Yoga has had an incredibly positive impact on my own life. It helped me release accumulated stress from my teenage years living in a household affected by mental illness and constant fighting. Yoga helped me understand the nature of the mind and how to work with it. We fear what we don't understand. Yoga practices provide us with the wonderful opportunity to go deep within, befriend the body and the mind with all their quirks.
My personal experience with Yoga's healing power motivated me to become a Yoga Teacher. I started teaching yoga to children and adults. Pretty soon, I wanted to learn in depth about how yoga heals on the physical and emotional level and decided to attend a two-year Yoga Therapy program with Niroga Institute. I graduated from this program and became a Certified Yoga Therapist, accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
I realized that what I wanted to do most is to teach people in their senior years. I believe yoga, if taught with skill and knowledge of the client's needs and limitations, is one of the best practices for the aging body and can help us navigate aging with equanimity and purpose. As we age, we might lose some physical abilities but we gain insight and wisdom and also the necessary time to pursue the real yoga - the process of self-inquiry that leads to uncovering our habitual conditioning and realizing our true nature.
My certification prepared me to work with private clients and group classes addressing common chronic conditions and special populations. My focus is on Parkinson's disease and conditions associated with aging such as arthritis, osteoporosis, respiratory conditions or balance and postural issues.
I am also a Certified PWR!Moves Instructor. PWR!Moves is an evidence-based exercise developed for people with Parkinson's by Dr. Becky Farley, a neuroscientist and physical therapist. It's a high effort, high amplitude exercise that helps people with PD counter their symptoms such as small and slow movements, stooped posture, problems with turning and transitioning. The combination of yoga and PWR!Moves allows me to address all the challenges that people with PD experience, be it on the physical, mental, or emotional level. I am also a big fan of strength training (I am a Corrective Exercise Specialist certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine) and dance and am always including elements of these practices in my classes.
I have been lucky to have wonderful mentors in my work with people with Parkinson's. Carol Fisher, Murthy Jarugumilli and John Argue have been a big inspiration and I am lucky to have the ability to learn from them.
I work with clients privately and teach several Aging Well with Yoga classes in Oakland and Piedmont. I also teach 4 Parkinson's specific classes in Berkeley a Walnut Creek.