Why did you start practicing yoga?
I found yoga in January 2017 at the recommendation of my physical therapist. In November of 2016, I was required to have a bilateral mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer. Because lymph nodes were removed from my right armpit, I lost some range of motion in that arm. While it definitely succeeded in healing the function of my arm, it more so healed the emotional brokenness following such a life-changing and scary medical complication. I fell in love with the peaceful stillness of my otherwise chaotic mind while on my mat. I’ve been coming back every day since.
Describe what students can expect when they come to your classes?
My favorite part of yoga is really tuning inward and connecting with yourself. I like to spend the first few minutes at the beginning and end of class really focusing on the internal and the breath. I love to share inspirational stories or words that have touched me throughout my journey. I hope that when students leave my class, they feel joy, love, and a sense of connection.
What’s your style?
Until recently, my personal practice consisted of mostly challenging power classes. I love to challenge my body and see what it can do. When I achieve a new inversion or arm balance, I feel like I am overcoming all of the physical complications of battling cancer for a year and a half. However, when I started teaching, I took over slower flow type classes. I find slow vinyasa and yin style classes to offer relaxation and renewal. It has challenged me to slow down and make time for rest. I love the feeling of peaceful wellbeing after a slow and intentional class.
What would your final meal be if this was your last day on earth?
A big, fat, greasy cheeseburger with a fried egg and bacon! And a side of French fries. My diet has changed drastically over the past two years to almost exclusively vegan because of the health benefits and decreased risk of cancer recurrence. While I definitely feel better on this diet, I can’t help but dream of cheeseburgers every now and then.
What is your favorite song or artist and why?
Michael Jackson. I love his music. It puts me in the best mood. Bad day? MJ. Cleaning? MJ. Celebratory dance party? MJ.
Who or what inspires you?
I find inspiration in so many things! My son inspires me daily to keep fighting and make time for what’s important. My boyfriend inspires me to seek adventure. My parents inspire me to believe in myself. My dear friends Nikki and Cortney inspire me to chase my dreams. And having had cancer at age 31 inspires me to not put life on hold— be present for your life NOW.
What is a quote you live by?
“She believed she could, so she did.” When I was first diagnosed with cancer, one of my nurses told me that your life follows your thoughts. So I got it in my mind right away that I would be a survivor. And I am! I look at life in general with this quote in mind.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Coffee. I tried. It wasn’t pretty.
What animal best represents you and why?
Maybe a butterfly. I’ve gone through a huge transformation over the past two years.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?
Teleportation. I love to travel, and want to visit every country in the world. This would make it so much easier!
If you could live in a book, TV show or Movie, what would it be?
OMG, Harry Potter! I have a small (big) obsession, I don’t care how old I am! I want to be Hermione!