Licensed Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, Anatomy Writer
I have been interested in movement for as long as I can remember. As a result of me dancing all the time at home, my mom signed me up for ballet when I was 4 and I stuck with it for 10 years until I sustained a serious injury. I had surgery to reconstruct ligaments in my left ankle in 2001 and a couple months later, on my 16th birthday, I started physical therapy. The office was a big open space and there were people in there with all different types of injuries in various stages of recovery. I was awe-stricken at how the therapists seemed to know how to work with and help all of them. From what I can remember, that was my first real taste of inspiration to help others heal themselves.
In early 2002, I was unable to move the way my body was used to moving and I was desperate to find a way. I needed something that fit my quiet personality and didn’t involve other people, as I didn’t like group sports/activities (I still don’t). I found a yoga DVD at Circuit City and followed it in my living room for a while before I was old enough to join a gym on my own and start going to classes there. I practiced regularly for about 6 years and noticed it was helping my ankle heal as well as helping my angsty teenage heart feel calm and centered.
In 2008, I completed my first yoga teacher training and in early 2009 I moved from Virginia to Portland. Around this time I was finding inspiration in teachers and advanced ashtanga practitioners like Kathryn Budig and Tiffany Cruikshank. I was blown away by the apparent grace and ease with which they executed such complex arm balances and inversions and I became intrigued by how I could get my own flimsy shoulders to support me in those same shapes. In 2012 I started working for and studying with Tiffany. My interest in shoulder anatomy quickly became an interest in the whole body and I completed modules on the hip, spine, advanced adjusting & assisting and a couple on the shoulder. During these 4 years I supported Tiffany behind the scenes as she created Yoga Medicine, I studied yoga and anatomy in some amazing places around the world and was privileged to teach other people how to become teachers themselves.
In 2017, nearly 10 years after I’d first dreamed it up, I started studying massage therapy at East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland. Under the guidance of many brilliant teachers, I earned my 800 hour certificate and became licensed in the spring of 2018. While I have drawn inspiration from all of my teachers, I am particularly grateful to Gretchen Hogue for teaching me Thai Massage and the importance of medical theory and to Jonathan Primack for his passion and expertise in structural bodywork and fascial anatomy.
Over the years I have taught all styles of yoga but these days I am most called to teach hatha, gentle and yin yoga for their emphasis on the breath, nervous system, fascia and slowing down. I am honored to offer classes several times a week at Yoga Pearl. In addition to teaching yoga and practicing massage, I also write about and teach anatomy. One of my greatest passions is helping people understand their bodies better by breaking down complex topics into words that make sense to the layman. Check out my blog for all of my musings.