I sought out yoga in 2001, hoping that yoga would help with my chronic migraines. I started at home with VHS tapes; it was several years before I took live classes, first enrolling in a community education series and eventually attending local yoga studios. My personal practice continues to include media in addition to studio classes (see what I recommend).
In October 2015, I graduated from a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification with Aimée Senise Connors, who was originally certified in Anusara Yoga. I have come to enjoy a wide variety of yoga styles and to appreciate multiple yoga traditions. I describe my own teaching as mindful yoga, emphasizing the mind-body connection and customizing the practice to each individual
Off the mat, I engage in a variety of other fitness activities at home, such as strength training, kickboxing, and kettlebells; in warmer months, I love being active outdoors.
I view yoga as a practice both on and off the mat.
Credentials & Certifications
Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PhD)
Registered Yoga Teacher (Yoga Alliance RYT-200)
Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance (October 2015)
Restorative Yoga (Spring 2016)
Yoga for All (Summer 2019)
Yin Yoga & Anatomy (Summer 2020)
Yoga for Healthy Aging (October 2021)
Completed: Yoga Ed. Professional Institutes 1 & 2
During my years of practicing yoga, I have been privileged to take workshops with some incredible teachers who have visited the Rochester area, including Leslie Kaminoff, Ravi Singh and Ana Brett, Desiree Rumbaugh, Ellen Saltonstall, Deb Neubauer, Barrie Risman, and Jennifer Kreatsoulas.
Commentary & Contact
My Thoughts on Yoga-Related Issues
As of September 2021, I have stopped using the Sanskrit word "namaste" at the end of my yoga classes. A plethora of reading on this subject contributed to this decision, and I found the perspective provided in this this NPR article to be particularly helpful (See also the "Appreciation & Appropriation" section below.)
Instead of namaste, I am using "om shanti," a wish for peace. According to this post from the Yoga for Healthy Aging blog, the repetition of shanti three times is for "peace in the body, mind, and emotions." This aligns perfectly with my background as a psychologist and my view of yoga as a mind-body practice. Om shanti, shanti, shanti om, peace, peace peace.
Does Yoga Sculpt, Brewery Yoga, Goat Yoga, and the like all "count" as yoga? I think it does, and Leslie Kaminoff of Yoga Anatomy agrees, which he explains more eloquently than I could have in this quote from one of his newsletter videos:
"As long as a student is being asked to move and breathe their body at the same time and in a way that they had perhaps never thought of doing before...I think it's a great thing, and I think it's a great thing that the word yoga is attached to all of that."
The issue of cultural appropriation is an important one in today's climate and culture; it something that I have tried to be mindful in my own practice and especially my teaching. Consideration of this topic is what led me to stop using the word "namaste" at the end of my classes.
At the same time, I still love the Sanskrit language and use it in my classes occasionally. I wish to honor yoga's roots, not eradicate them. This Yoga Journal article (written by an Indian-American teacher) offers some exploratory questions that I have utilized in my own process of learning and decision-making. Another Indian yoga teacher shared similar thoughts in this Yoga International article. Although I don't necessarily concede all of her points (e.g., I still use the term "yogi" and I still play music in my classes), I continue to respect and to be mindful of these points of view.
Want to agree with me, argue with me, or otherwise ask a question/make a comment? Get in touch via my Contact Me page.