I've worked in the forestry and environmental field since 1977 and enjoy the outdoors, but I also enjoy working with people in ways that encourage easeful, joyful, breath-filled movement. I started down this road at the Virginia School of Massage in Charlottesville, VA where I completed my initial certification in 1990. Beyond basic training in massage, I also studied acupressure and neuromuscular therapy, completing those studies in 1991.
In 1995, I completed a B.S. in therapeutic recreation at Virginia Commonwealth University, including a 480-hour internship at the University of Virginia Hospitals physical rehabilitation department. I loved the idea of using recreational pursuits as a way of achieving greater mental and physical health and wholeness, but few hospitals were incorporating this type of therapy into their rehab departments at the time. Meanwhile, I continued to practice massage therapy and worked in environmental consulting.
While working at a climbing gym in Charlottesville, I had the opportunity to begin study of Iyengar yoga in 1995 and continued that study when a move to work in wetland delineation took me to Williamsburg, VA. After re-locating to New York to accept the role of forest scientist and landscape restoration specialist on the New York City watershed in 1999, I continued to practice massage therapy part-time in Connecticut and completed additional certifications in medical massage, aromatherapy and shiatsu. Iyengar yoga continued to be my primary yoga practice, though the wider variety of yoga styles available in New York City encouraged me to drop into other studios to see what other styles had to offer.
By 2003, I began to see yoga teaching as a way to work effectively with people in a way very similar to therapeutic recreation outside a hospital rehab environment. I completed my initial 200-hour yoga teacher training with Satsang Yoga at Garrison, NY in 2004 and immediately began teaching. The Breathing Project in New York City was my next venue of study with their focus on yoga anatomy and many workshops with well-known teachers, compiling sufficient additional hours of training to complete the 500-hour level of training with Yoga Alliance in 2007.
Over the years, I've been exposed to other movement education modalities that can have value for encouraging physical or mental wellness through movement and breath. BodyMind Centering, Feldenkrais Method, Trager Method, Pilates Method, and others give a different language and experience to movement, either through movement exploration or by precise movements to encourage specific muscle recruitment. I chose to pursue certification in BodyMind Centering Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga (C) in 2008. This was followed by training in the Feldenkrais Method-based programs in Sounder Sleep System(R) in 2009, Foundation for Movement Intelligence Walk for Life (pioneer teacher in 2013), as well as Bones for Life (R) Chairs (2015) and Bones for Life (completed June 2016). I also completed the full certification in Pilates Method Mat and Apparatus through Balanced Body in 2014 and continue to take workshops in somatics and Pilates primarily with BodyMind Centering and Balanced Body teachers.
Another thread in my training is aromatherapy. Although interested in herbal medicine, the dizzying array of herbs available through many different herbal traditions left me looking for a type of plant medicine that I could zero in on. I love aromatic plants so aromatherapy is a good fit along with my knowledge of botany. I completed professional certification in 2001 and continued study with Rhiannon Harris in western clinical applications, Gabriel Mojay in Traditional Chinese Medicine applications, and Peter Holmes in Aroma AcuPoint Therapy. A member of NAHA, I am currently completing courses in use of hydrosols and botanical perfumery and plan to develop a small line of products.
In 2013, I embarked on a personal program to deepen my understanding of yoga instruction as it has come down through the Krishnamacharya and Desikachar school of yoga. I completed an additional 300 hour program through The Yoga School NY in 2016 and take workshops with AG and Indra Mohan, Dolphi Wertenbaker, Chase Bossart, Srivatsa Ramaswami, Guta Hedewig, Gary Kraftsow, and Fran Ubertini as opportunities arise to enhance my understanding of pranayama, Vedic chanting, meditation, philosophy, and effective work with private clients based on individual needs. I study with my teacher, Mia Azcue, in Putnam Valley.
If you're new to yoga and other movement practices, you want to work with an experienced instructor who will help you build your practice safely. With so many choices, it's important you make an informed choice.