What was your biggest gift that yoga gave you?
In the past I struggled with drug addiction but through yoga practice I gained confidence and learned to accept and empower myself. Nobody is perfect and it’s our imperfections that people are attracted to. Yoga both on and off the mat is about self-acceptance not self-improvement, self-improvement is a consequence of that acceptance and empowerment.
Where you ever a gymnast?
I was never a gymnast but I was a dancer until I was 16 years old. The styles of dance I studied were ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz and musical theater. I was never very flexible and my technique was lacking due to no discipline as a child but I love it. When I began doing yoga I found the discipline to develop my strength and flexibility to get me where I am now.
How long have you been doing yoga?
I did my first yoga class when I was 16 to increase my flexibility. It turned out to be a seniors class and I didn’t enjoy it. I found yoga at a local gym I was attending and tried a few more classes yet I still wasn’t hooked. When I tried Bikram yoga I was hooked!
What do you eat?
I am a flexitarian. The majority of the month I follow a healthy vegetarian diet made up of whole organic foods. A few times a month I eat fish, chicken or maybe beef. I believe in balance and I check in with my body everyday to tell me what it needs. I try to include a lot of variety in my diet and I love all foods.
What do you do for your personal practice?
I love anything and everything upside down and in my personal practice I emphasize deep backbends and inversions. I have a heavy focus on alignment and I believe in finding optimal alignment for the individual. The shape we make with the body DOES matter and the shape I make may be very different to the person next to me. I have a daily Pranayama, Meditation, Vinyasa and Sky Yoga. I also use Lacrosse balls for myofacial release periodically when I have an area of tightness that needs attention and if I am ill I practice Yin Yoga.
What other activities do you enjoy other then yoga?
In my off time I love salsa dancing, surfing and aerial acrobatics. I practice and teach aerial silks (aka tissues) and I’m a huge foodie! I appreciate a nice glass of wine, dark chocolate and a delicious cup of coffee. I love animals and puppies are my kryptonite. If I see a puppy I drop everything to give it some love.
What styles of yoga have you trained in?
I am a self-proclaimed teacher training junkie. I began my teaching journey, 10+ years ago with the Bikram sequence. As I evolved as a teacher I began to seek out other styles of yoga including, Vinyasa yoga, Anusara Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga Tripsichore Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Acro Yoga and Pilates. I am self taught in Sky Yoga.
Can I do Sky Yoga if I am pregnant?
Sky Yoga can be adapted for every body through practice modifications. In general inversions with the hips fully supported by the hammock are not recommended for pregnancy because of the restriction in the blood flow around the pelvis and extra body weight. Standing postures, restorative postures and floor postures are fantastic!
What are the benefits of inversions in the Sky Yoga Hammock?
The act of hanging with the pelvis supported at the sacrum or over the front of the thighs allows space between the vertebrae to increase therefore reducing the pressure on the disc. This is great for relieving back pain and it creates both strength and flexibility in the body.