Right around the time Steve Jobs told the 2005 graduating class at Stanford University to follow their hearts and intuition, I followed my heart straight into yoga teacher training...
and the voices of many others straight into law school. I convinced myself that I was following my inner voice wholeheartedly and living my passion and purpose everyday. However, in reality, it took me another ten years to realize that from childhood, I had been living two lives – the one I thought that I was supposed to live and the one that I truly dreamed of living!
I worked hard to be successful at both, becoming an elected-judge by age 30, while also working as an attorney and leading popular yoga classes, programs, and teacher-trainings. At the height of my insanity, I was commuting from Washington, DC to NY every other weekend to serve as the local justice and criminal court judge in my hometown on Monday night, waking up at 2:30 am Tuesday morning to drive to the airport and fly to DC, working all day as a Federal government ethics attorney, and THEN leading a three-hour yoga teacher training session that night….all before waking up at 4:50 am to hustle to teach my 6:00 am yoga sculpt class on Wednesday morning. Any sane person would probably think that I should have been mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. And, sure, sometimes I felt a little drained. But, that turned out to be nothing compared to how exhausted I became when I let all of that go to focus full-time on my “passion” for wellness.
Choosing to leave the comfort of a 9-5 job was not an easy decision; but choosing to return to it actually has been. When I started the transition to living my purpose and passion “full-time,” I already had a lifetime of living them part-time – a lifetime of movement training, over a decade of yoga teaching experience, and many years of practicing clean eating and mindful movement there to support me. I envisioned being able to focus on these healthy practices 24/7, creating time and space for myself and my family, not to mention an abundance of wealth. Instead, I ended up filling my time with long commutes in the hot Florida sun, awkward breaks between clients, and teaching gigs that didn’t necessarily fit my brand and my vision.
I thought that I was following my heart but one day I woke up and realized I was so far from my initial vision, pulling myself in more directions as a yoga and wellness entrepreneur than I was was going in as a yoga-and-fitness teaching, lawyer-judge! It was then that I decided to hit the reset button. I refocused on my own health and wellness, utilizing the toolkit that I had built for myself years ago. The more I did that, the more the voices of others began to dissipate (comments like: "you are a professional, what are you doing teaching yoga anyway," "a lawyer can provide for her family, a yoga teacher, not so much," "you definitely shouldn’t give up teaching your morning stretch class; it is one of the most profitable classes on your schedule…so what if your clients are in their 90s," “private training is where it is at if you want to make money",” "is a little gluten really going to kill you???"); and, more importantly, my internal voice began to thrive and my direction became clear.
I WANTED to focus on both law and wellness, so I decided to do it. I feel balanced when I do both because I feel financially secure, a good balance between home and work-from-home life and office life (yeah- turns out I need that balance), and I able to focus solely on the wellness projects about which I truly feel passionate. So, here I am, returning to law, teaching just two yoga classes per week, and developing two of my passion projects — The Bodhi Blueprint and Modern Vinyasa Online! (Check them out on my website!)
Do you ever feel like you are living someone else's life or just totally drained from moving in so many directions? Do you ever put your health on the back-burner until you are able to accomplish something else that is "more important?" Don’t wait another day to start tapping into your inner voice, discover your healthiest self, and begin living the life you were meant to live!
My health and wellness offerings are inspired by my own experiences and practices and world-class trainings I have completed, all of which continue to support me on my journey toward following my heart and intuition to live my deepest dreams. I offer to you what works for me (and unashamedly will let you know what didn’t) in hopes of empowering you to realize your happiest and healthiest life!
Listen to my story to better understand how my life led me to this passion and purpose:
How I developed my signature style of yoga and fitness
The Origins of my Yoga and Wellness Journey
I began my movement training at age three, when my mom signed me up for ballet class. After sticking my tongue out at the teacher a few too many times, I was forced into early retirement. At the more mature age of five, I returned to dance and have continued my movement training in one form or another ever since.
While I did not know it at the time, the intense workouts my gymnastics and ballet teachers demanded of me traced back to the practice of yoga; in high school, I dropped in on one of my teacher's yoga classes and realized the connection.
A college athlete, I continued to practice yoga as a means of winding down and stretching. I knew it made me feel good. Later, before attending law school, I signed up for my first yoga teacher training; it was there that I first realized that a regular practice not only made me more flexible, but also could transform how I handled life's challenges off the mat.
Admittedly, the nutrition piece of my holistic approach to health came a bit later. Though generally healthy, I had a nasty sweet tooth and affinity for pasta and bagels. This led to countless headaches and a general worn down and “fuzzy” feeling. At first, I chalked it up to family drama and the stress of completing a dual degree program in law and international politics. But when fatigue made me, usually a high-energy girl despite my busy schedule, so exhausted that on some days I just didn’t get out of bed, I desperately searched for a solution. I joined the gluten-free train in 2008. Doing so almost entirely wiped out my "symptoms" (even when simultaneously living my dual lawyer life and adding motherhood to the mix!) and compelled me to begin sharing my realization with others.
Education, Trainings, and Certifications
Years of ballet, jazz, and modern dance training and performances as well as a personal yoga practice.
Division I Athletics, Boston University
Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, Trinity College (CT).
Experienced Yoga Instructor and Personal Trainer; highlights of my training include:
200-hour level training, Down Dog Yoga
Week-long Intensives with Baron Baptiste and Shiva Rea
Intensive training in the following CorePower Yoga formats: Yoga Sculpt, Hot Power Fusion, C1, C2, Bootcamp
Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine
300-hour level training, Spiritually Fly Yoga with Faith Hunter,
Shakti-Inspired Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with April Puciata
Power Yoga for Sports with Gwen Lawrence
Master of Arts in International Development from American University.
Juris Doctor from American University.
Coursework in Nutrition – Berkley Extension School, Coursera, Self-study