What year did you attend training? Why did you go?
I went to training in Fall 2006. The funny thing is, I didn’t decide to go. I had been practicing for four and a half years when my mom decided I should go. I had been slated to go to law school, but decided I didn’t want to go. I began writing fiction and was practicing yoga. My mom saw that I had a real talent for the practice and the philosophy behind it. I had pushed her to go to class. And as her practice developed, she really wanted me to be a teacher.
I didn’t think it was “cool” enough. I wanted to be a tortured artist, not a giver of light and love. It wasn’t until I had been teaching for 8 years that I committed to being a full time teacher and healer. I wasn’t ready until then. I had to burn through some of my own emotional pain and learn to create with it before I was strong enough to fully commit to teaching.
What is your favorite thing about being a Bikram Yoga instructor?
Watching others reap the healing benefits of yoga the way that I have. For years, I struggled with debilitating OCD and anxiety and this practice played a large role in healing it. I feel very fortunate to have had practices that allowed me to heal naturally.
Tell us about your own practice. Which posture is most challenging for you and how do you get through it?
It was the breath that was the most difficult for me. I was always very flexible and could fake my way through class, but it wasn’t until I learned to breathe properly that I began truly reaping the full range of benefits from my yoga practice. The breath grounded me, allowed me to surrender, and has helped me to heal. As a client of mine recently said, “This breath, its like magic. It’s so dumb. If only people knew it was so simple.”
What projects are you involved with?
I have developed a workshop called the “Alchemizing Pain Into Light” sessions. They are a combination of what I call my holy trinity of healing—yoga asana, meditation, and journal writing. It is through these three modalities that I have burned through my pain and been able to alchemize it into beauty, poetry, love, and light. It’s a continual process everyday.
The workshop is a combination of pranayama breathing techniques, chakra clearing, restorative postures, during which I tell my “pain” story, followed by an intensive vinyasa flow with an emphasis on backbends to open the heart chakra, a guided journal writing session and discussion then we end with a heart centered meditation.
It is my belief that it is our pain that tells our most powerful story. It is up to us to let it create our beauty rather than allow it to destroy us. With my workshops, I am offering a space where people can feel safe being vulnerable and expressing their pain so that they can get acquainted with it and use it to heal and give light to the world.
As humans, we are masters of developing hiding mechanisms to avoid. Some examples of these are shopping, television, relationships, drugs, sex, and varying other numbing mechanisms to avoid dealing with our lives.
It is only through confronting our pain that we can create with it and once we are strong enough to create with it we are able to heal. There truly is poetry in our pain.
I just finished reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and it was phenomenal, life changing, actually.
This practice is like magic. It allows us to unfold and discover ourselves in the most beautiful of ways. It helps us to train our minds so that we can become meditative and when we become meditative life flows more easily.