“Tell your story.”
I keep hearing this message on the wind, seeing it written in mirrors and on bike racks. And yet, I resist. Somehow. One of the things I have learned (and so I teach) is that we are so much more than our stories. We are so much more than where we came from, where we live, what we studied, what we have done and what’s been done to us. Those things make up the words on the pages of the story of this life. And yet we are more. We are the light that illuminates the pages of the story.
But for context, I will give it a try. Telling my story.
I have always been a seeker. Growing up in the tall corn fields of Iowa, I was always looking for meaning, symbols and secrets hidden in the natural world, in the world of those around me. Sometimes I caught glimpses of what you might call the vastness or universal love or divine moments of truth. I sometimes saw people living authentically happy lives. So I knew it was possible. I knew anything was possible. Anything could happen.
Oldest of three girls.
I have always been a traveler with a propensity toward nesting wherever I happen to land for more than five minutes.
Art and movement and words. We’ve always been kindreds.
I dreamed of becoming a painter and a radio news anchor.
Like my parents before me, I went to college. I studied German and “The Human Consequences of Globalization” (I made that up) at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. While I was there I studied in the United Kingdom, Germany and Cuba.
I played the tuba. And hockey.
One spring night after finals on the top of Old Main hill, staring out across the Canon River Valley, I felt something interesting and perhaps novel to me. So much that I remember the feeling even today, nearly twenty years later. I think I felt contentment. Quiet joy for no apparent reason.
Anything could happen.
Anything is possible.
That same year, I took my first yoga class. Under the Hale- Bopp Comet.
Somewhere along the line, I studied environmental law. And I *became* a lawyer.
It’s strange to write that I *became* a lawyer. Because that just happened to be a job I had and maybe a particular analytical lens through which I saw the world for a few years.
But poetry and justice, somehow they have always resonated strongly in the chambers of my heart, so I won’t rule out that I am still *becoming* a lawyer even though I haven’t practiced for a few years now.
My story includes a genius man I married and a daughter we parent. But I will let them tell their own tales.
So that is the beginning of something that might *become* the telling of my story.
A little about my work as a teacher.
I began teaching yoga in 2006 after becoming certified to teach through the Shambhava School of Yoga in Colorado. My classes are filled with stories, songs, chants, meditation, breath-work and philosophy. I encourage students to trust the body’s wisdom as they work through postures, finding the balance of sweetness and steadiness in the pose to achieve an expansive sense of alignment.
Many teachers have given me skillful and grace-filled instructions. I love and thank them all. I bow to the invisible guru who brought me to this practice in the first place. My muse is my daughter Oona. I try to love and hug like Amma. My inspirations are constantly changing, but I am in recent years smitten with the likes of Erich Schiffmann, Kira Ryder, Patricia Sullivan, Vanda Scaravelli, Michael Stone, Jon Kabbat-Zinn and Susan Marshall.
My hope is that students leave time with me with a greater appreciation of the “long-view” that yoga invites us to take, a more compassionate view of themselves and others.