If you told me many years ago when I was a leg-warmer-wearing, high-kicking aerobics instructor that I would be a yoga teacher, I would have told you no way, Jose! Then one day about 12 years ago, I was at Equinox and I stumbled into Michael Lechonczak's anusara class – and I was hooked. Finally, a yoga class I could sink my teeth into and sweat. He was amazing and was my first teacher here in NYC. Fast forward and I am now a true yoga mutt.
My signature class at Earth Yoga and Pure Yoga is a Sweat and Surrender. Kick your asana vinyasa flow in a heated room with really fun music – you will hear everything from Aerosmith to Wild Cherry and on most nights my kula of students can be found singing Sweet Home Alabama or We Are Family while holding urdhva danurasana. We are a crazy bunch. There is a magical energetic quality that can be accessed in each and every yoga pose, so why not have fun holding it? I also teach Halle Homegirl Yoga in my apartment, which caters to Upper East Side moms who want to get back into great shape and do some awesome yoga – the theme is drop off your kids and drop in and onto your mat.
I am almost 49 years old, so teaching yoga is a chapter two for me and I feel I have some life experience to share. I am a divorced, single mom of a beautiful daughter, Maya, who we adopted from Russia when she was 10 months old. I have gone through some very rough times emotionally and yoga really has saved me in so many ways – I really want to give back and share what I have learned and keep passing it on. I want my students to feel happy, open, detoxed, and loved when they leave my class. I want them to learn that it is okay to laugh with yourself and that yoga is not about self-improvement and having the perfect crow pose; it is about self-acceptance in the right here right now and to find the gratefulness. I guess you could say I seek to inspire and perspire.