My style of teaching is an authentic reflection of what I am personally attending to in my practice and life. I love the dance and flow of a well-paced and fluid vinyasa class, but just as much, I relish the precision of Iyengar yoga. My own practice is a merging of what I love in the physical practice and my intensely strong love of Bhakti yoga and its depth – not just the chanting and kirtan, but the science of devotion and dedication.
I experience asana as one part of the larger yoga practice, and that it brings us from the external towards the soul – or from the material to the spiritual – whereas Bhakti yoga moves us in the opposite direction, from the soul to the outside world. I see a perfect union between these two practices – which require the study of shastra, the body, rhythm, poetry and music – as a fully engaged practice and life. In the end and in the moment, asana is at its best when it is practiced with the attitude of a Bhakta. It is actually the definition of asana in the Sutras – strong and sweet and moving the effort to effortlessness. For me, this approach makes sense and I bring this philosophy into my classes.
I hope that my students understand the bigger picture of yoga as a full-hearted and full-bodied experience. I want them to feel they have tools to go deeper on many levels. I also hope to inspire in them a love of this practice that they will stick with it forever, as it truly unfolds year after year and realizations start coming that before were just deep ponderings or confusions.
My major influences in yoga asana are Carrie Owerko, Kevin Gardiner and all the teachers at Yogamaya. In my life of yoga, Jai Uttal set me on the right path; on a daily basis, Ananta Govinda, Dhanurdhara Swami, Radhanath Swami, Janaki Cuffee, Acyuta Gopi, Gaura Vani, Akincana Krishna Das, Jahnavi Harrison and Kaustubha Das, some of the most dedicated and influential Bhakti yogis in the world.
When I observe the beauty and generosity in others, I am inspired to find that in myself, both in asana practice and in my life. I am lucky to be surrounded by such a dedicated crew of yogis who share their spark, which keeps mine lit. We are very lucky in NYC and I am blessed to be a part of this East Coast yoga revolution.