200-hour from The Baptiste Institute
How do you find your balance? Reading a good book is one of my first loves. It takes me somewhere else—I get to experience other cultures, time periods and places. When I put the book down I have a refreshed perspective on my own life. I find I am more curious, creative and present to my own story.
With no limitations, what would you do? Can I have the ability to freeze time like Zack Morris in Saved by the Bell? If yes, then I would do that all the time to sneak in naps.
Why yoga? I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 24. At 32 I was diagnosed with an aggressive autoimmune disease. For a long time I felt betrayed by my body. Through yoga I have found a new sense of trust in this vehicle which holds my soul. Yoga has allowed for me to love, accept and appreciate my body.
Which Sanskrit word most resonates with you? Slappin da bass (That’s a joke. If you don’t get the joke, watch the movie “I Love You, Man”)
How did you start practicing yoga? I started really practicing yoga when I discovered Baptiste Power Vinyasa at Balanced Yoga. Prior to that I dabbled in a number of different styles - mainly Bikram and Ashtanga. I still love those styles… it just sort of depends on my mood and what I need on a given day. Most days I need Baptiste.
200-hour from Yoga on High
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. While teaching, the moment often comes when the yoga just takes over and becomes my voice; blissful. Also seeing students after their practice look so shiny and happy; they walk out of class taller than when they walked in. It always renews my faith in the practice. On my mat, one of the biggest moments was when I was assisted in a backbend, and once down, sobbed uncontrollably. It really showed me how much stuff we can hold in our bodies, organs, joints, and spirits, and how the yoga can set me free.
Why yoga? The Universe flowed me into it against my will and I fell in love with the community, the teachers, the relief in my body, and the way it strengthened my spirit.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Home-made chocolate almond milk; outdoor Jacuzzi with no neighbors.
Best advice? To myself and others, I would say, “Live your best life and go after what you love and dream. Enjoy your work and let it support your happiness as well as your obligations. Keep your heart soft and your mind open. Meditate often. Follow your inner voice.”
If I won a million dollars …Travel more! I’ve never even seen the Grand Canyon. (Nepal currently on the top of my list along w/many others). Help others! Have a yard where I could build a sauna and a jacuzzi. Have time to work on my writing ventures. Study with more Ashtanga teachers and study more with my own teachers. Buy more chocolate.
500-hour from Yoga Zone/BeYoga
Certification in prenatal yoga
What’s your guilty pleasure? I see guilt as a pretty useless emotion and try to avoid it. Why would we ruin life's pleasures with feeling guilty about them?!.
Why yoga? Yoga is connection, full participation in life, active gratitude for the simple fact of having life and breath. I believe there is a yoga practice for everyone, and that this practice reveals the truth of who we are and allows us each experience the divinity within us.
If you had to tattoo something on your body, what would it be? Have always thought about a tree with an om symbol in the branches....maybe someday...
What's one thing you would tell your young self? Try yoga! I wish I had been able to feel, earlier on, the love and appreciation for myself and my body that yoga cultivates.
Tell us about an "a-ha" moment when teaching or on the mat. When I realized that teaching is a yoga practice. A practice of presence, breath, listening and connection. Aha! I can and should pause, breathe, observe, calm my body and quiet my mind while leading a class, and let the teaching come through me.
Which Sanskrit word most resonates with you?
Sraddha- Which translates as firm faith.
To end suffering.
What’s your life motto?
Heyam duhkham anagatam- The pain that has not yet come is to be avoided.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat.
Yoga really works!
200-hour from Cleveland Yoga
200-hour from The Baptiste Institute
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. When I first started practicing, one of my teachers had us in plank pose, and after what felt like ages she said, “You can stay. You are strong enough. Your mind will give out before your body ever will.” I had a renewed sense of strength. And from that day forward, I listened to my mind giving out quickly, and I talked my body into staying. That moment has transformed my practice on and off the mat. Epic.
