I was introduced to yoga in 1999 during my wellness internship when the director handed me an Iyengar yoga book and asked if I could add teaching yoga to the employee fitness schedule. With hesitation, I said, “YES”, and never looked back. After teaching many other forms of group fitness, my eyes opened wide to yoga! Prior to my first class I wondered how someone could just stretch for 75-90 minutes. If I was going to commit to this much time, I wanted to burn some serious calories. During the class, my skepticism of yoga changed drastically. Time went by so quickly! And it was the first time I got out of my head and into my body - a practice just for me. Then the teacher said, "now it's time for savasana. Lie down on your mat, cover up and relax." After a challenging asana practice, savasana was the best part! Ahhh ... then tears streamed down my cheeks, and I realized I needed to make time for this practice ... for myself ... on a regular basis.
I quickly developed a deep desire to share the benefits of yoga with others. I began by studying with Marci Graham in Des Moines, IA for a year. She took me under her wing and showed me all aspects of yoga. After apprenticing under Marci, I began teaching Hatha Yoga at Plymouth Church in October 2000. This sacred space has been my yoga home ever since. I love the space and the people who attend this class. The room looks onto a beautiful courtyard, and when the weather allows, we start our class with meditation outside. The kula, or yoga community, is welcoming. It is a mixed-level class, suitable for beginners to experienced yogis (See Hatha Yoga class description for more information).
In addition to teaching at Plymouth, I have taught throughout the Greater Des Moines Area. Early in my professional career, I launched the corporate yoga program at Wellmark and Principal Financial Group offering employees the chance to take a break and move their bodies. I've also taught yoga classes at Westminster Presbyterian Church and St. Johns Lutheran Church in Des Moines. I enjoy offering yoga in the community and volunteer my services to teach for Yoga in the Park Des Moines Parks & Rec, Yoga on the Lawn West Des Moines Parks & Rec, Blank Park Zoo, Meditation Around Town, Athleta, Lululemon, and many other local churches, preschool and school programs for children and adults.
When pursuing my Master’s degree in Public Health, I chose prenatal yoga for my research thesis. I've put this knowledge to practice throughout my own three pregnancies, as well as helped pregnant women embrace the benefits of yoga during this sacred time. After completing my Master’s degree in 2004, I pioneered the wellness program for WesleyLife. For the next ten years, I combined my knowledge of the body with my love of yoga to teach this practice to older adults. Working with older adults became a passion of mine. I teach yoga in a way that everyone can feel comfortable and safe in their body - providing modifications that help adults of most any age who may be dealing with a variety of health conditions. I truly believe yoga is for everyone!
A yoga practice has always been more than the “poses.” It connects the mind and body through breath awareness … with intention. A yoga practice can benefit anyone. It taps into the goodness within each of us, reminding us we are loved. My style of teaching varies continuously to meet the needs of my students. And since I’m constantly studying and learning more about the practice of yoga, I love sharing new insights with my students. My philosophy … If I ever stop learning or stepping onto my own yoga mat, I will need to stop teaching. To be an effective teacher, I’m dedicated to practicing what I preach!
Throughout my early years of teaching yoga, I practiced at Shakti Yoga Shop in Des Moines. My primary teachers were trained in Anusara and I have had the opportunity to study with some very talented yoga masters: Christina Sell, Desiree Rumbaugh, Noah Maze, Mitchel Bleier, Christy Burnette, Moses Brown and John Friend. After 14 years of studying and teaching yoga, I became registered through Yoga Alliance. In 2013, I became a 200 RYT. In February 2018, I completed my 500 teacher training and received my RYT 500 and E-RYT 200 with Carole Westerman in Omaha, NE, and my RCYT with Suzanne Wright and Mary McGuire at Evolve to Harmony in Omaha, NE. The E-RYT 200 designation allows me to offer my classes and workshops as continuing education to Yoga Alliance RYT 200 teachers.
I invite you to begin a journey with your mind, body and spirit and practice yoga with me. Namaste'