1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you.
I am passionate about mental health and have been working in this field my entire adult life. As a nurse, social worker, hospital administrator, and just in life, I have seen time and time again how physical health is impacted by mental health and vice versa. Even among medical professionals, mental health has always taken the back seat, when it should be front and center. One good thing that came out of the pandemic was that talking about mental health has become more mainstream, which is encouraging more people to get the help they need. Early on in my career I became aware that so many of the individuals I saw in the psychiatric hospital had been through trauma during their lives, and the trauma connection really opened my eyes to what is needed when working others
2- What inspired you, if any, to join the Warrior Flow 200-Hour Yoga Training’s faculty?
I became acquainted with Warrior Flow when I moved to Miami from New York. I didn’t really know anyone down here and literally stumbled upon their donation-based community yoga class which was held Sunday mornings on Lincoln Road. Joining this group really did give me a sense of community, and when during the pandemic Warrior Flow got innovative and brought the classes to social media (eventually creating their own “TV” platform), I was hooked. Everyone was feeling stressed and disconnected, yet we were able to practice yoga ‘live” together—even my sisters from New York were doing yoga with me on facebook! At the time I was working in the Jackson Health System, which developed an app with resources for staff. I was able to make the connection with Warrior Flow, which then provided yoga/ movement and meditation/breathing modules for the Jackson app. When the 200 hour Yoga Teacher training was developed, I worked with our human resources department to get the word out to our staff and make tuition reimbursement available for the course. So many staff expressed interest! I decided to join the faculty because I believe in the mission of making this important self-care practice accessible to everyone, and I love the trauma-informed philosophy behind the way Warrior Flow teaches.
3- In simple words, what does yoga mean to you?
I learned in the 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training that the word “Yoga” means to “yoke” or unite, the mind-body-spirit. This is aligned with the holistic view of health I have as a nurse and social worker. Personally, for me yoga has helped with stress management and centering. On the flip side, it has also provided me with a sense of community.
4- What is the main difference between learning yoga now and when you took your first yoga training?
I came late to Yoga! I was introduced to it by friends in New York who were doing it mostly for fitness. Doing hot yoga in a studio with everyone competing to do the most complex postures did not resonate with me. Trauma-informed, accessible yoga is very different. The way there are choices, autonomy, and an individualized experience makes a huge difference.
5- In your opinion, why is this a key moment in time to learn yoga?
All the stress and disconnection in the world right now, all the trauma we are experiencing either firsthand or vicariously, makes this the ideal time for a practice that integrates the mind body and spirit. This is yoga’s moment!
6- Who would you be without yoga?
Without yoga I would be a lot more stressed, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t be as resilient as I am now.
7- Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are today?
I have had many role models along the way. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned is that learning never stops. Everything that happens—the good and the bad—is a learning experience. And because learning never stops, growth never stops, and who I am continuous to evolve.
8- What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
The major challenges for me have been when my life has been out of balance, particularly when I have spent more time and energy on work or caring for others than is healthy for me and my family. These are times when I have had to take a step back to re-evaluate and change course.
9- What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
In these divisive times, I think we could all do a better job of listening to and understanding one another. If we keep working against one another, we will never move forward.