The first time I tried yoga
the room was way too hot.
The lights were overly bright.
We were crammed like sardines.
After just a couple of neck stretches and deep breaths, I was seeing stars and black spots in my vision and knew I was going to pass out any minute. I managed to get out of the room about 2 seconds before hitting the deck – and immediately decided that yoga isn’t for me.
The second time I tried yoga
I thought my mom was going to die. She had just undergone a big surgery and asked me to go to yoga with her at her cancer hospital in Texas.
When we walked in, the room was cool, the lights were low, and there was plenty of space. We laid down on the floor, covered in blankets and propped up with bolsters, and breathed. In the second class, we did some chair yoga and in the third we meditated most of the time.
The yoga sessions worked miracles.
It was one hour of peace and calm amidst 23 other hours of stress and uncertainty. This gentle, therapeutic yoga seemed to have completely changed my body and brain chemistry.
Three months later, I went back home a completely different person, and with a positive outlook on life.
At first, I stumbled into the Yin classes of a friend of a friend.
When three Yin practices per week weren’t enough anymore, I discovered Hatha Yoga and was completely blown away.
Who would have thought that yoga could be more intense than just lounging around in different delightfully relaxing positions for an hour?!
The more I learned to strengthen my body and breath on the mat, the more curious I became about the origins and spiritual aspects of yoga. So I decided to travel to the source.
My trip to India
began in a town where the Monkey God Hanuman (originator of the Splits Pose) was said to have been born. I started my trip with an extended stay at an ashram, and took a yoga teacher training where I found what I had been looking for: – a thorough education in yoga history, philosophy, spirituality, meditation, and breathwork.
That was great, but I soon realized that the physical yoga in the training was not at all what I had expected. When I couldn’t make the shapes in my body that the teachers wanted to see, they pushed my knees down in lotus pose, and pressed on my back with hands and knees until my forehead touched the floor in seated forward folds. They taught one set of poses that we did on repeat day after day, and left out the undeniable fact that many people can’t perform all poses easily or pain-free.
I walked away from the experience full of wonder at the mystical aspects of yoga, but confused and a bit disheartened about the physical ones.
Back at home
my friends begged me to teach them yoga. Most of them spent all day sitting at a desk and had heard that it could work wonders for their aching backs.
Although I’d had a deep spiritual experience in India, I had no clue how to teach the physical practice that my friends were expecting.
After months of pressure, I finally gave in and decided to try to teach anyway.
I ran into roadblocks immediately. My students stuck around after class to ask me why they couldn’t do certain poses.
“I don’t know, sorry.” I would respond, helplessly.
They wanted to know if there were any ways to make the poses feel better.
“Just keep practicing…?” I offered with reluctance.
They asked me how to get deeper in their forward folds and backbends and how yoga could help get rid of their back pain.
”Maybe try Googling ‘forward folds’ or ‘yoga for back pain’?” I suggested – only half jokingly.
There I was: A certified yoga teacher, with absolutely no idea how to teach yoga.
I needed to learn more about the physical practice of yoga. So I invested everything I earned as an English teacher seeking out some of the world’s top yoga instructors.
I also became certified in Thai Massage and prenatal yoga, and studied with a physiotherapist. I kept up my meditation practice at the local Buddhist Temple and at home 6 days a week, and continued my study of the ancient spiritual texts of yoga.
A few years, certifications, and many thousands of dollars later, I finally felt able to teach the full spectrum of what yoga has to offer – both the physical and the philosophical.
In between two big trips to continue my yoga education, I was teaching a class in Berlin and was scouted by one of the biggest yoga websites in the industry – DoYou (formerly DoYouYoga).
After a sweaty class full of crazy poses dedicated to Shiva, a student whom I had never seen in class before asked if I would like to become the face of DoYouYoga.
At this point in time, I had never spent more than 10 dollars on yoga pants, never taken a yoga class online, and never in my wildest dreams thought of becoming a full-time yoga teacher – much less an industry leader!
Seemingly from one day to the next, I was catapulted from my tiny studio space with 12 person capacity to an international platform with literally millions of students all over the world.
The Movement Wisdom School of Yoga was born.
From there, I went on to create multiple yoga programs for DoYouYoga as well as YogiApproved, another major yoga platform. Between these two yoga sites, I am incredibly honored to bring this ancient practice from India to more than a million yoga students internationally with just the click of a button.
Students began writing to me, asking for retreats and teacher trainings, so I began to travel and teach internationally, leading my first retreat in Morocco in 2015.
Before I was ready to create my 200 hour yoga teacher training program, I thought back to what I had to do in my own learning to get a complete yoga education where I felt prepared to teach, and inspired to share my knowledge. I remembered having to take multiple teacher trainings on two different sides of the world in order to learn both the physical sides of the practice, and the spiritual ones. I decided to make a training that would teach both, and really well.
In 2019, the Movement Wisdom School of Yoga was born, where body and mind meet in perfect harmony.
All my years of education and teaching have culminated in the trainings I create for my students.
My life-long passion from here on out is bringing yoga to life for my students, giving them the incredibly deep and diverse yoga education that I worked so hard to find.
And I would be honored to welcome you into the Movement Wisdom community of dedicated yogis and aspiring yoga teachers!