I'd rather hear about you, but here's a little about me.
Hi, I was born in LA, and I still live there. My mom, a former ballet dancer, got me onto the barre at age 4. I tantrum-ed my way out of that after two classes. Elementary school was fun, though I don't remember much, other than an eye patch I wore to strengthen my lazy eye and my oversized coke bottle glasses. P.E. was a dreaded 45 minutes as there somehow seemed to be a strong magnetic connection between my face and every round throwing object.
At the end of middle school, during a routine scoliosis check in the nurse's office (you've probably also had to bend over and do this), a slight curvature of my spine was detected. The scoliosis was mild and 6 month x-rays monitored its progression. By Junior year of high school the degree of curvature (mine was an 'S' curve, left lumbar, right thoracic) was classified as 'severe'. Hoping to avoid invasive spinal fusion surgery, I wore a hard plastic back brace for almost 2 years. It was painful, embarrassing and ultimately didn't correct or stabilize the curvature.
Desperate to relieve the constant discomfort I enrolled in a beginners yoga class at Santa Monica College. I thought yoga would heal me, straighten my spine and make me whole again. I even cut out a drawing of the spine from a medical anatomy book and hung it above my bed. I thought I could effort my way to 'perfection'. My first classes were with a strict Iyengar (that may be redundant) teacher who taught with the compassion of a staff sergeant. I flourished with the structure and he was a phenomenal teacher for me. I was learning all the physical stuff but also slowly starting to feel how my mind and body could work together. I was beginning to convince myself that my body wasn't my enemy and I could chose the path that kept my body content to be how it was.
Well, yoga didn't straighten my spine...and, as a late bloomer, the degree of curvature continued to advance. By my second year of college the chronic discomfort left me feeling frustrated and helpless. I agreed to corrective spinal fusion surgery and at 19 years old I was wheeled into surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Physical recovery was challenging but my doctor assured me I would still be able to do yoga with no trouble. Plus I had a robot spine now. I got back into classes, nervously. The surgery has alleviated a lot of my pain but had drastically changed the structural and muscular make up of my body. I had lots of learning to do, new sensations to experience and different aches and pains to contend with. I feel like I could go on for a long time about all the emotions, changes and physical feelings, but I won't. I kept up with the practice under the guidance of many many caring and excellent teachers.
In 2012, I completed a 200 hour teacher training program at YogaWorks. I do lots of things to occupy my time, I'm grateful teaching yoga is one of them. In 2016 I finished up my 300 hour training with Pure Flow Yoga. In the summer of 2017 I completed a yoga for scoliosis workshop/training with Elise Miller Browning. I'm currently a Yoga Alliance registered E-RYT 500 hour teacher.
As an instructor it's my goal to facilitate a safe and enjoyable experience for each unique practitioner. I do my best to make sure each student is appropriately challenged, offering modifications and support when necessary. I care immensely about being an excellent teacher and it's my sincere objective to learn and improve as a teacher (and person) through my experience with all types of students. And with a yoga practice, we're all students forever. I hope to practice with you!
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