Birthplace: Charleston, WV
When and how did you start practicing yoga? I first started practicing yoga at our university gym in college. I utilized yoga as an addition to my workout. It provided relaxation of the mind and stretching of the body. It was not until I started practicing as a nurse that yoga became more of a mind, body, and soul transformation. My back had been hurting from my job as an RN, and yoga provided relief from that pain. My mind started to become more peaceful and calm. I started to appreciate the present moment instead of rushing through my day. Yoga was not only helping my physical ailments but improving my mental state.
How has it helped you off the mat? I look forward to practicing yoga. Not only the asanas, or postures, but also the breathing and meditation. I love that there is something to always learn, a next krama, or stage to work towards. I know that when I complete a yoga session that I will feel more centered physically and mentally.
What styles are you most influenced by in your teaching, and who are your favorite teachers? Vinyasa and Prana Flow Vinyasa styles most influence my teaching. Carson Efird, Jennifer Bluestone, and Conni Sithes opened up my Vinyasa experience introducing me to Prana Flow, which then led me to receive my 200 hour Prana Flow teaching certification. Early on in my yoga experience I enjoyed Hatha yoga with Betsy Vohwinkel. That gave me a great foundation to then practice Vinyasa. I think it is very important to try many different styles of yoga and I enjoy learning new things from an array of teachers every time I get on the mat.
What are your favorite yoga related books or DVDs? A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield has many influential quotes and meditations that guide my practice. Also The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar is a fantastic book to learn the foundations of yoga and pranayama (breathing practices).
What do you like to do when you’re not doing yoga? I most value time with my girlfriend, family, and friends when not doing yoga. I also enjoy my other job as an RN health coach. Traveling, cooking, reading, hiking, and walking our dog Bubba are other hobbies that bring happiness to my life.
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