New studio Love Hive Yoga really has my heart. Check out this sweet little interview transcript below on their blog, and definitely come visit Love Hive if you're in town! Thanks Audra+Jessica!
What is your relationship to yoga practice right now?
My practice is fluid and follows natural rhythms— it can be meditation and pranayama, 20 minutes rolling around on therapy balls, or really long standing poses. I try things in my body, use lots of props, hang from moldings, door jams, and monkey bars. The discipline of being truly present always takes priority, which keeps my practice fresh and relevant to my life. Mostly yoga is a vital daily self-care ritual that helps me offer my best to the world.
How do you go about preparing for a class?
I start with a large perspective, drawing inspiration from Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, anatomy, primal movement, nature, my students, and my personal practice. I write, doodle, chant the Gayatri Mantra, move, breathe, eat, and drink kombucha. Then I feel prepared to hold space and support my students in their practice.
How did you arrive here?
I grew up in Vermont raised by two visual artists. We practiced Surat Shabd Yoga, and from a very young age I was meditating. I studied movement in many forms: gymnastics, contemporary dance, contact improvisation, Tai Chi. In 1994 after a brief stint touring EU as a singer, I moved to San Francisco and became very involved with both performing arts and the punk scene. Yoga asana was my strategy for self-regulation, performance anxiety, and injury prevention. When I moved to Portland in 2001, I knew I would become a teacher to share these tools. I trained for four years with my mentor until he said, “Go teach.” With humble ambitions it would be another two years before I actually felt ready, during which time I managed an independent radio station and was a DJ. In 2008 I worked as a recruiter for my alma mater, and there I created a yoga program. That experience lead to my first certification, teaching yoga with various outreach programs, and training with marvelous teachers. In 2015 I completed a two year yoga therapy training program, and since have spoken and taught at mental health conferences to clinicians about the neuroscience of yoga, yoga as complementary treatment, and trauma informed yoga. I love the intersection of western medicine and yoga where doctors prescribe mindfulness, and yoga teachers bill for insurance. Modern yoga is at a critical time in its history and it feels very exciting to be part of it!
What's the rest of your life like?
Sixteen years living in Portland, roots are super important to me. I am lucky to have a toddler and great husband who keep me grounded. The discipline of creativity is woven through every aspect of my life. I design web and print graphics for independent businesses, occasionally you’ll find me onstage performing in experimental dance, theater or film productions. I am also an insightful tarot card storyteller and interpret the cards as often as possible.