How did yoga become a part of your life?
About seven years ago I went through an intense bout of anxiety and yoga classes were recommended to me by a therapist friend. I went to Inhale Yoga Studio in Athens, Ohio and the teachers and classes there really got me hooked. The changes in my strength and flexibility kept me motivated, too, but the mental health benefits for me are really what made yoga an essential part of my self care.
What led you to a devoted yoga practice?
Over the years I’ve fallen in and out of regular practice, but what always drew me back was the mental clarity and emotional peace that yoga brings me. I’m just happier, life is more beautiful, and stress is more manageable when I’m practicing yoga consistently. Also, I think beginning to teach has changed how I approach my personal yoga. It’s not all about me anymore and I’m always energized when I feel like something discovered or felt in my own practice can potentially be used to help my students.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about yoga?
That’s it’s something some people just aren’t “good” at or don’t have “the body” for. Our culture is so competitive, so I think it’s difficult for many to approach a physical yoga practice with acceptance and reverence for their own bodies. That can really hold someone back from feeling all the benefits of a practice, or just from enjoying life to the fullest! Luckily, yoga helps us with self love, self acceptance, and can really help lower some of those walls of self doubt that we think protect us, but really hold us back.
Name 3 non-negotiables in your life
1. Coffee first thing in the morning
2. Dogs any time possible
What is the pose that challenges you the most and why?
Humble Warrior! Physically it’s a challenging pose for me and my mind also just goes wild with self deprecation for some unknown reason. That’s the most difficult part- just letting those thoughts go without taking me with them!
One mantra to share with students
Om gam ganapataye namaha is a mantra for grounding that I’ve been really drawn to lately. It honors Ganesha, who rules the root chakra. I’ve had a lot going on the past few months and there’s been plenty on my to-do list so staying grounded and focused has been tricky for me. When my thoughts start to fly in a thousand directions a mantra like this is super helpful to bring me back down to earth.