200-hour E-RYT and a Certified Tennis Professional through the USPTA.

When I first tried yoga, I absolutely hated it. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on a beach towel in a dimly lit gym, and I hated that I couldn’t do the unfamiliar positions “right.” I couldn’t see the point of practicing so slow. In retrospect, I see now that my first experience had less to do with not connecting with the teacher, and more to do with my competitive tennis background. Back then, if I didn’t feel the burn or break a sweat during exercise, I didn’t enjoy it.

I didn’t try yoga again until two years later when I found Power Yoga. This was much more my style. After a few sessions I was hooked. I even practiced from a book at home and while out of town. I had no idea if I was doing it “right,” but I liked being able to do certain postures pictured in the book. I still saw yoga as another competition (within myself), however. It took years for me to realize that the practice I was initially drawn to was the exact opposite of what I needed.

Within the first few Power Yoga classes I took, I found myself thinking, “It would be very cool to teach yoga.” Although I had been teaching tennis for a few years, I wasn’t sure about teaching larger groups. About three years later, I took an introductory course to see if I enjoyed teaching yoga. I discovered that I had a lot more to learn. A little push from Bonnie Yonker went a long way towards my enrollment in Sarasota’s Yoga From the Heart teacher training program. The rest, as they say, is history…

My practice has changed immensely since those first few years. It took me a while to realize that I need my yoga practice to balance out my life. I now find the most benefit from a practice quite opposite from the Power Yoga I began with. I enjoy a practice that allows me to relieve all of my achy parts – both physically and mentally. The more props the merrier! My practice has slowed down, yet gone deeper.

Teaching yoga gives me the opportunity to pass on what I love about yoga. It allows me to connect with students in a way that is different from teaching tennis. In fact, I believe it has changed the way I teach tennis for the better. I am very blessed to be a part of what’s happening at The Yoga Sanctuary.

When I’m not practicing or teaching yoga, I am teaching or playing tennis. Some of you may already know that I grew up playing tennis competitively and have been lucky enough to compete at the international level while in the junior circuit and then for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I have the perfect jobs, complementing each other so nicely. I put on my tennis hat (literally!) during the day, and in the afternoons and evenings you can find me in the studio. I even have several tennis students who begin their days with me on the court and end it with me in the studio. How cool is that?!

Some of my favorites:

Favorite Books: Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman and Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda

Favorite food: Authentic Puerto Rican (now vegetarian), anything I cook from scratch (a luxury during season for me), and anything juice-able from Worden Farm.

Favorite Yoga Pose: Legs up the wall: the feel-good, cure-all posture!

Most Challenging Yoga Pose: Revolved Triangle, or backbends. I have recently discovered that with the right props (in my case a chair) I actually find myself enjoying these.