As a child, I always knew that I wanted to be of service. In my childish thoughts and speech, I said to others "I am here on this
earth to help people." During high school I became interested in alternative and higher states of consciousness and in college
met the path of yoga. At the age of 19, I began to let go of usual teenage distractions to dive deeper into yoga and holistic
health. My life had been permanently changed. The teachings and practices of yoga and other spiritual paths have been
deeply healing and transformational, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share the teachings that I have received.
In my yoga classes and private sessions you will find a devotional, safe and loving environment in which to travel deeply into yourself,
exploring the vastness of the inner self and the many layers and systems of your body. I feel honored to witness and support
others as they move within their bodies, exploring the many dimensions of physical being. Moving with prana (life force) and
breath as our guide, we explore flowing sequences as well as slow, deep holding of postures. We find breath and meditation in
their many expressions. All levels, ages and abilities are welcome and modifications are always available.
My personal experience with pregnancy, birthing at home with midwives and raising children have been incredible teachers for me. It
is out of love and learning and seeing the childbearing years as a profound spiritual journey, that I offer Birthing Mama online
and locally through classes and a 90Hr Prenatal Yoga and Wellness Teacher Training.
When not practicing or teaching yoga I can be found in the garden growing beautiful organic veggies and herbs, playing in the kitchen,
caring for & spending time with my family, walking my dog in the woods, cleaning (yes - I love a clean and sparse home),
practicing yoga nidra or meditation, listening to music - especially kirtan and traveling (especially to India) whenever I am blessed
to do so. And of course, wishing I had more time and space to dance, as I love to dance! Although I am an extrovert I love
being alone. I love having unscheduled time to be close to the earth and move at a slower pace.
The first Yoga Teacher Training that I took back in 2001, had "Teach to Learn" as its motto. There is so much truth and humility
within this statement - as it is through sharing and teaching these incredible practices, that a whole other depth of discovery takes
place for me.
- BA in Cross-Cultural and Alternative Health and Healing from the University of Massachusetts
- 3 month Yoga, Service and Community Program at the Mount Madonna Center, CA
- 200 hr Yoga Teacher Certification at the Mount Madonna Center, CA
- 75 hr training in Meridian Yoga with Daniel Orlansky at Kripalu in Lenox, MA
- Shiatsu Apprenticeship with Nini Melvin in Wendell, MA
- 200hr and 500 hr trainings in Embodyoga® with Patty Townsend, Yoga Center Amherst, MA
- Assist in Embodyoga® Teacher Trainings with Patty Townsend, Yoga Center Amherst, MA on-going and Weekend Trainings at Kripalu, Lenox
- Restorative Yoga training with Judith Lasater, Yoga Center, Amherst, MA
- Embodiment Trainings with Bonnie Brainbridge Cohen in Amerhst, MA
- Student of Julie Redstone and Light Omega
- Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training with Arden Pierce, MA
- The Veterans Yoga Project - Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans Coping with Trauma Training, Amherst MA
- Embodyoga® Therapeutic Trainings: Spine, Shoulders, Knees & Hips
- Workshops in Ayurveda
- Conference with Yoga Research Society
- Bereavement Support Training, Northampton, MA
- Birth Doula Training and on-going birth related workshops and trainings
- Study and Practice in Auroville, India
- Herbal Classes with Kristin Avonti ~ Herbal Support for Pregnancy and Birth, Herbs to Support A Healthy Immune System
- Pranakriya Advanced Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, Kripalu, MA
- Pancamukha: The Five Faces of Hanuman, with Douglas Brooks, Northampton, MA
I have been teaching yoga since 2003 and have taught many different types of classes and private sessions, including the following: vigorous
flow, gentle, moderate, prenatal, postnatal/baby and parent, fertility yoga, yoga in the nursing home, chair yoga, living room yoga,
yoga circles for birthday parties and weddings, pre-school yoga, toddler yoga, yoga for elementary school students, outdoor yoga for
gardeners and farmers, after school yoga, shabbat yoga, family yoga, and yoga for corporations and business people. I've taught
in gyms, offices, living rooms, yoga studios, conference rooms, gardens, and doctors offices. Currently most of my teaching is
happening at Yoga Center Amherst, where my husband and I are the proud new owners! Consider joining me at Yoga Center Amherst
for our 100 Hr Embodyoga® In-Depth Study, the 200 Hr Embodyoga® Teacher Training, or the 300 Hr Embodyoga® Teacher Training!
A PERSONAL STORY...
