My roots are in the south. I was born in Texas. I love southern culture, food, folks, music. And it was while living in Mississippi that I went to my first yoga class. Even though I refer to Texas as my home, I’ve spent most of my life moving around. All around as a child with my family; college in both Durango, Colorado and Olympia, WA, with a BA and majors in Cultural Anthropology and Creative Writing; then later San Francisco, Oregon, Dallas , Mississippi, and finally here in lovely SLC!
Not surprisingly, I love to travel. Anywhere, wherever…let’s go! I also find soul satisfaction playing the guitar and singing a tune, and of course seeing great live performances. From ballet to the guy on the corner drumming a couple of plastic buckets. Heavy metal to opera. Gospel to EDM. Music is life and it connects us as human beings.
I’m an unapologetic omnivore, coffee snob, and movie buff. I’m a lazy thrill seeker. I will dance my ass off if the mood and need are there. I also like to read actual books with real pages made of paper. Scuba diving and African drum and dance classes also make me glad I’m alive. I’m a sports nut. I dig art and a good nap.
I remember my first yoga class as somewhat of a shock. I walked in sheepishly after having been physically inactive for many years. I wanted to be more healthy, but couldn’t see myself in a gym. I knew yoga would offer me a physical challenge and something spiritual and that intrigued me. Exactly what that “something” was I did not know. I think I was just mature enough and open minded enough for yoga to take hold of me.
In those first months of taking asana classes I felt lost, super self conscious, physically weak. Moments of accomplishment followed by ineptitude and frustration. My body hurt and I couldn’t breathe…and I quickly began sweating like a pig. AND THAT WAS ALL OK!! In fact,I was encouraged to just go ahead and be a clueless beginner. To allow myself to go ahead and feel whatEVER came up. It was slow and arduous. My poor brain was just trying to make sense of the sequence and get my body to move. I could barely figure out right or left when the teacher asked us to “put your right foot up between your hands in a lunge”.
But I thought they played some excellent music and at the end I got to take a nap. I honestly believe the only reason I went back was because of the music and the nap! Even though i didn’t feel so great during those first classes, I was in fact completely in the moment. And when it was over I felt wonderful and relaxed. Not only opened up and connected to myself, but to the others who had shared the experience with me. Out of all the effort and struggle and discomfort something changed over time. My body was finding balance and stability. My breathing calmed down. But also I saw in others the value of being authentic. Humility is just feeling right sized. Not the best. Not the worst. That unknown “something” I walked into that first class looking for was the joy of feeling comfortable in my own skin. The gratitude I have for those teachers and fellow students in Mississippi and the powerful effect those first classes had on me is one of the main reasons I continue to teach. I hope to share something similar with my students.
- Mondays 5:45pm – Power 1