My whole life I had been too terrified to go upside down. I wouldn’t even do somersaults or cart-wheels and definitely refused to try standing on my head. During a significantly difficult time in my life, I walked into a yoga studio I'd never been. The instructor invited us to set our intention, and I said to myself, “To not be so afraid. To trust.” I was referring to my life in general, not headstands. However, the universe understood fully because then the instructor announced that we are going to practice headstand. He came over to me, said a few guiding words and before I knew it, I was in headstand. He was holding my ankles, but I was doing it. It was exhilarating. It was a profound moment of insight into my own power. I began practicing headstand everyday, and exactly 70 days later, I was able to get into headstand unassisted. I went from never going upside down and being too afraid to even try, to turning my life upside down every day, with intention. I am no longer afraid. I trust myself and my body. I am the strongest I’ve ever been, and I am filled with the deepest gratitude. It's not about the headstand. It's about facing and overcoming fears. It's about the journey of yoga. It's about setting intentions and seeing them manifest. It's about making a commitment to a yoga practice, to myself, to my health, to my life. It's about becoming brave enough to make the necessary changes in my life to be on the path of being my best self. Speaking beyond myself, it's about acknowledging that each of us is strong, even when we think we aren't, and that everyday that we acknowledge our strength, we become stronger. When we make a commitment to ourselves to create and sustain healthy practices, we transform our lives in liberating ways. I believe in Yoga because I experienced its power firsthand. I continue my yoga path by guiding others on their own journeys of self-transformation.
Education, Certifications, Honors
Teaching Excellence Award Recipient, 2021
Selected among all faculty at Southern Illinois University
Classical Yoga Nidra Teacher, California College of Ayurveda, Sept 2020
Completed the Classical Yoga Nidra Teacher Training with Dr. Marc Halpern
and Dr. Andrea Deerheart, Certified in Yoga Nidra, California College of
Ayurveda, September 2020.
Yoga Acharya, Master of Yoga. Vastu School of Yoga, May 2018
RYT 500 Yoga Teacher with 500 hours registered with Yoga Alliance. Certified in the Sivananda Tradition, Vastu School of Yoga, Lorrie Conglose & Lal Maharajh, Athens, Georgia, May 2018
Yoga East Healing Arts, May 2017
RYT 200 Yoga Teacher registered with 200 hours through Yoga Alliance, certified in the Kripalu Tradition, Judy Grier, Yoga East Healing Arts, Cape Girardeau, IL, May 2017
Reiki Practitioner, October 2016 & April 2017
Level 1 & 2, Michele Mekel, Shakti Energetics, Oct 2016 & April 2017
Ph.D. Communication Studies, Southern Illinois University, 2009
Emphasis Performance Studies/Embodiment, Narrative, Gender
Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, Southern Illinois Univ, 2006
M.A. English, Eastern Illinois University, 1995
B.A. Psychology, Eastern Illinois University, 1993
Healing begins from a state of relaxation. Relaxation is an active process that lets us know we are safe, and from there we are able to restore ourselves to a state of balance. In my role as a holistic educator and practitioner, I provide clients and students the tools to access that feeling of safety even in times of stress and chaos. When we feel safe, we relax, and when we are in a state of relaxation, we become centered. Our bodies and minds replenish, and we begin to recognize who we are. We remember and experience our true selves in our bodies, thoughts, and actions. I have spent the last two decades developing my intuitive awareness and empathic skills, formally studying the way we embody our stories energetically and physically. Personally, Yoga is more than just an abstract philosophy for me. I believe fully in its healing capacities. Not only have I witnessed its harmonious impact on others, I have benefited from it firsthand. By incorporating yogic practices and principles into my daily life, I have developed the strength to consciously transform my existence, and I continue to manifest powerfully along my path. I am grateful I am able to share with others what I know and continue to learn. I look forward to working with you on your journey to becoming your best self.