My life, much like yours, has been a culmination of decisions. Some of those decisions were life altering and some were the necessities of every day living. My journey into health and wellness fully began when I was 19 years old, turning 20. I was living in Northern Michigan at that time, intentionally secluding myself from family and friends. There, I was running from pain, sadness, longing and truly all emotions. I wanted to believe that this running would provide me with happiness. In some sense, it did.
In August of 2010, I hit rock bottom. I couldn't stand myself. I couldn't stand the way I physically appeared, my hair, my body, my face...all of it. I couldn't stand where I was living and all of the choices that led me to where I was at that time. Due to the inability to connect with myself, I had lost the ability to connect with other people. I was isolating myself in all ways. At this time in my depression, I began to actually hear myself. You know, the thoughts that are endlessly moving in our minds? I began to hear and see them. My thoughts were loud, nasty, and kind of hard to ignore. As the thinking turned darker, I began reaching out to people who I thought may help me deal with this sadness and discontent I was living in.
When I spoke to a friend of mine, she had gave me what I didn't know was to be the best advice to shape my life..."I think you should try Yoga". I respected and admired this friend so much and knew that I could trust her with any guidance. With that, I attended my first Yoga class onsite at the university fitness center. What I can remember the most from that first class was that, it was the first time I wasn't paying attention to my thinking, my negative thoughts. It was like I could finally breathe. It was also the first time I felt like I could live without being in pain or sadness.
From that day forward, I didn't stop my practice and study of Yoga. I left college in order to put my attention on fully healing myself from the inside out. I knew I needed to take care of my mind, body, and emotions. I moved back home and began to travel 45 minutes to the nearest "hot" Yoga studio where I would practice two to three times a week on top of my home meditation and Yoga practice. I could not afford a membership to the studio and at my friend's advice, inquired about work exchange. Then, I would drive to the last class of the evening and stay after class to clean the studio in exchange for paying for a membership. It was a labor of love and commitment.
A few years later, I was a graduate of Irene's Myomassology Institute and working as a licensed Massage Therapist. My job took me out to Colorado and then life took me to California. It was in California where I discovered more Yoga teachers who specialized in teachings I was not practicing. Specifically, a more vigorous asana (posture) practice, Power Vinyasa Yoga. I remember taking my first Power Vinyasa class and feeling knocked down physically, but more importantly, I felt like I was breaking through into a new strength and power within me.
In 2013, I attended Baron Baptiste's Level One, Journey into Power week long immersion in upstate New York. Words cannot express how life changing this program is and was for me at that time. Baron's immersions are not completely about learning to teach Yoga, that is just one part of the whole. You can expect to be pushed mentally, emotionally, and physically during these immersions. You begin to discover truths about yourself that you didn't know existed. In 2014, I attended Level Two, The Sannyasin's Journey in Sedona, another week long immersion.
My training is grounded in Baron's Power Vinyasa Yoga but I also pull from the teachings of other instructors that I've studied with since 2010. Meditation, for example, is a practice and tool I have been studying and utilizing since I took my first Yoga class. I often teach brief meditations in my regular posture classes because I believe in the benefits and power of a regular meditation practice. In my teaching, I respect that Yoga is not one size fits all. My goal is help individuals discover how to make the postures and practice accessible to them specifically.
My goal is to leave you in your greatness, as you already are whole.