My introduction to yoga came with practicing yoga with videotapes in my living room. After time, and with some prodding from a friend, I ventured into my first heated, power yoga class. I loved it. It was an experience unlike any other. Before that, I had been a dancer, a swimmer, a runner, a biker, a gym enthusiast. But after that first class, I knew yoga was it for me. Yoga means "union" & that is what I feel every time I get on my mat. My body, my breath, my mind, my spirit - all united. I feel whole & connected. Yoga has transformed me & the way I live my life. It seemed a natural progression for me, then, to become a teacher of yoga. To share what I love about this practice with others. And every time I teach, I learn more about myself. I have been teaching heated power yoga for more than 10 years & have been blessed to train, practice & work with many, many gifted & inspirational teachers. In March 2011, my family & I moved from the Boston area, back to Connecticut where I grew up. When the opportunity to open Sanctuary Power Yoga presented itself to me, it was literally a dream come true. I am thrilled to be able to bring this type of yoga to the area & to be able to create sacred space where people can come together to practice & share their time & energy. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or have never tried yoga before, I personally invite you to join me for a class at Sanctuary Power Yoga. To breathe, sweat & experience transformation for yourself.
After struggling for years with a series of unhealthy choices and behaviors, including an eating disorder and depression, I was finally able to find balance and restoration in my life through yoga. I started off doing yoga in my bedroom - watching videos and listening to tapes. I was at first hesitant to go to a class, and felt very unnerved by the idea people looking at me, and judging me. Slowly this fear lessened, and I made it to my first Vinyasa class. I realized very quickly that people weren't staring at me or judging me. I slowly began to completely let go of fear that I had. It was not long after my first real class that I knew that I wanted to teach yoga. Yoga has allowed me to change my life dramatically through persistent practice with others, as well as by myself - yoga has transformed my life in so many ways. My mission is to spread my knowledge of yoga to those I teach, and allow space for students to find their own balance and healthy lifestyle.
Yoga holds a special place in my heart. For a long time, any sort of physical activity was really something I just never wanted a part of. After I graduated High School, I had no drivers license, no plans for college & no job. For about a year I stayed home alone - I developed anxiety, to the point where leaving my house was actually frightening to me. I became very depressed and gained weight. One day I decided that I had to do something, and began researching physical activities I could do without leaving my house. I stumbled onto yoga and I began practicing in my room, with a towel as a mat. Not only did yoga help me get back in physical shape, but it also helped with my anxiety. I started to slowly creep out of my room and back into the world. Within months I had my drivers license & started college. I am now living and loving life - finding passion I never had before and practicing yoga! Yoga has inspired me to teach & I hope to share the gifts yoga has given me with others.
My introduction to yoga began in college. I liked practicing but something was amiss. Either the style was working but the instructor wasn't, or the instructor was fantastic but I failed to connect with the practice. In 2011, after battling with personal turmoil and upset, a friend of mine suggested (strongly) that I should try going back to yoga and try heated Power Yoga. I did, and was instantly hooked! The practice moved quickly enough and was challenging enough to keep my attention, but at the same time it was soothing and nurturing. Not long after my first heated class, I made the decision that yoga was going to be a permanent element in my lifestyle. As my practice became more consistent, anger lifted, frustration subsided, and things just seemed to make sense. Life got easier. I became a teacher so that I may be able to assist others in healing, because, really, all you have to do is breathe.
I took my first yoga class in 1998 with my boyfriend at the time, and all we did was giggle throughout class. In the years after, there was no consistency in my practice and I often struggled with feeling unsatisfied when leaving my mat. I wanted to connect to myself as a whole: mind, body and spirit. But I often felt like one of the three was missing. On my journey for balance, I found Reiki and a meditation practice, but was missing the link to stay physically fit and honor my true self as a whole. I was a runner for many years, but eventually my knees, couldn’t handle all the miles I was putting on them. I wanted to find something that would honor my spirituality and my desire to stay physically fit. Two years ago I met with Heather to talk about renting a room for my Reiki studio (I have been a Reiki Practitioner since 2008 and have always had my studio in my home). I loved Sanctuary and Heather and quickly moved in. Shortly after moving my studio to Sanctuary I rekindled my relationship with yoga, but this time I knew it was different. I finally felt like I found a style of yoga that honored my mind, body and spirit. Every time I stepped off my mat I felt complete. That is when I decided that becoming a yoga teacher would not only serve my mind, body and spirit, but I would be able to broaden my skills in helping others on their journey to a balanced life. And so it is.
I first started doing yoga about 5 years ago. I was a runner, and I was looking for other kinds of exercise to enhance my running & to give me something different to do on my days off from running. Yoga was appealing to me, so I would take a class here and there and do a DVD at home every once in a while. I never found anything that really amazed me or got me hooked though, until I found Sanctuary a couple of years ago. I instantly fell in love with the style of yoga taught here. It's a good workout, with the perfect side of mindfulness! I kept going to classes regularly and after a few months I realized an eating disorder that I had been seriously struggling with for 5 years was cured, almost like magic! My whole life really started to change. Not long after that I decided I wanted to teach because I am so, so passionate about yoga and how it helped me and my life....I just want to share its beauty with as many people as possible!
I went to my first yoga class in 2006. What started as a scheme to get close to my girlfriend’s mother (Monday night yoga and dinner at the pub) turned into one of the great passions of my life. Those first few months of practice set the stage for a wide range of yoga experience. Since then I have practiced as much yoga, in as many styles, as possible. I also practice Zen Buddhism as a formal student of Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, the mainhouse of the Mountains and Rivers Order. Whether flowing through a sequence of physically challenging postures or just sitting on a cushion, my practice is always about letting go, accepting, and taking responsibility for this life. My Monday night plot worked out in more ways than one: I married Amy Allen, a full-time yoga teacher, in 2009.
I spent time exploring many different styles and practices of yoga & the traditions of a yoga lifestyle. I began practicing yoga regularly in 2008 & fell in love with Vinyasa Flow (Power) yoga. I am passionate about teaching students to link breath and movement - to immerse themselves in breath & be in the present moment, to let go and connect body, mind and spirit while moving through a physical practice. I strive to create a class & space that allows students the opportunity to open their mind & trust their intuition - exploring what breath and body can create on the mat which leads to coloring outside the lines off the mat..taking their practice into their everyday life.
Before yoga, I was a dedicated distance runner and gym enthusiast - it was an injury that led me to my mat. I am committed and passionate about the physical practice of yoga, but I also encourage self-acceptance, compassion, and self -awareness by providing a safe place for inquiry and spiritual growth on the sacred space of the yoga mat. I teach a vigorous, Baptiste flow that includes a strong emphasis on alignment and breath and often includes music. I have over 1500 hours of professional yoga training, including 500 hours of yoga training with the Baptiste Yoga Institute. I have transformed myself, my life & my world, by practicing yoga daily. Yoga did not change me, it found me. Yoga has taught me that the practice on my mat is simply the preparation for living my life, in awareness, in the present, and in reality. It has taught me that my dreams are not limited and that anything is possible.