What is your favorite asana & why?
I have a few, but Bakasana/Crow pose is tops for me. Previously, if this pose was offered during a class, I’d look around and just admire those flying. I thought never in million years would I be able to hold up my body like that. For the better part of the year, I practiced this pose almost every day. I had to build up strength and but mostly the courage. I had to feel into my body in a whole new way. Yea, I fell more than a couple times, but I kept trying. I even taped a picture of me attempting this pose on my monitor at work, and I wrote “I will learn to fly” on it. I eventually took flight, and still to this day when I manage to lift my body up, I am reminded of how strong I am and all the work it took to get there. This pose reminds me to be grateful for my body.
I’m not feeling that into deep backbends. My first upward facing bow pose/wheel/Urdhva Dhanurasana almost gave me a panic attack. True story-Thanks Jess. It’s a learning process, and I’m giving myself all the time I need to fall in love with backbends; they just are not my jam right now.
Recommended Reading (Yoga & non-yoga)
The Yamas and Niyamas book by Deborah Adele really helped me dive into yoga philosophy. It was so approachable, and it helped launch me into teacher training. The past couple years have been school and yoga books all mixed in with kid books. I love reading to my toddler. I’m finally carving out time for myself to read and currently on my night stand is The Celestine Prophecy.
Funniest/most embarrassing yoga moment?
Oh goodness. I love to laugh. I giggle a lot and sometimes the smallest thing will have me bursting out into laughter during serious moments ugh. One time I took a class with my brother; he had the hardest time with something, and I could not keep it in. It was a full-on laughing attack; I was so embarrassed. I looked like a crazy person; good thing it was my little bro so he shook it off bc he knows me. Another time I attempted a head stand/Sirsasana in the middle of the room away from the safety of the wall. I kicked up and almost kicked the teacher in the face and yep over shot it and ended up landing on my back. Hello ego. Incredibly thankful for everyone in that class because we all laughed about it.
Best/most rewarding yoga moment?
One of my most rewarding moments was when I kicked up into a head stand for the first time...way before that epic flop. I really surprised myself when I kicked up and found the wall behind me. I thought to myself while upside down, gosh I’ve got this I just need to believe in myself more. I had worked on strengthening and focusing on the mechanics of this pose for a while, and it took one teacher after a class to help me find my courage and up I went!
Who knew? (interesting tidbits you might like to share)
I’m a mom of two beautiful little ladies. Stella and Evie; they are my whole world. I’m a Texas girl and big time miss the warmth and my family. Vacations are always fun by the beach, and I have free places to stay. I work in sports television and this can be a shock for those who knew me growing up because I had zero knowledge of professional sports. Ha. Who am I kidding? I still don’t really know about professional sports, but I love my job.
Outside of yoga what is your passion/Where can you be found?
The Zoo and Forest Park in general is my favorite place in St. Louis. Over the summer catch me and my girls riding the train and eating dole whips at the zoo. I’m also head coach for my daughter Girls on the Run team. I love running, and I like to run in my neighborhood. So chances are if you live by me you’ve seen me catching free smells on my runs by all the restaurants in my neighborhood.
What inspired you to be a student of yoga? To teach?
I first started taking yoga seriously for my daughter. She was having a lot of issues with anxiety, and I did my research and it said yoga would help. I wanted to teach her in a tangible way that calming your mind would help. Honestly, I hid myself behind her and really wanted to try yoga by myself but was too scared. I eventually sat down for a solo class and was a ball of anxiety, but after, I was different...in the best way. I felt lighter. That moment after that class ... I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a teacher after about full year of practicing regularly. I looked back at all that I was able to accomplish off my mat that year and knew I had to share this practice with others. I really had made so many positive changes in my life, and it was because I showed up for myself and had great teachers along the way.
One piece of advice you like to give your students?
Keep showing up for yourself. Life gets hard sometimes, and it seems impossible to get a class in or moment for you but keep showing up for you and make time to do things that really bring you joy. I truly believe you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Favorite yoga quote or mantra?
I have so many favorites. I’m recalling these words by Rupi Kaur right now. I first heard them on my mat, and they really spoke to me. “It was when I stop searching for a home within others and lifted the foundations of the home which in myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole”
Favorite yoga tunes?
I love love love a good playlist. I have a really wide range of songs that I like to flow to and totally enjoy a good cover that you can see people thinking “hey is this that song”. I appreciate when I’m in downdog and feel the music and start to dance or when I see this happen in class. I also enjoy the sweet sounds of singing bowls and frequently play this in my home. Feel free to check out some of my playlists on Spotify.
How can we connect or practice with you?
I’m active on social media. I frequently overshare my kids and experiences. You can alway catch me teaching on Sundays at 12:30p for Midday Revival.
This practice has changed my life. I sat down at my first class a total mess — emotionally and physically. I look back and think “wow, I’ve come so far all because I kept trying and believing in myself.” I once hated my body, and today my body is what has brought me to a place a joy and peace. It’s amazing and a dream come true.