How did you find your way to yoga and then to teaching?
My initial experience with yoga was through a modern dance teacher while in high school – she would have us warm up with sun salutations and focus on linking movement with breath as we danced. I really enjoyed it then, but didn’t start practicing regularly at a studio until I moved to Philly in 2011, when my sweetie, Alex, and I started practicing together in the first few months of our romance. We both noticed a positive shift right away, and were hooked – on the practice and each other. Yoga has been a constant in my life ever since.
What is your practice like off the mat? How do you live your yoga?
As I learn to integrate elements of the practice – especially deep listening and attention to habits or patterns – into my life, I’m more attuned to my body’s basic needs, like sleep and nourishment, and I understand more clearly what it takes for me to feel my best, even if I don’t always hit the mark. When coping with stress or even boredom, I often use breath awareness to help me access calm or focus. Yoga illuminates the importance of self-inquiry; it’s fueled my desire to turn inward, get to know what’s there and try to love it all – light and dark, while endeavoring to nourish the bits that I want to flourish.
What is your favorite thing about the Lila yoga community?
Where to begin – Lila is the first place I experienced alignment-based yoga, and the difference has been truly transformative for my physical practice – with the support of many amazing teachers, I’ve accessed amazing physical opening while simultaneously healing past injuries by learning proper alignment and understanding my body in a way I never had previously. I also just love the space – the warm wood, the smell of chai, the sometimes squeaky floors; it’s a sweet place to practice.
Which pose is your “asana nemesis,” the one you loathe, but should probably be doing more?
In my home practice, I have a tricky relationship with savasana. I certainly don’t loathe it, but I struggle to give myself more than a minute or two to digest my practice before getting antsy and transitioning to what’s next. I know how important it is, but it’s hard work to lay still when I’m at home and hyper-aware of everything on my list.