Yoga is an intimate art form, a science and a lifestyle that can be cultivated on your yoga mat in the form of asana (posture) and pranayama (breath control). With consistent practice, these skills and techniques that we learn within our asana practice will subconsciously be integrated into everyday life in many ways, shapes and forms.
I originally started to practice yoga purely for the physical benefits. At the time, I didn't realize there was anything but the poses available to practitioners. I loved practicing asana (postures) because of how it made me feel. My yoga practice was (and still is) a space to receive a well-rounded workout, feel confident in my skin, gain mental clarity and honestly, I had nothing else to do! I lived in Los Angeles at the time and was pursuing acting. Going to yoga class was the healthy activity option in LA while I waited for my agent to call with news of an audition opportunity!
I came to realize that asana and pranayama are only two small parts of the 8 limb path of yoga. To be a true yogi, one must observe and, ideally, experience all parts of the 8 limbs: Yamas (moral codes), Niyamas (self-purification and study), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sense control), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (total peace, enlightenment). It may take a whole lifetime to come to know all parts of the 8 limbs of yoga. For some yogis, however much they practice, they still may never know all of them.
Now, I have been exploring a greater reason to come to my mat. A reason beyond the physical. Beyond the mental. Beyond what I can see, or hear, or touch with my own two hands. I seek to be deeply involved and connected to the true practice of yoga. As a modern day yogi and a sincere seeker, I ask myself: What is yoga to me? Why do I practice? Am I looking for a more peaceful life? Am I looking for more love? Am I looking for more happiness? Am I simply striving for a healthier lifestyle? To find strength and flexibility in my body and mind so I am able to live a comfortable life in my bones and muscles? Over the past decade that I have been practicing yoga, the answers to these questions constantly evolve and change depending on what I am going through in my life. Some days I need a refuge and I find that on my yoga mat. Some days I need a thorough workout. Some days I need a moving meditation. Some days I need to find peace and a reason beyond myself to do the practice.
I have learned that real yoga is not something that you only practice on your mat. Yoga is something you practice all day long. I believe that yoga is not just a practice of attaining idealized postures and burning calories, but a process of self-exploration and self-transformation, self-acceptance and self-LOVE. Yoga is a slow process, step by step, practice by practice, day by day. Consistent progress may be found within each asana, within each transition and within each breath. Improvement in strength and flexibility, in the body and in the mind, may take years, decades or even a whole lifetime. This is a lifestyle a yogi chooses to live by. The yogi lifestyle includes tapas (focused effort), svadyaya (self-study and study of the ancient scriptures), as well as Iswara Pranidhana (devotion to a Higher Power, such as LOVE). Every conscious decision you make from the way you interact with others to the way you speak to yourself to every lifestyle choice you make can be intertwined in your personal yoga practice.
I am an E-RYT500 and RPYT (Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher), as well as a certified holistic health coach and nutrition counselor. I attended University of Southern California where I graduated with a BA in Acting and a minor in Vocal Arts.
In 2012, I went through my first 200hr teacher training at Earth's Power Yoga in West Hollywood, CA. For two years, I solely taught hot power yoga. In 2014, I started to study with Noah Maze and the YOGAMAZE associates at Wanderlust Studio in Los Angeles. I completed a 300hrTT with Noah Maze and continued to study with him, attending yoga philosophy weekends, special workshops and regular classes. The yoga classes I taught still contained a powerful vinyasa aspect, however they began to evolve into more alignment based classes utilizing props and the wall to explore breaking a part the poses and putting them back together with focus on the different components of the asanas. The next training I attended certainly opened my heart and mind during a beautiful goddess centered prenatal training with Sue Elkind. It was around this time that I moved across the country, back to Florida and I started practicing Ashtanga Yoga. I believe that the best teachers are always students, therefore I continued my studies during the summer of 2018 with Tim Feldman and Kino MacGregor at Miami Life Center in their Ashtanga Practitioners Intensive and 200hr teacher training. I am forever looking forward to learning more and growing my personal practice. I believe that yoga teachers should be students for many years. To be able to teach yoga successfully, one should delve deep within oneself and experience firsthand the transformative power of yoga. Once a student has gathered up enough pratyaksa (direct experience, first hand knowledge) through consistent practice, only then they should begin to teach others.
"Surrendering to parampara [knowledge that is passed in succession from teacher to student], however, is like entering a river of teachings that has been flowing for thousands of years, a river that age-old masters have followed into an ocean of knowledge. Even so, not all rivers reach the ocean, so one should be mindful that the tradition he or she follows is true and selfless.” (The Practice: Parampara, 2009) -Sharath Jois
As a Holistic Health Coach and Nutrition Counselor, I believe that incorporating yoga, a diet made up of whole fresh foods that come straight from the earth and a balanced and healthy lifestyle can transform you from wherever you are in your own physical, mental and spiritual life. It may take some time and patience, but if it's important enough, anyone can change their life for the better. Yoga and healthy eating habits will reconnect you to your truth and purpose. I believe that yoga is medicine for the soul and food is medicine for the body. To learn more about what I do as a health coach, please read below...
In case you were wondering...What is a health coach?
A health coach is a guide and mentor who empowers clients to take responsibility for his or her own health and supports them to implement and sustain lifestyle and behavior changes that will contribute to the achievement of their personal wellness goals. Some common areas where I, as a Health Coach, may help a client to focus include; weight management, food cravings, sleep, energy, stress management and digestion to just name a few.
My health coaching mission is: lifestyle planning adapted individually for my clients.
As a health coach, I help my clients:
-Plan a lifestyle map that creates a holistic balance in their lives.
-Menu plan and show them how to cook healthy whole foods. I believe that eating healthy is not about depravation.
-Plan out their week to fit in exercise. I teach clients yoga or any other type of exercise they are interested in; cardio,
core, small weights, etc, and we map out a fitness plan together.
-Integrate nature and spirituality into their lives and find out what works best for them.
-I help clients set goals in every aspect of their life.
Monday: 9:15am Vinyasa Yoga @Evolution Yoga
Monday: 6:30pm Vinyasa Yoga @Evolution Yoga
Friday: 9:15am Vinyasa Yoga @ Evolution Yoga
*Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa is a method of yoga in which movements form a flowing sequence in coordination with the breath. The word Vinyasa literally means "to place in a special way". It is practiced in a room that starts at room temperature. The air is not on heat nor cool, therefore depending on how many people are in the class and how hard we work, the room might warm up a bit.
*A blog about life, yoga, music, food, happiness, love... and most importantly, LIFE*