I am a Registered Yoga Teacher specializing in Trauma Sensitive Yoga. I stumbled into yoga during my Peace Corps service in Tanzania. I bought my first yoga mat in Dar es Salaam and began teaching myself the practice in a rural village. Yoga became a way to stay grounded and healthy both physically and mentally as I integrated my experiences into my being.
About 6 months into my Peace Corps service, I was robbed at gunpoint, and a dear friend was injured, leaving me with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Far from home, Peace Corps sent me to talk therapy, which was helpful to some degree, but for me I discovered the most healing through a combination of therapy, supportive relationships, and the ways I was able to re-connect with my body and my breath on my yoga mat.
After 3 years in the Peace Corps, and back in the states, I decided to deepen my practice by attending a Taoist Yoga teacher training in 2013. My goal was to share the practice with residents I worked with as Program Manager at a residential treatment facility serving youth with emotional and behavior disorders stemming from traumatic experiences. Throughout my experience working with residents in foster care, I desired to explore how trauma and the yoga practice worked best together. After personal research and reading, I attended an intensive training with David Emerson from the Trauma Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, learning the foundations of a Trauma Sensitive Yoga practice and how to best meet the needs of students who have experienced various traumas. I have since continued my studies, training with Street Yoga (a trauma-informed yoga service organization out of Seattle, Washington) and completed my 300-hour advanced teacher training with the Trauma Center to become a fully certified facilitator and trainer in Trauma Center-Trauma Sensitive Yoga.
In addition to Trauma Sensitive Yoga, I have been working in non-profits including program development, grant writing, Monitoring and Evaluation, developing trainings and offering workshops, overseeing/supervising staff and project implementation since 2009. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Kansas before entering the Peace Corps, serving in Tanzania as a Health Education Volunteer from 2010-2013. I have experience teaching yoga with the Compassionate Schools Project, at residential facilities, Catholic Charities with refugee children, prenatal yoga, LQBTQ+ youth, and special needs yoga for youth. I previously served as a trauma-informed consultant on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Yoga Initiative.
I am currently working to expand my personal awareness of this work as an anti-oppressive practice. I am striving to continually develop my cultural competencies and meet communities who welcome me in, with what may best serve them in that moment.