20 + years
The Yoga Sutras & Amritanandamayi
I met Amritanandamayami ( Amma,"the hugging mother) from India in 1997. I had never met anyone in my life with such compassion and selfless service toward humanity. I remember thinking "If God were in human form on earth she would be it". She mirrored what I always felt in my heart and mind was the ultimate state of yoga. It was beyond asana, beyond the mind and the body, a true union with all of existence . Her example inspires me every day to continuously strive to attain this state of compassion and union with all life/all beings and to inspire this in my students.
Amritanandamayi, Rodney Yee, Alison West, Lisa Walford, May Ezraty, Anna Forrest
I have studied numerous styles and methods of yoga. Currently, I practice more Iyengar yoga but teach within the YogaWorks method, which is influenced by both the Iyengar and Ashtanga styles. In my public classes, I teach a flow style with continuous attention on alignment in the asanas, as well as alignment of the mind - remembering that the true purpose of this practice is to be in union with one's higher consciousness.
Retreats are transformational because they allow us to slow down, temporarily leaving behind our busy lives, bringing our attention toward what matters most. This can assist us in seeing things for what they really are and gaining a better perspective. When our minds & bodies can rest, the clouds are able to clear, and we can open up to the possibilities available for us to heal.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). It's a pose we do A LOT, but one that very few practitioners understand. There are many components within this asana, therefore, many asanas that arise from within it, making (what seems like a simple pose) rather complex.
Many, however I most enjoy going back and exploring what are considered more "basic" poses like Downward Facing Dog. As my practice matures, and as I age, I am less interested in the "pose" itself or in "tricks" and more curious about the process of "arriving".
India definitely! But I also love France, the French West Indies, and any warm coastal island.