My journey began in 1998 at a small liberal arts school called Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. I was in school full time working towards a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology. I was walking around the recreation center track in the evening after lab class thinking about how much I hate to exercise, but I just have to get it done. Suddenly, I hear loud music and what sounds like people having fun! I’m curious to see what’s going on, it’s a group exercise step class in the wrestling room of the gym. Missy, my soon to be college exercise idol, was teaching a high-energy step class to a group of college students. I stopped to watch, of course. I then started taking step class religiously twice a week with Missy, and by that summer, I was teaching group exercise at Bally Total Fitness! I started out teaching step, kickboxing, and muscle conditioning, while still in undergrad. After college, I attended Case Western Reserve University for Nursing School. I continued to teach group exercise classes throughout nursing school at One to One Fitness in
Cleveland, Ohio. In 2000, while at Case, I was exposed to mat pilates for the first time, I got certified immediately and then started teaching mat pilates as well. In 2002, the year I graduated nursing school, I discovered yoga at the gym, and began incorporating yoga into my pilates classes. I started teaching a yoga-lates class that year in Cleveland.
In 2003 I discovered “studio” yoga, which is a new experience compared to “gym” yoga. I started practicing with Indu at It’s Yoga in Cincinnati, Ohio. Indu was an ashtanga based teacher with 20 years of gymnastics and ballet coaching experience. She taught me great alignment principles and provided me with a solid foundation in ashtanga yoga. I then moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where I studied ashtanga
yoga with Dave Oliver and Cheryl Hall. I completed my teacher training at At One Yoga in 2005 under Dave and Cheryl’s instruction, I started teaching classes at At One Yoga that same year. Since then, I’ve studied under the instruction of such great teachers as Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Rodney Yee, Steve Ross, Jorgen Christoffsen, Bryan Kest, Larry Schultz, Jenn Chiarelli, and John Salisbury. I am
grateful beyond words to all my teachers!
In 2008 I discovered…oh my gosh… ZUMBA dance fitness. It brought my attention back to my fitness roots and awoke something in my core that had died inside of me. I don’t believe ZUMBA is separate from yoga at all really because it is self-expression through movement. Discovering ZUMBA made me feel so alive and awakened. When I do ZUMBA or when I teach ZUMBA, I’m completely in the moment, in the zone. I completely lose track of time, and there is nowhere else I’d rather be. It’s pure joy running through the veins. Yoga is my way of coping with and facing my problems bravely. It teaches one to breathe through life’s discomforts and
challenges. ZUMBA teaches to just forget about all those problems just for an hour at least. When I walk into ZUMBA I look forward to it because I leave whatever’s going on in my life at the door and just have fun! It’s the ultimate in letting go and surrendering.
In 2010 I took a leap of faith, taking my yoga and fitness teaching to the next level by leaving the nursing field completely, and committing myself entirely to yoga and fitness teaching. This was largely thanks to the extensive goal coaching offered to me by lululemon athletica, specifically Ryan Prieto. She made me really believe in myself that I can succeed in achieving all my yoga and fitness teaching goals. Since our goal coaching session, I have immersed myself in 500-hour yoga teacher training with Dave and Cheryl Oliver. By January 2011 I will be teaching a 200 hour yoga teacher training program. I’ve started teaching yoga workshops, another one of my goals, I teach a beginner basics yoga workshop at the Jewish Community
Center, and a yoga integrated with movement workshop called “Tribal Rhythms” at Grayhawk Yoga. In addition, I applied to ZUMBA jammers program which will certifies teachers to teach 2-3 hour ZUMBA dance fitness choreography workshops. I’m attending ZUMBA Convention in Orlando Florida in August for sure to dance with Beto Perez, the creator of ZUMBA. This September I’m taking my first group on a yoga retreat to Mi Amo Spa in beautiful Sedona, AZ, for a weekend of yoga, spa treatments, and healthy delicious organic food. By 2015 I’m going to have a yoga coffee table photography book and DVD released. By 2020 will have traveled to Asia and New Zealand, teaching yoga or zumba!!!
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