I’ve been a yoga teacher since 2005, and a prenatal yoga teacher since 2008. I attended over 100 births as a D.O.N.A. certified and BINI birth trained doula from 2010 – 2016. Am shifting gears due to life changes…I offer Birth Coaching, Private Yoga Instruction, Teacher Trainings and Workshops. I’m also a writer, a mom, and an environmentalist. I was almost killed on my 14th birthday and am lucky to be alive. More details below…
I never imagined myself a yogi. I was a fitness/gym/dance/outdoor kinda gal. It was the early 90’s, and I had just moved to Venice Beach into a tiny studio, steps from the sand and the boardwalk. My next door neighbor kept inviting me to yoga, and all I could imagine was a room full of long-haired, smelly hippies doused in Patchouli oil, sitting in lotus, chanting weird shit. Serious face palm. Definitely <not> my scene.
My neighbor, who is now a very successful acupuncturist, finally wore me down. All the postures we did in class that day looked simple, but Power Yoga with Bryan Kest was the hardest thing I’d ever done. I was a former bodybuilder, and quite able to push my body to the max. I thrived on that muscles-burning, barely-walking post-workout endorphin high. Problem was, I used to drive myself to workout through negative inner self-speak. I was constantly in competition with myself, which isn’t healthy. In yoga class that day, I experienced the hardest workout I’d ever had, with zero negative self speak. No comparison. Just presence. I felt so relaxed afterwards. My mind felt clear and I magically retained that zen-like state for days.
Twenty years later, I still love yoga. I teach yoga because it’s changed my life. Everyone can benefit from a yoga practice, regardless of age or physical ability.
I’ve taught yoga to all ages: from hand-standing, arm-balancing, energy-abundant 20 year old’s to sleepy pregnant moms and even sleepier postnatal moms with newborns in tow. I’ve taught everything from preschool yoga to seniors in their 80’s. I’ve shared my love of yoga with celebrities (this is LA, after all!), as well as inner-city janitors and cafeteria workers. I’m certified in several styles, all by people you probably have never heard of unless you’re super into yoga. If you want my official credentials, scroll all the way down. In a nutshell – I have over 15,000 hours teaching experience and over 1200 hours of formal teacher training.
I’m also a Birth Consultant. I offer education, consulting and resources for parents-to-be to help prepare them for pregnancy, labor, birth and parenthood. As a Birth Doula, I supported over 100 couples through this process. I now bring my wisdom and experience to create a support system that is without agenda. Want a C-section? I’ll help you prepare for it. Want a home birth with no meds? I’ll help you prepare for it. Want a hospital birth with pain management upon request? I’ll help you prep for it.
I’m also a published writer with credits in music, film, yoga, health and lifestyle magazines. In my personal life, I’m a mom, environmentalist, animal and ocean lover. I love to dance, swim, hike and be out in nature.
I almost died when on afternoon of my 14th birthday. I was walking through a crosswalk half a block from my high school when I was hit by a Suburban, speeding over 50mph. I lost my kidney and spleen and almost died of internal bleeding. On a skeletal level, I fractured my femur, knee, pelvis, ribs and skull. By all accounts, including the policeman who arrived at the scene and who later visited me in the hospital, I should be dead, or at least severely limited physically and immune-compromised. My own doctor warned me that I would never walk normally again; but I do.
Walking without pain and discomfort requires dedication to a daily movement practice, and therein is my choice. It remains a choice. Every day, I have the choice to succumb to the pain that arises from not moving, or do something about it. I could go on pain meds, use a cane or a walker, have more surgeries, and give up being active. Or I can get up early, work super hard, eat well, and commit to a hybrid of physical therapy, functional range conditioning and systems of movement that help my body heal. I practice yoga, chi-gong, ballet at the barre, functional range strength training and Redcord. I hike. I swim. I dance. When injured, given the luxury of time, I use alternative therapies over surgical procedures and Western meds. Currently, I’m using stem cell therapy for my knee, and it’s working. The risk of health is a choice.
Nearly one year after my accident, I took my first steps on crutches. I had lived in traction, in a hospital bed for a month; I was given three months in a wheelchair, which included six surgeries to re-brake and re-set my femur. I ended up flat on my back for six months in a whole body cast. Slowly emerging back into life, I began physical rehab through weights and resistance machines at the gym. I found a trainer who coached me, encouraging me to compete in the Southern AZ High School Bodybuilding Championships. Nine months later, I competed and placed 2nd in my weight category. I placed 2nd again, the following year. My journey to recovery had begun. My body would require two more surgeries to correct my femur, but by the time I began college in 1991, I was as active as possible.
My car accident placed me onto an immediate alternative path. I was forced to give up a daily 4hr piano practice, in hopes of passing the entrance exams to Julliard and instead, lived in my mind. During the six months that I was immobile in a whole body-cast, I could only move my neck, my arms and my toes. I realized that becoming a concert pianist was never my dream. Instead of chasing external success, I intuitively understood that Joy was within and that goal and purpose of life was radically different than how I had been taught. I began my path as a healer, though at the time, I had no language for what I did. Healing our body and healing our mind requires dedication, and this is the mainstay of my teaching: how to shift our lives through meditation, yoga, mindful awareness, strength training and therapeutic movement.
My story made the cover of LA Yoga magazine. I write about my reunion with Dr. Richard Carmona, the ER Surgeon who saved my life. Twenty years after saving my life, Dr. Richard Carmona completed his four-year term as the Surgeon General of the United States.
He now presides as the Vice Chairman of Canyon Ranch Resort and Spa, President of the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute, and is a professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona
Magna Cum Laude, UCLA Honors, 1995.
BA Spanish Language and Lit & BA Russian Language and Lit
UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting, 1997.
– Certified Birth Doula with Doula Organization of North America in 2011.
– BINI Birth trained – Introduction to Childbirth for Doulas.
– BINI Trained Birth Doula.
– LOOM Trained Holistic Pregnancy Loss Doula.
– Rebozo Trained with Naoli Vinaver Lopez.
– Dr. Michel Odent – Childbirth: Babies Need Love, Microbes and Stress.
YOGA: E-RYT500, YACEP, RPYT,
– 500hr TT – Ana Forrest
– 120hr TT – Shiva Rea
– 100hr TT – Maty Ezraty
– 300hr TT – Noah Maze