Like many people, I tried yoga a handful of times and instantly liked it, but I didn’t make it a priority at first. In 2005 I learned I was gluten intolerant, and it was a wakeup call that I needed to start taking care of myself. I knew I needed to start nourishing my mind, body, and spirit and eventually yoga was the answer for me. In 2008 I found the Yoga Sanctuary online and started taking classes and workshops and have been there ever since.
Since I have been doing yoga, I experience more calm and peace on a daily basis. I’ve learned to let things go and not to worry all the time. I am more mindful in my words and actions. Ujjayi breathing has been a very helpful tool for me when stress comes up.
I knew I loved yoga after my first class experience. Since that time I’ve had “teach yoga” on a list of things I wanted to do someday. To my pleasant surprise teacher training was being offered right in Punta Gorda at The Yoga Sanctuary! Best of all the training worked around my day job. The stars were aligning and all I had to do was make the commitment. Being a teacher meant that I had to learn something new and get out of my comfort zone, and I was long overdue for that. Teaching yoga has given my life more purpose because it lets me share what I enjoy with others.
When I started yoga I focused on the asana (postures) and was not interested in meditation at all. Over time I’ve read and learned all the benefits of meditation and have incorporated it into my practice. I believe meditation gives me a bit more clarity in this journey of life. My home practice is geared toward what I teach in class as well as lots of gentle yoga. A restorative pose with an herbal eye pillow is exactly what I need at the end of the day.
When I have time off I feel grateful to spend time with my honey, Bob, and my precious dog, Ella. I like the simple pleasures in life; I enjoy my morning and evening walks with Ella, my morning tea outside, and watching the resident short tail squirrel that I call “Stubby.” Being on or near the water is the ultimate gift. Boca Grande is my favorite beach-where seeing a dolphin or manatee is as exciting as it was the first time, ten years ago. I treasure time spent with family and friends. It is therapeutic for me to discover, make, and share new healthy and yummy recipes with them.
Every year for one week in the summer I fly up to Bob’s family farm in upstate New York to help during hay season. His family makes hay for the horse lovers, and I get to bale hay while driving the John Deere tractor. It’s harder than my day job but very satisfying! Outside all day, from before sunrise until sunset, we see all the activity with the deer, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and woodchucks. For some down time I love the antique shops and picnicking nearby at Canandaigua Lake.
Some of my favorites:
* Favorite Book: LOVE by Leo Buscaglia
* Favorite Food: Butternut squash in fall
* Favorite Yoga Pose: Sun Salutations
* Most Challenging Yoga Pose: Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Posture)