A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME
I grew up doing backbends on the front lawn and the splits in the hallway so I was initially drawn to yoga since it seemed like an extension of my childhood. Turns out it is and so much more!
I remember my first class in 1998 that I took through Park and Recs. I was not able to balance in alternate arm/leg balance and was humbled when I looked around at the rest of the class steady and strong. What was I missing? Why couldn't I do what everyone else could easily do? I kept going and was excited about moving in ways I hadn't in a long time.
I was eager to learn more, and that's when I found my way to The Yoga Center of Columbia. I was drawn to the physical practice of Ashtanga and how the poses started to feel familiar in my body week after week. After pushing myself too far after a few years I switched to a flow class. It was in this class, after two years of working on Salamba Sirsasana (headstand), with instructions to be free from expectations along with the clarity of alignment cues, I found my legs just floating up. Two years and 20 seconds to headstand. I was excited! All the strength building, increased flexibility, and body awareness helped me into the pose. After my initial excitement it was the realization that it wasn't only the physical components that got me into the pose. When I got out of my way and approached my practice in the moment, I began to understand yoga as a place of discovery and not only a physical practice.
I am aways amazed at what I gain out of the physical practice, although I no longer look for what is missing or start comparing myself to others or what I used to be able to do. I just enjoy the sense of acceptance and the joy of what I can do.
The profound way yoga and meditation opened my heart and mind to seeing my connection with others, and shifted my perspective and perceptions, was too big not to share. I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in 2005 at the Yoga Center of Columbia and am registered as an Experienced Yoga Teacher, E-RYT200 through Yoga Alliance. Since 2006, I have taught at Life Time Athletic, The Yoga Center of Columbia, and Maple Lawn as well as at corporations such as Raytheon, BAE, COLA, the Howard County Health Department and several Girl Scout troops. I am currently teaching private instruction and classes exclusively through Folded Crane Yoga. I am in training with Matt Giordano for my 500 hour certification. His instruction how joints and muscles work along with facilitated stretching, has increased my body awareness and has improved how I move and feel in my body. Sharing the knowledge that I am learning has been such a joy. I have deep respect and gratitude for all the teachers and students alike, who have put me on this path and have taught me so much along the way.
I encourage a sense of play and self discovery, ultimately to find freedom, acceptance, and physical and mental strength both on and off the mat while having fun on the journey. It was the draw of the extension of my childhood that brought me to my mat, and also what keeps me coming to my mat and wanting to share.
I grew up in Columbia and attended Oakland Mills High School. It feels great to teach in the community where I grew up. I've had the honor of teaching to my former middle school teachers (awkward at first), co-workers from my first job at Woodies and former classmates. In my childhood if I wasn't doing cartwheels I had my nose in a book. I am so fortunate that my other job is also an extension of my childhood, since I work at the Elkridge Branch of the Howard County Library. I love that I interact with others that strive for self discovery and knowledge either on a mat or through a book.
The name, Folded Crane Yoga came about after having minor surgery on my ankle for a cyst several years ago. I wasn't able to do a physical practice while I was recovering and I was bummed at being held back from practice. As I sat on the couch with my foot propped up, I folded origami cranes for my then 4 year old daughter's Japanese Tea Party. Origami is the art of Japanese paper folding. A three dimensional form is created from a flat square piece of paper. As I folded corner to corner, unfolded and refolded, I became immersed in the process. It became a form of mindful meditation. I realized that like a yoga practice, mindfully folding the paper and folding our bodies takes time and attention and is as much of the process as the form that it creates. When finished, the flat crane is made full by adding a puff of air to fill the body. Just like in yoga, without the breath, the form and beauty doesn't emerge.
I aspire to lead students through self discovery to find freedom, acceptance, and physical and mental strength both on and off the mat while having fun on the journey.