Tell us about your first experience with yoga?
I found yoga after my first knee surgery, during my physical therapy. My mom found a community class at John Carroll and suggested I try it out, after my PT said it was okay. The teacher, Amy Cronin, is a graduate of CY’s teacher training program and I immediately fell in love with power yoga.
How long have you been a student at CY and tell us about why CY is your yoga community?
CY was the first actual yoga studio I had ever entered, about seven years ago. Besides going to community classes at JCU, I had never experienced the world of yoga. At first I was a little intimidated because I felt clueless and I was judging myself next to the other, more “experienced” yogis. And then I started listening to what the teachers were saying and realized that none of that mattered, I was where I was in that moment. That’s when things started to shift… And I was able to let go of not yet having the strength to do a perfect handstand, unlike the person next to me in my first class.
Where do you live? What do you love about where you live?
I live in University Heights, where I grew up. I love living so close to my family but it’s also great because I’m not too far from the city.
What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I get to talk about yoga with like-minded people, what’s better than that?!
What do you feel you contribute to the CY teaching team and the community overall?
I really try to be myself. And that’s the paradox, how can one TRY to just BE? But that’s what I contribute, my whole self, each time I teach.
Tell us about a memorable/favorite moment teaching yoga?
Anytime I see something click in a student’s body or mind, I feel elated. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, I see myself reflected in them. Because I’ve had that same feeling of realization in a pose that wakes me up.
Do you teach yoga full-time? If not, what other things do you do for fun/work?
I don’t teach yoga full-time yet, but that’s just because I have too many interests to just narrow it down to one! I work for Edible Cleveland, a local food magazine that highlights not only food, but the local community and small businesses (and they’re FREE, so go grab one!). I also write for Spice Kitchen and Bar’s blog and work at University Circle Incorporated a few days a week.
Who inspires you to be your greatest self?
My yoga teachers inspire me because they constantly remind me that I’m already where I need to be; I’m already my perfect self, I just don’t know it yet.
What has yoga taught you?
Yoga has taught me hope. Sometimes I can get very down or sad about the world around me but I would rather be awake for all the good and the bad, rather than ignorant of the truth. And so I come back to hope to keep me steady.
What do you seek to share with your students each time you step into the studio?
I want to share the magic of yoga. It is a practice that has no end, it’s not a game. And just because you don’t stick a handstand the first time you try, no effort is ever wasted (I’m still working on sticking it, by the way!).