I was fortunate to be exposed to Vedic teachings early on, as a teenager*, which spurred my intellectual and spiritual curiosity at the time beyond Western religious thought. I only began doing asana or postural yoga practices afterwards, in my late 20s, and ultimately found the Ashtanga yoga modality in 1997 at Heartsong Yoga. Within a few years, I began studying Ashtanga vinyasa in depth, primarily with first generation teachers of K. Pattabhi Jois. I have participated close to a thousand hours of "teacher training" in my three decades of pratice, primarily in Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. I look to Beryl Bender Birch, Christine Hoar, Nancy Gilgoff, Manju Jois and Tim Miller as my most formative Ashtanga teachers, and Kaya Mindlin as my teacher of yoga therapy/ŚRY.
I was one of the few Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga teachers in Western Massachusetts throughout the past decade, serving students from all over the world who lived and studied in the Five College area. During that time, I logged thousands of hours of practical, hands-on experience through the two yoga communities I founded: Florence Yoga (2009-2014) and Ashtanga Yoga Northampton (2014-April 2020.) After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Ashtanga Yoga Northampton closed permanently, but I continue to teach in my community in the Hilltowns.
I've made three pilgrimages to India to honor the indigenous sources of yoga, most recently in 2019 at a yoga retreat focused on the Krishnamarcharya Mysore Yoga Tradition, featuring a variety of Indian teachers and Sanskrit scholars, some of whom were his direct students. I began studying Sanskrit in 2011 through the American Sanskrit Institute's study program, and trained in Mindful Yoga Therapy in 2015 to better serve students with trauma. (For more information on why I don't have my yoga teacher training hours or any Yoga Alliance initials after my name, read here.)
During the pandemic, I began practicing and studying to teach a new therapeutic modality of yoga with yoga educator and therapist Kaya Mindlin, the founder of ŚRY (pronounced "Shree") a/k/a Supreme Release Yoga. ŚRY is a deep, but highly accessible approach to yoga, and an effective alternative to Ashtanga vinyasa yoga; it combines asana, pranayama, mantra and Vedic teachings to create a deep and nourishing yoga practice accessible to all. I have completed three teacher trainings (in ŚRY and in Yoga Nidra) with Kaya, and continue to study with her weekly in her online classes along with her longer courses on the Devi and the Bhagavad Gita.
I have also been a student of Ayurveda for almost 20 years, and have a strong affiliation with Ayurvedic self-care, bodywork and nutrition, and completed Dr. Claudia Welch's and Dr. Robert Svoboda's Foundations of Ayurveda I & II in 2020. I continue to study with them via their virtual monthly Satsangs. Finally, in 2022, I began studying Vinyasa Krama with teacher Khushi Malhotra, who has been instructing me in this deep and transformative, "late-period" methodology espoused by one of Krishnamacharya's last students, Srivatsa Ramaswami.
*I first discovered Vedic teachings as a teenager, after reading W. Somerset Maughm's book, The Razor's Edge, which models its spiritual guru after Ramana Maharshi, whom Maughm met and was transformed by in the early 1940s. The Razor's Edge verified my own earliest childhood conceptualizations of the meaning and ultimate potential of human existence, and I attribute it to placing me upon the path lifelong yoga student and practitioner.
Note: I personally abhor lots of emails, and do my best to send out updates no more than once or twice a month!