In my early 30s I began seeking a spiritual path toward spiritual growth and personal discovery. Having been raised Unitarian, I had an understanding of world religions as reflected in practices and faiths from a social justice perspective.
In 1996, I started taking yoga classes in Cannon Beach, Oregon with a wonderfully wise young teacher named Sarahjoy Marsh. She was the founder of Living Yoga and is now the founder of the DAYA Foundation, a nonprofit yoga center that delivers accessible yoga alternatives and develops yoga therapy curriculum to train allied health professionals, yoga teachers and students. For the last 20 years, I've had the opportunity to study with her in ongoing classes, numerous workshops, retreats and two formal teacher trainings.
My first teacher training was in 2004 in Anusara Yoga. Anusara is a modern Hatha Yoga system founded by John Friend. Its philosophy is one of "opening to grace", "following the heart" and remembering and celebrating life as a gift! At the time of this training until September, 2014, I was deeply committed to the primary care of my mentally ill mother. I started NW Women's Surf Camps in 2005 and began teaching Anusara beach yoga at all of our events. Needing to keep my schedule flexible to respond to and care for my mother, I did not take on the commitment to weekly studio classes until this year after completing my second training with Sarajoy in Amrita Yoga.
Amrita is a type of Vinyasa yoga with influences from Ayurveda, neuroscience, yoga philosophy, pranayama and mindfulness. It is taught in alignment with the rhythms of nature and in harmony with the changing of the seasons as well as with the time of day and one's own life-cycle.
Throughout my journey with yoga, life events have been catalysts for my personal growth and spiritual development. During the fifteen years of care giving for my parents, it was my practice and commitment to yoga and meditation that kept me afloat in my personal buoyancy; my practice centered me in trust that in the Universe, "all is well". My practice grounded me to the sense of one-ness that I hold close to this day.
My dharma or, life's purpose, is to teach. I will continue to share Amrita yoga, which translates to "the divine nectar" in Sanskrit, with my coastal and world community. My vision is to bring the yogic and spiritual vibration on the North Coast to a higher healing resonance that touches all parts of our community, especially including those who are marginalized, shunned and isolated. Having started the foundation for this vision with the North Coast Teachers Sangha in February, I envision the two dozen teachers on the North Coast coming together and creating donation based "yggathons" throughout our North Coast studios and venues, opening up yoga and meditation to all people in our community. The donations from these events will go directly to causes that will impact positively the well being of people in Clatsop County.