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Yoga + Me

I have been practicing yoga for over 25 years and have been a certified instructor for 18 years. My introduction to yoga started with a Religions of Asia class in college (Duke University), which included basic yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi as a "lab" component. I then practiced (before studios were common) with VHS and DVD tapes of Rodney Yee from Gaiam. These helped me with the profound stress and anxiety I experienced in medical school. Shortly after graduation I became confused about my path, so I again turned to yoga for healing and grounding.

 

I discovered Integral Yoga, Swami Satchidananda, and his ashram "Yogaville" synchronistically when I drove by a sign for the ashram during a road trip in college. The name caught my attention, so I looked it up. I decided to go there (6-7 years later) when I became unsure about whether I wanted to practice medicine. I drove across the country (I was living in Colorado) and immersed myself in the yogic lifestyle, practice, and philosophy at the ashram (located in a bucolic setting near Charlottesville, VA). It was profoundly healing, as I'd imagined. The ashram environment felt like home. I completed a 200hr yoga teacher certification while there.

 

I taught and practiced Integral Yoga, a relaxing style of yoga that integrates chanting, breath work, philosophy, asana, yoga nidra, and meditation, for two years after leaving the ashram (eventually returning to medical internship). I then taught special full moon "yoga ritual" classes alongside and after my psychiatry training. I've taught at Telluride Yoga Center, Tucson Yoga Center, Anjali Yoga (Tucson),  Ah Haa School for the Arts (Telluride), and Mystic Mandala Medicine (my healing center in Tucson), plus a few special retreats and workshops in other locations.

 

During my years in Tucson I became strongly influenced by Anusara yoga, which was very heart-centered and enlivening. Tucson had a large community built around this style of practice. After the Anusara phase, I practiced Vinyasa, Kundalini, Iyengar, and various other styles of yoga. I also became very interested in meditation during my time in Arizona, doing a training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction with Jon Kabat Zinn, as well as three-, five-, and 10-day meditation retreats with Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hahn, and John Kornfield/Spirit Rock, respectively. I published a book chapter on "Mindfulness, Meditation, & Yoga" for the Handbook of Wellness Medicine (Cambridge U Press) in 2020. It's quite a good book, and there is loads of wonderful spiritual + evidence-based scientific info in my chapter. You can read a sample on Google books.

 

In 2021 I began practicing Ashtanga with a beloved teacher in Sayulita, Mexico (where I was living at the time). Ashtanga introduced a challenge that took my relationship to yoga to a new level. Though I have loved yoga for over two decades, after discovering Ashtanga I found renewed depth, wonder, and growth within my practice. I don't always feel drawn to practice in an intense or demanding (Ashtanga) way, however. Many days I do gentle yoga, focusing on flexibility. Other days I do a harder, strengthening practice. I currently practice 3-5 days per week in a local Laguna Beach, CA studio. This is a frequency that results in notable mental and physical benefits. Yoga is a guiding light in my life. It can help you, too!

Yoga Instruction

I intermittently offer in-person or online yoga + coaching + meditation + art + astrology (mixed-media healing arts) programs. I sometimes teach special workshops and classes locally, wherever I am in the world (last one: Lion's Gate New Moon Yoga Ritual 8/8/21 in Sayulita, Mex - see pics in the yoga slide deck below). I occasionally co-facilitate retreats or events with other instructors. Follow my IG or subscribe to my newsletter to hear about those when they occur. At the start of my career I taught yoga regularly at a studio in Telluride, CO, then I taught occasionally in Tucson, both at the studio that was part of my own healing center and at other local studios for special astro-yoga-ritual events (like "Halloween Yoga Ritual" and "Full Moon Yoga", "Eclipse Yoga", etc). I think my future dream may be to have a yoga-healing center again some day. I'm feeling into where that wants to be and slowly making my way to that possibility.

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Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is evidence-based as a treatment for depression, anxiety, diabetes, chronic pain, auto-immune conditions, stress, trauma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more. It lowers inflammation in the body, builds resiliency, improves sleep, and boosts multiple neurotransmitter levels (GABA, serotonin, and dopamine). One of the quickest ways to jump start your health and improve your mood is to join a yoga studio and go to class 3-6 times per week.

 




I have given yoga a lot of my attention in my life. I was fortunate to discover it relatively early, before there were many yoga studios in America (or any where I was living!!). Yoga is one of the key things that helped me make it through every stage of my medical training. It helped me heal myself from burnout (twice), and it enables me to find a sense of home wherever I am in the world.

I gave yoga my heart, and it has given me a foundation for true happiness.

My Truth: Happiness

Yoga in Paradise

I was featured on the Female Physician Entrepreneurs Facebook page in 2021 for my yoga practice, as well as my unique astro-medical work offerings and nomadic lifestyle.  This is a video I created for that feature.  It was filmed in Sayulita, Mexico, which is where I lived at that time. If interested in yoga, you might enjoy my Instagram, as well.

Yoga in Paradise II

This video was made in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. I spent a few weeks working remotely there in 2022. I went there to surf, but I found this tree-top yoga studio more interesting than the waves. I practiced here with the local community several times per week. I was staying in a lovely boho jungle casita about a mile away, so I used to walk to the studio on a dirt road in the early morning. It was amazing!

Yoga in Paradise III

This vid was filmed at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica in 2022. I lived in Nosara off and on from 2020-2022 (alternating with Sayulita, Mexico). Nosara is magical jungle town with an amazing community of expats and an epic yoga scene. It's renown for surfing, but I was there for the cool vibes! I surfed sometimes though! I'm a late-to-learn surfer (2020). So, while pretty decent (at surfing) for my age, I'm way more passionate about yoga (and snow skiing). I started skiing in my early teenage years and teaching it in my 20s. I started practicing yoga when I was 21 and teaching it when I was 26. 

Yoga Pics

Photos taken at Playa Escondida, Hotelito de Los Suenos, My Sister's House (a small hotel/hostel), and the beach in Sayulita, Mexico; a studio in Punta Mita, Mexico; Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica; a private jungle shala in Uvita, Costa Rica; and Live Metta Yoga in Laguna Beach, CA (my current studio).

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Hope this has inspired you to do more yoga!!

Yoga is medicine.
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