How do you find your balance? Yoga, deep breaths, meditation, journaling, nature walks, conversations with friends, and simply checking in by asking myself the question: “How are you, really?” (Yes, literally, all of the above needs to be done for me to maintain balance).
Which Sanskrit word most resonates with you? Moksha: liberation. Love the way it sounds in both languages, and the way it feels when I allow myself to really embody it.
How did you start practicing yoga? I dabbled a bit as a fitness supplement, but got serious about it when my best friend passed away in college. I had heard of the tremendous healing benefits of the practice, but never did I put them into action until I truly “needed” to. My practice kickstarted as a grieving process, which quickly turned into a passionate lifestyle. Now, I live to share it with people of all walks of life, no matter what their reasoning is for showing up in the studio.
When not at the studio, where’s your go-to spot in Columbus? If we’re talking food, you can catch me at NorthStar, Whole World or Portia’s in Clintonville. If we’re talking booze, you can find me sipping on IPAs at Bodega or Seventh Son in the Short North. If we’re talking outdoor adventures, you’ll see me wandering the Scioto Mile until I hit Bicentennial Park. Something about stepping outside of the city and seeing the bigger picture of Columbus helps me see a bigger picture of life in general.
200-hour from Baptiste Institute
When not at the studio, where’s your go-to spot in Columbus? My front yard, mostly. Or anywhere I can get my hands in dirt. And if I can get my nephews and niece involved, even better.
Tell us about an “aha” moment when teaching or on the mat. I’d been practicing for years (15?!) in classes before I started my own home practice. When I finally committed to that time of being present with myself every day, my perspective changed and yoga made sense. My heart said, “Be present and listen...” Nothing’s been the same since.
If you had to tattoo something on your body, what would it be? I have three freckles on my leg that make Orion’s belt. I’d finish the constellation.
With no limitations, what would you do? Scoop up my loved ones and take them all to my farm in New Mexico.
Best advice? Remember to be kind to yourself.
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat: My parents, who had never practiced yoga before, came to a Hot Power Vinyasa class with me this last year. The class was packed and we ended up in the front of the room. The class moved along at an advanced speed and I was a little concerned about my parents, but every time I glanced over, my father- all 6’3,” 250lbs of him- was trying every single advanced modification the teacher threw out…. Because, why not? I have tried to embrace that attitude when practicing and teaching. Instead of fighting and saying, “Why?” I try to say, “Why not? Give it a try. It’s just yoga.”
With no limitations, what would you do? Make more art. Take more naps. Feed more people. See more places.
What’s your wildest dream? At the moment, it is to live in a camper van! I want to be a turtle and carry my house with me wherever I go. I am obsessed with the simplicity and freedom in my dream of it.
What’s your life motto? Nothing is promised- not even the next breath. Be here now.
Why yoga? I am a mover and a maker to my core. I was raised with the belief that my body is a temple to be honored and respected. Our bodies carry us through the world and we only get one! Taking care of the body and coming to a deeper understanding of it is what I am passionate about.
200-hour from The Baptiste Institute
How did you start practicing yoga? I started taking a drop-in beginner Astanga class with Joanie Delph at Yoga on High. Then, I found the hot studio at Balanced Yoga and I fell in love.
What’s your wildest dream? Ride a unicorn.
Best advice? Listen to understand, not to reply. Also… Do what you WANT to do, not what you THINK you should do.
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. My teacher try-out. Everyone was doing a breathing exercise in unison—arm movement and breath. The room was full of advanced yogis, teachers, friends and brand new yogis. They were all breathing and moving together. It was the most beautiful thing. I wanted to cry and I also knew at that exact moment, without any doubt in my mind, that I wanted to teach. I still think about that moment sometimes.
What’s one thing you would tell your young self? Try to enjoy the present moment and try not to worry so much about the future. People like you and if they don't who gives a shit; it's their loss. There is no set "right" plan you have to live up to. Create your own plan as you go—it’s going to be amazing no matter what. Relax and be a kid; there is plenty of time to be an adult later. Have fun!!!!!
