What’s your favorite part of your work?
The humanness of it all.
This line of “work” requires that we hold a long view, that we look back at the teachers and their teachers and see the flow of humanity through the times. It suggests an embracing of the rise and fall of our preferences being held in a larger perspective. When students come across my path they exhale into a sense of being held in the larger wisdom of it all.
What’s your least favorite part of your work?
Well, if I had to name something it’s both what I love and what can present challenges while mothering two beautiful daughters and that is uncertainty. I love the openness and uncertainty as to what each day will hold and at times it can be counter intuitive to setting up and strong rhythm and foundation for my girls.
What still excites you and keeps you engaged with teaching yoga?
Paying attention. This to me is devotion to the moment. Each and every breath is brand new and each person/body/being who comes across my path is unique and requires my full attention and in giving it, I, myself, become more awake.
If you didn’t teach yoga, what else would you do?
Manage the school’s bake sale?
Seriously though, I used to be in the film industry for a dozen years and could envision remaining in that line of creativity, community, and expression.
What are you excited about learning next?
Always a student, this is my mantra. I am forever learning, resting both in the wisdom that I have everything I need and am searching for and yet nourished and reminded through so many avenues of learning. When learning, we become more awake, vital and this, in turn, ripples out to those who come to practice with me.
What’s your finest advice for a newer teacher?
Be a student.
Allow yourself to take one step/breath at a time and the teaching to seep so deeply into your marrow that it permeates all that you do and all that you are.
Evolutionary biology or god(s)?
Since, from my experience, most of us are still fairly lost in the separation of self from ultimate reality, we create avenues, connection points, pathways to remembering. It may take the form of a murti, a figure infused with the essence of its Deity, which we keep as part of our altar at home or in the studio. By giving our attention to the murti, through meditation or rituals like puja, we take our fractured life force and narrow it toward the focal point of this particular Divine remembrance. We create a similar focal point with the ripple of sound when we, not unlike Hanuman, call the name of a particular aspect of the One through mantra. I’ve found that simply repeating these Divine names has the effect of making me feel less isolated.
If we’re uncomfortable with notions of “Gods” and “Goddesses” or chanting in languages we don’t know, we can look to devotion of the divine through what to the untrained eye are inanimate objects; trees, mountains, rocks and the like. The form of devotion is really less important than the activity of devotion itself. Murti, mantra, yantra (divine geometry), postures, tree-hugging: it really doesn’t matter. The point is that we use an external object or practice to connect back into the feeling of Oneness we often lose track of in our busy, over-full lives. That Oneness is always right there, waiting to be remembered.