what i do
In my teaching I strive to help every student:
- observe their habits, patterns, and the unintentional reactions they have in response to themselves and the world around them,
- connect with a sense of calm and contentment deep within themselves,
- understand the deeper teachings of yoga,
- understand and harness the power of their breath,
- find, learn, and practice the appropriate tools for their own transformation,
- and learn to act—and live—with intention in the midst of daily life.
I work with my students to create meaningful personal practices. I help students establish the ritual of daily practice. And I support them as they begin to change in response to their practice.
The practice of yoga helps us understand the nature and cause of suffering and offers us tools to relieve our own suffering. I work with students individually to identify the appropriate combination of tools to meet their needs and respond to their own unique situation.
how i approach my work
Because every person is different, my work is always personal and situational. I strive to create and hold a space where my students can speak and be heard, where they can open up and begin to deeply notice their own lives.
I bring my whole self to every student. I am an artist, minister, and yoga teacher. These three aspects of myself come together and overlap in interesting ways. All three have taught me unique ways of seeing the world and have helped me be fully present to the people and situations I encounter. In all of my work, I seek to bring the creativity of an artist, the heart of a minister, and the toolbox of a yogi.
From my training as an artist—a printmaker specifically—I have learned the importance of conversation without assumption. A printmaker spends a great deal of time planning and preparing a plate, understanding that despite their efforts and vision, they have no way of knowing what they’re making until they run the first print. A printmaker has to stay open to the possibility of surprise. They have to stay open to an ongoing conversation with the work they’re creating. To some extent, all of art is like this. Surely, all of life is like this. My work as an artist has helped me stay open to surprising outcomes and to the beauty that comes from surprising places. It has helped me hold my presumptions lightly and seek creative ways of responding to situations and people.
From my training as a minister, I have learned how to be present with mystery and unanswerable questions. I believe that God is bigger than any understanding I, or any tradition, will ever have. Despite this fact, I also believe that my search to understand God is always worthwhile. I have worked with students from all faiths and no faith. I believe everyone has the right to spirituality. I teach a practical spirituality—the spiritual practice of living in the world amidst the ever present, ever changing dynamics of life, with meaning, mystery, and intention. My work as a minister has helped me find comfort in silence and simplicity. It has helped me to seek peace in both quiet and loud ways and to understand the importance and sometimes difficult nature of integrity.
From my training as a yoga teacher, I have learned that transformation is possible. Everything is always changing and while we can’t stop change, we can affect its direction. I have been changed by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient text that offers a classic understanding of yoga. When you study this text you realize that it isn’t a book about postures. It’s a psychological philosophy, by which I mean, the practice of yoga is a practice of the mind. Thoughts have power. We create our world through our thinking. We change our world through the transformation of our thinking. I teach an integrated practice of yoga that involves textual study, ritual, prayer, chanting, intention, movement, breath, and meditation. My work as a yoga teacher has allowed me to witness the power of paying attention. It has helped me to understand that personal transformation begins with deep noticing.