The Perfect Union
Nursing and yoga are two disciplines that beautifully complement one another. Each of these practices are steeped in similar fundamental values, lifelong learning & community service. I have chosen to dedicate my life to these two paths, each arising from very humble beginnings that continue to evolve through practice, purpose & self-reflection. Today, nursing and yoga have formed a synergistic union in my work delivering compassionate patient care and mindful yoga instruction.
One of my first jobs after high school was working as a nursing assistant in a long-term care facility for the elderly and those with mental disabilities. Despite the fragility, immobility, or isolation witnessed by some of these residents, I saw moments of great resiliency, joy, community, and inspiration. This all left an imprint on my heart, that years later would lead to nursing school and shape the trajectory of my path in healthcare.
Silently working in the background, two decades of spiritual practice in yoga and meditation has influenced my growth both personally and professionally. On a cool autumn afternoon the late 90’s, I came upon a traditional Buddhist Temple while walking a neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. A few days later I would attend my first proper meditation sitting. The experience felt both foreign and intuitively familiar. I noted an extraordinary reverence for ritual and discipline among the practitioners in the temple. This felt reminiscent of the Catholic faith I had grown up in, yet resonated in a way that seemed more expansive, inclusive, and intimate.
Moving forward, a curiosity to fully understand this deep sense of stillness and peace, would send me on a journey exploring the vast sea of practices in yoga and meditation. From Power Yoga to Kundalini, Bhakti to Bikram, Shambhala to Sivananda, it was like years of sampling in a candy store. It all tasted sweet, but there was nothing I saw myself enjoying every day…..until Ashtanga.
In 2013, I made my way to Rishikesh, India to study Ashtanga yoga and to gain a teaching certification with a small Ashram on the Ganges River. During the six weeks of this visit, I had observed an authenticity in spiritual practice and happiness among the people of India that was palpable. This further inspired my practice in yoga which ultimately led to my current Ashtanga teacher Saraswathi Jois in Mysore India. Over multiple visits to Mysore working with musical, spiritual and & nutritional teachers I would cultivate a deeper understanding of the theoretical foundations upon which yoga is grounded. This education has supported a transcendence beyond the physical boundaries of the practice where a deeper awareness of inner peace would arise. All this work would later serve to recover my body and spirit from a life-threatening bicycle accident in 2019. It is with great reverence that I greet my yoga mat daily, engaging the eight-limbs of a practice that has truly shaped how I live in this world.
(I Dedicate this page to my dear friends and spiritual teachers Hari & Ananya Prasad,
who shared their hearts and home on our visits to Mysore.)
Heartfelt thoughts and prayers to India and those struggling around the world during this most challenging pandemic.
A Brief History of Ashtanga
In South-Central India, a 6-hour car ride from Bangalore lies the majestic city of Mysore. Arising from the green and tropical landscape of the South, Mysore is a vibrant, bustling, and developed metropolis rich in yoga tradition. It was here that the great Sri Krishnamacharya taught two of his greatest students that have shaped the direction of yoga in the Western world, Sri K Pattabhi Jois and BKS Iyengar.
Both Jois and Iyengar spent their lives cultivating and teaching unique forms of the practice, and have developed what we know today as Ashtanga and respectfully, Iyengar Yoga. By the late 1960’s both lineages had grabbed the attention of Western practitioners who began traveling to Mysore to work with these accomplished yoga masters. In 1998, Sri K. Pattahbi Jois moved the Yoga Shala (school), to the outskirts of Mysore in the small village of Gokulam. A short rickshaw ride from the main city, the Gokulam shala remains home to thousands of Ashtanga students worldwide since its official opening in 2002.
Currently Saraswathi Jois and her son Sharath, preserve and teach the practice of Ashtanga Yoga in the tradition of Paramapara (uninterrupted succession or lineage). Beyond Ashtanga, Mysore and Gokulam serve as destinations rich in history, Indian culture, and global community. The time spent here opens the door to outward exploration, and profound self-inquiry.
Saraswathi Jois born in 1941, is one of the most a revolutionary and inspiring women of the yoga world today. The daughter of the legendary Pattabhi Jois, she began her yoga training as a child and later became the first woman permitted to attend the Sanskrit College in Mysore. After many years of working along side of her father, Saraswathi became the first woman to start teach yoga to both men and woman in Mysore in the mid 1980’s.
Today, Saraswathi Jois continues to preserve the lineage of Ashtanga yoga, and welcomes thousands of dedicated practitioners from around the world to study the practice. Her gentle kindness, generosity, knowledge, and devotion is palpable in her presence.
I remain a humbled and inspired student of Saraswathi Jois, cherishing every moment of study under her tutelage. Her ability to teach and deliver the practice of yoga unfolds with few words and transcends the physical aspects of the practice. I am forever grateful for the lessons I have learned and the opportunity for continued growth.
"Do Your Practice and All is Coming"
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Privates & Workshops
The Art and Science of Informed Yoga Delivery
Each of us has an inherent capacity for profound physical, emotional, and spiritual vitality. This may be why an estimated 300 million yoga practitioners of diverse backgrounds and spirituality worldwide have found their way to the mat.
The fundamental 8-limbs of traditional yoga practice, offer a trusted pathway for personal boundary expansion.
Dedication to this process helps to build valuable skills, leading to empowerment, resiliency and self-transcendence. From here, we may move beyond our experiences of vulnerability and enjoy wellness in each of our human life domains.
I offer a trauma-informed approach, synthesizing my education and training to deliver mindfully inspired programs across the lifespan.
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