What are your classes like?
I’m not one of those yoga instructors who does one-handed handstands or is looking for you to have a picture perfect pose. That’s not what I’m about. I’m more about being present for my students and helping students be more present for their embodied experience. I try to bring a nurturing, kind energy to my classes. At the same time, I’m not a pushover, and I’m not afraid to challenge my students in a safe way. I always give detailed instructions and model the poses we’re doing. My classes typically reflect what I’m working on in my own yoga practice at the moment.
What’s important to you as a yoga teacher?
I care about people not injuring themselves. That’s my number one priority. Beyond that, I’d say letting a persondiscover things on their own. Guiding them but also letting them make their own discoveries. I’m always thinkingabout how to move my students forward in their practice. Sequencing of poses is important. I sequence my classes to allow students to extend their range of motion, to explore different depths of poses depending on their level.
Why do you do yoga?
Yoga is the practice of going inside and being one with your body and yourself. It’s bringing the mind and the body together. When I’m doing yoga, I’m not thinking about what to have for lunch or my to do list. I’m thinking about whether the big toe mound is grounding into the floor so I can lift my outer shinbone. In ordinary life, my mind is always going. For me, yoga has been a way to bring my mind back into myself so it’s not distracted by all the outside things. That’s my meditation.
Can you describe a bit about your training?
I’ve been evolving my style of teaching yoga since 2010, after earning a teaching certificate from The Yogasana Center of Yoga in Brooklyn, New York. My mentors at Yogasana come from a school of yoga created by Donald Moyer in Berkeley, California beginning in the 1970s. This style of yoga, based on the work of B.K.S. Iyengar, emphasizes nuanced embodied presence through all the poses and detailed instruction in teaching. It’s been such an honor to study with Donald Moyer himself and many of his leading students. I continue to study and learn from my mentors. I’ve also received extensive training in therapeutic yoga, studying with Deborah Wolk.
My quest for deeper professional training led me to India, where I completed a five-week course studying Iyengar Yoga from Rajiv and Swati Chanchani. My compassionate teaching style draws influence from not only from Iyengar Yoga but also Alexander Technique and my recent studies of human anatomy.What would you want to say to a new yoga student about yoga?
Beginners often come in and say, I’m not flexible at all. I tell them, you don’t have to be flexible to do yoga. Let go of any expectations you have of what yoga is or what your body can or cannot do. Just be present during the class. And take it from there. Go in and see what happens. What happens is different for everybody. You might find moments where you’re feeling really connected with your body and letting go of the noise that might be happening in your brain.
What are you doing when you’re not teaching yoga?
I’m usually hanging out with my family. I have a 5 year old son. We love to play and explore in Prospect Park. I have lived in Park Slope for 17 years and love this neighborhood supporting local restaurants, coffee shops and businesses.