My parents taught me from a young age to move. Running, jumping, squatting, pushing, pulling, throwing, catching. I met my first yoga teacher almost 40 years ago in a cafe at a health food store. He was working in the kitchen making amazing food. I later found out he was a yoga teacher; his name was Doug Swenson. I studied informally with Doug for many years, and then received my 500 hour teacher training certification from him.
Since then, I have been able to study with many amazing teachers. All of them have made a lasting impression on the way I teach and live my life today. My main teachers besides Doug are Geshe Michael Roach and Lama Christie McNally, Lama Sumati Marut, David Fishman, Brandy Davis, and Mira Shani, to name a few.
It was through these teachers that I finally found what I was looking for in my yoga practice. I had reached a tipping point in my practice that opened my heart and mind to dedicate all I could to study with these teachers. I had finally found home!
For the next 10 years I dedicated all my studies to what these teachers had to offer. As a result, my teaching and practice combine elements of Tibetan Heart Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Bhagavad Gita, Ashtavakra Gita, Upanishads.
I previously taught at Tahoe Yoga Shala (formerly Mountain Yoga) in South Lake Tahoe, California, and I blend a unique style of Tibetan Heart Yoga, Hatha, Anusara and Ashtanga into my teachings. Weaving in philosophy throughout a fun and energetic class, I aim to help students connect the philosophic wisdom with their asana practice. Bringing wisdom and movement together, to show how they are beautifully connected–not separate components.
I am currently travelling the world teaching yoga teacher trainings in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Central america and now heading to Europe for our first 2019 Tour!
My background includes a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine which includes, acupuncture, herbology, nutrition, exercise therapy (Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong), and remedial therapy (massage, Tui Na). I have additionally completed Tibetan Buddhism courses and am continuing advanced courses at Diamond Mountain University.
I have worked to cultivate the unique ability to bring ancient teachings into a modern setting, to touch the human heart. I work to inspire students to practice with awareness and intention on the mat, and to use the teachings off the mat in everyday life situations. My goal when teaching is to converge compassion and wisdom, art and yoga.
When I was 12 years old, I was handed a copy of the "Tao Te Ching" and the "I Ching".
I didn't know how significant these texts were to play out in my life. I would watch my grandparents meditate twice a day. All we were told was not to bother if they were "sitting" in their room.
My grandparents were truly happy people, especially after what they went through being put in interment camps during World War 2. My parents were the same way, always very calm and happy but didn't meditate like my grandparents. So I had to learn my own, and here is where my journey began.
I moved to South Lake Tahoe to California to pursue my passion for skiing, I did a short stint competing skiing moguls, then did some coaching. This is where my life did many interesting flip flops, changing the trajectory of what I would eventually end up doing.
I got involved with the nightclub scene and started as a DJ in the popular Lake Tahoe nightlife. From here, I started to take dance classes and pursued a career as a professional dancer, working for a company based out of Los Angeles for many years. I performed in cabaret shows in casinos throughout the states and abroad, then worked for Playboy in my last show!!
I moved from the stage to behind the scenes and did lighting design for 3 years while I was going back to school. I completed my masters degree in traditional Chinese medicine and opened my own practice for 20 years!.
During that time, I taught Tai Chi and started to formally study Tibetan buddhism and finished the 18 course curriculum from Diamond Mountain University. Also during that time, I studied Tibetan Heart Yoga, along with the philosophy of Yoga, which included; The Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Ashtavakra Gita and the Bhagavad Gita.
I have been practicing yoga for 40 years and teaching for 15.