What in your practice inspires you to teach? I grew up swimming (a lot!) and my coach had a motto that he ingrained in us... "If you take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves." This was not a "sweat the small stuff" kind of lesson, but rather an instruction on being aware of the things you are doing, day in and day out, which lead to habits and ultimately create the person you are. I bring this discipline into my practice, accepting the fluid as well as the less graceful transitions, acknowledging less proper alignment in order to move toward something better for my body, attempting to set aside the thoughts that inevitably creep into my mind throughout practice, and more simply in my breath practice (which is not always consistent). This recognition that dealing with the stuff that comes up on our mats equips us to better deal with the stuff that comes up off of them, inspires me to teach. Pay attention to your unique process, growth, and self-discovery… it matters!
Tell us a little about your yoga journey and how this influences what you bring across in your teaching? I began practicing in a Bikram studio in the Bay area years ago once I stopped swimming. I didn’t love the heat (or the smell of that particular studio), but I did enjoy the physical practice so I kept going back. As a frugal grad student in NYC, I developed a daily home practice, often with the help of one, very repetitive, Baron Baptiste video. Once I moved to Fairfield County, I visited many studios, yet showed up at Kaia most often. Up until this point, yoga had been exercise for me, replacing the physical movement I craved after my swimming career ended. Yet, I was slowly figuring out that being on my mat was often the only place in my day that I felt calm, focused, strong and peaceful. This recognition led to a desire to know and understand more. I completed my teacher training at Kaia, studying, with Gina and Stan, and through their support, I have been teaching ever since. With the information gained from my own, continuing, journey, I look to offer welcoming, inclusive, and authentic classes where students are encouraged to explore and discover.
What is your favorite activity outside of yoga and how does yoga help this activity? I am a supporter of giving back, to others as well as to our communities. I volunteer at a number of organizations and nonprofit agencies in town. This takes a lot of my free time yet is meaningful. When I’m not volunteering, I love beginning a good book, laying on the beach, music, road trips, quiet time, long naps, experiencing a new restaurant, a glass of wine (or three)… just the simple things. My fondness for the uncomplicated things is often neutralized through quality time with my three daughters, family, and friends, most of which are not that simple, but are well worth it! ☺
What makes teaching at Kaia yoga a unique experience? The experience at Kaia is a real group effort beginning with Gina and Stan. They provide beautiful spaces to practice and have a varied menu of options to choose from; there is something for everyone. The teachers are educated, knowledgeable, diverse, supportive, and fun, which draws really inquisitive and informed, dynamic students, a mix that results in a sharing community that feels comfortable and truly like home. Kaia yogis are awesome! Sounds like a real love fest, I know, but Kaia is a really special place! Lucky to be a part of it.