I was born and raised in Philadelphia, in the United States, and have been living in Berlin, Germany for more than twenty years. I started practicing Iyengar style hatha yoga in New York thirty-five years ago as a nineteen-year-old college student. I knew right away that I had found "something" that gave me a sense of deep inner calm and relaxation and that my body felt more balanced and alive than ever before.
Studying movement was familiar to me because I had been taking ballet and modern dance since age twelve. I fell in love with dance after the sudden death of my older brother and the divorce of my parents. I didn't know it at the time, but training gave me an outlet for navigating the pain, sadness, and confusion that I felt as a teenager. In studying movement, I found the joy of connecting to my body and the strength to energize myself.
After college, I pursued a career as a professional dancer, artist, and arts administrator (I did this for fifteen years) and continued to practice Iyengar yoga. Then one day, the director of a dance studio where I was teaching asked me if I could substitute for the yoga teacher who was going on maternity leave. I asked my teacher, Joan White, if I could teach and she said, " Yes." So, in 1991, I began teaching yoga and joined the teacher training program.
Iyengar yoga is unique in the field of yoga for many reasons. We teachers undergo rigorous training - a three-year teaching training with prior years required and teaching exams that we must pass before becoming certified. I have had six exams and am a Senior Intermediate II (Level 3) teacher, which means that I am qualified to work with people of all health conditions and train teachers. I'm a Certified Yoga Therapist through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and an Assessor for yoga teacher exams in Germany and abroad and co-direct the Iyengar Yoga Zentrum Berlin.
B.K.S. Iyengar is known for revolutionizing yoga practice with the introduction of props, which can now be found in studios the world over; blankets, belts, chairs, and blocks allow people of all skill levels to practice safely, increase health benefits, and create relaxation and stress reduction with yoga.
He also championed the therapeutic applications of yoga, which has gained recognition as a treatment for chronic pain and various medical conditions, be they muscular-skeletal, physiological, or emotional.
I have been fortunate to study numerous times in Pune, India at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, studying with the Iyengar family and assisting in the medical classes. I also continue my studies with Advanced teachers in Europe and the USA, constantly enriching my practice and teaching. Yoga integrates the body, mind, and heart when we devote ourselves consistently over time to our own personal growth. The practice strengthens and interweaves the different parts of ourselves and brings the health, harmony, and happiness we crave in life.
The rewards of this journey are here for all of us.