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 instruction as a "lab" component. I then practiced (before studios were common) with VHS and DVD tapes of Rodney Yee from Gaiam. These helped get me through the profound stress and anxiety I experienced in medical school. Shortly after graduation I became confused about my path and disillusioned with medicine, 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 while in college. The name caught my attention, so I looked it up. I decided to go there (6-7 years later) when I became confused about my path after med school. 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, just as I'd imagined. The ashram environment was natural to me and felt like home. I completed a 200hr yoga teacher certification while there.
I taught and practiced Integral Yoga, which is a relaxing style of yoga that integrates chanting, breath work, philosophy, asana, yoga nidra, and meditation, for quite a few years after leaving the ashram. I also taught special full and new moon "yoga ritual" classes for many years. 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. You can read a sample on Google books.
In 2021 I began practicing Ashtanga with a beloved and talented teacher in Sayulita, Mexico (where I was living at the time). Ashtanga took my relationship to yoga to an entirely different level. Though I have loved yoga for over two decades, since discovering Ashtanga I have found renewed depth, wonder, and growth within my yoga practice that truly is a guiding light in my life.
I hope to be teaching an in-person Ashtanga-Inspired Vinyasa class soon in Laguna Beach, CA. I intermittently offer in-person or online yoga + coaching + meditation + art + astrology (mixed-media healing arts) programs. I also have a downloadable program along these lines called Health Passion and Purpose that includes one yoga segment. I sometimes teach special workshops and classes locally, wherever I am in the world (last one: 8/8/21 in Sayulita, Mex - see a few pics from that event in the yoga slide deck below). I am often available for private yoga instruction online or in-person. Sessions can be alternated with psychotherapy or coaching, yogic philosophy, and an Ayurvedic health evaluation to create a multi-layered healing experience.
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 is to join a yoga studio and go to class 3-4 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!
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; and a private jungle shala in Uvita, Costa Rica.