200-hour from It’s Yoga Cincinnati
Functional Movement Systems Level 1 + 2 Certification
Doctoral Student in Physical Therapy
What’s your guilty pleasure? Eating pie, especially with greek yogurt.
How do you find your balance? Balance is elusive. I don't think I have a set formula, I just know generally what it entails—inspiration, loving relationships, and good health.
How did you start practicing yoga? My Dad thought going to a group-exercise class for his birthday would be a fun day-time activity before evening festivities. The class ended up being Vinyasa yoga at my community recreation center. The teacher was a sub, who happened to be one of the most accomplished yogis in the city. Once I realized what yoga could be, I became enthralled with the practice.
What’s your wildest dream? Be able to speak, comprehend, and write in all languages. I love having actual dreams in other languages.
What’s your life motto? “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” —Philippians 2:1-4
500 and 200-hour certifications from Kripalu Center + 200-hour certification from Sattva School of Yoga and 30-hour certification from Budokon Yoga
- Which Sanskrit word most resonates with you? Leela – meaning Divine Play.
- Best advice? Despite all the great plans you have for yourself there could none as great as what the Universe has in store for you. So, be ambitious, work hard but know when to let go and change directions.
- Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. After my first practice-teach, being a perfectionist by nature, I was filled with judgment and self-doubt, replaying all the ways in which I could have done something better or different. When I shared how I was feeling with my teacher Devarshi, I said I felt guilty and selfish for sharing these thoughts and feelings as they had nothing to do with yoga. In that moment he smiled and said to me "now THAT is yoga.” Ever since, whenever I catch myself falling into old habits, I’m reminded of that moment and the opportunity to strengthen the practice of shifting out of the critical mind and creating a new practice of self-acceptance and self-love.
- With no limitations, what would you do? Travel the world, own and operate a Yoga Retreat center with tons of horses while simultaneously running a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for dogs and cats while surrounding myself with friends and family.
- How did you start practicing yoga? Initially for injury prevention to supplement a rigorous training schedule.
Anything else you’d like your students to know? I’m Canadian.
200-hour from Cleveland Yoga
200-hour from The Baptiste Institute
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. When I first truly learned how to breathe ujjayi in a workshop and it changed everything about the way I practiced and taught.
Why yoga? It is a great tool to get in touch with intention, breath and physicality. To challenge oneself; to heal from injury; to activate a calmer state.
Best advice? "Any advice you ever gave to anyone is really for yourself to hear." —Byron Katie, or ”Leave everything a little better than when you found it." —My father
If I won a million dollars … I'd quit my job and teach more yoga.
What’s one thing you would tell your young self? You're amazing.
How do you find your balance? I am an introvert and need to take quiet time for myself every day. I wake up early enough to sip my coffee and read the newspaper. Then, I spend an hour walking or practicing yoga or barre followed by a few minutes of reflection.
If you had to tattoo something on your body, what would it be? “Make reasonable choices” – tattooed on the side of my neck in Sanskrit.
On the weekends, I love to … Chill with my family and friends, cook, entertain, take walks with my dog, read fiction, binge watch shows, see movies, discover great restaurants.
Best advice? “The harder you work anything, the faster you will burn it out.” Bryan Kest
If I won a million dollars … Give a portion to charity. Put some aside for my sons’ college funds. Send my parents on an amazing vacation.
What’s one thing you would tell your young self? Go easier on yourself. Everything is going to be just fine.
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. Yoga became real to me the moment I realized the mat is a microcosm of life; my state of mind on the mat is a lens into my everyday unconscious.
Why yoga? It's the most effective way I've found to clear out the thoughts, feelings, and discursive patterns; underneath all of that is a me that is a little bit cleaner and lighter.
