It all started when…
I was first introduced to yoga and mindfulness through an 8 week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program in my early 20s. I struggled with anxiety, ADD, and feeling directionless. This 8 week course gave me the tools to care for my well being and sparked my curiosity around yoga and mindfulness. I began taking Hatha yoga classes at a local studio. I fell in love with the practice and became certified through Shakti Yoga Studios in 2008.
In 2010 my life changed. I participated in the Empowerment Workshop led by David Gershon and Gail Straub at The Omega Institute. It was during that workshop that I learned the power of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, others and the world. For most of my adolescents and into my early adulthood I held the belief that I wasn't good enough. I didn't realize it was a belief. I thought it was a fact. This belief held me back in my work life, relationships, finances, and physical fitness. When I learned the tools to change the story, my life changed and good things started to happen in all the areas I once struggled in. I understood the power of self love and self compassion and how when I felt good it rippled out to being a more kind and caring human being to others.
My passion is to empower humans by giving them tools that support them during the challenges of life.
My teaching journey has also taken me to a variety of settings over the years, from school classrooms to summer camps, from yoga studios to private homes, college campuses to conferences, from healthy adults, to those with acute illness. I have many years of experience working with children who have special needs, including autism, behavioral and learning disabilities both as an assistant teacher (I taught fine motor, reading, and language) in a classroom and as an outside provider as a yoga and mindfulness teacher.
In 2013, I received my children’s yoga certification through Little Flower Yoga and began working with with them teaching mat based yoga, chair based yoga, and mindfulness classes, in the NYC area. Soon after, I began leading their kids yoga and mindfulness teacher trainings, staff development workshops, and speaking at conferences nationwide for educators, social workers, health care providers, PTs, OTs, yoga teachers and parents for Little Flower Yoga. In addition, I wrote the curriculum for The School Yoga Project’s chair yoga and mindfulness program and regularly mentor LFY’s new teachers and provide both in person and online support to help them apply what they have learned in training to actual practice in yoga classes for children.
I look to grow and learn from a variety of modalities. This search led me far outside my comfort zone in the spring of 2017 when I took a an improv training through Upright Citizens Brigade. This training supported my mindfulness practice and teaching with the practice of presence and deep listening to the person speaking. When working with children and adults magic happens when I can make the shift from saying "no", or "yes" to saying "yes, and...". The training supported my ability to go with the flow with whatever arose in my classes. And it reminded me how scary and challenging it is to try new things and be vulnerable in front of my peers. Improv training led me to a greater understanding of the discomfort my students may experience around doing something new.
You can also find me featured in GoNoodle’s Empower Tools videos. GoNoodle provides short interactive videos to increase movement and focus for children in educational settings. GoNoodle videos are an increasingly popular tool used in schools world-wide.
I have had many teachers along the way who have inspired me and have influenced the way I teach. I am a certified Mindful Schools instructor, and Empowerment workshop trainer and coach through the Empowerment Institute. I have led Empowerment workshops at Bard College, SUNY New Paltz, and at local yoga studios. I received my 200-hour yoga certification from Shakti Yoga Studios. I have studied with Leslie Kaminoff , an internationally recognized specialist in the fields of yoga and breath anatomy, and Amy Matthews, a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, yoga therapist and yoga teacher at the Breathing Project. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from SUNY New Paltz.
I believe transformation can happen quickly. It happened to me at the Empowerment Workshop. But for sustainable change to occur it requires time, effort and a daily practice.