How long have you been practicing yoga and how did you get into teaching?
I’ve been practicing yoga for 11 years and teaching for 8 years. My initial teacher training was through the Community College of Aurora’s 200-hour Teacher Training Institute for Classical Hatha Yoga and I served as assistant instructor there for three years after completing that program. I went on to complete the American Viniyoga Institute’s (AVI) 500-hour teacher training (2010) as well as AVI’s 500-hour Yoga Therapist Training (2012), Both programs were taught by Gary Kraftsow, founder of, and primary instructor for AVI.
What did you do prior to teaching yoga and/or what do you do in addition to teaching yoga?
I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist and have worked in health care for the past 30 years.
What type(s) of yoga do you teach and where?
I currently teach small group classes and provide private yoga therapy consultations at Parker Yoga Therapy. All classes and yoga therapy sessions are Viniyoga based.
Do you have your own website? If so, please provide a link.
How would you describe your yoga teaching philosophy/style?
The three primary elements of Viniyoga emphasize the connection between breath and movement, repetition and stay in asana and individualized adaptation. Viniyoga teachers create asana sequences in accordance with specific sequencing principles and sequences are designed to achieve a specific effect. Viniyoga integrates the practices of asana, pranayama and meditation.
What do you feel is the greatest benefit people gain from yoga?
At the most fundamental level of experience, there is the initial enhancement of mind-body awareness. With continued practice, the greatest benefit is nothing short of tapping into one’s individual human potential – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
How have you evolved because of what you do?
In order to teach effectively, I must remain committed to my personal practice, which encourages and supports my personal growth. Teaching small group classes and engaging in the practice of individualized yoga therapy requires that I engage in ongoing reflective practice through which I gain personal insight and a greater degree of self awareness. Through this work, I experience an abiding sense of gratitude.
Do you have a favorite quote or story?
I recently heard Gary Kraftsow say, “Yoga is an invitation, not an obligation.” To accept the invitation to engage in the practice of yoga, we open ourselves to the profound possibility of individual transformation.
Do you have a favorite asana and/or vinyasa? Please describe why this is your favorite.
I love balance asanas! I experience a wonderfully deep sense of centering when I practice them.
What do you think is your biggest challenge as a yoga teacher?
Actually, two challenges come to mind. The first is the challenge of overcoming what seems to be a prevailing limited perception of yoga as being only about asana and asana being valued primarily as a form of exercise. Second, marketing!!! It requires a lot of time, effort and creativity.
What is the best compliment or insight you have ever received from a student?
One of our Parker Yoga Therapy students was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a private session with her about a week after her surgery and she shared with me that since her surgery she hadn’t slept more than 3 hours each night. I wrote out a short yoga sequence to do before bed and coached her through it. She assured me she would do the practice again before bed. The next morning I received a text from her that read, “Did the practice and slept 10 hours last night!” That made me smile.
What is the biggest benefit of being a yoga teacher?
It’s an extremely rewarding opportunity to experience deeply profound human connections, engaging deeply and powerfully with others and while introducing them to practices that can assist in developing an abiding sense of mind-body awareness and well-being.
Do you have a favorite musical artist, song or CD that you would like to recommend?
I love Ben Leinbach’s CD, The Spirit of Yoga.
How did you hear about YTOC, and what would you tell other yoga enthusiasts about the organization?
I learned about YTOC through my teachers at CCA and was a member for several years but inexplicably allowed my membership lapse while I was more deeply engaged in training than teaching. YTOC offers excellent opportunities for networking and strengthening the yoga community.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for keeping YTOC alive and thriving!