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As a curvy woman, I often felt left out of the larger conversation about health and fitness, even after managing and improving multiple autoimmune conditions with a healthy lifestyle and regular yoga practice. Yoga Teacher training not only allowed me to begin to steer the conversation my way, but also towards anyone, anywhere, who was not being offered the benefits of yoga.
I took my first yoga class in 2005. A recent transplant to NYC, a grad student, and a bit of a film nerd, I never imagined myself as a yoga teacher. As I grew in the practice, I loved the moving meditation, the grace I found in the poses and transitions, and the profound opening that yoga afforded my body and mind. But even in the most welcoming of classes, I sometimes felt like an outsider. My fluctuating weight never brought me below a size 6. In fact, I spent more time somewhere between a 12 and a 16 and I was often the largest woman in my class.
Some styles of practice ignited my spirit more than others but diversity kept my practice alive. I didn't grow overly attached to any one teacher, but I was more drawn in by the ones who radiated a sense of being profoundly changed by their yoga practice. Through the years, I looked for profound changes in myself but I saw only small things - better balance on some days, small strength gains...maybe I handled that crisis a little better? It was hard to say. Over the next decade, yoga saw me through illness and recuperation, job and life changes, addictions and recovery, and several periods of deep grief. I still didn’t feel profoundly changed by my practice but I did feel deeply and lovingly held by a force larger than myself. One that didn't discriminate based on weight or size. In early 2016, I headed to Goa, India and trained at Trimurti Yoga to be a certified yoga instructor, multi-style of course!
I have now practiced yoga for over 12 years and have trained in south India, New York City, and Ontario, where I completed a further 750 hours of training with Amara Vidya Yoga. I am certified as a Yoga For All instructor by Dianne Bondy and I have completed training in Hatha, Ashtanga-inspired Vinyasa, Yin yoga, Yoga Nidra, Restorative yoga, children's mindful movement, and trauma-Informed yoga. Inspired by all of these traditions as well as the ecclectic playlists and essential oil blends I create for my group classes, I encourage my students to build strength and stability in the bodies they inhabit at the moment, rather than waiting for some future perfected version of themselves that may or may not come.
Subtle changes are profound. There is no time like the present moment, and everyday we have hundreds of chances to choose strength, receptivity, and peace. All qualities we can cultivate and practice on the mat. An eternal student myself, I hold space for you to explore your practice, wherever it leads you. I lead fun, uplifting Hatha and mandala-flow inspired Vinyasa classes that stress accessibility and alignment. Everyone is welcome. All bodies, all sizes, all backgrounds. Like me, you have a yoga body. And like me, you are stronger than you know.
30 hour Children's Yoga and Mindfulness - Harlem Yoga Studio
500 hour Yoga Certificate - Amara Vidya Yoga, Gananoque, ON
Yin Yoga Training with Chantel Ehler, Amara Vidya Yoga, Wolfe Island, ON
Restorative with Chantel Ehler, Amara Vidya Yoga, Gananoque, ON
Yoga For All with Dianne Bondy, Gananoque, ON
Trauma-informed Training with Lara Land, Three And A Half Acres Yoga, Harlem NY
Yoga Nidra Level 1, with Mona Anand, ISHTA Yoga, NYC
200 hour Yoga Certificate - Trimurti Yoga, Goa, India
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