Birthplace: Raleigh NC
When and how did you start practicing Yoga?
I think of my mat as a metaphor for life…everything I face on the mat mirrors what I encounter in life. When I am challenged on the mat, I learn how to breath into the moment and to let go. Learning to trust on the mat prepares me to trust that I can handle whatever comes my way off the mat. We are all connected and in some way, my hope is that I can create a ripple of peace and harmony that spreads to those whose path I cross.
How has it helped you ‘off the mat’ ?
When and how did you start practicing Yoga? I first started practicing when in college (1974) in the upstairs of the Presbyterian Student Union in Chapel Hill. I found it a struggle to be still and let my monkey mind go at first, but realized the power that came when I was able to relax in the moment. I continued practicing off and on for several years. I really found comfort on the mat when I was pregnant with my first child (1979) and started teaching other new and expectant moms yoga at the local YWCA in Durham. With my second child, “life” happened and I quit a regular practice for almost 20 years.
It was while waiting for a spin class one day (2000), I noticed a yoga class in the next room and remembered how good it felt to be on the mat. It only took one time and I was back.
When did you decide you wanted to teach Yoga, and where/with whom did you do teacher training?
I loved being on the mat and practicing, and started inviting my friends to join me there. One day, I got a call from a friend that I had introduced to yoga, and she asked if she could spend $2000 of my money because she wanted me to attend teacher training with her. I laughed because I had no interest in teaching. However, I do love to learn new things, so I agreed. I did my 200 hour training with Dolly Stavros, and at her urging, I got on the sub list at the Ballantyne YMCA. Within a month, I was teaching once a week, which quickly became 2-3 times a week. I also completed my 500 hour certification with Kristin Cooper-Gulak at Wilmington Yoga Center. I have completed additional workshops with Doug Swenson, Rolf Gates, Stephanie Keach and Simon Park.
What styles are you most influenced by in your teaching, and who are your favorite teachers?
There is something to be gained from every style and every teacher. Vinyasa flow is my preferred style, although there is something so yummy about a deep stretch or yin class. My goal in teaching and in practice is meditation in motion. Kristin Cooper-Gulak, Christine Riverstone and Dolly Stavros are a few of my favorite teachers because you can feel their passion as they teach.
What are your favorite Yoga-related books or DVDs?
Meditations from the Mat, YinSights, Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, Yoga for a World out of Balance
What do you like to do when you’re not doing Yoga?
I have two beautiful grand-daughters that I love spending time with. I have built a successful sales business with Tupperware for over 30 years and love helping women discover the greatness that is within them, and bringing it out so they can shine. The Law of Dharma says, each of us has a unique and special talent and purpose placed within, and somewhere, in this world, there is someone in need of that talent. When we come together, we create an abundance of joy and wealth.