I believe there is a place that exists within each of us that is non-changing, perfect, whole, and complete. In yoga, we call this place Purusha (Soul). Through our everyday conditioning (our up-bringing, culture, life experiences, religious beliefs, gender) we become disconnected from this place of Truth (Source).
It is through the gift of yoga and mindfulness that I began to reclaim my right to be whole and uncover my life’s path (Dharma). I began teaching yoga in 1998. In 2011, I began Realize Your Potential through Yoga & Mindfulness with the intention of helping women reconnect to their life’s dharma and create a life rooted in purpose, prosperity, and peace.
Q1. What does wellness and health mean to you?
If I had to define wellness and health I would say it’s approaching the whole person- body, mind, spirit. It’s nourishing our bodies through exercise and nutrition, our minds through the types of books & movies we engage in, and spirit through the ways we connect to Source, that place that exists within each of us that is perfect, whole, complete and non-changing.
Q2. What is the #1 wellness practice you live by?
Yoga. Yoga has been the one consistent practice that challenges me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Q3. Thinking back, what were your earliest influences regarding living a healthy and balanced life?
My earliest influence occurred by default from walking the opposite path. My late teens and early twenties were filled with a succession of self-destructive habits and patterns including drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, self-loathing, and much suffering. As I stepped onto the healing path with yoga, I was able to join the disconnected aspects of myself and create a greater sense of well-being and wholeness.
Q4. What has your journey been like over the last couple of years to get you where you are today?
My path continues to focus on letting go of what no longer serves me, whether it be unhealthy relationships or limited thought patterns, in order to create space for the possibilities life holds for each of us. As we let go of the patterns and conditioning that keep us stuck playing small, we tap into the unlimited source of strength, courage, and creativity essential to realize our potential and create the life we each deserve to live.
Honoring my path. As a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, sometimes it’s difficult to believe that I deserve the life I’m living. Shame and guilt will occasionally creep in and tell me I’m not worthy, I should put others before myself, or who do I think I am? Staying present to the emotions and thoughts but not reacting to them helps me remember that it serves no one to play small. Each of us comes to this lifetime with a life purpose. When we step into alignment with our purpose, we give others around us permission to do the same.
Q6. What is the #1 healthy food you love? The #1 indulgence you give into once in a while?
Carrots & Hummus; anything with chocolate & almonds… are we only supposed to indulge once in a while?
Q7. To get you through challenging moments in life, what is the one mantra or quote that you live by?
My all-time favorite quote comes from Viktor E. Frankl, a Holocaust survivor. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” I believe we have a choice to allow our life experiences to crack our hearts open and awaken us to our true potential or shut us down and close us off to the sacredness of life.
Q8. You’ve accomplished so much so far, what’s something you are most proud of?
Every time someone I work with realizes their true potential, figures something out for themselves, gets that aha moment that they are beautiful, unique, powerful, and wonderful makes me feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. There is something quite magical that happens when we each connect to our unique gifts and honor our life’s path (dharma).
Q9. What’s your advice to those struggling with finding their own path to health and happiness?
All the answers you need are within you. Trust yourself.
We live in a culture that encourages self-comparison and self-doubt. Each of us has beautiful gifts that only we can share with the world. The world needs you, we need you. For many of us, our gifts are so second nature that we fail to recognize them as gifts. Do people come to you for advice, a shoulder to cry on? Do you possess an innate ability to organize better than anyone you know? Try and remember that what may come easy for you may not come easy for others. This could be your potential niche or next source of income. If you didn’t have something to share, you wouldn’t be here.
Q10. Finally, what are your plans for 2012?
Currently, I am working on helping create a yoga program for seniors, empowering them to live healthier and more independent lives as they age.