How did you start practicing yoga? Gym class in high school. It was the 90s. The clothes were neon. My classmates thought yoga was a joke. I thought it was the realist subject ever taught in the building.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Ridiculous Will Ferrell movies.
Best advice? Notice what you're doing when you feel the most free. Do that. Repeat.
200-hour E-RYT from Peachtree Yoga
Owner of iworkbarefoot
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. The moment I realized I was trying to push my own desires for a student onto them, and they didn't match up with the wishes of that student. When someone does you the honor of coming to your class, you're there to offer them something, but they surely don't have to take it.
With no limitations, what would you do? Exactly what I'm doing, but with more travel teaching. I'm building a website that's a yoga teacher resource, and I'm on the final (I hope) draft of a novel I wrote about the teacher training experience.
Which Sanskrit word most resonates with you? Svadhyaya. First, It's very fun to say. And second, what's more important than self inquiry? It leads to all the other important practices. Without it, it's hard to know how to approach things differently or see them from another perspective.
What’s your life motto? I tattooed it on my arm to remind me of who I want to be. "Force nothing, follow instinct, be grateful, loving, and patient."
If you had to tattoo something on your body, what would it be? Ha, ha! I didn't even read this question before answering above. Can we agree this is proof I'm just slightly psychic?
500-hour yoga therapy teacher (Shiva Shakti Synthesis)
200-hour from White Lotus Foundation with Ganga White and Tracy Rich
108-hour Anusara Yoga immersion
Member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. When doing yoga on the paddle board the “ease” (sukha) aspect of asana was brought home to me in a much stronger way than I’ve worked with before: you need to absolutely shed all excess tension and muscle engagement to hold a balance asana such as crane (bakasana) or tree (vrksasana). If you translate that to the mat you find yourself flowing through your practice in an amazing way.
With no limitations, what would you do? Kilimanjaro
What’s your life motto? Stay curious, never stop learning, follow your heart.
Best advice? Yoga can help with that…
How did you start practicing yoga? I used to work at the local rock climbing gym in trade for my membership. Boo and I worked the same evening and became friends. She suggested yoga as a way of adding balance: rock climbing made us strong but we were losing flexibility. We needed both strength and flexibility to red point those routes!
200-hour RYT from Balanced Yoga
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. Attempting a pose for the thousandth time and then hearing a new cue where it all suddenly clicks.
What's your wildest dream? Vineyard yoga retreat cat sanctuary.
What’s one thing you would tell your young self? Wander more, wonder less
What’s your guilty pleasure? Dessert for breakfast
When not at the studio, where’s your go-to spot in Columbus? My couch. It’s super exclusive.
Holistic Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition
200-hour Registered Yoga Instructor, Amazing Yoga
Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, Yoga on High
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Fundamentals, University of Massachusetts
Best advice? Don't take life so seriously and self-care is sacred. Let's enjoy the ride. 🙂
If I won a million dollars … I would travel the world (and take my family with me!), build a yoga and wellness retreat center that was accessible to as many people as possible, and start a mindfulness non-profit.
When not at the studio, where’s your go-to spot in Columbus? I love spending time and taking walks in the community. Northstar is my favorite go-to restaurant and Seventh Son and House Beer are great spots to relax with a good beer. 🙂
What’s your guilty pleasure? Nachos!
Why yoga? I wandered into a studio when I was living in Denver and never looked back! It was one of the most challenging workouts (both physically and mentally) that I had experienced. It's been an exciting journey as my practice has evolved and I've dived deeper into mindfulness. When I make time on my mat, I feel so nourished!
500-hour E-RYT from the ShivaShakti Synthesis program with Janice George
Tell us about an “a-ha” moment when teaching or on the mat. My “a-ha” moment was the very first time I practiced yoga. I was a fitness instructor and going through a divorce, and my body was holding an incredible amount of physical and emotional tension. I exhaled and everything changed.
