Early Explorations. I am a local DC area gal. Except for 16 years in Northern Virginia while my daughter was in public school, Maryland is where I was born and have lived most of my life. I moved to Annapolis when my daughter was in college, and in 2015 to Elkridge in the Ellicott City, Columbia area.
I came to yoga through meditation. More often, I believe, it happens the other way around, people come to meditation through yoga. But I was newly married, commuting to DC, going to college at night, and needing to deal with the “normal” stresses of people who do too much. So, it being the 70’s, I started doing Transcendental Meditation around the same time as the Beatles -- although I believe they found it first!
The next step after finding balance and calm through meditation was to try some yoga. Back then, there was no internet, no major book stores, and the only book I found on doing yoga poses was, Richard Hittleman’s Yoga 28 Day Exercise Plan. I’m betting a whole bunch of people of a certain age will remember that book. I practiced the poses, remembered the importance of the solar plexus and the sun salutations, and hoped that my practice would, as the book promised, “become a lifetime program to keep your whole organism radiant with a natural beauty and health.”
By the 80’s I was a single mom working full time in a job requiring travel and teaching, and completing both my bachelors and masters degrees at night. Balancing all of the "to do" list left little time to practice yoga and meditation. But, on and off, I returned to both practices throughout those years as when doing them I felt a sense of peace, calm, and stability that I was unable to find any other way.
Yoga Fever. Then something magical happened. In 1998, three friends and I celebrated our birthdays at Miraval Spa in NM. I took my very first restorative yoga class -- and I was hooked. I felt an immediate sense of relaxation and release and took every yoga class I could for the remainder of our stay. I came back from NM and began studying yoga with a local teacher. The following year, I assisted another local teacher, and then a few months later, was hired to teach at a local gym after I’d attended a class there. At that point, I realized I’d better get some yoga teacher training!
And I’ve been in training and teaching ever since. In fact, after almost 33 years as a financial policy analyst for the Federal Government (actually a Certified Government Financial Manager, or CGFM, which is similar to a CPA in the private sector), in 2003 I retired early from my job as an assistant director at the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board so I could teach yoga full time. It was the right decision.
Yoga Service Trip, Costa Rica, with YCC, 2014
My Teaching Evolution. This is my 20th year teaching yoga. I’ve studied with many teachers, local and national. Virtually all of my training has been in alignment-based yoga, the basis of therapeutic yoga postural assessment and assists. In fact, I am a Certified Yoga Teacher (2004-2012) in the Anusara® method, though I cancelled my license when I learned of the mismanagement of the system by its founder. But I’ve built on the foundational alignment principles I've learned, practiced and taught, incorporating into them further therapeutic essentials learned in continuing studies in anatomy, alignment, movement, breathing, and most recently, trauma-based yoga and adaptive yoga for special needs and underserved populations. And in 2017 I became a Certified Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT.
Teaching Focus. I teach therapeutic essentials of alignment-based yoga. In every class and every pose, I teach alignment of the bones, muscles, connective tissue, and breath. Because the body has wisdom and holds memory at a cellular level, these days my teaching focuses on stress and trauma relief. We live in a violent, stressed-filled world that measures success by money and perfection, and pressures us to compete until we achieve these goals. I teach yoga to support accepting yourself wherever you are in life. I also believe that "it's not about the pose," and prefer to help you adapt the pose to fit your body/mind rather than trying to force you to fit some ideal of the pose.
20 years as yoga teacher, including:
15 years teaching therapeutic elements of alignment-based yoga
15 years developing/teaching therapeutic essentials of alignment workshops
15 years as adjunct teacher of yoga teachers
9 years as adjunct teacher of RYT 200 program
4 years as adjunct teacher of RYT 500 program
3 years as developer/teacher of advanced yoga studies/immersion program
6 years developing/teaching yoga retreats
Currently - teaching 4 public classes, 1 millitary class, private lessons, therapeutic elements of alignment workshops,
YTT 200 Program, YTT 300 program, Continuing Education for Yoga Teachers.
Yoga Certifications and Affiliations:
E-RYT 500 - Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, May 2010; registered teacher with Yoga Alliance since March 2001
Prenatal Yoga Teacher Certificate, Kripalu - May 2003
Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Level 1 and 2 Certificates - May and August 2003
Certified Anusara® Yoga Teacher, September 2004 - February 2012
Integrative Yoga for Seniors Certificate - Duke Integrative Medicine, November 2011
Swatantrya Yoga Training, 2012 - 2013
Certified Warriors at Ease Teacher, C-WAE - June 2013, Regional Program Coordinator - 2016
RPYT - Registered Pregnancy Yoga Teacher - May 2014
Cancer Exercise Specialist - May 2014
Prison Yoga Project Teacher Training - May 2016
YACEP, Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider - July 2016
Certified iREST® Yoga Nidra Meditation Teacher, C-iREST - 2017
Certified Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT, International Association of Yoga Therapists - May 2017
Y4A (Yoga for Amputees), Master Teacher Trainer, trained by Marsha Therese Danzig, December 2017
Joined Teaching Staff of Sensory Enhanced Yoga Institute, April 2019
Retreat Center of Maryland - Board of Directors, Past Chair of Business Development Committee - 2016 - 2018
Education and Certifications, Other Than Yoga:
BS, Organizational Behavior, Columbia Union College, 1987
MPFM, Masters in Public Financial Management, American University, 1990
CGFM, retired - Certified Government Financial Manager, 1997