My first formal introduction to yoga and art was in my late teens. However I’ve always had a spiritual and creative curiosity, even as a young girl. When I was seven, my family moved to Bolivia for a few years and we traveled throughout South America. It was not until much later in my teens, while taking an art class at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, that I realized how strong an impact these earlier experiences had on my psyche. Being exposed in Bolivia to the ancient and majestic mountains, infinite sense of space and a rich culture that mixed traditional spiritual practices with modern religion stuck in my unconscious and influenced my art as well as my spirituality (especially meditation and yoga) for years to come.
I ended up going to New York’s School of Visual Arts for my BFA where I dove deeper into the creative process and learned the healing power of image and symbol making. I also studied yoga in a history course and took classes around New York when I could afford to on my college budget! After graduating art school, I began studying Vipasana meditation, in which I found the same inner freedom that I did in making art and realized that my creativity was a form of meditation.
I like many women struggled for years with body image issues. I came to yoga from years of exercising and despite how “in shape” I was able to get my body I always had a disconnect from it, I was storing my entire history in the tightness of my muscles keeping my emotions in tight lock. It took me years in therapy to understand the amount of emotions I was controlling through controlling the shape of my body. When I began my yoga and meditation practice it was the first time I was able to really feel the life of my body and allow space for my emotions to be experienced and felt. What I began to discover is that I couldn’t just change my mind without addressing the deeply seated conditioning in my body.
After years making images, studying meditation and yoga as well as delving deeper into my own therapy I decided to combine my interests. I received a masters in Art Therapy in 20001 and completed my first training to become a Yoga teacher shortly after.
Although I have explored many different forms of yoga, I have focused primarily on studying the Iyengar method in the last few years. Yoga, meditation and art together make up a holistic approach to healing – physically, psychologically and spiritually. As a teacher, therapist and healer, I use all modalities in my work depending on the needs of my students.