What in your practice inspires you to teach? Both the simplicity and the complexity of the yoga practice inspire me to teach. My goal is to inspire every person that I come into contact with to believe they have all of the tools to bring contentment and happiness into their life. Yoga is the only practice of well-being that integrates faith no matter where one is in their life or what one was born into. It also teaches us to live in the present moment in contentment (santosha) regardless of the circumstance.
My practice used to be about peeling off or shedding the external layers of my life and being; just to get back to neutral. Now it begins there and continues to move deeper inward, to reach the more subtle, deep layers of healing and well being. Staying in a pose longer, breathing deeply, letting go, not striving for a perfect look on the outside, knowing my limits and enjoying every single delicious breath of shared energy and light create harmony in whatever style of practice I choose on that day. In the many faces of adversity, yoga has taught me to stay present and to believe that for NOW, all is just as it should be.
As yoga has given me its multitude of gifts, it is my goal through my teaching to share them in so much as to hold the space for the student to access their inner being, to receive and to become their own best teacher.
Tell us a little about your yoga journey and how this influences what you bring across in your teaching? My yoga journey began 20 years ago out of heartache and the search for living in truth and inner peace in the midst of a chaotic world. We all experience suffering in its many forms, whether it be emotional, mental or physical. Yoga allows one to practice transcendence. Years later, my physical body was put to the test after a car accident left me injured and in pain to this day. I have had to alter my physical practice greatly which has only served to improve the true nature of the practice and to be able to teach from there.
What is your favorite activity outside of yoga and how does yoga help this activity? My favorite activity outside of yoga is celebrating life! Spending time with my children outdoors, singing, dancing and cultivating yoga’s principles off of the mat. Patience, grace, ever-changing moving energy, accepting not-knowing to be able to learn and be receptive to more and the ultimate belief in the divine (Ishvara Pranidhana) and enjoying the life in which we have now, keep me grounded in contentment and love in my unconventional life.
How would you describe your teaching? My teaching has changed greatly over the years as I gain a more in-depth knowledge of the practice in its many forms. While I offer a challenging asana experience, I have began to offer classes that take one beyond the external and move toward the subtle deeper layers of the practice and oneself. Each week, I try to infuse the teachings of yoga; its main principles, the eight limbs, the yamas and niyamas and pranayama into the class, so that the students can get a better sense of the practice in its entirety. I think the very thing that makes my class challenging is also its gift: to hold the space for the student to find his/her own practice and to move inward; only you can do that for yourself. More and more, I aim to hold the pure space for you to come into your breath, cultivate your practice, melt mind, body and breath into One and apply it to LIFE off of the mat by embracing reality.
What makes teaching at Kaia yoga a unique experience? Teaching at Kaia is both an honor and an incredible experience due to the studio’s focus on balancing the whole person to create an overall sense of optimal health and well being. Gina and Stan are able to provide the multi-layers of the practice to us all because they are yogis themselves and truly practice what they preach. They have created an incredible sense of community for teachers and students alike at all times in our lives; there is something for everyone. They are also so well connected to top teachers across the country and around the globe which creates endless opportunities for us all to learn from these incredible mentors and to deepen our practices through both daily practice and through an incredible line up of workshops and trainings. OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI OM