Originally published by the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat Bahamas.
1. Please share what you do in 10-15 words:
I share practices of Transformational Breath, Holistic Nutrition, ChakraDance, and Classical Yoga, including Yoga Nidra.
2. Why do you do what you do?
These modalities have personally given me so much health and healing in my own life. It feels like my dharma to share them with others.
3.What are you currently fascinated by in your work?
I love that Western science is finally catching up with this work and validating it!
4. How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?
I came to my path out of desperation, beginning my spiritual healing journey in 1994. At that time, I had been living with drug addiction and an eating disorder for many years. I had sustained a traumatic brain injury, along with other physical injuries that left me with chronic pain. And I was diagnosed with PTSD.
I began the journey in a 12-step program, which literally saved my life. Also, I intuitively knew my relationship to food would either make or break me, and so I decided four years into my journey to attend school for holistic nutrition. This is also where I did my first real cleanse, which I treated as a spiritual fast. It was profound and life-changing.
My next aha moment came from the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training. Immediately after, I started volunteering by teaching yoga at a drug/alcohol rehabilitation center. Somewhere along the line I was introduced to Yoga Nidra, and found this to be another amazing healing practice to share with others.
Years later I was introduced to the Transformational Breath practice. This took my healing to new levels, and helped heal traumas in my subconscious mind. Along with my partner Govinda and through our work in Radiant Health, we use these tools to help guide people back to themselves.
I think along this journey, Swami Sivananda has been guiding me for longer than I even realized.
5. What book(s) did you like reading this year?
Ever since I was trained in Yoga Nidra, I have been fascinated with the vagus nerve, and how activating it through breath can reduce symptoms. The book Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg was an interesting read this year.
Another book that I am continuing to use is Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery by Deirdre Fay.
I also love Presence Process by Michael Brown. I recommend this book and process to all of my students.
6. If you’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat before, what is one surprising thing about the experience for you?
Over the years, I have taken many trainings and workshops in the ashram, the first one being the Yoga Teacher Training Course in 2000. I always felt very “held” here. The ashram is such a “container” for the Guru’s energy.
When we first offered our program here, it surprised me that I strongly felt this “holding” for myself and Govinda, along with all of our participants … it felt magical. This place definitely enables the healing process to rise to the next level.