When was your very first introduction to yoga and what drew you to it?
I started practicing yoga as a college student while pursuing my degree in Philosophy and Religion at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. As a college student, I found myself fascinated with Eastern Religion in particular. I also had many opportunities to study at a local Zen monastery, which is where I first practiced meditation and yoga. At first I liked meditation better than yoga, but over time things evened out.
How long have you been teaching and what certifications do you have?
I finished my 200-hour Vinyasa training in the Spring of 2013, and completed my Pre- and Post-Natal certifications that summer. After my son Cooper’s birth in the fall, I committed to teaching yoga full time, leaving behind my job as a preschool teacher for children with special needs. Since then, I have taken additional trainings in Baby and Me and Children’s Yoga.
What do you love most about teaching yoga?
I work with a lot of different kinds of people, my students range from 3 weeks to 75 years old- and yoga has something for everyone, regardless of age. It can be energizing or relaxing, stretching or strengthening. At different times in our lives, sometimes even our days, we need different aspects of the practice, and I really love being able to cater each practice to the needs of my students.
What exactly is Mom & Baby Yoga?
Mom & Baby Yoga is all about building connections. Connecting new moms with other moms is hugely important in those first months, not only for the emotional support and understanding, but also to ask questions and share ideas. Meanwhile, we sing songs, do exercises, and the bond with mothers and their new babies. And of course, it wouldn't be yoga without helping moms connect with themselves! Caring for one’s self is also crucial, and as we work with breathing, stretching, and gently re-toning muscles affected by pregnancy, Moms can do just that.
What can a new mommy expect from your classes?
I really like to give a lot of options in my classes, offering modifications to make things more nurturing, gentle, and comfortable for moms (regardless of their physical abilities), but also options to make things a little more challenging. I think one of the best things new Moms can do for themselves is to find ways to feel good about their bodies. Pregnancy and labor greatly impact the relationship women have with their bodies, and so I hope that all women who participate in my classes find a way to feel positive about that relationship. Part of that is nurturing and taking it easy when it's that kind of day, and pushing yourself when you feel up to it.
Why should a new mommy come to your Friday morning class?
I have always really liked the idea that these classes give women an opportunity to "find a tribe." Having a baby is hard work, and being in a room with other women who get it- like really, Get it- helps so much. Plus, the babies get to meet their first friends!! When I first had my son, I was surprised at how lonely life as a new mom could be. When I started going to Baby and Me classes, I found other women who could relate to that, which was really helpful. It was also a safe environment to ask questions, vent, and sometimes even laugh!