How My Yoga Practice Began
I began my yoga practice in 2005, during my freshman year of college. I recall being both fed up with feeling unwell as well as genuinely curious about a more spiritual and holistic lifestyle.
What began as a casual hobby gradually developed into a daily priority, as I realized how much better I felt physically and emotionally and how fulfilled I felt intellectually and spiritually. In 2008, during my senior year of college, I studied abroad at University of Hyderabad, India, where I sought to immerse myself in Indian culture and study Eastern philosophy more thoroughly, but I also happened upon a yoga teacher certification course on campus. During that time, I would wake at sunrise (something that never would have occurred to me as appealing or possible in the lethargic and unmotivated days of my teenage years) and I followed a winding path through the South Indian jungle, which afforded me time with nature, including wild peacocks and monkeys, to get to the yoga center where I practiced and learned for an hour and half before my university classes. I then returned to practice and learn more in the late afternoon, when university classes were over.
After 5 months, I returned to the U.S., completed my final semester at University of Rhode Island, graduated with a B.A. in English Language & Literature and a minor in Philosophy and Writing, returned to Long Island, and my passion for yoga had already decided my future. Becoming a yoga teacher, as it were, had chosen me. I began teaching in 2009, and feverishly chased after any and every opportunity to share the magic of yoga. I went on to pursue additional trainings and certifications, earning both my 200-RYT and 500-RYT with Yoga Teachers Training Institute in Queens and an advanced Ashtanga Yoga Training with Kino MacGregor and Tim Feldmann. I studied Iyengar Yoga with Gabriel Halpern, learned anatomy and physiology from David Keil, and meditation from Roni Yaari. And I learned a lot from independent study, reading, researching, watching, listening, and experimenting with my own body and my own experiences.
Students and teachers alike have often asked me who I trained with, where I learned to teach, and while many teachers have offered me profound knowledge, the truth is that my life experiences have been the teacher all along. I was born an inquisitive soul with a mind that attempts to organize information in order to help and to heal, and so I search for the answers and solutions to life's deep questions and dilemmas and have been gifted with the ability to articulate, verbalize, and demonstrate what lessons I gather in a way that fortunately resonates with people. The path has not always been easy and pleasant, as I have faced many losses, traumas, including significant physical and emotional pain, all before the age of 30, that I have attempted to synthesize in a way that elevates me, expands my consciousness, and permits me to empathize with others and be a source of support. So in honesty, pain has been my teacher and I expect that shows in my teachings, which will hopefully come as a relief and a comfort, that we all have pains, and there are ways to work with this that empower and liberate. I have experienced the gifts of yoga and wish to share those gifts, for health, healing, happiness, and harmony.