Once upon a time, I found myself mentally paralyzed by severe panic attacks (for nearly a year, I could barely feel my feet touching the ground—scary!). Caged by nonstop fears, I felt like a bird lacking trust in the power of her own wings. Rather than pop anti-anxiety pills—what a doctor told me to do—I took a friend’s advice and practiced breath awareness. I’d pace my living room, surprised to realize that I had never noticed my breath before.
That’s how I stumbled into yoga—through awareness of the breath and by practicing self-compassion. As the mind and the heart began to calm, I folded postures in too. I learned to be my own teacher early on, in part because I couldn’t afford studio classes and also because I preferred the privacy of my own living room. Those learning experiences still shape my personal practice, and they also guide my teaching: I empower students to be their own best teachers, to cherish the deeper wisdom that develops with a disciplined home practice.
I earned my 200-hour teacher training certification in April 2011, with Juliana Trejos in Coral Springs, FL. My personal yoga practice as well as my teaching are informed by Vipassana meditation and inspired by the mission at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, where I simultaneously serve as Communications Director and Editor of the org’s biannual magazine.