Birthplace: Canton, NC
When and how did you start practicing Yoga?
My mom actually took me to my first yoga class at age 12. I was immediately intrigued! I was a dancer throughout most of my childhood and I loved the flow of yoga and the fact that there was a focus on the breath. I went off to college and took an occasional yoga class here and there, but it wasn’t a focus any longer. In 2013 I found my way back to yoga as a way to unwind from my stressful day job in IT, once again I was hooked.
How has it helped you ‘off the mat’?
Yoga has been the impetus behind a massive transformation in my life ‘off the mat’. When I came back to yoga after an almost 10 year hiatus, I needed it more than ever. I work in a very complex and stressful environment and yoga has helped me to stay grounded. Beyond that, when I found aerial yoga, I learned how to laugh and find joy again. In my own practice I also enjoy restorative/yin yoga, which has helped me come back from several years of shoulder injuries, brought on by weight lifting and strenuous exercise.
When did you decide you wanted to teach Yoga, and where/with whom did you do teacher training?
About 3 months into practicing Aerial Yoga, I knew I had to be an instructor. The class is so fun and dynamic and it brings joy to so many people that I knew I had to be a leader in this field. When the certification and teacher training program opened up in September with Amy and AerialCLT, I immediately signed up. I practice yoga nearly every day at BeYoga and I now have an aerial yoga hammock at my home. It is part of who I am now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What styles are you most influenced by in your teaching, and who are your favorite teachers?
In my own practice I am drawn to restorative or yin yoga. I love the fact that it puts people like myself, who are constantly on the go, into the right frame of mind to relax and unwind. The energetic and always up for a challenge part of me loves studying aerial yoga and aerial silks with all of the AerialCLT instructors. I am in awe of my peers at AerialCLT as they bring amazing strength and grace to all that they do. My favorite instructors for restorative/yin are Elizabeth Dickinson and Laura Hannan. They both teach restorative yoga in a loving and caring way that focuses on listening to our bodies and doing ‘what feels right’.
What are your favorite Yoga-related books or DVDs?
My favorite yoga books are as follows: How to Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh; The Aerial Yoga Instructor Manual Volume 1 and 2 by Rebekah Leach, the Bhagavad Gita and The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe by Lynne McTaggart (not technically a Yoga book, but one that speaks about Oneness and connectedness an essential part of my yogi journey)
What do you like to do when you’re not doing Yoga?
I like to say that I am a reformed corporate america employee. I’ve always dabbled in alternative healthcare and therapies and am a practicing Cold Wave Laser therapist (think acupuncture with light instead of needles) and I aspire one day to own a Wellness Center of my very own. I currently have a ‘day job’ working as a Director of Technology for a web conferencing company and I work with great people every day using my type A personality traits to make things happen and solve problems. In my downtime I like to spend time reading or hanging out with my two dogs and my husband. My husband and I spend a lot of our free time at Be Yoga either attending yoga classes or many of the great workshops offered. It’s a busy life, but one full of joy and transformation (especially as of late) and I wouldn’t have it any other way.