What a posture looks like, is less important than how it feels.
These days, as everyone is searching for perfection and that quintessential pose, more and more I am searching for something else...depth and connection. While I love the structure and alignment of yoga (it was my first love!), but as my teaching journey continues, I am called to grow.
The postures create a container for us to be present within our own bodies and go deeper into that sensory landscape. From the physical to the subtle, postures give us space to feel. We can experience our own strength, our desire (or resistance) to connect to softness, and even dip our toes into the emotional realm. The practice can become less about the physical and more about creating internal balance.
Read more about my journey below...
I look back on my yoga journey thus far, and am amazed by the challenging, inspiring, frustrating, sometimes rocky road it has been. Despite the mountains and valleys, teaching yoga in some way shape or form is something I could not give up. It has changed my life in many ways....for the better.
I began dabbling in yoga as a tween, when I was heavily involved in figure skating. Off ice practice was part of our repertoire, and yoga was introduced. It was the first physical challenge which also encouraged a certain state of mindfulness. At this time, I was already curious about spirituality and had a thirst for anything that gave me answers about who I was or where I fit into this big crazy world.
There were few classes available in my small town where I grew up, and nothing for a pre-teen, so I practiced with Kathy Smith's 'New Yoga' on VHS in my living room. It was challenging, and I’m not sure I knew what I was experiencing, but I remember how I felt after practice and during savasana. The practice continued to fulfill my need for physical challenge, but also quench my deep introspective curiosity.
It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto in 2006 that I had the ability to take my yoga practice beyond my living room floor. I had moved to Toronto to persue my design career, but it also allowed me seek out yoga studios and teachers that would have great influence on my life and practice.
Despite what many might think, the design world can be a brutal one. It didn't take me long to achieve burn out with the long hours I worked, so the yoga studio became my solace. I felt my best when I was practicing. My work left me feeling numb and exhausted, and there was a very tangible feeling of lightness in my body after getting on my mat. I remember being in awe of my first teachers, amazed at how their guidance could shift my energy...and my body was changing too! I knew one day I wanted to provide the same service for others.
It took me several years before I would begin the journey of becoming a yoga instructor. I quit my job, traveled the world and slowly unraveled the life and designer persona I was familiar with before I was able to step fully into the path I am on today.
The process of becoming a yoga instructor was a challenge to how I defined myself and what I thought I was capable of. As a highly sensitive, introverted, mostly serious person, training challenged my edges and forced me to break down walls I didn’t know I had. It challenged me to grow physically, emotionally, and learn to connect with others in a more authentic way.
Stepping into that role of teacher gave me a voice, a place to belong, and a place to give back. I have been teaching now for almost 10 years, and I am still honoured to be able to do so. I have learned so much from my teachers, and even more from students that I have taught from Toronto to the Niagara Region. This year I have also joined as faculty on a Yoga Teacher Training program and am so excited to be able to start others along their journey to becoming teachers.
When I am not at the studio, you can find me with my partner Joel, hiking, making blanket forts and making a mess in the kitchen