I was born at Findhorn in Scotland. From as long as I can remember, I felt a very special connection to the natural elements and the spiritual essence of all things. My first memorable experience of yoga was when I was 9 years old. A family friend of ours, a documentary filmmaker working on a film about Kalu Rinpoche, would regularly practice hatha yoga by his pool, and I recall joining him one day and going into padmasana (lotus posture) effortlessly. I enjoyed the challenge and focus of the practice, as well as the steady and even breathing that he used while practicing. Three years later, when my parents became more deeply focused on using yoga practices in their own lives, I became certain I wanted to learn all I could about it. Thus began the committed journey that has brought me to where I am now.
What I love most about yoga practices is that mental, spiritual, and physical disciplines are all used as doorways to remember that, as C.S. Lewis put it so eloquently, “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” For me, yoga is a means to explore what this means: to literally remember who we are in our bodies, to remember our essence and our BEING… and to remember that this process can be as joyful as we choose to make it.
I’m blending different traditions of thought when I refer to “soul” in this way, but that’s also part of the beauty of modern-day yoga: it invites us to discover and define the meanings of our deepest truths as we experience them within the context of our lives, regardless of our gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliations, whether we’re corporate-minded or pagan artists, or a bit of it all!
I recently chose to move from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, and to teach at Yoga Soup. I’ve been teaching yoga since the mid-90s; to me, “teaching” simply means sharing my journey of remembering who I truly am in a way that most effectively honors my BEINGNESS. My teaching is intended to assist others in exploring their individual bodies, their personal expression of Spirit, and their “edges” — those places where they lovingly go for growth and discovery. In my day work, I am primarily a yoga therapist and a clinician of integrative medicine who uses acupuncture and nutritional remedies in private practice. In my group therapeutic flow classes at Yoga Soup, I encourage deeper harmonizing of mind/body/spirit by offering insights and intentional challenges for the opportunity of personal reflection.
I love sharing yoga in many different forms, which has led to the recent release of the book Yoga Therapy and Integrative Medicine: Where Ancient Science Meets Modern Medicine , which I co-authored with Larry Payne, PhD., and Eden Goldman, DC. It includes wisdom from a world-class collection of Yoga-oriented doctors, licensed healthcare professionals, scholars, researchers, and Yoga Therapists.
When it comes to inspiring others, I offer you one my favorite yoga music mix lists (below), and a few of my all-time favorite inspirations that invoke in me that same fulfilled sense that can come from practicing a fabulous yoga class!
Books: The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein (My 2-year-old son loves it!), The Radiance Sutras translated by Lorin Roche (worth opening randomly and often, and keeping by one’s bedside).
Feel free to visit my website and reach out: www. TerraWellness.com