Yoga & Mindfulness found me 8 years ago.
My dharma is to make ancient yogic teachings accessible to as many people as possible regardless of age, gender, race, wealth or status and to create a safe space for all beings to explore, experience and celebrate their truth.
My truth is; I am constantly full of giggles, I trust my intuition, I can be a little sensitive, Im happiest when outside and need to sweat everyday to feel balanced.
Before I found yoga I was on antidepressants and took pain meds for pain associated with scoliosis and two places in my spine with fused vertebrae.
I used to live with demoralizing back pain until I developed a consistent yoga practice. Once coming to my mat was a regular occurrence in my life I touched my toes for the first time, cut out the meds and realized that my body is my temple.
If think I can, then I can, even if its scary at first.
In 2009 I packed up my life and moved to the Yasodhara Ashram in the Rocky Mountains. It was at the time, the biggest leap out of my comfort zone and best thing I had ever done on my path of self awareness. I lost my self there. In the process I discovered who I really am.
I have practiced celibacy for over a year and believe it’s a good idea for everyone take a celibacy practice at some point (maybe its a week, a month, a year) to recognize; how much of our culture is influenced/saturated by sex, how to redirect/claim the power, and to be comfortable in our own skin and sexuality for you and no one else.
I shaved my head at the Ashram, first into a mohawk and then “to the scalp” bald. For me it was The Warrior rebirth of Rachel and I will shave my head again at my next big life milestone.
Being barefoot, able to feel the temperatures and textures of the earth excites me and reminds me to slow down.
Running barefoot half marathons is one of my favourite practices. I delight in taking the trail less travelled.
I give amazing hugs.
I often teach 3 or more yoga classes in one day. Im humbled and so grateful that I can work full-time doing what I am most passionate about and that somehow, people always want to come along for the journey within.
I once ran all night for a cancer fundraiser but instead of raising money I asked for positive energy by collecting a list of names; People and families whose lives had been affected by cancer and shouted out those names to the night sky to keep my mind focused and feet moving.
I am still blown away by how much this run changed me. I had my biggest run ever that night, 53 kilometres.
I cant tell you how many times I cried, Happy and sad tears or how many times I felt new energy and strength that couldn’t be explained from the light of so many incredible people in my life showing up with snacks, running shoes and love.
I believe there are so many things in this world more powerful than money.
Headstands are one of those things.
Giving and receiving surprises brings me great joy. If you are in my life, expect the unexpected.
My grandmother is my very best friend. Laughter is both our medicine and our mantra. She’s also one of the only people I will dress up to hang out with.
Dill Pickles are a must.
Cold water purifies you. I once got hypothermia from a glacier fed crystal blue lake in BC on a midnight New Years Eve polar dip because I lost track of time while swim-chanting.
I was very sick as a child and my parents were told that I wouldn’t live to be 10 years old.
Everyday is a gift. (see above)
I believe “there is no such thing as bad weather, only poorly dressed people.” When is the last time you played in the mud? Or just played?
I am a certified personal trainer and inspire people to celebrate their bodies.
Once summer arrives I am on my bike as much as possible. I have biked for years as my #1 mode of transportation.
I believe our North American population would be a lot more peaceful if we biked more often. In fact, I hope to live car free by 30. It nourishes my body and saves our earth.
I moved to Ottawa before ever visiting there for my dream job teaching yoga full-time with a youth not for profit. I love kids, and know that we could all learn a little something from the open-hearted curiosity that they embody.
I have taught yoga in many interesting places; In family shelters. On jungle gyms. In dingy dirty basements. High School Gymnasiums. In a theatre from the stage. In desk filled classrooms. In empty pools. On towels, t shirts, foam kindergarden puzzle blocks, crushed rock, sand, grass and snow.
I love hot yoga, and cold showers.
Laughter is necessary every day, so is eye contact, feeling heard, giving your presence and smiling at strangers.
Singing reminds me that I am powerful and capable of anything. I have a full book of songs that I have written. Someday I hope to share them with you.
Silence is sacred and when the pace of life slows down you can hear so much more.
Trees make me sneeze but I still hug one everyday to remind me to stay rooted in my truth.