Profile Questions & Answers
Why did I start practicing yoga? My job as a freelance writer and editor and obsessive, workaholic nature contributed to a sedentary lifestyle that revolved around the computer, packing on pounds and weighing on my mind and spirit. Through the practice of yoga, I began to reconnect with myself on a physical, mental and spiritual level and with other important aspects of my world, allowing me to enjoy a more balanced and fulfilling life.
What do I remember about my first yoga class? Trying to hold full plank and down dog poses for even a few seconds was very hard, as I lifted my overweight, out-of-shape self above the mat, whole body quaking and muscles burning. I remember learning to consciously breathe through it and how present and alive the whole experience made me feel. I felt the sparks of an awakening in parts of me that I had neglected or didn’t realize even existed. Afterward, I remember feeling and thinking there was a whole lot more to this yoga stuff, as I felt completely spent and a blissful energy at the same time.
What was a key turning point in my yoga practice? Learning about the “eight limbs of yoga,” or “tree of life” as I call it, and how yoga is about much more than physically contorting yourself into crazy, pretzel-like shapes. Rather, it’s more about unraveling the mystery of your authentic self, respecting yourself and realizing your connection to others and the greater universe to live a fuller, more meaningful life.
What was the biggest obstacle I faced in becoming a yoga teacher? As a pleasingly plump, forty-something, I wondered if I could possibly ever really become a yoga teacher. Thanks to the guidance and encouragement of my teachers and classmates, I learned to let my heart rule over any self judgment or doubts. I realized that “I” was the only obstacle standing in my way. Once I got out of my own way, I was able to begin sharing the gift of yoga with others as I was meant to do.
Why do I enjoy practicing and teaching yoga? Yoga helps liberate me to enjoy being me just as I am and to enjoy life just as it is in the present moment. Likewise as a teacher, I enjoy helping students of all body shapes and sizes, abilities and conditions to feel more empowered and liberated through yoga.
Do I have a yoga pet peeve? Letting the ego override one’s present ability or fun attempting and stumbling through new poses and other yoga techniques. One of my favorite mottos is: “Leggo my ego!”