From High School on I was always interested in counter culture. Mostly the counter culture of the 1960's, the Grateful Dead, The Merry Pranksters, etc... I was also fascinated with the idea of Eastern Spirituality or Arts, but I never had any formal practice in it. Perhaps it was the simple association to it that brought a sense of mystique to life. When I was 18 I contracted Hepatitis A at a Grateful Dead show in Oregon where I was going to college. I wasn't inspired by school and the illness gave me an out to move back home. Of course I had no interest in being home, but I think I really did, just at that time I didn't know. While I was away at school, a yoga studio had opened that my sister was going to. I was dabbling with being an herbalist, I started playing African drums, and I thought yoga would be perfect. I took my first class right before I turned 19. It was a slow, meditative class. I loved the meditation. Physically I was weak and tight. I struggled, but the class wasn't focused on the physical asana as much as it was how to use your mind not to react to what was going on. It spoke to me so I returned each week, maybe a couple of times per week. As my strength and energy increased from the Hepatitis, I took my first Vinyasa Class and that completely changed my world. I instantly became obsessed and took to the Ashtanga Vinyasa system with a zeal. It was 1995 and I was living in the Detroit Suburbs. It was not an obvious or accepted life choice at that time, but it didn't stop me. Shortly after, I took my first teacher training and was teaching by the age of 19.
My life is yoga. It has shaped and formed my entire adult life. It has been my complete passion. Everything I see and understand is because of my studies and experiences. Simply, I love it all, even when I don't. I don't know what I would do without it. I love teaching. I love serving in that way. I love the feeling of practicing. I love the people I meet. The people I love. I love the freedom, the expression, the intelligence. I love the energy.
I have been practicing for 18 years.
I am inspired on a daily basis by the things right in front of me. I have been blessed with so many amazing teachers. I have spent years on the road absorbed in study and practice. I will always be a student, but right now I am inspired by being home with my family, my friends, my community. Really that is my inspiration. I am in love with what I have.
I am not one who formally sets goals. I am one who has a dream and does it. I have started many things, and while they may not have succeeded in the way we think of success, they have all been successful to me. Right now, I would love to see yogapata be a place that both preserves the traditions of yoga while constantly innovating it. I think it can be one of those rare & special studios in the world that people come to for the seriousness and playfulness that exists there.
I moved to Redding a year ago and for the first time really feel at home in Connecticut. It is beautiful and more down to earth than other areas I lived. I am excited to keep getting to know it more.