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I was first attracted to yoga because of the workout, the sweatier, the better. With regular practice, I felt and appreciated the more subtle uses of yoga, including the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of a regular practice. But in all honesty, even ten years into my yoga practice, I was still addicted to the rush of a hard, sweaty flow, and if it wan't a hard class that kicked me to the curb, I wasn't interested.
Over time, my interest shifted from arm balances to backbends to the most scary one of all for me, handstands, and certainly, injuries occurred. Pain is always our greatest teacher. Pain forced me to slow down, to pay more attention to the alignment of a posture, to work long holds and go deeper into my resistance. Pain never occurred when I listened to myself - only when I shut off my internal voice and pushed myself past that internal marker that says, "stop now." Now I teach what I've experienced and what I respect - a strong, mindful practice.
Strength training through postural yoga is a powerful tool that not only makes us stronger than we ever imagined, but also exposes imbalances in areas that we often ignore. Over time, yoga slowly shines more and more light upon those dark, forgotten areas, and over time, we heal on many levels.
I offer my students and private clients postural yoga within an alignment-based teaching that includes mindful breath work. Several times a year, I offer my signature inversions workshop, Turn Your Fear Upside Down, which I've taught since 2011 at Yogis Anonymous, Exhale Center for Sacred Movement, and now at YogaRaj.
Pregnancy was not easy for me. On an emotional level, it brought up feelings of resistance. On the physical plane, my growing belly created tremendous imbalances in my body. Though it would have been easy to push this all to the side and label it as typical "pregnancy aches and pains," that's not my style. Instead, I dove deeper into my fears and committed myself to a daily practice of postural yoga, birth visualizations and connecting to my body and my baby.
The difference was easy to feel and a powerful self-motivator. With regular yoga and meditation, I experienced stability and freedom in my growing body.
I offer my students and private clients exactly what worked for me: an active, mindful flow that focuses on strength and expansion, while grounded in alignment and pelvic core stabilization.
After six years as a birth doula, I now offer my signature Birth Coach Plan, which helps ease anxiety and worry and offers a personalized postural yoga and meditation plan to help connect you to your body and your baby. My private clients have included celebrities and mamas from all walks of life.
The beauty of pregnancy is that it teaches us to trust the process and not focus on the result. In doing so, we merge into the flow of creation and ultimately, the flow of life itself.
I respect Western medicine with all my heart: it saved my life. Please read my life story as published in LA Yoga for more details. Western medicine is the most powerful tool we have for sudden trauma, injury, surgery, or serious infection.
But a strictly Allopathic model of care also carries implicit limitations.
After my accident, my fist orthopedic surgeon adamantly stressed that I would never walk normally again. Instead of believing him, I began to practice bodybuilding and visualized my joints, muscles and bones healing and becoming stronger. Eighteen months after my accident, I placed in the Southern Arizona High School Bodybuilding Championships, two years in a row. After college, I embraced yoga as a more wholistic form of self-care. Yoga has awakened my body's ability to sense what it needs and ultimately, with proper self care, heal itself as much as possible.
I love sharing what I've learned with my private clients, but I do not work with immediate, acute injuries. I don't have that training and will refer you to a PT. With chronic injuries, I integrate yoga and meditation into an already existing program of self-care. I've helped clients wth fibromyalgia and chronic pneumonia experience a life free from inhalers and steroids. I've helped clients with disc degeneration and chronic neck pain experience greater mobility and less pain.
Possibility has no limits. But it is important that you understand and respect your injuries.