I began a daily hot yoga practice in 2000 in response to my body breaking. It was the last thing I could do that didn’t hurt. I had always been an athlete and I needed to move, but running, dance, cycling and a lifetime of hard driving had taken a toll on my joints. In my yoga journey I learned how to take care of myself, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
I trained with Karen Abbott, Bikram Choudhury, Baron Baptiste and many other gifted yoga teachers around the world. I am an intuitive and present teacher. I get a kick out of inviting you to play and explore your EDGE on your yoga mat. I believe in yoga as a path to health and wellness and as a tool for presence and authenticity.
My Teacher/Leader Stake is to hold space for you to step up to your edge and grow into your yoga practice in Big Bold ways. I invite you to come and find yourself on your mat.
I have always been in love with the art of movement. I was introduced to yoga in college. I received my first yoga teacher certification and fell in love with the beautiful ways the body and mind powerfully move together. Since then I have completed and assisted many teacher trainings, Power Vinyasa, and Prana Flow.
I believe that everyone has something to teach us. I will continue to crave knowledge and experience to enhance my practice and empower others in theirs. I became a teacher because yoga transformed my life. That vibrant energy needs to be shared with everyone! I believe in creating a loving, open space where students will be challenged while having fun.
I celebrate knowing that I help people discover strength, flexibility, and the opportunity to grow.
I started practicing yoga when I was 17 and in my early 30’s when I began a regular practice. I was in the midst of completing a big project when I finally understood that mind and body go hand to hand. The need for yoga came natural to create balance in my life.
I started teaching yoga a couple years ago. I was craving voices that spoke of and understood the challenges of life through the perspective of diverse experiences. Teaching yoga gives me the opportunity to state that yoga IS for every body. My best yoga teachers are children. From them, I learn the joy of being alive, the lightness of a lack of self-consciousness, and the fun of exploring the limits of the body.
My practice and teaching are inspired by the opportunity to reclaim our bodies, reclaim our lives every single moment. Past and future are consequences of the present moment, and the gift of staying present is to regain one’s life back.
At my peak weight, I hit 330 pounds. I decided I absolutely needed to change my life, I wasn’t happy. I knew that discovering physical exercise was important, but I struggled deeply with wanting to move. Most of my life I had been tortured by mean gym teachers. I carried huge amounts of body shame. I tried yoga so many times throughout my early twenties and mostly walked out of more yoga classes than I stayed to take.
It wasn’t until I came to yogaRIOT that I found a home in yoga and with movement in general. Yoga became a form of movement that I could do everyday. It never gets boring, and there is always room for growth and expansion. Practicing yoga has helped to retell the story of my body. Yoga has changed my body and has sharpened my mind. It is my preference to practice in a heated room. Building fire in my body allows me to move with more ease. I teach because it takes my practice to a new level. When I teach, I am learning to explore the poses in other people’s bodies as well as my own. Teaching has empowered me to reach out to people who also struggle with their bodies. I learned to teach from Annie Ory at yogaRIOT. My teaching has been influenced by Baron Baptiste and his method of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. Also, every single teacher at yogaRIOT has influenced my practice and understanding of yoga. I am inspired when my students come to yoga to experience their bodies as they are. Also, being willing to do hard work and bearing witness to people changing themselves inside and out.
Aside from teaching yoga, I am a professional chef. I like to cook for large groups and teach individuals how to nourish themselves.
I began practicing yoga when I was 22 in 2002. I was working on my Master of Science in Teaching Music, which was pretty stressful, and intense. My daily bike ride took me by a yoga studio, and I thought, “yoga is silly, who even likes it?” My bike stopped, & locked itself up. I wandered in, and the teacher said, “Oh! You’re right on time for Hatha Yoga. You can practice in what you’re wearing. Enjoy!”. I had just left a lifestyle that had me touring/traveling for 10+ years. I had a yoga practice before, and had injured myself to the point of thinking I’d walk with a cane for the rest of my life. I thought no one would train me to teach, or acknowledge some of the injuries and chronic pain I was living with at the time.
Annie O. at yogaRIOT welcomed me in to training, and I’ve continued to learn from other teachers, and students alike. So far, I’ve learned from talented teachers in many disciplines, and studios around the US, a fun bonus of traveling. I’ve also completed a Yin Yoga training with Ida Riply, which changed my own perception of how alignment shifts pain in my body. I am inspired to teach and practice through the notion that pain will rescind, no one is “stuck” forever, and a little bit of practice every day is good. No one is disqualified from enjoying yoga because of the body they have. Breathe in acceptance, exhale expectations.
Aside from yoga, I love tending my garden, playing music around town, and sleeping.
Yoga & Meditation Teacher
I first came to power vinyasa yoga in November 2015. It quickly became an organizing force in my life and I jumped into teacher training here at yogaRIOT. As a person with disabling chronic migraines, I have a strong relationship with my body. Yoga gives me something joyful and affirming to do with my body rather than just survive. My teachers have met me where I am and teach to my possibilities, not my limitations. By becoming a yoga teacher, I hope to pass that amazing gift on to others. On my best days, my yoga is a meditation with myself about what more I can do and how much ease I can bring to it.
Thirty years ago, I read a book by actress and spiritual adventurer Shirley MacLaine and decided to teach myself to meditate. From that auspicious beginning, I have practiced and studied with a variety of teachers including Hindu and Yogic scholars, specialized training in my own earth-based spiritual tradition and the silent retreats offered by the Zen tradition. Through it all, I continue to return to my breath, cultivating a practice of stillness, acceptance and compassion.
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