How did you start practicing yoga? I think we all practice some form of hatha yoga as children. As we get older and become less playful and more involved in other restrictive activities, our bodies crave that natural, free-flowing movement, so many of us find the mat. The first yoga class I took felt natural, familiar, and freeing.
Best advice? Pay attention to the taste in your mouth. If you say something and it doesn’t taste good, you probably should have kept it to yourself. You can always apologize and learn from the experience.
If I won a million dollars … I’d make sure my mother and brother had no financial worries ever again, and Mid-Ohio Food Bank would probably send me a very nice “Thank you” note soon after.
When not at the studio, where’s your go-to spot in Columbus? I’m a bit of a “gym rat,” so I like to go to a local fitness club where I can do some cardio, lift some weights, foam roll, and see friends. If not the local gym, then Antrim Park to walk by myself and listen to the birds.
200-hour RYT from Balanced Yoga
200-hour from Cleveland Yoga
Why yoga? Yoga taught me authenticity and how to live from it.
How did you start practicing yoga? I started practicing yoga as a conditioning for swimming. I was obsessed with improving my times and competing, but as I continued to practice, I found myself wishing to go to yoga class over swim practice. It took me a while to notice how much the practice had subconsciously taught me, but when I did realize it, I signed up for TT right away.
What’s your wildest dream? Go back to Senegal to open a yoga studio, train a class of yoga teachers in French, learn their native language Wolof and then require them to only teach in Wolof (western influence in Africa is already too widespread and culturally unacceptable), refrain from using any language that would insinuate the stereotypical assumption of a dire need for help across all of Africa (people need to get educated), and essentially create a team of people who can inspire others and uplift a community that needs uplifting.
What’s your life motto? "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what you need to come alive, and go do that. Because the world needs people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman
If you had to tattoo something on your body, what would it be? OM.
200-hour from Balanced Yoga
200-hour from Sonic Yoga
Why yoga? Yoga is a godsend! My bread and butter and Werther's Originals. Yoga helps me to release built up tension and stress. It helps me see the truth inside myself and inside others. It helps me be a better partner and daughter and friend. It has changed my life dramatically and incredibly and I couldn't be more grateful for it.
How did you start practicing yoga? I started practicing yoga in college—just a little—a yoga Pilates combination class. Then, I moved to New York City, where I started practicing at New York Yoga on the Upper East Side. New York Yoga was an amazing community where people went and practiced every day, and were the best of friends. When I moved to Columbus, I was doubtful I would find such a good community here. But, then I found Balanced and fell in love! I took my first yoga class in Columbus at Balanced. The community has grown so much and the people at Balanced are my family now!!
What’s your wildest dream? Man! My wildest dream is to invent a machine where you could be someone else for a day to see what it's like in someone else's body or mind. Who would you like to be for a day? I'd like to be my partner for a day (is that weird?), President Obama, Kate Moss, the list goes on and on. How cool would that be??
What’s your life motto? My life's motto is feel the fear and do it anyways. My mom gave me a book of the same title when I was trying to decide whether to move from NYC back to Ohio. That book was amazing because it said, “Don’t judge yourself so much, know that you are making the best decision you can with the knowledge you have now, and that's all you can do.”
If you had to tattoo something on your body, what would it be? Well, I do have something tattooed on my body! It's a tree, in full Ohio autumnal bloom. It's actually a real tree that I took a picture of, on Broad and Garfield in Old Town East. A couple years ago, I spent a summer meditating a lot in Franklin Park Conservatory. I wanted to get a tattoo to symbolize the transformation I went through, so I decided to get a fall Ohio tree, because I love the fall leaves and the symbol of a tree.
With no limitations, what would you do? Levitate when I meditate.
Why yoga? Because we are supposed to bend that way.
What’s your wildest dream? To celebrate New Years in Sydney and then fly to LA and do it again.
What’s your life motto? I want nothing. I fear no one. I am free.
Best advice? Hike your own hike.