I’m a Washington DC-based power yoga instructor, having completed the Mimi Rieger Yoga Teacher Training program in January 2019. I strive to teach a style focused on individual achievement through alignment and control. Over my 3+ years of personal yoga practice, I’ve learned that discovering yourself on the mat is a fantastic way to rediscover yourself off the mat. I became a yoga teacher to help bring the life-changing power of yoga—the mastery of connection between mind, body, breath, and universe—to those who can benefit (everyone), especially for anyone who thinks yoga is “not for them” or “I can’t do a backbend.”
Yoga is not simply about mimicking shapes found in textbooks or on every instagram page (mine included). Yoga is the constant work we do to find ourselves, accept our capacity on any given day, and connect meaningfully with all beings around us. The physical benefits of yoga are great and worthwhile in themselves — don’t get me wrong. As a yoga teacher now, though, I’m committed to sharing and connecting the physical and metaphysical aspects of a yoga practice with you.
My day job is public health policy and advocacy. Originally from Los Angeles, I moved in Washington DC in 2012 to complete a policy fellowship with a research foundation. Afterward, I was appointed by President Obama to a position on White House staff, and during my four years there, my team worked to create the President’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy and implement it across the federal government. That work took me across the country, where I met & learned from thousands of Americans. I also have a masters degree in public health from USC and an undergraduate degree in anatomy/physiology from UCLA.
After the 2016 election, all of our lives changed. For me, both my personal and professional lives were in upheaval. I felt devoid of purpose and value, and almost every aspect of my life became governed by fear and self-pity. These are not particularly helpful feelings, but they are natural parts of life. Learning to recognize, cope, and overcome was vital to moving forward.
Yoga was my constant, and essential to my healing.
Under the guidance of many wonderful yoga teachers in DC, my personal practice has exploded with new realizations, new postures, and new ways of looking at my life and my environment. Central to these discoveries was a newfound sense of control. Discovering this control by building strength through thoughtful movements and transitions, and cultivating them over time through consistent practice helped me rebuild connections that I’d neglected with my self, my community, and my place in the universe.
Yoga gave me time, space, and opportunity every single day to try new things, develop patience, and eventually witness progress. Every new practice is like a new year: full of both inevitable adversity and infinite potential. Yoga gave me the power to control frustration and instead unleash compassion, unto myself and unto others. That power and control are available to any person who desires them. Through my teaching, I’ll help you access them by accessing the connection between your mind, body, breath, and environment.
American Red Cross
Mimi Rieger Yoga 200-hour
RYT-200, Yoga Alliance
Itty & Toddy
Itty is a 4-year-old tortoiseshell kitty and Toddy is a 3-year-old orange & white tabby.
Unfortunately, they are not registered yoga teachers, but they are very cute.
Itty’s and Toddy’s day jobs are sleeping in the bathroom sink and having a stretch every now and then.
Itty and Toddy have no formal education.
Why AM I TALKING ABOUT MY CATS ON MY YOGA WEBSITE?
Yoga means “to yoke.” In English, we generally use the word “union” to define yoga — its purpose to join the individual self and the universal self. Much of yogic imagery is represented through classic literary themes — chiefly, two sides, both constantly at odds with and complementary of one another: represented by the sun and moon, light and darkness, heat and cold, masculine and feminine energy, creativity and practicality, effort and ease.
Completely incidentally, Itty and Toddy have proven themselves to reflect my understanding and attitude toward a yoga practice. Toddy is bright, energetic, and extroverted, and Itty can be shy, docile, and sometimes glum. They both know what they want, but they can also be acquiescent. Itty can also be demanding of my energy while Toddy spends the entire day laying in the bathroom sink. They are both cute and annoying, and I’m told people love cats on the internet.
The point is — we’re all complicated beings, simultaneously holding conflicting pieces, both good and bad. Our lives are not determined by the adversity we face, but how we react to it — either by succumbing to frustration or being surrendering to compassion that we all deserve. Yoga is discovering that connection, and learning to control that response.
Itty and Toddy are also incredibly silly. Like father, like daughters, I suppose. My yoga practice and teaching have given me a new space to cultivate and share my voice, my passion, and my personality with others. Yoga is a serious endeavor, but, I think, if you’re not having fun and smiling, it’s time for to gaze inward and discover a new path.