WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED?
I was born and raised in Palatine, IL (Chicago suburbs)
TELL US A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE
I started practicing in the Iyengar tradition as a post-run stretch. I was resistant to anything spiritual or metaphysical, but wanted the physical benefits. I got hooked pretty quickly, especially as I felt my body open up.
TELL US A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR TEACHING EXPERIENCE
I have been teaching for nearly 8 years! Time flies. I have taught in university recreation departments, yoga studios, substance abuse treatment centers, festivals. I produced the yoga portion of a yoga & music festival in San Diego called V Elements Festival, of which we had three amazing events.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE?
My favorite yoga pose is wheel, because I like kicking over through handstand. It makes me feel like a kid, wakes me up, gets me focused, and makes my blood flow!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE YOGA/SPIRITUALITY/SELF HELP BOOK?
Favorite yoga book: Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das. It’s special to me because it was the first time I learned Tonglen meditation and that is my favorite thing to teach. It was kind of a life changing book for many mystical reasons that are too many to explain briefly!
ANY ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS?
Advice for beginners: Focus on the breath and be patient.
WHAT DOES “COMMUNITY” MEAN TO YOU?
Community, to me, means being among people that you want to nourish and give back to and who you feel equally supported by.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT VENTURA?
Ventura: It’s where my grandfather lived, and I thought he was the coolest person alive. Ventura was my association with California, and was what inspired me to make the pilgrimage here as quickly as I could.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?
Favorite non-profit: The Ojai Foundation. It’s what brought me up the coast from San Diego, where I experienced a lot of personal growth, and lived in a tent for 9 months!