What brought me to the practice of Yoga? My body was a mess and so was my life. I was desperate to find something, anything to help. Three different people recommended trying Yoga back in 2001, by then I'd had drop foot and a numb left leg, weak and fragile lower back and my marriage was a disaster. I was overweight, out of shape, depressed and felt very damaged. My friend and massage therapist urged me to go to a particular Yoga school and so I did. I entered a Traditional School of Yoga on April 2, 2002 and never looked back.
The very first introductory class gave me hope as I began to move my body, breathe for what seemed like the very first time, as a sense of peace washed over me by the end of class. But that wasn't all, something within shifted or awakened and I knew this was something I needed to do...and so my journey began. I attended class a few times each week and practiced on my own at home every single day.
Within the first year and half I was completely medication free(did I mention I was on 8 different kinds of meds?), my once atrophied left leg was the same size as my right, I lost 45 lbs, was healthier more vibrant and fit than ever. I could not get enough of Yoga. I practiced every day and I'd spend about an hour each day meditating. Soon I was asked to be the Program Director of the School, helped develop and teach the children's Yoga program and had the blessing of working side by side with my Teacher who now holds the title of Yogacharya, the highest honor for a Yoga teacher from his Guru. This study went on for six years, 5-6 days a week. The GIFT of spending so much time with my Teacher is immeasurable. He constantly shared the teachings that were passed on to him from his Guru to me. He challenged me on every level, especially in Svadhyaya-study of the self. My gratitude for this gift, this blessing is beyond words, I can only continue to bow to my Teacher and this great lineage of Masters.
My Yoga training was steeped in the tradition of Guru to disciple. I was like a dry parched sponge, his Teachings were the water that filled me. Somehow everything I learned in those almost six years of study seemed familiar and flamed the spark to a full blown fire of spiritual growth just in time for me to begin facing challenges that dwarfed what I had previously faced. I went through a horrific divorce, was diagnosed with breast cancer, then experienced a fractured rib, a broken left foot...and I lost my job. I was broke, broken, alone, and yet my meditation practice never wavered...something so strong and solid rose up from within that carried me and still does to this day through life challenges with grace, courage, and determination....my Spirit.
After recovering physically, I left the Yoga school and all that was familiar to retreat to the Adirondack mountains to live alone in solitude. My intention was to meditate, pray, heal, write, immerse myself in Nature and really look within to study myself, self study. In time I met some wonderful friends who asked me to teach Yoga. At first I refused because that is not why I was there, however in time I was teaching throughout the Tri-Lake area and had over a hundred students, led several women's retreats and wrote a book about my healing journey, Adirondack Retreat My Midlife Journey to Wholeness. This is where I blossomed as a teacher in every possible way. After three years I returned home and after settling in to my new apartment traveled to India for six weeks where I studied and received certification in another tradition of Yoga while living in an Ashram in Magod, India. Another extraordinary spiritual journey that fortified and blessed me in countless ways.
After my return I began teaching again and leading retreats for women both in the Hudson Valley and Adirondacks. During this time I met the man I would later marry, welcomed my first grandchild into the world and then 4 years later our second, in 2019 our third. In 2018 I was blindsided by a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma. There were two things I Knew to be true for me: I would go through with 6 months of treatment and the stem cell transplant but once that was done I'd refuse any further treatment. I'd take full responsibility for my own healing, second I Knew I had to return to the Adirondack mountains, live on or near the water to heal.
It is truly a miracle that we now live on the water in our simple home right where I wanted to land in Tupper Lake. In addition to our home there is a small commercial building that we've now renovated into my Yoga temple. Dreams do come true, in just the right way at just the right time. God's design is always perfect. My health is radiant. I/we live a very simple life, spend as much time in the woods as possible. I completely changed my diet; plant based, lots of juicing, no alcohol, no sugar, no dairy, no animal products. I take therapeutic grade supplements prescribed by my Functional Medicine PA and return to my oncologist every 3 months for check ups. I am empowered by my choices. I bring all of this, the fullness of my Life to every student in every class I teach.
Additional training includes: Silver Sneakers & Bootstrap Yoga developed specifically for our troops. I donated my time to teaching Yoga to our troops at the Air National Guard base in Orange County, taught Yoga and gave Reiki to women while a member of the Creative Healing Connections retreat team-offering healing retreats for women with cancer and chronic illness. I've taught Yoga to people in wheelchairs and on oxygen because Yoga is meant for EVERY BODY. I am proof of that.
My own practice continues to fill me giving me clarity, direction and inner peace. I continue to teach because this is my calling, my Divine Purpose and because I KNOW the power of this Ancient Science....Yoga has healed and continues to heal my Body, Mind, Spirit and Life!