“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do,” it’s my favorite Rumi quote and the best way to describe who I am and the idea behind founding Integrative OM Yoga & Lifestyle. I believe in a yoga practice that continues off the mat and into your heart. I believe in a yoga practice that speaks to brain as well as body. I believe in a yoga practice that is approachable and accessible to everyone, no matter what brand of yoga pants you wear, or how many Sanskrit words you know. And most of all I believe in a yoga practice that enhances all facets of your life. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the shape of your body or your ability to recall the Vedas that’s going to bring you health and happiness. Health and happiness come from your ability to navigate through the challenges, the ups and the downs, and the mundane that life throws at you, with an open heart and a good sense of humor. That’s the type of yoga I practice and the type of yoga I teach. That’s Integrative OM & Yoga & Lifestyle.
My personal journey through yoga is a love story. I have always been in love with the diversity of life, and how many ways we are able to experience it as human beings. I was a voracious reader as a child (and still am- see 5 "Non-Yoga" Yoga Books), as well as a rambunctious nature lover. While I was studying Literatures of the World at UCSD I ran into the practice of yoga. I first saw it through the lens of Buddhism in a literature class and I was swept away by the idea that unconditional love could be the entire purpose of life. From Buddhist literature I moved on to Vedic literature. I dove head first into the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita and they still remain some of my favorite reads! I found the heart of yoga through the words of these literary masterpieces, and I couldn’t get enough.
Asana was a different story. But, hey, any good love story has struggle in it, right? I was athletic and active my whole life, but body awareness was NOT my strong suit. At 18, I couldn’t touch my toes and I had developed tendonitis in my right hip from running too much and never stretching. The first yoga classes I ever experienced, Forrest and Iyengar, humbled me to no end. I spent a good year working through incredibly tight fascia and a competitive attitude until I was able to drop into asana poses and actually feel good. Some days I still struggle, and the tendonitis in my right hip rears it’s ugly head more than I would like (as does the little voice in my head who still thinks yoga asana is a competitive sport). After a year in, however, I began to crave asana practice and viewed it as a form of self-empowerment.
It was right around the time that I finally began to understand how powerful and transformative asana could be that Arturo Galvez, head of the UCSD Recreation Yoga Teacher Training program, a student of the late Iyengar, and an E-RYT 500, told me he thought I would be a great yoga teacher. I was stunned; I had just finally learned how to touch my toes! Reluctantly, I agreed to study Iyengar and Hatha yoga under Arturo for two years, and received my RYT 200 in 2010. By the end of my training, I was more or less married to yoga, and put my plans to go to graduate school on hold to teach full time (a decision that freaked my parents out a bit, but now they ask to do yoga with me all the time)!
It was the best decision I ever made. It led me to meet unforgettable people and learn more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I inundated myself with teaching, but most importantly, further learning. I continued my yogic education through various trainings, including Restorative Yoga Teacher Training with Roger Cole, Thai Massage training in the tradition of Cheng Mei, Reiki Master certification, and finally my 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with Cloud 9 Yoga under Alison Scola and Stephanie Pafford.
To this day I continue to take workshops and trainings to learn more and fall even more deeply in love with the art of yoga. I feel that it is my duty as a yoga professional to continue to grow so as to serve my clients and students at the highest caliber. While I still love teaching group classes and being part of the studio scene, I feel most fulfilled when I can dive deeply into the teachings of yoga. Most 60-90 minute asana based class settings cannot offer that. For this reason, I focus most of my time on private instruction (in which I combine yoga, Thai massage, functional movement, Ayurveda, positive psychology, and good old fashioned chatting) and leading yoga teacher trainings (see Trainings + Yoga Education), and Yoga and Wellness, and (Retreats).
My mission is to hold a space for anyone and everyone to seek out the knowledge, teachings and practices that guide them towards the beauty of what they love. It is also a community for individuals, companies, and organizations to share the wealth of knowledge and services they offer, so that we can support each other, work together, and grow. With access to knowledge and a supportive community, each individual can find the path to their highest potential and shine brilliantly, leading a life of fulfillment and inspiring others in the process. Welcome. Lets us seek, share, and shine together.