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Why do I teach yoga?

I suppose a common answer is to share the practices that have transformed my life - which of course is true. On deeper reflection my answer is more selfish. The truth is, that sitting in the seat of the teacher is a direct path for me into a space of deep connection, inspiration and love. It’s a straight line to experiencing my highest self. Guiding yoga asks me to be vulnerable, to share from the deepest recesses of my heart and to look people in the eye and not shy away. Yoga does not allow me to remain stagnant, dull or sleepy in a world that needs me (us!) to wake up.

I hold the intent for my students to heal (find the support of the Earth beneath them) and awaken (rise! higher than the farthest star). To be supported to feel the freedom of being exactly as they are, and also to feel challenged and called to wake up.

A peaceful world begins within. When we care deeply for ourselves, we have the courage to take action to care deeply for our Earth. When we speak kindly and patiently to ourselves, then we can speak kindly and patiently to our children. Yoga asks us to pay attention to the ways we habitually show up to ourselves and others. Lasting change starts with knowing ourselves. And this comes full circle as to why I teach yoga. To evoke positive change.

On this path I have been guided by so many teachers. The trees, the mountains, the children, the waters… the Natural world offers me endless solace and inspiration. There are, of course, those blessed humans that have shared the teachings of yoga and meditation with me in this lifetime: Shane Christopher Perkins, Reginald Ray, Adyashanti, Ryan Leier, Christine Selda and Sarah Manwaring-Jones - I bow to each of you and all the teachers that have come before, and are yet to come.

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru devo Maheshwara
Guru sakshat, param Brahma, tasmai sri gurave namah

(In this mantra, the yogi appeals to the Hindu Trinity - Brahma (force of creation), Vishnu (force of preservation) and devo Maheshwara (force of transformation). It acknowledges the lessons learned through life experiences and honors both the human and spiritual guru, including the guru within.)


Quietness

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.
Walk out like somebody suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now.
— Rumi