I first began studying yoga, meditation and Eastern philosophy when I was in graduate school in 1994. I met a teacher who was part of a school of yoga that incorporated Kundalini Yoga with Sufi teachings, Bon (Pre-Buddhist), Taoist and Tantric Practices into a practice she now calls Rudra Yoga. I was also studying Qi Gong with a Master from China at Claremont Graduate University, where my advisor was teaching Engaged Buddhism and Mindfulness. She was also a mental health professional, close associate of the Dalai Lama and a community activist. Her values and actions greatly impacted my studies and the direction of my life.
At the time I was in a PhD program studying Educational Studies and planning to become an academic teacher. In my Master's thesis I wrote about using the body and movement in the classroom with various Somatic practices. In addition, I focused on helping people with mental health conditions by researching empowerment and recovery studies, mental health advocacy and community activism.
In 2011 I thought about developing Mind Health Yoga when I was thinking about integrating my academic background in mental health with my studies of yoga and meditation. I had also worked as a mental health advocate for almost two decades and experienced a lot of stress as a result. I wanted to teach mental health professionals and others in challenging professions to alleviate stressful working conditions, improve their capabilities to do a better job, and have the skills to be more relaxed and mindful in their work environments.
Presently I have turned Mind Health Yoga into a program that focuses on teaching people new to yoga, people with physical limitations, and the aging population. Mind Health Yoga is a form of yoga that teaches both Kundalini Kriyas and Hatha yoga postures, breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation (mindfulness) practices as therapeutic tools to become healthier and happier. I am also able to combine all of these aspects of yoga with the principles of mental health empowerment and advocacy. I want to expand possibilities for recovery and community integration for people with mental health conditions.
My goals are not only to focus on people with mental health conditions and mental health professionals, but to also offer yoga and meditation classes privately to individuals without a mental health background in my studio and on Skype, couples who want to improve their communication using yoga and meditation practices, and larger groups in the local community. I also have an interest in using my training to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Corporate Wellness Programs.
I have tremendous empathy for people who suffer from all types of maladies. I also know based on my own personal life experience how vital yoga and meditation can be in healing from personal tragedies and improving all aspects of one's life.
I teach to reach and bring strength, peace and joy, to those who struggle in both small and big ways. I am passionate about my work and how I am able to bring health, happiness, and a tranquil environment to my students. I am grateful to all of my teachers who have shown me this path and I hope to be an inspiration to others. Namaste.
Namaste is an ancient yogic saying which is used in a greeting or at the end of a yoga class and it means: "MY SOUL HONORS YOUR SOUL. I HONOR THE PLACE IN YOU WHERE THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE RESIDES. I HONOR THE LIGHT, LOVE, TRUTH, BEAUTY AND PEACE WITHIN YOU, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALSO WITHIN ME. WE ARE UNITED, WE ARE ONE AND THE SAME. WE ARE ONE. "
MIND HEALTH YOGA™ in Chapel Hill, NC 2013 - present
Cross Disability Services, Pittsboro, NC 2019 - present
UNC Family Medical Clinic, Chapel Hill, NC 2016 -2019
UNC Wakebrook Primary Care, Wake, NC 2019
Triangle Springs Hospital, Raleigh, NC 2018
Veterans Administration Medical Center, Durham, NC 2017-2019
Orange County Middle Schools, NC 2013 - 2016
The Village Integrated Service Agency, Long Beach, CA 2012
WE Love Yoga Studio, Long Beach, CA 2011 - 2012
Yoga Wellness Educator Certificate, 2018-present
Yoga University, Online
Hatha Yoga Teaching Certificate, 2016-2018
Loving Kindness Yoga School, Carborro, NC
Warriors At Ease Teaching Certificate, 2018
Yoga International, Online
Restorative Yoga Teaching Certificate, 2017
Yoga International, Online
Connected Warriors Trauma Conscious Yoga Training Certificate, 2016
Yoga Connection, Goldsboro, NC
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Certificate of Completion, 2015
Duke Integrative Medicine, Durham, NC
Teaching Yoga to Youth Certificate, 2013
Duke University Dance Studio, Durham, NC
Applying Mind/Body Interventions to People with Anxiety and Depression, 2012
Ram Dass Center for Humanology, New Mexico
Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teaching Certificate, 2012
Golden Bridge Yoga Studio, Hollywood, CA
Master of Arts, Educational Studies, 2003
Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA
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MIND HEALTH YOGA
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Yoga Wellness Educator