As an aging dancer, I started taking yoga at my gym 15 years ago as a way to workout and keep my flexibility.I initially only took “power yoga” because I was at the gym to workout & break a sweat. After closing my dance studio, I moved to NYC and took a studio manager role with YogaWorks. We offered a lot of different styles of yoga and had some fantastic educators and wellness coaches at YogaWorks in Brooklyn. That is where I started to learn more about the origin of yoga, Ayurveda, & holistic medicine. I was skeptical, and thought it was all a little “WOO WOO,” but there was something about these folks that drew me in. They had this way of being, I didn’t understand it, but I wanted to know more. That fall I entered a marketing contest for Pukka Tea at YogaWorks, Brooklyn Heights where I was the manager. My “Tea, Truffles and Tadasana” won the campaign contest, and I was awarded a week long retreat vacation in Costa Rica. The Retreat was in January of 2019, and that experience opened my eyes to a whole new way of practicing yoga. The retreat itself was not “deep” in a profound way, but the experience itself, coupled with exploring new, unfamiliar lands had me hooked and awakened something in me. When I returned to the USA, I was planning on moving to Los Angeles, and the timing could not have been more aligned. California, the land of gurus, hippies, and free spirits, it was the perfect place for me to explore yoga in a new way. I started attending Beach Yoga, because, duh, it’s the beach! I also started going to a very small yoga studio near my apartment in DTLA, and unlike the gym, where I was always trying to “fit in”, this little yoga studio in the basement level of a building in DTLA felt like I belonged. Then…covid
For what seemed like eternity, I was locked in my 26th floor apartment in DTLA. I went through a very difficult and depressing 2 years. My kids went to stay with their dad, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and with my boyfriend forced to travel 90% of the time now, my relationship of 8 years was slipping away.I had been doing a lot of online studying and when our lease was up in DTLA, we moved to Santa Monica. Living by the water does something to you internally. I felt my life was somehow restored, even though nothing really changed except my address. I began to practice yoga regularly and started incorporating Breathwork into my daily routine ( thanks to ClassPass, otherwise would have never known about it). Much like yoga, Breathwork, shifted something for me internally. I was lighter, more calm, and could learn to feel my emotions and release childhood and past trauma without having to recall/open up the old wounds. My personal life, along with the distance of my family became increasingly difficult. A dear friend came to stay with me during a particularly difficult time. She offered to do some energy work on me, and I agreed. That experience was both enlightening and terrifying. She was able to help me feel better, but she also brought to light some deep wounds that I had buried for decades. She also invited me to join a group on zoom for a 40 Kundalini Heart Opening Challenge. I had never done this type of yoga, and to be honest, the first time I tried it, I did not understand the concept or process, and it seemed “too much” spiritually for me. But I’m no quitter, so I stuck to it, and after the 3rd day, I knew I wanted to learn to teach this style of yoga as well. I completed the 40 Day Challenge and continued to practice it daily because of the positive mental, emotional and spiritual shifts. It was around this time that I decided that I wanted to teach yoga as much, if not more, than dance. Dance has always been my first love, my passion, but as life changes, so have I, and the positive benefits I have gained from these practices compel me to share these other movement modalities.
Beach Yoga Classes became a regular thing for me once I moved to Santa Monica. I connected with the owners of Beach Yoga SoCal and inquired about opportunities. The owners are from NJ and I’m a New Yorker, so we hit it off naturally.They were delighted to offer me to be part of their team. Once my “dance season” of judging concluded, I began teaching Beach Yoga. I knew that I wanted to continue to expand my knowledge and registered for a Trauma Informed Yoga Training in Panama. In working with my life coach/therapist, along with these practices of Kundalini & Breathwork, I knew I had some past trauma that I have been working through and felt that this program could not only help me work with special populations, but may also help me on a personal level. My trip to Panama easily makes my top 5 most amazing adventures. I learned so much about myself, other women, and world perspectives. I have since began coursework to obtain certifications in Meditation, Reiki, and Kundalini.I am fascinated by all that I am learning, so much of which is so simple, yet so powerful. Awareness. Bringing conscious, focused, awareness can transform your life. As I continue to learn and grow as an individual, it’s now time for me to start sharing my knowledge, experience and gifts as an experienced teacher to others.
Everyday, I head to Santa Monica Beach for “work”. I am still in disbelief that this is my “office”. Beach Yoga is a very unique practice, not only because of the instability of the sand under your feet, but the natural elements that you are surrounded by during your practice. It is almost a spiritual experience, uniting your breath, being and the elements. I am looking forward to teaching beach yoga and expand it’s reach, not just to locals, but tourists, visitors, children and groups. I also plan to work with private clients who want to refine and expand their yoga practice along with exploring ways to keep evolving to their true potential. This fall I will begin hosting retreats that will allow me to share all of my experiences and passions with women looking for community, connection & clarity. As I start to build a library of yoga, I plan to publish short flows on youtube, until my app is ready to launch in the fall. I am excited to begin this new branch of my movement business and feel grateful for all that has come my way. It is through failures, trauma, and tragedy that we really learn our greatest lessons, and yoga, meditation and Breathwork can allow anyone to turn Trauma into a Triumphant Transformation.