At a gut-level, what is it about Give Back Yoga and its programs that you feel is essential?
There is an incredible power that comes with the practice of yoga. Give Back Yoga’s mission puts that power into people’s minds, hearts and bodies that would not normally have access to it. Sharing that power is essential! When the power of the practice of yoga is shared; it allows people to grow, to heal, to connect with themselves and others, to change their bodies and minds, to tap into their strength and to have some fun! I believe with all my heart that everyone can find some benefit in their life by getting on their yoga mat. Give Back Yoga, at its core, changes people’s lives for the better. How could that not be essential?
Ten years of consistent giving is a heart-warming story. Why is it so important to you?
So often people wait until they achieve some level of success or reach some goal to add service to their lives and/or business. I’m a big believer that there is no reason to wait. There is no amount of time or money or energy that is too small. When I began my journey in the yoga world, I committed to myself that service would be a part of it from day one. I had no idea what that would look like or how I would pull it off, but I knew that it had to be one of the foundational components of both my yoga teaching and my yoga business. The practice and the community had given so much to me by the time I became a ‘yoga professional’ that I knew in my heart that I wanted to pay it back. The funny thing that happened along that path was that after taking the Mindful Yoga Therapy training, I knew that serving through teaching in that program – or other programs – just wasn’t going to be a good fit for me. I didn’t fit well with the structure of the teaching, so I shifted to just trying to be a financial supporter. It was that shift that led to my teaching yoga in breweries and ten years of wonderful Sunday’s spent with great people raising money to allow others to do the work of GBY.
What do you purposefully bring to your yoga classes and community?
I set out every time to bring both accessibility and fun to my classes and community. When you take a class with me, you are not going to put your foot behind your head, but hopefully you are going to pull your head out of your ass for a bit and laugh a few times. There is no one way of living and there is no one way of doing yoga. I try to meet people where they are, give them an experience that empowers them, and create some space where they can lighten up for an hour or so. Life can be so damn serious; yoga doesn’t need to be!