Practicing yoga since: 2007
Teaching yoga since: 2014
Where/when do you teach? I teach at the University Place studio on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30 and at the North Tacoma studio on Wednesdays at 5:30 pm, Thursdays at 7 pm, and Fridays at 9:30 am.
Hobbies/interests: I love to ride my bicycle(s) commuting, touring and on trails. I also have a long-time love affair with running, which eventually led me to yoga as a counter practice, promoting my body’s restoration and healing. I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors as a hiker, wild forager and observer of flora and fauna, which inspired me in my undergraduate years to pursue a self-designed interdisciplinary concentration (equivalent to a major) combining studies in Natural History of the PNW, Anthropology and Environmental Education. I have devoted many years of my relatively short life to learning Spanish and have been fortunate to have had opportunities to live and travel abroad in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Spain by myself and with family. I love to cook flavorful, colorful meals and sweet treats, especially pies, to share with my friends and family. When I’m home, you may find me snuggled up with two sweet dogs and a kitten attempting to read or knit or study, or else shoo-shooing one or more of these animals out of trouble. I am recently returned to school to collect prerequisite courses to apply to Phyiscal Therapy programs in the future.
What non-yoga book are you reading/did you recently read?
Right now, I am reading We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg. It’s a novel about three women and their individual struggles for freedom. The women’s roles are mother, daughter and caregiver: the mother left alone by her husband to raise her daughter after contracting polio during pregnancy and becoming paralyzed; the daughter, a young girl caught between helping care for her mother and growing into herself as an independent individual; the caregiver, a black woman with a family of her own helping the mother and daughter manage. The novel is set in Mississippi in the 1960s, during the Civil Rights Movement, a time when the masses fought for more equal rights and freedom. From the first page, this novel captures your attention and holds it!
What yoga book do you recommend?
I recommend The Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. It’s a guide to yoga in every day living. His writing is especially touching in this book as he sheds light on his personal experience with yoga as a practitioner and teacher. The book is broken down into relevant themes: yoga and health; yoga as part of daily life; childhood and parenthood; love; death; faith – hope and spirituality; teachers and teaching. I read it while living in Madrid and working on my first 200 hour training. If anyone speaks Spanish and would like to read my Spanish copy, I’d be happy to lend it. 🙂
What’s your favorite yoga practice/pose and why?
My favorite yoga pose is uttanasana. This pose was for a long time my least favorite, in all of its manifestations, and I resisted it. Why? It revealed where in my body I held darkness. I began to appreciate it more when I began to notice positive change coming from practicing it, which took a few years of steady practice. As a kid and into adulthood, I considered myself inflexible and accepted that that was never going to change. Just like some people have blonde hair, and others brown or red, I believed that some people were flexible and others inflexible, end of story. While it is true that some of us are innately more or less flexible, it is false to assume we cannot transform in small and big ways. Lately, when I am in this pose, and able to fold into my legs and reach my crown down towards the earth, I reflect on what happens when our minds open up and we free ourselves from all the words and titles we’ve ever used to define ourselves. Weak may become strong; inflexible may become flexible; unstable may become stable.
What’s one secret that helps you stay healthy?
Getting outside, even on the “crumby” days with high chance of showers and overcast skies! I am highly prone to feeling anxious, irritable, lethargic and sad when I have been cooped up indoors for lengthy periods of time. Unless I am very sick, I commit to dressing according to the weather conditions of the day, getting outside and moving my body in some way: walking, running, and biking are my go-to activities. I’ll often choose one of these modes to transport myself to the places I need to be during a given day. I notice a remarkable difference, for better, in my energy level, ability to focus and level of contentment on the days when I get outside and move my body.
What’s something that currently inspires you?
The first thing that comes to mind are people that remain open, throughout their lives, to learning, developing and trying new things. I recently had a student share with me that she began practicing yoga in her seventies. And I thought, how inspiring! At all ages, if we allow ourselves to be open, we can begin something (an activity, a way of thinking, a practice) that is brand new to our minds, bodies and spirits. I endeavor to stay in the realm of learning, developing and trying new things throughout my life!
What’s your favorite place to travel?
My favorite place to travel is to our rocky, rugged Olympic coastal beaches. I love the beauty of these earthly edges, and the drama of the wild, roaring sea. The ocean reminds me I am a small in a world that is big, and that nature’s laws rule. It is easy in our daily living to take ourselves very seriously, and to get caught up in the stirrings of our minds and in the events of our lives and to fall short of remembering that our experience as individuals comes from, connects to and returns to ALL experience. The ocean reminds me of who I am, where I am and what I am.
Anything you want to share with our community?
I am so thrilled to be part of the team of teachers at Source and to be getting to know many of the members of the studio. Teaching at Source has been nourishing and enriching for me, especially in light of the challenges and changes I’ve encountered in the last several months, getting married and losing my dad to cancer. I feel honored to be among each and every one of you. In the coming months, I look forward to making it in more often to take class from other teachers at the studio!
Can you share a favorite recipe?
The following recipe is one my husband, Nicholas, and I concocted together about a year ago. It’s easy to whip up and makes for a tasty and refreshing light main course or side!
Spicy Quinoa Salad with Spinach and Mandarin Oranges
1 cup quinoa
1/2 sweet onion
4 cups spinach (or substitute your favorite greens)
2 or 3 mandarin oranges (peeled and cut in chunks)
1/3 cup almond slivers (toasted optional)
2 lemons (juiced)
2 jalapeños (juiced)
2 cloves garlic (juiced)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients to make the dressing. If you don’t have a juicer, dice
jalapeños and garlic.
Cook quinoa in rice cooker or on stove top (if you have a rice cooker, it will make the quinoa a lovely, fluffy texture!) Sauté 1/2 onion and set aside. Toast almonds (optional) and set aside. Add quinoa, onion, spinach and chunks of orange together and mix well with dressing. Add almonds last. Sometimes I play with this salad a bit, sautéing fennel with the onion or adding ginger to the dressing. One time when I was unable to find good mandarins, I enlisted in mangos instead! Feel free to make this salad your own!