Our teachers have been rigorously trained over many years in a broad and in-depth curriculum that encompasses studies in eastern philosophy and yoga history, biomechanics, anatomy, detailed postural alignment, therapeutics, and the art of teaching yoga.
“Beauty is whatever gives joy.” ― Edna St. Vincent Millay
Yoga invites you to engage life fully to become skilled at being yourself. I was born a seeker and a bit of a renegade. I first came to my yoga mat in 1994 as way to unite a dedicated physical discipline with a spiritual one. Having earned a degree in Art History, I understood the universal experience of Beauty as Joy. For me this implies that when we experience something in life that inspires indescribable wonder, awe, delight…be that through art, music, nature, relationships, yoga…then we are more connected (yoked) to this precious day, to each other, and to our vital essence: our Bliss. A yoga mat is a mirror of who we are--and yoga, like life, asks for devoted practice, a quest for integrity, and a healthy dose of self–reflection.
I have had and continue to study with numerous respected teachers, to whom I am most grateful, but my greatest teacher has been life itself. The deepening of my own practice impelled the spiritual explorer in me to undertake a “heroine’s quest” to Nepal in 1996 and, with my young family, to India in 1997 to study where the yoga tradition began. I learned a lot from those many months of challenging travel, but mostly, I grew into myself and appreciated the power of yoga as a daily practice on and off the mat. This experience inspired me to pioneer yoga in Columbia, SC by teaching classes for several years in kindergarten rooms, ballet schools, gyms, and church basements until our community grew to such a point that I opened City Yoga in 2003. With further in-depth and rigorous study, I became certified in Anusara Yoga in 2006 and, simultaneously, embarked upon the practice and study of philosophy, meditation, and Ayurveda. In 2017, I produced and hosted the first season of Yoga in Practice for South Carolina Educational Television. This 30-minute show is broadcast in several national markets including NYC, LA, SF, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Tucson, Austin, and several more.
My classes, workshops, and trainings encourage the inquisitive student to step into his/her own empowerment through a vigorous practice firmly rooted in the evocative philosophical teachings upon which yoga grew. Over my years of teaching I have seen all types of students, bodies, and issues…and I have come to appreciate that we ALL wish to be healthy, content, free, and fulfilled. My own yoga journey helps me to get up when I feel knocked down, to bring clarity to confusion, and to cultivate courage when I feel I have none. I want this and much more for my students no matter where they may be on the path of self-discovery.
I have been practicing yoga at City Yoga since 2005. I began practicing for the physical benefits but soon discovered that yoga had much more to offer. Yoga has helped me develop balance, strength, and flexibility both on and off the mat. It has has taught me to slow down, notice my breath, and appreciate life. It has been an invaluable source of support to me in my career as a lawyer.
In 2014, I completed the 200-hour teacher training with the Rasika Yoga School, co-founded by my primary teacher, Stacey Millner-Collins. I decided to teach because I wanted to share the empowering properties of yoga. My hope is to be a good steward of this practice and to help students experience the many benefits of yoga.
Yoga is a way of life for me, because to me yoga is life. I see the mat as a playground and asana as an opportunity to explore balance, humility and possibility...and to have fun doing it. I'm a playful teacher and student of yoga and love to laugh with my students even as we bring a focused intention to each practice.
I bring almost 20 years of practice to my teaching, as well as my experience as a professional speech coach and public relations consultant. My more distant background of teaching and dancing ballet, tap and jazz also influences how I look at yoga: as a life-long dance that constantly reminds me that I don't always lead... my husband, Walker and sons Walker and Mitchell might like for me to remember that a little more often! Stacey Millner-Collins has always been my primary teacher, and watching her grow City Yoga over the last decade has been a particular pleasure for me. Thanks to Stacey, I have been exposed to and practiced with many other teachers from around the country and have been teaching for 17 years.
I often ask students why they practice yoga and encourage them to revisit that question each time they come to the mat. I've learned over the years that the "why" of my practice is far more significant than simply maneuvering my body into different shapes. The poses are a beginning, not an ending, and it is with that mindset that I approach every class I teach.