I found yoga in Fall 2001 at an 8am class at California State University, Fullerton. Or yoga found me. I was a business student trying to figure myself out. I was restless with all of the lecture courses and very little activity in between. In high school, I ran cross-country, played soccer, and ran long-distance track. I considered myself athletic and fit but lost it all as most do when college started. In an attempt to get into shape again, I explored the activity courses at school and that is when yoga found me. I was stressed beyond belief, taking way too many units and working nearly 30 hours a week. Yoga was my relief, my reprieve from the demands of college life that reminded me that I was capable. When you have difficulty saying “no”, it can stem from a fear of inadequacy or having others think of you as inadequate. Yet when doing yoga originally, I discovered my confidence, strength and potency. I later learned that I really have nothing to prove on the mat – to myself or anyone else. But that’s another story.
What I loved about yoga was that it not only stimulated me physically, but on a spiritual and mental level that I had never experienced before. My first teacher, Erika Faith Calig (Hattingh at the time), taught us about the yamas and niyamas and I had finally found what I was longing for. After a semester I continued to practice with her intermittently and brought my Floating on Cloud Nine CD with me to Italy for my semester abroad. I was THAT girl – the Californian with the flip flops, long blond hair – almost always air-dried, with my yoga mat strapped to my back. Thankfully the school in Italy had a gym with an upstairs room designated for dance. I occasionally would pop in my CD, throw down my mat and practice. One of these times, some local Italian high-school guys were sharing the room and working on their break-dancing. After seeing the yoga practice they approached me and asked if I could teach them some poses. My Italian language at that time was not proficient enough to instruct but I taught my first yoga class to them in broken Italian. I was hooked. It was definitely on my “Things to do before 30″goal list. Returning home, I continued to practice with many other teachers in the area.
2004 was a pivotal year. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in business marketing, ran a marathon, lived in Rome for a couple months and took my 200 hour teacher training with Erika Faith. Within weeks of graduating, I was teaching yoga. At first I taught only part-time as I was working at Washington Mutual in their marketing department. It was Fall 2007 when I taught my first college course, poignantly the same course where I was introduced to yoga. I can think of only a few things more rewarding than continuing to share yoga with people during their college years. I dedicate my teaching to all students – of college, of life, of a deeper connection to the sublime.