Bio & Yoga Philosophy
HOW I Became A Yoga Instructor
My very first official yoga class was in Boulder, Colorado in the summer of 2007. I remember walking blocks and blocks to the studio in the 98-degree heat, finally bursting through the doors into the air-conditioned lobby and comfortably signing in, only to walk into the yoga room and be hit by a wall of heat and humidity. Turns out my friends and I unknowingly joined a hot studio.
I remember looking at my mid-thigh five minutes into class in downward dog and watching a sweat droplet form, slide down my leg, and plop onto the floor. LIKE, CAN THAT EVEN HAPPEN? I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SWEAT COULD JUST RANDOMLY FORM LIKE THAT. LIKE. WHAT?
Fast-forward 10 years later, I’m now a certified hot yoga instructor.
It was a long journey getting here, but I’m a strong believer in “everything happens for a reason,” and everything that’s happened in my life has brought me to this - my life purpose - yoga.
I’ve always done what I’ve been told. I wouldn’t consider myself Type-A, just more of a people pleaser. I did well in school, was a decently good kid (although my parents may dispute this ; ) ), and generally did what I was told to do. However, this left me an anxious mess my senior year of college. I started seeing a therapist whose first wonderful suggestion was to start working out, preferably with a buddy.
That’s when I discovered the body-mind connection. Within a week of adding just 45 minutes of exercise, 3-5 days a week, I could see a drastic improvement in my ability to cope with life's stressors.
However, when I graduated and lost my gym buddy, my motivation went out the window. But, being the good student I was, I started researching ways to get myself back into it. I like science, so the facts and studies showed that the best ways to get and stay motivated are to find a buddy (womp, womp) and/or simply FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY.
Turns out, a large portion of success (for many people) stems from... JOY!
Somehow, I was brought back to that summer in Boulder, Colorado and sweating in that beautiful hot yoga room. Back in 2014, I was going to my 9-5 mentally stressful job and going to yoga 2-3 nights a week. However, I was still unsatisfied with the life I thought I had created for myself.
I graduated with a degree in journalism from Penn State in May 2014, yet I was an administrative manager in the suburbs of NYC. All of the tips and tricks and even the medication my psychiatrist from senior year prescribed me wasn’t making me happy, so I had to make a change.
After some soul searching, self-help books and websites, and just about every personality test out there, I came to the decision that I had to travel. So that’s what I did for two years. But eventually, I found my way back home to America, this time in South Florida.
Again, I attempted the 9-5 job-type, this time in my field - copyediting. Again, I found myself yearning for something more fulfilling.
So this time, instead of doing what I was “supposed to do” and sticking with this job that didn’t fit into the life I wanted, I listened to my gut. I quit and got a job at Starbucks to help support me through my 200-hour yoga teacher training.
Now I teach people how to cope with life's stressors through the power and practice of yoga. See what people are saying about my classes below:
WHY I Became A Yoga Instructor
I truly believe that my entire journey, that I share with you above, brought me here, where I am, today. Life is a series of lessons. If we learn the lesson, we move on to harder lessons or just simply learn to deal/cope with life. If we don’t learn the lesson, we repeat the same mistakes. Over, and over and over and over again. I feel lucky that it only took me three years, two desk jobs, and a couple of plane tickets around the world for me to learn my lesson: teaching and sharing my love of yoga with others is my path, my dharma.
No matter what I’ve been doing throughout the day, no matter what kind of day it’s been, I know yoga will always help make it better. That statement is true for me whether I’m teaching or practicing. Whether it’s asana (the physical practice), pranayama (breath work), meditation, or theory, yoga will always help.
I originally became a yoga instructor for selfish reasons. I thought, if I can make yoga my life, I can be happier. Body-mind connection - if it’s my job to exercise, it’s my job to keep myself happy. But as I learned yogic theory and learned more and more about how we are all connected, I began to realize that the real satisfaction comes from sharing this journey with others along their own.
My Yoga Instruction Philosophy
My vinyasa style classes are peppered with yogic wisdom and usually based around a peek pose, muscle group, or theme. You’ll find me walking around the room, reminding my students to move with their breath and be in control of their bodies while listening and caring for their bodies in that exact moment.
I try not to keep it too serious, though I do prefer more traditional music. I’ll crack a joke here and there (though I think a few of them are getting old…) and love to encourage smiles and senses of ease throughout my challenging classes.
But “smiles” and “ease” sound like the counterparts to “challenging,” what gives? I encourage my students to be their best selves and do what’s best for their bodies at that moment. I believe life is all about finding balance and yoga can help you find that on and off the mat.
Having a great day? Feeling energized and ready to kick some yogi ass? AWESOME! Challenge yourself today a bit more - take every vinyasa and maybe try a more advanced version of a pose you know and love.
Having a rough day? Feelin a bit sluggish and ready for some R&R at yoga? WONDERFUL! Take it easy today and try some more restorative flows and options throughout the class.
Yoga is all about listening to your body and doing what's best for yourself right NOW. That’s why I give my students plenty of options and walk them through poses step by step. I love sharing my knowledge and stories to help keep my students entertained and focused throughout the class.