How did you find your way to yoga?
Initially I got into yoga to relieve stress. I was working as an EMT at the time and was exposed to many real and horrible things, life and death. There is a culture within that profession to suppress a lot of the hard feelings. Yoga was a way for me to process and honor all of that stuff, through movement and breath.
What do you do for a living?
I have a number of jobs that revolve seasonally. In the spring and fall I work at Fedco, a worker-owned seed and garden supply company north of Waterville. Summer finds me growing and gathering plants for my herbalism business, Brown Bag Herbals, through which I sell hand-crafted salves, lotions, and tinctures. I also help run the kitchen at Maine Fiddle Camp, a traditional music camp in the mid-coast. Winter is more of a wild-card; the past couple of seasons I’ve been hunkered down in Portland cooking food for homeless people at Preble Street.
Are you able to incorporate your yoga practice into your career or into your daily life off the mat?
It is very appropriate for me to think of yoga as a union. My rhythms shift in pretty big ways throughout the year and yoga helps me stay grounded through all of that. It is a thread that runs through and unites the sometimes seemingly disconnected pieces of myself and my life.
What is the best thing about the Lila yoga community?
I discovered Lila when I moved to Portland about a year ago and came to Genell’s Asana Junkies class. I was instantly hooked. Prior to that, I was living in a town with minimal yoga offerings. I consequently developed a strong home practice but was kind of limited in the knowledge exchange and exposure that happens when you are in a community. The best thing about the Lila community for me is the support from the people who teach here. It feels really good to be led in class by someone who is familiar with my practice and specific things I’m working on, and I’ve found that here.