After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2001, I was emotionally wounded and physically broken from multiple injuries. Years of punishing Marine training, always pressing my body to its limits, plus beloved hobbies like body-building, and running, had worn out the cartilage in both of my knees and left me dealing with a dislocated shoulder and chronic muscle knots in my neck, and the entire right side of my back. By the time I was discharged from the Marine Corps, I was in urgent need of surgery for three of my major joints, and follow-up intensive physical therapy to try bring back the quality of life I used to enjoy. I remember complaining about all my various bodily problems to the head of the orthopedics department at the Veteran's Hospital, who after hearing me out, kindly in response, suggested I try 'power walking' as form of daily exercise. POWER WALKING?!!!! This is what my life has been reduced to?! When the news hit me, for a long time I was depressed, and disillusioned with life . At that time I was only 21 years old. I didn't want to hear I had to give up all the sports I loved; bodybuilding, swimming, snowboarding, bike riding, assume a role of a disabled person. As far as I knew then, life was over; power walking did not deliver the freedom of exercise and promise of adventure life has to offer.
Luckily, I am not the type of person to give up on myself. I decided to improve my health no matter what, I went through a series of reconstructive surgeries, and found some relief, but, still had trouble making it to the gym, or doing any other physical activity because now lifting heavy weights and any repetitive motions caused me tremendous discomfort, plus regular pain and swelling in the affected joints. This struggle to get back in shape and live pain free went on for four years, I felt like I was never going to get back to looking good and feeling good, that is, until one wonderful spring day I walked into a Yoga class. At first, when I started practicing I noticed immediate pain relief in the joints, and less inflammation from the workouts; which was always my problem with all other sports I was trying unsuccessfully. The Yoga workout itself left me feeling stronger, self-empowered, my painful joints becoming looser and stronger, I was starting to lose the fat and build muscle in support of my hurt joints, feeling less pain in the areas that have been hurting for years. Soon strengthening my body through Yoga allowed me to resume some other sports activities I missed and craved. I also noticed the stress relieving benefits associated with a a good Yoga practice, the calmness I felt deep in my soul, the centering, and the increased energy I felt after each new class. Furthermore, as I stayed with my practice, I learned Yoga was an ancient Indian science with unparalleled variety of exercises(postures), self healing techniques, and spiritual practices for self realization and enlightenment. The effectiveness of the various Yogic methods, its asana(postures) art form and philosophical treatise intrigued me, and soon I was hooked on the entire system, the Ashtanga Yoga, the 8 limbs of the yoga tradition.
As years went on I immersed myself in the Yogic studies; in classroom, through books, DVDs, workshops, and retreats - I loved it all. As my practiced excelled and I became more advanced I felt it was time to share my Yogic knowledge and secrets learned, signing up for my first teacher training at Yoga to the People in Manhattan, New York in June 2010. My next teacher training in 2012 took me to an exotic island of Koh Samui, Thailand to Vikasa Yoga, were for a month we trained outside in sweltering 90 degree heat every day, for up to five hours a day. Time in between training's and henceforth I have studied, and continue to seek out and study with real yoga masters, gurus, teachers; learning their methods and techniques to stay current, and to understand and evolve my own practice and understanding of what is Yoga .
My own Yoga classes are informative, humorous, and draw on the Hatha Vinaysa Yoga tradition, with plenty focus on alignment, understanding of the pose, and attention to deep breathing and concentration. My goal in every Yoga class is to help my students realize their own true potential through their Yoga practice, as its knowledge and wisdom has helped me on my own journey through life