Transition: 2016 Year in Review
Last year was a time of big moves, and ebb + flow yoga moved right along with me. When we experience a shift in emotions or geography, it’s important to remember that we already have all the tools we need to stay grounded. I was so grateful to tap into mindfulness, body awareness, yoga and breath to take me where I needed to go in 2016.
Costa Rica Yoga Retreat
Our year started with an epic experience in Costa Rica with Eoin and Insiya Finn of Blissology for a YES (Yoga, Ecology, Surf) Retreat. The weeklong experience found us doing yoga twice a day in a beautiful open-air pavilion, surfing crystal blue waves, enjoying fresh healthy meals with local ingredients, and meeting some of the most inspiring and fun people. Our retreat was hosted on the pristine Osa Peninsula at Tierra de Milagros — off the grid, we disconnected with the world for a few days so we could reconnect with ourselves. Tierra de Milagros is a gorgeous spot with incredible hosts, I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. I was so grateful for the yoga experience and the opportunity to explore the practice deeper and from new perspectives. From defining what the “edge” means to each person, to experimenting with dynamic movements to awaken the body, to cultivating the qualities we’d most like to embody, we took away so much and I’ve applied much of it to my own teaching.
Honoring My DC Experience
As I was preparing to leave Washington, DC for New Jersey, it was time to find closure with my Studio DC community of yogis… no easy task. Since beginning my yoga teaching journey with SDC in 2012, it was bittersweet to say goodbye and move forward. Grateful for everything the SDC community has given me, my last class focused on finding sthira and sukha, or steadiness and ease, in each pose and in each moment. Using one’s innate knowledge to strike the balance between pushing forward and holding back can be easier said than done, and our collective efforts sent me north with a strong foundation and greater self awareness.
Teaching Prenatal Yoga
I completed my Tranquil Space prenatal teacher training in 2016 — just in time it seems, as many in my community of yoginis were expecting! This summer I explored my voice as a prenatal yoga teacher with the openness and positivity of some very good pregnant friends. Every week we met to create space, find grounding, and let go of expectations. My favorite part of the fall was meeting all the yoga babies and talking with their mamas about how yoga affected this time in their lives. I learned that I love teaching prenatal yoga and look forward to sharing my experience with others in the future.
As part of my prenatal teacher training, I researched the concept of prenatal SUP (stand-up paddleboard) yoga. Thanks to the perspectives of many groundbreaking SUP yoga teachers, I came to an interesting conclusion – see my blog post, Happy Baby on Board: Prenatal SUP Yoga for my findings.
SUP Yoga on LBI
This summer brought me to the calm and familiar waters of Barnegat Bay on Long Beach Island, NJ for SUP yoga. In partnership with Ken & Sheryl of South End Surf N Paddle, we offered classes for adventurous yogis to experience yoga on water, finding connection between body and mind, mind and nature. In collaboration with Ashley of Liquid Bliss Yoga, we welcomed mermaid yogis on retreat and in celebration, moving mindfully and soaking up the salty air and summer sun. I’m honored and grateful to be a part of the Liquid Bliss tribe, and can’t wait for more opportunities with this community in the coming season.
***Stay tuned for exciting news about SUP yoga to come in 2017!***
Moving to New Jersey
During the first few weeks of our move to Morristown, NJ, I met a lot of amazing people who have shaped my NJ experience. I find it comforting to realize that the yoga connection is strong no matter where I go, and the people with whom I meet are so incredibly welcoming.
I first connected with Marisa of Be Well in Morristown, and am in awe of her energy. She’s an entrepreneur and registered dietitian creating an inclusive and positive space for people to live healthfully. Marisa is the mastermind behind the NJ VegFest, and due to popular demand, the second annual VegFest is set for October 2017 at the Meadowlands Expo Center. The Be Well community is incredibly supportive, and I was thrilled it connected me to Karin (Melodic Yoga) and fellow DC yogini Cassi.
My NJ SUP yoga adventure kicked off this summer with Jana and Lena of Aqua Vida SUP on a gem of a lake in East Brunswick. Lena’s class was mindful and calming, perfectly modified sequences for the paddleboards. We had a total blast on the water, enjoying being in nature and experimenting with new poses. I’m hoping to catch an indoor pool SUP yoga class (!) with Aqua Vida this winter.
I was stoked to join Miss Melanie for SUP yoga in Northwestern New Jersey at Spruce Run Reservoir this summer, as well. Melanie’s mellow approach made for the perfect full moon practice. We started slow, moving through creative sequences, and as the sun set over the hills and the moon began to rise, there was an auspicious vibration in the air. I can’t wait to join her on the water again next season.
Late last summer, I was introduced to Yoga Mechanics through a new yoga friend, Abby, and was thrilled to find such connection there that I’ve adopted it as my yoga home. I began teaching mixed level yoga in the Madison studio in November, and look forward to building the community in the future. Join me on Wednesday evenings at 6pm! I’m grateful to teachers Omni and Tom for their guidance and openness, and I look forward to becoming more involved in the YM community!