How did yoga become a part of your life? What led you to a devoted yoga practice?
I was having terrible headaches, 6-7 days a week. Nauseating, throbbing, debilitating headaches. I had been to the hospital for brain scans to try and locate the cause. The doctors could not pinpoint the issue. I visited a chiropractor to try and find some relief. He suggested I try yoga, and that was the beginning for me. Not only did the headaches decrease rapidly, not only did I lose weight, but I found myself. I found something that could quiet my mind, allow me to focus on only the present moment, and finally something that allowed me to feel graceful! (Growing up as a perpetually clumsy kid, finally feeling graceful is a big deal!)
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about yoga?
In my experience, the biggest misconception I encounter, is that you have to be somewhere else in your life before you can start a yoga practice. You have to be in better shape, or stronger, more flexible, more focused. You have to have the right clothes, or the right mat or the right jewelry. But the reality is that yoga meets us all exactly where we are.
Name 3 non-negotiables in your life
1)Self care - that can mean anything from setting aside the time to meditate, to catching up on the book I want to read, to taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine.
2)Family - My family is my everything, and I find that without yoga, I am more stressed and frustrated, so taking the time to come to my mat helps me be more present for them.
3) Lifelong learning - I love learning. If I could make a living out of being a professional student, I would! Taking some time, everyday, to learn something new, to try something different, and then sharing that information, sharing that experience, is what its all about for me.
What is the pose that challenges you the most and why?
The first one. Beginning the practice is the hardest. Carving out that time, to just stop, step onto my mat, and begin my practice, when I have a million other things pulling at me, is the hardest for me.
One mantra to share with students
Make the time. Step onto your mat. You can do it, You are worth it, and You deserve it.