I've been doing yoga since 1995. I recognized from my very first class that yoga helped me to feel a sense of calm that I had never experienced before. I have also come to recognize so many other physical, as well as mental health benefits over time. Yoga has not only helped me to be more fit and calm, it has helped me navigate some difficult times and health situations.
More about my journey to teaching.
For me yoga has always been more than just a way to stay fit and flexible. I've always recognized that when I do yoga, I feel better physically and emotionally. My yoga practice has helped me navigate some difficult times in my life including becoming HIV+ back in 1999. At the time my yoga practice gave me a sense that I was doing something to truly take care of myself and to stay healthy. It also helped me process the difficult emotional reality of my situation.
I have thought about becoming certified to teach yoga any number of times over the years. I had a full-time therapeutic massage practice for 8 years starting in 1996, and much of the work I did with my clients incorporated yoga both during sessions (through Thai massage type stretches and movements) and in-between sessions. Through that practice I came to love being in the "healing arts" and I must say I'm very happy to find myself back in this world after being a professional photographer for a number of years. I have four massage certifications and I have studied anatomy, deep tissue massage and therapeutic massage. I’m very happy to see a few of those massage clients from years ago are now students in this course.
I completed a teacher training in July 2020 through Arhanta Yoga in The Netherlands and became a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance International. This is something that I've been interested in doing for many years, and now I have finally taken the leap. I'm currently taking an Advanced Yoga Teacher training Mark Stephens who is a world-renowned teacher of teachers.
"Working with my private clients continually teaches me so much about how and what I want to teach here in this course. I welcome students to tell me about their health issues, so I can do new lessons and classes based on what my students want and need."
I work with a number of private yoga clients—most are older than 50. With some I do straightforward yoga sessions and with others I work with more specific issues. With my current yoga clients, I work with issues including; arthritis, lower back pain, chronic neck pain, Parkinson's, Post-COVID Syndrome, and chronic anxiety and/or depression. Some of my private clients are older but have few physical limitations and are able to do some more rigorous sessions, while others have issues with mobility or being on their feet and are doing more accessible sessions.
I first started practicing at the Sivananda Yoga Center in San Francisco back in 1995. It was a great introduction for me because they had two six-week beginner courses to carefully go over things in detail. Since then, I have studied various forms of hatha yoga. I practiced the primary series of Ashtanga Yoga for a few years starting around 1998--Ashtanga is quite rigorous. Over the years I've started doing more of a gentle practice that includes some Vinyasa Flow practice and slower hatha practices as well as some Kundalini Yoga (breath with gentle movement) and Iyengar Yoga (more alignment focused). My teaching is mostly informed by Hatha yoga, but it has a lot of elements of Iyengar and Kundalini. Some of the more advanced classes I'm teaching integrate some Vinyasa Flow. My advanced teacher training studies with Rod Stryker involve developing yoga practices to create a particular mood, and tailoring practices to be more therapeutic for particular types of students instead of assuming every student needs the same thing.