My Yoga and Meditation Journey
My love of yoga and meditation began in 2000 while living as a single, 23 year old in NYC…
Though I had a handful of close friends and a few co-workers I enjoyed spending time with, I ultimately found NYC a very lonely place. I desperately missed my close knit family and knew that though my NYC work experience was valuable, it wasn’t in line with my purpose and I wasn’t following any particular path.
One day, I discovered the yoga studio across the street from my office building.
I became hooked after my first class and started planning my schedule around when I could get to the studio. Every workday, I’d sit and watch the clock at work as it ticked closer to 5:30 pm and then jet out, hurry across the street, and arrive just in time to catch the 90-minute 6 pm vinyasa class. In the peaceful studio, I found my refuge, the place where I belonged. My evening yoga regimen became, without a doubt, the best part of my day.
I was in love with the studio’s lofty warehouse vibe, the incense and natural cleaning product scented space. Similar people surrounded me in this environment. These open-minded, healthy lifestyle focused individuals accepted me as I was.
In this space, we practiced together as natural light flooded through the large floor to ceiling windows. Lingering sounds of the city bustle floated up to us though they were mostly drowned out by Ram Dass chanting on the CD player. In the studio, through my yoga practice, I found my people and my place. A respite from the chaos and hustle of a city full of people making shit happen.
I connected to my new community as we practiced new breathing techniques, moved and sweated and chanted together. A positive outlook united us. We all believed in the betterment of people. In this space, no matter the turmoil of your life or the world outside, peace was available once we stepped into the studio.
After class, I felt like I was floating, experiencing a natural high.
I would walk onto the street with greater awareness, and, in turn, make better choices as I was able to see the city through fresh eyes. Whatever was bothering me before class felt less important with my new perspective. It felt magical and I wanted more.
My new, meaningful yoga practice was physically invigorating and I found I had a natural talent. I was able to pick up my teacher’s cues like it was second nature and execute the postures without confusion.
It was not that I found yoga easy, exactly. Rather, I was able to speak the language and find the rhythm. Whatever the reason, I quickly became fluent.
Looking back, it feels like I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to pursue yoga and meditation. Something within me pulled me toward yoga, a part of me wanted to participate in the practice before I even walked in the door. No one had recommended that I try yoga.
I brought myself to the practice, I sought it out. Or maybe, yoga called to me.
A visceral memory remains with me from my early days in yoga class. I looked up at the teacher perched in front and I saw myself teaching in this same way.
I had no doubt, I would be in a similar role one day.
Twenty-two years later, in 2023, I teach my own students as I had once dreamed, hoped, and wished I could.
After many years of practice and teaching under my belt, I am still as in love with yoga’s magical qualities as I was when I began. I’ve grown my skills and my students appreciate my calm, down-to-earth, and relatable teaching style. My dedication remains but the seasons of life have shifted my priorities.
Gone are the days of sweaty, 90-minute yoga classes and a hurried pace.
Giving birth to my daughter and a short time later, my son, challenged my hopes for a consistent asana practice. The days were long and active in a different way than but I had little time to focus on my needs. New motherhood left me exhausted, sleep deprived, and struggling with anxiety.
And, then… Awash in the bleary-eyed, early days of parenthood, I discovered Yin Yoga.
Yin Yoga’s slow, relaxed, meditative practice provided a new way to understand my body and brought me insight into how to calm my worries. Participating in Yin’s sensation focused poses, helped me accept that my practice can evolve and feel different at different stages of my life.
Now, as I move through life with adolescent children, I welcome my consistent 30 minute yoga practice and increased meditation focus. To increase comfort in my ever changing body and life stages, I have learned to practice offering myself the gift of grace consciously.
These days, sustainable and intuitive opportunities to live in the present moment comfort me as I know that it is no longer possible to do everything.
I offer myself grace as I juggle:
- growing a small business
- building a life and managing a busy household with my partner
- raising children
- holding my focus on being awake, alive, and present
- trying to keep it simple.
- nurturing my ambition
- appreciating what is right in front of my eyes
To fulfill my dream of growing consistent, calming, intuitive, and wellness inspired yoga and meditation practices in a community of like-minded individuals, I have built Simply Grounded.
Through in person and online classes, private sessions, special events, and retreats, I share my love of wellness modalities and help others nurture their own awareness.
We all benefit from stress relieving tools that help us manage life’s daily challenges. Our world is often a hectic place and we must work to find peace and comfort for ourselves. I’ve learned that no one is going to hand these gifts over. We need to invite them into our lives.
I invite you to join me to learn helpful strategies that build community and help us all embrace a simpler way of life.
Life may challenge us but we can learn how to come back to ourselves, back to the breath. Together, we can start again and become present to all that life has to offer.
Join me in strengthening your awareness and brining more ease into your life.