Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." To me, this is why yoga is so important—because the basic practice puts you in charge of your own healing and empowerment, which will then transform the world for the better.
As a yoga teacher, my goal is to support people in remembering their true selves—to release, heal, and awaken their potential. That’s what I’m offering in my new series for Thrive Market, Ready, Set, Yoga. Join me each week for guided yoga and meditation sessions to help with everything from silencing negativity to aiding digestion to activating quick energy. Even a 10-minute yoga practice can change your day, lift you into a more positive state of being, and help you navigate the challenges and opportunities of life. When we do yoga we shift our state of consciousness, and that’s how we incite real change.
I discovered yoga in my early 20s when I was experiencing intense anxiety attacks. My life had been out of balance for a number of years—I had been experimenting with drugs and alcohol and I didn’t realize at the time I was using them to escape from my problems. When yoga came into my life, things began to change. For the first time in a long time, I started to find peace and clarity. I could cleanse my physical body of a lot of toxicity, stemming from substances and negative patterns. Yoga became my new addiction, so to speak—but a healthy one.
Off I went to Nepal, where I studied yoga and meditation practices passed down by the guru, Osho, at a place called OM Family Ashram. Then I spent more than a year exploring various yoga traditions with many teachers in India. At the Himalaya Yoga Valley in Goa, I completed a 300-hour training with Lalit Kumar. Our studies were based on the eight limbs (or steps) of yoga as taught by the sage Patanjali. The focus was not just the physical act of asana (postures)—my intention was to learn to awaken the whole life of a human being through breath work (pranayama) and meditation, while practicing positive moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline. When I returned to the US, I continued my studies with a 200-hour teacher training for Kundalini yoga at Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles.
Now I’m certified with the International Yoga Alliance and believe that there is no end in the study of yoga. My life is devoted to it. It’s made me a much better and kinder human being. I’ve learned to have subtle awareness of my physical, emotional, and mental states. My eyes are opened to how I interact with the world. As a result, my own peace and sense of self love, as well as my compassion for other people, animals, and the planet, have flourished. When I start the day with yoga and meditation, it creates a ripple of joy and ease in my days. And I want you to experience this, too.
Wherever you are and no matter your situation, whether you’re just starting out on your healing path or are simply looking to find deeper connection and meaning in your life, yoga can help. It connects you to your innermost truth—this is the place where all your answers live. I find that we’ve become so dependent and concerned about the opinions of others—family, doctors, boyfriends, girlfriends—that we get overwhelmed and confused. When you dive into yoga, you find the right answers for you, no matter what the question may be.
As Yogi Bhagan (the guru that passed down Kundalini yoga) said: “If you want to really learn something, then teach it.” Teaching is my greatest honor. So if there’s anything in particular you’d like to explore, ask away in the comments below. I’m so looking forward to sharing my yoga and meditation practice with with you!