What’s your favorite part of your work?
I consider myself a spiritual midwife. I love to witness how the teachings take a hold in students and how they transform their lives as a result. It really is One person at a time.
What’s your least favorite part of your work?
I am originally a native of Switzerland. The Swiss are an extremely understated people. We do not take the spot-light easily, we grow up deflecting praise and compliments. So while I love teaching, I dislike all things related to the advertising part of my job. The “selling” part is really hard for me!
What still excites you and keeps you engaged with teaching yoga?
Every person that I can help connect with “the one who knows,” with that inner wise voice, brings me great joy. To know that each person who is connected to the compass of their heart will make the world a better place, gives me deep satisfaction!
If you didn’t teach yoga, what else would you do?
I’d have a shelter for dogs and horses, or be an animal activist of some kind, maybe going after some elephant poachers and kicking some serious behinds!
What are you excited about learning next?
Everything! Life! I’m especially interested in the brain and its capacity. When we realize that we use only a very small part of our brain, it makes you wonder what else can and will be possible, maybe sooner than we realize.
What’s your finest advice for a newer teacher?
Authenticity. It comes though actually living the teachings, so there is no difference between the person on and off the mat. Teach what you know and live, and people will have a great experience and learn to respect you, even if you are a young and inexperienced teacher. And don’t be afraid of being vulnerable – the great teachers teach as much through their vulnerability as through their strength. Don’t mistake being a yoga teacher with a cheerleader!
Evolutionary biology or god(s)?
I am a devotee of earth, Gaia, as a goddess, a living ecosystem, a living entity, the mother of us all. Here is the challenge, though: When we commit to worship or devote ourselves to Gaia, we are asked to learn to love it all. And by that I mean EVERYTHING. Not just the beautiful and graceful aspect of the feminine, but the decay and the worms, life and death, all of it.
A friend told me an old American Indian story. It tells of beings of immense beauty and power that lived on the earth a long time ago. Then, one day, when humans prepared to come live on Planet Earth too, the beings were worried that they would scare the fragile and impressionable humans with their beauty and power. So they cloaked themselves and became the shapes and forms of our natural world. Into trees they hid, and mountains, and all kinds of plants. They cloaked themselves in the shapes of animals so they could display their gifts without frightening the humans to death.