1. How did you find your way to yoga?
As a senior in high school I started to read about Buddhist meditation. I took a meditation class and found it extremely difficult to sit still. My mind was insanely hyper-active at that time in my life. Someone in the class mentioned this thing called yoga, which they said was like meditation, but you move around, so I tried it. I went to a few classes here and there, trying out different styles. One day I walked into an Ashtanga primary series class and was hooked. At that time I also discovered a pranayama class, which also hugely influenced my introduction to yoga. Since then I’ve discovered many styles of yoga that have helped me develop my practice.
2. What do you do for a living?
I am a bodyworker/massage therapist and see clients through my practice, OPENSPACE Bodywork, here in Portland. I have also been doing bicycle transportation work on and off for a number of years.
3. Are you able to incorporate your yoga practice into your career or into your daily life off the mat?
Yes! I like this question because “yoga off the mat” has increasingly become a theme for me in the last few years. When I first started yoga, it was a physical/spiritual practice that I did on my mat for the length of my class or home-practice. There was “yoga time” and then the rest of my life. I knew of this so called “off the mat” effect, but I really did not understand it, or really live it. A year or so ago I remember suddenly having a moment of realization that somewhere along the way yoga had seeped into every nook and cranny of my life. Now, my life is my yoga practice, every moment another pose. However, I don’t want to make it sound like I just fell into this. There were some very key moments in my life when I chose to be on the path of my yoga rather than some other path, and I do believe that making those choices allowed me to bring the various aspects of my life in harmony with my yoga practice to reach the point of union I now feel. In addition to these life choices, I do believe that over time the practice on my mat has changed how I am in the world– my body has changed, my perception, awareness, approach to things, etc. — and this affects things like what I want to eat, how I want to spend my time, how I deal with stress, how I relate to other people, etc.
4. What is the best thing about the Lila yoga community?
Oh, wow…everything! The people, both students and teachers, are true and authentic to their yoga journey; they are welcoming, good-natured, and all around fun to do yoga with! The space itself is an abundance of beauty and detail that evokes a sense of love and respect for the space and what it is for. Together there is this collective energy of the whole- of every person that has been through the doors, every class, every experience, everything- that carries this amazing shakti that is so uplifting, positive, and supportive. The Lila community is very special.