I have been a poet since I was a little girl. I have been a yogi since I was a young woman; I took my first class in 1991 and began teaching in 1995. For a long time I thought these were separate endeavors. Now they have unified; yoga is my poetry; healing is my art. In teaching I get to speak to people, to anyone who shows up, about being and bones, about guts and blood, breath and divinity. My poetry now consists of movement and stillness, silence and language, body and breath. it weaves and grows, takes place in and is fed by the consciousness of everyone who chooses to be present for it. I am absolutely grateful for the opportunity to serve the world in this way.
Yoga is an ancient and living oral tradition. It consists of many lineages. As a yogini, I steep myself in as many of these lineages as I can in order to expand my knowing and being. As a teacher, I draw from these varied traditions in order to create a practice that suits those present at the moment as fully as I can. I call this atha yoga. Union now, at this auspicious moment of transition.
influences and training
My teaching is influenced by my study of yoga with Saul David Raye, Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten, Sri Louise, and studies of Thai Yoga Massage, Reiki, and Vipassana meditation. My teaching is influenced by observation of my cats lolling in the afternoon sun, the fiddleheads of ferns unfurling in the yard, the redwood moving in the wind outside my studio, and the poetry of Mary Oliver and Rumi.
My desire to serve each student uniquely and well has led to extensive studies in various yogic traditions and therapeutic adaptations. My original studies were in the gentle, contemplative style of Integral Yoga; at their Institute I was trained throughout 1995 in their Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced formats. I have gone on to become a master teacher in this tradition; a teacher of teachers myself, and in this capacity I serve as a member of the IYI Teacher Training Faculty and Board of Directors. Other trainings have included the vigorous, hands-on Astanga Primary series with David Swenson, Whole Birth Prenatal Yoga with Robin Sales, and Therapeutic Yoga for People with Multiple Sclerosis with Eric Small. I have studied Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater and am a certified Relax and Renew Trainer in her program. As a graduate of Jnani Chapman, RN's rigorous Adaptive Yoga for People with Cancer program, I taught for 5 years each at UCSF Medical Center's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and California Pacific Medical Center's Institute for Health and Healing. I am an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500), the highest level of qualification with the Yoga Alliance, a national organization which seeks to create standards of excellence in training and performance of teachers from within the yoga community.
There are also joyful studies in complementary disciplines. Dr. Eric Rubin is my Reiki teacher; I hold the title of Reiki Master and teach Reiki as well as offering healing sessions in this form of energy work. Studying Thai Yoga Massage with Saul David Raye and Phoebe Diftler made new tools of my hands, feet, and elbows, and I offer Thai Yoga Massage sessions as well. I studied the energetic form of Intuitive Healing intensively for a year and a half with Glenda Jeong, and then began to explore Taoist healing energetics, particularly Chi Nei Tsang, a form of hands-on-healing for the abdomen, with Gilles Marin. Oh, how I love to learn!
A few gems of experience over the years have been the opportunity to teach at The Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Dr. Dean Ornish's Preventative Medicine Research Institute, the Satchidananda Ashram, and the San Francisco School of Massage. The Om for Kids Yogathons raised over $25,000 for homeless youth; for three years at these I led a hundred people in a mala (108 rounds) of sun salutations in Golden Gate Park. My first book, Yoga, Natural Fitness for Body and Spirit, written for The Body Shop and published in 2002, has since been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Turkish. in 2008 I joined the faculty at California Pacific Medical Center's Institute for Health and Healing, and in 2009 I began to practice at UCSF's Osher Center for Integrative Medicine as an Integrative Medicine Specialist, teaching yoga in both the clinical practice and research studies.
Mostly, though, there is this: the practice. In studios, in the forest, in that little space between the bed and the bathroom in countless hotels, and on mountaintops at dawn. In ashrams, livingrooms, hospitals, and offices. With children and adults, people feeling well and people feeling great challenges to their health or their hearts. Every person I have been blessed to share practice with has offered me the chance to know yoga, and this has taught me how to share it with you. For this I thank you and from this I hope to serve you, in love.