I don't have pictures of me teaching these days, and since it's all online, I offer you the goofy faces I apparently make while on Zoom.
Trainings and Certifications
Yoga has saved me 3 times (so far).
When I first came to yoga, I was a full-time stay-at-home-mom to 3 kids, ages 5, 2, and under 1 year old. I was completely immersed in life outside of myself, had lost a sense of who I was in the joyful chaos of family life. I was exactly where I wanted to be, but it didn’t feel how I wanted it to feel. When I was practicing yoga, I could hear myself, I could connect with myself, I was someone other than a mom. I’d ride my bike to class, where I would practice breathing, movement, meditation, chanting. I would practice paced breathing as I walked to the grocery store, or when I was trying to get to sleep at the end of a long day. Breath became an anchor for me each day. It made me a better mom.
10 years later, as I was going through my divorce, yoga once again became my refuge. I had good friends, a therapist who supported me, but it was in my yoga class, where words fell away, that I was able to feel the struggle, the sorrow. Some days I would just lay on my mat and cry. Other days, I would flow through the postures, moving with the breath. Breath, again, was the anchor as the sea threatened to sweep me away and waves pounded my heart and soul. Practicing yoga connected me to the who I was without the label I had been defined by for so long. Yoga supported me through that transition.
As I was working to build a career in graphic design, I was struggling with the incongruences I felt between myself and my colleagues. When the local yoga studio advertised their next yoga teacher training (YTT) program, I figured it would be a good way to dig deeper into yoga while continuing to work in design. After a few months in the program, I knew that I was just working in the wrong field and that I needed to focus on yoga. I was able to align my sense of self with my vocation, and I felt at peace.
This is why I return to yoga again and again. It’s why, although I’ve focused on breathing and that has taken me to practices outside of yoga, I continue to circle back to yoga, to understanding breathing through this lens. It’s why I work to integrate the breathing that I’ve learned with a sense of who I am, and what I feel the breath is to me.
Yes, we can work to change your breathing patterns. We can move the diaphragm, rehabilitate your nose. We can shift the biochemistry, and calm the nervous system. But can we also walk the bridge of breath from what you experience to who you are? By connecting to breath, by feeling the sense of grounding that comes through a single breath, and the space surrounding it, we can stand solid when the waves are crashing, we can find the way back to our centre when world is overwhelming, and we can be present in this moment where we experience awe, wonder, gratitude, where we truly live.
I first came to yoga by chance in 2003. The integration of a mind/body practice, through asana (poses), pranayama (breath) and meditation, was a revelation to me. I began in the Kundalini style, and have also practiced Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, and Restorative Yoga. I'm happy to be able to share my love of yoga, and am grateful to my many teachers along the way, including: Mary Paterson, Angela Jervis-Read, Alan Gensho Florence, Karusia Wroblewski, Carly Stong, Jane Clapp, Cecily Milne, Petra Baethmann, Dr. Rosalba Courtney, Montserrat G. Mukherjee, Marleen Janzen, Esther van der Sande, Britta Dezillie, and Caroline Kila.
I'm a curious person, and that's pulled me down several rabbit holes. Because we've all been through stuff (ie: life) I've also trained to be a Trauma-Informed teacher, and have completed Levels 1 & 2 of Jane Clapp's Movement for Trauma. I have also trained in ELDOA™ (SPL3), and am excited to be integrating these exercises in my Yoga classes, as well as teaching ELDOA™ classes. In an effort to learn more about functional movement, I became aware of functional breathing. I became a Buteyko Educator, studying first with Steve Donald and then with Christine Bauman, and began teaching Breath Retraining techniques to clients to help them with disordered breathing and the resulting conditions, as well as to improve their athletic performance. I have recently finished The Integrative Breathing Therapy program with Dr. Rosalba Courtney and am excited to be including new techniques for retraining breathing pattern disorders. Combining this knowledge with my understanding of the bio-mechanics of breathing, looking at the breath though a trauma-informed lens, and including the wisdom of the yogic traditions, I continue to teach Breath Retraining courses, both to individuals and in groups. I'm also available to webinars, and in YTTs on Rethinking the Breath: Functional Breathing & Pranayama.
I've begun studying to become a yoga therapist, extending my understanding of breath and body using yoga practices for health and well-being. I'm looking forward to working with clients beginning in 2023.
After teaching in Toronto for many years, we moved to Moncton, New Brunswick in 2020. It's a beautiful place, close to family, with a slower pace of life. I am continuing to teach online and am looking forward to teaching breath and yoga classes in the Moncton area in the near future.
Find me on Facebook, occassionally on Instagram, and on my blog Second Breakfast, or subscribe to my irregular Newsletter.
Get in touch through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd love to hear from you!
Listen to the Mindful Strength Podcast for my recent interview with Kathryn Bruni-Young
S1, Ep. 13 and 14 on SISU Journey with Helena Lucia — on the
Science of Breath and how I build resilience in my own life