When I was 20, I discovered the practice and study of yoga. I surrounded myself with its teachings and eventually became certified as a yoga teacher. I read yoga books and listened to yoga music and wore yoga clothes and spent at least three hours a day meditating, breathing, and dancing through postures. I loved the entire yogic lifestyle, and I loved the depth-seeking aspirations of the ancient yogis that dove into the human body and psyche looking for answers.
I loved that yoga was a quest for freedom. All my life I had lived by other people's rules and felt smothered by other people's expectations. Fear and anxiety had been constant companions, as I grew up the first grandchild of Holocaust survivors in a cookie-cutter suburban town. The anxious lives that I saw people living around me were not what I wanted. I wanted to be free to redefine my destiny, shatter barriers, and to help others discover inner freedom too. I dreamed of one day creating "The Center for Freedom."
In 2005, I was teaching yoga classes, working for an acupuncturist, and patiently waiting for "a letter to arrive in the mail from God" letting me know it was time to kiss my family and boyfriend goodbye, and head off to India. It was just a matter of time. And that's the precise moment when I got a message of a different kind.
At 25 years old, I found a cheery pink plus sign staring up at me from the end of a pregnancy test stick. I couldn't breathe. I think I vomited. (That would've been par for the course at that time: it's why I took the test to begin with.)
I couldn't believe it. I had never wanted to become a mother. I wasn't destined to be a wife or own a home or commit to a life that would tear my dreams of freedom from me. I didn't even want to use the word "boyfriend" because it felt too heavy and suffocating. Babies and marriage meant commitment, burden, and responsibility -- the opposite of freedom.
What I didn't yet know was that motherhood was just what I needed in order to learn that freedom and responsibility are like day and night: you don't get to have one without the other.
Months later, there I was in our small rental apartment processing the home birth of my baby. Yes, it was earth shatteringly beautiful, but it was also long, hard, scary, and dare I say it, traumatic. And every day, when my new husband went off to work for 8-10 hours a day, I was alone with this new tiny person. It was impossible at first. Unbelievably hard. The isolation, the endless crying, the endless needs that I felt incapable of meeting were all just too much. I knew I couldn't do it. I was too small, too weak, and by no means ready for any of it.
As a joke, my mother-in-law gave me a magnet that said, "I wanted to change the world, but I couldn't find a baby-sitter." I would look at it and cry. My dreams of healing myself so that I could help others and change the world were drowning in a sleep-deprived pile of dirty cloth diapers, wool covers, and breast milk.
But over time, as I bonded deeply with my baby and other new mamas who were also struggling, I grew up. Every hour sitting in my mama nest on the couch literally having the life sucked from my withering body strengthened me. Every sleepless night was an opportunity to discover my inner reserves, which turned out to be much deeper and richer than I could have imagined. And every screaming need that I felt I couldn't satisfy humbled me and taught me patience as it crescendoed, and passed away into five minutes of peaceful silence that were worth more than a hundred trips to India.
My heart began to open in a new and profound way. I experienced an expanded capacity to love, feel empathy, and hold the suffering of those near and far. I'd even go so far as to say that I felt an identification with the Mother of all, as She nurtured deep within me a profound love for all of humanity.
My baby grew, I grew, and at some point I found myself open to having another baby. The story in my head that went "Poor me, my life got taken away when I had to become a mother," shifted, and a new one emerged that said "I take responsibility for my life, and I'm grateful for its richness and beauty." Slowly I began to let go of the idea that my real life was taken away from me -- in fact it had been given to me in the fullest way possible way.
Day by day I realized that the freedom I was so desperately looking for was happening. As I accepted my life and took responsibility for it, leaving behind my victim mentality, I could see much more clearly the self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that were the real chains of bondage.
I found that by committing to my husband and children I was inviting accountability that would illuminate how I was keeping myself small, broken, and chained. And with their support and love I could trust the vast and limitless spirit that has always resented being suppressed. I could begin to set that spirit free.
Today, my babies are 5 and 9, and I continue to dance this dance. Through the constant everyday chaos of raising children and managing societal obligations, I find a quiet ashram inside myself and commit every day to seeing the truth, working through the difficulties, accepting life as it is, and rising up to the call of motherhood.
The irony is that by struggling within motherhood, I have discovered not only my Self, but my life's work. Supporting women through pregnancy, postpartum, and motherhood through yoga and spiritual healing has become my vocation. Now I have the privilege of walking next to many women as they are transformed by pregnancy and motherhood. I hope and pray that what I've learned and gained through my journey supports them along theirs.