When I moved to Seattle with my kids after a difficult 18-year marriage ended, I was, like most suddenly single mothers, overwhelmed and depressed. On the one hand, I was finally free to launch my long-deferred career as a singer/songwriter. On the other hand, I was trying to navigate, with my three children, the massive upheaval that a redirected life entails. When my friend suggested I go with him to a yoga class, I just thought it would be a nice, relaxing thing to do. Little did I know how much fundamental change it would bring—healthier lifestyle, better sleep, and a generally kinder, more balanced outlook on life. Now, over two decades later, I’m a 500-hour certified yoga teacher, who still writes and performs, but whose main artery of inspiration is yoga.
Many of my influential teachers come from the Buddhist world and speak about the importance of mindfulness. People like Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh continue to feed the flame that fuels both my practice and my teaching. My root teacher is Anam Thubten Rinpoche, and I have studied with him since 1999.
But the way I see it, everyone is my teacher: my kids, my co-workers, the jerk that just cut me off in traffic, and even Facebook updates. I use everything to cultivate my own awakening. And I bring these eclectic examples into each class, weaving everyday stories into the asanas (yoga poses) for us to discover together the Now unfolding, in this moment, in this body.
Bottom line? I am honored to be a facilitator of the energy shifts in class…the ones that happen when I invite students to soften the neck, release the shoulders. The whole room opens up, and you can see faces relax and brighten. This is what I live for. This is what it’s all about for me.