Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is off to a great start for you. I can already feel that 2020 is going to be a BIG year for me - for starters, Ngugi and I are getting married in February and I am turning 30 in April!
Before jumping into this next decade, I have been taking some time to reflect on where I have been, what I have learned, and who I have learned from.
Before 2010: Before I turned 20. Spent a lot of time worrying about what other people thought of me. Was anxious a lot and doing normal high-school things and not-so-normal high-school things. Practiced yoga in my bedroom from VHS tapes and DVDs. Asked my parents to drive me to yoga classes every night before I got my driver's license and before Uber was a thing. Graduated from my first yoga teacher training program when I was 18. Got into UC Davis but didn't want to go (wanted to teach yoga full-time instead). Went to a yoga ashram for the first time. Gratitude to my first yoga teacher, Catherine De Los Santos, for introducing me to yoga at age 14 in a teen yoga class. Gratitude to my first Ayurveda teacher, Verena Gayatri Primus, for helping me when I was sick and scared at age 18 and inspiring me to start studying Ayurveda. Gratitude to my dear teacher, Anirudh Shastri, for being instrumental in what would turn into a life-long love affair with yoga. Gratitude to the community at Sivananda Yoga Ashram, for showing me what it means to live a yogic lifestyle and for being the place I would return to regularly for the following decade to come back home to myself. Gratitude to my mom for dealing with my teenage angst, introducing me to my first yoga and Ayurveda teachers, taking me to the ashram for the first time, and for strongly encouraging me to go to college when I really didn't want to go.
2010 - 2012: Turned 21. Partied a lot. Drank more alcohol than I would like to admit. Ran a bunch of half marathons with my college roommates. Made some questionable decisions and some good decisions. Graduated from UC Davis in Exercise Biology. Went to the Czech Republic to study holistic wellness (and to party). Went to massage school and worked as a massage therapist at a spa in Davis for a few years while going to school, teaching yoga, and working at a restaurant. Made some really good friends and had a lot of fun. Rode my bike to yoga classes at Kaya Yoga Studio, my home away from home, everyday. Gratitude to my all-time favorite yoga teacher on the planet, Kia Meaux, for being instrumental in the deepening of my love and devotion to the practice of yoga.
2012 - 2015: Turned 25. Had a quarter-life crisis of sorts. Cried a lot. Went to the emergency room for what was probably a panic attack. Moved back in with my parents. Went to graduate school and continued to teach yoga. Went to Vietnam and Cambodia on a trip for grad school. Made some really good friends. Graduated from San Jose State University in occupational therapy. Took the board exams and became a licensed occupational therapist. Worked as an OT at a skilled nursing facility and quickly realized I wanted to work in mental health instead of physical disabilities. Started an advanced yoga teacher training at Niroga Institute in Oakland focused on mental health and special populations. Went to a lot of different therapists and healers. Gratitude to my parents for catching me when I was falling apart and for financially and emotionally supporting me through all my educational and healing pursuits. Gratitude to Arda Odzemir, for being a freaking amazing life coach and reiki practicioner and helping me claim my life and my body, understand my power, and start to manifest and create the life I wanted. Gratitude to Arda for showing me the transformational healing power of energy work in my own life and for training me as a reiki practitioner.
2015 - 2017: Met my incredible husband-to-be, Ngugi. Fell in love. Practiced lots of Jivamukti yoga together at Toni Cupal's classes. Ngugi and I moved in together. Starting working as a mental health OT with young adults experiencing psychosis and continued to teach yoga. Learned a lot about my own boundaries and limits in the mental health field. Started a yoga and wellness program at a local high school. Gratitude to my young adult clients and students who I learn so, so much from. Refined my yoga teaching with support from a mentorship program with Rolf Gates, and my yoga classes exploded.
2017 - 2019: Started a yoga business with Ngugi. Ran a bunch of yoga retreats together. Led 3 yoga teacher training programs to 17 beautiful souls. Continued to study business, marketing, yoga, Ayurveda, and Reiki in my spare time. Continued to work as a mental health OT; transitioned to work with adults experiencing trauma and substance use disorders. Ngugi and I moved into our dream house with a home yoga studio in the forest. Completed a women's leadership mentorship with Nisha Moodley. Studied feminine archetypes and starting leading women's circles. Gratitude to Nisha Moodley, for opening my eyes to feminine-form healing, devotional leadership, and the power of sisterhood. Gratitude to Nisha for exposing me to an incredibly powerful form of Tantrik breathwork, and to Michael Brian Baker and Audri Jaques for training me to facilitate this profound healing practice. Gratitude to Ngugi, for being the best life and business partner I could ask for. Gratitude to the incredible students who come to class, go on retreats, and take teacher training with us.
2020: Excited for what the next decade will bring! On the agenda: Getting married, turning 30, continuing my studies in yoga and Ayurveda (always deepening), completing a postpartum doula training, doing a prenatal yoga teacher training, film some more free online yoga videos, refine my private offerings, and of course continue to offer you lots of yoga classes and events!
Thanks for reading! Wishing you a wonderful 2020!